Today was the Bean puppies’ first time leaving the house. This morning at 9am, they had their vet appointment for a general checkup, deworming, and first round of vaccinations with Dr. Julie at the Humane Society of Huron Valley’s vet clinic. Mae helped load up the puppies and comfort them in the car and Anne Savage, photographer extraordinaire, accompanied us to document the momentous first excursion.
As a preface to the vet appointment summary, I need to admit that last night I woke up several times. In case anyone had suspicions that the life of a puppy foster family becomes completely consumed with thoughts and concerns about the ins and outs of puppy care (and I have been questioned since last Wednesday’s post, Bean puppies – Week 4, when I evoked some math), I am here to officially confirm.
Once, I woke to the sound of a puppy in distress. I quickly checked in with the pet cam and saw String once again out of the whelping box pawing at Beans, who was carefully laying on all her nipples to protect them from his aggressive advances. He howled about his disappointment with such vigor that I heard him from 2 levels away. Soon, the other five pups joined in the chorus, also disappointed that Beans had declared the kitchen closed. As quickly as the ruckus began, however, it ceased with yet another puppy snooze and I drifted back to sleep as well.
I woke up from a frightful dream not much later. In my dream, I had arrived at the vet appointment late (which I just don’t do) with a group of kittens instead of the puppies. And not just some kittens…about 30 kittens. To top it off, once there, I couldn’t find a parking spot.
As it was, we arrived with all 6 puppies, 10 minutes early (because that’s how I do things), and had our choice of premium parking places (it was, after all, a Sunday morning). None of the puppies even got carsick or pooped in the carriers.
The puppies were received with all the oohs and aahs they deserve and Dr. Julie gave them all a clean bill of health. They received their dewormers and vaccinations like champs, with hardly a whimper.
All the Bean puppies had a huge growth spurt over the past few days. They weighed in at the 8-9 pound range.
Beans has been a champion mama to this crew, nursing them into complete chunkiness, and yet, they require a lot of my time and care as well (and even invade my dreams!) so I do feel pride in showing them off.
Look how sweet! Look how chunky! Look how healthy and happy!
When we returned home, Anne took Beans on a quick walk while Mae and I moved the puppies back into the pen. They chowed down on some food and then played together. When Beans returned from her walk (Anne said she was particularly eager to get home!) she ran in and checked out the puppies and polished off their food. The pups nursed excitedly for a couple minutes before Beans decided all was well with them and ventured off to explore other things.
The first vet visit was a success start to finish. The Bean puppies will return for further vaccinations on January 8th, when they are 7 weeks old.
Meanwhile, they have started playing with toys and are increasingly interested in the attention of people. The kids are home for winter break for the next two weeks and will be vital in the puppies’ socialization with people, new sounds, and differing styles of play.
Anne and I had a great conversation on our way to the vet today. We chatted about the miracle of these puppies’ lives, and how worthy of celebration they are, but that the true miracle will be when the shelters are empty. When no dog lives without love from a forever family, we can truly celebrate. These puppies, and their mama, have joined the millions of pets without homes, and while we are hopeful that they will all quickly find loving homes, it is important to educate the public about spaying and neutering pets in order to minimize canine population growth while there are still shelters bursting at the seams. We all have a part to play in advocacy: spay and neuter your own pets, adopt from shelters, donate, volunteer, or foster, and educate others when possible.
Follow along as the Bean puppies continue to grow.