Puppy watch has begun in earnest. After a week of her temperature holding steady at a consistent 100 degrees, this morning Thelma’s temp dropped to 98.7. She is still happy to see me and thumps her tail, but she doesn’t get up and climb over the side of the whelping box to greet me. More tellingly, she only nibbled at her breakfast even though it was almost entirely eggs and chicken.
After a rough first week with us, Thelma has been doing pretty well. But ‘pretty well’ means that she will rarely go outside (thank goodness for puppy pads) and will eat only if I cook for her. The current menu includes chicken breast, eggs both boiled or scrambled (it’s springtime and our chickens are supplying plenty) and dried liver treats. I’d be grumpy about this, except this pretty little girl is just so darn sweet. She loves everyone and thumps her tail noisily at the sight of us passing by, lumbering to her feet if we pause in the doorway for a visit.
Thelma is young and this is likely a first litter, so I’m guessing that she’s confused about why she feels the way she does and for now, the puppy room feels like a safe place. The day after she arrived, she began vomiting and developed diarrhea. Me being a little extra paranoid and not wanting the situation to get ahead of me, I asked OPH for a vet appointment.
After running tests, the vet concluded that she had a stomach flu and when I asked how she got that, she told me that a boatload of wormers and every possible vaccine all in one day, combined with her day’s drive away from all she knows was probably pretty stressful. Add to that, we took her away from her equally pregnant sister, Louise, to whom she was tightly bonded. From Thelma’s perspective, it likely didn’t feel like a rescue. Thankfully, we’ve more or less turned the corner.
Here are Thelma and Louise at the shelter where I met them on the OPH Rescue Road Trip at Anderson County PAWS:
(I’m happy to note that Louise also made it out of the shelter with a different rescue!)
By the shelter’s calculations, she is due in the next week or so. Her belly is stuffed full of puppies (as the vet put it), but not quite as taut as a few other mom’s I’ve known, so until this morning I was confident we had a little more time.
But then again, tonight is the only night I can’t rearrange my schedule to suit Thelma. I have to teach from 7-9pm, so with my dog-luck of late, I’m assuming that will be when the puppies begin arriving. I’ve already put the call in to my back-up midwife, and she’s ready to step in if necessary.
If you want regular updates, I’ll be posting them on my Facebook writer page (plus some updates to the Another Good Dog group) along with the Daisy’s Diary of a Rescue, which has turned out to be much longer than I planned.
Speaking of Daisy, with Thelma in the puppy room, Daisy now owns the kitchen. She is either loose in the kitchen or tucked in her crate in the kitchen. I’m noticing that while she still won’t let either of the guys approach her, she is beginning to watch them more and meets their eyes when they look at her. She does many fly-bys when they are in the kitchen, giving them a quick sniff as she does her laps around the island. Daisy finding her family would be an answer to prayer. She is doing well here, but life in my kitchen is no life for this happy, silly girl who needs a family of her own.
[Pupdate: As of this post, Thelma has had five puppies in quick succession – fasted whelp for me on record – less than an hour and a half. She could surprise me with a few more, but as of now, everyone is resting quietly.]
Thanks for reading!
If you’d like to know more about the book, Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs, visit AnotherGoodDog.org, where you can find more pictures of the dogs from the book (and some of their happily-ever-after stories), information on fostering, and what you can do right now to help shelter animals! You can also purchase a signed copy or several other items whose profits benefit shelter dogs!
If you’d like to know how you can volunteer, foster, adopt or donate with OPH, click here. And if you’d like more pictures and videos of my foster dogs past and present, be sure to join the Another Good Dog Facebook group.
Released August 2018 from Pegasus Books and available now