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Sleepless Night

Welcome to My Green Vermont - A Blog by Eulalia Benejam Cobb.
By Eulalia Benejam Cobb

I was blessed with babies who slept through the night after four weeks of age, and who stayed healthy and slept soundly until they flew the nest and went to college.

This did not prepare me for having puppies. Bisou, for example, has been sleeping from 11 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. since she came to live with us, which is awfully good. But yesterday afternoon she got her second Parvo vaccine, and at bedtime she just couldn\’t settle down. Thinking she needed a bathroom break, I took her outside. The moon was full, the yard was bright. Bisou squatted, then came and sat by my feet. I carried her back to the bedroom, and put her in her crate.

No sooner had I dozed off than she started scrabbling at her bedding. Scarcely knowing where or who I was, I carried her in one arm and held on to the banister with the other, trying to keep from falling down the stairs and killing us both. But she wasn\’t interested in her grassy bathroom. I crawled back upstairs and retired to the guest room, reminding myself that it had never been my husband\’s idea to get a puppy, so he should be spared the trials that go along with it.

I lay down on top of the covers, and pulled an afghan over Bisou and myself. She groaned, turned around, groaned again, settled…of course by then I was wide awake. Pretty soon Bisou stirred, scrabbled, licked my face, and whined when I picked her up. Something in her abdomen was hurting her.

Another trip outside, another look at the calm and lovely moon. It was clear that Bisou wanted to sleep as much as I did, if she could just get comfortable. Not wanting to risk the stairs again in my befuddled state, I opted for the love-seat in the back porch. I\’d have to sleep scrunched up, but at least I\’d be right by the back door if Bisou needed to go out again.

She didn\’t. She settled into my arms and snoozed away, while I fretted about the abdominal sensitivity and the restlessness,and wondered how early I could call the vet, and reminded myself of how fragile a puppy is, and how awful it would be to wake up with her little body cold in my arms.

At six a.m. she woke up and I fixed her breakfast, which she inhaled. I got through goat and chicken and big-dog chores somehow, and Bisou seemed fine…except that she hopped up on the sofa and sat there calmly, looking around—a first in her short life. At that point all I could think about was sleep, so I climbed up next to her and pulled an afghan over our heads and we both passed out until noon.

She\’s been fine the rest of the day, no more tummy aches…just a little calmer and more mellow than usual. And I have loved this new, temporary Bisou, so eager to lie in my arms, so gentle with her jaws. I\’m enjoying it while it lasts. Tomorrow, the red-haired menace will be with us again.

6 Responses

  1. You know, sometimes those vaccines are just a bummer. It's worth the chance but our companions don't always react well, and sometimes its worse than an upset tummy. My baby girl kitty had a terrible night after her first set of shots..I thought she was going to die!…She was limp and feverish and slept for almost 24 hours and then the next day she was running around like normal!JB in IL

  2. JB, that must have been terribly scary with your kitten. I know what you mean about the limpness and lethargy, and back to normal the next day…although in Bisou's case, a tiny bit of lethargy would not be amiss.

  3. I know what you mean! Baby animals are the best but they can sure wear you out. And since my scare with the kitty, my vet just parcels out the shots so she never gets all her doses at once any more and she's been fine ever since.jb

  4. jb, Bisou's reaction happened despite the fact that she hasn't been getting all her shots at once. I hate to think what it would have been like if she'd had multiple vaccinations. BTW, I've heard that multiple vacc's can cause allergies later in life.

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