THE ESBILAC OLYMPICS
18 May 2005
I'll bet you never thought of puppy feeding as an Olympic event. Neither did I until yesterday. I remember Dr. G always said that for an exercise to be effective it had to be "sweaty, out of breath" work. As I sat there with sweat dripping into my eyes, I figured that this definitely must count as effective exercise.
The impetus for the day actually started when I went to sleep in my new recliner last night and eau de puppy pee washed over me. Earlier in the day, Mary and Tricia had said that they couldn't smell puppies in the house. Either they were being polite, or they both had bad head colds, or the puppies had peed an awful lot since they left.
I change their bedding every day, but when Ashley delivered them, she apologized that she wasn't able to find the tray that goes on the bottom of the cage, so all that was there was the bare wire of the cage, which, she said, should be all right if we made the layer of sheets thick. The puppies haven't seemed to mind that under their soft bed is strips of wire.
But I realized that the urine would soak through the sheets and so when I moved the cage to the little closet, I put it on a bath mat. Bath mats are at a premium around here, so I hadn't yet changed the mat and it was definitely ripe. So my big project was to Clean The Closet.
But where to put the puppies? I found a way to close off the downstairs bathroom and put sheets for them in there. Then I removed the soaking sheets, then moved the cage to the rug in the kitchen, then removed the rug under the cage and got a load of laundry done.
The puppies were all asleep in their new "playpen," but it was 12 and I had a dentist appointment at 1 and a couple of errands to run after that, so they needed to be fed.
I started with Bruiser, who seemed to be the only one walking around. This, naturally, set Sydney to howling. I tried doing the syringe feeding on Bruiser, but he was having none of it and fought and fought and fought having anything put in his mouth. That's when the sweat started dripping off my brow. Time was passing and I had two more puppies to go.
I did finally manage to get a decent amount of formula down him--and a decent amount of formula on me in the process--and then put Bruiser back in his new bigger "exercise yard" and started feeding Sydney who also decided that he wanted to make it difficult for me.
All the while I'm hearing horrible wails from the bathroom, which I assumed was coming from hungry Rosie. I finally declared Sydney as "fed" and went to get howling Rosie, only to find her sound asleep and Bruise howling. I knew he wasn't hungry.
Oddly enough, Rosie, my usually most difficult puppy to feed, decided to cooperate through at least the last half of her feeding and so she was fed, burped, cleaned, had licked my neck all over, and been put back in the bathroom and I still made it to my dental appointment with 5 minutes to spare.
But I decided mid-way through this whole business that I felt like I was in training for Olympic Puppy Tending.
Ashley stopped by today to bring me more formula and some of the puppy mash--they may be moving up to solid foods soon (which will make my life easier).
Ashley also brought an unexpected visitor:
Yes, it's Hamlet, still unadopted and home for a visit. He's grown SO much since he left here. Ashley says they are "taking their time" placing these guys because they are so dominant. And Hamlet is, as I knew he would be, a real barker.
PHOTOS OF THE DAY