And It Rained for Forty Days and Forty Nights

We start day 29 of Riley’s one and only litter this morning, but it seems much longer. New challenges appear like sudden thunderstorms, with noise and bluster that threaten to envelope our household, before slowly resolving into the background grays and blacks of our moods here.

Riley had to have a surgical debridement done under anesthesia last week. The first several days after this were nasty. She had putrefying tissue from her necrotizing infection that had to be slowly removed. She did not whimper from her twice daily dressing changes, as I think she knew just how close she had come to losing her life. At night she would cuddle with me on the bedspread while I breathed in the scent of her severe wound infection. In the morning I felt like I smelled of death and decay intermingled with goat milk. Quite a cologne let me tell you.

Riley is now over the worst of this terrible occurrence, and with her bandages on, she looks rather well. I imagine it will be weeks before this open wound closes as it must heal from the outer edges in. Can you imagine being responsible for this critical care if you were not medical people?

We had a scare with one of the puppies who suddenly had a bloody poop and wouldn’t eat. Barb was afraid of being struck by another rare case of bowel blockage, and multiple calls to our local animal ER were necessary one night while I was at work, followed by more vet visits. The puppy thankfully recovered and is doing well now. Barbara emailed me yesterday while I was at the hospital, and told me our big orange fish in our aquarium had died. About the size of a sunfish, I had successfully nursed it back to health with medication and water changes. The white fungus that had suddenly covered its bright orange skin came back with a vengeance as I left for call. Mother nature had made its choice, and was not to be denied with our puny human efforts.

Barb and I have been fretting for weeks now over the status of Mr. Black. He was born with a deformed ear, and is the runt of the litter. Although he is progressing with his weight gain and appetite, he is still two plus pounds under the weight of his litter mates. A check back with our records reveals he is still on track for our prior litters, but the size of his brothers and sisters makes us uneasy. Worse, we haven’t been able to determine yet if he can hear or even see. He moves by smell, and is more wobbly than the others. We have never had a special needs golden puppy, but…

It breaks your heart to think how unforgiving mother nature is sometimes. We watch his progress with a heavy heart. We will face whatever challenge he presents like anything else that threatens our charges.. aware and determined to make the best of this hand of cards we have been given.

Rocky got us up last night after getting sick in his crate. I don’t know how long it will take him to learn that eating soaker hoses and another bar stool aren’t good for his digestion! He has befuddled my double fence efforts and invisible fence collar so far. He somehow has the ability to squeeze through tiny spaces which is natural for a cat, but not typical of a dog. He is sleeping at my feet now, and it is good that he is quiet for the moment. No he is not asleep, he is starting to gnaw on the desk feet. Sheesh.

There are glimmers of better weather to come to the whelping box, with some of the recent antics of our healthy puppies. They have been changed from being bottle fed to milk dishes, and as of yesterday, puppy food. The mess begins, but a welcome smile creases our faces now and again.

Usually we have visitors start to trickle in to visit and converse around the whelping box. I can’t imagine any company beginning until the end of this week. Barbara will be calling the schedule on this. We are both sleep deprived more than usual and tread gingerly around each other knowing any ill chosen words could be hurtful and very non productive.

Still, even the great flood of Noah’s day ended. We just hope our storm will be shorter lived than 40 days and nights. We even managed to capture a smile on Barbara the other morning when bathing a puppy..

And for our notified clients, when the sun returns to dogville, so will our spirits. Your soon to be additions to your families are thriving. We are now starting to contact the folks who have been our list less than a year. There is one unspoken for puppy still. Mr. Black will not be offered as we are unaware of all his issues at this time. So I leave you all with a few photos from the small transfer box. May they bring a smile to your spirit that will linger all day. All living things must struggle in some way through their days, that is our fate. It is the hope that tomorrow will be better, that allows us to face successfully these daunting challenges.


One Comment on “And It Rained for Forty Days and Forty Nights”

  1. Mare Says:

    Dr. Bourque,

    Oh my goodness, they are PRECIOUS!!!! Bless you and your lovely wife, Barb, for being the people you are, and giving these (and all prior puppies)the love and attention they so dearly need, regardless of how much time and effort it takes. You two are very special people.

    Mare

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