Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Winner Takes All

Yesterday was busy, I didn't have time to write! Got to work at 12:30, and the cages were nearly full. A lady had brought a load of shelter dogs that were spoken for and needed to be spayed and neutered. Up first was a spay/abort--a big german shepherd mix temporarily named Buttercup. Buttercup's belly was huge, but since she's a shelter dog, we didn't know how far along she was or even her age. As Terry and Josh shaved the dog, Christie said, "Okay guys, time to play Guess the Jelly Beans!" We all guessed how many puppies were inside the dog. I guessed 9, Christie 11, Josh 5, Terry 8. Christie had me put on sterile gloves for the first time. There's a special way to do it since you can't touch the outside with your hands, but I did it pretty well. So we opened her up and pulled out her uterus--which was HUGE. I mean, I thought that Beagle's was was nothing compared to this! So Christie pulled it out, but something was amiss--it was twisted around, and she thought she had gotten it all out, but there was more still! So once it was straightened out, Terry and I held it up so she could take it out. Once it was out, we carried it to the other operating table, the one over the sink, and broke it open to pull out the puppies. And here is where our story gets depressing. All of the puppies were alive and well. There were exactly 11, so Christie won, but then we had to euthanize all of them. We had done a few of them when Christie and I had the same thought. "Wait! What if we gave these puppies to Jasmine? She only has one puppy of her own, and plenty of milk and nipples to go round!" But Martha said the shelter would never agree to that. So we had to kill them all. Terry was like, "We are all going to hell." I took the puppies out of their uterine sacs and wiped off some of the mucus. I lined them up all facing the same way to take their picture, but they looked like the were doing the Cha-cha, so I re-arranged them. Once we were sure thy were all dead, I put them in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer. All organs and viscera and things have to be frozen and then the special waste people come and pick it up once a month or so. So Christie won the bet, and the puppies all died.
We had several more surgeries to do. Up next was a little Jack Russell with no name who needed to be spayed. Christie discovered a heart murmur, so we had to call the shelter and see if they would spend another $20 on a safer anesthesia. While we waited to hear back from them, we put her back in her cage and moved on to the neuters. Two beautiful young shepherds were in the cages, one in the top cage, the other in the bottom. The space on their medical forms where their names should have been was simply labeled "Topcage" and "Bottomcage" respectively. So I decided they needed better names. I renamed Topcage Leaf, and Bottomcage became Skipper. Their neuters were different than others that I had seen because their balls were so tiny. Instead of pushing them up and cutting through, Christie cut directly into the scrotum. It's hard to describe--you sort of had to be there.
So then we did the little Jackie's spay, and pretty much the only extra-exciting thing to mention about that is that she started to wake up during the procedure! I had to adjust her anesthesia like 20 times because she kept getting too light or too deep. After her spay we took out a retained canine, meaning a baby tooth that never fell out even when the new one grew in. So that was the day. Very busy, full of joys (like Top an Bottom Cage) and sorrows (puppy killing).
Today I was home sick with the worst cramps of my life. I woke up at five thinking I had to pee, but then realized I was in an intense amount of pain. I didn't pack anything, but luckily Carolyn had some left over from when Angie was here. So that sucked. I was really mad when I woke up again at 6:30 to tell Carolyn I couldn't go to work. I'm sure I missed a cool procedure. Sleeping till 1:30 is only nice when you don't wake up in pain every half hour. I feel a bit better now after some tea and vitamins, but when I got up for lunch I could barely stand. They say this stuff is genetic. Thanks a lot, Mom!
Tomorrow is my second to last day at the office, and even being gone for a day was bad, so I'm not looking forward to leaving!
At 8:00 last night Carolyn and I left for Olney, and we performed several songs at their Collection at 8:30. It went really well and felt really great. Afterwards, I hung out with Clare and her friends. It was lovely.