The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
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Seemed like a fitting title, but we”ll start with the bad, instead of the good… we lost a very lovely pup today. She seemed perfectly fine yesterday, her first day. She was lively, nursing, and quite the little fighter. Strong as all get out when I checked them all and took second weights before going to bed. This morning I noticed her off by herself quite often. I would pick her up and put her on Santana. She would suckle a bit, but not very aggressively and fall off to sleep. She had a perfect body temperature, so no chilling or fever. We took a ride to see the vet. Nothing physically wrong, all sounded and looked okay (or at least nothing that could explain why she was fading). I tube fed her the rest of the day and evening, but she never really seemed to perk up much. She simply passed in my hands late this evening. She never cried or acted in pain at all. We have no idea. She was the female Belton pup that I had called Ana. All I can say is damn it. Mad, sad, bewildered. Damn it. Sorry. I don’t think kids read this. I apologize for my bad language and attitude. I can’t think of another way to put it.
The rest of the gang seem to be doing great. Lively bunch. Beautiful lot. All the cords are falling off and the bellies look good. All are nursing vigorously. Santana is doing great. She went out several times today, came upstairs to visit with me and Grace and Ellie. Funny, for whatever reason Addison growled at Santana (probably because she had a yummy bowl of chow in front of her), and Santana (who would normally completely ignore the insult) gave her the dickens right back. Normally not much of a barker, Santana barked more today at noises, doors opening, etc. than she ever has. She is in protective-momma mode. Having a litter really changes some things like that. She looks great, although she looks so thin to me! Of course she is thinner, she just gave birth to ten puppies! But, she ate like a champion and devoured her special treat of liver and then other good things I had made for her today.
She looks better after a bit of a bath and a quick brushing and I was able to give her a good massage during the bath and another this evening. She loves the massages (who doesn’t?).
The pups will have their dew claws removed Wednesday.
I will get to individual photos and posting the names and such over the next few days. Today was devoted to caring for Ana…
Grace and Ellie
It is difficult to imagine life without Grace and Ellie and as the day of their departure nears, this family becomes a bit sad about it! Of course, we are elated for the new family and that the girls get to stay together, but we can’t help but become a bit attached even knowing all along they belong to someone else!
You just cannot help but fall head-over-heels for Grace and Ellie. They really do rule our household and we let them! How can you not, though? So cute, such love-bugs, such characters! They make every day a blast.
They were not eating all that much the past few days. This had me puzzled a bit because they had great appetites. But, this evening I figured out why they aren’t eating their kibble—they are eating the adult dog kibble and like it better! Yep, turns out they can get up onto the huge container I store the adult food in. I don’t always close the lid on the container. So, little smarties figured out they can get on the little stool that just so happens to be right beside the container on the floor and they can step right into the container and eat away. Little buggers!
I have been letting the deck door open a bit so Grace and Ellie can go out to “go potty.” It is so fun to be downstairs and listen to them running around and around on the deck, the galloping and racing back and forth. My gosh do they ever play hard! They absolutely love it out there. They run from the empty end kennel to the other empty kennel between Jess and Ike (who they love and are fascinated with), but who are too preoccupied with the aroma of love in the air (all the gals in heat) to pay the two little pups much mind. The pups love the straw and the dog boxes. They bury themselves in the box full of straw and keep watch for each other and pounce. They will rip and tear and run, hide, play, for about 30 minutes, then come inside and collapse on the big dog bed or Ellie likes to go into their crate (where I put the puppy bed they know and love) and take a nap.
When I go upstairs, they follow me everywhere, of course. They especially love when I open the fridge to a world of yummy smells! When I am cooking or washing dishes, they both try to lay on my feet and sleep (or wait for a morsel to fall on the floor).
They are not happy, however, that I won’t let them out with momma, Shay. I just had to put a stop to it for a few days. Shay will nurse her pups forever! They just cannot be nursing at 7-weeks old.
So, I will be working with them as much as possible over the next few days to get them ready to go to their new home. It is a very chilly week, but I have to get them out for a few jaunts before they go. I hopefully will have them better at the crate. Some days they barely fuss (and it’s actually Grace that does the fussing), until they see Shay and want out with her. And then, the next day, they will really put up a fuss. I have to get them on a better schedule and it will be fine. I have to try to get them out for a ride in the truck and I have to get them back to eating their puppy food. OH! And, I just realized that I don’t have any puppy collars. I usually have ID bands on pups and it makes the transition to a collar very easy (no funny walking and scratching for 3 days). I can at least find an ID band to put on them.
The ugly is that we’ve lost a lovely pup and have no idea why. I know, some things just were not meant to be. I know, I know. I still can’t help but want to know why. Mostly just because I would like to know if there was anything at all I could have done differently and so it never happens again. Which is an ugly thought–thinking I can control much of anything. Some things I can and some things I cannot. I know that, too. The ugly is that I am so angry over it and anger is ugly. Angry that I couldn’t do anything, which just goes back to the control issue! You know, a friend that I went into business with once told me that I was a control freak, but I just thought the person had bad work ethic, self-discipline, and problems with authority. 😉 Perhaps by just being a breeder kind-of proves them right–are breeders control freaks? Well, maybe some are, but I don’t think breeders, trainers, or owners of Setters can be control freaks in any way. You give that up the minute you stand frozen in awe of the amazing beauty of a Setter on point and forget all about the bird. The minute you decide you have to have the quintessential upland gun dog and the minute you smell your puppy’s breath and it latches those puppy teeth onto your nose while looking at you with those beautiful eyes surrounded by long, curly ears. After that, white hair all over everything you own is normal and you feel sorry for those that it bothers. As a friend recently said, it is the measure of a man. A “Setter man” (or woman) gives up all control of just about everything (except his or her vacation days in October) when he or she crosses over to this world of Setterdom.
Hug your Llewellin tonight a bit longer than usual (for Ana puppy) and be sure you are wearing black fleece to seal the deal and to keep control issues in check. 😉