Saturday, March 31, 2012


One afternoon not too long ago, eleven puppies wandered out of the crawlspace into the front yard. They nipped, stumbled, and whined their way through the uncut grass, their senses surely overwhelmed by such a brand new world. The two mothers, Silver Dog and Momma Dog, kept a cursory watch on them but for the most part they were already on their own, just four weeks after birth. A few times a day, Silver or Momma would begrudgingly nurse them, only to shove them off quickly and run away to hide.

Since that first day of emergence, three puppies have died. The first was a runt with conjunctivitis whose eyes sealed shut and spent all night wandering blindly through the yard. The second was outwardly a perfectly healthy pup but disappeared one day, perhaps to the talons of a red-tailed hawk or the needle teeth of a mongoose. The final puppy mysteriously broke its back leg and was put out of its misery by Byron the Gardener.

So now we have a healthy set of eight puppies. They spend their days cordoned off in the disused garage, getting the occasional bowl of whole milk or hunk of pig guts. They are utterly coated in ticks and fleas are, to the utmost, filthy. But, no matter how much dirt a puppy has on it, its still a puppy and thus, cute as hell. Here are some pictures:

Silver Dog is barely a year old, but is already tasked with nursing two litters. At once. That makes for one forlorn mom.

Momma Dog, seen above, has also taken to eating the turds of every puppy. She moves through the area sucking up the peanut-sized droppings with gusto. She is for the most part a negligent mother, but, if you'd had two litters every year for five years, maybe you would be too.

1 comment:

  1. Utterly and irrevocably cured of my romantic notions of the time you two are having down these posts--and in awe of your ability to convey the beauty as well as reality in words and photos. Beautifully done! MM