I think the reason people who foster a litter of puppies agree to do it again is the same reason people have more than one child. You forget.
You forget the mess. You forget the noise. You forget the smell. You forget the laundry and the work and endlessness of it.
All you remember is the joy and the cuteness and the love.
I asked for this. I could have stuck with full-grown dogs. But no, I needed puppies.
“My soul needs puppies,” I told Nick. All my happy leached out by the pandemic and the current state of this country; I was sad and grumpy and felt guilty for being sad and grumpy.
Puppies were the answer. They are so happy and loving and present. They would help me find my footing again.
And they have. I am smiling more and eager to get up and laughing at their antics and savoring their pink bellies and absolute joy in the moment.
It’s just that….I forgot how much work they are. I forgot the stress of yapping puppies desperate for my attention, the piles of laundry, the poop everywhere.
Luckily, these cutie pies are going to get adopted in a jiffy and they’ll be gone before I know it, and likely I’ll forget the poop and noise in a day. I’m trying to soak up all their effervescence and breathe through my mouth more. I’m memorizing their sweet faces and cherishing their snuggles.
Let me introduce you to the Cutie Pie Litter….
These babes hail from Alabama and are estimated to be about 10 weeks old. You can give me your best guess at their breed and I will likely agree…with every single guess. They are a complete mashup- long hair, short hair, floppy ears, short ears, brindle, freckles, black mask, long legs, short legs, curly tail, straight tail—they’ve got it all. So, let’s just all agree that what they are is cute. Their breed is cute puppy.
Humble Pie is probably my favorite because she is the calmest and a little on the shy side. She’s also the smallest. She is brown with black edges and big round eyes. She is generally sitting right beside me if I’m in the puppy pen, preferring my company to the craziness around her.
Mud Pie has gorgeous tiger stripes and curly Q tail. He has a very boxy build and a BIG appetite. He easily eats more than his share and has a round little buddha belly to show for it. He is vocal and very confident. He plays hard and sleeps hard. He might be racing around stirring up trouble, but the moment I pull him into my lap, he is still and snuggly and quiet.
Sugar Pie is a darling. She loves me with utmost devotion. She can play by herself contentedly, but she can also tumble with the rumble when it begins. In fact, I had her pegged as the sweet one (hence the name), but of late I see her stirring up more than her share of trouble. She is a beautiful puppy with adorable freckles on her nose and an innocent look that will likely charm her way out of trouble and into plenty of hearts. Her fur is the longest of the bunch and she has a little dish to her nose that reminds me of an Arabian horse.
Banana Cream Pie got his name because coming off transport and being installed in our puppy room he was, to put it nicely, bananas! He bounced off the walls and the other puppies and instead of being tired after their long, long journey, he was ready to party. He is still quite the bundle of busy, but he is also a pretty smart puppy who can contentedly entertain himself quite nicely with the toys he loves to hoard in the corner of the pen. His face is unique and long and he’s got great colors and longish fur. His build is more slight than the others, and he weighs the least.
Ms. American Pie is all legs and gorgeousness. I always fall for the black masked pups—it’s such a striking look. She also has longer ears than the others—almost houndlike. She is confident and happy and falls somewhere in the middle of the energy level of these pups. She quite definitely loves her chew toys and is often the first to notice when a new toy appears in the puppy pen.
So, there you go. If I’m going to jump back into fostering puppies—this is a really nice, if noisy, bunch to get back in the game with. They weigh between 6.10 pounds and 8 pounds and are listed as ‘shepherd mix’. The puppy growth chart (if they are indeed 10 weeks old) puts them at 20 pounds full grown. If they’re actually 8 weeks, they would be 28 pounds full size. That would be a cute size, but I wouldn’t count on it. The puppy chart has been wrong before (just ask the adopters of the Broadway Babes).
You never know what you’re really getting with a rescue puppy, but I’d wager that’s true about human babies too. All you can do is love them hard and raise them well.
If you’d like daily doses of these puppies to raise your own spirits, be sure to join the Another Good Dog Facebook group, where I post live videos 2-3 times daily since we all can use a little more puppy in our days right now.
Thanks for reading!
For information on me, my writing, and books, visit CaraWrites.com where you can also find more information on my new book, One Hundred Dogs and Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues, (Pegasus Books, July 2020). And be sure to join me LIVE every Tuesday on the 100 Dogs Facebook page for “Let’s Talk Rescue” where we continue the conversation started by the book.
If you’d like regular updates of all my foster dogs past and present, plus occasional dog care/training tips from OPH training, be sure to join the Facebook group, Another Good Dog.
And if you’d like to know where all these dogs come from and how you can help solve the crisis of too many unwanted dogs in our shelters, visit WhoWillLetTheDogsOut.org where you can follow the blog that shares stories or find the ink to our brand new podcast!
Our family fosters through the all-breed rescue, Operation Paws for Homes, a network of foster homes in Virginia, Maryland, D.C., and south-central PA.
If you can’t get enough foster dog stories, check out my book: Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs. It’s available anywhere books are sold.
I love to hear from readers and dog-hearted people! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.