Saturday, March 13, 2010

Rescue dog? Dog rescue!

There were lice sucking blood around it as this blob of a tick had created a wound in the area. I messaged and asked Riti about what to do with it. Remove it at once, came the reply. I just didn’t have the courage. Then came messages that said, “You kept a bloody dead snake stored in your room for so many years and you can’t remove a tick? Think of how much the little soul is suffering.” That prompted me to wear my gloves and try to pull the tick off but it wouldn’t budge. Then I sacrificed one of my combs to comb out the tick but all in vain (I’m bald enough to not need combs anyway). I then found a pair of tweezers that did the job. I threw the fat tick on the floor and squished it under my shoes shouting bad words at it. Then I tweezed out the neighboring scavengers. I killed quite a few lice that night and then put the pup in his makeshift bed.

In his bed, the pup stared at me in silence and I stared back. I had never seen such a quiet pup, surely he wasn't well. I patted his head and slowly caressed him to sleep. I hardly slept at night as the slightest movement of the pup woke me up. At 4:00 a.m. I boiled water to make his cerelac feed. I’d been warned that he’d cry through the night but he was silent. He wasn’t asleep most of the time but as he lay there, we both kept looking at each other. I caught two odd hours of sleep at 5am and had the scariest of nightmares ever. I woke up with a start and was relieved to see the pup sleeping.

The morning saw Riti take up the most arduous of the tasks ever and ended up freeing the pup with most of the lice that surely numbered in thousands, and ended up being host to a dozen that escaped our operation Puppy-Coat-Storm. It took more than two hours, lots of boiling hot water (to kill the lice that were extracted from the pup), old newspaper, glass tumbler to mechanically kill the fat lice that escaped the hot water, anti lice oil and shampoo and a very patient pup that we tried our best to not make sick (in vain). It was back breaking work and there was a very real threat of the lice trading the pup for us which indeed happened.

 We did this despite knowing you should not bathe a pup until the age of three months; it was a desperate measure and it was successful. We’d made the room very hot for the pup to be comfortable using two heaters, for us, it was unbearably hot. As gentle as was possible, it was still hard on the pup that started to look very clean but very sick once he was dry. He just wanted to sleep.

When my sister came, she was enamoured by his face but observed that he looked very sick as he just wouldn’t get up and walk. She felt sorry for the pup too. She said she’d take it but would first want to take it to a vet to get a general checkup done. We went to Dr. Jatinder Singh who happened to be Harman’s friend and someone I too had shared a few drinks with in the past. His review of the pup breed quality and behaviour was good (by now he was trying to hop around and explore), only that he was physically, extremely weak. Also the doc told me that the bathing process is extremely traumatic for pups this age and that it would be quite a few hours before he’d be normal again. I couldn’t share with my sis or the vet the experience of ridding the pup of the deluge of lice, I couldn’t tell them that oiling, bathing and combing out the lice on the. I also did not tell them that some of the lice were dancing in my head as well and I scratched a little just to give an expression of feeling stupid over bathing the pup.

The pup didn’t know how to chew either since he had never been fed with solid food. The vet gave him some gooey dog food and he didn’t eat it. It was then poked into its mouth with a fingertip and slowly it understood that this was food. It didn’t know how to chew and I was spell bound to watch the pup learn how to chew as the instincts took over. I also hadn’t seen its canines, they were long and sharp and that how the vet told us that it was more than a month old. Its body temperature was checked with an anal thermometer, the pup hated the process that revealed he was not running fever. After it was done it looked at me with confused droopy eyes wondering if I was a friend to be torturing him so much. At home he relearned the process of chewing and as he did, he liked it. In fact he held my hand with his tiny fore-paws and dug into the boiled egg in it. Chiki, didi and the pup left for Herbertpur in another two hours.

Had we not bought the pup that night, its condition in broad daylight the next day, would’ve probably made us to decide otherwise. As far as lice are concerned, the pup gifted my quite a few and they mauled my legs the first and the second night. I threw my mattress in the hot sun for a day and literally poisoned my room with insecticide and locked it for a whole day but the many bites that I suffered on my legs. I guess they were bed bugs. I have 10-12 bites marks on my legs and I tell you they itch like crazy. I cannot imagine what torture that little pup was suffering carrying hundreds of them.

1 comment:

vibha said...

Amazing work done. I appreciate your efforts, love and care for Jeri.