Thursday, November 13, 2008

Skinny Sky and Gaunt Green

Okay, fair warning. This morning's entry contains photos and video of little Miss Sky and Master Green from last night and this morning. Both pups lost some weight in their recent bout with the virus, so they do look skinny (Sky is in back; Green in front):

Try not to let that bother you (I'm trying, too). They really are doing very very well, and the vet would never have sent them home if they weren't. We just have to take it really really slow (this meatball of food every two hours just isn't cutting it with the pups -- another thing to check with the vet today). Their coats already feel softer and healthier (just in the 14 hours since they've been home), and in the video that follows you'll see how bright-eyed and interactive they are. They just look like skin and bones to me (where did my plump pudgy puppies go?).

Miss Sky (resting her head on Mr. Green's paws):

Mr. Green (with Miss Sky nestled next to him):

In the interest of full disclosure, I thought it best to just let you see things as they are. And, the concentration-camp-look aside (which breaks my heart and makes me wants to shovel food at them), the pups are doing fabulously.

In fact, they didn't stop romping and playing for THREE HOURS last night after I transferred them from the crate I carried them home in to the completely-bleached-and-sterilized-twice kitchen puppy pen (think Energizer Bunnies on steroids). The poor little things have been caged for nearly a week (and necessarily so); of course they want to get around and move!

This video captures them about an hour into their full-bore play (they seemed to be quieting down a bit while I took this -- as it turned out they were just recharging momentarily for the next round of raucous play, which lasted another two hours). DH comes home from work about a minute into this clip -- the pups are very happy to see him.

When they finally did settle down, they "piled" as well as two pups can without the rest of the litter. I think they really needed each other (which is why I hate the isolation they've had to be in while at the vets, even though I understand its necessity):

It's just so good to have them here. Having Sky and Green back is soothing my soul in ways I can't describe. My arms feel a whole lot better. ;o)

My arms?

Yes, my arms. You see, when DFS was born 24 years ago, he had to be whisked away to NICU (his twin brother was stillborn and they wanted to make sure DFS was okay). I can still remember how my arms (yes, my arms) literally ached to hold him. In NICU, in those days, I could only reach in and touch him. That didn't last long, thankfully -- just 24 hours. But I remember how strong the instinct was to hold my child.

This will probably sound crazy to you, but I found myself feeling similarly about the pups after we handed the last four over to the techs in the isolation ward Monday morning. My arms literally (and I mean quite literally) ached to hold them -- these my "kids" in canine form. And that continued as long as the pups were all at the vet's, even when I went in to visit them (scratching their little noses in a gloved hand just wasn't the same).

It's completely different when it's time for the pups to leave for their forever homes: we know they're fine and healthy and in wonderful placements, so I might shed a tear, but I don't agonize over them. We raise them knowing from the start that the plan is for them to leave and enrich the lives of others elsewhere. It's fine to give them up when it's time.

But surrendering them to a vet hospital ICU is very different than surrendering them to their forever homes.

As silly as it seems, we do love them a bit like we love our children. We so want them to be healthy and happy and whole. And when they're struggling, we just want to hold them and comfort them and make it all better.

Having Sky and Green here now helps me remember that, though we can't make it all better (it has to run its course), we might actually get through this, and that they will again be happy and healthy and whole. :o)

And if nothing else, while nursing them back to full recovery, having them here does my soul good.

It helps my arms feel a whole lot better, too (especially now that I can hold them).

'Til next time,


Katherine Klegin said...

poor sweet babies. you have had a hard time of it, but it looks like the worst of it is over. It's all uphill from here! I tell you what....your dogs sure to produce some fine looking offspring.

Meesh said...

HURRAH!! HURRAH!! It is SO good to see the "prodigal puppies" returning home! I will be anxiously awaiting until I see ALL of them back and romping like nobody's business!! You are doing a FANTASTIC job with these little bundles of joy!! Chester's mom

"Sunshine" said...

My heart aches for you!!

I watch your site with my breath held every morning. Prayers going your way every day!!

I know this may be a stupid question so forgive my ignorance, but is there any good probiotics in the puppies diet mix to help restore a healthy digestive tract?

Our holistic vet had us giving powdered probiotics and Kefir yogurt to our pups through their 3rd - 6th month with all the growing and teething and intestinal maturing they were doing during that time.