It’s 5.30 a.m., Sunday morning. It’s still dark outside, but the puppies are already racing around their pen like their lives depend on it. I drag myself, still half asleep, out of bed, and take the puppies out to their outside playground to do their business.
While I’m cleaning their mess, I’m praying that they don’t wake up the neighbours. Apparently not all people find puppy “woofs” as adorable as I do.
After bringing the puppies back inside, it’s time for breakfast. They scream their heads of while I go and get their bowl…poor babies haven’t eaten since midnight! About three minutes after I put their dish down, it’s already empty. A bit of it has been eaten, a bit of it sticks to fur of some puppies, the rest of it is spread on the floor.
Puppies find it much more comfortable lying in the dish while eating. I haven’t figured out why quite yet. Luckily, my good girl Julie comes and licks the puppies and the floor clean.
Good, now it’s time for my coffee and breakfast. Puppies must rest after they’ve eaten anyway, so I should have a good half-an-hour time. After I’ve had my coffee and my cereal, I head back to the puppy room. It’s strangely quiet in there … I open the door and take a few deep breaths. While cleaning, I left the paper towels just a bit too close to the puppy pen, and now looks as if there was a snow storm. At least the puppies look very content. The smallest girl happily brings me a piece of paper towel and seems rather proud of herself. Oh well, it looks like they will just have some extra bedding today.
Time for another outing and playing outside. While the other puppies play, I take out one by one for a “grooming session”. Each puppy has their nails trimmed and gets a quick hairbrush. I check their ears and mouths, just for them to get used to it. Some of them are reeeally good, while others behave like it’s their first time ever. Every few minutes I jump from my seat and dive myself into the puppy pen, in order to reach a new poo before all the other puppies walk right through it.
After the grooming session it’s time for another meal, another siesta for the puppies and another session of poo-diving for me. Man, I’m just lucky it’s a warm sunny day and I don’t have to move puppies in and out of the house every couple of hours. The puppies get a few new toys, and we spend a good half-an hour playing and cuddling in their pen. I’m just glad my neighbours can’t see me. I’m not sure they’d understand my dirty sweat pants with gazillion holes in them and my ruffled hair, because I haven’t had the time to groom myself.
It’s almost time for puppy visitors to arrive. I hide the most ruffled toys, scoop up the last of poo, change my sweat pants to a ‘better’ pair and quickly comb my hair. Damn, I think to myself, what if they need to use the bathroom, and see the mess that’s been piling up since the puppies have arrived as I had no time to clean anything but the puppy room? A quick vacuum run through the hallway (a Roomba is definitely making the very top my wish-list!), and a quick check on cookie and coffee supplies (luckily, when I have puppies, the coffee supplies are full) and now, the visitors have arrived.
After two sets of puppy visitors and two meals, it’s time for more poo-scooping and playing with the puppies. After that, it’s time for their nap, and time for my other Aussies to get their walkies and trainings. So in with the puppies I go, making sure that the paper towels are far away from the puppy pen this time.
A nice long active walk with Julie, Hilton and Sparky helps to clear my head. I find that many people don’t seem to understand that even thought I LOVE dogs, I am not too keen for my dogs to socialise with theirs while I have puppies at home. Maybe next time I’ll just have to shout to the most persistent individuals that my dogs have kennel cough.
Evening comes too quickly. It’s puppies out, meal time, cleaning time and play time all over. I accidentally fall asleep on the deck chair and wake up at 10 o’clock at night. Oh well, it’s the perfect time to bring the puppies back inside and tuck them in for the night. I’m dead tired at this point, but I wouldn’t change having puppies for anything. I love being an Australian Shepherd breeder, mess and tiredness and all the tough moments included. For me, the happiest and the most rewarding moments always outweigh the hard ones.