At 4 weeks I just thought it cute. He’d hiccup at nap time, as if chasing rabbits.
At 8 weeks, I blamed it on food. Competing with siblings, no doubt caused the spasms.
Like a mom who wonders if her child might have autism, I’m concerned for this pup, whose nerves, are clearly tied to his eating.
Three offers I’ve turned down to sell this sweet baby, (a pup I’ve resisted to name, save for my own personal label of “Hiccup Pup” (a name I picked specifically to keep from naming him, after all, he was to be sold; but before I got there I spotted his vulnerability, and in so doing, (go figure) he’s the one who has captured my attention, if not my heart).
All I can say is when nervous, this hiccupping thing hits him. If nerves bring it on, then my logic suggests that if sold to go it alone (away from his mom, his two siblings, his uncle and person) it would only get worse...And how could I sleep knowing “I” was responsible, for a pup sentenced to perpetual hiccupping? (Didn’t I see a news story on a girl like this?)
And yet, there IS a solution. Sadly (or gladly to me) it involves rocking the little guy…after which, his hiccups subside… I’m pretty convinced I can’t sell him on an “If you rock him, this will quit” basis...After all, selling points for dogs raised to protect, don’t usually involve this kind of vulnerable confession.
Setting aside that there is no “money making” aspect to raising critters, even protectors to keep others safe...The thing that struck me as utterly precious tonight…is that in his vulnerability, this little pup will survive.
Case in point:
I come in after hours…Church duties adhered to; business meetings after. I pull in my drive to numerous sets of eyes watching...paws on fence gates, tails wagging. Everyone's waiting for dinner.
Once everyone’s fed…Off goes “Hiccups” …like clockwork.
I had received a call on my drive home…Someone wanting to buy my last available male. But I can’t sell “Hiccups”…”Hiccups” needs therapy.
And then it hits me…
“Hiccups” doesn't need therapy. "Hiccups"needs a hug.
The bigger they grow, the more meal time is frenzied. Of course, no one touches TJs bowl, but when Rosey's done eating, she considers her babies' bowls fair game. After all she's fed them, she feels entitled. Thus the faster Rosey eats the faster the babies follow suit so she won't come polish off theirs. The more the babies eat faster, the more Hiccups goes off...
In truth, “Hiccups” is prime alpha dog material, as he is wiser at the tender young age of 11 weeks than many grown ups I know. He knows who he's playing to...(and it's not the other dogs). Not surprisingly, he’s my biggest of the remaining three as I usually wind up pulling him aside to make sure he gets enough.
Oh yeah. He could fight. He's wired to protect. But fighting is not his first priority...A puppy's job is to love. His survivalist strategy… "Let the others eat first (and then hiccup... a lot)."
As a result of this recurring ritual, the more he spasms, the more I love him (are you following his logic here? This is a pretty smart thing going on for a pup...)
For the first time, I got it.
Hiccups knows exactly what he's doing.
As I pulled the little guy to me…fully fed…fully loved…I found myself assuring him all’s gonna be fine. He’s not going anywhere…
And then…just then…as he cut his eyes upward, (as his hiccuping stopped) and it dawned on me…Out of our weaknesses come our strengths…I swear, little ‘Hiccups” looked at me as if to say “So you’ll let the other dude go, right?”
Maybe…just maybe…some Pyrs are here to protect...and some we keep around simply to be hugged on. (For all that my hugging does to calm him, it does even more for me.)
Right now, I’m not certain if Hiccuppup is the alpha or omega...
All I know is he'll be here til the end.