Callilily-Baby-Girl’s-Bagel, our first silly-named dog was in this world for only 11 weeks.
She and her six siblings were born to Ginny, a sweet collie/terrier mix whose family sent her packing to a kill shelter when they discovered she was pregnant. She was on the usual “due to die” lists that circulate between shelters and ARF brought her up from the south to Beacon to have her babies and find them all forever homes.
Ginny was always sweet and soulful with anyone who interacted with her. She passed her striking eyeliner on to her puppies who were born on November 6, 2010. I got to see them when they were just hours old and we started working on their bio sensor early neurologic stimulation on day 3.
I’ve always believed that our dogs find a way back to us – I was struck by Ginny’s eyeliner – and couldn’t help but remember that Dante always had similarly striking eyeliner. I watched her puppies as they grew and we worked with them and one always drew me to her – she was sweet, bright, eager, confident, and had the most beautiful eyeliner.
As they grew we thought it a good idea to give them some home social skills so Lawrence and I brought all seven puppies home for a couple days just before Christmas. They learned all about the sights, sounds and smells of a home. I let them explore a little (with massive supervision) and let Porthos and Boo tell me who they wanted to be their new family member. Porthos and Boo gravitated to Callie and her look-alike sister with shorter fur. The choice was made. I had gravitated to Callie, the boys had gravitated to Callie and Lawrence had, too. We were all in agreement.
All the puppies went back to the shelter for another week before they were ready for adoption and, when I picked them all up again the Thursday before New Year’s Day for some more social skills, something was wrong. The only boy in the litter was lethargic and then started vomiting and began having diarrhea.
Because none of the girls were sick the vets thought it was an obstruction or some infection unique to him. We treated him with fluids, antibiotics, and other meds and watched him carefully. Since Callie was staying with us she was not going back to the shelter that Saturday and because the boy was not well he stayed with us, too. By Monday all the girls were sick and by Wednesday the vets knew it was Parvo – a hugely contagious and deadly disease. All the girls including Callie were much sicker than the boy and were in ICU for a week.
When we were told we could bring Callie back home we were thrilled. She had made it through the worst of it we thought. Pinball – her brother’s new name – went back to the shelter to find a forever home. For nine days after she came home to us Callie was perky, eating, playing, kissing, and running through the snow to catch up to Porthos and frolicking between Boo’s feet. Then she started to slow down a bit and become just a bit clingier on Sunday night. By Monday night she was not eating much at all and by Tuesday morning her vomiting woke me. Her poopies were normal but her demeanor was frighteningly lethargic.
I made an appointment with the vet for that afternoon and watched her carefully that morning and saw she would approach the water bowl but sometimes not be able to drink. She would wobble sometimes and occasionally fall over. Every now and then her right eye would go in the wrong direction and she could seemingly never get comfortable. Her exam was fairly normal except for the lethargy and signs that she was struggling to pee every few minutes. Antibiotics and fluids were prescribed and home we went.
By just after seven Tuesday night Callie was drooling heavily and Boo was whining and pacing around her pen. Porthos suddenly started acting strangely, alerting us that she was having a massive seizure. Rigid post-seizure, we rushed her to the vet who had brought her through her Parvo who was open late and told us to come right in. She seized a few more times at the vets, went into shock and she was lost to us by nine.
Dogs move into our hearts and homes with light speed. We can’t remember a time without them once they are rooted into our souls. And when they are ripped from us so quickly in the midst of such innocence, it is easy to say – “no more.” But then the meaning of our time with these joyous critters would be lost.
Once again and all too soon we find ourselves heartbroken. We and the boys will miss Callilily-Baby-Girl’s-Bagel and we will wait to see what to do next.