Monday, May 1, 2017

Trust Your Gut

May 2, 2017. Bristol and Sam are five months, and five and a half months old, respectively. They are growing up so fast, and have learned so much. We had high hopes that they'd be fully housebroken by now. We're going to have to be patient with that goal.

When we first got the puppies, they seemed to be catching on pretty well to knowing where to go potty, especially Sami. Sam has been using the bells to let us know when she needs to go out for a long time now. 

Two weeks after we got them, Bristol started peeing all over the place; in his crate, on the carpet, on a visiting friend, and all the many times we went outside. We were taking the puppies out a few times throughout the night, as well. That seemed unusual to me, so I took a urine specimen into the vet. Sure enough, he had a bladder infection. 

Bristol sleeps so much when he's not feeling well. I love it when he lets me hold him.

Fast forward two months later. We were just getting to the point where we couldn't even remember the last time one of the puppies had an accident. I was just about ready to brag about them both in my blog, when low and behold, Bristol woke up in a wet crate. Then he peed on the floor at puppy class. And when he met the groomer at the dog salon. And on the carpet. And in the kitchen. And in Chuck's office. Hmmm...

Poor Bristol. I took another sample to his vet. There were white blood cells, and the presence of crystals, which she said is unusual for a puppy, so we'll have to keep an eye on things. We'll get him checked out in a couple of weeks to make sure the antibiotic has done its job.

You would think I'd be better at trusting my instincts. Here I am, fifty-what years old, and I am still doubting myself. This last week, the first time he woke up wet, I blamed it on the puppies' having access to water later in the evening. Then when it happened at class, his teacher said it was probably because the puppies had been playing so hard. The groomer said dogs often have accidents at the salon because they are excited and nervous, but when Bristol started reverting to his early puppy habits of peeing everywhere and anywhere, I finally accepted the fact that this was unusual, and something was physically wrong. Why did it take me so long to connect the dots?

When Chuck took the puppies for a run last night, he came back pretty quickly, handing me Bristol's leash saying Bristol had stopped six times, and obviously was not up for exercise. JUST LIKE TWO MONTHS AGO. When Bristol is fighting an infection, he doesn't want to go for walks, and digs in his heels to stay where he is.

New pet parents, and even experienced ones, we need to trust our guts when it comes to our fur babies. If we suspect something is wrong, we need to get them checked out. I'm so glad I finally followed through. Now we can get back to the business of getting Bristol healthy, and resume our accident-free streak as soon as his meds fight off this infection.

Note to self: TRUST. YOUR. GUT. 

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