OBVIOUSLY I NEED A BETTER SYSTEM
23 January 2005
I couldn't understand why Toby was making so much noise while I fed Jed. I had already fed him and I know the puppies usually make noise for awhile after they eat before they fall back asleep, but Toby was sounding frantic.
"Come on, Toby," I said. "I've FED you already."
Or had I?
Could it be...? Could I have fed Jed twice?
That's when I remembered that Toby had escaped from the cage while I was feeding Jed. Walt had captured him and returned him to the cage. I put Jed back in the cage again after he finished eating, went out to the kitchen and filled the syringe for the next pupppy and picked Jed up again. Poor Toby hadn't been fed yet after all, though Jed greedily sucked up another 40 cc of milk without complaint. I wondered why he didn't pee when I stimulated his little penis.
Clearly I need a better system for keeping track of who has been fed!
I am stumbling along in this puppy feeding business. It's not going as swimmingly as it had for Ashley, though it's definitely going better. The puppies have their own personalities, even at this age.
Jed is the easiest to feed (perhaps why I fed him twice!). He gets the idea of the syringe right away and sucks it right down, combined with sucking milk off of my fingers. Leo is the most difficult. Ashley had said he was the biggest eater, but he gets so frantic that he is in constant motion, rooting everywhere, and it's difficult to get him still enough to actually take the milk he's so desperate to get. I find that the best way to feed him is to hold him close to my body. Of course, that means that a good part of the milk drips on me....or on him. I suspect he needs a bath (but he's too young), or a mother to lick him clean--and there's a limit to how far I'm willing to go for these puppies!
I am thinking that I'm going to be smelling of puppy formula for the next two weeks. I end each feeding soaked with milk, though thankfully less now than the first feeding.
I may have fed Jed twice, I forgot to feed Sheila and Kimba completely the first night. I had made it through the second puppy feeding all right. I had fixed dinner for Walt and me, we had eaten our dinner, and I had settled in to watch The Apprentice. Sheila kept looking at me as if she expected something. She doesn't usually do that, unless I have a toy that she wants. I asked her "where's your ball?" ("ball" being the generic name for any toy). She almost always goes to find a toy for me to throw for her when I ask that, but she just kept staring at me, with this quizzical look on her face.
That's when I remembered that I hadn't feed her yet at all! When I got out of the chair and asked if she wanted dinner she leaped up and made a complete circle in the air, she was so happy.
The puppies slept through the first night. I fed them at 12:30 a.m. and one of them woke up about 2 hours later and cried for a bit, but I decided to ignore him and see if he got more frantic, or if he settled back down again. He settled down. I didn't hear from them again until I finally woke them up somewhere after 6:30. Like a new mother, I was sure they had died during the night, since they slept so long. Then, of course, they woke up ravinous.
Peeing is not a problem. After each feeding, I stimulate their genitals and they pee into the towel. However, I also rub their anus and so far that has not produced any waste products. However, they are becoming more mature and able to pass waste products without stimulation, as the mess of the bedding seemed to indicate the afternoon of day #2.
Day #2 was like a keystone cops comedy. Too bad nobody was filming it.
For three large blind tribble-shaped lumps, these guys can move very fast--and know unerringly where "out" is. Doesn't make any difference in which direction you put them in the cage, in seconds they are at the cage door and trying to get out. (Lord help me when their eyes open!)
They all woke up at the same time and by the time I got the formula ready for puppy #1, all three were at the cage pawing at the door. When I opened the cage, the three tumbled out in a bundle of heads and tails and legs. I picked up two of them and tried to put them back, while Leo, whom I had decided to feed first, was rooting around trying to figure out where "lunch" was. I'd get one pup inside and by the time I'd picked up the second one, the first would be halfway out again.
Leo once again soaked me with milk. He's so frantic to get food that he won't calm down to just TAKE it. But I eventually got him fed, and then, in turn, the others (remembering to feed each puppy only once this time). It didn't help that after feeding each pup, I had to put him back, get up and go to the kitchen to get the next batch--and that each time I tried to pull myself up, I would leak a little urine of my own...such fun to be menopausal!
The puppies' cage was a mess, so it was time to Change The Bedding.
Where to put the pups? I decided to put them in Sheila's bed and tried to hold the door of the puppy cage across the opening to Sheila's bed. It covered almost the entire opening, save for a little bit on one side which was wider than the cage door. At first they calmed down when they smelled strange Sheila-smells, but soon they had found that little tiny opening and had managed to squeeze between the cage door and the side of the bed and all three were tumbling onto my foot while I tried to get fresh bedding into their cage and at the same time, block the opening of Sheila's bed with my foot, to keep them from escaping (they just looked at my foot as a new obstacle and tried to climb over it).
By the time I finally had them all fed, their bedding changed, all pups back in their own (now clean) cage, and the dirty bedding in the washing machine, I was sweating and panting. Dr. G always says that for exercise to be effective, it has to be "sweaty, out-of-breath exercise." I wonder if "feeding puppies" qualifies!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Feeding #2. Notice that my shirt is soaked with formula!