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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

All Things to All People

My son wanted a puppy for his birthday so we took a trip to the local animal shelter. What better thing to do than rescue a little furry dude? Right away T was drawn to this cute black lab puppy. We made him look at all of the dogs in the shelter and even offered to drive him to several different ones just so he was sure that THIS was the one he wanted. He refused to go anywhere else and said that the black one was what he wanted.

We did the whole trip to PetSmart to pick up puppy supplies and brought him home to meet our 4 year old Papillion. They ran around the back yard chasing each other and the three youngest kids. Then came the time to teach T (now 10 years old) to be responsible in crate training his puppy. It was trial and error for both him and the puppy. The whole first day it was nothing but playtime and cleanup. The puppy even made it most of the night before having an accident.

The next day the puppy, Shiloh, had a bout of diarhhea, then throwing up. We chalked it up to nerves and the change in environment. By Monday, Shiloh had lost his bounce and was throwing up every time he drank or ate. So come first thing Tuesday morning we were off to the vet.

I received the news by myself in the tiny exam room at the veterinarian's office. The doctor came in with operating scrubs and gloves on. He then began to rattle off that he believed our puppy had Parvovirus. Well I had no idea what that was but I agreed to the test. Moments later I am standing in front of two men I had only just met, with tears streaming down my face, telling me that our little Shiloh had Parvo and that without hospitalization or intense home care he should be put to sleep because no treatment and he wouldn't live to see the end of the week. So as I'm picturing my poor son's face in my head I am trying to focus on the $200-$400 a day in hospitalization and the rate of living even with care.

I relay as much as I can to my husband over the phone and pray for guidance on how this will work. Then I suck it up, listen to the instructions about giving an IV and the medications that he will need. I'm then told he must be quarantined from our other dog and bleach everything he has touched. In order to not spread the disease I must scrub my hands and change clothes after having dealt with Shiloh. These are only a few of the things I must do in order to make sure he gets the right treatment. I take mental notes and try to think positive.

I didn't tell the kids all of the details, just that Shiloh was sick and they had to wash their hands if they touched him. T's response was "so if he takes all his medicine then he'll get better?" I told him that that was the idea and he seemed to accept it.

As of right now we are just over 24 hours on antibiotics and he seems to be improving. This morning he popped his head up and wagged his tail. I thanked God for that moment. And for every moment after that. I am so grateful that he is showing improvement.

I was reminded of when T was 3 months old (about the same as Shiloh is) and he was so sick with RSV that he was dehydrated and had to be admitted to the children's wing of the hospital. He was so small and so weak. They had to stick him so many times to get an IV and he barely moved. I prayed so hard.  And now looking at Shiloh I think maybe God fated to put the two of them together.

The day we adopted him was the first day he was eligible for adoption. Had we passed him over and went somewhere else then the shelter would have most likely put him down or simply waited the virus out by himself in a cold, sterile room.

So if you have a moment, say a brief prayer for our puppy. And as I am bleaching and scrubbing I'll keep believing in miracles, fate and prayer.

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