Funny, when you try to completly wipe all the Christian shannanigans from your life, it still creeps back in through little ways. In some ways, wiping it all away gave me enough quiet to maybe be having....dare I say.....a personal relationship with God. If he is up there, and many times I doubt that, I think the only way to hear/feel anything is to block everything else out and regain perspective. Its funny because although I wasnt raised Christian, I developed a pretty good prayer life and when I tried to turn from it, I found myself still doing it A LOT out of habit. I actually willed myself to stop it on many ocassions, telling myself I was loosing it. I was on my way to my first u/s and found myself begging God to let there be a healthy baby with a heartbeat and only one. I know well that twins would not be a good thing with my heart condition. I then stopped myself and tried to get back into control by telling myself that this is a simple matter of science and if there was a baby, the sperm and egg met properly and hormonal aids did their jobs as they were supposed to and if that wasnt the case, well the sperm/egg collision was wrong, no big deal. It didnt feel quite right and I went in very uneasy. Obviously everything was okay, at least at that point and I felt empowered telling myself, "see, you didnt need prayer, its fine." I know this must sound crazy to most people. Anyhow, a few days ago, my house held a horrific scene. Kayla came in hysterically crying telling Nate and I that one of the puppies was dead. I couldn't beleive it. I ran out and tried to pick up this pup, but he was so limp, I got freaked out and put him right back down and began screaming frantically for Nate to come help him. The pup was dead. He was lifeless, not breathing, wet all over and looked to have drowned. Well I begged Nate to do CPR and try anything. He did and the pup opened one eye barely, but still couldnt get any air. Nate continued and he patted his back pretty hard and water came flowing up. The pup came back, but he was completely stiff. His legs were stuck at his sides, back legs were stiff behind and his breathing was erratic at best. He was pottying all over nonstop. His neck and head were bent back and sideways stiff. It was horrific. I felt horrible for saving him because I knew he couldnt survive in the condition he was in anyhow. Nate asked if he should put him out of his misery. I told him I couldnt let him. I asked him to wait through the night. The pups gums were gray and he just didnt look good. The kids began praying and I once again found myself pleading that if God was up there to do a miracle and heal this poor baby whos life had only begun 5 weeks ago. This time I couldn't stop myself. I prayed and prayed and prayed without ceasing, with the kids and without. I was devastated at the possible outcome for this puppy. Within an hour I had massaged his head into a more normal position and it was a little looser. Within two hours, he had started flopping around using one leg erratically. It was so awful to watch. All we could all do was pray and cry. It was one of the saddest sights I have ever come accross. I was really really regretting making Nate do CPR at this point. His breathing was still very strained and he was now flopping and pooping himself and his gums were still gray. I attempted a few upside down cradle swings to get more fluid out of him. Within four hours of this, we decided to wrap him snug in baby blankets and put him in a laundry basket to sleep and stay warm. I woke up at midnight and checked on him, this time praying that he would just be alive. I walked in and he was very out of sorts, still struggling to breath, BUT he took two steps with his back legs dragging and his front paws knuckled over. By 3am, he took 4 steps, this time his breathing was a tad better and his back legs coordinated with the front, although the fronts were still knuckled over. By 6am, I walked in and he lifted his head like he knew I was there and I brought mama in to see if there was anyway he could nurse and HE DID!!!! He actually coordinated sucking and swallowing although I had to knead her teet for him because his front paws couldnt coordinate yet. That milk give him strength and he walked a little more. That afternoon, just 24 hours after his initial accident, he was walking slowly, still straining to breath, but his gums were pink and he was nursing with vigor. He fought and he won. He was still tripping every few steps and it was hard to watch, but we knew with how quickly he made so much recovery that things were looking good. Its now been 3 days and he is running with his siblings, playing, pouncing, chewing, eating and is great. We named him Sparky cause you would have to have an extra spark to make it through something like that and fight so hard. Taking a few steps back in the story, what actually happened to Sparky......well Tanner(5yo) was swinging and decided to take a puppy on the swing. Apparently he lost grip and Sparky fell. When he stopped the swing, he said the pup was just laying there (he was likely in shock) so he thought the puppy fainted and decided to put water on him. He took the hose and put it in Sparky's face and realized that was not working so he got scared and put him down and ran and told Kayla. Tanner got into a lot of trouble and although it was an accident, he should have told us right when he dropped the puppy and he didn't. The whole situation could have been avoided. He watched and cried with us as we dealt with Sparky during such a scary time when we didnt know whether he would live or die. He had to look on as this puppy flopped helplessly while defacating on himself. I hope this terrible lesson is one all my kids remember and I hope they will take away from it the ability to love and care gently for animals and the knowledge that they need to come to us immediately if an accident occurs without taking it into their own hands. So where am I going with all this......I don't know but I guess I am more comfortable with prayer than I once thought I was. I sure as heck and not comfortable without it. While I refuse to shove our family back into some boxed religion, I guess I still have faith. Thing is, I'm me, I'm comfortable with me and I won't let any religion tell me something is wrong with me or that I am not acceptable to God because of the way I am hardwired.