edited February 2016 in The Real World
I wrote this on December 13th.
Feeling lost right now, but I think now's the time to talk about it. The night before I had my wisdom tooth extraction, we went out to take care of our dogs and we found Mika, one of our pomeranians, laying on her side in her cage. Her stomach and hindquarters were matted and caked with blood—she wouldn't even lift her head and greet me with her customary yipping. We found that she couldn't—or wouldn't—walk when we took her from her cage and tried to encourage her to go and use the bathroom. Eventually we sat her outside and waited for her to do something.

She took a few tottering steps, dribbled some urine, and then promptly fell over. Didn't get back up. Just lay there. I brought her back into the doghouse and examined her to the best of my limited know-how for problems. I knew she was wobbly, lethargic and bleeding from her anus. Why, I had no clue. Then she vomited—a frothy yellow puddle. I'm not much for praying, but that night, prior to falling asleep, I asked God to make sure Mika was okay. Well, the next morning, right before they put me under for the extraction of my wisdom teeth, my brother called my mom and said Mika had had a puppy.

The thing was, we didn't even know she was pregnant. I mean, I like to think I'm familiar with pregnant dogs and their behavior—we've raised like, almost eight healthy litters? Maybe more? And besides the bleeding from her rear, Mika hadn't exhibited any outwards symptoms of being in labor or about to go into labor. She loves blankets and I can recall her burrowing into a few towels from time to time but she's always done that, so I'm not sure if anyone can qualify that as nesting behavior. She wasn't licking at herself, acting anxious or anything.

Anyway, the puppy she had was dead. My brother said it had been really big, with a big head and a small face, which sounded like water on the brain to me or hydrocephalus. Mika had probably only gotten bred once, which also explained why she only had one pup. Typically you want to make sure your female gets tied a minimum of at least three times, to ensure she has a good number of puppies ..

Small litters > large puppies. Large litters > small puppies, basically. Anyway, when I woke up from aesthesia and went home, I checked on Mika first thing and she definitely didn't look good. She hadn't touched her food, but her water bowl was low; her newspapers were stained pretty badly from afterbirth and she herself was a filthy mess. That was two or three days ago. She's still not eating, is lethargic and wobbly ..

Yesterday I gave her a bath and shaved her stomach and rear and noticed her anus was kind of swollen. So maybe her anal sacs are impacted. Maybe the puppy damaged something on the way out and caused her to become anaemic from the blood loss .. or maybe she's just depressed?? All I know for sure is that I'm angry at myself for not being more attentive. I knew something was wrong that night. I just didn't know she was pregnant .. I love all of our dogs and cats. I spend so much time with them that it's impossible not to—and I can't stop lamenting that I wasn't there for Mika when she was going through her ordeal.

Yes, we've experienced birthing complications in the past with some of our mothers and their litters. Brylee's last litter of four all died and I can still remember how hard it was to deal with it. Brylee wouldn't feed them, wouldn't even stay with them. She gave up on them. My mom gave up on them, too, said it was only a matter of time. I took things into my own hands–I couldn't just sit there and do nothing, knowing they were wasting away and no one was even trying. I remember how cold those four little pups were. They felt like ghosts; I was afraid my hands would pass right through them.

I remember plugging in an old heat lamp, putting some blankets in the dryer to warm them. I bundled all the pups in the warm blankets, slanted the heat lamp their way and I even turned on a 24hr long heartbeat song that was supposed to simulate the natural sound of a mother's heartbeat. I may not have been the pups' biological mother but I still fought like hell to give them a fighting chance, because that's what mothers are supposed to do. They're supposed to nurture and protect their children, even when the odds are against them, even when the outlook is grim. Those four pups of Brylee's died anyway, but at least they didn't die forgotten and alone. The last one died in my arms and I cried and prayed over its little soul, so that maybe its spirit could go somewhere peaceful.

I could've and would've done that for Mika's pup and by all means, I should've. But I didn't get to and that's something that's going to haunt me for a while. Usually when we have a pregnant dog, we bring her inside for the last trimester so we can monitor her more closely and make sure everything goes smoothly. She gets cottage cheese to make sure her milk flows steadily, a cardboard box and blankets to make a nest in, pee pads if she can't hold her bladder .. just all kinds of TLC, you know?

Mika should've got that and she didn't. It's partially my fault—the females' heat cycles haven't been recorded yet and we always let them out with the males. Sometimes I leave them out for long periods of time, too, when I clean the doghouse. Long enough that one of the boys could get ahold of the girls and finish before we knew what had happened. It's easier to let all the dogs out at once, see? But easier doesn't always mean better and I guess I've realized this the hard way.

This has become terribly long and I'm sorry. To finish, we're taking Mika to the vet tomorrow. I'm going to see if she'll eat some wet food and cottage cheese without vomiting. I just needed to rant, I guess.
And today .. Mika was dead this morning when I went out to prepare her for the vet. I don't know how I feel, other than angry at my parents for not listening to me when I urged them to take her to the vet earlier and grief at having lost one of my sweet babies. This is the worst feeling in the world. The reason I posted this in its own thread is that I couldn't find a general rant thread. Sorry.


  • SynkarinSynkarin Nothing to see here
    I'm sorry for your loss @Yarou. You did your best with what you were given. Can't be asked to do much more than that. Mika was loved, and she knew it.

    Everiine said:
    "'Cause the fighting don't stop till I walk in."
    -Synkarin's Lament.
  • Synkarin said:
    I'm sorry for your loss @Yarou. You did your best with what you were given. Can't be asked to do much more than that. Mika was loved, and she knew it.
    Thanks. It's just hard, learning how to cope with it—I've never lost a dog before, not like this.

  • image

    A fairly recent picture of my brother holding Mika after we had her groomed.

  • That dog is so adorable
  • Nature is a cruel entity, without reason or pity. It takes what it wants without care. It's up to us to give what happens purpose. I believe you made a difference in Mika's life, @Yarou. I'm sorry for your loss; I hope that she gave you happiness while she was still with us.

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