Had to take my Malinois pups, Boris and Sasha, to the vet this morning because when I went out for our usual greet-the-dogs-come-to-papa routine, I wasn't besieged by a flurry of paws all excitedly scrambling for my attention.
Boris - who's a crybaby but usually first to lay claim on my lap - didn't come bounding like he usually does. Instead, he shuffled, more than walked, slowly to me, tail wagging half-heartedly.
And Sasha, his sister, who's even more competitive, was nowhere to be found.
With a sinking heart, I already knew what it was.
It was Bruno, the Dalmatian-beagle mutt, who first contracted it about three weeks back. From years of having dogs, I knew lethargy coupled with loss of appetite was never a good sign. And Bruno - whom I derisively call Akyat-Bahay because of his amazing cat-like dexterity in climbing over just about anything - was downer than a club kid on Mogs.
He was always a scrappy mutt and, three days and P5000.00 later, Bruno was back home, hale and hearty as though nothing ever happened. Doc said he was supposed to be quarantined for a month - the parvo virus can stay dormant in the surrounding soil for about that time, and can be transmitted via feces. It was doubly important because three of the current members of my canine brood were still puppies, and the required series of innoculations - 5+1, in particular - were not yet complete.
However, the other dogs were only too happy to have their kennel-mate back, so they frolicked and rough-housed a bit before I had Bruno banished, like an H1N1 carrier, to the bodega.
A little too little, a little too late, alas.
Three mornings later, I was calling for my beloved Chow - the pedigreed Rufus Van Hufflepuff . His playmate-and-only-other-dog-allowed-to-live-inside-the-house, Bruce the good Pom, scampered into my arms, but Rufus was nowhere to be found. I finally discovered him wedged between the wall and a wicker chest in the dining room. Lethargic and sad.
Another quick visit to the vet confirmed my second case of parvo. Rufus took the IV without complaint, and didn't make a sound - not a whimper nor a whine - when they took him away for confinement.
Two days later, I received a text:
"Pls contact vet regarding Rufus."
That was not reassuring.
With a heavy heart, I phoned the vet and received the sad news. My dear, beloved Rufus, the most well-behaved and well-mannered of my dogs, did not survive parvo.
I buried him in our little pet cemetery in front of the house just five days ago.
And now Boris and Sasha are confined at the vet's. With parvo. Just like he was.
This is going to be a long week.