Pandemic Puppy Quinna

Pandemic Puppy Quinna

I started my third book this summer. The concept and title were easy – Pandemic Puppies: The good, the bad, the lovely. Next was the chapter outline. Also super easy. Then it was time to write, and I got stuck. I was lightning fast with my second book, but that was in 2019 and right after the unexpected death of our dog Smooch. Writing that book was therapeutic in so many ways. And I try to remind myself that 2019 was a very, very different time. Plus, I think part of why I got stuck was because we are very much still in the pandemic, as sad as that is to say. I posted a picture of my writing laptop (a sad old Mac Book that only has word processing that works) on social media with my frustrations about not being able to write, and a friend suggested I write about other people’s pandemic puppies to help get the creative juices following. I had just met up with a college friend while we were on vacation, so I asked her if she would let her pandemic puppy (a foster win, by the way) be my first go at getting back to writing. She was game. Oh, and for those not in the animal rescue world, a foster “win” is what happens when you take in a foster pet and she stays forever. Some call it a foster “fail” but it truly is a win for everyone involved. Now, let’s talk about Quinna.

Quinna is a 3-year-old Chiwawa/Corgie mix found in a hoarded home with 31 other dogs in South Carolina at the beginning of the pandemic. My friend and her family were desperately looking for a new project/distraction from the world ending / learning and working from home, so they decided to foster Quinna. She was considered feral, not potty trained, and referred to as a “junkyard dog.” Living in a hoarded home, I am pretty sure that Quinna did not meet a lot of people in her life. And I cannot imagine finding your voice living with 31 other dogs.

My friend’s favorite Quinna story was her oldest daughter’s first quarantine birthday. She approved 4 friends, outside in lawn chairs (I also approved these types of birthday celebrations as a way to maintain sanity with a teen girl). Her other daughter made a homemade dark chocolate cake for her sister, pretty nice, huh? She took it out to the party area and proudly displayed it on the party table. I did not ask, but I am guessing they also had party quarantine rules about blowing out the candles on the cake…. oh, COVID you have changed so many traditions! When my friend came back outside with the plates and knife to cut the cake, half of it was GONE. It actually took her a few minutes to process what had actually happened… sweet Quinna helped herself to some of the birthday celebration. Frantically my friend called a vet friend who used a handy calculator to see how sick tiny Quinna could get from how much cake was eaten. Note: these calculations were a lot easier because the cake was made from scratch. A COVID win?!? But what he shared after doing the math was not good. Quinna had eaten enough cake for the resulting calculation to mean death. They were told to take her to the emergency vet, but to be prepared for an ugly death. I am happy to report that $2500 later and an overnight stay at the vet and Quinna came home happy and healthy.

I am sure this is only one of many stories of life with Quinna. She is lucky to have landed in a family that knew she had love to give despite her quirks and the crappy start of a life that was no fault of her own. I also know that our pandemic puppies were (are) a wonderful distraction from our crazy world. I cannot imagine the last 2 years without mine. I also know that my pandemic puppies book will get written when it is time. For now, sharing others’ stories feels like the best outlet for me. So, who wants to be next?

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