Saturday, October 1, 2011

Do you know what day this is??????

It's Lucy's pups FIRST BIRTHDAY! 

Yes, it has been one year since that momentous day when my SPCA foster dog, Lucy, produced the pups that would practically be my undoing for the next seven weeks. 

And now they are one year old . At birth, they weighed from 13 ounces to one pound four ounces;  by seven weeks they ranged from about 7 pounds to nearly 16 pounds.  And when a few of the adopters checked in about three months ago, their pups weighed 70-80 pounds!   This from a 45 pound, short legged, funny little corgi-something-cross.

Lucy, September 29,2010

Hahaha foster mama - I got you good!

Ms Lucy knew which side her bread was buttered on, and chose to relinquish all mothering duties (including feedings) by the end of the second week. What a shock that was! 

Goodbye, I'm outta here!  You can look after them.

I don't think I can sum up the experience better than I did on the day the pups left my care at seven weeks of age,and so I am reprinting that blog entry here:

They emerged over a ten hour period on the first day of October, 2010, wrinkled and wet and searching for food. From a mom who looked like a butternut squash, ten pups emerged round and robust and raring to go.

And then they grew.

They crawled, they waddled, they walked, they climbed. They ran and pounced and pooped and peed. They wrestled and snuggled, they nipped and they chewed.

In just seven weeks, they went through over a hundred pounds of kibble, a dozen rolls of paper towel, three giant size boxes of green garbage bags, a van load of newspaper, three dozen cans of puppy food, eight litres of evaporated milk, three dozen egg yolks, thirty-six packages of gelatin, a bottle of enzyme supplement, twenty syringes of dewormer, six tubs of yoghurt, four boxes of pablum, a cup of corn syrup, three tarps, several pieces of lumber, ten collars, and a never-ending supply of blankets, sheets, towels, detergent, cleansers, air freshner, disposable gloves, and toys. Add to that a half dozen trips to the dump with the soiled papers, a pair of doggy diapers and three boxes of liners for mama Lucy, and of course the meat, broth, oatmeal, rice, eggs and supplements for Lucy’s homecooked food when her intestines couldn’t handle any kibble.

They kept me up night after night, and they left me so exhausted that sleep, when it happened, was deep and dreamless.

My washer and dryer were constantly running, the dishes were always piled high, the counters and table were cluttered with puppy paraphernalia, and there was never more than an hour or two when the floor was poop-and-pee-free.

They squealed, they squeaked, they barked and they growled, they howled and yipped and whined and grumbled.

They tried my patience, and they touched my heart. They made me laugh, and they brought me to tears.

They worried me sick, and they forced me to grow. They helped me define my limitations and know where my strengths in rescue lie. And it isn’t with puppies.

An army of wonderful people became my life-line. SPCA volunteers, neighbours, members of my community donated time and goods which helped me retain my sanity and live within my budget. And there were the professionals: the emergency vet whose voice on the phone guided me through delivering a stuck pup, my own vet who answered my email questions and reassured me when my confidence faltered, the SPCA vet who helped Lucy with her mastitis and intestinal troubles, and the staff at the SPCA who entrusted me with their care, and ultimately will have the responsibility of selecting appropriate homes for the pups and Lucy. To all these people, I am eternally grateful. It was, in so many ways, a joint effort.

And now the squealing, barking, whining, howling, running, pouncing, playing Butternut Squash Kids are moving on.

May their future families be committed to them forever, love them, teach them, feed them healthy food, nurture them, protect them, exercise their bodies and their minds, and share their living space with them. May not one of the pups ever end up in a shelter, may they never be homeless, may they never know fear or pain or hunger or insecurity. May they always be as safe and healthy and happy as they are today; may they truly be part of a family.

I cannot say with honesty that I will miss them, but I will certainly always remember them.

(My Life with the Critters, November 21, 2010.  (c) JFB )

And here's a few of the thousands of photos I took while they were in my care:

One week old

Puppy Love

I'm lonely!

Mr. Blue Eyes

Puppy Nose

Pablum Face

Good friends

Cud you feeds me?

Dinner time, about four weeks old

I'z got a paper hat!

Future Model

Play time

Peanut and Lucy

Pumpkin, party animal!

Hubbard being coy

Summer gives a 'high five"

Patty with her white chin

Bo, posing for the camera

Zuke and his ball

Acorn in basket

Deli sits pretty

Nugget ready for a nap

It was quite the experience.  You'll find more stories of the pups, both humour and horror, by browsing through the entries from October 1 to November 21, 2010.  Stories of Lucy begin September 11, 2010 until December 31, 2010.   Updates on some of the pups, from their adopters, can be found here, and here and here and here and here and here and here.

Happy Birthday,  Butternut Squash Kids.  I hope you are all safe, happy, and very well loved.


Anonymous said...

What a great post Jean. Thanks to the ones that have contacted you we can see what beautiful ( big) boys Lucy had. Too bad the others didn't do the same.
I think a reunion would be great so we can meet the "all grown up" pups.
Anyone up for that?


Sheryl said...

Wow! I wouldn't have thought that it's been a year! Time passes by so quickly.

Happy Birthday puppies! Hope you and your mama Lucy are all happy.

EvenSong said...

Despite the BIG challenges and frustrations, you (and your team) gave those puppies a safe, healthy and loving start to life. All puppies should be so lucky!

Black Jack's Carol said...

Yes, I echo everyone's "Happy Birthday" and "hope you are all well and happy" wishes, dear Butternut Squash kids. Jean sure did her best by you and your mama. I wonder if you sometimes dream of those days. I bet she does:) Your story and that of your mama's will live on in my heart for a long time to come, thanks to Jean's wonderful posts and photos.

Pauley, the Mr. or the Mrs. said...

Beautiful! Happy birthday to the pups! You were not kidding when you said that our foster,Shirley's, pups looked like ones that you had fostered. Can't wait to get the chance to read all about your experience.

Dawn said...

Jean, do we know anything about Lucy? I sure hope she got a great home. She was/is such a character.

Lisa B said...

That's quite the awesome task you undertook. What a huge litter!

They were gorgeous pups..and I'm sure that was such a small consolation when you were in the thick of helping mom...and then being their mom.

Great always!