On Monday, the week started well. I arrive with a well behaved, calm six year old to be bred to Sara’s sire. It was a quiet week – Sara goes off to work, I try for a breeding and settle down to work on my laptop and website. Glimmer and I are quiet, uncomplicated roommates.
On Friday Glimmer and I take a little daytrip home to pick up the dogs being shown that weekend. Two eight month olds and a 2 year old. It was a 340 mile roundtrip. As I drove, I was thinking I should have just brought them with early in the week to save me the drive – how much trouble could they have been?
After just a few hours, we were both gasping at the level of unremitting activity. A week of this would have rendered us suicidal.
The total now stands at seven dogs. One bitch in season, one stud dog, one well behaved resident of the house, three eight month old puppies and a two year old completely ready to dive into whatever the puppies have identified as fun.
The endless round of bitey face, growling, wrestling and toy shredding are all normal puppy activities and to be tolerated. Over the course of the evening, we picked up a plastic grocery bag full of fluff from destuffed toys to be recycled into a dog bed. But, then they began to branch out……
Romping in the living room, I see out of the corner of my eye lighter colored dogs in the lead, running the length of the couch with the two brindle girls right behind. They run off the end of the couch, over the end table, taking the Ethan Allan lamp with them, crashing it to the floor and shattering it. Four puppies, two women screaming and shards of glass are not a good mix. I grab two collars in each hand and Sara approaches the damage. Luckily, the majority was contained by the walk off mat by the front door. Unfortunately, the lamp is discontinued and cannot be replaced.
That night I wake up at 3 a.m. and my four are completely awake. I have no idea why. I blearily get out of bed, grab leashes and quietly steal down the stairs and outside with four dogs. Then I try to go back to sleep…. Yah, right – I lay there forever and finally go back to sleep – good start on the next day. The next morning, I find that Sara had just been outside with her restless crew, which triggered mine into thinking it was time for fun.
The incessant activity made me think of the snake pit from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Harrison Ford’s famous line “I hate snakes!” could really have the word puppies substituted for snakes. I don’t REAAALLY hate them, but the constant ruckus was wearing us down. By “constant” I do mean even with time outs in crates so the older dogs could enjoy some quiet time mingling with the calm humans.
The swath of destruction widened. Next came the brand new guestroom bed.
Saturday night, the middle-of-the-night ritual happens again. I trudge wearily outside, potty the dogs and have no trouble going back to sleep after the antics of the night before. However, the still awake puppies proceed to gnaw the footboard. I didn’t notice the grinding and shaking of the bed because I slept the sleep of the innocent. I get up the next morning to find the damage – it looked like a gaggle of 30 pound chipmunks had been loose in the room, gnawing huge chunks out of the white footboard. By then the humor of traveling with puppies had begun to diminish.
Oblivious to the damage caused and the level of human angst, they spill merrily down the stairs to begin their day. Thankfully, we had a low key morning and didn’t have to get to the show until late. We pack them up an hour before we need to leave and heave a sigh of relief at the stillness in the living room.
This was one time where I wasn’t regretful that BOB went to someone else. That meant I could get all the way home that day and turn the pent up puppy energy into their usual wide open back yard.
As I dropped her off after the show and drove away, Sara didn’t cry when she waved goodbye to the silver minivan with the “wippet” license plate.