Puppies in a Carpark After Dark…

Last night, my daughter and I were recruited into a clandestine, underground movement, which rescues puppies and dogs from puppy farms and “bad homes”.

As you might have seen on the blog lately, my friend’s been fostering dogs and puppies. I never thought I’d be up for this, and thought I’d find it impossible to let them go. However, I was round at her place with the latest residents, and they were so cute and so much fun, that I thought we’d give puppy rescuing a go.

Then, like well-trained intelligence agent, my friend heard that a litter of Border Collie x Kelpie pups was in the pipeline. Me being me with my usual levels of resistance, I put my hat in the ring for two pups with a view of keeping one. This would be like a test drive where we could try before we buy.

You might recall, that it’s only been two months since our much loved Border Collie, Bilbo passed away. We’re still heartbroken and missing him in all sorts of ways. A few years ago, we adopted Lady thinking that he wasn’t well. Then, he perked up after she arrived and lived another 3 years. As much as we love Lady’s exuberant friendliness, we’re used to Bilbo’s Border Collie sheepdog ways, and she’s a very different dog.  That’s fine but when you’ve been living with the ball chasing champion of the universe and you get a dog who doesn’t fetch, it’s hard to compute…even if Bilbo’s ball chasing obsession drove us mad! I guess it’s a reminder, that you can’t simply replace the one you’ve lost and each of us, is an individual.

During the week, my friend forwarded photos and we selected one pup we particularly liked. Then, we received further intelligence, that the pups were arriving last night.

The pups had been rescued from out near Lismore, 10 hours’ drive away. This meant it was hard for them to give an exact pick up time. It was simply “late” and there were phone calls going back and forth updating their ETA. All I knew, was that we were meeting up in a carpark at a nearby pet shop some time after dark. It started to feel like I’d joined a clandestine smuggling ring, and the whole experience felt like a grand adventure. Yet, at the same time, I was also being drawn out of my comfort zone. I don’t like driving at night, and felt a bit uncomfortable hanging around in the industrial area late at night.

However, soon the other voluneers started to arrive. The scene reminded me of waiting for a country train and watching the cars pull in. We picked up puppy food, leads, collars and chatted to other volunteers and waited… and waited. It was so exciting. The puppies were coming!

Then, suddenly a car towing a dog caravan appeared. It wasn’t quite your movie star camper, but precious cargo was definitely onboard. I’m not entirely sure which other dogs were there, but there was a litter of black labrador pups as well as part of the litter of Border Collie x Kelpie pups. I also saw what looked like a family of semi-grown Maltese Terriors.

Zac & Rosie

At this point, it was about 10.00PM. A floodlight breaks through only a fraction of the darkness, backlighting the puppies. So, we can hardly distinguish which pup is which, and they’re just a squirming, wriggling mass of black and white fur and paws. There was one boy in the litter, who just happened to be the one I’d picked out from the FB photo and my daughter picked out one with a white stripe on her head and “ears like Bilbo”. They had their shots, were wormed, paperwork was completed and they were in the car and on their way home.

Home meant introducing them to Lady. I was hoping Lady might feel somewhat maternal and welcome the new arrivals. On the other hand, not everyone’s excited when a strange, spaceship-like contraption lands in your territory. As for calling you “Mum” and YOUR dogbed “home”, Lady muttered something about having no say in it, and no idea what was coming! Lady wasn’t thrilled and had a few growls. The puppies were disturbing her peace, quiet, and new found stardome as the only dog. However, she did give them a good sniff, and I’m sure she’ll come round.


Meanwhile, the pups who’d been cooped up in transit all day, did what all kids do after they’re released. They went beserk!!! Indeed, our boy pup, Zac, went psycho jumping and leaping all over the lounge room like he’d just arrived at a theme park. Rosie, his canine companion, wasn’t far behind him. At one point,  they’d converted Lady’s bed into a wrestling ring and were growling like a pair of Tasmanian Devils and gnawing at each other, having so much fun.

We were besotted.

Rosie & feather duster.JPG

As a parent myself, I was rather concerned by their wild behavior so late at night, wondering how they’d ever get to sleep. It’s been awhile, but I haven’t forgotten the difficulties of getting human babies to sleep. I even attended a week long sleep clinic with my son out at Karitane, after trying everything from singing Twinkle Twinkle, walking the streets with the pram, prayer and phoning my in-laws. In other words, we’re talking about reaching the end of the road and then some.

Clearly, it was starting to look like a sleepless night.

However, looking at the puppies bouncing off the walls exploring their new environment, I started developing grave concerns about how we were ever going to get them to sleep. Memories of frazzled sleepless nights trying to get our son to sleep, came back like a back case of reflux.

Amelia with crazy pups

A pair of rambunctious pups.

What have I got myself into?

By this stage, it was well after midnight and Miss was also still awake. We took the pups into the laundry, and tried closing the door. That’s when the howling began…and continued. These pups had no intention of going to sleep. Couldn’t slow themselves down to anything remotely resembling “tired”, and didn’t like being away from us either.

Although I remembered that you stick a ticking clock in with puppies to help them sleep, who has ticking clocks these days? Obviously, its digital descendants wouldn’t do the trick. Apparently, the radio’s the go these days. Oops! That reminds me, that I forgot to set up the music player for tonight.

Needless to say, just like a new Mum, I didn’t get a great night’s sleep.

The big difference was, however, that no one drops round with a meal when you have a new dog! The grandparents haven’t turned up either. Indeed, I haven’t quite mentioned the puppies to my parents…even though I’m obviously a grown up now and they’re in no position to say “no”. It’s just that given my health issues and a very busy family, adding a new pup to the mix and fosteringit’s sister, isn’t a logical decision. It doesn’t make sense, but the heart has its own way of thinking, which might not add up but usually makes sense.

Well, at least it makes sense to me.

Do you have a special dog and dog story to share? I’d love to hear it.

xx Rowena


Let sleeping pups lie.

10 thoughts on “Puppies in a Carpark After Dark…

  1. pensitivity101

    Oh, such cuties! I remember when the ex partner rang me at work to ask if he could bring home a pup that was going to be put down as the owners no longer wanted him. Our GSD bitch didn’t like other dogs, but this was a pedigree rough collie (lassie dog) and there was nothing wrong with him other than having the stupid and selfish owners from hell. So I said yes.
    The GSD had just finished her season, so we smuggled the pup (just 14 weeks!!) in through the kitchen door keeping her in the lounge and wrapped him up in her blanket. Then we introduced them. It was hiliarious. Smelling her bits, smelling him, smelling her blanket, smelling herself, until she accepted he smelt like her, must be hers, even if she didn’t remember having him, and that was that. She house trained him, and if he tried to be top dog, she swatted him.

  2. Minuscule Moments

    Congrats on the new editions to the family I imagine you won’t be getting a good sleep for awhile now until they settle into a routine. Good to have two to keep each other company. Such a special commitment and boy they will enjoy their loving new family Im sure. They are lucky puppies Rowena enjoy.

  3. Rowena Post author

    Thanks, Kath. I hope it wasn’t just luck, but they slept through last night. Yay! I feel like a new Mum all over again. They’ve been really good for our son, whose been having a rough time with my lungs playing up, my Mum being under the weather and having lost Bilbo. Hope things at your end are going well xx Rowena

  4. Moon

    I admire your kindness and compassion , Rowena. And , they are so cute . The sleepless pups on the first day in your kind home and your lovely descriptions of sleepless nights with a new human baby took me down the memory lane to my ‘just- mother’ days too . Love your daughter’s inclination towards nurturing them too. Lovely pics, too.
    Best wishes..

  5. Tails Around the Ranch

    Awww, too precious (even if a tad rambunctious). In the words of Mr. Spock, “live long and foster.” Or something similar to that. All the best to you and your new charges. No doubt they’ll make everyone a little more youthful with their puppy spunk.🐶 Hoping you and your family get some sleep soon once they’ve settled in and gotten the routine down. Bless you for being their foster rescue home.

  6. Rowena Post author

    I’ll have to go back and put a footnote on that post because from day 2, they’ve slept well. Just a little cry when I get them in the laundry and that’s it. My kids have hardened me to that tactic.
    I wasn’t aware that I’d actually picked up any skills from those early years of parenting, as I usually felt out of my depth but the puppies have made me realized that I’ve picked up something along the way.
    BTW my son has really been cheered up by them and they’ve been a great circuit breaker. The have been great with them and the pups are so good for them. Their tales are like wagging rainbows.
    Lady still isn’t coming to the party. I’m starting to wonder whether the pups are going to stop thinking she’s Mum and start thinking she’s an obnoxious black sheep which needs herding.
    Hope you have a great week.
    xx Rowena

  7. Tails Around the Ranch

    Tail wagging rainbows. Love that! Sam mostly isn’t keen on Elsa either but tolerates her. Once in a blue moon he’ll engage with her but like most girls, she plays rather rough and he isn’t sure what to make with that hard play she engages in. Such a gentleman and so proud of my boy. If I had been him, I’d have let her know in no uncertain terms the errors of her puckish ways! LOL

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