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September 28, 2008

Of all of the definitions of mother that I found on, I liked this one best:  “Something or someone that gives rise to or exercises protecting care.” 

I had my first taste of what it is like to be a mother late last week and into the weekend.  Two friends of mine found an abandoned puppy at CDKC on Tuesday, so I decided to take her under my wing.  I started feeding her on my porch and filled a cardboard box with t-shirts for her to sleep in.  She wagged her tail like mad every time she saw me and followed at my heels wherever I went for two days.  I quickly fell in love.

Then on Thursday, she became unresponsive and stopped eating or drinking.  She would stick her chin in her water bowl but not lap at the water.  I placed her in her box and drove her to the closest vet, an hour away in Hardin, and watched while the doctor diagnosed parvo, a vicious virus that attacks the lining of the stomach and intestines.  Her temperature was 104 degrees.  The prognosis wasn’t good.  I had to leave her at the veterinarians office in quarantine with an IV in her front leg and a brace holding the leg straight so the IV wouldn’t back up. 

On Friday, she was doing better.  The vet said she was still running a fever but was better hydrated and perkier.  On Saturday morning when I stopped by the vet’s on my way to Billings, she was wagging her tail ever so slightly, and by Saturday night, when I stopped in on my way home, her little tail was pounding the sides of the cage with enthusiasm as she licked my hands, arms, face – anything she could stick her tongue to.  This morning, I was able to take her home and now she’s sleeping in her crate after voraciously eating the small amount of food I’m to give her every two hours. 

I worried about her constantly during the three days she was at the vet and prayed to the gods, the spirits, the Creator, the force – to anything and everything that this little puppy who stole my heart would pull through.  I didn’t so much as bat an eye when the vet told me on Thursday night how much it would cost to treat her, and I didn’t think twice about traveling to Hardin three days in four to see her and let her know that she hadn’t been abandoned. 

It’s amazing what the soul is driven to do when the heart has been touched by another living being.  It’s serendipitious that this puppy arrived in my hands just in time for me to seek treatment for a disease she otherwise would have succumbed to last Thursday or Friday.  Now we’ll have the opportunity to continue to care for each other in the days to come.  Me, a wandering woman, and Star, a wandering pup.  Together, a perfect match.


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