I have a lot of reasons to be happy right now; a new relationship, a new dog pal in my life, a new niece on the way (tomorrow!) good health, good friends, good family, good stability. Even so, I can't help but still get sad over the loss of Norman. I lay in bed last night thinking about him, visions flashing in mind about his last few days seeing him so sick like that and ultimately watching such a precious little life cross over. Feeling like we both got robbed and it all could have been prevented :( For the most part I am able to block it out and not dwell, but times like last night when I'm alone and restless with too much time on my hands to think, it really hits me and I still can't believe it happened. These are the times I think it would help me so much to have another puggie around.
Part of me wants to get another dog right away because as I learned from my sweet Plum and the Sausage before her, the key to all healing is love. But the other part of me is afraid, maybe a little gun shy after losing 3 beloved pets in such a short time. Maybe I should just relax and enjoy the way things are right now, not put too much pressure on myself. But then when I'm updating the "dogs for adoption" page on the curly tail pug rescue website, I fall in love with each one and I wish I could adopt them all!
My new guy is really sweet and has taken excellent care of me through this whole tragedy. He made me this "N" stone as a little memorial for Norman, carved it himself, don't ask me how. I was too moved and touched to even ask. I planted the purple hyacinths he gave me for Easter behind it. The purple reminds me of Plummy. The Hyacinth flower represents sorrow, I thought it was fitting.. Then I put the hostas from Pugsley's old garden which we transplanted from my old house in front, and I bought some forget me not seeds that I'll sprinkle all around the N.
What more can I do than honor his memory and continue to love..
The parvo virus is extremely hardy and can live up to a year in the soil and months indoors. Any and every place that Norman came in contact with needed to be bleached: my sofa, tiles, hardwood floors, dog toys, blankets, beds, rugs, food and water bowls, I'm still working on decontaminating the yard and dog pen. That might take a while. Otherwise the same thing can happen to any new puppy or elderly dog I bring into my house. Any dog that isn't up to date with distemper shots or has a weakened immune system could get it and I would literally die if I ever had to go through this again.
Easter has been canceled at my house for this year because of the virus threat. My yard is not a healthy place to be hiding Easter Eggs for my little nephew right now.
Thank you all for the kind words and support. I am sorry if I haven't had a chance to respond to each of you. Normally when something tragic happens I let myself feel it until I can't feel it anymore, but this is too horrific. I've purposely been trying to NOT think about and block out the horrific thoughts and images of last week.
Help Save One (the rescue where I adopted Norman) has started a fundraising campaign to help pay for his $2,300 vet bill. You can view the story here: http://www.helpsaveone.org/.
There are no words to explain how truly devastated I am at the loss of Norman.
Not even for my own selfish grief but for the fact that this sweet, gorgeous, darling pug puppy never got a chance to experience the beautiful life that awaited him. Full of spoiling and love, everything that I was so excited to give him 1,000 fold.
It won't do any good pointing the blame or trying to figure out who is responsible for letting this precious little life slip through the cracks. None of that will bring my sweet little Norman back now.
Because I am still in shock and at a loss for even how to grieve, I tried to put some of it into this video as a tribute to a little life cut way too short ;(
Fare Thee Well...
Norman is gone.
his blood sugar dropped this am, his white blood cells plummeted and his temp was too low.
They were giving him fluids and oxygen, sugar water, antibiotics, and keeping him wrapped in heated blankets but it wasn't enough.
He started seizuring and brain swelling.
I sat and held him while they gave him the injection to end his suffering. I was there when all of my other puggies crossed over, and as hard as it was I wanted to be there for little Norman too. I told him that Plummy and the Sausage would be waiting at the bridge to take good care of him until we can all be together again.
I am beyond devasted. I don't understand why this had to happen.
I will never be able to make sense of this one.
RIP sweet Baby Norman. I didn't know you long but I loved you so much.
I need to ask for many prayers for my baby Norman. He tested positive for Parvo and is very ill :( He is so tiny I just don't know if he is strong enough to pull through this.
Please send up some prayers, the more the better so they can be heard.
I wish I could say Norman's first day home was real smooth. Poor baby got car sick on the long ride and he had no appetite whatsoever. He refused to eat anything I tried to feed him. He has also had terrible explosive diarrhea for the past 24 hours. He came with medication for Giardia a bacterial parasitic infection of the intestines. I guess it's common in puppies but I think he has had a bad reaction to the deworming medication. He is underweight and I can see his ribs. You should never see ribs on a pug, let alone a little pug puppy. Needless to say we didn't get much sleep last night. He was up every 1/2 hour either drinking water or pooping. He was such a good boy though and let me know each and every time that he had to go out. I was especially concerned when I saw blood in his watery stool and booked an appt with my vet first thing this morning.
As I suspected Norman was dehydrated and running a little fever. They gave him sub q fluids and it almost killed me because he squealed like a little piglet the whole time they had the needle in his back :( It was the first time he made a peep and I heard his voice. He has basically been pretty listless and just wants to sleep a lot. They put him on a new medicine for the Giardia and I'm hoping it kicks in soon.
The little guy did manage to scarf down some dry kibble this morning and some wet food in the afternoon. He even had a little burst of energy that lasted about 5 minutes and I could see his frisky side emerge, but then he sacked back out. The good news is we've been cuddling a lot and bonding. He likes the puggy nook place like Plummy did and his favorite places to be are her old bed in the daytime and Pugsley's old bed at night.
I'm gonna have to work on fattening Norman up once his intestinal infection is all cleared. Oh, he's very clingy too, a true velcro pug. He is much smaller than I imagined. He looks bigger in pictures but he is no bigger than my shoe or a little kitten. Norman has the cutest little non-conformity - one of his ears is set up a little higher than the other. It has a small divot that changes the position of his left ear ever so slightly. I imagine this is why the puppy mill broker allowed him to go to rescue because he was not suitable to be sold to the pet stores...their loss! The ear is fully functional and his hearing is great, that's all that matters. I told Norman I think it is a very handsome ear, it gives him character.
Here are some more pictures from Norman's first day.
Thanks for all the well wishes!
Going into this, I knew a few things:
1.) I can't go without having a pug in my life for long. I have withdrawals. I feel nervous and ungrounded. I miss the companionship and pug love way too much. I am simply a healthier, brighter person when I have a dog in my life. They help me stay grounded and live in the present moment. They are great teachers, little confidants and comedians.
2.) As much as I love and adore the seniors and will continue to foster and rescue them - I knew after losing 2 beloved seniors in such a short time frame that I could not put myself through that loss emotionally again anytime soon. That meant my next pug would need to be young and healthy so he or she would be with me a long, long time.
3.) I would NOT adopt from a pet store or ever "shop" for a puppy, putting money back into the puppy millers pockets. Basically enabling them to continue their horrific treatment and crimes against animals. So I knew I would adopt from a shelter or rescue when the right one came along.
4.) Plummy taught me after losing the Sausage that it was ok to open my heart to another pug again. That the key to healing, is actually love. I also knew that neither the Sausage nor Plummy would want me to be sad or lonely for pug love, especially when there are so many homeless out there in need.
But how to know when it is the right one?
I first saw Norman while perusing the hundreds of sad little homeless pug faces on Petfinder..
It still blows me away how any pug could possibly be homeless. It seems impossible, but sadly, so so many are. That's the reason I rescue.
Norman was listed by Help Save One, a wonderful all-breed rescue organization that works tirelessly to save dogs from being gassed in high kill shelters and they pull dogs from some of the worst puppy mills. We have worked with them before on some Curly Tail puppy mill rescue cases so I felt really comfortable adopting from this organization.
As soon as I saw Norman's picture and where he was from, I contacted HSO straight away. I didn't use any special rescue treatment though; I went through the normal proper channels as any potential adopter would and just let what happen, may.
Norman wasn't the first pug I had applied for - most of my other applications got passed over, the dogs were too far away or the shelters never got back to me so I assume they were inundated with applications because it is very rare to get a healthy pug puppy in a shelter or rescue.
To my surprise, I was contacted by the head of HSO (who was also fostering Norman) within an hour of sending my email. I found out from her that Norman was pulled from a puppy mill in Ohio - he was one of the lucky ones.
Norman's foster mom had never fostered a pug puppy before and she has quickly gotten attached to the little guy and wasn't going to adopt him out to just anyone. She received a ton of inquiries and applications and didn't like any of them except mine.
Then we started talking more and she found out who I was... it turns out unbeknownst to me, she had been following Plum's story all along on the pug rescue website and when she found out I was the one who took care of Plummy and ultimately adopted her, she burst into tears! She was so thrilled I contacted her because, as she put it - she knew right then and there that there would be no better home for Norman than me :)
Moreover, she wanted me to have Norman as a gift for taking such good care of Plum in her final days and for showing her true love.
The happy ending is that ultimately, Norman is a gift from Plum. That's how I knew he was meant to be mine.
My heart feels so full knowing all of this, and I haven't even met the little guy yet.