In 2011, as a Christmas present for my husband, we adopted a beautiful black lab named Chief. He was 2 ½ years old and absolutely the most amazing dog in the world. Sadly, he developed degenerative disc disease and became paralyzed. Our sweet boy crossed the Rainbow Bridge on July 5, 2016. As a family we were devastated. My daughters were 7 and 2. The 2 year old did not know life without her best friend and was very confused. I thought and felt like I would never be ready for another dog to become part of our family. Fast
forward to March 18, 2018 and those feelings lifted.
My sister is a foster for our local shelter, the Heritage Humane Society. They contacted her in February of 2018 about a beagle, Taffy, that had been surrendered to them that was very pregnant. They did not know how far along she was or what type of dog had gotten her into the “mommy way”. She agreed to foster Taffy through her pregnancy and until the puppies were weaned. Taffy went into labor at 3am on March 18th and successfully delivered 5 puppies. Too many and too large of puppies to have come from this tiny little beagle. 3 girls and 2 boys. The last boy was not only the runt but he was not breathing. My sister and her husband jumped into action and got the sweet boys lungs working! Mama and her puppies were all doing wonderful and my girls could not contain their excitement about going to meet the puppies.
When we went to meet the puppies and see how Taffy was doing after the birth, I had no intention of even considering bringing a puppy home. Were they absolutely adorable? Yes. Were they total snuggle bugs? Yes. Was I totally in love? …...yes….. I honestly was not prepared for that feeling. I instantly fell for the runt, aptly named Johnny 5 after the movie Short Circuit. “Johnny 5! Alive!” If you have never seen this classic 80’s movie I strongly suggest you get right on that, you won’t be disappointed! Did I mention Ally Sheedy is the lead female?
However, I digress.
When my husband went to visit the puppies for the first time, he fell in love with the second female, MoMo. She instantly came to him, he picked her up, and that’s all she wrote. So, I went from not wanting to bring a puppy home to bringing home two puppies. Apparently I had received a head injury at some point and no one told me.
To say I was wholly unprepared for puppies would be an understatement. We had a kennel, puppy pads, chew toys, puppy food, etc. We knew there would many, many potty accidents. Especially since there were double the bladders. They were clumsy and silly, playful and playfully aggressive. I compare them to 1 year olds running around without diapers! Chief was fully trained when he became part of our family, tricks included! I questioned my sanity many, many, many times after bringing the puppies home. We are not a family of morning people, our children included. Unfortunately, the puppies are 6am wake up puppies. I was sleep deprived with my children but this is a different kind of sleep deprivation. When my daughters were babies, when they woke up in the morning, I could feed them and close my eyes and rest. When the puppies wake up, you get to hear them “sing the song of their people” at full volume as you hurriedly close bedroom doors so as not to wake the children too early because we all know children waking up too early is just as bad as them going to bed too late. Open the kennel and get them to the back door as quickly as possible to avoid any detours or distractions that will lead to a potty accident. Then stand outside with them as they express their sharp clawed and razor toothed joy to see you after so many hours alone as you coax them into going potty so we can all eventually go in the house. Oh, did I mention that I am still in my pajamas and I am “free boobing it” which is one way of saying that I am braless? Oh and all the surrounding houses can see into our backyard so I hope everyone enjoys their show every morning!!
The puppies are now almost 12 weeks old. The humane society, our vet and our family all believe that the father of the puppies was a black lab. They look exactly like black labs but as they get older they look like they have brown highlights in their fur. As lovable as they are, they are equally insane. Their favorite pastime is wrestling and playing tug of war. Of all the chew toys we bought their go to toy is an empty water bottle. Johnny eats his food so quickly as if it may run away from him. When they are quiet for too long you can only imagine what they have taken to chewing on that you don’t want chewed! Saving shoes fills my day when you have children (and a husband) that can’t remember to put their shoes away. Please don’t get me started on all the digging in the yard. They are big enough now to reach the top of the kennel so we can no longer store their supplies on top as they love to pull them through and destroy everything. They keep us on our toes but you have to make sure to pay attention to where you are putting your toes to avoid any pee puddles. Ask me why I say that…..
In all honesty, the puppies are learning so quickly! They know their schedule and will let you know if you are late feeding them. They are learning not to come in the kitchen when we are preparing food. They sit for treats, come when you call them (most of the time), go to their kennel at night and when we leave the house with minimal coaxing, as well as give some of the best puppy kisses!
The love these puppies have brought into our home is insurmountable. Our girls love to talk about how much Chief would love the puppies and how much they look like him. These puppies filled a hole in my heart and have completed our family. The work the Heritage Humane Society does is heartwarming and the phrase "Adopt Don't Shop" rings so true. Visit your shelter today and hopefully you will find your new family member.