And they called it puppy love
Yesterday a reader wisely suggested that we check in on those adorable puppies that we wrote about a couple of weeks ago -- and their beleaguered mom. And so we dropped a line to their primary human caretaker, who provided a detailed update last evening:
Thanks to your help telling the story of their plight(!), they are in good shape and have found new homes. I'm going to keep them with their mama for another three weeks until they are fully weaned, and at eight weeks they get to go to their new families.
"Whiysky," the mom, has been re-named Walter (after my grandfather -- I know, I know, it's not a girl's name). She is a great new sister to my other pooch, Henry. She follows him everywhere. He is like an aged bachelor uncle to the puppies -- slightly nervous around them. And he's only three years old! My two otherwise mellow cats have been adjusting to this new squealing brood. I have been working with Walter to NOT chase the cats!
We have fixed up an outdoor pen and an indoor pen (in the garage), and we rotate the pups back and forth. We started toting them back and forth in a box, but they outgrew that and then another one, and now they have to be toted one by one.
When I found the pups and brought them home, everyone thought I was crazy and that I should surrender them to the shelter. But I just couldn't. I think I was influenced by people telling me I "couldn't" do it. Now when I look at them in their cozy little pens, with all the attention in the world, and without the chaos of the shelter, I feel especially glad I took them in. I say that about the shelter without any malice -- my dog and both my cats came from the shelter and that's the first place I would look for a pet. But I just couldn't surrender these babies!
Thanks to your blog, KOIN-TV, KPTV, and a few radio stations that told the story of Walter and her pups, as well as the email I put together, news made it around town pretty quick. Within five days I had over 150 phone calls and emails asking about the puppies, with most of the people interested in meeting them for possible adoption and some kind hearts wanting to donate to their care. Basically, my phone rang off the hook -- and that's a good thing in a case like this. I am still getting calls now -- I got one after dinner tonight in fact.
I set up three "open houses" where folks could come meet the puppies and I could meet them. I got an adoption interview form from the Oregon Humane Society and modified it.
People came out of the woodwork to offer help and support. Three are notable.
First, a volunteer foster parent from the Oregon Humane Society, Denise, came over to my house on the second night. She brought me a couple of portable pens, a ton of newspaper, and gave me some good advice. Best of all, she took the pups for the second weekend so that my boyfriend and I could keep our camping reservation down at Detroit Lake. She has been incredible. Denise takes in needy pets on a regular basis, unlike me, the accidental foster mother.
Second, the Halsey East Animal Clinic, paid a home visit--unheard of. They sent over a vet and a vet-tech to give the puppies and mom a checkup and de-worm them all. This made things so much easier. Not only did they come to my house, they donated ten bags of Science Diet puppy chow! They are coming back in a week to administer the first shots.
Third, members of the community who heard about these abandoned puppies and their mother have called and emailed me to offer support and gratitude--it has been encouraging, because did I mention my friends all thought I was crazy? And since many of these folks asked how they could help, I set up a charitable account to help pay for the medical care of the pups and a spay/neuter fund. I didn't ask how much the vet visit and shots were going to cost, I just figured we'd get it paid for. We'll use what's in the fund to cover this and the adoptive parents will split the rest. Any extra will go to Dove Lewis. Of course, I had a dream the other night that I called to check to see if there had been any donations and there was $37 in the account, so in fact I haven't called to ask because I'm afraid there won't be anything in there! Well, maybe I'll suck it up and call today.
The happiest news is that these puppies have all found adoptive homes! It was hard to choose the parents, honestly, because so many great people came forward.I urged Sarah to go ahead and check the balance in that bank account, and let us know how much money has found its way there. If I hear back from her on that, I'll post an update of my own.
They all have names now: Bowden, Righty, Daisy, Barclay, Prince, Mocha, Luna, Lola, and Dot.
We organized into a puppy care collective, of sorts, and the parents come at different times of the day (before work, lunchtime, after work) to help out and of course play with the brood. This has made it a lot easier on me, because for the first week all I did was change out the newspaper, entice Walter to feed them, and change the paper.
They will go to their new homes on August 24th. Here are a few pictures of them, some with their new people.
On behalf of Walter and the gang, a million thanks to you, Jack, and to all your readers who took the time to drop me a line. I'll send some more pics and an update when it gets closer to going home time.
All the best,
P.S. Walter is a total food scavenger and counter surfer. One night she came waltzing out into the back yard carrying a cooked chicken! Last night, she broke into a gallon-sized Tupperware container and scarfed down an entire casserole! And this is on top of the five or six bowls of puppy chow she eats every day! She just gives me a hangdog look that says, "I was homeless! This is how we did it!" The vet says she needs to gain 10-lbs, but we clearly have a foodini on our hands!
P.P.S. The puppies all have teeth now! OUCH! They like to use them!