And my cute little HYPER schnauzer let her whole litter of female puppies die. She was just too antsy to keep feeding them. She's a beautiful dog, and her mate is beautiful, but I'm thinking she may not make a good mommy. I was really disappointed.
But in spite of my best intentions to let this go, spring has sprung, and the dogs are having puppies all around me now. I have a larger schnauzer who unfortunately mated with my cocker spaniel, and now has six new babies.
Pretty cute, huh? Five black and white spotted pups, and one I think is almost all black. I guess these guys will be freebies? Or do they count as designer dogs? Schnauziels? Cockerschnauz? What cute name could I give them? It's a new trend that seems to be making people a LOT of money!!
And then, we have today's bonus, our Great Pyrenees had ten puppies. TEN puppies!! And there's a story to this...
I've had Pyrenees for a while now. We have a lot of coyotes around here and they were really doing some damage. They were killing my chickens, and had even carried off a newborn calf a while back. So we bought a guard donkey. Well, the donkey did too good a job. He was as sweet as he could be to the humans and animals that were here when he came, we could loop our arms around his neck, feed him by hand and everything. But we could not add a new ANYTHING to the pasture. If a cow had a calf, that calf was a threat. He tried to kill new goats. He just associated anything that was not around when he moved in as a threat. We finally had to give the donkey away, and in his place, I bought three Pyrenees dogs, two females and a male. My thinking was they could guard the animals, and earn their keep having puppies. But the puppies never materialized. The male dog just didn't seem to 'work'. On top of that, they were causing trouble when people came over, because they would greet the cars by jumping on them, quite an intimidating thing to people who don't like dogs. When an older lady got really upset with me one day because the dogs left scratches on her car, I decided they needed to go. So I put an ad in the paper, which didn't work, then put them on freecycle. Finally a man came over and wanted the male only. He was very pleased with how beautiful the dog was. He happily took him home, but no one ever offered to take the two females. Bill was very happy about this, because the Pyrenees have always been his special favorite. He keeps dog biscuts in his office to feed them when he walks down the driveway.
So life went on for another year, and one day, Luke came in and said we had three big dogs again. We all ran out and looked, and sure enough, there was a scruffy, very thin male dog in our yard. He was very shy of us, but the female dogs just accepted him like an old friend. He looked like our old dog. We wondered, had he found his way home? Had the man who took him decided he didn't want him after so long, and dumped him back at our house? No matter, everyone, especially Bill seemed thrilled, so we decided to let him stay. He is still shy, although he will let me pat him once in a while, but won't come close enough to let me clean him or worm him well, so he is still scruffy, thin and dirty looking:
But I did manage to get a little worming medicine down him recently. Maybe I can eventually build him up.
Anyway, this dog, sickly looking or not, did the job this time (guess he really wanted to stay, and decided to earn his keep) and this morning, Lacy the Pyrenees had ten puppies!
I think of all the things I've decided about raising puppies, is that it's a good thing for the kids. It gives them so much pleasure to play with the puppies. It's taught them about life, birth, and even death when a dog, this mama dog right here, in fact, got the baby kittens that were born here a couple of weeks ago and ate them. It's taught them to be careful and gentle when holding a baby:
It's taught them to be protective:
And it's given the mama of the house a lot of comic relief, when the naked five year old boy realized mama had brought puppies in the house while he was just getting out of the tub. Since I wouldn't let him hold a puppy dressed in only a half falling off towel, Luke rushed to his room to get dressed. While he was getting dressed, he talked to himself about the puppies and Lacy, the mother dog. I heard him say "It's hard giving birth!" (wonder where he ever heard that statement? :o) )
Then, after holding the puppies a while, I said they needed to go put them back with the mama - who had so many she probably never missed a few. Angel-Leah opened the front door only to be greeted by another Pyrenees standing there. Remembering her lost kittens, she cried "He's licking his lips!" slammed the door, and ran out the back way. Which may have inspired Luke to stand guard with the dart gun he got at co op yesterday, and Tommy to use the clapping hands to beat off anything Luke couldn't shoot. (see above picture)
So, here I am, still in the puppy business. I guess that's okay. I just want to stay focused that while the puppies are a side business, we are actually a chicken farm. But chickens aren't near as cuddly!!