Dog Days


Missy and Flint

IMG_3897 IMG_3960 IMG_4426 IMG_4461 IMG_4463 IMG_4746 IMG_0491Our current animal adventure was one I had imagined and thought we might take this fall, finishing the feat with the fantastic finale of Christmas puppies!

Rather, not long ago life took our family down some unexpected rough road and for awhile I was unresponsive to some things- like fire and tornadoes. Strong coffee didn’t seem to help much…

I do have partial recollection of one day noticing my children appear highly interested in what was going on outside those windows allowing the best view of the backyard, and to remember hearing my younger children’s voices from somewhere miles away asking me if our Saint Bernard should be made to let go of our Komondor.

Komondorac are a giant breed, however historically they are known to have a small litter of three pups, with the occasional extra one or two- for a total of maybe five offspring. This does appear to be changing with many having larger litters, but my Missy was reared as one of exactly three and subscribes to whatever were those philosophies and biologies driving the old school.

My poor girl appeared wholeheartedly frustrated and eventually even dismayed at this new brood extreme. As I stood vigilant, she kindly delivered the nine little ones and purposefully nurtured the tiny balls of fluff for all of about four days.

Afterwards, every three to four hours around-the-clock, I reminded Missy that it was time to nurse her babies and often bodily lifted her into their space, begging and prodding until she would finally lay down. I would then perch on the edge of their puppy crib and creatively use my body as a necessary blockade.

Probably needless to say, I began helping her to wean her pups at three weeks and by five weeks they had become full converts to solid food.  I’m ashamed to admit that she has not even cared to visit them since- unless she suspects there may be left-overs for her to consume.

And so each morning about six, I awaken to the sounds of lonely puppy. I listen until it becomes a nuisance, which as I yet have no hearing troubles is not longer than ten minutes for me. I then roll out of the bed and proceed to my previously out-of-order jacuzzi tub, which works perfectly now as it has been completely repurposed and is the ultimate rolypoly puppy container. Nine little sets of eyes stare me down- in wonder that I took so long to respond to their desperate pleas to see my face.

I find that these toddleresque pups respond well to a predictable schedule which suits me fine. We begin with a cheerfully served breakfast by Yours Truly. The meal is consumed in a miraculous moment and is followed by a much disputed bath in the fabulous multipurpose Rolypoly.

The disdain for proper hygiene displayed by these critters is remarkable, until I determine all is clean enough that I may allow my feet in with them. Interestingly, the cacophony of distress ceases immediately, as surely as it does the moment I have set the breakfast dish before them. I marvel at this as I finish rinsing puppies, towel each one and wipe the tub dry.

Next, and this is our favorite time of the day, I soothingly announce, “it’s cozy-time.” As I sing-song about this delightful opportunity, I place a couple of warm dry towels on the floor of the rolypoly and -true story- in a short minute they all begin to yawn and wobble and search out the perfect spot to rest. It is during this interlude that the Mister of the house has the brief opportunity to prepare for the day and make his escape.

My little mini-bears typically sleep for an hour and a half or so, except for Balmy who always insists on the full one-twenty, and then they begin to come to one by one. I rush in as soon as I hear the initial stir, as I’ve made it my task to set them on paper on the bathroom floor as soon as possible. This ensures a much easier clean up of the thoroughly processed food-become-material-suited-only-to fertilizer.

Well fed and rested puppies follow their potty break with a hearty playtime filled with enthusiastic wrestling matches, tug of war, noseball, and paper shredding.

Occasionally, amid their customary exuberant noises I will hear a serious yowl and quickly notice one of the larger pups dragging a sibling by the tail or some other such nonsense. I immediately take the opportunity to admonish the heavy-weight and to remind them all of the general truth that it is no longer a game if one party or another is not having fun. I’ve found that this period of our day allows for many a chance at forming good character.

The beginner canines continue their romp around the room until they literally fall out in the middle of one of their chosen activities. It is during these quiet moments that I look around and wonder how I managed to get myself into this cockamamie craziness and proceed to write brief blog posts such as the one you are currently reading.

Eventually, something internal rouses a pup and this of course leads to the successive arousal of every other pup, and again I scoot around after them and catch them as they take the potty stance, insisting that they do the deed where it will be most convenient for clean-up and disposal.

The entire cycle, but for baths and cozy time, is repeated until the days end- for them about seven. I pick the little guys up one by one for a snuggle. I look into each pair of doggie eyes and call each one by name, wishing them a good night and yes -most likely strangely- singing to them gently, and watching them nod off- first one and then another until only a lone ranger is left observing me. I continue my serenade for that tenacious gripper of consciousness and very soon he also is where good puppies go to dream. They sleep sound until next morning when we start again.

And what is the compensation for all my mighty effort you may wonder? Why, puppy kisses of course! Not to mention that my feet are rarely chilled as a warm little head is likely using them for a pillow, and the adoring looks that are turned my way have the potential to melt a glacier in the dead of winter.  In fact, should there be any doubt as to the massive affection these curious creatures possess for their stand-in, one need only open the door and watch me walk through with a trail of littles trotting behind of their own volition.

And as an added bonus, the children are having more than a bit of fun with these particular little descendants of the great wolf.

Copyright 2017.  L.L.Shelton.  All rights reserved.

June 30, 2017Permalink 2 Comments

2 thoughts on “Dog Days

  1. LOVE it!!! Thanks So Much for making sure it appeared on my fb news feed!! You actually have such a dog? I haven’t seen pictures or comments of one/plural till now. I’ve had (obedience trained and showed) Great Danes & Italian Greyhounds. Giants and quite smalls. Waaaay back in the 70’s. What fun to re-live puppies with your post! I felt like I was there. :+)

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