By textbook definition, they were the perfect litter of pups – plump, shiny, and when not looking for a feed or actually feeding, they were milk drunk; dead to the world.
These little guys were already at the clinic by the time I got there. When I met them, they were a fairly easy bunch to wrangle. They were still in the larval stage of being a pup so they couldn’t get into too much trouble. There was the occasional incident of a pup getting tangled in the bedding and somehow getting stuck upside-down. He would let out a scream that would send the entire clinic running to find the source of the emergency. We’d find him, put him upright – emergency over.
I discovered the pups on my first day there but in a roundabout sort of way. I opened the door to my room just in time to see a grown dog crawling through my bedroom window. We both startled each other. I came out to the living room asking what the story was with the dog in my room. Turns out, her name was Mama Dog (the outside version, we have two). When you have eight pups demanding your attention, you do what you can to have some alone time. Her crawling though my window was just that. And I ruined it.
Mama Dog 2.0 is gorgeous. She has the coloring of a Rotweiller but the body of a dauchound. A really, really tall dachound. She’s a weinie dog on stilts. And her crowning glory is her absurdly long tail that is constantly standing at attention, waving in the breeze.
She had become an expert at being near her puppies at all times, but remaining just far enough away from them to keep from going crazy. The pups stayed in their open-air shelter, cuddled up in a fluffy blanket lying together in a giant puppy puddle. We’d tend to the pups to make sure they were clean and doing well while she watched on with eagle-eyes, ready to step in should she sense the pups needed her. Her most ingenious way of remaining near her pups while getting some sleep was to dig a hole underneath the pup shelter. Seeing her paws barely visible underneath the shelter was her “Do Not Disturb” sign.
Around my second week at the clinic, the pups developed their motor skills quite literally overnight.
They went from this…
And from that day on, they were on the move non-stop.
Amanda was quick on her feet and discovered a make-shift playpen to place the pups in during the day. It gave them enough space to romp and explore in the grass but within the safe confines of where we could keep an eye on them.
Not one minute of the day went by where they were not doted on. They were irresistible – plump, curious, and with the softest velvety ears. Word spread quickly though the island and we had a steady stream of people making a visit to the clinic just to have a few minutes of puppy time. Even though they were weeks away from being ready for adoption, the public was chomping at the bit to adopt them.
Sure the puppies were adorable and silly and as soft as ducklings, but Mama Dog was, in my opinion, the bees knees. You can keep your pure breeds and floofy pugadoodles. I like my dogs distinctive, comically odd and just the right amount of weird.
So if you happen to stop by the clinic and find yourself staring at a dog wondering what is that? Just know, that’s Mama Dog 2.0.