All About the Puppers Part 1

So at this point you’ve met myself and the Dogfather and know that there are definitely sisters on both sides of our families.  In our household though, there are currently only three additional lives that we are responsible for: Sequoia, Tikka, and Lady.  This post is dedicated to all things about these three dogs and homage to some of our other puppies that have crossed the rainbow bridge.

First, the Dogfather had a miniature pinscher named Gabe.  Gabe was the Dogfather’s pup and loved him immensely.  Unfortunately Gabe met his demise when he thought that it was a good idea to play with horses.  I brought into our relationship a Labrador / Anatolian Shephard (best guess of vet?) named Cedar.  Cedar was my first dog ever and she was my protector.  On our first date, she actively ensured that she sat between us on the couch while watching a movie.  She unfortunately passed on too soon to after when she became a “senior” we had an old lady blood panel and learned that she likely had chronic kidney issues and passed about two weeks after her 8th birthday. 

The Cedar Girl

So this brings us to Cedar’s younger sister and the now ole’ lady of the pack, the matriarch and also now the easily annoyed by her youngest sister-Sequoia.  Sequoia is my second pup and she joined me and Cedar when the Dogfather came into our lives eleven years ago at this point.  Now hindsight being what it is, I got Sequoia WAY too young.  I held and to this day believe that the right dogs come into our lives at the right time for the right reasons.  Living in Riverton, WY at the time, I was heading down to Colorado to fly to Disneyworld to celebrate my parents 50th wedding anniversary.  But if I am driving all the way down to Colorado, I’m going to dual purpose the trip and visit from college the day before.  I drive to my friends home and we catch up and want to treat them as they are watching my Cedar girl for me.  I indicate that I wanted to hit up a Petco / Petsmart / pet supply store.  I had been thinking of getting a second dog for a little while and finally came up with what I wanted to name her and while for Wyoming, Riverton is a big city, it does not have the variety of pet supplies I was looking for.  While we were checking out, the person in line behind us mentioned that her neighbor just had a litter of Labrador puppies recently and gave me her number if I was interested.

It was at this moment that I knew the dog gods were shining down on me and this was meant to be.  I reach out and learn that in the litter was nine puppies, four yellows, four blacks and one chocolate female lab…Exactly what I was looking for.  I let her know naively that I would love the chocolate lab, but I live up in Wyoming and if she would be old enough to bring home with me on December 26th, the day I would be returning from Disneyworld.  They indicate that the timing would be absolutely perfect and she would hold her for me. 

Upon my return from Florida, I pick up one of my sister’s two Labradors as there was no one to cover the second week that they were going to be there and then picked up my Cedar girl and Sequoia.  When I arrived to pick up Sequoia, I was met with a bevy of bouncing puppies.  I meet mom and dad and they are the happiest, dorkiest, most genuine labs ever.  We have our pleasantries, am told that they were born on November 17th and I, three full grown dogs and a itty bitty puppy hit the road.  It’s around the Jeffery City, WY and if you know anything about Wyoming, you know that your mind will wander, especially in and around Jeffery City, that I do some math.  So, it’s December 26th, puppies were born on November 17th.  This means these puppies are not the seven weeks I was told these puppies were only five and a half weeks old.  FIVE AND A HALF WEEKS!  I can’t drive back, it’s about five-six hours to let her reunite with mom and remaining siblings.  I determine at this point it’s best to reach out to my vet and take care of her the best that I can. 

Roughly twelve and a half years later we are where we are and we have had a lot of life with her from the drama queen that she was when she was little, dragging a king size comforter out a dog door and copious unmentionable out into my front yard…the front yard that was directly across the street from the front doors of an elementary school.  It was at this point that I with help from visiting parents erected wing fences to keep her locked in the backyard. 

When we moved into our current home at roughly three years old, she finally calmed into adulthood.  Sequoia loves swimming and water, as long as she controls entering the water.  We learned this during an event that we took her to where she fell into a pool of water.  She looked like she was drowning and I was about ready to jump into the pool to save her.  She is able to swim over to me and I’m able to get her out of the water.  Needless to say Sequoia is not a the athlete of the family. 

The local vet however I am fairly confident absolutely loves us as while we have been very lucky not to have anything too major, but annoyingly and really side of things.  Case in point; we’ve seen dogs scoot their tushies on carpets right?  You probably are also familiar that small dogs need their anal gland expressed?  Well, it’s not limited to small dogs!  Sequoia has had her anal glands actually rupture and I will not forget having to give her Epsom salt baths to help soothe and express them.

More recently, I am convinced that Sequoia is not only trying to tempt fate but is part cat as in the last three years, she has tempted and cheated the grim reaper three separate times.  The first time was about three and a half years ago her legs started swelling and appeared to be in a lot of pain.  It was determined that she had pancreatitis and the vet wanted to keep her in the hospital stay.  I asked what type of care difference she would receive if we checked her in there compared to bringing her home.  They indicated she would get checked on and have care provided as needed.  As we brought her in on a Friday, I was going to be home for the weekend and after what happened with Cedar, I didn’t want her to be alone.  I got all the instructions for how to care for her and what to look for.  Ultimately, she was able make a full recovery. 

About a year later we were playing with her and we have learned that labs as they age, their vocal cords loosen and with exercise and combined that she has a fatty lipoma on her neck / throat area (we’ve had it checked and verified it) We were throwing a ball and she and her sister were running and playing in the backyard.  When we brought her in, she was breathing really heavy and thought nothing of it.  It wasn’t unusual and it can get really annoying.  We stopped playing when we did as we were heading into town to pick up pizza for dinner as it was a small business that doesn’t deliver where we live.  The next day, there is a HUGE lump bump on her throat and we get her taken in.  As two days had lapsed from the super heavy breathing it’s hard to pinpoint, but the vet is pretty sure she was bitten by a rattlesnake.

In the last year, another lump / bump appeared on her neck and I called and indicated that we needed to get her in ASAP.  ASAP meant two days later.  By that time however, the bump had engorged her whole neck, sloughed off all fur and was leaching pus, plasma and blood.  Evidently this was likely due to a spider bite as they are notorious for infection.  She has since healed and is as onry as ever. But when Cedar passed suddenly when she was six, she went into a major puppy depression.  We knew we were a two dog household so when Cedar passed with some advance knowledge from our vet, we started looking for a companion for Sequoia

To Be Continued

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