Paws for a Cause... Life of Pikelet
When Bear and Kind first began as an idea in a notebook a few short years ago, I knew I wanted it to be about doing something good. I wanted to create clean, natural products that were gentle on sensitive skin, that pawrents could feel good about using on their dog. I also wanted to source only ethical, sustainable ingredients, and packaging that was good for the planet. But more than that, I wanted Bear and Kind to do good in the community.
I’d been following the famous Pikelet and his adventures on social media for several years, but it wasn’t until the pandemic hit in 2020 that I really began to understand what Life of Pikelet was all about. When I saw an opportunity to jump in and get my feet wet earlier this year I grabbed it.
After a couple of misses I finally got my chance just last month. A tiny bulldog puppy, just two days old, needed urgent transport from the NSW border to headquarters for lifesaving neonatal care.
Plumpy was a little chocolate chunk with perfect white markings and a full cleft palate. He needed tube feeding every few hours and an incubator to maintain his body temperature. Bundled in a fleece blanket inside a box for a bed, we made a beeline for headquarters, stopping only for a tube feeding along the way.
Despite his size he had plenty of attitude. Throughout the trip he wrestled free of his covers and tried to crawl from his bed. He complained every time I wrapped him back up in his blankets. I struggled to keep him warm so I cranked up the heat while I sweated like crazy. But I didn’t care.
On arrival he was whisked into the puppy nursery and placed into the incubator with his new roomies… an even tinier pair of pug siblings that were somehow older than he was.
Most pups with birth defects such as cleft palates don’t make it without specialised care. Most vets recommend euthanasia. Fortunately, a small few, together with a handful of breeders familiar with Life of Pikelet’s work, will refer cases to them. With the knowledge, experience, and necessary medical equipment, Life of Pikelet works around the clock with each new arrival, to give them the best chance of survival.
The success stories will warm even the coldest heart. Then there are others that will leave you in tears. But they keep trying, year-round. It can be the most rewarding job on earth, but it’s exhausting. And it’s all done by volunteers and funded through donations.
2021 has been a difficult year. Lockdown has made transport and volunteering problematic. Costs continue to mount, and new requests for help come in almost every day. Several of the pups already in their care require ongoing medical treatment that will cost thousands… sometimes for just one dog. Left with little choice, Life of Pikelet closed its doors to new arrivals last month (with the exception of emergency neonatal) in an attempt to manage costs and meet their commitments to the dogs already in their care.
When I read the announcement post I immediately thought of little Pudgy and his tiny incubator buddies. Though I knew that newborn emergencies would still receive the care they needed, I couldn’t bear the thought of any older pups who needed help missing out.
That’s why we’re giving $10 from every 60g balm sold before the 31st October to Life of Pikelet. We are a small business with a small following, so it may not add up to much. But it’s a start.
As Bear and Kind grows, we hope to give back even more to our community. Not just in donations, but by telling the stories of these unsung heroes, and encouraging others to volunteer and help spread the word. If there is a cause or rescue close to your heart, tell us about it. We’re always happy to help if we can.
If you are able to volunteer your time for a cause that is important to you, do it. Believe me, you will get back so much more from the experience than you give.
To learn more about Life of Pikelet visit www.lifeofpikelet.com.
You can make a donation at https://chuffed.org/project/life-of-pikelet-rescue-crisis-relief.
To buy a balm go to www.bearandkind.com.au.
Image by www.freepik.com.