...and these 10 puppies are, for five or so more weeks, the perfect recipients of all the love she has to pour out. :)
I went about my business of morning tasks, but through the window I kept an eye on her. Not because she really needed supervision, but mostly because I thought it was just too cute, the way she was cuddled up with all of those warm, furry bodies. :)
So, to back up a little, the puppies have a new home of sorts. We knew that eventually they would be too big to keep contained in their box that Jeff had built for them; and sure enough, on Wednesday, one of them (Koda, I believe) managed to climb up (probably on some of his siblings) and scramble over the edge. As it turned out, Jeff was already hard at work, getting the porch ready for us to move them out there.
If Willow had had puppies in the summer, it wouldn't have been a problem to put the puppies on the porch from the beginning; but being as she gave birth during the coldest time of the year, it was a little harder to figure out what to do. The porch doesn't stay very warm, and Jeff determined that most of the problem was the door. He reasoned that if he could get another door--a thick, solid, wooden door--to add to the doorway, the double-door effect would trap the cold air and make the porch considerably warmer.
Being Jeff, he didn't run right out to Home Depot and buy the thickest, solidest door he could find. Instead he went to a thrift store for building supplies and found a good thick door for something like $12. :) It didn't exactly fit the door, but he sawed it down until it did. :) And then he hung it. At some point I asked him if he had ever hung a door before and was actually surprised to hear that he had not (he's hung doors when there were already hinges in place for them, but had never done the whole process from start to finish). Now if you know Jeff, you might already know that he's a handy guy, but he falls a little into the category of "if it needs to move and doesn't, use WD-40; and if it needs to stick and doesn't, use duct tape." ;-) But wouldn't you know, no duct tape was used in the installation of the new-to-us door! :)
It was amazing how quickly that door made a huge difference in the temperature on the porch. I am sure that, long after the puppies have moved on to other homes, we'll be grateful to have that door!
In the meantime, the puppies are enjoying having more room to stretch their legs; and Willow is able to get in to their area whenever she wants through this small door from the living room to the porch (it originally opened into a woodbox that my parents had on the porch many years ago). I'm enjoying having a little more open space in the living room again and--when the puppies are at their noisiest--a little more distance between my eardrums and their yelps. ;-) The kids, from David on down to Moriah, are having fun going in and out the little door; and you already know that Moriah is having a ball hanging out with the puppies.
All of us are enjoying watching these 10 little fur-balls grow and change and develop. They are so sweet! :)