6:58 - I wake up an hour later than the puppies usually eat! But it's quiet, so I sneak into the kitchen, warm mom's food then warm the puppies' food. Mom's awake. I tiptoe downstairs to let her outside, grab the huge garbage bag to start the cleanup. I'm able to cover a few piles of poop before the puppies stir. This minimizes the mess.
7:05 - The process begins: set up the holding enclosure, let the puppies into that, replace soiled newspapers, wee-wee pads and bedding, put down clean bowls, fill with gruel, let the puppies back into the main enclosure. They all eat, dance around my feet, tug on my shoes. But I'm too tired to sit down. This feeding doesn't include nursing, so I escape.
7:13 - I let mom inside. Lots of crying and whining from the pups. She gobbles her delicious mixture and settles in for a good chew on a rawhide baseball. I escape upstairs.
7:20 - The cacophony subsides, most of the pups get comfy for another nap. But a few hang around the door, hoping to wheedle their way to mom. Sounds like children begging for candy.
7:21 - I start the water boiling, one cup of tea, lots of dog food. The dog food is barley, oats, carrots, peppers, dehydrated chicken, so I just add boiling water and wait for it to reconstitute. It smells like chicken pot pie.
7:22 - The whining gets louder. Mom decided to move from her bed to the top step so that she could keep an eye on me. This movement gets the attention of the pups. Are my kids actually sleeping through this? I ignore all whimpers.
7:27 - All quiet again. Time to drink some tea and boil more water for more dog food.