It’s about 11:45pm on Sunday. We hear high-pitched whining coming from our neighbor’s yard. We go outside to our adjoining fence in the backyard with a flashlight. We see a little head pop up only four inches from the ground, it’s a puppy! It’s 30 degrees F outside, why is this little puppy there?!
(Click the images to see them full-size)
Apparently the neighbor’s friend lost their house and had to get rid of their dogs, including three puppies. Two were given away and the other one the neighbor took to bring to the SPCA. Since the puppy was only six weeks old, the shelter could not care for it and it would be euthanized. So my neighbor decided keep it a week and then the shelter could take it.
Sounds nice right? Then why did he have it out in the yard when temperatures were near-freezing, empty food and water bowls, and crying? Because, he said, it was too loud in the garage. Okay, I’ve never had a dog before but that was just wrong! So, we decided to take the puppy in our home for the night.
I had been researching dogs recently as we were contemplating getting our own. Probably a rescue dog that was 6 months to a year and cuddly like a retriever mix but smaller. Yet, we were not prepared for a Pit Bull/Staffordshire Terrier that was only six weeks old! My husband ran to the store to pick up some food and I tried get the house a little ready. It was now after midnight yet we had to wake our daughter so she could see our little furry friend. I spread out newspaper (thank goodness we used those airline miles to get a subscription), got some water, and tried to warm the little guy up. He was shaking non-stop. After eating and getting warmed up, he was much better.
Crate-training is a way to help a dog feel secure and to keep it from destroying things, hurting itself, and relieving itself all over. Having nothing of the sort we put a towel down with an old t-shirt and threw our laundry basket (upside-down) over it. We happened to have a few dog toys that I bought out of impulsive excitement the week before so gave him those.
But then, we realized we were in over our heads. The puppy, who we affectionately call Fudge, woke up crying every hour. He was lonely or had to pee/poop. We were exhausted and worn out by the time morning came. The next day was full of whining, biting, peeing, cleaning, pooping, etc. That night he whined every two hours and had to pee or poop. Can you tell I am not yet acclimated to cleaning up dog waste? And on my kitchen floor?
Today I’m calling all local shelters and rescues but it seems no one takes them that young (actually 8-10 weeks is the minimum pups should be separated from their mom/siblings). Worst case is we have to give it back to the neighbor and just hope he’ll responsibly care for it…though I doubt it. In the meantime I’ll be busy losing sleep and sanity while I watch Fudge and pick up his ‘fudge’.