Preparing for Penelope's Puppies

We’re in the final few days before Penelope is due to whelp her puppies, and as a result today was moving day. Tula and Heart have been downstairs, in the room we’ve designated as our ‘whelping room’. It’s basically a spare bedroom off of our family room, which we’ve tiled and added a large wall heater to. It has all of our puppy supplies in it, from heating pads to rubbing alcohol to wet wipes, and the walls are covered with photos of puppies past. I’m sure it makes for an interesting ambience for the overnight guests who stay in it from time to time.

Heart in the Upstairs bedroomSince this room is the most convenient for me to get to quickly throughout the day while I’m working, it makes sense to put the youngest puppies into it. That meant moving Tula upstairs, to the second spare bedroom.

I’ve never before had to move a mother with a young puppy, and I was a bit apprehensive that Tula might be nervous at being in a new place. We moved the pool she’d been using downstairs, and I kept the same pad and towel in it for her, in hopes it would give her a sense of continuity.

Turns out, I didn’t need to worry.

After ten minutes of sniffing around, Tula popped into the whelping box and settled down to nurse Heart (who couldn’t have cared less about where we moved her, so long as her personal milk bar came along for the ride).

The next step was to let Penelope come into the downstairs whelping room for a good sniff around. She looked at the pool, shrugged, and walked over to the bed and waited for me to pick her up. I popped her into the whelping box and suggested she take a good look around, as she was about to spend quite a bit of time in there, like it or not.

Again with the shrugging, although this time she deigned to at least pretend some interest in the towels and whelping pad. Honestly, she was more concerned with getting out the living room and grabbing one of the good hooves before Dexter got to it. I’m not sure the whole ‘motherhood thing’ concept has kicked in yet with her.

There’s a baby monitor base set up in the upstairs bedroom, and the hand held unit is downstairs, where I can turn it on. This will let me sit with Penelope and her puppies, and listen to Tula and Heart at the same time.

We had it on during dinner, and Sean and I spent ten minutes trying to figure out what the hell Tula was doing up there. We heard what sounded like light construction, including what could possibly have been a load of gravel being dropped out, perhaps for foundation work. Every time the sounds became too intriguing, one of us would dash upstairs, only to find Tula sitting innocently in the whelping box, looking at us with an expression that clearly said “What did you expect to find?”.

I’m thinking about installing one of those Nanny cam things, just so we can figure out where she’s stashing the backhoe.

Heart of Gold continues to grow exponentially cuter with each passing day. If she continues on at this rate, she will radiate a force field of cuteness that can be felt all the way in California. Today, she did the coveted “tongue stuck out milk bubble ear twitch” triple combination, which I believe has been made illegal in two states and at least one territory.

If you look at the large version of this photo, you can see her little nose freckles starting to appear. Over time, they’ll increase in number until her nose and muzzle are completely black. On her ear, you can see the little fringe of white hairs that outline the top edge. It’s a tiny, perfect little outline.

For more cuteness, check out her other photos here.

Ellen Degeneres ‘Disappears’ Another Dog

I am starting to wonder if Ellen Degeneres is a sort of Bermuda Triangle of dog adopters — dogs go in, then disappear, never (except in the case of Iggy, who’s doing public service announcements) to be heard of again.

So, how many dogs has the Ellen Triangle ‘disappeared’? Everyone knows about Iggy, the dog Ellen adopted from beleaguered rescue group Mutts and Moms , only to dump on her hairdresser two weeks later, when the dog ‘wasn’t getting along with her cats’. Ellen’s televised breakdown, where she tearfully called for the return of the dog, did a great job of portraying her as the well meaning adopter, victimized by a cruel and heartless rescue group.

It’s hard for me to believe how easily convinced people were that this rescue is somehow evil – in spite of the fact that Mutts and Moms is dedicated to one of the hardest aspects of dog placement, pregnant and newly delivered bitches (that’s the ‘Moms‘ in ‘Moms and Mutts’). What I found even more surprising was that no one in the media called Ellen on her bullshit —  rather than being a victim, she has a long history as an impulse adopter with a penchant for dumping her pets.


Ellen Degeneres and Oakland the Border Collie

Ellen Degeneres and Oakland the Border Collie

A few people might remember Oakland the Border Collie (although it’s doubtful that Ellen does). It was 2003, and Ellen had just signed the deal for her television show. Ellen spotted Oakland in a commercial for the Oakland, California shelter where she was being held, and just had to have her. A few phone calls later, and the dog was ‘rushed to the airport’, where Ellen carried him onboard her private jet. Photo opportunity, ahoy!

A fairy tale ending — but Ellen didn’t keep Oakland. Hey, adolescent Border Collies are a lot of work, and probably not the best thing to take on when you’re in the middle of a whirlwind tour to promote your new television show. Oakland disappeared, and was never mentioned again.

A few years later, and Ellen preshadows the “Iggy Incident” when she ‘adopts‘ a dog from Los Angeles producer Kerri Randles.

Kerri Randles told Page Six that she gave DeGeneres a male mutt named Stormy two years ago, only to find out less than two months later that Ellen had given him to a member of her staff.

“She may have had it for much less time than that. I only say two months because that’s when I called to check on the dog and found out she no longer had it,” Randles said. “I was totally shocked. I thought she was out of her mind.”

A bit of digging turned up another dog — a so called ‘designer mix’ (read: mutt) she named “Morkie”. Where’s Morkie now? Who knows, but it’s no longer with Ellen.

In September of 2006, a press release was issued mentioning that Ellen and Portia had ‘taken in’ a French Bulldog named Pig. The release:

Comedienne ELLEN DeGENERES and her partner PORTIA DE ROSSI have added to their menagerie of animals after taking in a French bulldog they’ve called PIG.


Ellen Degeneres with her French Bulldog Pig

Ellen Degeneres with her French Bulldog Pig

‘Taken in’ later morphed into ‘adopted’, which in celebrity-ese generally means “bought at a pet store”. I checked, and none of the known French Bulldog rescue groups acknowledge having knowingly placed a Frenchie puppy with Ellen or her partner.

Pig became an important cog in the Degeneres publicity machine fairly quickly. Numerous photos of Pig ran on Ellen’s website, and he was mentioned by her frequently in her monologues.

Pig appeared on the show, as did two portraits of him painted by a fan.

Ellen even ran a video of ‘naughty’ Pig refusing to listen to her commands to go to his place and do a down. Apparently, it’s cute when Frenchies misbehave!

Here’s the video, which I had uploaded to Frenchie Friends on Ning.




Pig’s real fame, however, came when Ellen released her line of greeting cards in 2007. The 32 cards feature Ellen doing cutesy Ellen style things — and several also featured Pig.

Ellen Degeneres French Bulldog Greeting Cards

Ellen Degeneres and Pig on Her Line of Greeting Cards

Flash forward to today, and where’s Pig?

We have no idea, but we do know that Pig is gone. Gone completely, gone utterly, gone totally.

Pig has been removed from Ellen’s websites with near surgical precision of the kind you expect when the CIA ‘disappears’ someone.

His photos are gone from her website galleries, his mentions from her bios and releases. An old link to the original file for the Pig Steals the Cheese video leads to a dead link.

Commenters on Ellen’s site repeatedly ask “Where’s Pig?”, with never an answer. There are lots of rumors out there, but no Pig.

Is it true, as Howard Stern claims, that Ellen has done this – adopted and dumped dogs – “At least nine times?”. I don’t know.

What I do know is that her names needs a big read “DNA” sticker on it in the files of every rescue across the country – “Do Not Adopt”.

In the meantime, I’d still like to know where Pig is. Wouldn’t you?

Frenchie Puppy Takes a Nap

Action packed video of a sleeping newborn French Bulldog puppy.

Shut up, it’s cute.