My Seeeecret. Garden. Beatdown. Winners!

Y’all.  Tom is sick.  I am tired.  But I am not sick.  So I’m here.  Hi!!!


Sooooo.  It’s going to be quick and dirty because I am an exhausted, filthy mess because of My Secret.  Which I will now share with you – sorta.

A lot of you know that I am involved with several Rescue orgs, right?  I’m always a fan of, at the very least, making an effort to walk my talk.  Bruno was a Direct Rescue (El O found him in the middle of Rte 6 and that, as they say, was that).  All but 2 of my dogs have been rescues in some form or another.  I throw money at my chosen rescues.  I stepped up and took Chloe in when it was 911 time.  I have always felt pretty smug about my ‘committment’.

And, apparently, the Universe decided to challenge that ‘commitment’ in the form of 8 newborns and their dam (I am not disclosing the Rescue at the behest of the founder – apparently folks go buck-wild over pups).  One of ‘those’ 911s.  Again, I leapt into the breach, feeling kinda smug about my talk being walked….after all, it was only going to be a couple of days -a week at most – then they would be out of here and I could rest  my big fat butt on my big, fat laurels.  Right?

Apparently that was not what the Universe had in mind.  That was “our” plan …then …BOOM!  like snakes in the wilderness, things changed.  Instead of a hot minute it looks like these pups and their dam will be here until they are fully weaned and vaccinated..   They now have those needlelike canines so the dam is more than happy to wean them the hell off – but that means they are now looking to me to provide the chow. That icky mess of puppy mush in my kitchen.  And now that they are no longer on her milk, she is no longer cleaning them.  So I am ……..omg.  It’s just a lot of freaking WORK!  But…omg, they are so cute.  And ….omg!  I so want them the HELL out of my house! Smug is totally out the window! LOL!

The biggest problem?? my darling Chloe.   High prey-drive.  Jealous.  Vengeful. Slick as a cobra.  Just waiting for a chance……yikes.  And she and the dam and all their teeth hate every inch of each other.   The protocols I have in place rival the Biohazard scene in Outbreak, where they show the officer going through the levels.  If I could’ve I would’ve put in a retinal scan that only accepted my eyeball and triple titanium locks, etc.  Instead I have to make do with metal grates, bungee cords and House Arrest.  The problem is, there is no actual place for these pups – there is only the front and back doors and they are now too big to be kept in the still unfinished half bath.  In order to safely access the pups and their dam I have to go out the front door (making sure it’s closed ), go through the 6′ garden gate, remembering to lock it immediately after me (El O proved me right about that protocol, having a brain fart and trying to put Chloe in the yard with the pups and dam.  “HEY! THE GATE’S LOCKED!!!”  ‘ya think???“)……having to go around to the back of the house, remove the bamboo poles that form an X across the French doors (we are so used to going in and out of that door that it was a must – and even with that, it takes a minute to remember WHY THE DAMN POLES ARE THERE! – so if ever you wonder how people err?  wonder no further )….

pity me.

El O.  Can’t really help, since the dam went all HELL NAW!  – and bit him!  Getting bitten by any dog hurts (trust me on that) – but getting bitten by a Very Large Dog really, really hurts (trust me on that, too).  To be fair, she did not attack him.  In fact, the story of how he got bitten is kinda funny – now.  Wanna hear it?  Okay – so we were on the addition, cleaning/weighing and photographing the pups.  She’s in the yard, looking at us through the French doors.  All seems well – they’d had a rocky start but it looked pretty promising those few days in.  I said as such and asked if he was comfy with her coming in (we’d put the pups back, etc) – he said yes.  So this dog walks in, goes around me to the bathroom area to check on the pups, walks past me, giving me a touch of side eye….calmly walks over to El O (who is at the far end of the room), even more calmly circles around behind him…..and even more calmly than that, BITES HIM IN THE ASS!  It was so calmly done, in fact, that I didn’t even realize it until he said ‘she got me’.  ‘huh?’  ‘I said, she got me’.  Then the snarling, which I stopped with a verbal beat down of epic proportions.  Apparently I am The One  – prolly because I was the one who got her and her pups?  Or maybe it’s because she recognized an even more horrible shrike than herself (nursing dams are skittish and mean but I am In Menopause and I ain’t takin’ NO shit, especially from a dog).  So after a lot of ‘poor baby’ and ‘so sorry’ and butt-checking (she only nicked him – his wallet took the brunt of it) El O let her stay – but the whole meghilla is now on me.  Now that she is weaning (and I have trained her to expect a Sacred Treat when I handle the pups) she is less anxious about me picking them up, though it’s still a crapshoot.  And they are filthy little beasts, so I am walking around the perimeter of the house even more because laundry is on the addition – every time I handle them I have to change my clothes.

Lots of walking – I should be back to a size 8 any day now…


Weaning puppies STINK!  They are usually in their own waste, puppy mush is all over the place….that puppy breath hasn’t happened yet.  That’s a bit away.  Right now they are just crapping, pissing, farting, squealing balls of …oh, they are such beautiful souls.  But They Stink.


There was talk of looking for an Expen for them.  El O said ‘squoo that’ and built them an 8’x8′ palace, complete with umbrella, a fan, a pool for later (LATER????) Mai Tais and a cabana girl (aka Me).  They spend the bulk of the day out there (the poultry netting is because we have hawks – even though I’m out there 90% of the time  a gal still needs to go to the bathroom and get a lemonade, y’know?  Mom is in the doorway  so anything that tries to get them will be full of regrets, as she eviscerates them.

I am covered in puppy mush, puppy poop, puppy piss and puppy love.  I stink, too!  But it’s a good kind of stink.  You pick one up, sun-warmed, little heart beating a tattoo, a squeal…then you hold it close and the squeal stops and the snuggle is on…and you realize your own heart has just been snatched …by a 5-lb, stinking, squealing little pup.


Oh, well.  8 little souls….right?  and with all the work I do for them they have the stones to look me right in the face…and bark!  Heart-snatch, yet again.  At this rate I’m going to be in ICU.


And I also smell like mud and tomato leaf, which is Not Stink.


Hey, I have some winnahs!


My What’s News winners are  Jan Last & Sharon C!!!  gmail yer ol’ evilauntieanita and let her know your addy!

And I was asked about Poetics of Place, which I totally blanked on – went back and had Chloe spin for two of you   Dina C and Winterlude!!  Again with the gmail, okay?


Okay – gotta go and check on the babies.  And then I need to take a shower.  I stink!



  • Diana says:

    Wow. That sounds like way too much work! I have a male Boerboel (South African Mastiff) and foster dogs on and off, but I’m a wuss fosterer because I ask the rescue to ensure the dog is low on the dominance scale and is cat friendly to make things easier for me. I have a female Cane Corso coming in next week. Hopefully they get along because I live alone and work full time and would rather not have to use all the Ft. Knox security measures. Many karma points to you and yours for doing all of this to ensure healthy, happy puppies!

  • Winterlude says:

    Yikes! What a pain in the tuckus. A friend of mine just went through a similar situation, although there were no pups involved. Two dogs who had always been great friends suddenly turned on one another. It was just as you described, making sure all the doors were kept closed, knowing where each dog was at all times, letting them out separately, and trying not to let them catch sight of each other. Just a glimpse would set off frenzies of barking and agitated behavior. After counseling and stitches for both humans and canines, one of them finally had to be rehomed. It was very traumatic.
    On a lighter note, I won, I won! I’ll email you now, thank you!

  • poodle says:

    You certainly get yourself into some interesting predicaments don’t you? God bless you for doing that. I hope they stop stinking soon. Having cleaned puppy pens at the shelter I know the stink of which you speak. It’s a good thing they’re cute. I can’t wait to hear more about this little project. I hope it gets a bit easier soon.

    • Musette says:

      You know, poodle…..I do tend to just wade in, don’t I? But I guess I don’t any other way to do it! It does make for Interesting Times at Casa Us, though….


  • tammy says:

    You are so freaking awesome, I can’t even stand it!

    • Musette says:

      you are very kind to say that, tammy – but I suspect pretty much anyone would do the same, if they could. We just got the Perfect Storm of ‘can do’ – once the house is renovated it will be Open Concept and it won’t be possible. I will always do transport, if asked – but Chloe makes it impossible to foster anybody, where she can get at ’em. Even a big male. She is a BEAST! xoxoxo

  • jenn says:

    Holy cow. We had five german shepherd pups a year ago, and I still remember the smell–we kept them in the living room becaise it was too hot to let them go outdoors. And we owned the parents! You are just a saint. A smelly one… On the up side, our mom lost all interest in the pups when they were weaned at 2 weeks, didnt care what or who touched them anymore.

    • Musette says:

      Two weeks? TWO WEEKS? if only. the dam is mostly over it – but every now and again she loses her mind and hops into the box….then she hops right out! One of them glamped onto my index finger – THEY HAVE TEETH! can’t imagine how it would feel on a nipple! xoxoxo

  • Ann says:

    Whoa — all I can say is “WOWZA!!!” darling A!!! You rock for doing this and are an instant nominee for sainthood! Saint Musette, kinda has a nice ring to it, eh? 😉 And El O gets big props for being a good guy despite the unfortunate bum incident. Hang in there!

    • Musette says:

      Thanks, sweetie! We are doing okay over here – every day I wake up and there are 8 screamers is a Very Good Day! xoxoxoA

  • Queen Cupcake says:

    God bless you, dear dear dearest Musette! XOXOX

  • Suzy Q says:


  • Michele42 says:

    Absolutely adorable 🙂 Puppies!

  • rosarita313 says:

    Ms A, you are a Champion for taking this on! Glad El O is cool with it, butt bite and all. Miss you!

  • Dina C. says:

    What an incredible, loving project to take on, Musette! I’ve never fostered puppies, so reading this really edumacated me. 🙂 Wow, you have my total RESPECT! Loved the description of the Dante’s-levels-of-Hades-like system of barriers to keep the pups and dam separated from Chloe. Poor El O. I guess that comes under “no good deed ever goes unpunished,” right?

    So excited to see that I won a drawing for the first time! WooHoo! I’m off to email you. Thanks a bunch! 😀

  • FeralJasmine says:

    I am so glad that you are caring for those puppies! They will have a good start in life. Sorry about your husband’s butt (I say, smirking where you can’t see me, because I never got a chance to say that before.)

    • Musette says:

      LOL! it is kinda funny – even he (who normally does NOT appreciated being the ‘butt’ of a joke) finds it amusing – now. It was really touch and go there for a minute. xoxoxoA

  • mikasminion says:

    I really feel for you. We are on day three of the great kitten-napping escapade of 2015. They are old enough to be terrified so past baby blob phase but not yet weaned so we are doing the syringe feeding trying to encourage the switch to solid food and we still can’t catch the queen. We even tried with the kittens in the trap and she wasn’t having any of it so she’s lurking around, uncomfortably dripping milk and we’re inside uncomfortably trying to get food into her kittens, one of whom has the attention span of…whatever is shorter than the average kitten and can’t focus on eating, and one who is a feisty little beyotch and spits and bites. The other two are completely fine though, 12 hours and they were mostly tame. Yeah, the cute makes up for it until someone craps and they track it everywhere. Hasn’t happened yet but I’m sure it will and my husband will suddenly be a lot less helpful. And at some point we’ll have to figure out who we’re giving away so there’s that to look forward to…oh, and Bat has been the special baby for ten years so he’s not really thrilled. Lots of hissing and dirty looks. Heaven bless animals, what would we do without them?

    • tammy says:

      Am in a similar situation, although the queen deigns to let me pat her occasionally and handle her princelings, especially when I come armed with tributes of chicken. She’s a semi feral barn-cat from up the road, and she had 4 kittens on my back deck abut a month ago.

      Word must have gotten out, because I looked outside last week, and I have another little family under a table on my front porch. A ridiculously cute diluted tortie, and three wee little babes. A week old today.

      Needless to say, I have accomplished very little beyond Kitten Worship for the last several weeks.

      • Musette says:

        Hope you can catch her(s) (them?) at some point and get them altered, breaking that cycle. xoxoxoA

      • Sharon C. says:

        Tammy, bless you! We went through the same thing twice as well. Fortunately the first litter was well-cared for by the mom, and were mostly weaned when they showed up (good thing, too, since it was mid-December and we were having a cold and snowy–by Memphis standards–winter). We were able to get that whole group neutered except for two of the males, and the one female (Rebelle), which led to our SECOND group of 7, yes seven, kittens. There is a special place in heaven for the vet assistant and her finace who volunteered to take 4 of the kittens and hand raise them, since Rebelle had given up on them. ALL are neutered now and have good homes. I wish people would make better use of spay and neuter programs.

        Musette, you are truly amazing! And I love the puppy enclosure–all that fresh air will do those babies good. And please thank Miss Chloe for drawing my name (YEA!!!), and I’ll send you my address.

  • Nemo says:

    Oh my. Thank you so much for doing this! Also, thank you to El O for being okay with getting bitten in the butt…Please keep the pictures and stories coming!

    • Musette says:

      I will. We will do some ‘glamour’ shots when the weather gets better. They are getting their personalities now and it’s starting to show in their faces! xoxoA

  • Sweetie says:

    Yikes! Sorry, I dunno what all those “?” were about! Eeep!

  • Sweetie says:

    You are a wonderful wonderful soul for doing this. ???????????? I’ve always been a rescue mommy, too, so I can empathize a bit. : ) for many years we had 5 dog-kids till we started loosing them to old age. We are down to two now and my heart breaks every time I think of loosing these guys. Keep doing what you do, beautiful lady!

    • Musette says:

      Just love them, Sweetie…love them to the end. You are amazing …and, as you know, I have been where you are. Stay strong! xoxoxo

  • Rina says:

    I totally get it! I took the pups to the groomer last weekend and she had 11 week old Scottie Puppies! I was in a foulish mood that AM but NOTHING cheers a soul up more than squirming, licking, snuggling 11 week puppies! You are an awesome human being, and the Universe knows!

    • Musette says:

      Thanks!!! I’m going to hell for this statement, I know…but I am SO over this. I’m committed to seeing it through, of course, but…..eww! xoxoxo