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!