Articles Index/Norfolk Tales
Biscuit (Red Toe Tea Biscuit) gave birth to three puppies in the wee hours of the morning following a stormy September day and the first snowfall of the season in Colorado. From the moment they arrived, Biscuit was the perfect mama. Although their birth weights were only 4.9 oz, 4.7 oz., and 3.7 oz., the puppies began gaining weight right from the beginning.
The first six days went like a charm. Then, unexpectedly, the smallest male (Jack) became ill. After a visit with the vet, we were hopeful that we could pull him through. Unfortunately that was not to be. It was a sad day in the Adair house. We decided to have the vet perform a necropsy. At eight days, both Charlie and Lucy showed signs of breathing problems. It looked like they might be coming down with the illness that took their brother. On the advice of our vet, we rushed them at 5:00 a.m. to the Emergency Hospital in Denver an hour and a half away. We were told there was a 40% chance we would lose them. It was a frightening experience. To help expedite things, we hand delivered samples from the necropsy to the veterinary diagnostic center at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. (Ed. Note: Definitive results are not yet available. Preliminary reports indicate severe diffuse fibrinous interstitial pneumonia that is likely related to a viral type of etiology such as may be seen with minute parvovirus or, possibly, micoplasma.)
A couple of days later, after much worry and many prayers, we were able to take Charlie and Lucy back home. For the next week, we monitored the situation every two hours around the clock, giving antibiotics, taking temperatures, weighing twice daily, and making sure they were nursing. It was truly exhausting, but totally rewarding.
At two weeks, they opened their eyes right on schedule. Yeah! After we were sure they were healthy, we returned to our home in South Carolina. It was a long drive to undertake in only two days. John set the car up to be warm as toast (about 85 degrees) in the puppy area and it worked beautifully. Biscuit and her babies traveled like champions. Even the one overnight stop turned out to be much less complicated than we had expected.
We were ever so happy to arrive home and settle in with our puppy family. It is great fun tracking their progress and observing changes happening right before our eyes. Watching them coordinate their legs and get up to walk was hilarious. Charlie and Lucy, at the time of this writing, are a precious five weeks old. They are walking and even trying to run, eating some puppy formula mixed with baby cereal from a saucer, wrestling with each other and with Biscuit, and begging to be taken out of their pen to play with us. Of course, we are so emotionally attached to these little ones it may be impossible to give them up. We now definitely understand why these beautiful little Norfolk Terriers are so expensive. However, we always knew they were worth it! We owe many thanks to three special Norfolk breeders Brenda Pogue (Red Toe), Linda Vaughn (Simerdown) and Gail Owens (Deerwalk). They were ready with a caring, listening ear and great advice. Charlie and Lucy thank you, too.
ANTIC, December, 2003
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