Nine Lives – Part III

July 10, 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 shared the family’s arrival at her home in San Diego. Now, we bring you Part III, the family’s second week in foster care.

As the puppies entered their second week with me, I began to see their eyes clear, their noses clear and their coughs subside. It took a bit longer for Mama Scarlett because the puppies took such a toll on her body; they had a wonderful buffet before them, and they demanded nothing less than 24-hour service on demand! Each day they became rougher as they nursed; suckling turned into biting, pulling turned into jerking, and kneading turned into a crazed frenzy. Poor Scarlett! It was time to introduce Boone, Bowie, Cody, Crockett, Wyatt, Annie, Jane and Huckleberry to puppy food. For the first few days I added puppy replacement formula along with ground dry puppy kibble into a liquid gruel. Watching our eight puppies learn about “real” food was great entertainment! They walked in it, fell in it, and got it up their noses; but, it didn’t take too long before they figured it all out. They still wanted to nurse, but at least it gave Scarlett some rest, and she began to look and feel better. Her coat was glossier, and she even had a bounce in her step!

The babies’ personalities are beginning to emerge, and they are all little imps. Wyatt considers himself the big man on campus, but he’s getting challenged every day now, especially by his twin Annie! If they are awake they are on the move, checking stuff out, chasing mom and playing with each other. Wyatt, Annie and Cody had a great game of King of the Mountain using a big Costco dog bed as their mountain. Each one thinks a hand, a leg or an arm, is his/her very own personal chew toy, and at 7 weeks old their little teeth are razor sharp! We are currently trying to teach them proper mouthing manners; no teeth on human skin ever – that’s what toys are for, and they sure do require a lot of them! It’s not a surprise that they don’t like being told “No”, but it was a surprise to hear them talk back worse than a pack of 13 year olds — they think they are such tough guys! They’ve started talking back to Scarlett, and it’s a hoot watching her try to correct them.

I’m so lucky that my daughter Heather lives two houses away. She came over and gave them all vaccinations, dewormers and clipped their nails. Little Huckie took his needle like such a champ — he didn’t even flinch. The big boys, on the other hand, were the biggest complainers, and they made their displeasure known by howling (loudly) in protest!

After two weeks, the “Bakersfield 9” are doing wonderfully; the puppies are fat and sassy, and Scarlett is relaxed and smiling. Thank you to everyone who helped make this “save” the best.

Editor’s note: A few days after this story was published, the puppies came down with parvovirus. They were taken to the vet, and he said they most likely got the virus during their time at the shelter. Cody became very ill, and we are sorry to report that he did not make it. Huck also became very ill and needed to be hospitalized.

For the rest of the story, see Part I, Part II, Part IV, and Part V.

This article was originally published on July 7, 2011.

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