Thursday, November 27, 2008
The Drama of the Dewclaws
One thing I like about having dogs is the opportunities they present to learn more about myself. Yesterday I was invited to give a talk at a local hospice and so I did that, stopped for groceries and raced home to get the house cleaned up a bit before the vet arrived to do the dewclaws. I waited and waited, but this is normal for my vet when she makes house calls. They finally called -- they thought I was coming in to the clinic! I am not sure how that mix-up happened but I have never taken puppies to a clinic at this age and have no plans to start!
I had already decided to switch vets and so had an appointment to interview a new one next Tuesday -- I called that clinic to see if their vet would be willing to make a house call. The person from that clinic who called me back did not just say no but essentially "heck no". (I try hard not to swear but if I did, the response I got would not include the word, "heck").
So, there I was -- day before Thanksgiving -- with no vet in sight, and dewclaws. It does not help that I know almost nobody here -- I was seriously missing my vets back in Salt Lake City. I got the idea to call one of the two dog people I know and she gave me some great ideas. I called a mobile vet and got an appointment for Monday. I worried that the puppies would be too old by then and so called one of my vets in Utah, left a message and had a return call in about 90 seconds. Dr. Bagley said Monday would be fine -- I told him that he needed to move to Missoula.
The whole drama (and it felt like drama) was unsettling. I was disappointed that I had such a hard time finding a vet who was willing to meet my request. And then I started to wonder if I was being unreasonable and demanding, which made me wonder if I am unreasonable and demanding in general, and that caused me to do some self-reflection (and some mental ranting at vets and their staff). In the end I decided that likely I was demanding and do have pretty high standards but that I was okay with all that and therefore not likely to change. In the midst of all this mental self-examination and ranting, I managed to beat Galen at Scrabble and not by spelling the words, "dewclaw" or "bitch".
And so the puppies retain their rear dewclaws and I need a new vet. Do I go to the vet I already had the appointment with on Tuesday, even though she has at least one staff member who needs to attend Customer Service 101 and she would not do a house call for me? Or do I keep looking? I think you will agree with me that the best solution to this is that one of my children needs to attend vet school -- and soon!
The puppies are perfectly content to wait until Monday as they are extremely busy. Five day old puppies have a lot to do -- eat, sleep, scoot around, and make a variety of interesting noises. Sometimes they even try to suffocate themselves but they seem to be getting a grip and are less likely to engage in potentially self-destructive behavior -- we are definitely grateful for this! Their growth is really unreal -- if Cadi were a Holstein she would definitely be the star at the Dairy and win a blue ribbon at the State Fair! Her puppies are gaining at an incredible rate. They are round and satisfied little babies -- and of course, they are extremely clean!
Happy Thanksgiving! It does not feel like Thanksgiving to me because we are not going to be with our family this year :( I can't go to Utah because of the puppies, and we decided it did not make sense for Kim and others to come here so it will be a different kind of holiday for us. I will be in Utah soon for the winter break and so it will be okay but yes, it is a a little sad not to be joining everyone for the Big Dinner. Galen and I are planning a Scrabble tournament and we will have our own little dinner, and we will be very thankful that all of the puppies are doing so well.
I love today's pictures as they really give you a sense of things here. There are five puppy faces taken at the Dairy Bar -- isn't that a sweet picture?! There are also two pictured close-up as they rested on Cadi after nursing. Jamaica is getting a scrub down from Cadi in one picture, another is being held and washed, and Toronto is getting a kiss from Cadi in another. There is a close-up of Toronto as well -- he is on his side with a paw up. Ireland is the puppy who is on her side and lifting her head up. The two that are nose to nose are Hudson and Ireland.
I hope you have a wonderful day with family and friends, and that you find many reasons to be thankful! The puppies are thankful for such loyal friends :)
Posted by Mary-Ann Bowman at 3:22 AM