Friday, 7 September 2012

London, the England Babies AND the Itty Pitties

By Erin D. 

London is now in her Forever Home! 
The day London came to us was miserably hot, muggy and overcast. Her trip from
Winnipeg, crated in a stranger’s van, had terrified her, and although I was able to
coax her out of the crate, Hubs had to cradle her overripe body in his arms to carry her into the house. Yes, London came to us so pregnant that we were amazed she could so much as move! Her delicate, once 40-pound body was clearly carrying at least half that weight in puppies.

Quickly, as she recognized that she was in a safe and loving place, London began wagging her tail, giving kisses, and even jumping up for attention. In spite of the clear discomfort of her heavily pregnant body, this was a sweet and kind dog just wanting someone to love her. We were enchanted. As we do for all of our fosters, I started London a Facebook page (London and the England Babies) to help get the word out about our new family of adoptable dogs.

Only a few days after her arrival, London went into rapid labour. I camped out with her the entire time to play the roll of Midwoof. One miracle appeared rapidly after the others, and London soon needed my help with tying off umbilical cords, drying and cleaning her babies between births. Eight beautiful, wet, goo-covered puppies later, Hubs looked at me with wide eyes and announced, “101 Dalmations did not prepare me for this!” Sadly, one pup was stillborn (little Brandon is buried on our property so that he will always know a loving family). London’s labor was 7 parts joy and one part sorrow, but our sweet mama dog readily moved on to the task of feeding her healthy babies.

When London’s babies were just over a week old, we got an email from MMDR asking if we thought that she would be able to handle a few more. Another mama dog was too ill to feed her litter, so 8 Pitbull puppies were looking for surrogate mothers. When our 4 little surrogates arrived, London took one look before cleaning her new babies and happily allowed them to tuck in to some milk. Her selfless, loving nature allowed her to take on 4 strange babies even when she was already so taxed with her own 7 VERY large pups.

The England Babies were large right from the start (each was born at over a pound of weight!) but they grew just as quickly. By 2 weeks old, they had teeth coming in and were ready for “puppy mush”, kibble soaked in water to make it soft enough for babies. I quickly became known as Mush Lady. They also quickly decided that outdoor recreation was the best, and needed to be carried up the stairs to the back yard in a laundry basket. It wasn’t long before they were just too heavy for Mush Lady to carry, so Hubs became Basket Man. We had many an adventure with our little poopers, and seeing them grow into individuals is absolutely amazing!

While her babies grew and mostly slept, London began to integrate with our family upstairs. Her foster siblings quickly grew to love her, and her two fellow big female dogs showed her how to play and have a good time. London learned many things quickly and well, such as off leash recall, and that one should never chase horses. She proved herself good with her small dog foster siblings, and even did pretty well with a cat visitor. Having come from a Northern community, London was used to charming humans for food, so she was always great with all human visitors. London was a fantastic mom to her babies, and  reminded us every 2-3 hours that she needed to go down to feed her brood. She spent the first 4-5 weeks sleeping downstairs with her babies, and when she had mostly weaned her  babes, she got to move into her very own bedroom at night. Bedtime quickly became one of her favorite times of day! Mama dog had not been well cared for in her previous life, so we had the fun task of fattening her up a bit, and the not-so-fun task of getting rid of her massive parasite infestation. Through good and bad, London was a bright little star, always sweet and loving.

After weeks of promising London that we would allow her to go to only the very best of homes, we finally had our first meeting with a family! It was clear to me from the very first that this was London’s forever home. When her babies reached 6 weeks of age, London moved into her new home and is now the queen of her very own castle. We miss her dearly but couldn’t be happier with her new life!

All the while, the England Babies and the Itty Pitties (so named because they were so tiny on arrival) were attracting a lot of attention. Their sweet puppy antics and faces won each of them adoptive homes. The England Babies will start moving into their forever homes this weekend, and the Itty Pitties will begin their new journeys next Thursday. We have a special bond with each puppy, so it makes me so very happy to know that each and every one of our babies will be going straight to their very own families, having never known the traumas and horrors that so many of our rescue dogs do. They have each known love, attention, affection, grooming and proper care from day one.

Of course, Basket Man and I will be starting our adventures all over again very soon with another litter. Fostering a whole family is messy, chaotic and loud, but also full of sweet puppy kisses, cuddly mamas and the wonder of new life. We wouldn’t want it any other way!

London and her babies are such celebrities and special puppies that they have their very own Facebook page!!
Puppy Party!! 

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