On Friday morning of last week, I raced down to the kennel to check on Holly the pregnant dog I'd taken in the afternoon before. She was fine. I said hello to all of the doggie faces and told them it was VERY early and that I would be back to start their day as soon as I drank my coffee. I ate my hot cereal and poured my large Christmas mug full of that magical elixir. It was a Friday, so I was not drinking my coffee at the computer (like I do Monday thru Thursday while I post to this blog). I was sitting in the family room, watching the weather forecast. Through the window I noticed that the light sleet (which we'd had all night) was changing to snow. Big, beautiful flakes. And as I watched the snow get thicker right before my eyes, the weather forecaster told me that the four inches we were due to get would probably actually be quite a bit more. It was supposed to snow ALL day. OK, I thought, that's fine. As long as the power doesn't go off, we'll make it. I am forever a snow lover, and even tho I knew the work would be longer and harder, I vowed to enjoy the beauty in this day.
The snow blew nearly sideways off and on throughout the morning and the afternoon. It accumulated rapidly and swirled and drifted against buildings and around trees. Today, it was Younger Daughter who had the day off. Older Daughter was at the shelter. The roads were already bad even before the snow started, so Husband had taken Older Daughter to work. He would pick her up at quitting time. At one point, Younger Daughter and I took a short walk in the woods. We had about eight inches of snow so far and there were no signs of this blizzard slowing down. We went into the kennel so that Younger Daughter could see Holly now that she was no longer groggy from having been darted the day before. We both agreed those puppies would be here in the next 24 to 48 hours. Holly got as close to the two of us as she could, pushing her face against first mine and then Younger Daughter's forehead. What a sweet sweet girl!
As we walked back to the house in the quickly deepening snow, Younger Daughter got a text from Older Daughter. She had taken two puppies into the shelter with no place to put them. With the shelter completely full, dogs and cats, puppies and kittens had to be turned away. But this situation was different. Two people had pulled up out in front of the shelter, set a carrier down and started back to their vehicle. Older Daughter went racing out to see what they were doing. They stopped and turned back towards the shelter, saying there were two pups in the carrier that they couldn't keep. Older Daughter started explaining that they were full and couldn't take in any more animals. And then one of those people said this – Well, I guess I'll just have to pitch em in a ditch then. Older Daughter bristled but stayed calm. No – she said. That's against the law. What's the story here? They said they had taken the pups from a neighbor who wasn't caring for them but it was too much for them, too. One of the people said – The bigger one's doing OK but that littler one – somethin's wrong with it. Older Daughter looked inside. One puppy was standing, but there was one in the back of the crate lying on its side. She knew she couldn't send these two puppies away with these people because it would be a death sentence for them. As the blizzard raged around her, she asked the people to come inside and fill out the form, which they did. She pulled the smaller puppy out of the crate but she was limp. She held the pup against her body, took the completed form from the people, and headed to the back to warm a towel. She wrapped the pup up and started examining. The tiny little gums were white. She was SO thin. She could be roused, but she was way too weak. She opened some canned food and rubbed it on the pup's gums. The puppy tried to pull herself up. She was hungry! OK, that was a good sign. Older Daughter got her to eat some canned food, and then she held her up while she drank some water. But right after that, the little thing collapsed again. Older Daughter was keeping her warm as she texted Younger Daughter – I need to bring these two pups home. We're gonna lose this little one and I don't want her to die alone. Younger Daughter told me what was happening.
We decided that the two pups would come here. I would try feeding them to see if the little one had any chance at all. If she started failing, Older Daughter would take her and be with her as she crossed over and headed to the Bridge. Older Daughter has a gift in that area. None of us wanted the poor little thing to die alone. That evening, Husband drove to the shelter to fetch Older Daughter. She held the near comatose puppy against her body all the way home. They hurried in through the blizzard to deliver the puppies before Husband would take Older Daughter to her home. I peeked in the crate. I couldn't believe it – the stronger puppy was standing and she looked EXACTLY like my Ressie. Then Older Daughter pulled back the towel and showed me our little coma puppy. She was a smaller version of the first one. Two little Ressies. The stronger one would make it. It did not appear that the weaker one would. I would do what I could, but I assumed I'd be delivering this little one into Older Daughter's hands for the transition to the Bridge.
(No pictures. I didn't want to take a picture of the little coma puppy in that condition.)
See you tomorrow.