I might not have a baby, but I have Coco. My gorgeous moanie groanie hound dog puppy. She turns 1 tomorrow. Happy birthday Coco!
Coco’s had an eventful first year. In fact, it’s a miracle she’s made it this far with all the trouble she gets herself into. She has big ears. But they are just there for show. They only work when she feels like listening.
At the end of her first week with us she almost had her head bitten off whilst trying to eat out of Paris’ bowl – our 60kg blind Boerboel (see A Few Words on Pet Names). There started the first of many hair raising car trips to the town vet 17 kilometers away. It’s amazing she was okay. Look how tiny she was compared to that big dog!
Less than a month later, while I was in Paris on a business trip, she devoured a tub of bright blue rat poison whilst sniffing around one of our storerooms. Fearing my wrath, Quentin made it to town in under 10 minutes and once again, the lovely vet fixed her.
At five months, she was out on the farm with Quentin and the other dogs one Friday morning. One thing led to another and crunch, she was under the back wheels of the bakkie. What a panic! Poor Quentin, he felt so bad. At the vet we discovered that her tail and pelvis were broken and she was admitted over the weekend for observation. Bed rest for a puppy is no joke and we had to construct this 1m x 1m cage to keep her contained. Poor baby, just look at her! Fortunately she was still growing because she made a full recovery.
I worried that her tail would never stand upright again, but it did!
She grew and thrived and became more confident in her milieu. She has no fear of cows and amuses herself for hours chasing meerkat and barking at the sheep near the house, in true hound dog style. But the day came when she encountered a rinkhals (spitting cobra) and it spat in her eye… another mad rush to town! After cleaning it with milk and water her eye was fine. Phew!
Thinking that she is getting grown up now I stopped worrying so much. But then last week she came in from a long run in the rain and started acting funny. After giving her a bath to rinse off all the mud (because she can’t help but lie on my down-filled scatter cushions) she started to throw up. After about an hour she became disoriented and lost her balance. She was groaning and moaning and drooling. She looked very sick. At 8pm I called the vet and got into the car in the rain. He agreed that she was not well. Had she had her rabies shot?
After a night of rehydrating at the vet, I was told I could fetch her. The prognosis: Garbage Disease. I kid you not. Garbage Disease! From something she ate whilst scrounging in the dustbins or goodness knows where on the farm.
I don’t know what the next close shave will be or when she will use up her nine lives, but it has certainly not been a boring ride so far. I love you Coco! Please make it through the next year in one piece.