Emma’s story continues. It picks up in the summer of 2012 after she lived with us just 9 months.
Our wonderful Emma, sweet Georgia dog who brought so much love into our lives is the perfect dog: gentle, calm and well-mannered. Never does anything she’s not supposed to do. Never begs, steals or damages anything, doesn’t go upstairs, sits silently while the cats explore her.
Her vocabulary is expanding: dinner, biscuit, ride in the car, bone, walk, cheese…, and she knows the sounds of Bo getting ice cream the cellophane paper on the cheese.
But life hasn’t been easy for her. When we adopted her, we found out she was positive for heartworm, tape worm, whip worm and hook worm, plus she recently had puppies — was still nursing when they were taken from her. She was pathetic.
The heartworm treatment was traumatic for all of us. We had to wait almost a month until the vet even got his hands on the drugs because there was a severe shortage. She had to be hospitalized three days and undergo painful injections in her lower back, then she couldn’t get any exercise and coughed continuously for a full month.
The heartworms also meant that she couldn’t be spayed. Not until she tested negative after 6 months. Meanwhile, she spent
Christmas Day wearing Bo’s jockey shorts because she went into heat. I watched her like a hawk – didn’t let her out of my sight for a month. No male dog was going to climb over our fence or jump in a window and have his way with her!
With healthy food, vitamins and lots of love, her coat became shiny and she gained weight… a lot of weight. Twenty pounds. The many treats that Bo shared with her certainly contributed, but she was getting even bigger. Then I noticed that her usually big nipples were enlarged. She was even looking wider in the hips. So we visited the veterinarian.
“Could she be pregnant?” he asked.
“No way,” I said. “It would have to be immaculate conception.” He checked her carefully and did both an ultrasound and Xray. No puppies.
“Has she been nesting?” he asked.
“Well, she’s digging these unbelievable holes under bushes in our yard – chews the roots and pulls the branches off. And she does a lot of digging around in her bed.”
He smiled. “This is a classic false pregnancy.”
False pregnancy! Is there no justice? What else does this poor dog have to go through?
She was restless and sad — chewed the head off her wooly doll and pulled the stuffing out of her teddy bear. Ripped his eyes right off. My sister-in-law said maybe Emma knew what she was doing: enough is enough.
Finally, the raging hormones calmed down and she was back to normal. At last we could bring all of this to an end. Her heartworm test was negative and she was spayed.
There’s never a dull day with Emma around, never a day without love. Even the cats are showing her affection — Charlie washes her face now and Mikey rubs against her while Emma just sits and wags her tail. She is our joy.