17 January 2006

Puppy Breath

Avid "Pitchpullers" know the story of "Little Bubba", our miniature Dachshund that was hit and killed while protecting me from evil grey squirrels. Those that don't know the story can quickly come up to speed by reading old posts:



then here .

The lady that bred Little Bubba is a friend,
and was as crushed as we to hear he had died.
She immediately bred Little Bubba's Mother again,
mostly to supply us with another pup.
She was ecstatic when she called to tell us the bitch was pregnant, and proudly announced we would have a "Christmas Puppy".

When the puppies were born, Sara Jean and Big Bubba went over to look them over, and picked the pup from the litter that most reminded them of Little Bubba in looks and personality. We all went over to handle and visit him as often as possible, hoping to help avoid "separation anxiety" and the crying stage that pups generally go through for two or three nights when you first bring them home. Sara Jean invested a great deal of time in this effort.

On Christmas Eve,
the breeder drove into our driveway and presented us with the pup.
Like Little Bubba, he was tiny.
I asked how old he was.........5 weeks.
To me, that seemed mighty early to wean a pup.

She gave us goat's milk and said we should mix it with a little water and try to get him to eat often.......every three hours or so, if possible.
He was cute as a bug.
He slept most of Christmas Eve, but was feisty while he was awake.
He also slept most of Christmas day. He didn't have much of an appetite......wasn't at all interested in the goat's milk.

We had planned on taking off on a little vacation in paradise during the week between Christmas and New Year's. I got off work the morning of the 26th expecting to rush home, put Wife, Son, and new Pup in the car,
and get an early start South.

Big Bubba woke in the wee hours and found the pup dead.
He had been shivering terribly, and Big Bubba covered him with a feather pillow to try to warm him. The pup died without a whimper of warning.

I came home to tears all around.
It brought to the surface the pain of losing "Little Bubba" all over again.
We all were crushed.
I called the breeder to tell her, and you can imagine her reaction.......
"Take him to the Veterinarian and I'll call and have an autopsy done."

She wasn't accusing us, but needed to know if she was going to get similar calls from owners of other new pups from this same litter.

I was surprised to find the Vet. open the day after Christmas.
We dropped the poor guy off as we headed Southbound.

The verdict?
Hypoglycemia........low blood sugar.
In her attempt to deliver a pup for Christmas, our friend weaned this little guy too early.
He couldn't thrive.

Of course, this made our mood even worse, thinking of how this poor little fella may have suffered during his too short life!

We were halfway to the Panhandle when Sara Jean's cell rang.
It was the breeder.
"I sold a pup to a gal that made a present of it to her 84 year old Mother.
The pup is too much for the old gal, and she is bringing it back.
Are you interested in him?"

I couldn't hear the conversation, but saw the tears start to flow.
Sara Jean announced the news to Big Bubba and me.
Then there were tears all around!

She put this pup back on Mom's teat for two weeks.
When we got home, he was strong and rambunctious.
He is black and tan, as opposed to Little Bubba's beautiful red coloration.
He does not have Little Bubba's personality........he's much more aggressive.

But he is already a member of our family.
He's smart as a whip.....stops to watch TV, and watches the screen scroll up on my laptop while he helps me blog.
He's already showing signs of being housebroken at 8 weeks of age.
And he has "Puppy Breath", which we have decided smells a little like coffee.......all pups have it......a comforting smell.

Like Little Bubba, he burrows beneath the covers to find the warmest spot of my body to take a nap.

He's healing a huge wound.
How do we not spoil him rotten?


the golden horse said...

You can't not spoil him rotten, you just have to set boundries and instill some simple commands, like lick my face, chew my socks, chase the cat, eat my donut and stuff like that. Congratulations on your new family member.

Mommanurse said...

Yeah, What you said, Golden Horse!

Purple Tabby said...

There is something magical about puppies and kittens, isn't there? They make you smile just thinking about them and how they smell.

Congratulations, GB. And Congrats to the puppy; he did VERY well in finding a loving home.

The Old Man said...

BOOYAH! Gotta have a furkid or two around to remind ya of the richness of the tapestry of life. I've posted pix of mine - get on the stick, brotha'!

Some Soldier's Mom said...

as long as you remember that he was a dawg when ya got 'em and he'll always be a dawg... and you can't keep a dawg from being a dawg, but you sure can control his environment (put away the socks & shoes if he chews, give him a "dawg proof" area he can call his own, and when he barks he's just doin' his job... nice doggie!