And Then There Were…Four?

And then there were…four?!?

Three weeks ago, I brought home the three tiny tots I showed you recently: little Rose, heartbreaker Ty, and tomboy Nutmeg (aka Meggie).

They are the reason I have been absent. They were tinier than they should have been with liquid poo, poor appetites and throwing up. Poor little babies did not feel good.

We typically suspect some kind of parasite and began treatment. At the same time, I started to gradually transition them from the canned food that they arrived with to our puppy kibble. You always want to transition dogs to new food slowly to avoid upset tummies and icky poo (like it could get worse!). They showed a little improvement, but the gains should have been faster on the meds and their fecal samples came up clear. At only three pounds, the situation was particularly concerning for little Rose.

And then: the recall notice. The Science Diet canned puppy food that accompanied them had been recalled for excessive vitamin D. The symptoms: everything they were experiencing. The gradual transition went out the window and the canned food went in the trash. They immediately began feeling and eating better. A week later, they had nearly doubled in weight.

Which was a very good thing.

Because they needed all the heft and energy they could muster for the newest arrival: 9 week old Anna.

I received the photo of her curled up alone in the corner of a pen looking pathetic with the message: “She wants to come and play.”

There once was a time when I was forbidden to take home more than two puppies because they worried it would be too much. I guess those days are done.

Camp Yogi is a maze of puppy pens and gates. Our stone floors are a lifesaver, especially given the bladder infection that Anna arrived with (all better now).

Yogi is the absolute most patient puppy teacher ever,

and my husband is a saint. Truth be told, he loves them. At least twice a day he lays down with them and allows himself to be trampled, toppled and mauled. It is their favorite activity.

Meanwhile, I have learned that you can get a lot done when you go to bed at midnight and get up at 5AM. P.S. Chasing after puppies while trying to get your work done cures nighttime insomnia.

Despite the size difference, they play well together. Every once in a while the three gang up on the one just to show them the power of tiny tots.

But everyone gives as good as they get, and at the end of every brawl, you will find them curled up together.

People say “I’m so jealous.” But when offered the opportunity to foster little ones, they usually vanish. The truth is that puppies are a lot of work.

They wreck havoc on your home and schedule, sleep is scarce, and the laundry is endless! In the summer, I am OK with them being at the rescue because they have so much room to run and play in their huge puppy yard. But in the cold and wet of winter, there’s no place I would rather they be.

These weeks are critical in their socialization. The first 3-4 months of a puppy’s life lays the foundation for their growing up ahead. So their time together, with us, and with our older dogs helps to set them up for success in safety and comfort.

Little Meg is home. Anna was scooped up today. And while our other two little Golden imposters may need a little extra help to get home from a big dog rescue, before I know it, they will be gone and our house will be quiet (and a bit sad) again.

I never saw myself as a little dog person.

But a good heart is a good heart.

There is a reason why we say that rescued is our favorite breed.

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I am a nascent gardener, rescuer, and photographer, chronicling the journey of the dogs at Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary near Sacramento, CA - and the Memorial Garden we have devoted to them.

12 thoughts on “And Then There Were…Four?”

  1. OMD, they’re all precious!! Bless you and your hubby for taking care of them! I had thankfully transitioned my girls off the Prescription Diet i/d back in November. Personally, as much as I love puppies, there’s no way I could foster any. I have enough work on my hands with Ducky and Shadow.

  2. Oh my goodness, what an adventure you are having, and thank goodness for your helpful Yogi. I’m sure unless someone has done this themselves, they can’t possibly understand the joy and the long hours. More happy ever endings ahead all because of you, your family, and the other volunteers. 🙂

  3. Puppy Mom…you are amazing and so is Puppy Dad!!!! You help them on their journey home and to be successful! Bless you Audrey!

  4. Wow! Yogi and you and your husband work such miracles with these little ones to support them through their puppy trials and tribulations. THANK YOU for such love and hard work with them, Audrey!

  5. I love the 6th photo down, I think Anna. All you photos are always good but today that one really struck me both because of the subject and your skill in capturing her.

  6. so so very heartwarming and adorable! Gratitude to you, your hubby and Yogi for all you do for these little ones!!

  7. I’m so glad you knew to check the recall notices. I’m stunned. Thanks for all you do, Audrey. Those pups are as cute as they get. Tessa is the first kitten we’ve had in years, and I had forgotten how active and mischievous they are. Even at almost two she’s still a wild one. We adore her! Great work once again.

  8. They are heart stealers for sure! I think it’s incredible all the work you put into these darlings, and I so admire the dedication. I think with all that you invest it must be heartwarming but also a little hard when they find their forever homes. Your husband is indeed a good sport. You both have big hearts. Lovely!

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