||The puppies were
scheduled to leave on Monday (this is being written on Saturday and posted on Sunday), but
then I realized that I was committed for the whole day on Monday. I had agreed to
pick Steve up at the San Francisco airport and drive him to Stanford, where he will be the
guest speaker for a class, and then spend the night with him at the professor's house,
drive him to the airport in the morning and then come home Tuesday.
a dentist appointment in Berkeley on Monday too, and could come home by train,
but asked if I could drive him to Berkeley in the morning. Knowing that I would be
gone the entire day, I contacted Ashley and asked if she could pick up the puppies on
so hard writing those words. "Pick up the puppies." Saying goodbye
to them. Not seeing them again. It's hard to think of looking in the kitchen
and not seeing them asleep--especially Jed, who consistently sleeps on his back, and who
looks so cute lying there. I wonder if he will continue to sleep on his back as he
grows to adulthood. I won't know.
|Accepting the reality of
the puppies going had been helped by watching their progress and realizing that they are
now old enough that they need more than I can give them. They need more room to run
(unless I want to totally turn my house over to them, and it's not set up for puppies!).
They need to start getting ready to go to their new homes.
They started going longer between feedings.
They didn't immediately start crying after waking up any more. They'd wake up,
stretch, yawn, and begin to play for awhile before they finally realized that they were
hungry. But they also started to wake up instantly when I went to the kitchen door
and called them. These chubby little bodies would come bounding out of the cage,
yapping and wagging tails. I will miss seeing that.
I have been giving them a mid-afternoon formula
snack, but they finally decided they didn't want that any more. They'd prefer the
solid stuff. They also seem to have lost their suck reflex. They take my
finger and put it in their mouth, but seem to have forgotten what to do with it. One
of them--I thought it was Leo, but I may have been mistaken, had diarrhea yesterday, which
I attributed to the formula now too rich for them, now that they've gone on to solid food.
(Jed is actually sleeping!)
had become pooping machines. My lord those guys could produce waste
faster than I could pick it up. Multiply by three and you have what I seemed to be
doing all day long. I would just get three piles picked up and turn around and
there were three more. I guess it shows that the food processing system is working
quite efficiently. Except for Jed, about whom I worried. He eats a lot, but
yesterday was complaining a lot when when I picked him up he lost everything he had eaten.
But then he seemed comfortable, so I hope it was just a fluke.
They had started grabbing the edges of the sheet or
the towel I put down to sop up puppy pee and pick it up. They learned to move their
soft toy to the back of the cage, where they all huddled around it to sleep. They
also grab the hem of my pants when I go into the kitchen and they start to
pull on it. Then I found that they had pulled some towels and washcloths off of the
shelves where I keep them and dragged them across the kitchen floor. Yes, they are
learning how to "use tools!"
Leo started chewing on the cabinet doors and the
handle to the warming drawer under the oven on the stove. His little teeth aren't
strong enough yet to do any damage to it, so I didn't worry about it--but given the way
they are growing, it was only a matter of weeks--or days--before they'd be strong enough
to leave teeth marks. A day after Leo started chewing on the stove, all the puppies
seemed to be chewing on everything, Jed worked hard at pulling the metal door of the
cage all the way shut...I don't know if he intended to do that.
|We've had them outside a few times this weekend.
They started being very tentative, but by Sunday morning they were romping through
the dried grass. They always come back to my feet or Walt's feet. I was
thinking that if they had a mother, she would be introducing them to the outdoors, so it
makes sense that they keep checking back with us. Sheila's enthusiasm is very high,
but she's been very good about being gentle--most of the time.
||As I was writing this, I could hear Jed moaning. He seems to
sleep more deeply than the rest and when they step on him, or otherwise disturb him, he
just moans in his sleep. I like it that I can tell from here that it's Jed that's
moaning...or that when the shrill barking starts in a bit, it will be Leo, the loudest of
Yeah...it's time for them to move on before I'm hopelessly bonded to them.
It's time for them to make the next step toward a permanent home. It's
time for me to give Sheila some undivided attention again. But I will miss the licks
on the nose, the little puppy snorts in my neck, burying my face in the soft puppy fur and
watching them all waddling across the kitchen floor learning how to play with each other.
Goodbye, babies...I sure had fun with you...