Tuesday, August 20, 2013

happy birthday three Shews!

Ten years ago today I brought home five dogs the size of gerbils.  I'm not kidding, if anything they were smaller than gerbils.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  It was late in the evening, Tom and I were watching tv.  The Blue Dog phone rang...I let it go to voice mail because it was late, but I checked the message.  A semi hysterical woman was blathering on and on about how "I have these five puppies, they are 3 days old, their mom died, I can't take care of them, I have to go to work tomorrow!  I need someone to come and get them TONIGHT!"  Now normally I would be totally put off by someone demanding my help.  And I was put off.  But all I could think of was those puppies.

I got in my car and drove over.

I walked into the apartment and there was a box of mice.  I seriously thought someone was trying to pass off rodents as dogs.  As I got closer I could see that they were, in fact, some sort of miniscule dog.  Chihuahuas it turns out.  I would find out the next day that the largest one weighed 3 whopping ounces!

I asked the story and soon wished I hadn't.  Why oh why did I not just take the puppies and run?  Why?  But I asked.  Apparently there was some desire for a new car or something and "if my dog has more puppies maybe I could make enough to get a car!"  So apparently she bred and bred and bred her little chihuahua...poor tiny thing had six puppies.  Momma and one puppy died during the birth. 

I was so incensed.  I felt like I had to leave for fear the woman would start to see the steam pouring out of my ears.  It drives me bonkers when people don't realize that you are cleaning up thier mess.  They think dog rescue is some service provided by, I don't know, God or something, and that they are entitled to it.  Makes. Me. Nuts.  There was no "thank you".  It was like I was the post lady just round to do my job (that I'm not paid for by the way!).  I recognize that I am bitter and I am currently seeking help.  Moving on...

I got the babies home and Tom looked in the box, looked at me, looked in the box...I think we both thought there was no way we could keep them alive.  They were the size of a minute.  I'm not sure what we even did that first night...I guess cuckoo pants lady must've given us some milk...anyway, we were clueless.  There is quite a lot to know about raising motherless critters.  For example, did you know puppies do not poop and pee on their own?  I was painfully unaware of this fact before signing up for this task.  They also eat every two hours.  Well, when you have five puppies, by the time you've fed, weighed, pooped, and peed them all its already been two hours!!  For four weeks Tom and I would pass through the house like zombies, mindlessly relaying the details from the last feeding.  For four weeks we had to pack them up and take them everywhere we went: to work, to dinner.  every. where.  
And oh dear lord the smell.  My friend Natalie's son was still in diapers at the time and when he got his diaper changed he would giggle and say "shewie!" Well, our puppies were shewie!  They were 10x beyond shewie!  We began to say it so often that soon they were collectively called "the shews".  That seems real clever at 4am on an hour and a half of sleep by the way.

It's one of the hardest and most rewarding things I've ever done.

We lost one baby, sweet little Truvy, after three days.  But four of these darlings thrived.  My friend Lisa adopted the tiniest of the four, baby Ouiser (who she named Wittle). And then there were three.  And like the true idiots we are, we kept them all.  It was so danged emotional.  The thought of sending them away from us, from each other, from the only thing they knew...it was too much for me.  I know they would have been ok.  Better possibly.  But I was selfish.

So today we celebrate the 10 year anniversary of our three Shews.  Monkey Shew, Clishy Marie Shew, and Veruca Jane Shew.  My three little birds who add joy and laughter and a little aggravation to my life on a daily basis.  Happy day my Shews, happy day.