I knew yesterday that Harmony was struggling.
It just felt different.
First thing this morning, my spirits were lifted a little as she wagged her tail at me when I opened the office door. She was tickled to see me :)
Harmony didn't get up at first; I could see the mess from the night before, "a crime scene" we jokingly called it.
After I cleaned and checked on the other puppies, I returned to Harmony to give her fluids and meds.
I thought maybe if her belly wasn't working right, it could possibly be because of something else.
Worms? Coccidia? Could the paste be holding in toxins rather than letting them out? Should I switch antibiotics?
I bought baby food the night before. I knew she needed protein but just couldn't figure out how to get her to hold it down.
She let me give her the baby food with a syringe and some Gatorade as well.
She even got up and walked around the lobby, checking on the cats and kittens.
I waited with a towel for the impending vomit and watery stool that had become her normal routine.
I was surprised when she squatted down and tinkled.
No vomit and no soft stool!
Had we accidentally done something right??
Harmony returned to her favorite bed and scratched a nice place with the blankets just as she needed them before heavily laying down.
I covered her and talked to her about how good she was doing.
As I went about other duties at the shelter, a few things still felt different.
Harmony whined some as if she was in pain.
"If only she could tell me," I thought more than once.
I checked her gums frequently, and they were paler than normal for much of the day. They would pink up some from time to time but always return to that dead gray.
Around mid-afternoon, I knew our Harmony was leaving.
She had that glassy look in her eyes even when I would talk to her.
I asked her not to go and not to give up. Not now. Not after all we'd been through together.
She was supposed to be our miracle baby.
I checked on her more frequently after that. Every 10 minutes or so between cleaning kennels, I walked back into the office and talked to her. She never got up again.
Around 5:45 p.m. I walked into the office and Harmony was struggling to breathe.
I knew it was time to let her go.
I laid down on the floor beside her and told her it was ok.
She had suffered too much, and it was ok to go.
To a place where there's no more pain or sickness...and lots of puppy treats.
Her brothers and sisters would be fine...we will take care of them and find them good homes up north via transport.
She was a trooper, a fighter, she wanted to live...but her body just couldn't come back from the evil disease that is Parvo.
Once Harmony took her last breath, I went to the laundry room and retrieved her favorite bed, the most comfy that we have at the shelter.
I picked out a pretty red fleece blankie with pink and red hearts on it as well.
I swaddled her body in the blankie and laid her body in the bed.
Her body was so emaciated that picking her up was like trying to hold onto a dishrag.
I hate Parvo with every fiber of my being.
And then I sat on the floor and cried.