You never know what life will throw your way from one day to the next. Sometimes things change gradually- like a litter of baby collies changing from homely little pot bellied piglets to beautiful miniature versions of adult collies in a matter of several weeks.
Amber did not seem to have enough milk for all the puppies, so we had to supplement the smaller ones with tube feeding and later bottle feeding every couple of hours. Even with supplemental feeding the puppies seemed off– not thriving as expected. My friend Lea and her hubby Wayne took the puppies to their house for a few weeks and continued to work with them. Their vet found nothing wrong with the puppies except they were on the small side. I got the puppies back a few weeks later and they all had loose stools, which turned into full blown diarrhea. My vet’s laboratory found the pups had Coccidia. After a couple of weeks of appropriate treatment, the pups began to do better. They could eat puppy gruel from a pan, and started to grow. They continued to improve, and most of them are about where they should be in size- except the little cryptic blue girl. She is still on the small side.
These puppies have changed from sort of ugly, to looking cute, to becoming really pretty like their beautiful sire and dam. These pups are doing well now and are starting to leave for new homes. I love these puppies. They have been held and given TLC from the beginning. Their temperaments are wonderful. Their mom Amber is sweet as an angel, and daddy Jax is a fun-loving sweetheart too. Their pedigree is full of nationally recognized champions including multiple Collie Club of America winners. One puppy in particular captured my heart. Lea and I are going to keep the spunky sable girl- I call Sugar Baby. She has a face and expression that melts our hearts. We hope that Sugar Baby and Jax Jr. will be standouts at some dog shows in time. Every single one of the puppies should make loving companions for their new owners.
All of our Amber/ Jax puppies are in their permanent homes now.
Recently, another sad event happened to one of our collies in our backyard. Our two year old sable headed white girl, Joni, dislocated her hip. I didn’t see it happen, but I think I know what must have happened. Joni has always been a very active girl. She loved to run from one side of our large back yard to the other side- especially if someone was walking a dog. I have a cross fence with a gate dividing the back yard. I usually keep the gate open so the collies have more room to run. The vet said Joni had to have slammed into something hard with great force to dislocate her hip. I’m guessing she ran into the gate or another metal fence post. Joni was sitting near the gate when I called her to come inside. When she didn’t come to me right away, I thought she must be pouting about something. She finally did come but was limping on her right rear leg. I thought she must have a sticker or maybe a bruise or sprain. I checked her leg and foot and found no injury. It was a few days before I felt her hip. When I did feel her hip, it was obvious that her hip was the problem. I feel terrible I didn’t notice it sooner. I got an appointment with my vet for the next day and her hip x-ray showed her femur head was way out of place. My regular vet suggested that he do a surgery to remove the head of her femur. I didn’t understand why that would be a good idea. I talked to several vets and was referred to a board certified Fort Worth orthopedic surgeon with decades of experience. He told me he could do a hip joint replacement procedure on Joni that would likely make her good as new after about 2-3 months of rest. It was an expensive surgery, but sounded like the best option for her. With the help of friends and family, I got together enough money to get her hip joint replacement surgery. A new femur head was implanted, and a new cup to fit in her hip joint. Joni stayed overnight at the vet. When they checked her the next day, the femur head was out of place again. The surgery was repeated three more times with slight variations in the procedure. All four surgeries failed before I could even pick Joni up from the vet. I’m consulting with the vet again. I hate to put Joni through any more surgeries. I definitely do not want her to be in long term pain. It’s such a sad situation to see this two year old collie- in otherwise good health- go through all this. Collies are wonderful friends, but they can sure break your heart.
Update on Joni- Joni is now living with the vet tech of the orthopedic surgeon who did all Joni’s surgeries. She fell in love with Joni while taking care of her. It’s a great home for Joni’s rehabilitation.