The Party is Over! A Look Back at the Party Pups


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Party with her 14 pups!

It’s safe to say that the Party is over! Party and her 14 pups have all been adopted and taken the next step in their journeys. Party gave birth to 14 puppies on October 25th, which is an incredible number of babies for any dog, but especially as she was more of a medium-sized dog (around 45 pounds). I grew to love both mom and her pups after spending so much time with them. It started off with twice-daily supplemental bottle feedings where I fed four to six of the pups twice a day, just to ensure that everyone was getting enough milk as 14 is a lot of babies to feed on her own.

Unfortunately, poor Party got mastitis after a week and a half, and she pretty much stopped producing milk around that time. While we had hoped that antibiotics would help the mastitis and help her milk return, it never did. As a result, I ended up going to the rescue three times a day to bottle feed all 14 of the Party pups. Each feeding took around two hours, though eventually we got it down to a little over an hour when everyone was cooperating! All in all, the puppies experienced the best of both worlds: having mom around and looking busy (she would let them nurse even though she had very little to no milk) along with caring for them outside of feedings and a lot of extra human interaction and handling with me bottle feeding them for nearly three weeks.

Part of bottle feeding is weighing everyone before and after each feeding, which is how I came to know who was who by their markings so quickly: weighing each pup three times adds up! By doing this, I can ensure that everyone drinks the right amount of milk per feeding, and then I can track to ensure that they steadily gain weight over time. At three-weeks old, they were able to be weaned officially, which is where they eat a gruel mixture: ground up dry kibble mixed with formula. It took them a couple of days, but they figured it out!

I don’t normally request or want to take on pups at six weeks old, but the Party pups were an exception. I just loved them, and I wanted to foster at least a few of them. There was also a part of me that was brokenhearted over not being able to save the Horse Coats’ pups (nine orphaned newborns) and wanting to have healthier puppies, and I felt like I helped “save” the Party pups a little. Mama Party was able to get into an earlier spay appointment that had opened up as she was totally dry, and this also meant that she got to find her forever home and I was able to foster the Party pups!

After fostering a number of puppies, I prefer at least four puppies, and I find I have the best success with them when I get them before five weeks old. They’re very malleable at that age and take to a routine incredibly quickly. Fortunately, the Party pups were not quite as rambunctious as typical six-week old pups often are (probably the result of bottle feeding and the resulting increase in early handling), so managing 14 six-week old puppies was actually a lot easier than anticipated.

I thought I might have over-committed, but I didn’t have any issues at all caring for all 14! We spent a lot of time outdoors, which gave them plenty of room to frolic and play, while exposing them to different sounds. They used the same amount of linens and pen space as my last fosters (only four!), so the only place I felt the added workload was loading and unloading all those fluff balls into the puppy wagon to take them from the pen to the patio and back. Oh, and trimming nails and bathing 14 is not the most fun 😅

The Party pups partied hard at my home for three weeks, and then I brought them back to the rescue on December 27th for vaccines and to return, as their adoption day was December 29th. I am a total helicopter parent and control-freak, so I also volunteered on their adoption day (as I do for all my fosters) to help facilitate their adoptions and help them find the right adopters.

Incredibly, all 14 Party pups found their homes on the 29th! The rescue had double appointments for the day, so out of 16 appointments, 14 were a success, which was truly impressive. I was so happy to see that the potential adopters all came in excited, had been following their journey on my Instagram, and had pups in mind but were also very open to being steered towards or away from a particular pup based on what they were looking for. The first appointment of the day actually brought ME a gift 😭, while another adopter wanted a photo with me and their new family member.

People often ask me how I can let them go and won’t I be sad to see them go, but that’s not the case. I get so happy to see the joy they bring to the faces of their new family! You can see and feel the excitement on adoption day as each pup finds their people. I love knowing that the pup and their new family will get to create incredible memories together going forward, especially seeing families with children and how this is going to be that childhood dog that they’ll always remember.

It is deeply rewarding when I get updates from adopters about my fosters! I’ve already heard back from several of the Party pups’ new families, and they seem to be adjusting beautifully with several pups sleeping through the night and potty training going quite well for it being only a couple of days in. They’re being loved on so hard and getting all the one-on-one attention they could ask for.

I will love my Party pups forever, and like all my newborn fosters, they’ll have an extra, special spot in my heart. I am so thankful to have been able to be part of their journey to their forever homes! I’ll miss watching their antics and cuddling them on a daily basis, but I am overcome with joy and warmth knowing their new families are getting to watch them grow up 💖

P.S. — Hubby might actually make it to 2024 without any new fosters! 😂 He is the most supportive partner I could ask for, but he is enjoying the quiet and slow pace of a household without 14 puppies to care for!

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