January 9, 2010 – later

We had two groups of helpers today for 2 of the feedings. It was great. I was more relaxed about the whole process and the joy on the helpers’ faces was incredible. There really nothing like puppy kisses.

We made a logistical change that’s helped so much. We set up a temporary enclosure outside of the main pen so that the puppies can spill out into it when the door opens. Then I can sneak in and clean up the soiled newspapers, wee-wee pads, bedding and food bowls. Once the place is cleared, we put down fresh everything, including food and let the feeding frenzy begin! It’s fun to witness the change from whining, crying puppies to the slurp of food and relative silence.

Then we all sat down somewhere in the pen and when the puppies were finished eating or nursing, they’d find a lap. There was lots of talk about the puppies and what they should be named. Everyone tried to pick their favorite. In the end, we’d all have a lap full of sleeping puppies.

A great hour – puppies fed and sleeping happily, connecting with people over this most basic need.

I’m reminded of the first months of my children’s lives. I was in a fog, learning to take care of an infant, meeting their every need. People would come to visit and try to be helpful. Everyone had something to contribute. Some people just held the baby while I scurried around trying to accomplish something, anything other than baby-care. Then there were a few people who really understood. They never overstayed their welcome, they didn’t wake the sleeping baby, they did some of the undesirable tasks like cleaning the bathroom or washing the dishes. Same thing with these puppies. Some people have extra time for the mom, others rush to the puppies, others pick up some poop. Like my grandma used to say, “It takes all kinds to make the world go round.”

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