Friday, August 18, 2017

How do I want to remember July?

I started to write this two weeks ago.......

Its already the second week of august and this year is flying at a speed I cannot keep up with.

Mostly the only bright spot about July was my birthday, which I got to spend with my friends that are my family, eat a lot of food and drink till my liver protested.

The work month was not as impressive as I wanted it to be, but it was not bad either so I will settle mid way.

Sage had a couple of seizures during the month and that threw me off quite badly. He is being brave and tries not to be a pain any other way, tries and recovers as soon as possible, but throw off it does.

There are a bunch of dogs in our colony, they wander around, mostly one family of a pair, their 5 offspring and 4 drifters, single dogs that sort of live on the fringes of the pack. They are welcomed when convenient and the first to be targeted when one from the family is having a bad day. All of them have names they respond to and are generally friendly. There was this spritely pup, black with some white on all four of his legs. I christened him boots. He was adorable, came on command, played like a pesty younger sibling with sage and was precocious. Suddenly he disappeared and I was told three others taken with him by the municipality. I called the dog pound and checked and fought till they were located and dumped back in our colony 5 days later. A week after they came back I noticed some of the dogs weren't around and the local auto drivers told me that two dogs had died over the last few days and the municipality had taken them away.

Boots was never the same. He was quieter, rapidly losing weight and didn't want to come and play. I dont feed the dogs, just watch over them and manage them when they are sick and need a vet. I checked and put him on saline for 2 days, he seemed to recover, and then suddenly one morning on my walk, I was told by the nearby tea vendor that he looks very very ill. I rushed to find him, almost cold, laboured breathing and smelling bad. I picked him up and wrapped him in a thick towel, brought him home and called the vet who asked me to come at 10 as he was in surgery. It was 8 am. I tried to give him body warmth and glucose and will him to be better. He pushed his head up and acknowledged me, but his frail body couldn't take it anymore and after an hour, as I had him on my lap, Boots just died. As the tears flowed down my cheeks, I said I was sorry for not doing enough and letting him down. I put him in a box and got him buried.

I couldnt get over what had happened and I clung to Sage that day.

A day later I began to notice that Joy, a pup from the previous litter, a white speckled fellow with a brown head, he was always so happy and would run to me and hit me with all his body weight, was losing weight rapidly. I took him to the vet who suspected it was distemper and said most unvaccinated dogs get it if in contact with an infected dog. Boots and Joy most likely were exposed to an infected dog when they were taken to the pound. Joy was on saline and anti biotics to help him and I was feeding him thrice a day for strength. 4 days of this and he greeted me feebly and I picked him up, he was a tall hound like fellow, nuzzled him and told him I was so happy to see him recover. Just when I thought he was out of danger, he deteriorated and in 24 hours was skin and bone, with a severe chest infection and having mild seizures. I put him in the car and on the way to the vet he had a massive seizure. He came out of it in 2 minutes but was bewildered. When I showed him to the vet, he said there was no hope and that joy would die within 24 hours and was in great pain. I asked for him to be euthanised to give him some peace. I sat there with Joy on my lap as he passed into a deep sleep. We buried him on the ORR at a spot where his lifeless body would not be a risk for other strays.

I also had Popcorn with me in the car. A dog I rescued from a pack that was attacking him, but could not keep. One building in our colony agreed to allow him to sleep inside the gate and I feed him once a day. Popcorn also was picked up with joy and boots despite having a collar and I was worried sick he was infected too since he was losing weight and was so weak his feet were buckling the last few days. So had taken him with joy for a check up. The vet said we cannot be sure, but gave him saline and a few shots of antibiotics.

K told me that in all of this, I didn't once worry about exposing sage to the infection. I was terrified for both popcorn and sage. We procured the testing kits and fortunately both popcorn and sage tested negative. most dogs with distemper die out of secondary infections that make them so weak that they are too tired to look for food and in the end it is starvation. So popcorn is now on a 4 times a day feeding schedule. I give him pedigree, boiled eggs and milk with glucose added. Its been a week and he seems to be gaining strength and I am happy about it.

The end of july also brought the bad news of the passing of an old friend who used to help me and amma with our taxes. A nice simple unassuming guy, just died of a massive heart attack and that was such a shock to me.

The month wasn't the best in terms of personal stuff and I hope and pray that the worst is behind us. I want august to be better....