Dogsitting Daylog 1

I don't daylog but I'm daylogging. Because I don't have people around to talk to in person, I'm bored out of my skull and will inflict it on daylog readers instead. 8) Advice on puppy-rearing is welcomed.

My mom has two Australian Shepherd dogs, male Secret Puppy (depite his name, full-grown at five years old) and recently-adopted two-year-old female Jazzie, who Mom neglected to get spayed despite warnings. So a little bit after Thanksgiving we found out that Jazzie was going to have puppies. Mom had already made plans to spend two weeks in North Carolina with her parents and get me to stay with her dogs in St. Petersburg, Florida. So now I've got nine dogs to mind, instead of just two -- luckily Jazzie takes care of feeding the puppies and I've only got to open the cans for the adults for ten days.

The dogs we had when I was little stayed in the backyard. (Mom used to cite her allergies as the reason for that. Apparently she's healed of allergies now.) I'm not used to living with indoor dogs, especially not ones big enough to jump up on me and leave noseprints on my glasses.

Saturday evening:

You wouldn't believe two-week-olds could be so loud. Their eyes are barely open. But right now, only one of them is asleep (it's the biggest one, who managed to wander over to mama dog Jazzie and get a meal while she was lying still for a change) and the other six are yipping, howling, whimpering, and even giving tiny highpitched baby barks at each other or their mother. I keep turning around from the computer and counting them to make sure one of them hasn't managed on his/her wobbly baby legs to make it down the hall to visit their mother as she paces, patrolling the whole house. (Or to visit their father -- Jazzie won't even let him sniff his kids.)

I've tried to prepare for the puppies' growing bigger and stronger -- cardboard/masking tape blocks between pieces of furniture to keep them from getting back where I can't reach them, boxes under the computer desk to keep the spaghetti tangle of cords out of chewing reach. It'll be interesting when they get teeth. It'll be nice when they can follow the grownups outside -- then maybe the odor I periodically notice in the computer room/puppy nursery will lessen. 8) (Actually, as the puppy-raising books informed me was normal but I still find kinda gross, the mother dog licks up all their droppings. But I still notice an odor even when there's nothing visible for me to clean up.)

Sunday afternoon:

Secret Puppy and Jazzie must think I'm the most boring human around. (Well, I don't know -- I doubt Mom does anything more active when she's here, but she's out in the front room watching TV a lot of the time, whereas I'm in the back room on the computer.) I tried taking them out in the fenced back yard, with a book for me to read, but Jazzie gets in the way when Secret Puppy wants to play fetch with me and his favorite ball. Of course, Jazzie won't play with the ball at all if Secret Puppy isn't there. I've been reading books on wild apes lately, and the way they spend their time (searching for food, grooming one another, etc.) A marked contrast to how domestic animals (at least these particular ones) spend their time. I've been around my dad and stepmother's cats and their miniature Schnauzer, who both seem inclined to amuse themselves without human intervention more than Mom's dogs. Though I guess the cats provide something for Pepper the Schnauzer to follow; she doesn't really do too much without some being's company.

Sunday evening:

OK, when they're noisy it drives me nuts. Secret Puppy is quiet. So are most of the puppies -- it's the couple of explorers who wander off by themselves and yip REALLY LOUDLY when they want to go back, and Jazzie, who whines and I can never tell what for.

Well, often it's to go outside. She usually doesn't need to use the backyard as a bathroom, she just wants to be outside. I guess I can understand the desire to escape seven babies who try to nurse every time you sit down (and some manage to keep nursing even when she gets up -- those pups have quite a grip considering that they have no teeth yet). And Secret Puppy wants out when Jazzie goes out. Finally, I sympathize with those T-shirts that say "Agenda for the day: Let dog out. Let dog in. Let dog out. Let dog in. Let dog out. Let dog in. Let dog out. Let dog in." Mostly I'll let them stay outside until they start barking at one of the neighbors' dogs and then I make them shut up and come back in.

But she whines at my mother's bedroom door when it's closed, and just inside the room if it's open, so she may just miss Mom. Both the adults go nuts howling and whining if I go out in the garage to do laundry, since that's how Mom enters and exits the house from/to the car. Oh, well, I guess it's still better for them to be at their home and have someone around who they know instead of being in a kennel with strangers.