Reef has always wanted a little puppy, so after some of
Chandler’s handy-dandy internet
research, we decided to purchase a shih tzu. Reef
had spent a week watching Diary of a
Wimpy Kid over and over again, so for his new puppy he settled on the name
Brock (named after the character Brock Branigan P.I.) for the new puppy. After a few days, I knew the name had to be
changed. When Reef, in his five year-old
voice with a certain dialect called his dog, it sounded more like Barack than
Brock. Political views aside, it didn’t
seem right to have a dog called after the president of the United States, so we had a family
vote. Considering all the kids are named
after Arizona towns, we looked through an Arizona almanac and found
the name Parker. It seemed to fit.
Well, imagine our heartache when a few weeks ago Parker was run over by a car; a suburban none the less. The back tire completely rolled over his torso. I was outside with the younger kids when it happened and watched as Parker yelped and ran into the bushes whimpering. I knew he wouldn’t make it. Our little puppy would die.
We put Parker in a box and before rushing him to the vet, prayed that he would wouldn’t suffer too much. I prepared my sons Reef and Mayer, confirming what a great puppy Parker had been, that he was meant to be in our home for a while so we could love him, but sometimes God takes puppies back to heaven. While I signed Parker in with the receptionist, Reef and Mayer rummaged through a candy bowl on the counter. I was crying over a puppy having a near-death experience in a box while my little kids were deciding if they should have a pink or purple lollipop.
The doctor inspected Parker and asked questions. In between sobs, I tried to give as much information as I could. Mayer had his own set of questions, starting with how they took Parker’s temperature. Let’s just say I wasn’t as patient with Mayer as I was with the doctor.
“We could start with x-rays to see how bad the damage is, but my personal suggestion is to take him to an emergency clinic where they’ll give him an IV and monitor him overnight. I’m not sure if he’ll make it either way, but at least he’ll have a chance,” the doctor said, giving me some pain meds in the meantime.
Well, after the counselor’s recent run-in with an ax in his foot, there are no more funds for hospitals or overnight care, even if it is in an animal clinic. If Parker was going to be nursed back to health, it would have to come from the living room Lofgreen clinic.
The first night was a wreck. I tried to keep Parker in his box, but he kept trying to get out. I tried 10 different ways to give him his medication, but it kept falling out. Eventually, the pill just dissolved into the carpet. Parker wouldn’t drink and by morning, I couldn’t even find him because he kept trying to hide. There was no way this dog was going to survive under my horrible care. The kids and I continued to pray, but in the back of my mind I wondered should I just take him back to the vet and have him put out of his misery. Was a puppy really meant to survive such a trauma? Was I keeping him alive so my kids wouldn’t have to experience the loss of a pet? I wasn’t sure what to do.
My mom came over; my mom with one foot in heaven and one foot on earth, my mom who always seems to see the eternal perspective of things, my mom who knows my heart and she said, “Laura, I think that puppy’s going to make it. He’s got a will to live.” And with those words, I started to look at the situation differently. Parker wanted to live too; he would just need some help. Like usual, the Lord answered my family’s prayer through kind-hearted people.
My neighbor the caterer had a kennel to offer (this way Parker would stay put) and suggested we give him water with a medicine syringe. My sister Rachel, recently return-missionary from
and pre-med student quickly came to my aid.
She came up with idea to feed him jars of chicken baby food. Parker didn’t want any of it, but with a
little encouragement, we were able to feed and keep him hydrated. By the fourth day, it was still touch and
go. My friend Alicia helped with is
medication and I continued to keep his cage clean. On the fifth day, he finally pooped. I’ve never been so happy to see a dog poop in
my life. It appeared all his organs and
bowels were working properly. I couldn’t
His recovery has been speedy and miraculous. For two weeks he didn’t walk, he more scooted and shuffled. Now, he has full use of his back legs again. It’s adorable to see him get around. There’s little evidence he was ever hurt.
It’s interesting the lessons one learns about life from a hurt puppy.
My kids believe in prayer. When they arrive home from school, each child attends to Parker and showers him with love and affection. We’ve all developed more sympathy for those who live through accidents because we know there are times it’s more than a puppy who is hurt. I love vets who attend to pets the minute we walk into their clinic. I appreciate inspired unorthodox ideas that come into your mind at just the right time. I’m grateful I don’t throw away old towels because I’ve never needed them more. And I’m grateful my mom was able to change my pitiful attitude to one of hope and survival because it looks like after all Parker went through, he did have an amazing will to live.
Maybe his girlfriend Winnie had something to do with it.