The Puppies are Coming! (tomorrow!)

The puppy excitement is increasing and so is the number of puppies! We are now expecting SIX puppies tomorrow night!

Mindy, from OPH, emailed that there were two siblings whose planned adoption had fallen through. Would we be willing to take two more? Uh….I tried to remember her words from my final interview (or maybe it was in an email when I got word we were approved as fosters). She said something like, “Now, always know that you can say no. I might sound desperate or pushy, but it’s okay to tell me no.” Hmmmm…..uh……sure! What’s two more puppies when you have four already? And what kind of meany would separate siblings who just lost their mama? (Okay that’s written there in black and white for all of you to toss back in my face in a few days when I am up to my eyeballs in puppy poop!)

This thing is getting huge! It’s very distracting which is the last thing I need! My gardens are overflowing with weeds and produce, the Japanese beetles have descended a week earlier than usual, the horses haven’t been ridden in over a month, it’s blueberry season (AHHH!), I’ve started a wifi-reduction program amid protests, and I have exactly five weeks to re-write my latest novel before I’ll have to begin the promotional craziness of the novel about to be released (August 4!!!!!). So six puppies? Why not? Look at me juggle.

DSC_9216The kiddos were gone visiting grandparents or attending camp, so Nick and I had three days to work without interruption. Well, that’s not exactly true. We both had our own work so it was more like one afternoon, but still. We pulled all the furniture that wasn’t attached to the walls out of the mudroom, unearthing all manner of long-lost flotsam in the process. I found Ian’s baseball belt (actually two!), Addie’s band gloves (three!?), one odd shoe that looks brand new but I’ve never seen before that could possibly be a fencing boot, the source of the cat pee smell (a stained folder at the bottom of one shoe corral), and lots of loose change for the meters in town. Some of the finds will make excellent puppy chew toys – a wornout pair of crocks missing their rivets, flip-flops several sizes too small, tennis balls galore.

We scrubbed the floor with vinegar to kill any germs/smells/sticky residue left behind and then Nick bought a cheap piece of linoleum to cover our ceramic tile and protect the porous grout. We were even smarties and ran the linoleum up the walls a little so that puppy pee can’t sneak beneath it.

DSC_9219Next we puzzled over the puzzle of setting up the puppy pen with crate attached so that there was an accessible door. This sounds simple but the room has its restrictions. During all of this I peppered my OPH puppy guru Tracy with questions – how much and how often to feed? Poop clean up system? Do they need collars? If I leave water bowls in the pen will they go swimming? Will there be a lot of whining? Do I really have to bathe all of them as soon as they get here? Tracy patiently answered each question and never once said, “Duh.”

me and my little bro
Me and my little bro

We also had to pick two more names for the extra puppies who are both boys. One will be Homeboy (from a dog in the young adult novel my agent is currently pitching in the hopes it’ll bring luck!) and the other I couldn’t come up with. I posed the question on Facebook and got some great ideas – I particularly liked Ruckus and Bubba, but decided to go with Boz which is my little brother’s Air Force call sign. (It stands for Brother of Zero. If you ever have the opportunity you MUST have Tommy recount the story of Zero and how he came to be his brother– you’ll pee your pants laughing.)

I’m still a bit worried about the poop/pee clean up part of this adventure, but Tracy’s given me some great advice and last night at Goodwill I found a small stainless steel trashcan with a lid (operated by a foot lever!) to contain the smell. I’ve pulled out a few wornout beach towels (somehow we’ve accumulated over twenty for this family of five) and cut them into 12×12 squares to use for mopping up pee. I’d love to find another diaperpail-type container for those so tomorrow I’ll run to some second hand shops. Tractor Supply sent me an excellent coupon in the mail yesterday just in time for the purchase of heavy-duty un-turnoverable water bowls.

Because Nick has to attend our daughter’s performance at camp tomorrow night, Ian will be joining me for the late-night puppy pick up. (She’s going to sing I Could’ve Danced all Night and will be spectacular. I can hear her now. SO sorry to miss your show Addie!! Break a leg! Can’t wait to see the video!)

DSC_9187
Ian napping on Carla

Carla Update: She’s still here. And while I am still adamant that she is not a foster fail, she is welcome to stay until her forever family is ready for her. I’m hoping that will be soon. It would be SO awesome if she found her forever home this week. It’ll break my heart for sure, but six little balls of fun will be an excellent distraction. Keep sending out that positive juju that Carla can finally go home and start her real life. Here’s a video of Carla not getting up on a recent hot morning for our run (I think she’s laughing at me…).

I’ll try to write on Saturday with a puppy update, but you’ll understand if I’m a bit distracted!

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Cara Sue Achterberg

I am a writer, blogger, and occasional cowgirl who lives on a hillside farm in Southern York County, PA. You can find information about my books and all my writing adventures on my website CaraWrites.com.

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