Well the first week is over, and I have so much stuff rolling around in my head I don’t even know where to start. I have lots of notes from my first week, but I can’t seem to find the energy to put it down in my journal.
I learned some new things, saw some cool stuff, did some cool stuff, and almost cried twice. I was excited, frustrated, proud, disappointed, terrified, homesick and heartbroken. Not necessarily in that order or all at once, but sometimes a combination of several of those.
The biggest thing that happened this week, though, didn’t even happen at the clinic. Raina and I went out on Saturday- usually we meet at a shopping area halfway between our places, but since we were both going to all the same places I just swung by her apartment and picked her up. We visited some garage sales, had lunch at Panera, and went to Half Price Books where I bought a few DVDs so I could take advantage of my “new” TV. After all that walking around we were both pretty tired so I started to drive her back home. We were driving down a busy road when a dog walked out into the middle of traffic, and crossed the street in front of us. We were about less than two car lengths from hitting her – if she hadn’t been coming from the other side of the street, we would probably not have stopped in time. Poor thing, she looked sort of dejected and worn out, but the thing that Raina and I both noticed right away is that her teats were so swollen that they swung when she walked – she looked like she had a cow’s udder. It looked so uncomfortable. 😦 Naturally Raina and I could not drive away – we pulled over and tried to get her to come to us. I whistled and she turned around to look at me, but when I started to walk towards her she turned back and started walking the way she was going before we stopped. We got back in the van and followed her until she turned off the sidewalk and walked towards a house. She actually went and sat outside the front door, looking at it as if she was home and waiting for her people to open the door. After a minute, a man did open the door and started to pet her. I got out of the car then and went over to him, asking if it was his dog. He said no, she wasn’t his and he’d never seen her before, and while we were talking the dog started to go back where she came from. Raina finally managed to get her to stop walking and sit down on the side of the road. We obviously couldn’t let her go back into the street. While Raina was petting her, I went back to the car and dug out the extra collar that had been sitting in there since March when we picked up Brooklyn. Unfortunately I didn’t have any kind of leash or rope or anything of the sort, but Raina said she still had her dog’s leash in her truck. So we coaxed Mama dog into the van with some bread I had just bought and drove down the road to Raina’s apartment. We started calling around to people we knew to see if anyone knew of a pitbull rescue in Indianapolis.
Unfortunately, by this time it was 4 pm on a Saturday so no one was around. I got ahold of Sarah (the tech I’m living with during my externship), and she said to bring the dog home and she would try contacting some people she knew. We called around to some places, but didn’t get any answer. Then we decided to take her to the clinic and see if she was microchipped and treat her for fleas (which she had). Amazingly, she did have a microchip, but the chip was owned by Animal Care and Control and had never been registered by the people who picked her up. So now we have to wait until Monday when someone is available at Animal Care to see if we can track down the owners. I feel horrible for her, because she is probably missing her puppies. We could not find any sign of the puppies, so we have no idea if she belongs to someone and the puppies are at home, or if she has been on her own for a while and the puppies are somewhere in the woods or something.
She is so sweet – she must have been in a home at some point, but who knows if it was a good one. If she hasn’t been on her own for a long time, then she has been terribly neglected by her owners. Apart from the fleas, she has some scratches and scabs on her face that may either be from another dog, a cat, or some kind of wild animal. Also her ears are quite dirty- I think she probably has a yeast infection in one ear.
I don’t really know what we will do if we can’t find the owner and if local rescue can’t take her in. One of the local Fargo rescues has said they can find a place for her if we can get her vaccinated and temporary boarded. Sarah and one of her friends have both said they’ll pay for her to be vaccinated, and our vet intern at the clinic has said she’ll spay her because she needs the practice anyway. She really seemed to bond with Raina, and has some signs of separation anxiety, too. She was really upset when I dropped Raina off at her place – she whined and started out the window until Raina’s place was out of sight. Anytime anyone walks away, she tries to follow them. She slept in my room last night; she wakes up every couple of minutes and looks back at me like she is just making sure I’m still there. And of course, she is leaking milk all over the place, poor thing. I’m almost hoping that we won’t find the owner, so that she can be spayed and won’t have to have any more puppies. She is a pitbull and there is a huge stigma against pitbulls in Indianapolis, not to mention Sarah said dog fighting is a big problem here too. I’m afraid that she might belong to someone who is not very responsible.