my puppy story, part 3.

gracie made it through the night surprisingly easily. there was a very good chance that she would strain too much and hurt or kill herself, but she didn't. every now and then she would get up and walk around trying to push out the stuck puppy, and she didn't eat, but she nursed and cleaned the other puppies through the night.

i managed to cook, but neither of us was very hungry. we were worried sick that the next push would be her last. my boss came by to bring us an industrial strength carpet steamer from the church and we cleaned up a bit while we tried to stay awake with gracie. i encouraged the Sarge to sleep for a few hours to rest up for the drive ahead. i stayed awake with her until 4 am, when we loaded up the car and began the drive to san bernadino, over an hour away.

we got the loma linda pet hospital around 6 am, and they open at 6:30, so the Sarge waited in the car while i waited by the door. the doctor was in at 8, and saw gracie right away. he took an xray (which revealed that she had been shot with a pellet gun... what?!) and the worst was true -- she had not one, but TWO puppies stuck. one had its head turned around the wrong way and could not enter the birth canal and was blocking the other... she would not be able to get it out herself. he told us neither could have survived the night.

at this point, we had two options.

c-section. frame of reference for cost: anywhere from $500 to $2000. or to put our dog down.

we asked to see the cost of the surgery. he left the room and we joked nervously with each other about how much our "free" dog was costing us. when he came back, i about burst into tears when he said the cost of the surgery was $275, not including the IV, antibotics, pain killers, etc. by ALL estimates, the cheapest of the options -- it was going to cost us about $600. we pooled our money into one account (keep in mind, this is the END of a pay period AND i just put a SECOND new starter in our car) and agreed to let her have the surgery. she went in about 9 am, and we had to kill another 3 or 4 hours while she was operated on and woke up.

so, there i was with 6 puppies in a lunch box.

keep in mind, i don't really know much about puppies. we went to panera bread to get some breakfast and they puppies were NOT happy. i was trying to calm one down by petting her, and was reminded of one very important fact -- Puppies cannot relieve themselves unless they are stimulated. and i had stimulated her. so i picked up each one and gently rubbed them and they all calmed right down and went to sleep. so cute and disgusting at the same time.

when gracie came out of surgery about four and a half hours later, she was totally alert and went right to nursing. dogs are so resilient haha.. we got her meds and went home.

you'd think the story was over, but it's not. as if the most expensive free dog wasn't already eating us out of house and home, she and the puppies developed a kennel cough after we got back from san francisco. which was another round of antibiotics for her, and liquid antibiotics for the puppies. not only have i had puppies, i've had to use a syringe to inject something into their mouths -- it was cute, even though they hated me for it.

EVERYONE is happy and healthy now, except for a small irritation of fleas. gracie just got treated, and the pups will get treated with their first vaccination and deworming next week. (i get to give them shots too -- i should got to veterinary school!)

AND here are some picture of our development as a little family :)))