About three months ago, I drove to Wichita, Kansas to pick up a new dog. Peaches’s family was moving away, and they couldn’t take her with them, so Ty and I entertained the idea of being a two-dog family. We were moving out of our apartment in a month and could surely find somewhere that would let us have two dogs, and maybe, someday far in the future, puppies!
Her last owner said Peaches was pretty regular and only went into heat in time to have puppies around Thanksgiving and once in the spring. Between the move and settling into our family, things must have changed because only a week into having her in our home, she went into heat.
For the 15 years of my life—give or take—my family’s only had male dogs, and mostly outside dogs. I only knew what to expect from a female dog from my friend who has a girl dog, and from what I’ve seen on Sex and the City. (Fans will know Charlotte’s dog had puppies!) All this coming from an Animal Science major, I know.
Anyway, we crossed the bridge when we got there, went through a horrible horrible heat. We ended up taking Papi to Ty’s grandparents so we could all get some sleep. (He cried any time he was away from her, and I’m pretty sure he didn’t sleep for about 36 hours.)
Then, we slowly watched our Peaches grow with what we assumed would be a litter of three to four pups. Ha. Ha. Ha.
On June 18, we woke up at 5:30 in the morning to see our beautiful girl had three little puppies! We were as thrilled as doggy-grandparents could be, and once we made sure they were all healthy, we left to eat breakfast.
When we came back, there were five.
Okay, well, that was a little more than we had bargained for.
The first few days was all about making sure they were taken care of, healthy, nursing, and so on. We hovered. A lot. And then I had to go on a trip to interview for a job (fail) and audition to be a TEDx speaker (still waiting on that one). When I came back, I couldn’t believe how quickly the puppies had grown in just a week!
Unfortunately, we noticed the runt wasn’t growing as quickly as the rest of them, and Peaches had quit nursing him. Commence five days of feeding him every four hours. He HATED it. But, after about a week of that, he hit a turning point and is doing better. He’s still a little uncoordinated, and moves backwards a lot better than forwards, but we hope with time he’ll get his motor skills figured out and be a great little dog for my Dad.
Each of these puppies has already earned itself a name with their sweet personalities! Bertha got her name because she's the biggest one. Pandy looks like a panda with black around her eyes and a little spot on her tail. Houdini likes to run everywhere and is our resident escape artist! Princess is dainty and fierce, all at the same time! And then there's Runty McRuntRunt. (Can you guess who named him and why?)
On to the next topic, finding homes for these little guys. We have four girls and one boy, so we are sending the boy to live with my dad when he gets big enough. Right now we’re scouting out homes for the girls. Papillons are great, smart dogs. But they’re also loud, strong-willed, one-person, not-cuddly tiny dogs. So we need to make sure they’re going to the right people who won’t send them to a shelter in a year when they realize you can’t train out a dog’s personality.
Until then, I’m loving this stage in puppy life! They’re about five weeks old, have so much energy, and still sleep a lot. Papi was nervous about them at first, but now that they’re running around, he’s trying to play with them. He’s so gentle and sweet about it, and I absolutely love watching it.
I keep trying to talk Ty into becoming a family of nine, but no such luck.