Nine Lives – Part II

July 9, 2013  

The story of a mama, her babies, and the woman who rescued them

By Lori Jolly

In Part I of this story, we chronicled Lori’s decision to save a mama dog and her eight puppies. In Part II, Lori shares the family’s arrival at her home in San Diego and their first few days as foster dogs.

On Friday June 10, my daughter Heather and I were biting our nails waiting for the dogs to get here. We were definitely wary and nervous about what we had gotten ourselves into. Our friend Dorian Rivas showed up to help, and after many hours in Friday traffic, the mama and pups finally arrived.

They were transported by a wonderful woman named Magda Beale. After their long journey, we were all incredibly impressed that Mama (unnamed at this time) let us open the crate and start pulling out her babies right away. They were all very sick with kennel cough – all had terrible coughs and at least three of the puppies had a lot of green nasal discharge. We got the vaporizer going in their “nursery,” which was a confined part of my living room.

After Mama got a potty break and her dinner, she nursed the babies and then got a bath to wash the shelter stink off of her. The babies were next, and volunteer Jessie Chilcote joined us to assist with bathing the eight puppies – their first bath ever!

This whole time Mama was exceptional, more than willing to let us do anything to her, like she knew that she was finally somewhere safe. We were relieved that she had such a great temperament.

I had been thinking “American Frontier” names for the babies but couldn’t come up with anything for Mama until Heather said she liked the name Scarlett (O’Hara) because throughout the book and movie Scarlett is always saying that she’ll think about it tomorrow or tomorrow is another day, and Heather said she could just imagine this poor dog sitting in a kennel just hoping for a good tomorrow. Plus, with her pretty red coloring, the name Scarlett just seemed perfect.

The whole family was started on antibiotics the next day, and it took at least three days for them to really perk up and appear to be healthy. Once they were feeling better, their personalities really started coming out. A few that definitely stood out at the beginning were Wyatt, who has the “too big for his britches” mentality; Boone, because even from the beginning he out weighed his siblings by at least a pound; and Huck, the littlest one that was by far the sweetest and has a face like a little meerkat.

Scarlett began adjusting very well. She was very underweight and in poor body condition and was definitely enjoying her three meals a day, as well as being able to clean up what her puppies didn’t finish. We did find out that she has a prey drive and was considering adding a kitty or three to her meal plan. No kitties for Miss Scarlett.

The first week was all about getting everyone healthy and on a good diet. They were very sick, and that was definitely the first challenge of many to come.

This article was originally published on June 27, 2011. You can read Part I here.

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