I looked down at the huge puppies lying on my family room floor ("huge" being a relative term) and thought "Are these the little guys I bottlefed? Are these the little guys who used to fit in the palm of my hand?"
"Sunrise, Sunset" goes a lot faster in the world of puppies. Higgins, who arrived here just 6 weeks ago weighing 10 oz now weighs a whopping 8 lbs and is getting too big to put on my baby scale. (Of course considering that he will probably be over 40 lbs when an adult, he's still "little" by a lot of people's standards...people who didn't see him at 10 oz!
It's also surprising how their personalities have developed. Higgins was always my favorite, but he has become very stand-offish. He still runs up to me, but he could care less about me. When I put him in my lap, he's more interested in biting my shirt (and occasionally the skin that's under it) than he is being cuddled. I'm just that big thing that gives him food. Freddie almost seems afraid when I reach out my hand to him, though when he's hungry he, too, comes running up to me. But he's not really interested in affection most of the time. All three want to sleep wherever I am, and curl up around my feet.
Oddly enough Eliza, who was the one that was my least favorite because she seemed so aggressive from birth, has become my little shadow. She follows me everywhere, sits or sleeps at my feet when I'm at the computer, and whines to be picked up. When I pick her up, she nestles on my shoulder and sighs a happy sigh. She has become a little love bug. Or big love bug, depending on your perspective.
(In fact this morning at 4 a.m., I was holding her, my head kind of resting on her back and I fell asleep. When I awoke at 7 a.m., it was with a sore neck from holding Eliza down...and then I remembered that I had put her on the floor before I went to sleep, but my head was still in the "cuddle puppy" position and the sore neck was real!)
I recently answered a question on That's My Answer, something to the effect of what would you do if you could quit your job and work as a volunteer. I answered that I was retired and that I had become a volunteer pooper scooper for the SPCA. Or, as I told Peggy, I'm on doody duty. All the time.
These guys, who created their own bathroom area when they were living in the playpen (the first litter of pups to do so), have again made their own bathroom area now that they have the run of the house. Unfortunately it seems to be the living room, so I am constantly picking up piles off the living room rug. As soon as they wake up, they waddle into the living room and do their business. I would be more upset about it and take greater pains to keep them out of the room, but since the rug is going to be replaced with Pergo (any. day. now.) eventually, I'm not really bothered about it. And since we seem to have cured that pesky worm problem, it's much more pleasant ("pleasant" also being a relative term!) than before.
They are also on a more or less predictable schedule, eating 3 times a day, waking for about 20 minutes of rough play and then sleeping for an hour or more. I think they sleep all night because I'm not aware of them waking up, but they probably are playing in the middle of the night. And now that they have started drinking water, that takes the place of needing to have something in a bowl when/if they wake up.
As for Dexter, he was in my lap yesterday and I realized that I could actually pet parts of his skin that didn't feel reptilian. His bloody scars seem to have healed and there is very, very, very fine fuzz on several parts of his body, especially around his eyes and on his muzzle. You can't really see "fur" yet, but his head is soft, where it was not before. It's "bald-soft," not "fur-soft" but much more inviting than he was originally. There is still a huge rough patch on his back, but I can see progress. I suspect that all the wrestling he's doing with the puppies is helping to brush off the dead skin.
He is also eating better. I used to put down puppy kibble for him and he'd take a few pieces, but didn't seem to eat much. However, when the puppies started on mash, he discovered he loved it and would chase the puppies away, so I've started fixing him his own bowl of "modified mash" and put him in the playpen to eat and now he's finishing off a bowl of food at a feeding.
We're going to start him on medication for his stuffy nose, which, so far, the puppies don't seem to have caught.
So we're kind of in a good place here, in the Puppy Palace. Things should remain static until the next big step for the puppies...that all important trip to the vet to make sure there will not be a next generation!