Its awfully quiet here now that the puppies have left. Tasha and Leo had a nice grooming, and are enjoying their bones in peace. Well, almost in peace - we do have a new member of the extended family, an opossum! Its been a cold winter, cold and snowy enough for normally shy animals to look for food in convenient places like my cat chow garbage can that I left on the porch. Every spring in recent memory a bluejay family has dumpster dived the kibble out of the cats bowl to supplement their nestlings diet.
More recently, Mr (or Ms) Opossum found the can, took off its lid and got right down inside with the kitty kibble. Heaven in a can! Since then he/she decided that under the front porch, with its incredible views of absolutely nothing, proximity to the endless kan-o-kibble, (location location location!) was worth the concurrent proximity to two large felines, two adult dogs and their bevy of pups.
You're no doubt thinking by now, how could I allow this - this unpardonable proximity to a wild potentially rabid beast? After all I had babies to protect!That's exactly what I thought - and acted upon. Since my veterinarian hadn't had in-depth experience with this particular marsupial rodent, the safest course of action was that Leo and Tash get rabies boosters. There was never any contact between cats, dogs, puppies, nor me and this Opossum, but just to be on the safe side. An opposums teeth and jaw appear to comprise 98% of its entire head. Not much brain but lots of teeth.
Since the first day we aw the Opossum Leo suddenly acted lame. Of course, it was the eve of his quarterly grooming, so I thought he was play-acting to get out of getting a haircut, but he turned out to have Lyme Disease. Sudden onset of lameness is often the first clue that a dog has Lyme. (I've seen it before in our 75 pound mixed breed Sasha, whom I carried from the lawn to the car, into the vet's office because she refused to stand up let alone walk. I made an emergency vet appointment, certain she had been involved in a hit and run (emergency appointment, as in TWICE the standard office visit fee). Once she had been carried in, all 75 pounds arranged comfortable at my feet in the waiting room, she got up and saunter over to one of the other patients in the clinic - a good looking male lab, to say hello. Sasha was very dog friendly...she had Lyme, not a broken leg)