January 8, 2010

Lupita, aren’t you glad you get to go home?

I asked her yesterday at 4 pm when she was finally released from the Alameda East Animal Hospital. She peeked out of her carrier with luminous puppy eyes but didn’t utter a word. As we drove home the snow was blowing, the morning’s grapple had now turned into big fat flakes while the temperature dropped to 12°F from the influx of a cold Arctic air mass.

When I went out to shovel this morning, I saw lots of bunny tracks in the snow and the paws of a large animal, either a coyote or dog that might have been chasing it/them. My neighbor tells me she looked out her window late one night after a snowstorm and saw three bunnies in the moonlight, dancing and tumbling together in the snow. So maybe Fido or Wiley came along later and left his tracks after the snow party was over.

When we got in the house Lupita ran all over the place like a little mad person. She had only been in our house for 2 days before we had to take her to the emergency clinic, it was a new place to her then. Nevertheless it was as if she was running around looking to make sure everything she had seen before was still there, just like a little kid. She has four medicines to take throughout the day for the next 7 days and 6 cans of Hills Prescription Diet a/d Food to nourish her during her recovery. Last night the vet told me she would need to have access to food and water all night long. So, I set her up in a big crate in our bedroom, although my inner child was laughing at me the whole time saying, “suuure, you know how this is going to end.”

I put her in the crate, turned the lights off and dove under the covers. She immediately began to cry, scream and yelp shrilly building into an amazing crescendo then diminishing into tragic weeping whimpers, which repeated themselves for the next 40 minutes. I kept thinking, ‘ok, when she quiets down I will just put her in bed with me (so that she doesn’t decide that crying is what releases her from the crate); I will set the alarm to get up and feed her every 3 hours instead of leaving her in the crate.’ She continued to cry for an hour and I tried to keep awake until she stopped. When I finally realized she was quiet, I was barely awake. I thought, ‘Ok, I will just rest for another 2 minutes and then go get her,’ but in 2 minutes I had drifted off into sleep quicker than you can say "Jack Robinson”. An hour went by before she woke up and started her testing her high soprano notes again.

I decided it was no good for her to get so upset since she is just recovering from Parvo, especially since she is scheduled for surgery tomorrow. Poor little thing, will her trials and tribulations never end? They need to stitch together the big abscess on her back (at the site of her vaccination injections) that apparently developed from not having enough white blood cells because of the Parvo virus.

At 11 pm I got up and put her in bed under the covers with me. At 2 and at 4:30 am she started stirring, licking and biting my hand, then crawling upside down under the covers in little spinning circles, using the top sheet as a floor on which to gain leverage. Also it turns out Chihuahuas are big lickers; at night lying on your pillow you are a helpless victim to getting your face and ears washed, whether you want it or not. I got up and gave her some food and water, then took her downstairs to the cat litter box I had set up so she wouldn’t have to go outside in the subzero weather. Although this seems somewhat akin to waking up all night to care for a human baby, at least that baby doesn’t have to lick your face and ears besides. Would anyone want them to?

1 comment:

ann said...

Try a puppy pad for Lupita of the cat litter box doesn't work - our little chihuahua was completely pad trained in a week and it's allegedly specially scented for dogs!