As I am writing this, the puppies have been in this world for over three weeks. In that time, they have grown tremendously. They were blind and deaf when first born; now their eyes are wide open and they jump at loud noises. While they used to scoot around on their bare bellies, they are slowly developing a sturdy gait on their legs. And the pink noises and paw pads of our yellow puppies have turned to black. Their attitudes and personalities are coming out just as they are learning how to use their voices. (We have quite the talkative bunch on our hands.) Given the quick amount of change that is happening, there are also some quick lessons to be had.
Nursing is a group effort around here.
- Momma dog knows what to do. I worry and fret, but she has it all under control. The real beauty is that she does her motherly duties without fear of my judgment. She’s not worried that someone will take a picture and mom-shame her. She doesn’t have to sit with a forced smile as the dog next door explains how she should lick from left to right rather than right to left. She doesn’t beat herself up when she accidently steps on one (give a girl a break – those nuggets are everywhere and always underfoot!), and she doesn’t guilt me when one wiggles off of my lap head first. She makes them come to her if they want to feed because they need to grow strong and know how to care for themselves. Nature has prepared her for this role. She didn’t read a book or blogs. Her body and her instinct have gotten her this far. I would like to think that the same applies to humans. We are innately prepared with a type of knowledge that dates backs centuries. People will judge that instinct but it probably has more truth and common sense in that we give credit.
- There is something about a baby – any type of baby – that makes you want to take all of the pictures. You want to capture every precious moment. Oddly, you don’t really get to soak up the beauty of the moment when looking through a lens. You find yourself worried about lighting and angles. You position puppies in artificial poses to maximize cuteness. The best moments are when a puppy is curled up in the crook of my neck while I’m laying down. I can breathe in that sweet puppy smell and my double chin is hidden by a precious puppy lump. Those moments aren’t captured by the camera and that is ok – some moments are best kept in the mind.
These pictures were taken about a week ago – the puppies are considerably less interested in cuddling these days. There is no time for cuddling when on the quest for great adventures!
- There is poop. There is pee. There is goo. You become amazingly comfortable with all of it. You also stockpile candles and Febreeze.
- Your emotions are constantly fluctuating between “Oh my gosh look how cute you are I love you so much” and “I’m going to bang my head against the side of the house until I can’t hear you crying anymore.” You can go from one end to the other pretty darn quickly.
- Every mother deserves to be praised and loved. And not because of the baby. I try to be aware of how much time I spend with the puppies versus Reece. Inevitably, there is less time to spend with Reece because there are more dogs in the house. That is simple math. But I do rub her head while she is nursing in the evenings. And we have deep conversations about what a pretty girl she is. And not because she had six perfect puppies. She was a terrific pet before them. She deserves our love because she deserved it all along. So, love on a momma because she is wonderful in her own right.
- What is cute once is maddening on the 576th time.
- Did I mention poop?
- You have no idea how tired you will be and how this will impact your relationships. Bradley and I are slap wore out. We try to make time for cuddles with one another but there seems to always be a dog in the middle. We try to be upbeat in the evenings but we are watching the clock for bedtime. It isn’t bad or good – it simply is. And the rest of our lives didn’t stop and stall because puppies came. Life is in a constant state of movement. Some days, you keep your head down and offer a sympathetic smile of solidarily to your partner. You scoot a little closer to them in bed that night and you squeeze them tighter when you hug them in the morning. You turn simple gestures into hidden messages. And, above all else, you let them sleep a little later even as your head starts to explode from jealousy. Because love is basically doing things for your partner even when those very acts make you crazy.
- Everyone says “They grow up so fast.” Puppies grow even faster. It is magical and heartbreaking all at once.
- You will beg one of them to tear something up so that it will be easier to part with them. But it won’t be easy. Especially when the chunky lazy one leaves you. He is your favorite.
- The highs are high and the lows are low. If we are lucky, we can sneak in a nap in the middle.
- People ask us if we are sure we want to keep a third dog. I’ve said it before, but it continues to ring true. With a circus this big, what is one more clown?
We have had one couple claim a dog, sweet Chunk. Another couple is coming to look at dogs on Wednesday. This means two things:
the time with this wild bunch is slowly coming to an end, and I need to do some serious cleaning before Wednesday.