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1 February 2005

I got angry with Toby for the first time.  It wasn't his fault, but I ended up screaming and Walt had to come and hold him still while I finished filling him.

It's those damn sharp claws on these critters.

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And, of course, like any four-legged baby, they have this need to knead as they're sucking, so the paws are going all the time, the claws  opening and retracting.

The first problem was that they kept hooking a claw in the quick of my thumb.  I had kind of figured out a work-around for that, by holding their right paw as they nursed.  That was working all right until they started hooking a spot at the base of my pointer finger.  They all did it.  And there didn't seem to be any way to keep them from doing it.  It's the finger they suck on, so I can't move the finger out of the way and the paws were just moving too fast for me to grab the paw--even if I had a third hand, which I don't.

It's been getting more and more sore over each feeding and suddenly Toby, who is the most difficult to feed because he absolutely will not stand still and is constant rooting frantically, even when he has a perfectly good finger and syringe to suck on, hooked his claw deep in the already irritated skin and I let out a yell.  That's when Walt showed up and held Toby's paws by his side while I finished the feeding.

We didn't have any bandaids, but I found some tape and wrapped that around my finger for the last feeding.  Jed is the easiest one anyway, so the feeding went well.

We then went out to a show and by the end of the show, I could hardly bend my finger and there is an angry looking welt where the sore spot is.  I don't know how many more days the puppies will be here and I hate it that I was not looking forward to their last feeding times with me because it just hurt too damn much.  (I even tried swaddling Toby but that didn't work either.)

On the way home from the show I got this brilliant idea.  I have these perfectly good, expensive bike gloves with the fingers cut off.  It doesn't look like I'll ever be hitting the bike paths of Davis again, at least not in the foreseeable future, so I thought that maybe if I wore a glove it would protect the sore spot.

Bingo!  It worked.

It may look weird, but I was even able to feed Toby without being in pain the whole time.

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Look at that cute little body.  I just love pictures like this because they are at such an adorable stage (minus the claws).  When I compare with photos from the first day they were here, I can see what progress we've made.

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At this point they couldn't even stand up against my hand and now they refuse NOT to stand up against my hand.  And their faces have now gotten so much cuter!

On Sunday morning, the puppies woke up earlier than I expected for their mid-morning feeding.  Jed came out the gate first, so I fed him while the other two yelped.  Leo is always the loudest, so he got the second seating.  While he was eating, Toby fell asleep and was so soundly asleep when I put Leo back, that I decided I'd let him wake up on his own, and I went back into my office to work.

I did hear some stirring and figured Toby was waking up, but he didn't set up a howl, so I didn't check on him.  Suddenly Walt was in my office asking if I knew that the gate was opened!  Apparently I hadn't shut it tightly and Toby was able to get it open, while the other two slept.  When Walt came downstairs, there was a big puddle on the floor and Toby was walking around the family room with Sheila pawing at him, trying to get him to play.

Note to self:  be sure to check the cage more carefully in the future!!!

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(well, my fingers are sore, for sure!)


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(Jed is actually the biggest of the 3, though it doesn't look like it in this picture.

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