Waiting To Exhale

That thing where it's been a very long month for us here with the dear dogs is taking it's toll. Today, our very favorite dog (perhaps ever) found a new home. I spent a good bit of time crying over that fact, and guys, I don't cry. Not that I don't have emotions, but I've learned to bury them deep down inside because life is hard and I can't blubber my way through it or I'd be a hot mess walking around all the time.

Between this recent stint of bad luck and the scars I'll always carry from the trauma of the last litter we had, I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that Jill and her wee fat baby are just fine.

Jill is blessed with an abundance of milk. So much so, in fact, that it hinders her walking with the swaying of the to and the fro. So much so that her baby can't just lie there and nurse like Nature intended, but instead has to climb up the massive milkers to eat. So much so that I live in dread of her getting mastitis from an abundance of milk and a lack of a large litter to feed it to. I tried a breast pump on her to help alleviate some of her fullness, but that didn't work. She did seem to appreciate the effort, though.

I spend my days hanging about in the kitchen, cleaning this and rearranging that. You'd think the kitchen would be clean, but it's not. Working absentmindedly merely rearranges clutter, apparently, and doesn't get rid of it. I lie awake at night and wonder if Jill scratched at her towel and the baby got lost in a fold and she laid on it. I get up roughly every 90 minutes through the night to check on her because my mind thinks up a dozen scenarios that could be happening without my knowing, and they all end in fatality. (Experience is a bugger, sometimes, and wreaks havoc with your brain.) I know too much. All the things that have gone wrong in the past 15 years haunt me.

I have never seen a dog recovery so quickly and completely from a c-section as Jill did. I have not seen a surgical incision look so perfectly healthy at the 2 day mark. Jill is showing no signs of mastitis, and despite having just one baby to feed, she seems to be adjusting her milk supply to compensate without any signs of problems. That wee baby boy is growing so fat without having to fight a pack of siblings for the best seat at the milk bar. Jill and her baby are doing so well it's like a dream, and I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that I won't wake up and find things to be different.

I'm not sure I can exhale quite yet, with another litter due within a week, but I'm thinking perhaps I can get a full night's sleep tonight. To balance all the hard stuff that life throws your way, there are things like newborn puppies that balance it all out, and I've got an incredibly healthy one that is so well loved and taken care of by his very healthy mama that I smile just thinking about him.

You guys, he has a wee pink nose in the midst of his black mask. Doesn't that just make your heart go squeeee?

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