CUTENESS ALERT-Protective mamma and her overly cute litter
Bella’s FIFA Team with an Extra is here…
Continuing where we left…
The pups were here and all happy and healthy and Bella doing a GREAT job nursing them. I became what is called as the nipple police.
Through the next 4 weeks my job was watch, which pup isn’t eating and which one is over eating and hogging the nipple. There were 3 pups bigger than the rest who insisted they need to eat first and keep eating until they can’t eat no more..and then eat again.
And there were these two who couldn’t keep themselves awake and would sleep off after a few minutes. In the wild these little ones wouldn’t survive after all its survival of the fittest.
Here with the nipple police interrupting all puppies had no option but to thrive. I had to make sure once the bigger hoggers were done, smaller ones got their share of milk and sometimes even wake them up so they eat again.
The first three weeks of their life, these little ones can’t see or hear. They find their way to mom by smell. It’s amazing how quickly u fall in love with these beautiful hapless creatures. I think I was hormonal like Bella.. overwhelmed by how amazing this experience was. People say don’t emotionalize but I disagree. When you see what I witnessed, it’s hard to put the emotion away.
The pups all looked alike so there wasn’t an easy way to tell them apart but after a week or so I was able to tell a few apart. Some started getting bigger than the rest. Some had some sort of striations on the coat and some were showing their personalities.
My other job was to do laundry. When u have 12 puppies who eat, sleep, poop and then repeat, and a mom dog who is still recovering from her delivery and is bleeding, blankets and towels get used faster than you realize. Soon I was doing three loads of laundry every single day besides the other life i was trying to keep up with. It was exhausting and i think i can say to some extent i was more cranky than my dog.
While this was going on Bella wasn’t in her best behavior. She refused to eat…Unless the food had chicken in it. She was extremely gassy, breaking out like crazy all over her body, tired and at her worse behavior. She was a protective mama ready to snarl at anyone who came close to the vicinity of her home. The first 4 weeks that left me with no option to get help from volunteers and do it all by myself. But there was someone who was helping me during this ordeal with Bella. Liz and my amazing friend Mo. Mo used to train guide dogs and she came to my rescue helping me with Bella’s behavior. With all my heart I can’t thank her enough for how she helped me get my Bella back.
But this journey was indeed an emotional ordeal a lot of times. That did make me a very tired and cranky lady.
It was around 4 weeks when Bella started weaning off the pups. The pups had sharp teeth and toenails, making it impossible for her to not yelp in pain every time 12 hungry pups pounced on her. She had scratches and bite marks all over her underbelly. In all honesty, it is very hard to see your dog in that state.
Meanwhile the little pups were getting naughtier by the day. By the end of 4 weeks we had to upgrade their pen to a bigger enclosed space and moved them to the garage. They slept together snuggled in a huge crate and during the day they played, ate , pooped all over their space and had a great time growing strong.
My biggest job that time was to keep Bella out of the situation. She was still the protective mom and her barks were scary. No one wants to get snapped by a new mom dog. Volunteers were pouring in and out and helping us with pups.
I can’t be more thankful to all the volunteers who came in multiple times during those last two weeks and helped cleanup the space, played with the pups, helped with the laundry, removed the garbage and helped in so many ways possible. Liz, April, Sarah, Stacy, Betsy, Mo, Laura, Charlene, Elizabeth, Alison, Jack, Nancy all teamed up and did so much for Bella and us that we are blessed to have their support. Along the way I made some friendships that will stay with me for a lifetime. Bella not only gave 12 new owners new members for their family, she also gave me some amazing friendships to cherish.
I still remember the day when I had to say goodbye to all the pups. I had a heavy heart, eyes full of tears and a rough night thinking about them.
I visited them a few times later at their new foster home and each visit reminding myself that i need to learn to let go. The day my beautiful pups found their new forever homes and parents I knew I had done something right. I can only wish and hope they are loved and in turn love their family. A relationship and love we share with Bella is precious and I wish the same for my sweet pups out there.
We are still in touch with few parents of the new pups and to be able to see them grow, thrive and enjoy their new families is so gratifying.
June 15th 2018 Bella got spayed and she will remain our loving dog . She will enjoy being our puppy , our family member for the rest of our life.
People asked me why we didn’t return Bella once we found out she was pregnant as she was so new to us. But again I believe these puppies were meant to happen. Bella had seen enough bad in her life and this time her family she loved wasn’t going to give up on her. Her bond to us is strong and we were going to stay beside her as she would if ever anything happened to us.
Here is what sums up our journey with Bella.. 4 months consolidated in 2 minutes:).