Weary dog fosterers

Chloe 08/04/09The work load is almost unbearable now…I am letting everything go. Luckily, ever since Chloe‘s been back my son is interested in playing in the puppy pen again! I don’t know why but he has always liked her, and I suspect that she keeps Willow busy and out of his hair…

The puppies have figured out (with Willow and Chloe’s help) how to get into the other half of the side yard. This morning I was washing dishes and saw a puppy up on the second floor deck!! I hustled her down the stairs, which she handled well to my surprise, and found three more waiting. When they saw me they all started coming up! It was funny. I corralled everyone and as soon as I bent down to take some pictures the whole group promptly fell asleep. So, not the greatest pictures but a funny sight for me.

pups 08/04/09I have had my heart, head, and will-power all set for being DONE with all fostering duties on August 7th when the puppies leave. Alas, it seems that isn’t going to be the case (due to Willow and Chloe still being with us) and it is making me stressed. I am aware of that old tendency I have of projecting into the future and then feeling really overwhelmed by what I see there. I am trying to just trust and be with this moment. I know I am feeling overwhelmed, and tired of fostering. As much as I love it I need a break. A L-O-N-G break. I worry about Willow finding a good home but mostly I worry about Chloe. Won’t someone out there give her the chance she needs??! Sigh. I need a miracle.

Willow 08/04/09I have never had an adult female dog in my home as a foster because of our Lollie who is dog-aggressive. Now I have our Quaker parrot, Frank Frank. I have to always ask myself: where’s Lollie, where’s Chloe, where’s Willow, and is anyone near the bird? Thank god we’ve had nice weather as I can put everyone outside and get a moment of peace. I have access to a wonderful doggy daycare, soon to be reopened as The Water Bowl and I need to take advantage of their willingness to have my foster mamas there, free of charge. Tomorrow I plan to drop the two mamas off in the morning and hopefully not see them again until I go into work there in the evening.

I know this will end…right?

pups 08/04/09

Report on 2 mama dogs and 8 puppies

Chloe and puppiesChloe is doing well but is either coming off her meds or showing more of her personality…she is fearful of shy men, barking at them and running off. She is barking more when I leave her and she doesn’t want to be left but fine when she’s fine with it. She chewed up her pillow in her crate but still is quiet and goes in easily. Is great with Willow (I’d like to see them go together if this family for Willow doesn’t work out) and great with my dogs. She loves to run and run and run…She is very sweet with people comfortable with dogs, and her reaction to the people is a good way to read prospective puppy homes. She still loves “her” (Willow’s) puppies but is preferring to spend more time apart from them. She is fussing more when I leave her somewhere she doesn’t want to be left but is usually fine in the puppy pen. She is still settling in…

The pups are all spoken for I think. That is a relief! And possibly Willow! She had a meeting with a family and did wonderfully – nice to the kids, no jumping, came instantly on being called…who could ask for more?

puppies 08/02/09And the puppies…SO BIG! They are getting huge. They seem healthy and happy and I am so ready to see them go…sad but true. I will miss them a lot when they are gone but I am ready for a break. They completely fill the puppy room with poop and pee each night so cleaning up is no fun…they really want more people attention too. I feel completely pulled in many different directions. I keep trying to remember to stay in the present, do what is in front of me, and not to think about the work ahead of me. It is easier when I can successfully do that, and nearly impossible when I forget. I am trying hard to remember.

Pups on the mend

puppy play July 21, 2009Well, things are a little less messy over here these days, thanks to the marvels of modern medicine. I don’t remember if I wrote about how the pups and Willow ALL came down with a nasty case of squirting diarrhea over the weekend but they did….yikes. The vet, as you can imagine, wanted to see the whole group and I simply said I would not do that. I said, “We have to figure something else out, I am not willing to bring the entire litter to the vet’s office again.” Yeah for me!

So, I compromised and brought the sickest pup, the smallest, and the largest (to get a weight range) and I was surprised to find out that the range went from 7 to 10 pounds at only 5 weeks!!! These pups are big ones! Anyway, the nice people at Meadow View Veterinary Clinic (Geneva, IL) fixed the group right up and now, just two days later, things are looking up. In fact, I am just now going to go into the room for the final clean of the evening…wish me luck.

First day outside for Willow’s puppies

Willow’s pups were just 4weeks old on July 12, 2009. Here we see a cute video of their first time ever outside, playing in the yard!

See this and other puppy videos on YouTube.

July 17, 2009 • Tags: , , , • Posted in: pups, video, Willow • 1 Comment

Puppies plump and getting named

puppy 7-15-09The puppies are HUGE. Really, I can’t remember a group being so heavy and big at such a young age. They aren’t yet 5 weeks old and already they are topping 6 pounds. I tried to weigh them on the little food scale I have and failed – they kept error-ing it out because they were too heavy. So, I stood on my scale and then stood on it while holding them and subtracted my weight and basically ended up with just a general weight for all of them of about 6 pounds. It was stressful for someone like me who likes precision, especially when it comes to measurement and administering of medication (I had to weigh them in order to dose them correctly with their roundworm medication). Add to that the fact that the majority of them look so similar I can’t tell them apart!! I wasn’t exactly sure if I gave everyone the medication…did someone get two doses? Yikes. It was a stressful event.

puppy 7-15-09I think I have 4 of them identified as individuals…there’s a red one with a red nose (got pics of her under the chair, a series of them) who I LOVE and I’m calling her Red Bud. There’s a male who is white with BLUE beautiful eyes, what a pretty boy he is! I’m calling him Oak. The only other male is also white but smaller and I’m calling him Ash. Then there is a small, white, (whiney) female with a red nose I’m calling Birch (notice the name theme?). The remainder are all female, all roughly a whitish/reddish color and all with a black nose…I think. It is so confusing! I am going to have to get a hold of some fingernail polish and paint their toe nails so I can tell them apart! Crazy.

Does anyone have any fingernail polish I can borrow?? Sadly I am not a girly girl.

pups at play 7-15-09The pups are eating about 3 times a day – moistened food with formula, and free eating dry food all day/night. Willow, the mama is learning how to jump up onto the platform to get outside and how to jump back in. That’s a relief. And she is finally got a cleanish bill of health…has roundworms (yuck) but that’s it. So, she can finally spend time outside with the pups in the play area. Life is getting a little easier…a calm before the storm of puppy applications/interviews. I have to get these girls and boys posted on Petfinder!

A milky puppy mess

milky puppiesWell, it seems Willow (formerly Daisy, formerly Angel too!) is not at all happy about the puppies teeth coming through their gums. She yelped when they latched on last night. So, since they are very mobile for 3 week olds and since she seems to want to end her mama duties sooner rather than later, I introduced them to some formula and BOY did they ever get into it! They, more than any other litter seem very ready to eat from a bowl. They finished each of the meals I’ve given them, although clean up takes as long as their eating does. They trash the room with milky puppy foot prints. And each of them are literally covered in milk. I am hoping they get better at it soon.

The classic milk mustache!

The classic milk mustache!

July 7, 2009 • Tags: , , , • Posted in: fostering dogs, nutrition, pups, Willow • 1 Comment