I had quite an adventure today. First I got up at the crack of dawn, 7:00. AM Well, since I'm not a morning person, I'm not sure exactly when dawn cracks, but I don't feel the need to arise each morn to make sure that it happens. Anyway, I got up an hour earlier than usual, fed all the beasts and loaded Faith (who I'm fostering for Sara), Abby and Cappy and drove 2 hours to the middle of nowhere to meet with the vet who technically rescued Faith (along with Denni's Haylie & Spencer, Robyn's Logan, Carol's Penelope, and a few others). Now, I consider Little Rock, Arkansas to be the middle of nowhere, so two hours away is even "more nowhere," if you get my drift.
I was warned that the vet is kinda like the grandma on "The Beverly Hillbillies," and boy is she ever! She was born, raised and educated in California, and how she wound up in Arkansas completely baffles me. I was also warned that she doesn't have the greatest bedside manner and has made more than one person cry, so I was nervous. But she must have a heart of gold because she figured out a way to convince the millers to donate these "rejects" rather put them to sleep, AND she provides all of their care, medicines, shots and surgeries completely for FREE! So she can't be that bad, right?
Fortunately, I found out that like me, this vet is a choco-holic, so I came bearing gifts. Hey, I didn't want to wind up crying, so desperate situations call for desperate measures...and I'm not above bribery...or sucking up.
I arrived 15 minutes early to the "clinic" which is really a semi-converted little house. The "staff" includes the vet, her sec/receptionist/assistant, her corgi, and her grandson....who is 4...maybe 5 years old. Anyway, I introduced myself and no one said anything...not even the kid, and I usually have a "way" with kids. Not a good sign. Then I proceeded to remove Faith from the swanky camo Celltei carrier that probably costs more than all of the "furnishing" in the waiting room...er...niche. Of course, I had to dig though all of the chewy toys and the beating-heart-mutt-dog-plush-toy-thingy to even find Faith, while everyone watched in amazement at how much stuff was in that bag. I could tell they thought I was a lunatic; and a rich lunatic to boot! I told them that I didn't buy all of the stuff, but Sara, the adopting mom, did. Hey, I'm not gonna take a hit for Sara! Sorry, girlfriend.
Things weren't going as well as I had hoped. I was feeling a bit uneasy, almost ready to cry. When I FINALLY pulled Faith out of the bag, both the vet and her assistant looked shocked and asked if this was the same puppy they sent me 2-3 weeks ago. "She's HUGE!" the exclaimed. Normally I wouldn't take that as a compliment (what girl would?), but I could tell by their faces that I'd 'done good.'
Dr. P inspected Faith and was grinning from ear to ear. She weighed her and was thrilled at all 4.5# of her. I, however, was surprised since I thought she'd gained more weight. That's when I found out the truth...Faith only weighed 1.8# when I got her. Good grief! If I'd known that I would have been scared to death and there's no way I would have fostered her. I'd be afraid I'd break her! Apparently, the girls knew this and kind of glossed over her tininess when they told me about her. Now it kind of makes sense that she was rejected, in part, due to a hernia, but she didn't have a hernia when I got her...and amazingly the hernia reappeared after a week with me. Faith must have lost weight from the time she left the pet store, was transported back to the puppy broker, back to the puppy mill, to the vet and then to me. The hernia wasn't visible when she lost weight, but it reappeared after she gained some. Anyway, since Faith more than doubled her weight at my house (it must be contagious 'cause I seem to have that same condition. Unfortunately no one is thrilled about it!), I seem to have gotten on Dr. P's good side. Thank God!
The exam went well and Faith passed with flying colors. Mid-way through it, I mentioned that Faith's new owner was getting pet insurance for her just in case she ever developed anything which required surgery or expensive meds. We locked eyes for a moment and the doc knew that I was referring to the possibility of patella issues and did NOT want anything included in Faith's records which would indicate a pre-existing condition....so she moved right along with the exam. During her initial exam 3 weeks ago, Dr. P could not find anything wrong or feel any "looseness" with Faith's knees, but said she Faith and small so young that it would be hard to make a diagnosis at that time.
About midway through her surgery, Dr. P asked if I wanted to watch. It was pretty cool, in a gross sort of way. I got to see all of her little girl organs (teeny tiny) and watched the doc repair Faith's hernia and then sew 'n glue her up. When she was done, Dr. P laid Faith on some sterile sheets and pads on the floor and called her corgi. The corgi apparently is a post-op nurse because she sat directly in front of Faith and guarded her so that no one (or animal?) could touch her. They removed the tube in her throat and she started to stir. The doc scooped her up and put her on my chest so that Faith would be in a familiar environment as she woke up.
Then they filled out all of the necessary paperwork for Faith to fly to Canada, and even consulted their sources to make sure everything was done according to the regulations. Sara had all the right information...which also pleased the doc and made me look good. Snaps for Sara!
The whole experience was pretty amazing...for me anyway. I don't think Faith is quite as thrilled as I am, although she is moving about and doing very well. I finally got to meet the vet who is responsible for creating a life-line for these puppy mill rejects...AND she didn't make me cry! Of course, the chocolate may have helped...a little!