Estelle, fosterdogs, puppies

Enter at Your Own Risk (but I assure you, you aren’t missing too much)

Can we come see the puppies?

Ummm, you can, but…..

Estelle might growl at you.

They’re really not very interesting right now.

They might pee on you.

These are my three responses to the regular requests to visit the four little (relative term) bundles of fur in my puppy room.

This puppy litter is a much different experience than my others. Maybe it’s because these babes are so big and growing so fast, that they sleep so very much. There is decidedly little action in that room.

Even though they are now over two weeks old and their eyes have opened, they generally don’t move unless forced to. Mostly they lie there in clumps and sometimes they practice running from a lying down position. Occasionally a shiver will run all the way down the length of them and sometimes they make little squeaky sounds. But mostly, they lie very still and just grow.

Fruitcake is so wide, he reminds me of the people in the movie Wally. He would definitely need one of those motorized carts to shop at Wal-Mart. Sugar Cookie is the lightest pup (2.8 pounds) and the only one who can reliably support her weight. Wassail and Toddy can pull up on their feet, but they stagger around like drunks, crashing into each other and the sides of the pen. Fruitcake remains the walrus, but a sweet walrus (who will sometimes pee on you).

Maybe my memory is romanticized, but I’d swear that Edith’s dozen were moving and wrestling more by now. Not this crew. We sleep. We eat. Then we sleep more. That’s it. Every once in a very little while, one of them will get a wild hair and doe something like this –

But mostly this is all they do….

I keep trying to rationalize their inactivity and size.

They were a really small litter, so they’re oversize puppies.

They’re eating for ten.

Dad was jumbo sized.

They’re growing out before they grow up.

They each have two milk fountains at their constant disposal.

It’s warm and cozy in the box, plus there’s a heating pad– wouldn’t you spend your days eating and sleeping if you could?

Estelle is also a contradiction. She wants nothing more than to get out of that room and follow me to the ends of the earth. But let a stranger (or my kids) enter the hallway where the puppy room is and she will verbally slap them down head to tow. Today she nipped at Nick’s ankles, and she loves Nick (when he’s not approaching the puppy room).


She wants nothing to do with those puppies, unless someone else does. When I sit in the puppy pen to take pictures or play with them, she hops in and climbs in my lap. See? I’m much more interesting than they are, she seems to say.

When she is confined to the puppy room, she sleeps on the quilt I’ve placed outside the box. It’s rare to see her nursing (and if I do poke my head in, she’ll jump right up and leave them and rush the gate to see me), but obviously they are getting more than enough to eat.

I’m guessing this is because Estelle is a pup herself. She’s like a teenager. These puppies were not her idea. But now that they’re here, well they’re her gang she will protect them to the end. Hopefully in the next few weeks, she can start to go back to binge-watching Animal Planet or sleeping in the sunspot until after lunch or whatever it is teenage dogs do. She can go back to being a puppy herself.

If you want to see more pictures of sleeping puppies (and hopefully wakeful ones), join the Another Good Dog Facebook group!







6 thoughts on “Enter at Your Own Risk (but I assure you, you aren’t missing too much)”

  1. One of our rescue cats was a teen mom. She liked nothing more than to leave her kittens in the care of our golden retriever. Except to feed them. She needed frequent breaks! Must be a teen mom thing. One of those babies looks exactly like Estelle.


    1. He and Toddy are both much heavier/larger than the girls, but Fruitcake also has fluffy fur (the others have short, corse fur) so he looks even bigger. a friend did recently tell me that Great Pyranese have six toes on their back feet – so that’s a frightening thought, too.


  2. Interesting post. I’d heard that mother dogs could be protective, but reading about how it can actually show itself was new. Did you give her a small rebuke when she growled at your own gang? I’m sure you’re a protective mom too. I’m not that familiar with the behavior of a mother dog, having never been around one.


    1. Estelle is the only mama dog I’ve had that was this growly about strangers near her pups. She did get over it pretty quickly though and I doubt that she would have ever done anything except growl. I didn’t rebuke her because it was her right and instinct to protect the pups, and like I said, I don’t think it was anything but words. Once the puppies were up and demanding, she stopped worrying so much.


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