Caring for these puppies brings back so many memories of caring for my own babies.
For instance, everything looks like a potential choke hazard or a threat to their safety. I worry about them all day long – is it too hot? Too cold? Can that one breathe on the bottom of the pile? Is the water bowl too full – could one fall in it and drown? Was that a sneeze? It’s gotten ridiculous – I’m even examining the fringy edges of the older towels – what if a puppy started eating this loose string and kept going and going….
Sometimes when the puppies sleep, they sleep so hard I worry they’re dead. SPD – Sudden Puppy Death Syndrome – is there such a thing? I don’t know, so I lay a quiet hand on a belly to check if they’re breathing. Lafayette and Peggy sleep so deeply they don’t move, even when other puppies trample them or I lift their heads trying to get a reaction.
And the laundry! Just like when I had babies and toddlers at home, the laundry is endless. Non stop. Towel after towel after rag after blanket. Truly unending.
The sounds are also reminiscent of living with babies – there is crying and whining, but there is also that wonderful snuffly sound they make when they’re nursing. They’re just learning to work their vocal chords and the volume and repertoire is growing daily.
When they chase their own tails and then chew on them, it reminds me of my own babies discovering their toes and being so delighted they had to put their toes in their mouths.
Probably the greatest similarity is that my days now revolve around poop. Changing the towels, cleaning up the poop, taping down new puppy pads, only to do it all again twenty minutes later. And just like babies – I’ll get the pen all clean, fresh towels set out, clean water bowl filled, and then someone will poop and everyone will run through it. (Okay, my own children never did that – but I do remember that it was usually when they were all clean and dressed in the fancy outfit saved for special occasions like an outing or a picture or a relative visit, that they would have one of those horrifying poop-all-the-way-up-the-back episodes.)
Schuyler reminds me of every new, exhausted, overspent mother. She loves her babies, but she is always ready to get out of that pen when I appear with the leash. But predictably five minutes after we’ve been away from the pen, something will trigger her worries – the neighbor’s coonhounds baying on a scent, a squabble in the chicken pen, my bad-boy horse knocking over the water trough- any commotion will have her pulling on the leash back towards the house. She wants to be certain her babies are okay. And then five minutes after she’s back, she’s standing at the gate to the pen hoping I’ll happen by with the leash.
When my darlings were wee babes, and even sometimes long after they weren’t, I always loved to watch them sleep. Same with these puppies. So, I’ll close with a montage of some of my favorite puppy piles and sleepy moments…..