On Thursday afternoon the plane I was traveling on from Toronto Pearson International Airport arrived a half hour later than scheduled at Windsor Airport. Benno and our two dachshunds had been patiently waiting for me to come out of the terminal and I could hardly wait to fall into Benno’s arms. Travel time had been 21 hours thus far and I was tired.
The days abroad seemed a lot longer for me than they actually were but that is because I had to accomplished a lot. My Mom has many health issues and being 91 years old she just cannot do the everyday things anymore we all take for granted. It is difficult for her to admit that she needs help. Professional help she did have but because of overcapacity at the various agencies that come into the private homes to provide personal care and housework, good help had been lacking to the point that changes had to be made. That is not only my assessment of the situation but everyone that saw what was happening, from neighbors to friends to family.
Mom's garden shed, part of a lovely backyard
So the day I arrived, my Mom was in the hospital and I let myself into her house. I was shocked at the state her home was at. While I was still in my coat and putting my suitcase down, the phone rang. The “Stader Betreuungsdienste” a new Senior Citizens home not far from her house called to inform me that a room at their facility had become available. If we were still interested for Mom to move in, it had to be occupied within a week’s time. Talk about a sign from heaven! (My sister, Christina, had driven with Mom to various old age homes at her last visit to Germany and got Mom on several waiting lists, thanks god!)
To summarize this blog, Mom stayed at the hospital until move in day. My brother-in-law Harald, (Benno’s Brother), who lives 4 hours from Mom’s house, came to help me with the move of some of her furniture, the purchase of a new TV and phone and their hookup at her room. I had a pile of things to arrange, clean and prepare her closing and other personal items plus meanwhile spend every day several hours with Mom at either the hospital and then afterwards with her at her new home. Beside all this on the plate I prepared, cleaned and staged her house, found a real estate broker, accumulated all the necessary documents (a whole lot different than in North America) so the house could be listed for sale. There were a ton of other things that had to be done and by the end of my stay I think I had done all I could do to help the situation. However, Mom is not happy. The transition time for her to adjust will take a while, if ever.
Partial view of Mom's room
Another view of her room. In addition there is a large bathroom
And then there is the other issue.
You might recall my March 28thupdate when we stopped in Goshen, Indiana at the Lippert Company, which supplied to Jayco our trailer’s frame and axles components. We had an axle problem and in Goshen the Lippert Axle plant took our trailer into the shop to replace our axles with a set of heavy-duty axles free of charge. While the trailer was in their shop, Benno and I were waiting in Lippert’s visitor lounge. There was a moment when I had asked Benno to go out to the truck to check up on the dogs. Both dachshunds where in the large carry kennel. Elsa was in heat, but she was wearing a female dog panty or diaper. It did not take long for Benno to come busting back into the visitor’s lounge out of breath with the bad news that Elsa was without her protective panty. I was out the armchair in record time running to the truck. Yep, her panty had been pulled off. Reggy the culprit looked at me with relieved eyes and Elsa’s expression was of total innocence. We kept watching Elsa and hoping that nothing had happened, but in the weeks to come we noticed that it had happened. I timed my return trip from Germany to be back with a week to spare before Elsa’s due date to give birth. This time getting puppies had not been in our plans at all.
Being sleep deprived I was in bed at 9 p.m., 24 hours after getting up in Germany to fly back home on Thursday. At 3 O’clock on Friday morning I heard Elsa throwing up. It was way too early in the day for me to start cleaning her kennel so I took her to bed with us. An hour later she started panting and I thought I felt her having a contraction. Suffering from jetlag, my body told me to get up anyway and Benno had been wide-awake too. He was a good trooper and offered to make breakfast, so we had breakfast at 4:30 in the morning, would you believe it. Elsa was not due to give birth until next week, but I suspect the excitement of me coming home may have triggered her beginning of giving birth.
A few hours after giving birth
The whelping box had been setup in our guestroom already just in case. I fetched a pile of towels and made Elsa comfortable in her birthing bed. She is a brave girl and a good mommy. Over the course of 4 hours Elsa birthed 5 healthy puppies. My good neighbor and friend Teresa came over as well to assist if needed. Thank you Teresa.
The whelping box
The pups taking turns nursing and napping
For a while I will not be able to sleep though the nights as Elsa needs to go outside several times a night and also eat additional meals to help her milk production.
I’ll be posting the development of the little bunch of pups and happenings here at home in a few days. Stay tuned.