Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Kibble Hangover

The puppies are three weeks old today! We woke up today and it was like any other weekend day. Let the dogs out, laze in bed a bit, feed the dogs, get my coffee and check my emails. As you know, the puppies are in our home office so as I am checking my emails or doing whatever, I gaze over to check on them. Well, this morning turned out to not be like any other weekend morning at all. I noticed something very different coming from the puppy pen....

The puppies were eating Italia's food! What? How can this be? They don't even have teeth yet! Well, I guess that didn't really matter to them because they chowed down on that food like it was going out of style! They were stepping over each other to get the food. One of them (I think it was Columbo) was collapsed, face first, in the food bowl with his front legs hanging over the sides! Wish I'd caught that on film!

They made a huge mess with kibble strewn all over their pen but it was like they'd eaten Wheaties or spinach....afterwards, they were walking better, they were sitting up, doing tricks. Well, not tricks. but you get what I mean! They were stronger and wanted to show off!

All of this happened overnight. Yesterday, they couldn't care less about Mama's food and today, Mama had to step back so they could eat. She was just as puzzled as we were.

"Uh, ahem, if it's not too much trouble, can I get some food, too?" 

We thought since they were so energetic, we'd take this opportunity to take some pictures, head shots if you will. So, here is the crew at exactly 3 weeks old.






When dinnertime came around, I got a bit smarter. I made a big bowl of food just for the puppies. Italia had her normal food, but outside the pen so she would actually be able to eat it without 5 little puppies in it. And the puppies, they had softened kibble. I placed the plate down in their pen and after a few seconds, the squeals ~ which startled even the puppies themselves ~ started. They waddled, toddled and pushed their way over to the food and gobbled it up. 

A little neater this time. But this time, the food had the "after a big Thanksgiving meal" effect. The puppies tummies were full, they were content so they waddled over to their bed and had a kibble hangover.

Sweet dreams little ones!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Foster Dad

You may think I'm talking about my husband here, but I'm not. I'm talking about Dino, our little Shih-Poo. or so we think. We're not sure what he "is" but we know he is ten pounds of fluffy goodness. Dino is probably the most nurturing dog I've ever come across. He responds so well to any foster dog we've had, big, small or newborn. He's well balanced and happy - all the time. Nothing ruffles this little guy's fur and he is kind of like the "Welcoming Committee" for our foster dogs.

When Italia first came to our home, Dino was the dog who greeted her, played with her and bonded with her. They became instant buddies and we called him "Italia's foster husband". They would snuggle together. If one was on my lap, the other had to be as well. Not in a competitive way, but in a "you are my friend, I go where you go" kind of way. 

Dino waited outside her pen when she was in labor and subsequently delivering her puppies. We could almost hear what he was thinking, "I want to hold her paw while she delivers 'our' babies."  After they were born, he couldn't wait to see them. He would sit outside her covered pen hoping to catch a glimpse.

Now that Italia is feeling a bit more like herself and a bit more carefree about her puppies, he decided to take matters into his own paws. We leave her pen door just a little ajar so she can get in and out, but our dogs can't. That was a trick taught to me by my Foster Mommy Mentor, Susan. We've been doing this for a day now and our dogs have left Italia and the crew alone...until this morning. I was paying bills with my back to the pen and I turned to check on the puppies who were very quiet. When I turned, I was surprised at what I saw...

Dino was IN the pen with Italia and the crew yet Italia was not growling. When our Rottweiler even comes close to the pen, Italia's teeth come out and the growling begins. But not with Dino. I shot a few pictures as the day went on.

It really seems like they are caring for the puppies together. Dino must have learned a thing or two while watching Italia care for her puppies these last two weeks because he is now doing the same thing. If they cry, he goes over to them and licks them. If they are stuck outside the whelping box, he goes over to comfort them. They crawl over to him and he lay down next to them. They fall asleep. 

Dino is their dad. He may not have created them, but he is their dad. Genetics and biology is one thing but love for your children is something entirely different....and unconditional. Thanks for confirming that Dino. And for protecting and taking care of your family. You inspire me.