We had our first family supper last weekend. It was just as wonderful as one can imagine. The noise and motion that comes with 7 large dogs, 6 adults and 2 littles. It was so wonderful and yet, sadly, bittersweet.
The day dawned bright and sunny, the smoke had yet to roll in and choke out the sun. The wind stayed away and the temperature climbed. It was the kind of afternoon where the click of the beer can was heard and that cool beverage tasted so good. The littles got to have “special drinks” which are the Family “Secret” raspberry vinegar and club soda. The BBQ was cooking a chicken (the last of the fall run) and I had purchased baby potatoes from the farmers market as ours aren’t ready yet. The menu was simple but delicious and we topped it off with freshly picked raspberries folded into a fool.
Play time galore both with kids and all those dogs. With 3 puppies still sorting out who went where in the pack line up there was lots of jousting. There was close up play with Uncle’s old toys and there was even cuddling and sharing of desserts. How is it that children learn early that if they eat quickly their favourite adults will share more dessert with them? I was thrilled that neither child held back when it came to Auntie and Uncle despite no close physical contact in 16 months. Toys and dessert seem to have done the trick and Young A wanted Auntie for stories and to do her teeth.
But, and it’s a big but, something sinister was at play already and we were unaware. If we’d known, perhaps, the outcome would not have been so deadly.
Both my kids always “tease” me about taking so many photos. So I didn’t push it and just snagged “the annual summer on the rocks photo” with the grandkids. We did indeed get some cute ones of the four of us.
But I regret not being bossy. We couldn’t do a full group one as we would have had no photographer but I could have done individual family ones. It would have been so easy but it didn’t happen and now the family groupings just won’t be the same.
Sunday morning our son and daughter in law’s youngest dog, Jura, was vomitting. This puppy is one we had originally fostered and they fell in love with and kept. We have a close friend who is a vet so they talked and made a plan. By Monday am he appeared to be worse and they took him to the clinic. He died Monday night of acute liver failure. More than a week later it still seems surreal.
Two “common” causes of this would be a) ingestion of an entire bottle of Advil or Aleve or b)blue green algae.
Sadly it turns out that it was our big slough that was the culprit. It’s strange as he was not the only dog to swim but perhaps may have been the only one who drank. That’s the only logical explanation that we’ve all been able to come up with. Short term we have our puppy on a tether unless she is under our control. More long term we’ve purchased copper sulfate and will treat the water once we figure out what that looks like.
There are times when you have to roll with the punches. You wish, with all your heart, that things had turned out differently. Unfortunately we don’t get do overs in real life. Those family photos will never reflect that Jura was a wonderful four legged part of the family, albeit for far too little time.