Now that Pancake Sundays are finished for this year and I don’t have to work on Sundays anymore, I was looking forward to catching up on my shut-eye a little. So if you see me at the store and I look a little bleary eyed behind the counter, there’s a reason for it, puppies. You see, my wife is fostering puppies again. We have done this several times in the past years and are at it again. We support the Geauga County dog shelter as often as we can, and most stray dogs often end up there. It’s a great bunch of folks, and they can usually help reunite lost dogs with their owners. If their owners cannot be found the people at the shelter work hard to place the dogs in new loving homes. This usually works out well, but puppies can be a problem. Not only do they need extra care, but their immature immune systems leave them vulnerable to becoming sick when housed at the shelter with many other strange dogs. The best way to handle this is to get volunteers to foster the puppies in their homes until they are mature enough to adopt out to new homes. One of my wife’s good friends does this all the time, and when she called my wife for help, she just couldn’t say no.

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   The puppies sure are cute, but caring for them is also a lot of work. They stay in a kennel crate in the corner of the living room when we aren’t home and when you let them out the love to run and play around the house. Our dog, Velvet (a former foster herself), has been doing her best to teach them how to be dogs, and they are starting to catch on. What they haven’ t caught on with is the house training, so there is a lot of cleaning up to do. They also need to eat every few hours, so there is a lot of feeding involved. The toughest part, though, is at night. The puppies sleep well for a couple hours, but then they wake up hungry and boy can they howl. My wife has been getting up to feed them and then they will go back to sleep for a while. This has led to some very interrupted sleep, and we are both pretty tired. It’s worth it though, as the pups are growing into great little dogs which will be wonderful pets for their lucky future owners.

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   These puppies are some of the lucky ones, though. For every puppy placed in a good home many more don’t make it. There are too many puppies being born to take care of them all. So please make sure that your pets don’t breed indiscriminately. Talk to your vet or local shelter, low cost spay and neuter programs are available to those that need them. Please help make sure that all puppies make it to a loving home.