When Redditor Kaffekalle went into work on her 30th birthday, there's no way she could have known that her life would change because of one patient.
A chocolate lab came in for a C-section and delivered nine puppies. Sadly, one of those little pups had a severely cleft palate. Because this genetic defect normally spells death for animals because they can't properly nurse, the dog's owners made the tough decision to put him down.
But that's not where his story ended, thanks to Kaffekalle.
This is the little brown lab puppy that Kaffekalle delivered on her birthday.
Because he was born with a severely cleft palate, his owners chose to have him put to sleep.
But not on this vet tech's watch! The owners surrendered the pup to Kaffekalle. This was the first night she brought him home.
She was determined to give the pup a fighting chance — however slim it might be.
Here he is at one week old. Kaffekalle had to tube feed him every one to two hours. Otherwise, he would have died of starvation.
Thankfully, she was able to bring him to work with her — round-the-clock care was absolutely needed.
It's hard to imagine anyone really minded.
He made fast friends with just about everyone who came into the office.
Here he is at four weeks — he was amazingly growing like an adorable weed.
This is the poor boy's cleft palate. His condition made infections a likely and very serious problem.
Despite guesses that he wouldn't make it past a few weeks, the cutie pulled through. Here he is at five weeks. Kaffekalle decided to name him Bronson.
The tube feeding didn't stop, though.
But, when you put it into this adorable perspective, it was all worth it.
To her, he was a super pup!
The two became almost inseparable.
As he got bigger, a new worry came about. He started getting into mischief and therefore, items became lodged in his palate. This was very dangerous.
Kaffekalle had to keep most things out of his mouth…well, everything except for her fingers. They were like his security blanket.
He loved suckling like a little baby.
Bronson really started to grow into a big boy, though. Look at that FACE!
Sadly, though, because of his condition, his face was actually growing in crooked.
Things continued to get stuck in the hole where his palate didn't fuse correctly.
He had to be sedated a bunch of times to get things out. No matter how vigilant and careful his mom was at keeping things out of his mouth, puppies will be puppies.
But through every setback, this little guy just bounced right back.
He loved playing in water.
Sometimes he would get bored and sad from a lack of stimulation (no toys or treats allowed) and need a cuddle.
After almost a year, he had exceeded all expectations. He was a fighter, for sure. But his cleft palate was still bad…
On his first birthday, he underwent surgery to repair it. If he pulled through, he would be able to lead a full and happy life!
The surgery was rough…but it was a success!
Here he is, all healed, with his brother and sister. If that isn't the best family portrait you've ever seen, we can't be friends.
We're so glad Kaffekalle gave this goofy boy a second chance at life!