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BIRTH, DEATH, AND SOMETHING INBETWEEN
27 February 2007
There was great activity outside the front window today.
For one thing, it intermittently poured rain, for another, the birds were going crazy at all the bird feeders, the little birds were busily eating the bird seed in the big bird feeder and the little-bird sized acrylic house-shaped bird feeder attached to the porch.
But most of our attention was drawn to the hanging basket where the new baby doves seem to double in size each day. The day I moved down here, mama and papa dove were busy building a nest, then there was the billing, cooing, and "twitterpating" that went on before Mama settled herself into the new nest and started incubating a family.
The eggs hatched and gradually the new ones have been getting bigger and stronger. Mama doesn't sleep in the nest any more because there is no room for three big birds in there. Instead she sits on the picnic table and coos encouragement for the babies to leave the nest. There is a lot of wing flapping and one of the birds actually made it up to the edge of the basket where he sat and looked around, much as I used to on those rare events when I decided to climb up to the top of the high dive at the pool where we spent summers when I was small. He seemed to look at all the way down to Mama and decide better of it.
Papa kept up a battle with two doves who have been sitting off on a flowering plum tree, in bloom, eyeing the nest, just waiting for the little ones to finally fly away so they can start their own nest-building and twitterpating. Nothing worse than a horny, impating pair of doves!
I have watched the start of life in the 8 weeks that my mother has been recuperating. Last night I had some sad news about the end of life.
Before I left Davis, I had checked the SPCA web site to see if any of our babies were up for adoption yet. There they were--Rudolph and Dancer (now called Rudy and Lily), looking much too big and hardly recognizable as the little guys who left here a month or so agol.
Dasher's picture wasn't there. Walt and I had always said he would be adopted quickly since he was the "fluffy one," and looked the least like a pit bull. I wrote to ask if he had been adopted. A response came from the woman who took them in when I had to let them go...
Rudy got a stomach bug sometime around the 1st of Feb. He was lethargic, sleeping a lot and not playing, and of course leaving his diarrhea all over the place. As to vomiting, I know he did, only because there was residue on their bed. I'm sure his siblings ate it! In any case, he got better quickly and is a big "horse" now. Unfortunately, Dash got it too, and got very sick. By Monday the 5th, he was so dizzy that he couldn't even lie down to rest, drooling all the time--except when he was trying to vomit, but of course there wasn't anything left. We got him to drink at first, but by the evening he wouldn't even drink. We gave him IV fluids. It was very sad. Ashley tested him, and he didn't have Parvo, but he began "pooping" out blood, and by 1:30 am, it was clear he was fading. He died in my arms a few minutes later. I still feel sad about it. I know you told me that you have lost some of the pups, but I hadn't processed how sad it is. They are so innocent and full of life one day, and gone the next.
So Dasher didn't make it. I know just how Jan felt, having him die in her lap, except she probably felt worse than I did losing Elmer because he was older and she had him longer. It shows that puppies are fragile little things even when you think that you have passed all the crisis moments. It doesn't take much for it all to change.
In between "birth" and "death" you have this wonderous thing called "life," where some days you feel reborn and other days you feel at death's door--sometime within the same day.
Tomorrow is "cast off" day, the day my mother has been longing for for 8 very long, boring, confining weeks. She had plans to visit her friend Paula (whom she was attempting to help the day she had her fall) and all sorts of things. It was going to be a joyous day.
But my mother has a cold.
And my mother doesn't get colds, so she is absolutely miserable.
And what is worse, I brought it to her. I have been coughing, but coughing is nothing new for me. I cough all the time. But apparently this cough was different and had some nasty germs attached to it and now my mother has a cold.
And did I mention that she's miserable?
It bothers her so much that she is making very sloppy mistakes in playing "65", and winning two games tires her out so much she has to take a nap.
She did succeed in wiping me out of all of my money and Peach had to front me money to let them take from me after dinner when Ed was here.
There is a reason I don't take up serious gambling!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
This is entry #2525