Apologies for the lateness. We started this blog knowing we had a lot of catching up to do and the last thing we want to do is get behind. And we did. To make up for that, we’ll be firing off short blogs left and right, so make sure you check back daily.
It was our first night with “Watson” (he hadn’t officially been named as of yet), and although we thought we knew what to expect, we weren’t quite ready for what was about to take place. We’ve both grown up with dogs, and all we remember is the first couple nights are filled little pee spots, yelps, and sleepless nights. We expected this. What we didn’t expect was staying up with a puppy that wouldn’t stop crying and vomiting all through the night.
After the first night, I was afraid this little guy wasn’t going to make it.
As first-time puppy owners, we had to rely on the internet for any concerns we had. When we got “Watson”, we noticed his stomach was bloated, and he seemed lethargic, even though he’d been under someone’s care for a couple of days. He was found in someone’s driveway under a truck tire, and who knows how long he’d been there. We did know that this house was right next to a woods and with the tick we found in his ear, we guessed he made his way through there. With this in mind, we looked up everything from ticks to intestinal worms.
We assumed he had worms, as most puppies do, so we tried to focus on those signs and symptoms. They all matched up. We set up a vet appointment for the next day, so as long as we made it through the night, he’d be okay in the morning.
We bought him a medium-sized cage with an insert that could reduce the area, while still allowing him enough room to stand up and turn around. Doing this will reduce the number of messes he makes in the cage. The cage is supposed to serve as their home, a place where they feel safe and comfortable. If they have an accident inside, they have to sit in that small area until someone lets them out. This teaches them to hold it to avoid those accidents. To this day he hasn’t made one accident in his cage. (Go Wats!)
With all of this in mind, we put his cage by our bed so he felt close to us, and so we could reach him easily if anything happened. It wouldn’t have mattered if the cage was on the bed, he was going to yip anyway, which was expected. Because Mackenzie was teaching the next morning, I decided I would take over the night shift. I grabbed a pillow and a blanket and laid on the floor next to the cage. Anytime he started to whine or yelp, I would put my hand through the cage just to let him know I was there. This worked perfectly until he started dry heaving.
I was awakened by this unfamiliar sound and didn’t react fast enough before I heard the final hack. He puked up some of his food. No big deal. At the rate he inhaled it, we expected to see it sooner than later. But I didn’t expect to see it 10 minutes later. Then 20 minutes later. By the 4th time, we had a pretty good routine going. I’d pick him up, put my hand under his mouth, and take him to the bathroom sink. It was either my hand or the sink. With dogs, I’ve seen it all, so a little puke wasn’t going to deter me. (It probably would have made Mackenzie join in with Watson.)
At this point, I knew something was wrong. With the loose stools, the bloated belly, and the excessive vomiting, everything from the internet was coming full circle. The worst case scenario was coming to mind and it seemed like our time as puppy owners was going to be short-lived. If only he could make it to the morning for that 8:40 appointment, we’d be alright.
After a total of puking six times, we made it to the vet’s office, where he not only got his name, but we found out that he was in perfect health. No worms. No parasites. Just a healthy puppy lucky enough to find himself a good home. And thankfully, our time as puppy owners wasn’t over! There were plenty more sleepless nights and early mornings, but it was the first sleepless night that stays with me. Watson’s health greatly overshadowed the lack of sleep I got that first night. All we wanted was a healthy pup and that’s exactly what we got.