I’m in heaven. Eight four and a half week old puppies wiggle into my lap, all vying for the “best” spot. They squirm and crane their necks to get to my face and lick my hands. I reward their eye contact with a cuddle, kissing their noses and inhaling puppy breath. They seem fascinated by my face at this age.
I feel their puppy needles on my fingers and toes. They lick my hands and my chin. Their tiny sharp claws need to be trimmed (again?!) and they rake my skin as they climb up my arms, pulling at my pants leg. Their warm fur and roly poly bellies are perfectly puppy.
I hear contended sucking on bellies, bobs calling to each other from their pen in my backyard, songbirds in the trees…sounds of dawn. The faint happy grumbles of full bellies, Macy snoring from her perch that overlooks the ex-pen.
It’s 4:45 AM and this moment of puppy bliss didn’t come easily. I’ve been up for almost two hours, rudely awakened by my nine week old puppy wailing about the injustices of her crate. This woke my other puppies and so my morning began. I cleaned eight puppy poops and took the big dogs outside.
I fed everyone. My “big” puppy in her crate, and the little puppies in their ex-pen, each in individual dishes now. I fend off the big dogs so they don’t eat the puppies’ food. While they eat, I go take my “big” puppy out and play a quick game of chase—she chases me! She’s learning her name and the “here!” command.
I come back in and the pups have finished eating, and Macy hops in the ex-pen and cleans their dishes. They have pooped and peed everywhere again so I move them all to their living room ex-pen and start cleaning their pen in the bedroom. It’s 5:05 AM.
While I’m cleaning I feel a little nibble on my heel. Someone has escaped. I go check it out—they’ve all escaped! They are milling around the kitchen and living room pouncing and playing with each other. There is more poop! I go on a poop search and start cleaning the floors. I put the pups back in their place and finish cleaning. I put their bedding in the washing machine and start breakfast.
Then it’s into the whelping box I go to cuddle pups. I leave for work at 6:15 for thirteen hours of my “real” job…the whole time all I can think about is coming home to snuggle my puppies.
After cleaning up, that is!
Next installment: Little Dogs
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