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Featured Story:

I had just retired from an incredible 33 year high school history teaching gig, and was looking forward to breeding my first litter of Golden Retriever puppies. My Vogue had passed her 4 clearances of heart, eyes, hips, and elbows, and I had a handsome Golden named Beau just for her. A couple of former students built a beautiful "puppy palace" down in my family room.

I had gone to my vet for many, many years, and sadly he passed away shortly before I was to begin this new venture. I spent more time looking for a veterinarian than I did my kids' pediatrician-lol. I liked these new vets, but no matter where I looked, I just was not 100% sold.

Fast forward several months, and it was delivery time. I called in my support troops, to help with the delivery. This was a good thing, since I was a total newbie! I had never even seen a whelping before. To say it was an emotional roller coaster, is a huge understatement. Vogue had 11 puppies in her. Over 24 hours passed, and she had delivered 10. Sad to say, 3 were stillborn, and she stopped laboring. What to do? What to do? I took her to my new vet, and was told that she was just "taking a rest" and to go home and relax. Now, I am a nervous Nellie on a good day, so this was really upsetting me. I adored my precious Vogue (still do!), and did NOT want anything to happen to her.

I waited another hour and called back. The vet office was closed, so I got the "on-call group." The vet called back within minutes, and told me to gather up the little newborns and Vogue and get down to her practice. FINALLY, someone was going to help!! I had been up for 2 days and was exhausted. My helpers went with me, and I just prayed the whole way that I would not fall asleep at the wheel. I even put the window halfway down, so that the cold December air would help keep me awake. Of course, the babies were nice and warm~~

We went inside, and were greeted by the person who would save Vogue. I'm literally tearing up, as I write this. She said she would get the last puppy (who sadly did not make it), and asked me if I wanted her to spay Vogue, while she was doing the C-section. Vogue is my dog first and foremost. I did not want her to have to go through this ever again. It was like she just had too many puppies for her body. She told me she could have her back with her babies in 3 hours!! She explained exactly what she was going to do, and what kind of anesthesia protocol she would use, in order to have her home in such a short time. How wonderful was she!! She spoke to me in a kind and precise manner, and included me in formulating this plan to help my Golden. Terrific!! She said to go home, keep the puppies warm, and take some deep breaths. This AMAZING woman, who today I am proud to call my best friend, is Dr. Diane Wittner.

True to her word, she called within 3 hours and told me to come pick up Vogue. She had some instructions, as to her care. She told me to "shake cornstarch between her BOOBS to keep them from getting irritated." Boy, did I need that laugh! I looked over at the receptionist, and asked that she call and have all my records transferred there.

Vogue and I went home, and she was a super mom to the "Boston Pops" litter. One stayed with me, and the other 6 found wonderful forever homes. This is the end of Chapter 1, with Dr. Diane Wittner. She was an answer to a heartfelt prayer.

Stay tuned for more~~

Heather Lashier and the Konawinds Golden Retrievers