Thursday, December 13, 2007

Pals

Daisy and Half Pint are, as Ashley predicted, working out their relationship. I was concerned when Half Pint first showed up and Daisy was so rough with her, especially when she grabbed her by loose skin and tried to shake her around.

But they have become friends, as you can see. They lay in my lap for about 20 minutes the other day and did "mouth wrestling," which always looks so intense, but, I've learned, is just how many dogs play.

Walt weighed Daisy today. The little 2-lb puppy who arrived here two weeks ago now weighs six pounds. She's only eating three times a day, but she is a voracious eater and will eat whatever I put in front of her. Last night she took the core to the apple I was eating and she and Half Pint went nuts over it and devoured the entire thing.

Half Pint doesn't eat as much. I don't know how much chihuahua puppies eat, since I've always had these big breed dogs. I fix her 1 Tbsp of mash mixed with a bit of formula, some human baby beef and some water and mix the whole thing together. She eats hungrily, but never finishes. Daisy, who has, by this time, finished her own meal will then lick Half Pint's dish clean.

It was a big relief to talk with the woman who has Half Pint's siblings and learn that they don't eat much either. I guess they are eating whatever is right for a chihuahua.

My tendency is to think of Half Pint as the baby, but really she is very much in control around here. Daisy is afraid to jump off of the recliner if she's sleeping in it. She will stand and cry and cry and cry until someone helps her down. Half Pint just jumps down herself. She usually bonks herself on the head, but it doesn't seem to bother her.

Daisy remains the most loving, most cuddly puppy. I do spend a lot of time sitting with her cuddled in my lap. She whines to be picked up, but is satisfied if you put her on the chair, but I like cuddling with her so much I just take time out to sit and watch her sleep. She squirms around to get into a comfortable position just like a baby does, her tongue protruding slightly, her paws twitching like she's chasing some rabbit somewhere, though she doesn't have a clue what a rabbit is yet.

Half Pint is a real sweetheart, but I have to admit that Daisy is my favorite (don't tell HP, OK?)

Taking care of puppies isn't hard work, but it is time consuming. Daisy is on medication now for her loose bowels (they all have them at this age), but she is pooping copiously around the house and her very favorite thing in the world to do is to chase the tissue that is cleaning up her piles.

I've taken to feeding Half Pint on the kitchen counter because I have to keep encouraging her to eat more (when you only have to finish 1 Tbsp of food to begin with....).

They are both better about going to sleep at night. Daisy has all but stopped whining when I put her in the playpen at night. Half Pint whines a bit when I put her in her cage, but stops very soon. Both generally sleep through until morning, which is lovely. But when one wakes up, the other wakes up. They are getting along so well now and sleeping together well now that I might start putting them both in the playpen tonight or tomorrow and see how that goes.

I talk about all this stuff because today I saw an undercover videotape made by the Humane Society in an investigation of pet shops and puppy mills. I encourage people to watch it. This particular pet shop (Paris Hilton gets her chihuahuas there, not that I find Ms. Hilton's shopping habits much of a recommendation) insists it buys from reputable breeders and not puppy mills, but the video investigates the breeders and what you'll see will break your heart.

It makes me realize that whatever effort is involved in giving these little babies a loving home is worth every bit of it. It pains me enough to hear Half Pint cry for 3 minutes before she goes to sleep. She's in a warm cage with a heating pad under one end in case she gets cold at night. To think of her in the open cages that you see in puppy mills is incomprehensible, much less everything else that "breeders" are subjected to in a puppy mill.

I don't understand how people can deliberately hurt little guys like this...or how people, once having seen videos like this Humane Society video, can continue to support establishments which do business with them.

1 comment:

wildcatsthree said...

Oh, they're so adorable. I wouldn't worry too much about Half Pint not eating much- my full grown chihuahua only eats 1/4 c of dry food in the morning, and then doesn't always finish it. On the other hand, she devours the raw food I give her as a treat in the afternoon and wants more of it. But I think they self regulate how much they need. It's disgusting what goes on in those puppy mills. So many pups are mistreated.