So…..puppies! Now that Houdini is safely launched and Flannery is thriving in her new home, we can talk about puppies!
Everyone keeps asking me what breed they are and the only answer I have is 100% mutt. If you can think of a breed, I can probably find some evidence for it amongst these ten puppies. They are all so different!
Some have short hair, some long hair, and some fuzzy hair. They arrived in a rainbow of colors – black, chocolate, brown, mocha, tan, white, and gray. Some of the puppies have a thick density to them and others are light-boned. The two black puppies might look similar in photos, but one is fuzzy and stocky, and the other is short-haired and leggy. I keep color collars on them, but it’s easy to distinguish one from the other. There is something for everyone in this crowd.
Nancy was here for a photo shoot over the weekend and as she snapped away, we both remarked repeatedly that these puppies are gonna overwhelm you all with their cuteness. The adorableness is quite nearly unbearable. In fact, we are hoping to put together a calendar of their cuteness to raise money for our next shelter tour (in February!).
Bell has happily moved on to the weaning process, and I’m getting much more time with the puppies (especially since cleanup is necessary pretty much every hour at a minimum. I still can’t believe I ever had twelve puppies in here.)
Bell is a happy, darling, energetic, busy dog who is still frighteningly skinny. Hopefully, once the puppies are completely weaned and we can get some more powerful wormers into her, that will change.
Here are a few photos and the little bit I can tell you about them. If you want to see them in action, check out the Another Good Dog Facebook group.
Tastykake is pretty darn gorgeous. She is fuzzy and sweet and enjoys her naps more than most. She can doze while all manner of chaos is happening around her. She is a solid puppy and one of the heaviest.
Yuengling looks a little like Tastykake except you’ll note that his head is dark, while hers is light. He’s a lighter boned version of her, but also has fuzzy fur. He is absolutely striking. If there is a most gorgeous of these gorgeous pups, it might be him, but then again beauty is in the eye of the beholder and there is just so much to behold here.
Nittany is one happy little gorgeous guy. He has short hair and the BEST nose. Nittany has a big, big appetite, but is probably in the middle on the weight range. He is a gentle guy and very sweet and friendly, almost always attached to the cuff of my jeans.
Keystone has long hair and speckled white fur, his skin beneath his fur is black which makes him look gray from a distance. He is pretty vocal and also a serious sleeper. He’s one of the bigger pups and generally in the thick of things.
Utz is the smallest besides the runt. He is light-boned and has short blond hair. What I love most about him is that he is almost always snuggling with Rocky and has done this from the beginning—sharing his warmth with her. He is a fun little guy who follows me around the pen getting in my way as I clean up.
WaWa has the markings of a rottie with short, short hair. He has excellent eyebrows and a white marking in the shape of a pawprint on his chest. He is a little quieter than the others, sometimes watching to see what the others do before jumping in whole-heartedly.
This funny girl has a lot to say. She definitely holds her own with the boys. She has her mother’s pretty countenance and long legs, and her fur is on the shorter side.
This beefcake is the largest pup. His fuzzy fur makes him look even bigger. He has the same markings as his mom and is the mini-me in this litter (there’s one in every litter). He is pretty easy-going despite his large size, and already a first-rate snuggler.
Hershey is a delicious chocolate color, hence the name. His fur is medium length and he sometimes sings in his sleep. He’s definitely all-in when it comes to meals, and likes to be in the center of the puppy piles.
Born the tiny runt in this large litter, this little girl is holding her own. That baldness you see, we believe to be the result of a staf infection she developed due to her compromised immune system. It hasn’t advanced and ever since we started her on solid food she is growing stronger every day. She is active and playful and loves me (probably because of all those supplemental feedings!). She’s still a pound or two smaller than all her siblings and is wobbly, but she doesn’t let that slow her down one bit. She still doesn’t have a lot of body fat or muscle tone, but she’s a smart, plucky little pup who always burrows to the bottom of the puppy piles to take advantage of the warmth from her fat siblings.
We’ve now moved out of the puppy box and into the full room. They are learning to use their puppy pads and like to snuggle in the little dog bed together.
I’ve had lots of inquiries about adopting one of the PA Pups. If you’re thinking you need one of these precious babes, here’s what you do:
Apply to adopt at www.OPHRescue.org. The pups won’t appear on the site for another week or two, but you should apply now. The people already on the Puppy Waiting List will have first dibs, so get yourself on there.
Before you apply, though, think seriously about whether there is room in your life for a puppy.
Puppies can’t be left alone during the day for more than four hours, so if you don’t have a flexible work schedule, a willing family member, or money for a dog walker, you should consider adopting a dog instead.
Puppies require a LOT of time. In addition to the management and clean up, they need regular playtime and exercise. They need to be socialized with other dogs and lots of people. The more enrichment and new people/dogs/places they are exposed to in their first year, the fewer issues you will have down the road like reactivity, separation anxiety, and destructive behaviors.
You will need to provide plenty of toys, especially chew toys so that they don’t wreck your house. You will need to train them, hopefully in class settings where they can learn to listen despite distraction. If you don’t put in the time when they are young, later you will have problems.
Our rescue has had plenty of dogs returned who were adopted as puppies, not socialized or trained, and then returned to us because the adopter can’t deal with behavior that could have been easily prevented had they put the time in during that first year or two. Dogs do not speak English and don’t naturally ‘train themselves.’ It’s also a myth that an older dog will ‘train’ your puppy.
You will have to make the time and do the work. If you can’t, then please, please don’t adopt a puppy. Instead consider adopting a dog. You’ll still need to put in work to help the dog adjust to your lifestyle but it is not nearly the amount of work you’ll have to do to raise a good puppy.
Okay, enough lecturing. On to more cuteness.
Thanks for reading!
If you’d like regular updates on all my foster dogs past and present, plus more pictures and videos of the PA pups, be sure to join the Facebook group, Another Good Dog.
If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll sign up for my very occasional newsletter, although my newsletters are a rare occurrence, I’m working on a new one to go out this week!
For information on my writing and upcoming book, One Hundred Dogs and Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues, visit CaraWrites.com.
And if you’d like to know where all these dogs come from and how you can help solve the crisis of too many unwanted dogs in our shelters, visit WhoWillLetTheDogsOut.org.
Our family fosters through the all-breed rescue, Operation Paws for Homes, a network of foster homes in Virginia, Maryland, D.C., and south-central PA.
Recently released from Pegasus Books and available anywhere books are sold: Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs.
I love to hear from readers and dog-hearted people! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.