Goodbye Puppies

The floors have been swiffered. All the puppy towels have been laundered. The collapsible cage is back in the garage. Puppy toys washed and tucked into the sheepskin puppy bed. I slept thru the night uninterupted.

My puppies went back to the Humane Society early Friday morning.

They started their Friday by 'paging' me to come let them out of their 5 am. Seems the baths I had given them the night before (the traditional 'Spa Night' where I bathe them and clip their nails before starting the next chapter in their lives) had inspired them to get dirty all over again. Yep, a cage full of danced-in poop awaited me.

So, bath time all over again. First for Cairo while Conor howled like devils were beating down his cage door. Then it was Conor's turn. As soon as I lowered his paws into the warm soapy water he relaxed and stopped howling...and the tail started wagging...Conor just loves a good bubble bath!

While toweling off Conor, Cairo took a dump and decided to sit in it...sooo...another bath for Cairo. Got Cairo dried off and went back to toweling off Conor, when Cairo took a spin around the kitchen and wound up body surfing in a huge pee spot that Conor had deposited while I was bathing Cairo. In case you're counting, final bath tally was 3 for Cairo, 1 for Conor. All this before 5:30 am.

Eventually got them dried, cleaned up the cage and the floors and sat back to enjoy my last hour with them. Lots of play-fighting, biting, barking, charging each other, racing down the hall, around the wall and back thru the kitchen until they were out of breath.

Popped them back in the cage for 1/2 hour while I got ready for work, then it was time to say round one of our goodbyes before I put them into their carry-crate.

Cairo howled most of the drive to Ft. Lauderdale...finally fell asleep right before we got off the turnpike. Driving down Griffin Road I started thinking 'Ok, I'm gonna keep Cairo. I'll tell them to have his surgery today and I'll pick him up first thing Saturday. Yeah, he'll be big but he won't be THAT big and yeah, I know I said I'm not ready to have a dog full-time but I just can't do this anymore'....

By then we were in the parking lot and it was time for the handover.

Carried them in and was buzzed thru to the clinic. Ines came to meet me. I took the kids out of the cage to show her how much they'd grown in two weeks. She commented how nice they smelled and I told her about the baths...and I started crying as I handed Conor and Cairo over to her. Asked to hold Cairo once more...just because. After a minute or so of me crying and Cairo giving puppy kisses I knew I had to get out of there before I adopted both of them.

So I left the same way I always leave after dropping off puppies...crying my heart out yet knowing that I did the right thing.

Was ok by the time I got to work...for the most part.

Whenever I tell someone that I am a Foster Parent for puppies, they always say they couldn't do what I would be too hard to give them back. It IS hard...and it doesn't get easier. It takes time, energy, patience...LOTS of patience and a sense of humor comes in handy as well. Each time I give back a set of puppies, I am a bit sadder than the time before. But not sad enough to stop Fostering.

Until the next call comes, this is the last in the series of the Cairo and Conor Puppy Chronicles.

Have a good life, pupsters.  I'll miss you very much!


Sunday Puppy Sunday

The puppy boys are napping for the 3rd time today. Up at 7, up again at 9 then I woke them up once more at 1pm. 

They're into a comfortable routine....squeal with delight when the cage door opens, rush to bite my feet, pee, bite feet again, pee some more, poop, bite feet, run over to the sink (where they are fed) and start howling like they haven't been fed in YEARS!  Then they attempt to climb up the cabinets...pretty hilarious, considering they are no more than 6 inches tall.

I feed them, keep them from climbing over into the other side of the sink because they MUST know if their brother is eating the same thing, and eventually wipe their mouths and paws, place them back on the floor, where they run around in circles and start fighting with each other while I do the sink clean up. 

Full of puppy chow and energy, they attempt to run onto the living room carpet right next to the kitchen, so the 'No's' come out in full force.  To their credit, they know their names and are close to 90% compliant on the 'No Carpet' edict...what smart puppies I have! MIT, watch out!

After sink cleanup, it's full on 'play with Mommy time' which means crawl all over my lap, bite my shirt, arms, legs, chin...anything is fair game. They might veer off and play-fight with each other for a minute or two, pee some more, poop some more,  then it's always back to Mom.

Usually 15, 20 minutes tops is all it takes and they're falling asleep in my lap, so it's back into the cage as they watch me Swiffer the entry way, the entry hall (see picture below) and the kitchen. By the time I finish they are sound asleep.

Repeat this 5-8 times a day on the weekends and there's our weekend in a nutshell.

Cairo and Conor

My puppies are home. They are three weeks old Lab-Chow mix angels.  Cairo is a Shepardish-tan and brown...almost a brindle and Conor is all black with white paws. Incredibly high cuteness factor!

Their crate is set up with a fresh fluffy towel, a water dishes inside and outside the crate wait for puppy paws to knock them both over, the puppy-boys are snoozing in their Humane Society carry-cage and I'm taking a quick break to change (and blog) then go downstairs to bathe them and introduce them to their new home.

When I picked them up at the Humane Society they were cuddled in a massive puppy hug with one another and for some reason they had not been given baths. They need me!

Thanks to all my lovely internets buddies that suggested names.

The Winners (I so want to say Weeners but for those of you that know me, if I brought home Weener Dogs they would never ever leave this house except to go to the dog park, the vet's and the other words I would keep them and never give them back 'cause that's how I am about Weeners) of the name the puppies challenge are NTodd and my roomie Jacob. 

NTodd has a really cool dog named Cairo and Jacob's youngest brother is Conor.  So there you have it. My boys have names. And now they are having a bath.

Stay tuned for more Puppy Chronicles!

I'm Getting Puppies :-)

Got the call today at work and by this time tomorrow night will be on the way home from the Humane Society with two Lab-Chow puppies.

Don't know how old they are or what they look like. Only thing I do know is that they were abandoned and I will be their Foster Mommy for the next two weeks.

Heading out to the gym right now.  While I'm gone, please put on your thinking caps and rustle up some puppy names for me...word has it I'll have two little boys to name.



Costco called tonite...the woman that got my puppy pix by mistake finally realized late last night that the pictures she thought were of her daughter's graduation, weren't.

I'm happy and very relieved to have them in my posession. Tried to figure out how to load them into iPhoto then into my such luck...they show up as .tiff and not .jpeg. No worries....will pop into the Apple Store Wednesday after work and see if they can help me figure this out. I know you are ALL majorly bummed that you can't see their gorgeous darling faces...hopefully by the weekend.

In the meantime, preparing for tomorrow night's Hanukkah dinner...the first one I've ever'll be special in more ways than one...stay tuned!

Yet Another Reason Why I Need A Digital Camera

Took my only roll of Morgan and Blue pix into Costco for one hour developing. Dropped them off at 3:17. Went to retrieve them at 4:25. They were given to someone else by mistake.

How could that have happened? Who in their right mind picks up pictures without taking a second to look at them before they leave the counter? Well, apparently the woman whose daughter just graduated from college did just that. The Costco clerk assured me this woman had been in 3 times over the weekend getting more pictures developed and they are confident she will return my puppy pictures.

And if she doesn't?

I don't even want to think about that.

I've been missing both Morgan and Blue like crazy, but was comforted by the fact that I would have pictures to remember them by. And now that I might not even have their pictures...well...let's just say I'm trying to think positive that they'll be returned.

Keep your fingers crossed, ok?

Time To Say Goodbye

It's officially Friday, as of 25 minutes ago. One more day of puppies and then...then they go on to the next phase of their lives.

Blue's soon-to-be mommy has been over for the last several nights helping me feed him, play with him and getting a head-start on bonding with him. Sadly, no soon-to-be mommy in the picture for Morgan so far.

Left work sick today and when I came home around noonish I did the usual 'feed the puppies' routine that I normally rush thru when I have to go back to work during the week. Today I took my time...was moving slowly to begin with...and after Morgan had eaten and pooped and peed and played herself to the brink of snoozedom, I cuddled with her for the longest time entertaining thoughts guessed it..adopting her. The left and right side of my brain going back and forth....but you're not ready for a puppy...YES I AM...but you don't want the committment...YES I you really want to give up your freedom and sleeping in and your lunch hours and your freedom to come and go at all hours of the day and night...EH-MAYBE...OH WHAT THE HELL, YES!!! SIGN ME UP.

Put Morgan and Blue to bed, went upstairs to fire up my laptop so I could try and work from home, wound up puking my guts out for over an hour (I hate GERD) and crashed for about 3 hours after that. And when I woke up? Nah, there was no way I was keeping Morgan. It would have been nice but really not what I want long-term.

Friday night after I've fed them and played with them, we'll have the ritual 'Spa Night', which is held the night before I take my puppies back to the Humane Society. They'll both get bubble baths so they'll smell divine, I'll give them 'pawdicures' (those nails are SHARP) and write out an index card for Morgan that will be posted on her cage...sorta a special note from me to her prospective new owner...telling all the wonderful things that Morgan she comes when she's called, loves kissing your chin (and nose and ears) non-stop, how she does know what 'no carpet' means even tho she pretends she doesn't...and finally how she will make a wonderful little pet for that special someone to call their own for many years to come.

Two weeks has flown by... it always does. And while I will see Blue again since he'll live in the same development, I'll always wonder if I'll ever see Morgan again. I would hope she would recognize me if she saw me on the street or at the beach or on Las Olas. Sigh... last chance...anyone out there want a darling little 4 week old Black Lab that will absolutely steal your heart and come whenever you call her? Lots of kisses as well? Any takers??

Didn't think so.

Too Pooped To Pop

I hate puppy poop. Hate cleaning it...smelling it...disposing of it. Diarrhea continues so I switched them back to their former food. As of tomorrow, I'm adding rice to their food. According to the Humane Society they are healthy with no parasites and no fever, so it's nothing to be worried about...dunno...I'm not so sure.

Maybe I should have posted a disclaimer with this entry? Do not eat while reading? Do not read while eating?

Just put them down for the night...I hope. This morning they woke me at 5:30 so I could let them out of their cage. Someone never got the memo that mom is supposed to sleep late on the weekends.

Blue has decided it will be a battle of wills over who gets to sit on the carpet. He thinks he is winning the battle. He is wrong.

Morgan isn't as mouthy and clucky as she used to be. She is a holy terror to her brother, tho. Most sisters are...nothing new there...although I was always an angel to MY sure Brian and Patrick will back me up on that one.

Blue is still a laid-back stud. Other than his fondness for Berber (very clean Berber I might add) he is close to perfect.

Teeth are definitely coming in...gave them solid food for the first time today...they played with several kibble pieces and after awhile caught on that it was edible. So of course they ignored it after that.

After swiffering easily 25 times today, more poop and pee clean-ups than I care to remember, and emptying the puppy trash twice, I am ready to call it a night, so I can start all over in the morning.

The title of this post says it all.


'You Might Not Want To Look'

Took Morgan and Blue into the Humane Society this morning. They'd both had a bad case of diarrhea over the last two days and I wanted to get it checked out just in case it was something serious.

While waiting for the results of their fecal test, I talked with June, one of the Clinic Workers. June used to be the Foster Parent contact and she has seen me plenty of times when I would come in all happy and excited to be picking up my Foster Puppies. She has also seen me come in on the day I have to bring them back to be adopted out...I am definitely not as happy on those days.

As we were talking, the staff brought in a gorgeous, happy, affectionate Doberman. And that's when June said 'You might not want to look'.

Seems the Dobie's previous 'owners' had allowed her collar to become imbedded in her neck. read that right. Whatever possessed these monsters to do this to their animal is just unfathomable. To put a collar on a dog and allow that dog to grow without ever removing the collar...that is just beyond sick, cruel, use whatever word you can think of.

As June and I talked, the Clinic Workers treated the Dobie, who responded with a wagging tail and repeated kisses for her caregivers. I couldn't help but tear up as I watched. How any animal that has been abused by a human can ever trust another human is something I have a hard time wrapping my brain around.

Miami Animal Police (on Animal Planet) found the Dobie and brought her into our facility. Miami Animal Police will be doing a segment on the dog and her progress.

The segment probably won't be shown for 9 months to a year. I don't know if the Dobie has been adopted or not...probably not since she is still undergoing treatment for her neck wound. This is one episode I will definitely look for. I so want to see this dog have a life with a happy ending.

Canine Cuteness Continues

I have this thing for alliteration, in case you've never noticed.

Ok, where were we? Yep, the pupsters!

Came home from a Target, Publix and quick dinner run to find the little angels just waking up in a SPOTLESSLY CLEAN CAGE. Yes! As much as I love having puppies is as much as I HATE cleaning up after puppy poop...but ya can't have one without the other, so ya just deal with it.

The schedule they've gotten into is 10-15 minutes max playtime until they fall fast asleep and snooze for 3-4 hours straight. OF course this will start to change in the next couple of days, but for now it's cake.

It's great having Jacob around to help...extra sets of hands are always welcome when puppies come to visit.

Sent out an email to my work buddies on Friday informing them of impending puppyhood and to let them know any and all were invited to come home with me each day at lunch while I cleaned and fed Morgan and Blue. Of course my smart-ass associate replied to all in the email saying I'd be hosting a sit-down buffet and encouraged everyone to come visit the puppies the same day. Obviously his work load on Friday wasn't all that busy if he had time to invite 15+ friends to pretend parties at my house.

Hope some of them come over sure makes feeding time and cleaning time easier, plus I really want to get the word out how cute these critters are. The last Foster pair I had I really talked up at work...which resulted in a co-worker at work adopting one of my puppies. You can't imagine the feeling of knowing FOR SURE that one of your 'babies' is going to a wonderful home.

Couple of friends are coming over tomorrow for the obligatory oooh and aaahhh before Jacob and I leave for the E-A-G-L-E-S game at 4. Giselle has to work all day so J is gonna hang out with me.

OK, time to cut this short...I'm being 'paged' by Morgan!

Good Puppies

Anytime puppies sleep thru the night on their first night home, they automatically become 'Good Puppies". And so they are.

Woke up around 7 wondering why I hadn't heard them cry. Crept downstairs and oh my goodness...a heartbreakenly precious scene of Morgan and Blue wrapped up in each others arms in their little faux-sheepskin bed....major cuteness. After a couple of minutes I just couldn't take it anymore, so I woke them up.

Whoa! They went from fast asleep to AWAKE in a heartbeat! Loudly awake. Especially Morgan.

Did the post-pee clean-up, fed them (they got more food on them then into their tummies), did crate clean up (I don't have to describe that one to you...take a guess) and then it was play time...for all of 10 minutes. Blue crashed on my lap and Morgan crawled over to the crate, pried the door open with her nose and headed straight for her bed. I put Blue in to join Morgan and they were out in less than a minute...all cuddled together and wrapped in each others arms.

It feels really good to be a puppy mom again.

Puppies In The House!

Say hello to the newest members of Kathyland.

Morgan and Blue, two week old brother and sister littermates. Two of the cutest little Black Labs you've ever seen...cute, cuddly as can be and yes they REEK of puppy breath. Morgan, the little girl, is very feisty and vocal. Her brother Blue is the epitome of laid back. They are both snoozing downstairs in their crate.

And the winners of the naming contest are:

* My hurricane buddy Jillian from Versailles, KY who suggested Morgan

* My cousin Bill from Chi-town who came up with the oh-so-relevant political name of Blue (and the perfect name for a Michigan Wolverine Fan (that would be me...M Go BLUE!)

Jillian and Bill, your personal puppy pix are on the way as soon as I take them and get them developed (nope, no digital camera yet) and everyone else that would like a picture, let me know and I'll email them to you. One of these days will learn to post pix on my promises on that might take awhile.

Morgan and Blue will be here for 2 weeks or so, just waiting for the day when their teeth come in and they can eat solid food.

In the meantime, you get to hear all about them...every single day...aren't you thrilled...well, aren't you??

Puppy Love

Moving on to things that make me smile and happy and give life a purpose. Am back on the list of active Foster Mommy for the Humane Society Of Broward County.

Normally I'll get a call asking if I can take 3-4 puppies. I bargain down to brainer since I only have two hands. Will come home at lunch (if I get the call during the morning) to set up the puppy crate with towels and toys then dash down to Ft. Lauderdale the second I get off work.

Normally on the way down I start brainstorming on names and most of the time, but not always, I have their names picked out before I see them. My one exception was Munchkin. She was a 3# Boston Terrier-Chihuahua mix. Had no idea what to call her...on the way back home called my parents for suggestions. My mom said to call her Daisy (um, no thanks) and my dad said Sadie...not bad, Sadie would do.

But then when I got home, Sam (lab/golden mix) came bounding out while nameless puppy had to be coaxed. Once I got her out I said 'c'mere Munchkin' and voila, that was it...Munchkin became her name.

This time around it will be MUCH easier to name the puppies because YOU GUYS will get to help! YAY!!

Here are the previous names :

Kasey, Jake, Noah, Genny, Sam, Munchkin, Amy, Zoe, Cody and (rest in peace) Zak. Zak had a Gastro Esophogeal birth defect and had to be euthanized.

So there's your challenge...don't hold back, show me how creative you can be!

And yes, the winners will get their very own pix of their named can you turn that down?

Disclaimer : the following names will not be accepted - Diane, Brian, Kelly, Patrick. I can't name my puppies after my siblings.

Cold Bitch Pays Nothing!

That statement was written on my salon bill this evening.

A year ago my colorist Mike made me a bet that I couldn't go a whole year without adopting at least one of the Foster Puppies I have fostered over the last year. If I won the bet, I would get a free visit at the salon. If Mike won the bet, well, he would have won the bet and I would have had a new pet.

To quote Mike "Cold hearted bitch that you are, with ice water coarsing thru your veins" is how he greeted me tonite...since tonite was the payoff for the bet!

I WON!! Woohoo!!

Yeah, it was totally hard not to keep all of my little adorable fuzzbusters....but from the get go I knew I wasn't ready for the long-term committment having a puppy would mean. So I turned each and every one of my critters back into the Humane Society to be adopted out to a permanent loving home. It was hard, but I did it.

Thanks Mike, for making a bet that you always secretly knew I would win!

You rock!

Goodbye Puppies :-(

This is my last night of having Foster Puppies.

Today we had a 'Spa Day', complete with a warm bubble baths and 'pawdicures' for both Sam and Munchkin...I always like to return them clean, fluffy and fresh-smelling! We've spent lots of time playing, cuddling, hanging on the couch and playing some more.

Bright and early tomorrow I will load them back into their travel kennel and return them to the Humane Society where both will undergo spay and neuter surgeries in anticipation of going off to their new homes.

Sam will be adopted by a co-worker and by this time tomorrow night he will be recuperating in his new house with a new name 'Bailey' and a new mommy named Melanie. As for little Miss Munchkin, the 3 co-workers that were interested in her had to pull out at the last second, so she will be waiting for that perfect person to come along and see her darling little face and her black and white mini-cow markings and fall head-over-heels in love with her and take her home as their friend for life.

Walking out of the Humane Society tomorrow morning will be the absolute hardest part of being a Foster Mommy...even harder than cleaning up puppy poop. Leaving a large chunk of my heart behind with my kids is part of the process. And I'll probably cry for a minute or two as I drive to work.

I know I am doing a good thing. I love doing it. And I love the feeling of having two adorable critters for two weeks then being able to return them. It breaks my heart, but I do it anyway. It never gets easier. And I wouldn't have it any other way.