FROM THE NURSERY
21 January 2005
It's like going back to the baby rearing days, only the babies I am rearing at the moment look more like this:
An SOS went out from the SPCA yesterday that they needed someone who could bottlefeed some 2 week old puppies every 4 hours, and since I'm home all day and don't mind getting up at night, I volunteered.
Ashley arrived with a huge bag of equipment and 3 pups and sat down, plopped one of the puppies in her lap and began to feed him, leaving the other two for me to feed after she left.
"It goes faster if you use a syringe, but it's up to you," she told me, expertly balancing the puppy on her lap, the syringe in her hand, and getting 40 cc of formula into the tiny tummy.
After they eat, you rub their genitals to make sure they pee, and rub their anuses to see if they need to poop. This was clearly going to be a bit more complicated than I originally envisioned.
Kimba and Sheila looked on in amazement, obviously both intrigued and a bit nervous about these tiny little beings. Amazingly neither of them wanted to come very close to the cage they were in.
I should have fed one of the puppies before Ashley left, but I didn't. When I was alone, I picked up one of the remaining two puppies and sat him in my lap. I gathered up the syringe and started. In a matter of minutes, he and I were both covered in formula and he was vigorously protesting that I obviously didn't know what I was doing.
He was right!
We struggled, he and I, for a few more minutes , the most effective method seeming to be letting him lick the formula that dribbled out of his mouth off of my fingers. I finally decided that letting him suck might work better, so I put him down and went to try to cut a hole in the bottle nipple. What do I know about rubber nipples? My kids never had any.
I finally--sort of--got the nipple started and went back to the whimpering puppy and we tried again, but he was having none of the rubber nipple, even though Ashley said they preferred it.
He did seem to have taken 30 cc of formula, though, so I rubbed his genitals and he dutifully peed into my lap and I put him back in the cage with his brothers. The remaining pup was sound asleep and I decided to wait until he woke up before trying again.
While waiting for #3 to wake up, I decided that the three pups needed names. I couldn't call them #1, #2, and #3 for two weeks. I started with trios of men's names, looking first to Gilbert and Sullivan. Arac, Guron and Synthius didn't seem to do it for me (the three brothers in Princess Ida.), nor did Cyril, Hilarion and Florian. (This would have been so much easier if they were female.)
I thought of literary names, but that would be too much like stealing Steve's idea--his cats are Thurber and Steinbeck.
I looked around my office at signs. daVinci, Einstein and Babe Ruth were all left handed, so a bumper sticker on my office door tells me, but that didn't seem to fit the pups.
I started thinking about Australian things, but again only female names came up, except for Monty, who is Peggy's friend who kept her computer running. Hmmm...Monty. That's not a bad name. We'll keep that one on the list.
Maybe I should just go with three friends' names: Steve, Jimmy and Michael. That's kinda catchy, for temporary names (couldn't be any worse than Appleberry, Sheila's original name).
Since it was
Maybe I should go with some "other" White House characters--Jed,
Leo and Toby, in deference to it being
I figured the white puppy would be Leo, since Leo McGary is the only one with grey hair. The pup with the brown markings over his eyes would be Toby because he looked worried. The other one, who was so proficient at eating, would be Jed.
About this time Leo finally woke up and I filled the syringe with milk and sat him in my lap. Ashley said Leo was the pup who would eat and eat and eat. Well, Leo was having nothing to do with this inexpertly wielded syringe. He tried to nurse on my necklace and when milk dripped onto the towel in my lap he hungrily sniffed after that, but protested loudly when I brought the syringe to his mouth. I got the bottle and transferred the milk from the syringe to the bottle, but that was even worse, and it poured milk onto my shirt, my pants and the towel as well as Leo's head and back, while he continued rooting frantically, smelling all that good food, but unable to find it.
Finally, somehow, miraculously, I managed to get about 30 cc of milk into him, though he whined all the while and when I put him back in the cage he and I were both covered in milk.
The puppies should sleep for four hours now and then we'll start it all over again. I see a lot of laundry in my future.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Sleep well, little puppies. We all have a lot to learn!