The Raising of a Puppy

Posted by & filed under my life, the puppy diaries.

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Or, how life just happens sometimes….

Many times when I am starting to plan in my head what I want to do next, someone else’s plans smash those plans to smithereens.  Like when my daughter asked if she could let her dog have puppies at our home.  Here’s how that went down…

Me:  No.  I don’t have the time nor the energy for that at this time in my life.

Tracey:  The mother dog does all the work.  You don’t have to do anything.

Me:  I don’t believe that for a minute.  And I’m the one that is home and I’m the one that’s going to get stuck doing all the work.

Hubby:  It would be a really great experience.

Me: Oh, I know it would, but I’m the one that’s going to get stuck doing all the work and my job gets really busy at times. No. No. No.

I was overruled.

End of that story.  Beginning of the next….

Stella and pups

Stella had 9 puppies and a puppy stuck inside of her.  She had to go to the hospital (with puppies in tow so she could nurse them) and have that puppy removed (it had died).  She came home and was able to care for her puppies while she herself was attended to medically by Tracey and her boyfriend Berto (who came to stay with us for awhile to help with the puppies).

The puppies were precious.  And my family did a really great job of keeping me out of doing any work I didn’t want to do.   Then Stella got really, really sick.  Luckily it was just at the time the puppies were being weaned.  The humans took over as Stella fought for her life at the emergency hospital where Tracey works.

I wound up taking the morning shift so Tracey’s boyfriend could do the late night one and sleep in.  Then I started doing the suppertime one.  This was all my choice, mind you, because I started to get really attached to those puppies.  You cannot help but get attached to puppies if you have any kind of emotion at all inside of you.  I mean, really.

Puppy Wagon

Stella pulled through, but had to get spayed in the process.  And she couldn’t be with the puppies because she had a quadruple bacterial infection, including MRSA.  Bad one.  Really bad one.

Tracey started talking about keeping a female puppy to continue Stella’s line.  “You can’t afford another animal!,” both her father and I protested (she has Stella and 4 cats and had to move back home to get back on her feet financially.  PS the cats live with Berto, because we already have 2 cats of our own.)

We had just had to put our lab mix Blackie to sleep a few months prior.  My other dog, Koda the Aussie, is like having 5 dogs, and so when anybody asked me if I was going to keep a puppy, I would tell them no, Koda was enough, thank you very much.  She wasn’t really that attached to Blackie, either, so it wasn’t like I felt like I needed to get her another companion.  I was her companion.

But about this same time my daughter Kelly said to me, “Koda seems bored.”

So, I started thinking about keeping a puppy.  And I told Tracey I would talk to Dad about it. If we kept a puppy it would be our puppy but she could breed her once she got back on her feet financially (it takes two years for the puppy to be breed-able, anyway).  And she could take a puppy from that litter to continue Stella’s line and her breeding business.

Little did I know Andy was having the same conversation with Berto.  And little did I know Tracey and Berto were getting a good chuckle out of Andy and I.

So, we picked out a female and named her Arizona Rose (we had just gone on a trip to Arizona).  Rosie or Rose for short.  She was the spitting image of her mother in both looks and temperament.  We called her Stella’s “mini me.”

Then, one day, I noticed Rose’s eye looked funny.  And I started thinking, “oh no, this plan of Tracey’s to continue Stella’s line could be in jeopardy.”  And Rose’s eye turned out to be a condition called entropion which is hereditary.  The only dog out of all the puppies to be so stricken.  Using her for breeding was out. That’s when I justified myself in thinking we could keep two puppies, one of them this male puppy I was getting attached to who we had started calling “Columbus” for his propensity to explore.  The other two females were already spoken for.  Tracey could breed him with a female from another breeder and keep the pick of the litter to get a female for her kennel.

And so, that’s what we did.  And every evening I would take time and train these two puppies (and actually, when I started, I was spending time with 4 puppies because we still had two to sell.)  Can I just say IT WAS A LOT OF WORK?  We finally got down to two puppies.  But it still was a lot of work.  And this little nagging voice inside me kept saying “how are you going to find time to train two puppies?” and “how are you going to take 3 dogs (remember Koda) on a walk?” and “what were you thinking?!”

So I asked my husband how he’d feel if we found a home for Rosie and just kept Columbus.  He was all for it.  No discussion needed.  And he liked Columbus.  Columbus was very mellow at the time.  Tracey was able to fix Rosie’s eye through a surgical tacking procedure and once she was better, we found her a home with a wonderful girl that lives in the same town.  Yay!  We would still be able to see her.  And she kept the name Rosie (not so sure about the Arizona part).

Here is a picture of the three of them, right before Rosie went to her new home.

Stella, Columbus and Rose

To be continued…

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