Last in a series
I fidgeted, I hoped unnoticed, as I conducted a final exam of Lila, the Boxer mama and the qualifying 6 of her original 9. I carried the tired but stable mother to her owner’s semi truck while Ms. Adler lugged the box of puppies. I quickly bid her adieu and hurried back inside. My partner Dr. Virginia Vader and our nurse Bobbi had been hard at work. I just had to snuggle those 3 white orphans.
For Gretchen Adler, our Boxer breeder client, this was just business. Had I known when she called, that she expected us to neglect healthy infants of unwanted color, I might not have accepted the case. But could we do that ethically? Morally?
We received a gift that night, 3 of them actually. Those little white wrigglers were hungry. We warmed up some Esbilac (puppy milk replacer), broke out a few nursing bottles, and got the kiddos off to a good start.
Beyond our human mothering, these youngsters needed social contact with various creatures of multiple species. We allowed them to approach gentle people, dogs and cats as they learned that life in the big world is actually pretty safe. Bobbi kept one white pupster for her own. Two of our excellent clients, who’d recently lost their dogs to old age, were eager to adopt the others.
I believe Ms. Adler suspected our subterfuge; she had to have noticed something fishy about Virginia’s and Bobbi’s disappearance. Maybe she was OK with us orphan-raising the 3 non-qualifiers – just as long as she didn’t know about it.
As I drove home in the wee hours, the Rolling Stones, whose music had been pumping through my stereo when the call came a few hours earlier, revisited my tired brain. “You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes…”
White Boxers, by the way, are not total pariahs. They can be registered with the AKC and compete in dog sports, just not the conformation ring. And I must say, I have known some pretty sporty Boxers.
For help with behavior problems, you can sign-up for a Zoom Group Conference on my website, drjeffnichol.com.
Dr. Jeff Nichol is a residency-trained veterinary behaviorist. He provides consultations in-person and in groups by Zoom (505-792-5131). Each week he shares a blog and a Facebook Live video to help bring out the best in pets and their people. Sign up at no charge at drjeffnichol.com. Post pet behavioral or physical questions on facebook.com/drjeffnichol or by US Post to 4000 Montgomery Blvd. NE, Albuq, NM 87109.