foster dogs, fostering, puppies

Inside the Chocolate Factory

I don’t want to stand in your way, so let me get right to it—puppies!

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This little bunch of puppies is beyond cute. Maybe it’s because it’s been a year since I had pups this young, but somehow this crew seems illegally adorable. They have been the perfect distraction from the fact that winter took spring hostage again just when the flowers were starting and the garlic had popped up.

I kept a pretty low profile our first week with them. They’d been in a shelter for two weeks, so I wanted to be absolutely sure there was no chance they had parvo or some other contagion. We are ten days out now and they are fat and healthy, sporting little pink bellies and skunky puppy breath.

Willow is a funny mom. She worries over them and wants to be let in their pen, but never wants to stay longer than about thirty seconds. She’s the first mom I’ve had that doesn’t want to be with them overnight. She’s happy to be in her own crate, safe from their mewling demands.


Luckily, the pups have taken quickly to puppy food. Willow still pops in for drive-by nursings a few times during the day, but will not hang out with them. She has better things to do, I guess. Mostly, that’s follow me around if she’s allowed to and whine in her crate if she isn’t.

Willow has been restricted to crate rest as much as possible due to what we assume is a sprained ankle from all her climbing on things and jumping in and out of the box. Saturday morning she wouldn’t put weight on one of her front legs and was effectively three-legged, although that didn’t slow her down at all. We removed the puppy box and settled the puppies in the puppy room. With that change and as much crate rest as she (and I) can stand, she’s doing better. Still a little gimpy, but at least bearing weight on the leg.DSC_0186Willow is a delightful dog. Anybody looking for a companion who is crate-trained, completely housebroken, ridiculously devoted to her person, eager to please, treat-motivated, and a nice manageable 40ish pounds, here’s your dog!DSC_0054She has a funny, playful personality and seems younger than two (the age listed by the examining vet in SC). She is extremely loving and faithful and has bonded with me, but likes the rest of the family, including Frankie.

Gracie is still warning her off. I think it will be a while before Gracie likes any of our foster dogs. Sadly, this means we’ll most likely have to send Willow to another foster home once the weaning is completed.

Gracie also has no use for the puppies and growls whenever their chorus gets going. Frankie would LOVE to play with the puppies and can’t seem to stay away from their doorway.

The pups all weigh 5-6 pounds (except Violet, who is a tad under 5). If you follow a puppy chart, and allow for all the unknown variables regarding this crew, they should be anywhere from 40-60 pounds full grown. They will be listed on the OPH website at the end of this week, but if you’re interested you can (and should) apply now. I’m still getting to know them, but here’s what I can tell you so far about The Chocolate Factory Pups:

Charlie Bucket is pretty level-headed. He’s easier going than his rambunctious siblings, but that doesn’t mean he’s a couch potato. He’s got gorgeous coloring – light caramel coat that is edged in black. He also has a fuzzy white anchor marking on his chest and a beautiful black face (typical of a blackmouth cur).

Augustus Gloop has wrinkles and jowls that make me think bloodhound, but most likely he’ll grow out of most of them. Every now and again if Willow turns a certain way, I see Shar-pei in her face and manner. She reminds me a little of Darlin’, so maybe those extra wrinkles and rolls are Shar-pei. Augustus is big and bold. He’s the heaviest pup and very assertive. He’s always the pup-most-likely-to-be-connected-to-my-pantleg whenever I’m in the pen. His face is just precious and irresistible, and he LOVES people.

Mike Teavee is the class clown. He’s the smallest of the boys. He has lots of energy and a playful nature. He climbs on his siblings and entices them into wrestling matches. He is always in the middle of every party. He’s the lightest colored pup and is built more compactly than the other boys. He also has the gorgeous wrinkled face of his mom.

Oompa Loompa is like a little bear cub. He is solid and fuzzy. His coat and color are different from the others. He’s got an even-keeled nature and seems comfortable in the middle of the fray or on his own. He’s a little chunk, but actually weighs less than Augustus.

Veruca Salt is quite the pistol. Her personality is much bigger than her small stature. She does her best to boss the boys, although there’s not a pup in this litter that will allow itself to be bossed. She has a lovely caramel colored coat and a black face- a mini-me of her mom. She loves toys and can often be found playing with a toy while they others are fighting over food or the puppy bed.

Violet Beauregard is weighs the least, but is about the same size as Veruca. Her coat isn’t as hound-short at Veruca and her coloring not as defined. She and Oompa make me wonder if Dad wasn’t a shepherd of some kind. She is very sweet-natured and loves to crawl in my lap for cuddles. She seems more patient than the others.

Despite their circumstances, all of these pups are confident and happy. They are curious and love people and attention. I would wager that these babes will make nice family dogs (with proper training and care).


So, life is good in this puppy house, but how could any house filled with puppies not be good?

Thanks for reading!

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COMING AUGUST 2018 from Pegasus Books:

Another Good Dog cover

Available for preorder!



11 thoughts on “Inside the Chocolate Factory”

  1. Do you know if Momma will be available for adoption? I couldn’t find her on the website, only her pups.


  2. Using this post as an example, did you name these puppies and their mom? Whoever did was definitely creative. Interesting, a mother dog who doesn’t want to be with her puppies for long. I’ve never been around a mother dog and her puppies, just the puppies after they were taken from her. I’ve heard that mother dogs are usually very protective over their puppies and that it’s best not to let other dogs too close to the family of canines too soon, but if they’re regularly in contact with a person that they trust, they’ll let the person help them care for the puppies, i.e. you. And I’m sure the mother dog enjoys the attention from her owners after she gives so much of her attention to her puppies. I’m having a mental picture of a very maternal golden retriever mother dog lovingly caring for her puppies, and lapping up attention from the people that she’s familiar with, who she trusts to be gentle with her young.


    1. I did name these pups. They were all brown, and my immediate thought was chocolate, but since we’ve already had an OPH litter named after chocolates, I went with the Chocolate Factory and created Willow’s name from there. Every mama is different, and sometimes I’m nervous about meeting the mom’s for the very reason you pointed out – they are sometimes protective of their babies. I’ve been lucky that all the moms I’ve had have warmed to me quickly and allowed me to help. When Willow first arrived, she got anxious when I picked up her pups, so I tried not to touch them very much in the first few days, but after that she was fine and it’s important to handle the babies as much as possible to begin socializing them.


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