16 November 2010

{15nov2010: backstory}

Some of you were asking about our last post and why we were fostering Darwin and her siblings, and I've given a brief recap when I first started the blog last year, but here's the whole story.
Our friend (and coworker), Tom, had a blue Great Dane, Atlas whom he kept unfixed as he and his wife thought they wanted to breed him.  They had been looking for a female, but hadn't found one they liked.  Their breeder contacted them and let them know of a blue female, Misty, she was trying to rehome for another family.  She was not in the best of shape when they got her, underweight, not house trained, and surprisingly in heat.  Tom and his wife knew down the line they wanted to breed Atlas, and weren't prepared at the time for a female, but intact female in heat + intact male = puppies!
They took Misty in for an xray in January and the vet said he counted maybe 12 puppies.  We in the office were very excited at the thought of puppies, but no one was ready for what came.
February 7, 2009 came along and 17 puppies were born.

Sadly, one was stillborn, but they still had 16 puppies and an underweight momma.

On day three, a puppy stopped breathing.  Tom tried to resuscitate it, but it didn't make it.  Tom's wife took Misty and the pups to the vet the next day to get them all checked out.  It turned out since Misty wasn't at a good weight when she got pregnant, she only had two nipples that produced milk.  The vet told her that if they didn't start bottle feeding the puppies that more would die.  
Tom shared the news with us in the office and I quickly volunteered to take in and bottle feed puppies.  Keep in mind I lived in an pet-free apartment and didn't really consult with Jason when volunteering.  :)  
When the puppies were five days old, Tom brought in a tub of puppies!

The timing of this happening was actually pretty good.  Work in the office was slowing down (we work at an architecture firm) meaning we weren't that busy and morale was slowly going down.  What better way to boost morale than puppies?!  
I decided to take 4 of the puppies (Tom's neighbors took another 4).   Night one we thought we could take them back to my place, because they are just tiny little puppies that can't even move, but omg.  I didn't know what taking care of four 5 day old puppies entailed!  They may not move, but BOY are they loud when they are hungry.  I was in the living room all night (barely) sleeping on my LOVESEAT getting up every two hours making bottles and trying to feed four (loud) hungry mouthes at once.  
When went back to work the next day we had by then figured out, if you woke up a puppy from sleeping, it made a lot of noise... so we put up a sign.

As you can see we made great use out of things around the office to care for the pups.  Recycling bins as pens, task lamps as heat lamps, and we even used fabric samples from our interior library as rags.  

We even borrowed some equipment to have a warm setup at home.

Valentine's day was oh so romantic for Jason and I.  By then we realized we needed to stay at his condo because we were worried about the puppies making noise at my place.  And we also figured out a trick to pacify hungry pups while the other person made the bottles.

Fingers (toes too) work well as pacifiers.  I tried buying a baby pacifier to see if they would suck on it, but that didn't really work.

Let me tell you, Darwin was a picky princess even from a young age.  At first she wouldn't drink from the bottle.  I would have to let her suck my finger and dribble milk down my finger and into her mouth.  She finally started drinking from the bottle, but the milk had to be the PERFECT temperature... not too hot, not too cold, but just right!  Our own little Goldilocks.
We would spend the days at work with puppies laid out on the floor.

Or working with us at our desks.

We even tried weighing them with the office scale.

After the first weekend with the puppies we decided it would be good to have the weekends off and for them to be able to get Misty and sibling time.  After a few weeks as the puppies started getting bigger and more active we decided to go from four puppies to two puppies, and eventually down to one puppy.  Our Darwin!


  1. I love the story - I never knew exactly how you got Darwin and how she was so close with her brother! I love the use of office equipment! There is nothing better than puppies :)

  2. Wow! I can't imagine doing that. I thought Remi was a handful as a puppy, and that was just one!!

  3. That is a great story!!! I try to forget the waking up at all hours of the night part! :)

  4. I can't believe all the cuteness! This might be a dumb question...since Great Danes are larger, does this give them more room to house larger litters? Did you know you wanted a Great Dane, or even a dog, before you started fostering the puppies? What a great story.

  5. Thanks for sharing Darwin's wonderful story. Those puppies were so cute and the photos were so good especially the ones in the office!

    An absolute labour of love.. Darwin was and is a gorgeous Princess even if she was a picky one!

    Big Nose Pokes
    The Thugletsx

  6. Wow I wish I had a job that would be cool with a bucket full of puppies! What a fun unforgettable experience!!!!

  7. OMD Brooke! What a fabulous story!! And great photos to go along with it so we know you weren't making it up!!! What a wonderful gift for everyone in the office to boost morale too. Puppies. God's natural uppers!

    Sheesh, Mommy was hogging up all the comment section. We just wanted to say "hi" to Darwin and tell her she was an adorable baby.
    Smooches from pooches,
    BabyRocketDog and Hootie

  8. This is such a great story. I love your office dynamics where you can all bring the puppies to work with you!

    Thanks for sharing it with us again.


  9. Oh, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post - think it is one of my most favourite ones ever! What a gorgeous story - and so exciting too - I was on the edge of my seat reading it! Such a good thing you did taking on those puppies and I can see why you chose Darwin - look at that face!!! :-)

    Thanks so much for sharing it -


  10. Ah, what memories that post brings back for mama! It was very good to see your friend had a proper whelping bed to keep the mama Dane from accidently rolling on a puppy. You were lucky to find Darwin, but she and her siblings were sure lucky to find you. And your friend, Tom, was lucky to have such good friends who helped save the puppies. So what's the rest of the story? Did Misty get healthy and have a good [spayed?] life? With Atlas? Did all the farmed-out puppies survive and find good homes? It's so wonderful Darwin still gets to see and play with at least one of her brothers.

    The top part of this was from mama. We enjoyed the story, too. As rescue doggies, we always love reading stories about other doggies' rescue stories. Especially puppies.

    Jed & Abby

  11. LOVE this story! Thank you for sharing!

  12. Oh, we never knew the whole story!!! What a special bond to have with Darwin!!!
    Thank you so much for sharing the story and the priceless pix!

  13. Thanks fur sharing that!!!

    What a great story!


  14. I had no idea this is how Darwin came into your life...what an interesting story! Glad it worked out. :)

    Nala & Amber

  15. What a lovely story behind how you got Darwin :)

    You both should feel so good about helping us Canine's in need :)

    Licks and lots of slobber,
    Lexi and Jasper the Danes