It was 4 a.m. and I was sleeping on my mother's couch when I was awakened by two things--a mild cramp in my calf and a panic stricken feeling that I had forgotten to feed the puppies.
The first was real--I did have a cramp (though not nearly as bad as the ones I usually get). But the second was a dream. On the drive down to my mother's, I'd received a call from Megan (of the SPCA) saying they had just received mother dog who had given birth to 13 puppies the night before and 13 was too many for her to feed.
Naturally I asked "how many are you sending me?"
There had been bottlefed puppies who came through the SPCA while we were in Europe and I missed out on being able to take any. But now I was getting puppies again. It has been such a long time since I've had newborns. In fact, Tater and Tot (now Lester) were the last two pups I bottlefed, back at the start of the year.
I waited around until about 8, when Jan and her daughter appeared at the front door with a tiny box and its teeny occupants. Jan's daughter said that the smallest of my puppies was 2 oz + something.
There are four of them and they are guesstimating that the mother was German Shorthair Pointer and Pit Bull and since the puppies look like they have boxer in them, they think maybe Dad was a boxer. I don't know what gender my 4 are yet, but will find that out when they wake up and start needing to eat.
The big dogs were intrigued, as always. Lizzie and Sheila have been through this before and I always wonder what goes through their heads every time one of these boxes of little bodies arrives in our house.
I just know that Sheila rolls her eyes and thinks "Oh no--she's done it to me again." Once she's sniffed a couple of times, she kind of goes off on her own and ignores them until they are big enough to be running around and starting to bother her again.
Lizzie, on the other hand, is perennially interested. She kept going back to the cage over and over again and checking it out.
She always oversees everything that goes on with puppies, from their making noise in the cage to making sure that feeding goes OK (and sneaking into my chair to drink whatever formula is left, if I don't clean it up right away!)
As for Barkley, I don't know if he's ever seen puppies, but he certainly was interested, but he's been going ape over the remains of a pig's ear that Ashley brought a week or so ago and so he was more interested in getting back to that.
(The ear was the occasion of much hilarity earlier in the evening. Lizzie got it and was lying on the dog bed chewing it. Barkley was going crazy. He lay on the floor, then he pawed at the dog bed, then he tried to burrow under the bed (perhaps getting it from the bottom?), then he grabbed the edge of the bed and dried to drag it across the floor. Then he would bark. But he wouldn't actually try to take it away from her. When she finally got up, Barkley pounced on it and tried to take it into my lap, but, trust me, a one week old pig's ear chew toy is not the most pleasant smelling thing in the world!)
Anyway, Barkely seems to have forgotten about the puppies as I write this, but they haven't wanted their first feeding yet. I'm hoping they don't wake up soon, because the formula hasn't arrived yet. Trying to teach them how to take a bottle while Barkley is trying to climb into my lap (which I'm sure he will do), is going to be, as Arte Johnson's character used to say on Laugh In... "verrrrrrry interrresting!"