The Thanksgiving Puppies

Prologue: December 6, 2004


Two a.m., my watch read in the flashlight beam; time to start mixing formula. I sat up from my makeshift bed on the basement floor.

A soft murmur of tiny grunts and cries arose beside me, from the plastic wading pool that served as the nursery. The tired mother was resting, and her puppies cuddled up into her fur. Some were sleeping, others squirmed restlessly about, searching for a teat that might have milk.

"Nothing there, little guys," I whispered. "Your mommy is sick. But I'll feed all of you very soon."

Abbie And Puppies


I did a quick head count: five black, four brown... all there. Sometimes the brown girl with the white paws went hunting to see if she could find a hidden nipple on her mother's back, oblivious to the risk that a sleepy movement might crush her.

Nine baby Newfoundland dogs, born ten days before in our hastily-prepared storage room. Five girls, four boys; there had been one more of each, but they slipped away in those first dizzying, horrible days.

Desperate, we'd wondered: would we lose them all? The worry was searing for a while, but by the tenth morning it had seemed the crisis was past. With round-the-clock attention, the puppies were gaining weight steadily. The latest round of antibiotics seemed to be keeping the mother's infection under control. Things were getting better.

And then, this afternoon, we got that phone call.

Eight hundred miles away, a stranger was saying that all the puppies belonged to her.


Next: There's A Puppy!


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There's A Puppy!

Potentially Life-Threatening

Just A Couple Of Pet Owners

Adult Female Available

Maybe We Rescued A Newf After All

"I Assure You She's Not Pregnant"

The Puppy Room

Along Comes Cruella

"We Have Every Intention Of Getting Those Puppies"

Why Can't She Let It Go?

Counting To Nine

Day Of Judgment

Forever Homes

Something About Mary Indeed



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