A great big wrap up post, with a bit of this and a LOT of that, including new puppy photos, the pay differences between good and evil, and why Naboo Tatooine is freaking me out.
When Ellie first came home with Sean and I, she made her opinion of us quite clear – “You stink, and I want nothing to do with you”. Our first tentative attempts to coax her out of her crate were met with undisguised contempt and loathing, and we were left wondering if she’d ever warm up to us.
We knew she was growing to love us the day that she decided she wanted to eat dinner with us. Ellie and the dogs ate in the kitchen, two rooms away from the living room. Ellie was always a slow eater, still working her way through her kibble long after the other dogs were through, and usually Ellie would come and join us when she was finally done. One day, during dinner time, we noticed Ellie running back and forth from the kitchen to the living room. We finally figured it out – she was carrying her food out to us, one mouthful at a time, and eating it sitting beside us. Carry one mouthful out, chew, go back for more, repeat.
After that, it was Ellie’s dinner time ritual – she’d bring her food out so she could eat dinner next to us, and Sean and I finally fell head over heels in love with her.
Two days ago, while I was doing some cleaning in the puppy room, all of the pups were sleeping in a big pile in their bed except for Jellie Bean, who was still picking at her food. When I looked over at her, I noticed she was grabbing a mouthful of kibble, and then carrying it over to the edge of the pen, so she could sit and watch me while she was eating. My heart instantly broke into ten million tiny little pieces, and I will admit that I broke down and cried a little bit.
Every puppy that we have carries echoes of the dogs that came before them. Every litter has a moment when I am struck by a resemblance to another puppy, or another dog. Every time I send puppies home with their new families, I send pieces of myself along with them, and the memories of all the wonderful, beautiful, beloved dogs that are their families and their heritage.
In other heart breaking news, Dexter has gone off to Michigan, where he is about to embark on a dual career as lothario and show dog. He’s staying with our friend Sue Case, of Epic French Bulldogs, where he’s about to discover the joys of fatherhood (hopefully). After that, he’ll be hitting the show trail. We’ll post a list of his entries, so that anyone who is in the area can drop in and cheer my little man on. He’s a bit of a momma’s boy, so please be sure to give him an ear scratch and tummy rub from me if you see him!
Some new photos of the crazy kids (who really, really love their green crinkly tunnel!) are below, or over on Flickr.
Last night, at about 12:30, I heard a strange ‘skritching’ sound coming from the spare bedroom across the hall. Like most dog people, the most quiet of noises, if it’s out of place, can wake from an almost dead sleep, and this noise was most definitely out of place.
::scritchy scritchy scritch::
::scritchy scritchy scritchy scritch::
::scritchy scritchy scritchy scritch scritch scritch::
Fine, time to go and check it out. I discovered Tula, sleeping in the whelping box, and Heart on the floor, scritching the edge of the pool in an attempt to get back inside. Big enough to get out of the pool, small enough to be stuck outside once she did. I set a temporary barricade up around the pool, popped Heart inside with her mommy, and headed back to bed. In the morning, I discovered Heart once again toddling around on the floor of the room, within ‘trouble’ range of electrical cords, carpeting and other not puppy safe hazards.
It’s official — she’ll go live in the ex pen with the other kids, including over night.
As a compromise, I’m alternating Tula and Penelope in the whelping room with the kids. I don’t want to just take Heart away from her mommy – they love each other! Penelope, on the other hand, dashed into the dog room and out into the yard without a backward glance. Freedom!
Tula nosed around the ex pen, sniffed noses with Heart across the doorway, and decided to pop inside for a visit. In a few moments, a light bulb went off inside her head. “These are puppies — other puppies!”. What do we do with puppies? Why, we clean them and nurse them and play with them and organize them into tidy piles, of course, which she promptly proceeded to do.
Within fifteen minutes, Tula had each of the Nellkins sniffed, washed, and tucked safely into her side for feeding. Heart slept through the entire procedure – hey, she gets mommy time all the time. The Nellkins, on the other hand, are completely enamored with Tula. A mommy who licks us! A mommy who plays with us! A mommy who wants us to eat! Who knew such a thing existed? It was like a scene out of that TV Show, “Wife Swap”. Penelope would be the slacker mom, tossing Heart a box of Kraft Dinner and telling her to go to the store and pick up some smokes after she’s done cooking it.
Speaking of Nell, when it was swap back time she mooched back into the room, high stepped around the pups with an expression that said “Get ’em off me”, and finished off the rest of their food before high tailing it out of the pen.
Maybe I’ll just leave Tula in there with them all from now on, and let Penelope get back to her career.
Photos on Flickr — http://www.flickr.com/photos/frenchbulldogs/sets/72157607787521200/
The video from yesterday (it seems to be displaying oddly in the previous entry):
Three quarters done — I just have to edit and upload Heart’s photos, and my Sisyphean tasks for this week are done. OK, maybe it’s not quite that onerous…
In the meantime, here are my two favorites from the Nell photos –
The still nameless cream boy, waiting patiently for Bryan and Allison to tell us what we should refer to him as… I’m just going to call him ‘Stache’ for now, in honor of his funky half mustache marking.
Here’s the rest, or see them full sized on Flickr.
.. and here’s Heart
French Bulldog Links
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Located in Ontario, Canada