January 5, 2010

I’m exhausted. There, I said it. Yes, of course, I still love it, but I’m tired. Physically, my body aches.

What did I learn today? Well, mom (I have to find out what her name is) has been very happy spending time away from her pups. We set up an 8 ft by 4 ft space with a divider that she can hop over, but the puppies can’t. In her ‘princess quarters’ she has an elevated bed, food, water, room service. The puppies hang out in the other half. They, of course have food and water, but they also have poop and pee and 10 siblings to contend with. I can see why mom might prefer her half.

So after consulting with Kathy (the incredible resource at the animal shelter), I took down the dividing wall. Now, Mom has to do a little more work. This also gave me an opportunity to put everyone in one half, clear out the other half and clean, clean, clean. Fortunately, it’s a small space.

Once the puppies fell asleep, I let mom out of the enclosure to wander around the rest of the room with me. She’s really an awesome dog. She followed me around, nosed my pockets for treats, wagged her stub of a tail. She does get a full-body wag going, but only for something really tasty. Whoever adopts her, is getting one good dog.

I had a dentist appointment and then had to volunteer at my kids’ school, so I was gone for chunks of time. It worked out just fine. They all had food and warmth and comfort without making too much of a mess. It’s these first few days that routines are set and I get a feel for things. It was the same for each kitten litter we fostered. It took a few days to figure out if they really preferred a completely clean litter box, or if I could wait another hour to scoop. They’re all so different.

Kathy and her husband came over this afternoon to do a weight check and photo session. Good thing they all gained weight! And of course, they are runway model material. We put collars on the smallest ones so that we could sort of monitor their progress. Then we devised a plan to have the 2 groups nurse separately. Mom had been standing to nurse, thus discouraging long sessions. But with smaller bunches of pups (5 and 6 respectively), she can lie down and they can all get some nourishment without so much hassle.

Tonight, my son cradled mom’s head in his lap, feeding her treats while she nursed one batch. My other son held the other batch in his lap. Incredible. Every living being in that room was content. Even though I was replacing soiled blankets and newspapers, I could feel the love. These moments make it worth every puddle of pee that I’ve sat in (accidentally…)

I’m ready for another day!

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