Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Lucky Unlucky Transport 21

Friday the 13th. My second day of transports in a row and this transport was my 21st. Today I was picking up two dogs, each from a separate transport. I was about a half hour out from arriving to pick up the dogs when I got a call from G, she warned me the puppy had had diarrhea on the first leg of transport, which isn't entirely uncommon. Often pups are given shots and meds before transport, surgeries, and in addition, the stress of being transported can set little tummies off their normal routine.

I thanked her and told her I'd keep an eye on him. We both knew there was one other reason he could be having trouble, but didn't want to think it. As I arrived so did the first transport run by Lennard. I picked up my first transportee, Rocco, a young adult border collie boy who probably had some spaniel in him.

Rocco was SO happy to be out of the van that he couldn't even focus on going potty. Instead he got down on his belly and did, what our family calls "the paralyzed puppy" which is where they let their entire hind end go limp and use their front legs to drag themselves across the ground. I couldn't help but giggle. He wasn't super excited about getting in his crate so soon after getting out of one, but he had to because only minutes after picking him up, the second transport arrived. (How lucky were we that we were able to have 2 completely separate transports both meet up in the same location at the same time? That never happens.)

So I left all the windows open as well as the trunk and put Rocco in his crate. Gwen had about 5 dogs just lying on a pile of sheets and pillows. They were riding in style! As we approached the car all the dogs got bouncy and happy, except one... the one I was there for. The collie puppy lay on a pillow looking sleepy. He followed me with his eyes but didn't lift his head. Gwen picked him up and handed him to me. I set him down on the ground where he stood for a moment, then sniffed for a half second, peed, and looked back at me. Please note, this puppy is only 3 months old (12 weeks), he should have been bouncing off the windows and dragging me around the grass. I was worried about dehydration, it doesn't take much to dehydrate such a young pup. Could the Diarrhea be the reason?

Gwen asked if I was taking him to a vet or foster. I told her that the plan was for both of them to go to foster and then see a vet in the next few days. We were off! Both dogs were doing well on transport, no pawing or crying. About 20 minutes in I saw collie baby stand up. I baby talked him but he barely looked at me. Then I saw the hunch. Crap... he was gonna throw up. Sure enough he did.  I didn't pull over, instead I pulled out the cell phone and praised God that he and Rocco hadn't had any contact. I called G and filled her in. This transport was quickly changing from lucky number 21 to a Friday the 13th horror story...

As we were talking about what we should do he stood up again and threw up. I told G it almost smelled metalic and I could almost hear her heart sink... It was likely what we'd both feared... Parvo. That was why he was having diarrhea, was lethargic and vomiting. With the 3 symptoms combined we knew that this transport could not go to foster. Instead it had just become a medical emergency and I was headed to the Vet.

I slammed the directions into the GPS and hurried as fast as I could, trying to reassure him, and myself, that it would be ok. It had to be ok.... With Parvo there are plenty of things that vets can try to do to save a dogs life, but only 4 really make a difference: catching it early, giving fluids, anti-nausea shots, and prayers...

When we arrived at the vet I cranked down every window, grabbed a cheap shower sheet I had in my car, and scooped up the vomit drenched puppy. I was lucky, G called ahead so all I had to do was sprint inside and say "this is G's dog." They took us right back into an exam room and because I had Rocco in the car, I left him, standing on the shower curtain on the floor. I felt awful to just leave him there, but it was all I could do, and Rocco needed me now. When we arrived at G's she took Rocco and we sanitized me from head to toe. I sat with her while we waited for the vet to call with the pup's test results... It only took a few minutes, and then the phone rang. I could tell by the look on her face what the test said... It was Parvo... this adorable little dog was now fighting for his life... and had a 50/50 shot.
Day 1

I stayed for dinner, and then G and I talked... She fought with whether she should see him that night, or wait til morning. It was hard because this was just like Goldie Hawn.... who also came into the rescue with her mother, Lady Di (who is now G's dog), suffered from parvo, and died from complications...

We decided we couldn't wait. No one knew if he'd even survive the night.... We took a bunch of beautiful photos of him, even though he could barely lift his little head.... I helped G by taking pictures while she knelt beside him, trying to stay strong and whispering about how he had to get stronger so he could come home with her real soon. The Vets stated that they weren't sure if he'd make it through the night, they'd seen pups who looked worse than him get better, and pups who looked better than him die.

Day 2
When we left we sanitized again, then sanitized the car and crates. We sat down and talked. He needed a name, something that might put God on his side... or somehow curry some divine favor. We picked Bartholomew, Bart for short, after St. Bartholomew (patron saint of the afflicted {normally by skin disorders}). We hoped that little Bart would live to grow into his name and become the Regal Collie, Lord Bartholomew (all of our collies are Lords and Ladies).

I headed home, G settled in, and we prayed... and prayed, and asked others for prayers. The next morning G called. He'd not only lived through the night but stood up and ate, twice. Over the weekend I came back up to see G and the fam a few times. On Sunday, on the 3 year anniversary of TDL, I brought a pawprint cake with black and white candles in the shape of the number 3.

The surprise for us, was that we got to bring little Bart home! It is quite possible that because we took him straight to the vet, it was an early enough intervention to really help Bart fight. Either way, we joyously went to get him and bring him to G's for quarantine and healing.

As we carried him out of the office, we looked up at the sky and it almost brought us both to tears... Just above a storm cloud there was a beautiful little strip of rainbow... maybe a glimpse of the rainbow bridge... We both knew it was little Goldie Hawn looking down on Bart.

Can you hear us, Goldie Hawn?

We got in the car and drove home to take more pictures and post the good news. Bart ate well, slept well, and continued to gain strength through the week.

You may have noticed by now that I have intentionally waited to write this post... honestly, it's is because I didn't know what to post... would he be the transport that was Lucky and lived, or the poor pup who was unlucky and died... I wish I had a straight answer. Today I decided to write this post and 5 minutes into writing I heard that today we found out that Bart has pneumonia... This is what Goldie Hawn died of... in conjunction with parvo.

So we keep praying, and hoping that little Bart will be the success story and redemption story... a true survivor who fought it all and won-- but we have no guarantee...  not yet.

Please, pray for little Bart... He is so young and has so much of his life ahead of him.. Pray for G as she wrestles with the painful echos of the past which resonate all too closely now... Hang in there Bart... Fight hard.

The only picture of Bart and I... So far.

No comments:

Post a Comment