Saturday, January 29, 2011

Foster Puppies & Sleep Deprivation

When people ask me if I have any children, I usually smile and respond, "I have eight nieces and nephews, three cats and a dog. Yes, I have children in my life, but I didn't give birth to them." This weekend I need to amend that statement. I have eight nieces and nephews, three cats, one dog and two tiny puppies.

The puppies arrived Thursday afternoon, and will move on to their next foster home Monday. These one-week-old pups were taken away from their aloof doggie-mom at the Town Lake Animal Center. The doggie-mom didn't know what to do with her puppies. She wasn't caring for them properly and, unfortunately, smothered one of her puppies. The caring staff at TLAC noticed the situation, and decided to get the surviving two pups out to a rescue group. One of the awesome foster coordinators with Austin Pets Alive sent an email plea out for these puppies on Thursday morning. Immediately, a foster came forward, but this person couldn't take the puppies until Monday. After some instant-messaging with Chad, we decided to take the pups for the weekend. Since then, we've been feeding Wendell (originally dubbed Wheezer due to some respiratory congestion) and Winnie (originally dubbed Whiner because she would not hush her puppy cries) puppy formula mixed with goat's milk from a tiny baby bottle every two or three hours. Yes, even overnight. We're also giving them medicine for their respiratory issues and misting saline solution into their crate/tent/fort with a nebulizer (similar to a humidifier) a few times a day.

Winnie and Wendell are sweet, grunty, fat potatoes. Their bellies grow before our eyes. Their little legs are too short for walking, so they drag themselves around a big heating pad in the crate. Their eyes are still closed, but they know when the bottle is ready. They reach their little front legs out and latch onto the bottle. They wiggle their ears and grunt softly as they eat. Wendell even wags his tail. They have round little rumps that are too cute for words!

I love watching Chad baby-talk to the pups, swaddle them and feed them. He is the best husband/friend/human being to help me with these puppies.

Of course, we have lots of photos. Here are just a few:

The puppy love totally outweighs sleep deprivation this weekend.