Why only three puppies? Because in all photos of three puppies, puppy #4 is attempting to murder me via tripping.
I leave it to you to define the brand of insanity that had me declaring "No problem! I'll take 'em!" when someone else "allowed" a winter litter to come into the world, then decided that they were too much unprofitable trouble and it would be the dog pound's problem now.
Since the fuzzbutts were apparently born in a hole under a corn crib around Thanksgiving time, they came to me well-acclimated to the normal winter cold. They could spend plenty of daylight time in the three-sided pole-building and its attached outdoor play yard, processing their anthelmintic and pooping out all the little gut friends they brought with them in a place where the critters would freeze immediately. Nice place for the spot-on flea treatment to do its work, too.
Now, notsomuch. About twenty minutes playing outside is their limit since it turned relentlessly, bitterly cold Thursday night.
While I sanitize the basement pen, they profane the kitchen. Then we reverse the procedure. They do hit the newspapers 90% of the time, but there is still constant clean up. Nothing like seeing a brilliant lil' pup half wake up from her nap, toddle over to the newspaper, carefully make her deposit, and then walk right through it on her way to go run circles around the kitchen table.
Oh, also, we no longer take a dead-tree paper. The nice people at the newstand in town gave me a decent stack, as did the clerk at the gas station, but supplies are getting low. Help!*
They sure are cute on their walkies, though. Experienced puppy-aunt, GSD Sophia, comes with us now, and they all play hound-pack and coyote, whether Sophia wants to or not. I think she experiences it much like this. This gives Momma Hope a break from the kids. She chooses to use her Me time walking at my heel. A true ES velcro dog.
I bet you all would love to break the cabin fever with video footage of adorable ES fuzzbutts romping in a winter wonderland.
And I would love to show it to you. Really I would.
But we're still lacking momentum in the quest to help young Cole win $10,000 for National English Shepherd Rescue.
You know -- the guys who made it possible to for Momma Hope and her babies to get out of the dog pound alive? The folks footing the bills and finding the adopters? The leanest, most talented, focused, and effective breed rescue group on the planet? The ones who brought us a living, loving, laughing Cole instead of "This one fails his 'temperament test,' pass the needle?"
Or, you know, we could let HSUS or ASPCA or Best Friends -- with their massive mailing lists, social media machines, full-time PR departments, and zombie armies -- use the $10K for some more teevee ads or private airplane fuel.
So you want to know the secret chili ingredient, you want adorable puppy video -- then make it happen.
Vote for Cole today, tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday -- once a day, every day. Everyone in your house.
And campaign for Cole on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, message boards, email lists, and by email-bombing your friends. Do it now. Every day lost is another day that the people you haven't browbeaten can't cast their votes.
Because Cole can't win the beauty contest and help more of his relatives unless he first at least places in the popularity contest.
*FOB (Friend o' the blog) Gina Spadafori has suggested a bumper sticker: "Save Our Newspapers -- Because It's Hard To Raise Puppies Without Them"