Last night I had a treat that was offered to me by my husband Ken. He called me during the day yesterday and said he would switch places with me for the evening. I could get the “5-star bed” and he would take an overnight shift on the “Boundary waters accommodations” of an air mattress under our office desk:) My initial reaction was-“no, I need to be near the puppies”. But then I realized my real “requirement” was that SOMEONE was near the puppies, and since I had to train him in anyways because I was going to be gone in the near future I accepted his offer figuring one good night’s sleep after 16 days would be a treat! Yes, I am married to a wonderful man!
And so the training began-tonight I chose that he would have the honors of just a couple of tasks. He would change out the whelping box and put fresh linens down; he would do the weights and record them; and finally, he would spend the night to learn Sugar’s cues for wanting to go in the box, go outside potty, or respond to the puppies needs through the overnight hours. And so the evening began……..
First, I explained to him how to change the whelping box with all clean materials all the way down to the base layers. Ken wanted to try to “redesign” the changing system but realized pretty early on that it’s a system because people who have whelped puppies for Can Do Canines have figured out how to best deal with this project. I remember the first litter trying to navigate this “chore” and it took awhile but I feel like I mastered the process pretty well 🙂 I had to leave the room because he wasn’t appreciating all of my “tips” on how to do it right!
Then on to puppy weights! He learned how to fix them in a small basket with only a couple of near tip-overs, which of course gave me the opening to tell him ALL about what the puppies need and don’t need and that tipping off of a scale is one in the “don’t need” category. 🙂 After he got them all weighed in and “cataloged”, it was time to get ready for bed, and he went and got the air mattress…….then came in to ask me why we couldn’t just use the baby monitor and he could sleep in the regular bed! 🙂
I woke up at 3am with my ears peeled to make sure everything was going okay-and then I realized that Ken had forgotten to email Dora the nightly update! Not terrible, but once again I realized that once you get into the rhythm of things it’s hard to change up the process or it throws off your whole game.
Morning came, and he woke me up around 630am (or maybe Sugar came and woke me up!) When I asked him how his night went he said he barely got any sleep and he was going to be worthless for the rest of the day!!! It was all I could do not to burst out laughing! I realized at that point how I could pat myself on the back for being adaptable at the very least; I had been on this journey for over 2 weeks, operated some nights on no sleep at all and until he said that I hadn’t really spent a lot of time thinking about how much different these last 16 days had been! When you are really enjoying something, I guess you don’t notice the things that take away from that enjoyment if you focus on them instead. I think Ken got at least a small TASTE of what it is to be a whelping home and that it’s not all about playing with puppies. In fact, although playing with puppies is a definite bonus, providing a caring, learning, safe environment for these puppies and their mom is what’s at the core of why I personally do this. Cute puppies are just the part that seals the deal!
I think next I will train him in on the laundry portion of this journey……… 🙂