Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Puppy, Parvo, Parenting and Praise

For what seems like forever, my girls and I have been dreaming of getting a teacup Yorkie. Alli has googled "teacup Yorkie" and searched the internet thoroughly on more than one occasion so that when we saved up the money we could find a puppy to make our own.

Well, for what also seemed like forever, I worked at getting my National Board Certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. That was no joy ride, people. I hated every step of the way...and did a lot of whining about it But I really wanted to achieve it so I could get the yearly bonus. Such noble motivation, lol. Seriously, though, the process was rigorous and that would have been fine IF it had actually taught me something that made me a better teacher, but all it did was get me the piece of paper and the yearly bonus (provided the state has the funds for the bonus each year.)

This year the state almost didn't give us the bonus but in the end did dispense the bonuses to those who had the certification. I was one happy camper, I kid you not. And while there were plenty of places that I could use the money in a very practical way, I had told myself that when I got my bonus the first time I was splurging. The original plan was a trip to Australia. A solo trip to Australia, no less. To Sydney, to be exact. That trip was the motivator when I was whining through the process of writing up my National Board portfolio.

Payday came. But just a few days before that, my youngest pointed out to me that since I was getting my bonus we could finally get our teacup Yorkie. At that point I could hardly say, "Sorry, I'm going to Australia. You'll have to wait another year." Nope, couldn't do that. It only seemed right that if I were going to splurge, I should splurge on something for the whole family. So we started searching out puppies. We finally found one and made the purchase in early May. Ohhhhh the long weeks waiting to actually get her. She was 6 weeks old when we bought her. We scheduled for my mom to pick her up on her way driving through Missouri as she made the move to live with us here in Florida. It was five long weeks before she and the puppy showed up on our door. (You should have heard the screams, lol.)

We named our sweet little baby (Kristen, I CAN call her a baby because, you see, this is MY blog!)...we named her Cecilia Grace. We call her Ceci for short. "Cecilia" is after my dad, "Cecil," and "Grace" is similar to my girls' middle names, "Hope" and "Faith." I know, a lot of name for just a little dog, but all our pets get middle names. It's the way we roll 'round here. Ok, I didn't give the guinea pigs middle names because just between you and me, I don't really give a rip. They're rodents. I'll take good care of them, but forget about any terms of endearment.

When Ceci came we all marveled at how sweet and how docile she was. Such a calm little sweetheart. Even at night, as I'd tuck her in her kennel to sleep, she'd go peacefully and would only whine when she needed to go out. I was amazed at just how easy she was to handle. Well, she arrived on a Wednesday evening...and three short days later we began to learn why she was so docile. She'd had some "digestive problems" (I'll avoid being too graphic here.) On Saturday she refused to eat and by mid-afternoon we became pretty concerned. Tiny dogs can have problems with hypoglycemia and we worried at how long she'd gone without eating. And by mid-afternoon she'd lost interest in her water, too. So we made the decision and headed for the Animal ER.

I've always been one to think that it's rather ridiculous to go to great expense for medical care for a pet. I haven't really understood. I KNOW pets have a special place in our hearts, but money being hard to come by, I've kind of scoffed at it...though never to a person who has spent a lot on medical care for their pet. I've just thought along those lines in my head. Well, I learned a big lesson. I'm glad I had no words to eat, because WOW I'd have had a buffet! We went in to the Animal ER thinking that the problems she had were related to being car sick on the way traveling from Missouri to Florida and that her system was just out of whack. We figured they'd give us some sort of electrolyte stuff and we'd head home and that would be that.

We were wrong.

They ran a few tests and came back, telling us that her test for the parvovirus came back VERY strong. It was like a death nell in my head. I swear it. I thought we would lose the little baby dog we'd been waiting to get for so long.

Well, long story short...or long story not even longer...she spent two days at the Animal ER, then got transferred to our "family vet" hospital where she stayed four more days on IV fluids, antibiotics, med for nausea, and morphine. She was one sick little puppy.

Finally on Wednesday we were given some hope and on Thursday she began to eat a bit. So Thursday afternoon she came home. It was still rather tough for a few days trying to get much food down her, but now she's eating great, barking with sass, and then she snuggles up close and starts giving you these sweet little puppy kisses with intermittent BITES, lol. Yeah that's a great way to wake up, lol.

Our sweet quiet little docile puppy is a little bit of a fireball. And she is adored by us all. She's a sweet cuddler once she gets tired and loves being with her people.

So let's see, that takes care of "Puppy" and "Parvo" in my title. As for the "Parenting," when I threw that into the title I was just thinking about when we admitted Ceci into the hospital. Like I said, I used to scoff a bit at people taking extreme measures with their pets, but honestly, with two little girls whose little hearts would absolutely break if their puppy were gone, there was nothing else I could have done. (And between you and me, I'm glad I had them to help me justify the expense to myself, too.) I hope I don't sound inhumane. I wouldn't want an animal to suffer ever. It's just hard sometimes to justify a lot of money going to animals when family expenses are tough enough to handle.

And so that brings us to the final P..."Praise." I seriously praise God for answered prayers for Ceci. She is such a wonderful addition to our family and I'm so glad she's pulled through. I know some of you prayed for her and I'm thankful to you, too.

I've got to get back in the swing of blogging. No good form, just rambling it seems right now. So I'll close with a photo of our little baby.