NEW PUPS FOR OLD
1 July 2005
Well, yesterday certainly had twists and turns that I didn't anticipate!
The morning started at 3 a.m., with Sheila waking me up to tell me the puppies were awake. I groaned. I let Sheila out, and in the process, of course, let the puppies in and had to chase them around the house to get them outside again. Sheila kept them occupied for an hour or so, but around 5 a.m., Sheila started barking so I had to let her in and go through the dance with Sydney and Friedman again to get them outside. Needless to say, I did not get any sleep after 3 a.m.
Walt went to work and I went back to sleep for an hour and a half. After the puppies have had their breakfast, they are usually napping, so I wanted to take advantage of the time to try to catch up on sleep.
Sheila was quite funny later in the day. She was outside playing with the puppies but she wanted to come in. She came to the door, and the puppies followed her. I started to open the door, but Sydney stuck his head in and I had to push him out and closed the door again. Sheila then took off across the yard, with the puppies in hot pursuit. When the puppies were on the grass, Sheila raced back to the door and I let her in before the puppies arrived.
One smart dog!
Ashley was to pick them up to take them to the Farmers Market and called ahead to ask if she could leave some 1 week old black lab puppies here while she was at the Farmers Market. I said sure. 1 week old. How much trouble could they be, compared to Sydney and Friedman?
When she came, she said that she had fed the puppies just an hour before, but they were already crying. "I think they're just still traumatized by losing their mother," she said, saying that she really had fed them more than they needed.
She also said that instead of bringing Sydney and Friedman back here, she would just take them to their next foster home, since she was going to have to come and pick them up to make the transfer tomorrow anyway.
Yippee! I get to sleep!!!
Ashley scooped up Sydney and Friedman and drove off. The noise of puppy cries had not stopped in all the time she was here. I thought they'd calm down, but eventually I realized that it was only one puppy who was crying. The others seemed to be sleeping peacefully.
The mother in me kicked in. I decided I'd pick the pup up, give him lots of cuddling and maybe he'd go back to sleep.
An hour later, he was still crying and I was really pulling my hair out. NOTHING worked. Occasionally I'd move him into a position where he'd stop for a minute but then he'd start crying again. This was getting ridiculous.
(I was thinking about Paul when he was a baby and how I had to hold him all the time and how difficult he was to calm down. I remembered how babysitters--especially Char--hated to take care of him because he would only calm down when he was being held. "I should call the puppy "Paul," I thought).
It was finally far enough from his last feeding that I figured I could feed him and I did, with great struggles. I always thought "bottle feeding" involved taking a puppy, taking a bottle, and having some blissful interaction. It never has been. It's always a struggle with me wondering if these guys are so hungry why they won't just EAT instead of fighting it.
But anyway, I fed the noisy one and put him back in the cage. The "quiet" lasted about 10 minutes and then the others wanted to be fed. So I fed the female and I fed the other male, who is the biggest of the lot and they went right to sleep, but the noisy one set up a howl again. I sighed and took him out of the cage again and let him crawl all over me, crying all the way. I finally found the only position that would quiet him down for about 5 minutes...
He would hang there totally limp and then after about 5 minutes he'd start to squirm and then cry and then I'd let him cry crawling around on my chest for a minute until my arm recovered and then I'd lift him up and let him dangle again and he'd quiet right down.
This was the routine I was going through when Walt came home from work.
"Does he remind you of Paul?" he asked. We both laughed and we decided that if we can figure out which black male pup is which, this one is going to be called Paul (since we are getting these pups back next week).
Paul finally relaxed for Walt, after his share of crying for him too.
But he did finally fall asleep and actually stay asleep. Either Walt has the magic touch or after about 6 hours of constant crying, the little guy just wore himself out.
I wasn't going to feed them as the clock got closer to the time Ashley was going to pick them up, but then the phone rang and it was Ashley asking if I would mind keeping them overnight. She had a dog with kennel cough and didn't want to risk the babies catching it. Poor thing had had a horrendous day and had just spent 4 hours sitting in 98 degree weather at the Farmers Market. I didn't have the heart to tell her that I had been watching the clock waiting for her to come and seriously wondering if the puppies had been found alone in a field because the mother was driven mad by their constant crying. (If you'd like a taste of what it was like, click on the movie link at the left and see.)
At one point I was so frustrated that I realized drowning didn't sound like such a bad idea after all, though then realized that we'd let the human Paul live when I felt the same way, so the canine Paul deserved the same kindness.
I thought about turning him into a puppy pelt, but decided against that too.
They did finally all fall asleep and except for waking at 1 and 3 to be fed again, the night went relatively uneventfully.
Oh well. I'll sleep on the way to Santa Barbara on Friday.
PHOTO OF THE DAY