Newborn puppies join students at school


Ava Swanson

Excited students visit the Vet Tech classroom to see and hold the newborn puppies.

Marie Colunga, Staff Writer

Senior William Marquardt brought four newborn mixed chihuahua and pug puppies to school with him every day for a week in October. When the mother of the young pups, Lily, became sick, the school offered to take care of the dogs during school hours. 

“I felt relieved because I had to spend an entire day feeding them by hand and all through the night as well,” Marquardt said. “When the school said I could take them, it was a big relief for me and my parents.”

Due to Lily’s size, she had to have a C-section so that she could give birth. This resulted in a blood clot, leading to another surgery.

“Besides the one blood clot, she’s been doing pretty good,” Marquardt said. “She was on a bunch of painkillers when we first got her back, so she didn’t even know what she was looking at when we brought her to see the puppies. She’s slowly warmed up to them, but she’s treating them like siblings, not as daughters and sons.”

  After her surgery, Marquardt’s family was told Lily would be unable to feed her pups, so the newborns would have to be bottle-fed every two hours.

“I was shocked at first, and then I just came to the realization that it’s just going to have to happen one way or another,” Marquardt said. 

 The pups were born Oct. 17. Marquardt’s family knew they couldn’t consistently take off work to feed the dogs, so they emailed FFA teachers Megan Hanson and Diana Morales to figure out a solution.

“It was a shot in the dark because we could not just keep taking days off to feed them,” Marquardt said. 

 When the puppies came to the school, all of the students wanted to go see and feed them.

 “With everyone wanting to be in there all the time, it’s hard to get kids to stay focused,” Hanson said. 

Despite this, having the puppies ended up being a good thing for Vet Tech students who were able to learn from them and relate it to their class. 

“I definitely learned a lot about taking care of the animals, being very gentle with holding them and also how to feed them,” junior Kylie Severance said. “It was a good experience for future job references, and it was overall a good learning experience.”