Our momma dog, Betsy, has really blossomed. She now goes outside happily and is no longer making messes on the newspapers. And her shyness has completely disappeared. She gladly greets – with a big bottom wiggling tail wag – whoever comes to the door. And if the new arrival will let her, she’ll jump on their lap and lean her head onto their chest, and enjoy all the pets they’ll give her. She’s not really lap sized but don’t try telling her that. A few minutes ago, I tried to get her to sit next to me instead of on me while I was typing but she kept pushing her head into my arm, trying to find a way in. She finally gave up and is now lying on the floor next to my feet.
The puppies are plump and happy and doing well. On nice days like yesterday I let them out to run in the yard, play in the grass, experience the sights, sounds and smells of the larger world. Betsy has made letting them out more challenging. Like our foster Hestia before her, she can climb the metal wire fence we use to make area for our mother dogs and puppies.
Hestia and her pups, the metal wire fence in our sideyard
Betsy goes up and over the metal fencing. Then the puppies gather at the fence and whine and cry for her. Hearing them cry, Betsy returns and instead of climbing back over, jumps onto the air conditioning unit next to the fence and paces around looking for a way back in. Since this routine was rather unpleasant, I started leaving the gate open. Not a perfect solution as the puppies have more yard to explore and to potentially get into trouble (either by harming plants or objects or getting stuck). And inevitably Betsy and the puppies will wander over to the sliding glass door and look in at me as if to say, hey let us in!
This morning, I let everyone outside for about an hour before I had to leave to meet one of the women I tutor in English. Around 10:15am, I went downstairs to let Betsy and the puppies in before getting changed. As I opened the door, I heard a puppy crying. I yelled out “Puppy puppies!” the phrase I use to call the puppies to me. Betsy and four of the puppies came running. I could still hear but not see the crying puppy. Walking along the side of the house, I could hear the crying coming from the crawl space under our new addition. A few years ago, we’d had another puppy crawl under there and get stuck in a hole. After that, we’d filled up all the gaps with bricks so no other puppies could crawl under. Walking back around, I noticed an area along the house where dirt had been recently dug out, leaving a hole big enough for a puppy to crawl through. I bent down and called through the hole and the puppy quieted for a moment but didn’t come to my voice. Had he fallen in the same hole as the other puppy and was unable to get out? Would I have to go in after him? There were no places big enough for me to squeeze through. The crawl space is covered with panels. I remembered that Steve had removed the last panel to get the other puppy. The panel was screwed in on one side but not the other. The puppy was crying and I was in a hurry so I tried prying it off (sorry Steve!). Just a little more pressure and the panel popped off. Then I got down on all fours and went into the crawl space – still in my pjs and robe – and crawled forward toward the crying puppy. Halfway there I felt a sharp pain on the top of my head – I’d hit one of the hundreds of nails hammered down through the floor. As I got closer to the sound of the puppy, I started feeling for a hole. Finally I found it and the puppy. It wasn’t wide, probably no more than six inches in diameter but deep enough that the puppy couldn’t climb out. I reached in and scooped out the puppy then crawled back out on one hand and two knees. Once out of the hole, the puppy seemed fine and I put him in the whelping box with the other four.
Amanda checked my head and said there wasn’t much blood so I quickly changed clothes and ran out for my appointment for which I was very late. We’ve had on our to do list to replace the metal fence with something permanent. Perhaps it’s time to actually get it done.
Videos from last Thursday, February 15: