For me, instead of getting crazier, Christmas is a slow down time. We don’t host a big family dinner. We don’t travel anywhere. In fact, we don’t even get invited to many parties and Nick’s work hasn’t had a holiday party in over a decade.
Without little kids bugging me to do it, I haven’t even pulled out the Christmas decorations yet. (And part of me thinks, there is so little time left, maybe I should just skip it?) We will finally get a Christmas tree this weekend when all three kids will be home on break. Maybe then I will dig out the holiday music and think about making some cookies.
One thing that is becoming a tradition for us, though, is Christmas puppies! We’ve had a litter every Christmas since we started fostering, so this is our fourth holiday litter.
As they enter their third week, the puppies eyes are open and their ears are starting to open too. Today when she heard the baby gate click shut, one of the sleeping puppies startled. That was a first.
These little tubbos have been slower than other litters to get moving. They are so fat, they mostly lie around in assorted arrangements.
Yesterday, I put a few puppy toys in the box with them, but so far, the only interaction they’ve had with them is to utilize them as pillows.
Several times a day, I sit in the box with them and badger them into moving around. I roll them on to their tummies and give them a good scratch. Scooter likes this best. She’s such a rumpled, lumpy puppy, and so far the mellowest.
Hopscotch is the most active, and consequently, she is becoming less a lumpy, guinea pig and more puppy shaped. Kickball protests quite a bit when I roll him over or pick him up—thrusting his little puppy fists out and mewling at me. He is a mini-me of his mama. There always seems to be one in every litter.
Speaking of his mama, Hula Hoop is a gentle, sweet, friendly girl. She’s riddled with worms right now and the only foods that don’t go right through her are chicken, rice, and pumpkin. She’s crazy hungry all the time, but stays stick thin. She was diagnosed with tapeworms before the puppies were born and can’t be treated for them until they are weaned. So I’m fighting an uphill battle here.
Despite her thinness, she is coming to life as the puppies do. When I visit the puppies, she spends the time searching for food in the hallway outside the puppy room, but then returns to monopolize my attention. She’s not above nosing one her puppies out of the way, to get her head under my hand for a scratch.
She’s eager to play with the other dogs and regularly comes to the puppy gate to touch noses and exchange play bows with Frankie and Daisy.
Meanwhile, Daisy Duke is charming all of us. She is a doll baby. It has been really nice to have such an easy foster dog. Frankie adores her and she treats him as if she is the older sister. Sometimes she humors him and plays, but if he gets too rough– grabbing her hind leg (in a classic move that he and Oreo perfected), she’ll warn him off. I’m proud to say that he is always a gentleman about it.
Daisy quickly became part of the pack, quietly following me everywhere, never taking her eyes off of me. When she was returned, we were told she is an escape artist, but I’m seeing now that the only reason she would escape is to follow me somewhere. She is my little Velcro shadow. If I close a door, she waits right outside.
I’m hoping someone will adopt her before Christmas—she deserves to have a forever home for the holidays. I know it’s a busy time for the rest of the world, but hopefully someone will take note of this amazing dog.
They really don’t come much nicer than this. At 41 pounds, she’s not too big or too small. She’s housebroken, crate trained, excellent on a leash, good with every person she’s met, happy to snuggle or go for a hike.
When I was writing her bio for the website, I felt like a used car salesman extolling all her virtues, but she really is pretty near perfect. (Except for yesterday when she stealthily grabbed a bag of bagels off the counter and ate three before anyone noticed what she was up to!)
She’s a quiet dog – I’ve only heard her bark once. Add to that, she is a stunner with a sleek black coat and adorable speckled paws. Really, how is it possible this dog is still at my house?
Now that the puppies are just about three weeks old, visitors are welcome, so if you need a little puppy therapy to combat your busy holiday, let me know. Hopefully, by then I’ll have a few holiday decorations up.
Thanks for reading!
If you’d like to know more about the book, Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs, check AnotherGoodDog.org, where you can find more pictures of the dogs from the book (and some of their happily-ever-after stories), information on fostering, the schedule of signings, and what you can do right now to help shelter animals! You can also do some holiday shopping that benefits shelter dogs or get your own signed copy of the book!
If you’d like to know how you can volunteer, foster, adopt or donate with OPH, click here. And if you’d like more pictures and videos of my foster dogs past and present, be sure to join the Another Good Dog facebook group.
Released August 2018 from Pegasus Books and available now