So That’s Why They Say, “Be Careful What You Wish For”

May 19, 2009

After the first full day of having the pups at home, I have to admit, I feel rather as though I’ve been run over by a road roller. What was I thinking. They’re peeing and pooping all over the place and the only thing I’m doing all day apart from thinking up and managing ten separate meals (four for the pups in addition to three each for kids and adults) is cleaning up their messes. And stinky they are too! As if I haven’t just had my fill of that – it’s not that long ago that I was up to my elbows in the twins’ pee and poo.

On the other hand, if this is something you’ve got to do, you might as well do it and get it done with while you still remember how. And have the energy for – even if I’m not sure that I really do. I remember feeling equally dazed and road-rollered when the twins came home – and that was with the pee and poo all neatly tied up in diapers. So I know it’s going to get better.

Or at least, I think I know it will.

At any rate, I firmly believe it will.

Or… I somewhat believe it will.

Ok, I desperately hope it will.

It willl.

Won’t it?

Oh, for a garden with a screen door that the dogs can open from either side, like we had when I was a teenager and we had three dogs at home, and everything was so simple – or so it seems with the rose-tinted glasses of retrospect.

The first day, the dogs were both completely subdued. They ate, but they showed no signs of life apart from that. Until 2 a.m. – then they decided it was time to play. They came and pushed open our door and entered our room and walked on to our bed and demanded company, or at least an audience. We threw them out, so they complained for an hour. Then, they fell asleep – or I did, perhaps – only to awaken at 4.45 a.m. with similar requests. This time, I actually got up – and started my day by cleaning up about a half-dozen messes. Charming. However, the dogs did their best to entertain me by chewing my ankles and scraping my legs raw – they were in high spirits and didn’t even remotely resemble the limp, lifeless beings we had brought home some hours ago. Which was great, but… did they really have to wait till 4.45 on Sunday morning??

The rest of Sunday, they alternated between being sleepy or asleep, and being frisky. They played together most adorably in the afternoon, and when S, P and p came to visit in the evening, they were their social best, all wagging tails and huge grins. It was good to see them being more like what I imagined pups should be like. Even the stinking messes seemed a little more bearable when done by a happy, grinning, playful pup.

The twins are quite fascinated by them – when they wake up and come out, they don’t come to me or Amit any more, they just stop and stare at the pups. They’ve patted both pups, somewhat tentatively, though they haven’t tried really playing with them yet. At one point, Sandy went to poop in the bathroom and Tara came and told me all about it, so I could stop whatever I was doing and go clean up. Very nice, thank you Tara.

It took the pups exactly 24 hours to discover the living room, and exactly 24 hours and one minute to pee on the mattress that serves as a divan. In the next few minutes, they also similarly honoured the carpet. Within a few short minutes, our living room was rendered completely devoid of any scrap of fabric other than what was hanging from the curtain rods and stitched to the sofa and armchair. Surely, they will mark those bits of furniture soon enough, but there’s nowhere we can move them to. Besides, we have to have some place to sit.

The only real problem so far has been walking them. They’re terrified of their leashes and of being led around by them. Perhaps they’ve seen too many painful things happening to dogs who get taken away in the Shelter. Anyway, we took them out on Saturday evening, and Mishti managed to wriggle out of her collar, which must have been too loose. I hadn’t worried too much, because I’d thought she’d just stop where she was, if she managed to get free – she seemed so meek and mild. But she streaked off like greased lightening and hid under a car. Sup33 had come to say hi, along with her mother and her daughter, and with Amit and the twins and Sandy around, it was quite a large party that helped or watched as we struggled to coax or otherwise persuade Mishti to come out from under the car. We were still too new to her and she wasn’t inclined to trust us, so it took some doing. At one point, I almost thought we’d have to just leave her there, but that would have been too terrible. Finally, with Amit shooing from one end, and me at the other end making the disgusting kissing sounds one makes to animals when trying to persuade them to cooperate, we managed to get her. And we went straight home and haven’t ventured out since. Of course, we will have to sooner or later – I’m going to have to take dogs and girls out together sometime soon, but I really can’t say yet how that milestone is going to be achieved, much less when.

So life has become tremendously more complicated than it already was. Sigh.

And no, knowing that I asked for it doesn’t make it any easier.

Two New Additions To Our Family

May 18, 2009

As though the twins weren’t keeping us busy enough, we decided to add another two members to our busy household.

We had gone to meet V, V & v a while ago and the twins took to a giant teddy bear there. So one day last week Amit said he’d like to get a couple of dogs for the twins. He meant stuffed toys, but I thought he meant the real thing. And of this simple misunderstanding, was a crazy idea born. We both got carried away with the thought of real dogs, and set about working out how it could be done.

On Monday, Saturday seemed very far away, but however slowly, time rolled inexorably on, and at last Saturday was here.

It’s never easy leaving home with the kids, but it’s so much more difficult on a Saturday morning, when you’re feeling tired and short of sleep, impatient, eager, just a bit tense, and in a hurry to get somewhere. Despite everything, we managed to leave home by 11, and reached the animal shelter, CUPA, by noon.

Of course, we had had other dreams: a golden retriever, maybe even an Irish Setter. Maybe even a pair! But in the end I think we always knew we’d end up picking up a mongrel pup from somewhere.

I’d been to CUPA once before, four or five years ago. That time, I’d been captivated by one particular dog, whose sweet brown eyes followed me everywhere. I’d also been shocked to see many amputee dogs, hopping around quite happily on three legs. This time, I was prepared for the amputees, and hopeful that we both – or all four – would be similarly captivated. But we were shown a small collection of scraggly mongrel pups, with nothing much to distinguish one from the other. There was particularly frisky pup, a few months old – but he was apparently “boarding” there, not for adoption.

Amit wanted tiny pups, but the staff there encouraged us to go for the bigger pups, perhaps not entirely sure that the tiny ones would survive. The one Amit liked looked particularly weak, small, and lacklustre.

I had decided that on the whole females would be better, so we picked two girls, not from the same litter. One was small, hairy, snub-nosed, and flop-eared, light brown in colour. The other was larger and older (about three-and-a-half months, we were told); she had the face of an Alsatian, with a long, thin, pointy snout and sharp, pointy ears. She looked intelligent and eager. Her expression, more than her looks, reminded me of Cassie. She was terribly thin, but her coat was sleek and black.

The first pup, the smaller one, we were told, had a skin infection and they weren’t confident of curing it, so they asked us to pick another. We looked around, but there wasn’t much choice. Amit firmly wanted two, though – one for each girl, he said. So in the end we took that girl’s brother, apparently from the same litter, instead.

There was some paperwork, then inoculations and de-worming, which we had to pay for, and then we were done. Altogether, we spent about an hour and a half at CUPA, which was not too bad.

I would have held the pups in the car on the way home, but Amit voted to keep them in the back of the car. It was a long drive, perhaps their first, and at least one of them was sick on the way. But we were home by a little after 2, and now we were six.

%d bloggers like this: