Puppies and Rainbows
The past twelve months have been difficult on us all. No one was prepared for the pandemic the world has struggled to deal with. Staying at home, isolation, missing friends and family, substituting Zoom meetings for everything from class time, work from home, meetings, and even happy hour get togethers. As a hospice nurse, I am used to being independent and working out of my car, but COVID has made it so we rarely see one another, unless from a computer screen meeting or a rare joint visit.
I talked with each puppy owner about which puppy would be going home just before the weekend, but as usual, I refrained from announcing which puppy would be staying with us. Friday morning before their vet visit, we noticed Mr. Red not feeling well. He had thrown up a few times, but when the vet checked him, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. He got an anti-nausea med and I let his owner know he would be staying a few more days so we could monitor him. He rallied and was feeling a little better, but I was concerned and had a bad feeling, a spidey sense that as a hospice nurse is not a good thing. I scrolled through hours of puppy cam footage and videos trying to pick up on any noticeable problems. With the exception of tiring out earlier than his siblings the previous few days, nothing seemed amiss. Mr. Red started to have difficulty with his breathing and I knew he needed to be seen in ED Saturday night. He was quiet and didn’t make a fuss, a concerning assessment in an 8-week-old puppy. My initial thought was an aspiration pneumonia after he had vomited the day before. I wanted to get treatment started ASAP and get him on the road to recovery. It was midnight before they could take him in to be seen and I settled in for an uncomfortable nap in the front seat. Two hours later, I received the update and I wasn’t prepared to hear his diagnosis. It was horrible and catastrophic. Baby Red had a congenital diaphragmatic hernia/tear (an opening in his diaphragm) with no air exchange on the left side, because his stomach was displacing that lung.
Sleep well, little man. You were the bestest boy during your time here. Pink sister will heal hearts in the family you were destined for. Your nanny has you from here. Be sure to send a rainbow from time to time.