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Natalia: Oct 1-15, 2012

Losing Natalia today was harder on me than I’d expected.  The last few days she balanced that tightrope between life and death so closely, we knew there was a good chance she’d pass…  but with her finally starting to gain weight, I had hoped that perhaps we were turning a corner.

Damon and I came home for a feeding at about 2:00, by 2:30 we made the choice not to tube her.  She was almost gone, and we didn’t want to put her through it.  We took turns holding her against our chests – keeping her warm and close.  At 3:21, right before we had to leave to pick up kid kid from school, she passed.  Damon passed her to me, and I held her until he had gone to the school and brought Lily-Ann home so we could all say goodbye.

We honestly thought that perhaps we’d turned that all important corner with her…  that the tube feedings every two hours, the warm water enemas, the warm baths, vitamin drops, colic cures, all the intensive care and extra attention had given her what she needed…  but it clear she was ready to go.  She fought long and hard, but was just too tired to keep on trying.  I keep reminding myself that 30% of all puppies don’t make it – but it’s little comfort.  I am grateful we have four healthy strong boys to love and care for.  But it doesn’t temper the sting of losing Natalia.

Natalia on October 8th @ 2.3 ounces. Being bottlefed by Damon - who worked so hard for her.

Natalia on October 8th @ 2.3 ounces.
Being bottlefed by Damon – who worked so hard for her.

Natalia on October 15th @ 2.7 ounces. Rest in peace sweet little girl, we will see you again.

Natalia on October 15th @ 2.7 ounces.
Rest in peace sweet little girl, we will see you again.

 

 

A Chihuahua/Fur Scarf

We had all four boys out this evening, and covered the girl with them.  Now that they have their eyes open, they are starting to be a lot more fun.  And after playing for a while, they all crawled up to her neck and settled in for a nap – which, of course, sent the girl into the giggles.

the girl, giggling as the almost-two-week-old Chihuahua puppies nuzzle her neck

Natalia isn’t big enough to come out to play with her brothers (two of whom are four times her size).  It’s been a very stressful few days with her, as we haven’t been sure if she’d make it or not… and, to be quite honest, we’re still not sure.  She’s a little fighter though, and we’re doing everything we can to see her through.

As of this morning Natalia is now weighing in at 2.6 ounces, up from 2.4 a few days ago.  She had held steady at 2.2 and then 2.3 ounces for the longest time – so we are delighted to see a gain of 0.2 in the last couple of days.  It’s definitely encouraging.

The boys all range in size from 7.75 to 10.3 ounces – which is absolutely perfect for boys their age…  not too big and not too small.  Healthy, strong, curious, but mostly hungry and sleepy.  LOL  They are all used to being handled, and have already had their first nail trim – not that they needed it, but I start doing them really early so that it never has a chance to become an issue as they get older.  This way, nails are just something they’ve always had done and so don’t ever have to learn to tolerate.  It’s just normal.

We are enjoying watching their little faces develop, and loving the daily changes in pigment on their noses and toeses.  They are such a treat.  I’m making sure we spend time every day with the little boys as it’s so easy to get completely wrapped up in tiny Natalia’s care.  Tube feedings every two hours can take a lot out of you, and wear you out physically and mentally…  so it’s good to take time to enjoy her brothers and remind yourself of the joy.

Captain America, The Mighty Thor, Lily-Ann, Iron Man, and The Incredible Hulk.

From left to right: Rogers, Thor, Lily-Ann, Tony, and Bruce.

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