Delight’s puppies are getting mobile.
When I’m home, I leave the back door open all the time except when it’s very cold outside. This is so the cats and dogs can go in and out to do their business. The past couple of mornings when I wake up, I’ve found all the puppies out in the back yard exploring and playing.
Their teeth are coming in nicely. They are eating solid wet food, and even chewing at the dry dog food. They are very playful and underfoot all the time. I have to take very small steps to avoid stepping on any of them. Fenris, the one boy, is the most underfoot and I’ve stepped on him several times because he will run up to me from behind even with small steps. He’s not been hurt and seems to have started to get the message not to run up behind me and go under my feet.
The pups will sleep for a couple of hours, then play for a couple of hours, and then sleep, and the cycle repeats.
The three girls are very affectionate. I will pick them up and they will kiss me and chew on my beard and nose. Fenris is a momma’s boy and spends a lot of time with his mother. When I pick him up, he looks very nervous and wiggles until I put him down. He still runs up to me and wiggles his tail and wants to be petted, he just doesn’t like being picked up as much as his sisters. Dorcas, the firstborn and smallest of the litter and the one I’m keeping, is very affectionate and loves to be picked up and cuddled, and has spent many hours sleeping on me.
It has been more than 20 years since I last had puppies in the house, the last litter of my former Shih Tzu Lindsey among which was my dog Norman, who recently died at age 18 just a few months after Dad died. Unfortunately, I didn’t have them very long because Dad was obsessed with getting them homes while they were “still cute”. I remember when the pups were about four weeks old, Dad was ranting about how worried he was that we would be stuck with all the puppies which he claimed were four MONTHS old when they were four WEEKS old. I don’t know if Dad really believed what he was saying or if he was simply speaking for effect. As those pups were crosses between the Yorkshire Terrier Daddy Randy and momma Lindsey Shih Tzu, a pet shop took them and sold them as “tru-poos”, which they said was their term for a cross between two different pure-bred dogs. They were very young when Dad took them to the pet shop, which gave him $100 for each puppy. They were probably too young from all I’ve read and probably should have spent about another month with their momma. I’m not going to let these puppies go until they are at least 10 weeks old.
When I was a child, my mother ran what would now be called a “puppy mill”. She raised miniature and toy poodles. She kept up to 20 dogs in the back yard in terrible conditions. She would breed the females at about age 6 months and then they would have another litter at least once and even twice a year. With so many dogs, they got little individual attention, except for a few of the more exotic colors. Then when the dogs got older, 8-10 years old, she would periodically take them to the local animal shelter. I had been researching animal shelters as part of getting my Pet Care merit badge from the Boy Scouts, and I knew that most older dogs in shelters end up being euthanized. She claimed that animal shelters had lists of people who were waiting for pure-bred poodles. I asked the shelter about this and they said they did not keep any such lists. In other words, my mother simply imagined these non-existent lists. When I told my mother this, she told me I didn’t know what I was talking about and slapped me for being so stupid as to believe the lying animal shelter. While some pure-bred dogs may find homes, this is unlikely for 8-10-year-old dogs. During one such dog purge, one afternoon my mother took about 10 dogs to the shelter, including some we kids especially loved. I remember my brother saying over and over, “she took my dog to the pound”.
My mother’s attitude towards dogs was that she loved them when they were babies and cute and helpless, but as they got older and become adults, she did not like them anymore. In some ways, there was a direct parallel between how my mother treated me and how she treated us her children. She wanted us to be babies and children, but as we got older she became less motherly towards us. I remember as a teen she kept saying in a playful, but semi-serious tone, “STOP GROWING UP” (or words to that effect). The way I put it is “she wanted to be a mommy, not a mother”. She wanted babies, not children.
Well, this little stream of consciousness essay took a diversion.
That’s all for now.