The Christmas Puppy

The holidays are hard for lots of folks.  I’m glad the holiday season is over.  I get so stuck in the mud that I never get the Christmas cards out until after Christmas, if then.  I haven’t had a tree since I moved into the RV Palace and Cat Hoarding Facility.  Cat, RVs, and Christmas trees – never a good combo.  But mostly I’m just over Christmas.

I wonder if any local folks read this blog.  I try to be careful and not announce anything too opinionated or degrading, just in case the locals read this stuff.  There’s some annoying crap happening in this town, which you can read in the online newspaper, and a lot of people are trying to push their agendas down your throat.

So I just toddle around and take pictures of porta-cockers and gravestones and cats.  It passes the time, keeps my mental health number lower than it could be, and most of the time, makes for a satisfying life.  I don’t have to get all wrapped up in what to cook for supper, is the laundry done, and how to keep that marriage partner happy and satisfied.  Ain’t happenin’.

This life is not how I thought I’d live my life.  But this life is the one I have, so I have to make the best of it, and really, it’s a pretty good life.  I’ve learned to be stronger, and not to worry about what people think about me, even though sometimes I do.  The internet has helped, for it keeps me connected with people and events, and I can see that I’m not the only one living an unusual life.


Last week, a young single mother called the vet’s office where I work.  I answered the call, and she described that her puppy was very sick.  Usually with puppies, we worry about intestinal parasites and parvo, which I’ve written about before.  I described some symptoms of both, and she said that the puppy had none of those problems.  She also said that she didn’t have very much money, and asked how much the office visit could cost.

A general office visit is $42 which might as well be $420 for some folks, because we live in one of the poorest counties in South Carolina.  I told her that if medicines and/or treatments were required for the puppy, I couldn’t estimate how much that could cost, because I didn’t know what was wrong with the puppy, but it sounded like this pup was going to need more than $42 worth of care.

So she brought the puppy in, along with her two little girls.  One looked to be three-ish, but small enough to be carried on the woman’s hip, and the older girl was perhaps 8 or 9.  The puppy was wrapped in a fleecy warm blanket, and lay deathly quiet.  It was alarming.  The pup was wrapped up like a burrito, and did. not. move.

I showed them into the exam room, and the vet entered to do the exam.  I left the room to go back to my work station at the reception area, for it was the last working day of the year, and my co-worker was taking vacation time that day that would otherwise expire.

Shortly thereafter, I heard loud wailing and crying in three-part harmony from the exam room.  I went to the door of the exam room, and it was a scene from a movie.  The woman, with baby on her left hip, was hugging the older child, and all three were sobbing, and the vet was standing there holding the puppy, still wrapped up like a burrito.  When I asked what was going on, the vet said that the owner just got bad news, that the puppy had strangles, and they would need to euthanize.

I looked at the sobbing trio, and in particular the older child, who was insisting on taking the puppy home to die.  She refused to leave the puppy there, and then the mother had to pull out some tough-love, and demand that the child listen to her, and that they were going to leave the puppy there.  The smaller child wailed along with the other two.  It was horrible to see and hear.

I asked the vet what could be done, and he said she was a single mother and couldn’t afford treatment, plus then the puppy would need vaccinations, and this was the best course of action.

Best?  For whom?  Is this what Jesus would do?

I asked if the puppy needed heroic efforts to save it, and he said no, just antibiotics and steroids and fluids.  I said that I had cephalexin and fluids, but I would need steroids, and I took the puppy, and told the poor sobbing family that I would try to get her better (although I had no idea what “strangles” was), and I asked the older child her name.  She hiccupped out, “Eh-eh-emily”, and I told her to stop crying because it just wasn’t helping and all she was doing was giving herself a headache, and scaring the puppy and the little sister.

Long story longer, I took the puppy to the grooming salon to stay and be treated, because, really, how can you let a Christmas puppy be killed?  Seems wrong somehow.

And if Christmas is just going to be about giving presents made of plastic crap from China, then that seems wrong somehow, too.

Just ask Sophie.  Or just watch her video.

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2 Responses to “The Christmas Puppy”

  1. Sharon Says:

    As always Ruth, a wonderful post. You are so kind-hearted and just plain good people. When will Sophie go home? And can you please get in touch with me through my email, as I would like to ask you something and I don’t know if this post is private. Thanks, sharon


  2. Sharon Says:

    Oh, and because I am no longer on facebook for now, otherwise i would get in touch that way.


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