Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Easter puppies

This one was written when our first set of grandpuppies was born in April this year. I just couldn't gather the enthusiasm to put this up so far. Anyhoo...

Easter Sunday brought the best gifts I have ever received. I had called Phoebe into our bed in the early hours of the morning. She was panting heavily and I thought being with us would soothe her. I knew she would deliver soon, and was lazing in bed thinking of taking her for a round of pee so that she would be free to give birth. We woke to a wet spot on the bed, realizing that the first pup was on its way. By the time we could gather our wits, the boy was out and Phoebe had freed him of the cord. I barked instructions at the hubs to gather the supplies I should have kept ready in the first place. The mat and a bedsheet were placed on our bed just in time for the second one's arrival. It was a girl followed by another one. I called my animal-loving-soul-sister Apu to let her know that the most awaited event of this month was happening in my bed :P

Before the next one came, we moved Phoebe and the first-borns to her whelping area.
The fourth pup was a boy after which there was a gap in which Phoebe could rest a bit. Then came two girls in quick succession. Sadly, the sixth one was a stillborn. Phoebe licked it a lot trying to revive it, but it was clear that the pup probably never matured enough to be born alive. It was ghostly pale, as opposed to the others who were a very healthy shade of pink. We left the girl on a piece of paper on a table nearby. It took a while for the seventh one, a girl, to arrive, and Phoebe gladly had some water in the meantime. I had a hunch that the litter wasn't complete yet, so we stayed put in the whelping area. Soon enough, the last one arrived, another girl.

While the litter was making its way into this world, I kept helping Phoebe every chance I could... tearing off a couple of pups' protective sacs and helping them breathe. It just felt so... right. My girl did her job beautifully--tore off the sacs, cut the cord at just the right length, licked the pups clean and kept an eye out for intruders. Her instincts continue to amaze us. Mojo was pretty confused and kept popping in to quench his curiosity, but always remained at a cautious distance. The darling never troubled Phoebe in any manner. Maybe he dared not ;-)

When sufficient time had elapsed, I took Phoebe out for a walk, which was more like a mad dash to the road and back. She kept barking loudly at me, as if to tell me that we have to hurry. Maybe that's how they protect their young ones... by creating enough ruckus to ward off predators. She peed and pooped right in the middle of the street--quite unlike her--and ran back up the stairs at lightening speed.

I could have sat there all the time, but Apu called to say she was coming right over from Mumbai before she could even get home. Thanks to her, I gathered my wits, cleaned up a bit (thanks a bunch to the hubs for being so quick when it mattered, muuuuahh!) and even managed to have a bath in time. Apu and her husband could adore the pups only after Phoebe stopped barking in their face and settled down realizing that they meant no harm. Mojo had his fill of jumping around and running batshit crazy when they entered the door. This was the only time he got any attention that day. Except for the occasional appreciative nod and touch when hubs and I cooed over how non-nuisancy he was today.

I took Phoebe for a couple more poop-n-pee sprints, and then she had a few morsels of food at night, right beside the pups. Not being in that room was unbearable for her. Because the work week would begin the next day, I did not let hubs sleep in Phoebe's room. And rightly so. The little critters kept me up all night with their squealing. Although I did enjoy that too.

Setting off the sabbatical

I wrote this post in April when I quit my job, but I haven't had the inclination to upload it yet. So here goes...

The perfect beginning that didn't last

I doubt that many will understand this, but I was thrilled to wake up at 6:30 on a Saturday morning! It was just way I wanted my sabbatical to begin. I was so excited to be up at the time that the temptation to snuggle in did not even form completely in my mind. I thought of getting dressed and going for a walk, but my feet were hurting like they do on most mornings since several months now. So, I sauntered into the other bedroom and did some stretches in my night dress with the ceiling fan on full blast. I don't like getting sweaty right after I'm out of bed, but that's the big downside of exercise. Just one of my excuses for not getting into a healthy morning routine.

I was tempted to doze off again after the stretching and so I lay down on the floor, relaxing. Instantaneously, my dogs woke up and came barging from the bedroom sniffing and jumping over me. I took the cue, changed, and took them for a walk. We left the neighborhood and walk alongside the main rood today, and they were unexpectedly well-behaved. They didn't pull constantly, and I could control them with my voice and a few tugs at their leashes. We even saw a pack of puppies on the way, and one of them walked up to us ready to play but then chickened out suddenly. It was nice to see 'em all and their mum looking over her shoulder protectively. After we got home, though, we went to wake up dada, but snuggled in instead, like we always do, falling prey to his powers of sedation.

At this point, I succumbed to weariness and stopped writing. Didn't catch on for more than a week after. Through the first week at home, several things kept me busy, including lazing around and watching TV.

Come Sunday, the enthusiasm of waking up early and attempting to start and continue an exercise regime went right outta the window. I spent the morning gathering our apartment-related documents so that I could hand them over to the next office bearer. We had an annual general meeting planned for the evening. It went surprisingly well, and lasted only a little over two hours. I was the Secretary of the apartment association, but happily gave up the position in the hope that other members would take up the responsibility. The guy who was President gave up his position too, which surprised people. At least they said so.

Throughout the working week, hubs ran off to work as early as he could and came back as late as he could. Bugger's been taking advantage of me being at home to work longer hours. Not that I mind. I think he can use this opportunity to do some good work and get noticed. He's had to put in a fixed number of hours over the past two years so that I could work flexi-time and longer hours, and make multiple trips to the office if required. It worked for us, because my commute was almost half of his and I had to maneuver through only half the traffic. Also, the car was always at my disposal and I have been taking undue advantage of it. Sigh!

On Tuesday, I took Phoebe to the vet for an ultrasound, and we came to know that she had at least 6 pups in there. I've been waiting for their arrival all through the week. The same evening, hubs and I went to see a new pooch in the neighborhood. A girl who used to have a Dalmatian but gave him away because she couldn't manage to take care of him, has now brought home a month-old Rottweiler. Apparently her husband got cured of his dog aversion and wanted one that belonged to a big strong breed. It was a fun half an hour, where we let Bullet (yep, that's his name, but just "Bull" would suffice if you ask me... he's strong!) scamper around between our feet and over our heads, lick our faces, and chew our fingers and ears.

During the rest of the week, I did some cleaning up around the house, organized some documents, went grocery shopping, cleared the spare bedroom and created a whelping area for Phoebe. Took the dogs out on several short sprints, off the leash. I was too lazy to walk them around the usual track, and besides, they enjoy the freedom.

Good Friday morning was spent at me mum-n-dad's, where I clubbed a few things in one trip: I had to carry some warm clothes and tiffins for mom to carry during her upcoming old-ladies-gang trip to Kashmir. She had prepared my favorite food item. My dear friend Meg was in town for the weekend and we wanted to catch up. I had to drop mom off to granny's on our way back. Pawan was ok to be dragged around town and dumped at mama's place while I met Meg ;-)

Saturday was spent at home, zombie-watching TV. Except when I went to the bank and tried to check email. My internet connection played hooky through the week. Phoebe had began panting in the afternoon and continued through the night.