Second, Brownie and her babies. Picking up where we left off...when I got home from work that night, Jan 25th, Brownie was in the pen nursing her babies. Good. One week old puppies need a lot of nursing, and I don't want to be the one to do it! I like to sleep. There are 7 puppies, 2 boys and 5 girls. I stepped into the pen, careful not to make eye contact with Brownie (that is very aggressive in dog language and I didn't want to intimidate her) petted the babies and held out my hand hoping Brownie would sniff it. She cowered and looked away. I gave up for the evening, but I had to force Brownie to go outside, in hopes that she would potty. I opened the door to the office, left the door to the pen open, and got behind her and lifted her up. She made no aggressive move toward me, but headed for the door as that was the easiest escape route. As far as I know she just cowered behind Tony's snowmobile, but I knew she wouldn't move if I watched her, so I went inside to play with the puppies-well, played is a strong word, they are basically furry lumps at that age, so I cuddled and baby-talked to them for a while, then I cracked open the door to the office, left the door to the pen open, and went inside the house. As I watched from the back door, the cries of her kiddos drew her back to them. I went back out, gave her more food and water, shut the door behind me, came inside and took care of the other 5 dogs and 3 cats in my care and went to bed.
The next morning when I went out, the food was gone, the water was dumped, and there was poop and urine all over the office. OK, so this is good in some ways, bad in others. At least she isn't too traumatized to eat, but thank goodness Tony is out of town. I let her outside, cleaned everything up (thank goodness for Nature's Miracle), then went inside to get some canned food while she got back in the pen with her babies. I climbed in the pen with them and, with my body and eyes turned away from her, offered her a scoop of the canned food on my fingers. It took her several minutes and a few false starts, but she finally took it, and quite daintily, too. Again, no hint of aggression. Goals for that day were: bath, getting rid of ticks and fleas, worming and figuring out how to keep her from shitting all over Tony's office!
First, I went over momma closely, removed several ticks and saw no fleas. I gave her strongid (a de-wormer) by syringe, and again, she let me do it with no protestation other than a wild look. Then I picked her up and carried her into the house and put her in our tub. Luckily it has sliding doors as opposed to a curtain, so dogs can be contained. I have learned though experience that the easiest way to bathe a dog who doesn't want to cooperate is just to get in the shower with them. Brownie curled up against the back of the tub, acting like this was another new experience, but let me manipulate her to enough to wet, wash and rinse her. She was still covered with the messiness of birth, and of course, still bleeding, so there was quite a bit of washing to be done. I dried her off as best I could, and put her back with her kiddos to settle down.
For the next two weeks we were in a holding pattern, trying to accustom Brownie to our presence, entering the pen to feed and pet her, handle the pups, take photos and doing a complicated dance to get her in and out of the office to potty outside (well, ideally, anyway). Next time, the complicated process of trying to house train Brownie or at least not give her the opportunity to potty in the house or office. Sounds thrilling, huh?