Yesterday, I went to work ready to train my dogs and have a normal work day. Upon arriving, I was informed that I would be going to Greenwich, CT, where I would be "soliciting" the rich and famous to sponsor or donate for a huge, fancy benefit we are having in September (if you are rich or know anybody rich and/or famous and/or generous, click here: DENIM, HEELS, BOOTS, TAILS). I ended up sitting in a 50 million dollar home on the water getting tipsy off $50 bottles of white wine while the maid served fancy sandwiches by the saltwater swimming pool. The tour of the house included a Matisse, 6 Picassos, and a bathroom the size of my entire apartment.
Warning: may not be suited for all audiences, particularly those with weak stomachs.
Today, at 8am, one of the volunteers was banging on the door of the cottage I live in. The breeder dog she cares for was in the car, in labor, and she was unable to reach anybody else. We brought mama into the office, knowing that labor usually lasts for hours and nothing would be happening anytime soon. 10 minutes later, after a lot of blood and a horrific scream, we had a boy. 40 minutes later, we were covered in placentas and afterbirth and we had a total of 4 puppies (2 girls, 2 boys). 3 hours later, many contractions, and a very miserable mama, we were still waiting for 5 more puppies. We called the vet, who said we needed to get mama into the office so she could induce heavier contractions. We loaded the 4 puppies, now almost 4 hours old, into a laundry basket and stuck them in the front seat of the car. I loaded a contracting, laboring mama dog into the back of a station wagon. I climbed in the back with her in case she delivered en route. I rode, 45 minutes to the vet, hunched over, covered in birthing fluids with my hand on a dog's vagina in the trunk of a station wagon. 15 minutes later, the vet was drenched in sweat, forceps in hand, pulling a stuck stillborn puppy out of the birth canal. The foot broke off in the process. 2 more living, squealing puppies followed within 30 minutes. According to the x-ray we took weeks ago, there should be 1 more puppy. We gave mama a shot of oxytocin to keep her pushing, since she was now exhausted and reluctant to continue. We got another puppy. We x-rayed again to make sure we got them all. There was 1 more. It wouldn't come out. We discussed a c-section. We gave more oxytocin. 10 hours after the banging on my door, puppy #10 came out. We put a catheter in mom to get her fluids. Suddenly, things were peaceful. 9 puppies (4 boys, 5 girls) were suckling happily. I realized I was starving, that I hadn't eaten all day amid the chaos, that my back and butt and knees were killing me from hunching over on the floor for the past 10 hours, that I wreaked of placentas and afterbirth and blood and puppy and that I was covered in all of these nasty things.
I absolutely love my job.