Saturday, January 31, 2009
John, Tom and Patch share a moment with Eli
A week ago, just before the weekend and our big ice and snow "event," we brought home our three puppies, now nine weeks old. The boys and Temple picked them out several weeks ago and then brought me over for "final approval." [Henry named his dog Tom, Eli's is John and Temple's/mine is "Patch" named after an old farmer friend of Temple's named Norris Patch who once lived in Hopkinton, New Hampshire.] Well, how could I say no? We knew their fate as they are among so many constant litters of "farmyard specials" found here in rural Kentucky. (As it was, we could only take three of the large litter and another friend got one, also.) Here people either can't or won't neuter their animals and then when they have unwanted litters they will dispose of them--either by putting them on the roadside or well, you can only imagine. The humane societies around here certainly have their hands full.
Rather than buy pure bred pups, which likely come from a puppy mill any way, we decided to help by adopting some from a nearby Mennonite farmer. Like farm-raised children, farm-bred mutts are generally hale and hearty (and we were glad to have that confirmed by our vet, whom they saw for their first shots yesterday). And yes, I've already scheduled their appointment for neutering when they are six months old as we don't want them wandering, bothering other neighbors or dogs, or contributing to the rampant dog population here. People don't realize what they do when they don't have their pets fixed--it is one thing if you keep your dog at home but leash laws are non-existent here, at least in the country.
Tom, Patch, and John share a human arm for love and support
The pups are three brothers and seem to have a mix of husky, beagle, Jack Russell and maybe even bull terrier or English bulldog. Two look more alike in coloring but one has brown patches and has a rather bulldog hind end, like his mother (and no tail). That pup's eyes were a pale husky-like blue a few weeks ago but have now darkened into more of a murky green. Two have more wire-like facial hair and two have smooth body hair while the other's coat is thicker and fluffier. They look nothing like their mother and their father is a mystery. Either way, they are smart, adorable and already at home with us.
At first they were a bit skittish with us as the only company they'd kept had been with their mother, a few goats and cages of rabbits in a barn. Now they love their porch home, which is covered, fenced and gated and on the north side of our house, complete with a large dog house filled with a large, warm bed. Already they seem porch trained as we open the back gate and they come and go and do their business on our back hill, sometimes exploring around the house like the poky little puppy in the Little Golden Book classic. Of course, we also bring them in our adjoining den off the porch where they have lots of lap time (and so far no piddles) but they know their house is outside. Eventually, when I have a larger kitchen area, I will have indoor beds for them, too.
Tom and Patch on Henry's lap
After losing Lucy in December it was hard to think of ever having another dog. Now we have three and our hearts are again wide open. Funny how that happens!? I can't imagine a home without a dog or two as that is how it was in my house growing up and we had Lucy since the year we got married. I believe that Lucy would approve of these three Kentucky farmyard pups. All a dog wants is to be loved and appreciated and part of a pack that accepts them, just like their human companions.