Wednesday, August 27, 2008

slink & einstein having hissy fits (literally)

Well, we adopted two puppies. Twitch is his usual mellow self about them: “Well, whatever.” More curious about them than anything. Einstein’s tail puffed out and he growls and hisses at them. And Slink—well Slink turned into one of those Halloween cats, jaggedy fur along his spine sticking straight up, arched back, tail about three times its normal size, mouth open, fire eyes, hissing. The pair are starting to calm down a little.

The pups? Well, they just want to play with them. Einstein growls at Ruby, and Ruby barks at her.

We went out to Turner, Michigan to see the puppies a dog rescue woman had available. The ASPCA in Lincoln didn’t have any young pups, and I kept going back to the pictures of the puppies (on http://www.petfinder.com) from Shirl. So we decided to try there and if there were no pups there, we’d stop at the ASPCA in Tawas. It took a while to connect, but we finally made it. Mom and Dad went with us.

We got to Shirl’s and indeed there were dogs. All kinds, all sizes, all ages. There are three “sets” of puppies: one a litter of lab mixes, one a litter of German shepherd and Australian shepherd mixes, and one a bunch of puppies: beagles, total mutts, more. And there were some older dogs. But we wanted puppies.

There were so many great puppies to choose from—it was really difficult to narrow our choices down to five, let alone one. Shirl had placed one of the shepherd/Aussie pups in my arms and she, of course, came home with us. Then Stanley took a shine to one of the chocolate labs, so she came home with us too. This makes it sound like an easy decision—but it wasn’t. We were planning on getting just one and then getting another pup when we returned to Connecticut, but there were so many choices how could we not take advantage of the opportunity?

MEET RUBY
Stanley wanted the spunky little female lab mix, the one with the eyebrows and socks: (click to enlarge)

Ruby, Lab mix, August 27, 2008

He named her Ruby because it’s his favorite gem and she’s a gem of a dog. I swear, that’s what he said. It suits her quite well and she loves listening to Dad singing “Ruby” to her. She is about three months old—Shirl doesn’t know the exact birth date of this litter but said they were 9.5 weeks when she got them on July 17, so we settled on May 13 as her birthday (it’s Ben’s birthday). She’s liver colored, and looks like the mix in the lab mix might be weimaraner. She’s lighter that a true chocolate lab, and appears be a Dudley, though she’s too young to be sure about this. She is sweet and already affectionate and like most labs, she does love her food. This photo shows her coloration better: (click to enlarge)

Ruby, mixture of light and medium browns, august 27, 2008

MEET BINGO
Before we even found the pups, Dad said we should name it Bingo, that way it would have a song. I had a dog named Bingo once in the early 80s, but he was stolen quite young so I didn’t have him for very long. I think Dad’s idea is excellent, so that what I named my new baby girl puppy. Here she is, sound asleep: (click to enlarge)

Bingo, German Shepherd, Australian Shepherd mix

Bingo is six weeks old—she was born on July 14th. She and the rest of the litter were really too young to leave their mother, but the mother’s owners told Shirl if she didn’t take them, they were going to “throw them away.” Shirl could not convince them to keep them just another week or two, so she ended up rescuing them from the idiots who don’t know enough to get their dog spayed. She is tiny, and so young. I am really nervous about her being so young and am trying really hard not to get too attached to her yet, but it’s not working. She eats well, and drinks well, so she’s fully weaned, but she’s still nuzzling my neck looking for a teat so she was definitely weaned too early.

Tomorrow I will try to get a photo of her face—she looks like one of the band members from Kiss, with big black stars over her eyes. I suspect she has some lab in her too because of her tail, which is neither an Aussie tail nor a shepherd tail, and her ears are more like a lab’s ears. But she is so young it’s too early to tell if the tail and ears will have feathers. Here’s a closer look at my sleeping baby: (click to enlarge)

Bingo 8/27/08

Already we’ve had to wage a huge battle with fleas. Rescue pups will have fleas, and they are too young for flea treatments or it’s too close to when they were vaccinated to have a flea treatment. So we looked up what to do about the fleas and discovered that the best thing to do is saturate the pup with water, use lots of baby shampoo and work up a good foam over every square inch of their little bodies, let the shampoo sit for 10-15 minutes, rinse the pooch and then use a flea comb while the coat is still damp to get rid of the now-dead fleas and eggs. We were just appalled at how many fleas they each had. We’re also supposed to rub our hands with Skin So Soft and then rub our hands on our pups and that will help keep the fleas away—we had to order some SSS online because we couldn’t find it here in Oscoda. We also ordered some Frontline Plus to put on the cats just as a precaution—I know dog fleas and cat fleas are different but I don’t want to take any chances.

The potty training is also painful. I’d forgotten how patient you have to be with that, particularly with the baby pup. So tomorrow we’re off to Wal-Mart for some piddle pads, which I’d also forgotten about. The one thing about potty training the puppies is that Mom laughs and laughs when we have to clean up dog poop—and when Dad stepped in it, I thought she would go into an asthma attack she was laughing so hard. Mom loves the puppies and they like to cuddle with her.

Today I made some tuna macaroni salad for Mom and started crying because Ginger wasn’t there waiting for me to give her the water from the canned tuna. Damn I miss her so much. I know that’s why I’m resisting getting attached to the pups—I’m so nervous that something will go wrong and we’ll lose them. I know that resistance will crumble pretty soon.

I’ve been so preoccupied with Ginger’s cancer and her death, then getting ready for the trip and finishing up a store, then traveling, then looking for a puppy and then taking caring of them that I haven’t paid much attention at all to the news—very little has sunk in. Not the convention, not Tropical Storm Gustav (Stanley mentioned it to me today and I, weather junkie that I am, didn’t even know it had formed), almost nothing has penetrated. It’s probably a good thing for now. I’m also a politics junkie but don’t need the added stress right now—I’ve plenty to last for a couple more weeks.

Here is one more photo of our new pups: (click to enlarge)

Bingo and Ruby, 8/27/08

posted by lee on 08/27/08 at 08:59 PM

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