White Dog shuddered at the sound and said, "Thank goodness Dr. Julia was on top of things, at least you are already prepared." She, and the rest of the nervous White Dog Army, was responding to the wracking cough that Puff had developed seemingly overnight.
We started her on the antibiotic Dr. Julia sent home right away yesterday but were not ahead of the onset of the awful lung-y cough that tortures poor Puff when she is struck with respiratory illness. Our sweet old lady just coughs until she shakes and wheezes with exhaustion. It is a full body workout. Therapeutic thumping, or coupage, helps a bit but the relief is only temporary.
She went right into our oxygen kennel, made for just these emergencies. Puff slept a lot, under the watchful eyes of her family pacing in front of the special crate, the oxygen relieving the strain to breathe on her trachea, lungs and heart; and it nearly eliminated the coughing while she was inside. The fact that Still Another White Dog was content to lie there was a sign of just how bad she felt.
With the supervision of every member of the WDA, we unsuccessfully tried to persuade her to eat but managed to syringe about a quarter cup of water down her throat. All of the pups tried to convince her to eat and drink more but poor Puff, medicated with her antibiotic and a cough suppressant, just wanted to sleep.
No one was comfortable going to bed with Puff in the kennel instead of in her usual spot. Taiko slept in the hallway just outside the office so he could hear her. White Dog took up watch right at the Oxygen chamber door. I heard Bella pacing from our bedroom into the office several times during the night. I was awake in an instant every time I heard our old girl move about, and Steve got up several times to "just check that she did not need anything."
Puff the Magical is 16 years old with a host of chronic health issues. She is a fighter and a tough cookie with still lots of interest in life. Seeing her lying so still and frail stirs fears I am not ready to consider...and I tell her so at 3am sitting in the dark office as the rest of the house sleeps.