The Thanksgiving Puppies
Chapter Seven

The Puppy Room


There's nothing like a roomful of puppies.

Baby Newfoundland dogs grow fast, and it didn't take ours long to outgrow the plastic wading pool that served as their nursery for the first few weeks.

People often ask how big the puppies were at birth, and I answer, "About the size of a squirrel, without the tail." Within a matter of weeks, it seemed more fitting to compare them to a full-grown Yorkie.

By that point, it was time to give the puppies more room, so we gave them the run of the storeroom. We lined the floor with heavy-duty plastic sheeting, and collected all the newspapers we could find to scatter over the plastic. Daily cleanups exhausted the paper supply pretty quickly, but a new friend from the next town - a Newfie owner herself- rescued us with the suggestion to go straight to the newspaper printing plant. The folks there were happy to give us several leftover newsprint rolls- enough to last as long as we needed.

The kind people at the Daily Press were not alone in their generosity, though. As news of our surprise litter spread throughout the community, we received several offers of donations to help defray expenses. We declined these, with thanks, and asked that people donate to the local humane society instead. One gift that we did keep, however, was a set of eleven tiny Christmas stockings- one for each of the dogs- that came from a Newf-lover all the way off in Illinois.



Support and encouragement like that raised our spirits as one health crisis seemed to follow another. Now that Abbie could no longer nurse her babies, even the food situation became critical. We cleaned out every can of puppy formula from every animal hospital in town, then waited anxiously for the UPS man to arrive with more. "This is the best present ever!" exclaimed my wife, as the big brown truck pulled up on Christmas Eve, bearing a carton of formula.


It was just about then, though, that we were able to introduce the puppies to baby cereal: a huge relief. Cleaning up the mess they made as they jostled for position around- and often in- the food bowls was nothing at all compared the hours of mixing formula, filling and washing bottles, and hand-feeding all the hungry pups. It wasn't time to catch up on sleep yet, but we were no longer falling behind so badly.


On Christmas Day, we were able to look back and review the events of one month: since Thanksgiving- it seemed so long ago- the puppies had learned to walk, to eat from a dish, and as of that very morning, to play with toys. The pups were all gaining weight steadily, and Abbie was recovering from her hysterectomy. The worst of the crisis seemed to be past.

Except for one thing.

Next: Along Comes Cruella


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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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