Yep I was the kid with the Barbie Dream House.
To be honest I had all sort of Barbie stuff thanks to having cousins who were about five or six years older than me who gave me their “old” Barbie stuff when they grew tired of it. That was fine with me because it meant I inherited stuff you couldn’t even get any more. For inquiring minds I had the plane, pool, horse, motor home, and quite possibly my favorite – despite her freakish green eyes – the kitty with velcro feet so it stuck to the scratching post.
I had way more stuff than I did Barbies, and that was the way I liked it. I didn’t really even play with her, it was all about the set up. I could spend hours getting the furniture just right. When you opened my Barbie’s fridge all of the stuff was in there just right. The pots and pans were in their places with bright shining faces, and all of my Barbie’s clothes were actually hanging on those ridiculously small and flimsy hangers. Despite how much I did love Golden Dream Barbie (because her hair had very fine gauge wire and you could REALLY curl it), I really didn’t need her – just her stuff. I was the one kid who never lost a single accessory – not one missing shoe or lost earring. Not a single one, I even carried them around neatly packed into my adulthood for many years. (Yes, she who doesn’t and isn’t going to have children lugged around a couple of perfectly packed Barbie wardrobes. You have an issue with that?)
I tell you all of this because I am absolutely no different today. One of the best parts of scrapbooking is getting everything ready, tools set out just right; same with christmas cookie baking – got to get all the sprinkles out and line them up just so. Heck any cooking is better when you start with a good miss en place. You can probably see where this is going – my head nearly explodes when it is puppy nursery set up time.
So far I haven’t needed an ultrasound to confirm when Sabina’s pregnant. She lets you know, trust me. Still I get all excited about going up to Santa Rosa on ultrasound day. It isn’t to see the ultrasound, I can’t ever tell what is a puppy and what is Sabina’s liver or other internal organ unless Dr. D points it out. No I am excited because we get our WES kit! (WES – whelping and early socializing kit.) This has all goodies: bottles, color coded collars, scale, heat lamp. This is one of my most favorite parts. Dave really has to keep me reined in or I would go home and set it all up, the same day even though we won’t need it for weeks.
If you have been reading for a while you know that Sabina has her own room which normally looks like this. It was formerly a beautiful guest room that was used exactly twice for guests. Now it is where Sabina and our pups hang out during the day when we are at work or if we need to stick pups somewhere and we don’t want to kennel them. Now that we are in full-whelp mode it looks more like this….
We whelp in a whelping box. Many puppy raisers use a kiddie pool, some make a box (this one was made by the husband of friend and puppy raiser), some buy one. (NOTE TO DAVE & SANTA: I really really want a Jonart Whelpbox. I have wanted one since I first saw them on the net over a year ago but now you can see them on the Eukanuba livestream of the Canine Companions E Litter on the so you can really see how awesome it truly it is. It is my grown up Barbie Dream House. Seriously, Mary is going to want her box back someday.) You will see that there is a board nailed to the interior of the box. That keeps Mama from laying completely flush up against the walls, and from squashing a little pup back there.
Part of my “set-up” fixation comes from my need to organize. (I recognize it is a sickness, I just try to use my compulsion for good and not evil.) This used to be the closet and we have all our dog stuff here now, but the puppies have their own bins because we want to keep the germs down as much as possible. No I am not a germ-a-phobe, but I do what I can to keep from having 8-10 little diarrhea machines at one time on my hands.
I know you are laughing to see this set up. Those of you who don’t know me in person are thinking “is she really that crazy?”, and those who do are laughing because you knew this is exactly what it would look like. So yes, that is a pen laying there on top of the whelp record sheet. Yes, I checked it has ink. All the other things we need are all neatly laid out too. I like the whelp to be as calm as possible and for me that means not running around like the village idiot to find stuff in the heat of the moment. We have a huge trash can, and laundry bin. There is also a laundry basket under the table outfitted with a heating pad that is used to move the puppies around during the whelp and other times.
Not pictured is the “welcome” station by the front door. There I have all the stuff for people coming in. We ask that you remove your shoes so we have flip-flops and socks if you’re so inclined and of course hand sanitizer. By the back door we have extra towels, flashlights, and leashes. Once we are in active labor Sabina is only let out on leash and accompanied at all times. Puppies come when puppies come. Hopefully that is in the whelp box, but sometimes that means the backyard. It is a little more pleasant to be prepared when you trying to manage mama who just wants to run off and go dig a hole in the back corner of the yard while you’re trying to catch the puppy who decided the back patio was a great place to come into the world.
So now the waiting officially starts. We are at W<48H. (Whelp less than 48 hours away, probably, maybe…) This is the part I hate, the waiting. Too bad I still don’t have that Golden Dream Barbie. I could so curl that girl’s hair for hours.