Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Can you handle the ride?

So, last month I talked about how I felt like my life resembles a roller coaster. I think I've entered the part of the coaster that spins you upside down...the loops.

Two weeks ago I thought someone had broken into my house around 4:30am. Needless to say I didn't sleep well for the next few days. Because my husband and I are separated, he felt bad that he wasn't here to protect us so he surprised us with a puppy. Not just any puppy, but a 12 week old Border Collie. He has like 1/16 Sheltie in him. I had been researching dog breeds the last year or so because I wanted to really know what I was getting into when we finally decided on a dog. A herding dog was at the bottom of the list because of their high energy level and intelligence. No, I didn't want a stupid, slow dog, but I knew a herding dog would take tons of time and energy. Both of which I have in short supply.

Then the pooping and peeing began in the house and I thought, "this is NOT for me". We named him Rugby. He started getting used to our schedules. When I would get home from work, he would run to me with his BC smile. It looks like he's snarling, but it's his happy face! He learned the 2nd night that he potty's on the side of the house when he's outside. Inside it's a free for all apparently. I'm telling you, he's smart.

Well, one of my thoughts on whether we'd keep him or not was my ability to get hold of the "breeder" and the possibility of finding an older dog around 2 yrs old. The "breeder" never has called me back. How convenient. I also hadn't found an older dog. That is I hadn't found one until I got a call from my in-laws saying a stray lab mix had wandered onto their property. Every day I would get a report on "Abby" as they were calling her. By the end of the week I had to go up there to get my boys who were visiting them. All 4 different families kept trying to convince the other members they were taking her home. To top off the fact she's a stray, she's also pregnant. None of us knew how far along she was so we started calling people we knew who might have an idea and I called my daughter to go online to find info. No one could tell us for sure.

On my way home Sunday I called an Animal Shelter because I wasn't so sure I could do another dog. I was barely functioning with the puppy we had and I had no experience with a pregnant dog. The lady at the shelter was wonderful. She said she'd give me a kennel, dog food, and a birthing box to use. While we were there it looked like she'd lost her plug! The panic in my eyes was probably evident. I called back up to the in-laws to inform them of the possibility of Abby giving birth. My sister in law really wanted to watch, but her husband really wanted to get home to Chicago. By Monday morning nothing was really happening when I headed off to work. The in-laws decided to head home since they couldn't get hold of me.

While I was at work my daughter called to ask me if Abby had any of her shots. Uh, can anyone say, "stray"? I had no idea. Well, she informed me that I'd love to hear what she was about to share. I guess Abby had gotten loose while outside and my 9 yr old couldn't hold onto this stacked dog. She went after a 13 yr old girl who was walking her little dog. Abby didn't do anything to the dog, but because she was so interested in the dog she jumped up on the girl and scratched her pretty deeply! I need this, right? I called the mom and explained to her our situation realizing that we could probably be liable. The mom seemed to understand and since Abby hadn't bitten her there wasn't a concern of rabies! Sigh...

Around 10:15pm I started a load of dishes and all of a sudden Abby looked like she was in full blown whelping mode. So, my 17 yr old calls my 15 yr old at her friend's down the street. She has 1 puppy before they make it and while they're here she has another one. I thought that if she kept up like that we'd be done in no time!

Even before the first one is born, I head back downstairs for something and find the dishwasher is leaking all it's water onto the Pergot! I turn off the dishwasher and yell for the kids to get me towels. I start pulling stuff out from under the sink because it seems to be coming from there. Well, I hear it spraying under there. I'm pulling stuff out praying Abby isn't having a puppy. I find the leak by being sprayed in the face. I turn off all the valves and hope it helps.

Over the course of the night until 4:30 am, Abby goes on to have 8 puppies altogether. We took detailed descriptions of each puppy as she gave birth. A few were super sized! Most were average and none were too small. After 4:30 I prayed to God that she was done! Please let her be done because I was exhausted. I fell asleep on a rolled up carpet upstairs at one point and Abby must not have seen me because she seemed to go searching for me and ended up having a puppy by the gate 1/2 way down the stairs. Around 6:30 am I thought she was having another puppy, but nothing happened. I slept for another hour and woke up because I wasn't sure if I still had to take her to the vets. I called them and they said, "no".

Thankfully we already had a plumber coming because they were replacing our A/C from hail damage. So, I called them to make sure they'd gotten my 4:30am message about the sink leak. God's timing is perfect, isn't it?! So, the A/C guys are here and are trying to work around our 14 week old Rugby who just has to be underfoot while they're working. I just got off the phone with the girls' mom who was scratched by Abby to let them know she'd had her puppies and see if they wanted to come visit and see that Abby really is a sweet dog. I don't know if they'd come or not so we shall see.

Does anyone have experience with newborn puppies? They don't have back dew claws, but probably front ones. I set up to have them removed on Thurs. Does that need to be done? I have no idea if the people who get them will be hunters. Will it be worth it? If anyone has any suggestions or advice, I'd really appreciate it. Sorry this was so long and rambly. Remember I've only had 3 hours of sleep. I also don't know how many gramatical and/or spelling errors I have. Again, I apologize! :o)


Pamela J said...

I'm sorry I don't have any dog advice to give you, just thought I'd drop in and let you know your oversize puppies reminded me of our kitten litter born on our couch a few years back. We also wrote down markings and information for each so we could give the fun facts to the kitten's owners when they were given away. We named them Number One, Number two and so on down to Six. Number Five was the oversized one, Six did not live past two days. When we finally gave Number Two, the last to go, away the little two year old girl who got him kept telling her mom what she wanted to name the kitten. When the Mom heard us call him Two, she busted out laughing and said that is what her daughter was calling the kitten all day.

Mimi N said...

We numbered the puppies as they came out as well. We went thru them again last night to get more descriptions of them. As I went to bed I started thinking of names, but what's the point? The new owners will want to name them what they want and it's just one more way for us to get attached to puppies that'll leave us in 8-9 weeks! Already sad. :o(


Anonymous said...

I am no help. I am currently trying to train my own puppy to stop using the entire house as a potty. You're situation gave me a smile especially since my 9 year is already begging for us to let our mini daschund have babies!


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