Wednesday, October 24, 2012

This was a terrible idea...

How was your Columbus Day?

Mine was spent with Mr. ATK in the holy city of Rishikesh. Well, not really in the city, but outside the city camping on a beautiful white sand beach along the Ganges. We went whitewater rafting, kayaking, played badminton, you know, all the things you do in idyllic places like that. But that's not the terrible idea I am talking about. I did get an ayurvedic massage while on the trip which uses a lot of oil and includes a head massage so my hair ended up really greasy. Also the fine white sand sticks to everything so the massage had an exfoliating element to it. So, in retrospect, I consider that a questionable decision, but not a terrible idea.

No, Dear Reader, the terrible idea I am talking about was my volunteering to foster three 50 day old Indian street dogs so they wouldn't be put back out on street. So within the space of 8 months, I have gone from having no dogs to having four. And little fifty day old puppies are not house trained. Of course, neither is Aloo so I guess they have some common ground.*

But anyways, much to Mr. ATK's chagrin, we agreed to take in the puppies. I really wanted to do it, he was less than enthusiastic but when  asked him if he was okay with it, he did one of those passive-aggressive "If that's what you really want" things, so now we have extra puppies. 

Here they are:

Three extra puppies is a lot of work. Shocking insight, I know. Did I think it would be work? Yes. Did I think it would be this much work? Eh... probably not. I figured we could use Aloo's old wire crate to keep the puppies in the apartment and during the day they could stay in the servant's quarters on the roof. They are too small for walks, so that's less work right there. Right? Right?! 


Puppies pee. A lot. Seriously, it's amazing how much they pee. Always peeing. And it's hard to move three puppies at a time. So when we were keeping them in the house, every hour I had to take them one at a time up the stairs to the roof. I tried carrying two under my arms and putting one in a bag,** but the one in the bag didn't enjoy that experience. It was hard to get him in the bag and then pick up two other puppies before puppy number 1 scrambled out of the bag.  Then we trying carrying the together in a laundry basket, but they kept trying to climb out while in transit. And, of course, they have sharp little teeth and claws so arms and legs are quickly filled with scratches.  And then there's the fact that old dogs don't seem to like new dogs invading their territory. 

Yes, for some crazy reason, I pictured Aloo taking on a motherly/big sister role and caring lovingly for the puppies. It would be like Diff'rent Strokes. Aloo would be Kimberley, the puppies would be Arnold and Willis, I would be Mr. Drummond, and Mr. ATK would be Ms. Garrett the housekeeper (who would eventually become the dorm mother at Langley boarding school in her own spin off, The Facts of Life.) Unfortunately, unlike the Upper East Side of Manhattan, bringing home extra puppies has not resulted in increased conspiratorial shenanigans between Aloo and her new brothers and sister. Actually, quite the opposite has happened. We learned Aloo does not like to share. Aloo spent most of the first evening growling at the puppies, who we kept in a wire crate in a separate room. After taking the puppies upstairs to the roof to do their business, I was bringing the last one in and we ran into Aloo who Mr. ATK was bringing up for her nightly ablutions. Aloo did not take kindly to this other pup in my arms and started jumping on me and snapping at the little guy. Fortunately, for little Fido (they didn't have names yet and I don't remember which it was), she did not get him. Unfortunately for me, she did get a nice chunk of my elbow. (Don't worry she didn't draw blood or anything.) 

The next day (that would be Day 2, not even a full 24 hours with the puppies yet) we had all the dogs on the roof playing together. It was a real kum bah ya moment. I thought Aloo had gotten over her jealously and all and life would be good once again in the Drummond, er, ATK household. (I don't think you realize how exhausting it is to have 4 dogs and to always keep one physically separated from the others.) I started to think, Maybe this wasn't such a terrible idea. Look at all the cuteness! They are so cute!!!

But then...Food Bowl Gate struck. 

We were herding all the dogs down from the roof with the intention of giving them baths (the puppies were infested with ticks).  Nimbu managed to wander over to Aloo's food dish while we were trying to get everyone into the bathroom and took a bite of food, prompting Aloo to absolutely lose her shit. I think she tried to eat that little puppy. Lots of snarling, growling, biting, barking, and screeching ensued from all dogs. It was awful. The puppies now have PTSD and we are back to square one with keeping the dogs separated

PTSD puppies... sounds like it could be a very special episode of Diff'rent Strokes. 

*Kidding Aloo is house trained. For the most part. She still has accidents, though, but we suspect she is just being petulant. 
** Just to clarify, I didn't try to carry the puppies in a plastic bag or anything. It was a tote bag.