We took Opal to Prevent a Litter today to have her spayed. When we adopted her from Gwinnett County, GA they told us that she hadn't been fixed but they left out the part wherein she had heart worms. Oh well, we would have taken her anyway but it would have been nice to know. We took Opal to her first check up and that is when we found out about the heart worms and I wasn't too concerned about spaying at that point...I just wanted her to get better. The heart worm treatment debate will be another post. Anyway, I called the Richmond SPCA for an appointment and they said they would not do it because of the heart worms so we decided to treat the heart worms for a while then have her spayed. Prevent a Litter was great to work with and knew all of her history and said that it would not be a problem and they were right. Opal is home and resting comfortably in her chair.
I told Opal that we were going to have her fixed and she said, "I'll be able to hear! Yippee!" "No, Opal" I said "God made you deaf and we can't fix that. This is a different kind of fixed." "What do you mean, Daddy? Am I broken?" she asked. "No, Opal, you're not broken. You're prefect just the way you are" I told her. "But why do I need to be fixed, Daddy?" "Opal, you're going to have an operation so you can't have any more puppies. That's what I mean by fixed" I told her. "No, Daddy! They cut you open in an operation! I don't want to be cut open!" Opal yelled. "Opal, it's okay. Doggies get this done all of the time. You're sisters had it done when they were smaller" I told her. "But, Daddy, it's still an operation and I'm scared. It's going to hurt." "Yes, it may hurt after the operation but you're asleep during the operation. It only takes a few minutes and they're done" I said. "I'm going to talk to my sisters" she said and off she ran. "Pickles!" yelled Opal. "What's wrong, Opie?" answered Pickles. (We sometimes call Opal Opie) "Daddy said I was going to get an operation...that I was going to get fixed! He said you had that done, too! What is it?" Opal asked. "Well" said Pickles "the vet cuts a little hole in your stomach and takes out your puppy-making parts. Look!" says Pickles, as she show Opal the scar on her stomach where she was fixed. "I was just a puppy and I don't even remember having it done" said Pickles. "I remember getting sleepy then I woke up and Mommy and Daddy were there to take me home. I was fixed before I even came home!" "But Pickles" said Opal, "why did Mommy and Daddy not do that with me?" "Well, Opal, you know you're from Georgia and that is a long way away but like all of us deaf dogs, Mommy and Daddy loved you so much that they didn't want to wait until Georgia could fix you so they brought you home and are going to do it here" Pickles told her. "Oh" said Opal "but I've been here for four months. Why are they just now doing it?" Opal asked. "Remember Daddy telling you that you had heart worms?" asked Pickles. "Yes. I remember that" said Opal. "Well, they wanted to make sure the worms weren't growing any more so the operation could be as safe as possible" said Pickles. "That makes sense. Daddy just wanted to make sure I was going to be okay" said Opal. "That's right" answered Pickles.
Next, Opal finds Nea and Pig playing around as usual. "Nea! Pig! Daddy says I'm going to be fixed! I'm scared!" Opal yelled. "It's okay" said Pig. "I was fixed just after I moved in and it was fine. See? Here's my scar. You almost can't see it." "Yeah" said Nea. "My scar is right here." "Wow" Opal said, looking at the scars. "Did it hurt?" "A little" Nea said "but it was okay after a couple of days." "Mine hurt a little bit, too" said Pig "but Mommy and Daddy give you extra treats and kissed and cuddles. Right, Nea?" "That's right, Pig! I almost forgot about that! They give you extra stuff so you'll feel better! I loved my extra cuddles." "Okay" said Opal "I guess this isn't too bad after all. Thanks!" And with that, Opal was off to look for me.
"Daddy?" said Opal. "Yes, Opie?" "I talked to Pickles, Nea and Pig about this fixing thing and I guess it's okay". "That's good. I'm glad you feel better about it. I just want you to be healthy and to not have any more puppies" I said. "I know, Daddy. I don't want to have any more puppies either. I don't want the bad men to take them from me again" she said. "What do you mean, Opal?" "Well' she said "when I lived in Georgia, I was used as a breeding dog to make puppies. The bad men would take my puppies and sell them to other bad men and my puppies would become bait dogs for fighting dogs and would end up hurt...or killed." "My God, Opal!" I exclaimed. "How do you know they died?" "Because, Daddy, I saw one of my puppies die while other dogs were fighting him" Opal said. "I was so sad, I cried myself to sleep. I knew that I had to escape...anything was better than living there and seeing my puppies die." "Opal, how did you escape?" I asked. "Well" she said "one night, while they were sleeping, I was able to get out of my cage and run away. I ran as fast as I could. I didn't have any puppies to take with me, because they were all given away, so it was easy. I ran and ran as fast as I could as far as I could then animal control found me and took me to the kennel and a couple of weeks later, Mommy came and got me." "Wow, Opal, you're really brave!" I said. "Not really, Daddy. I was scared the whole time but I knew I couldn't live that way anymore" she said. "But now I have a really great home with doggie sisters and human brothers and a sister and you and Mommy...and I love you all so much. I miss my puppies sometimes but you are always there with extra cuddles and love so it's okay." "I'm sorry you had to go through all of that, Opal" I said and in tears at this point. "It's okay, Daddy, don't cry" she said. "I love my life and everyday I'm a day further from my past and life is fun! I don't want to have any more puppies because there are enough puppies in the world already." "Indeed, Opal, there are enough puppies" I added. "So how do you feel about getting fixed now?" I asked. "It's okay, Daddy. I know I have to do it and I'm not scared. I'm going to be a big girl! I'm going to be like my sisters!" she said. "That you are, Opie!" I told her. "Daddy? Promise me something?" she asked. "What's that, Opie?" "Promise me that I'll always be your itty bitty pitty." "Opal, I promise, you will always be Daddy's itty bitty pitty" I told her. "Thanks, Daddy. I love you" she said as she snuggled up in my lap. "I love you, Opal" I told her and I held her tight. "As long as you live with me, which will be for the rest of your life, no one will ever hurt you again."
Right now, Opal is very sleepy from her surgery so we didn't have much of a chance to talk but she did say, "see my scar?" as she pointed at her stomach. "I'm a big girl now!"
That you are, Opal. That you are.