Walking out of her small study, Joliet glanced up at the clock in the hall, 8:15. “Shit, I’m going to be late for work,” she muttered. Joliet ran up the stairs to the master bedroom and threw on her favorite pair of clothing for work, a nice pair of jeans and a blouse. It appeared professional, but she didn’t mind getting it dirty if she needed to be hands on with the animals.
Owning your own animal rescue had its perks, but you were still responsible for a ton of people and their livelihoods. She set her own hours so that she was able to be home most mornings with the kids, but lately the time seemed to be getting away from her. Knowing that the kids didn’t have to be at school until nine, Joliet scrambled to find all of the necessary items she needed for the rescue.
Joliet sprinted down the stairs with shoes in hands, which was a pair of boots, and yelled to a loud to whoever remained in the house while putting the boots on, “I’m leaving for the rescue in five! Y’all better be on the way to school in ten, if you’re not already, and remember to drop Kayden off as well!” Silence. Did that mean they were all gone already? No, wait. A noise. Joliet definitely just heard a noise. Emmett’s voice. “Got it mom! Sis and Dad are gone, but I’ll take Kay.” She smiled despite being rushed, hearing the nicknames Emmett gave his siblings, “Thanks honey! Love you. Gotta run. I’m already late today!” “Have a good day mom. Love you too.”
Joliet drove to the rescue in a hurry, without really speeding, just five miles over (maybe six or seven). The rescue was about fifteen or twenty minutes from where the house was, and that depended on traffic. Joliet was lucky today because traffic was apparently on her side. Arriving at the rescue, she parked in the spot that was designated for her.
Once inside she greeted staff that were there already, and went to her office to check any new messages. Sitting on her desk was a box addressed to the rescue with no return address. Joliet paused momentarily and then called her best friend to come to her office (who also happened to work at the rescue). Cheyenne came right away, thinking that she was finally going to be let go because of the close connection she had with Joliet. She knew other employees frowned upon it, even though Joliet didn’t show her special attention in meetings.
Joliet nodded towards the box on her desk. “What do you make of that?” Cheyenne walked over to the box and looked at it, “Well, it’s addressed to the rescue, but there’s no return address. Where’d it come from?” Joliet shrugged, “I have no idea, but I have a bad feeling about it.” Cheyenne knew something was up with Joliet, “Hey Jo, did you get to the part of your story about him? Is that why you’re in a funk, and you’re acting a bit paranoid?” Joliet’s head shot up, but her face betrayed her. Walking over to the office door and closing it, she nodded. “I started to write that part, and write about all that happened…and I had to stop. I didn’t want to dredge it all back up. Open old wounds, you know? I don’t want to bring that ghost back into this place.” Cheyenne looked at her best friend then and finally understood what she’d been thinking this whole time. “You think the box is from him, don’t you? You think he’s finally found you? Jo…that’s not possible.” Joliet looked so withdrawn, “Anything is possible Chey.”
Joliet and Cheyenne continued to talk for another thirty minutes about the box, and what should be done with it until they were interrupted by a knock on the door. One of the employees stood on the other side of the door with a panicked look on his face, and both ladies in the room exchanged looks saying simultaneously, “crap”.
Cheyenne ran over and opened the door, and the young man practically fell through the entryway. “H..Hello. My name is Brice, and I was sent to fetch you Ms. Joliet and Ms. Cheyenne because there is a dog in labor, but she’s in distress.” Joliet and Cheyenne both nodded, and momentarily forgetting the box, followed Brice down to the dog palace. “Which dog is it?” Cheyenne always kept on top of keeping all of the animals organized, and with their proper caretakers (one of the reason she was qualified to be at the rescue). Joliet was so lost in her own mind that she almost missed Brice say “Uhm, I think they said her name is Abbigail.” “Abbi? She’s the one in labor?” Joliet exclaimed and then took off in a jog.
Cheyenne watched her best friend jog off, and momentarily considered following, but felt the need to explain to the confused newbie next to her. “Abbigail was the first dog rescued here. She’s been here for four years now. Hence, why Jo took off in a jog. She treats Abbi as a baby.” Brice thanked her for explaining the situation. “I just started yesterday, and today this happens. Is this common?” Cheyenne chuckled, “Pretty much. It’s chaos, but you learn to love it. Welcome to Infinity Paws Rescue.”
During the discussion about Abbigail, Cheyenne and Brice managed to catch up to Joliet, who was already with Abbigail. “Chey, we need to scrub in and help her. There’s at least two puppies in there.” Cheyenne merely nodded and the two girls headed over to a station meant for situations like this. While doing this, Brice stood around wondering what he should do until he heard Cheyenne’s voice. “Hey Brice, can you sanitize that workbench for us, and carefully lift Abbi up?” “Sure thing!”
As Brice got to work sanitizing and the girls finished scrubbing in, the room was filled with little other noise other than Abbigail’s labored breathing. Brice gingerly picked the German Shephard/Lab mix up and laid her on the workbench, and then stepped back as the two girls moved in. “Hey Brice, can you come pet her head and keep her calm for us?” Joliet asked. “Sure thing.” While Brice was petting Abbigail, Joliet and Cheyenne worked to help her deliver the last of her litter without surgery, but when that didn’t work, they had to resort to plan b. Joliet wasn’t thrilled about this plan, but if they waited any longer they could lose Abbi and whatever puppies were left.
Joliet and Cheyenne prepared Abbi with the help of Brice, and positioned her so her stomach was up. After they made sure she was sedated, and on oxygen, the girls began the delicate cesarean surgery to try to save multiple lives. Five minutes passed before Joliet was able to pull the first puppy from the womb, and she passed it to Cheyenne. Cheyenne wrapped the pup in a warm towel and suctioned the nose/mouth region to try to revive it and handed it to Brice. “Rub the pup until you hear a noise, please.” During the time this was going on, Joliet had managed to pull another pup from the womb which she handed to Cheyenne. Cheyenne repeated the same procedure as before. Making sure Abbigail was not carrying any more pups and none were stuck in the birth canal, Joliet finished the procedure amongst the cries of small pups.