Monday, August 7, 2017

Shadow 's death saddens everyone

We brought him home when he was a one month old puppy. He was all black. The brown colour on his legs had not appeared yet. It was February and nights were shivering cold. I had put his cage in the tv lounge. It was his first night away from his parents and siblings.
One month old swag
His mother and father were German shepherds and the size of their clutch was 6. Missing his parents and siblings, he started barking at odd hours of the night. Our TV lounge has doors to all the rooms on the ground floor. Sensing how uncomfortable the sleep would be for the family, I brought him upstairs in my study room. He inspected my room and liked it. When he had gotten tried of roaming in the room and sniffing books lying on the floor, he nestled between my feet. I went to my bed and he came and again slept with my black shoes. It dawned on me that he is missing his siblings and mistaking my shoes as his other puppies. I felt cruel for separating him from his family so early. I kept my shoes in his cage and he slept peacefully whole night.
Since he had not spent much time with other puppies, he developed a habit of biting us. The puppies which spend first three months with the parents and clutch, learn it by instinct that biting is not a good behavior. When he bites other puppies, they make a displeasuring bark, telling the biting puppy that this is not a good behavior. We solved the problem by making a short high pitched cry noise whenever it tried to bite us. He forgot the habit quite soon.
We named him Shadow the next day. He became the best friend and play mate of the children in the family. My son Shafay would go and check on him many times during the day. In the evening we would unleash Shadow and he would happily chase the kids for hours. He also liked the kids more than the adults, because the former would sneak toffees, candies and biscuits to him.
My younger brother Moid was his keeper. He remained like a dotting owner. Giving him food in the morning and evening and often giving him an afternoon snack. 
After becoming part of every family moment during last 6 months. Shadow breathed his last on 10th July 2017. He stopped eating and our folk pet wisdom suspected that its because of very warm weather. We took him to a vet, then admitted him in a veterinary hospital, gave him saline drips, but he died. Shadow’s death brought a shadow of sadness on the whole family and the kids stopped playing in the lawn in the evening.
Weeks before his death!
PS: The parvo virus is preventable. Prima Dog is the name of vaccine which is available in Pakistan. We gave him one dose when he was 3 months old, but were not advised to give another dose. The second dose could have saved his life. Symptoms of parvo are that dog looses appetite, develops diarrhea with blood. 

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