On Nips, and Males, and Puppy Dog Tails
The story of how our dog Khaleesi came into our lives is one of my all-time favorites.
It was about this time two years ago when Christian had burning brovaries, but not for a baby, for a puppy. I had never had a dog in my life, so I was really apprehensive about it. Whenever one of my siblings or I had asked for an animal of any sort, my parents would talk about picking up poop & expensive vet visits until we shut up.
Side note: Nice trick, mom & dad. I’mma use that when you ask for grandbabies ;) kidding, kidding
It quickly became apparent to me how much having a dog meant to Christian. He was constantly searching breeds, checking craigslist for available puppies, and showing me freaking adorable internet pictures. He even lied and told me that puppy poop smells better than grown up dog poop. Yeah, he was pretty desperate. And one day I finally caved. Maybe caved is the wrong word… I wanted a puppy, too. But like I said before… vets & poop & stuff I had no idea about.
So we found this litter of yellow lab puppies, and decided it was finally time to fill the empty space in Christian’s dog-loving heart. This is where it gets interesting.
There were two things that Christian cared about in the puppy we chose. He wanted the puppy to be athletic, and he wanted it to be a boy.
So we threw ourselves into this pit of nibbling, playful pups to see which ones we felt immediately attached to. Then, we realized we should probably put all of the girls away, since we knew that we wanted a boy.
Christian & I sorted through the dogs one at a time, and any females were put away with their mom.
We eventually narrowed it down to two dogs. I immediately gravitated towards one over the other, but Christian seemed to prefer the one I didn’t like. That one was meaaaaan to me. I mean, I know dogs nibble & play but that one had it out for me. Christian called it “athleticism.” I called it “trying to kill me.”
So we sat on the grass and played with the two dogs trying to decide which one would be our forever best friend. Christian was torn, so he left the decision to me. I chose the nice one.
After we had driven the five hours home, we were chillin’ with our puppy on the couch. When the puppy started tinkling on Christian, he lifted ‘him’ up and noticed something was missing. And that’s when Christian realized Khaleesi was a girl.
Did you know that boy dogs have nipples? I didn’t.
I thought it was freaking hilarious. Christian was definitely shocked, but at that point we had both bonded so much with her that we couldn’t even consider choosing a different puppy just because of their genitalia.
It was a few weeks later that she developed swollen lymph nodes and was shaking her head from side to side. Christian took her into the vet (by the way, mom and dad, it’s not always as expensive as you made it sound haha) and they said it was allergies. They gave us some sort of medicine to give her every day, but she wasn’t getting better. We were told it would take some time to work, so we were trying to be patient, but she was getting worse.
She had developed pustules all over her face and her body. She was lethargic and wasn’t eating or drinking very much. When the pustules burst, she smelled like death. I started wondering if she would survive.
The couple weeks that we kept her on her medicine without effect were really emotionally draining. It was heartbreaking to see her in so much pain and not be able to comfort her without a towel in between (her pustules were now open sores that smelled rotten).
The next time we brought her to the vet, they diagnosed her with puppy strangles, one of the worst cases that they had ever seen. Puppy strangles is an autoimmune disease kind of like the chicken pox, except completely genetic. We contacted the breeders, and she was the only dog in her litter to come down with puppy strangles.
A few days later, she had her energy back, and a few months later her shaved spots had most of their fur back. She still has scarring on her face.
It was hard to have such a sick puppy, but like most hard things, I’m glad how everything turned out. I’m glad I didn’t know boy dogs have nipples. I’m glad Khaleesi ended up with us, instead of someone that may not have given her proper medical treatment. I even feel that this experience bonded us to her at a completely different level.
I used to wonder if Christian wished that I had picked the other dog, but I know that he doesn’t. She’s athletic like you wouldn’t believe, a little timid, but the sweetest dog once she feels comfortable with you. She can hunt with the best of ‘em, and I’m even willing to bet money she’s better at playing ball then any of the boys in her litter.
And even with her scarring, she’s the cutest dog around.