I love animals as much as the next person, but I must have been temporarily insane when I volunteered to foster eleven puppies for three weeks.
Yes, I said, eleven puppies. Why would anyone do that, you ask? Well, all I can say is that it seemed like a good idea at the time.
My 11-year-old daughter does not remember our dogs as puppies and is always clamoring for one. I thought this would be a fun way to do a good deed and give my child the experience she craved without a lifetime commitment to a new dog in the house.
I honestly had no idea how much a puppy pooped. Multiply that times eleven and it was poop-ageddon at my house.
They were corralled in a crate large enough for a Great Dane, but just like an over-populated city, there just wasn’t enough real estate for eleven puppies to do their business without sleeping in it.
They spent their days in a pen in the backyard and every night I put them to bed in a clean crate. In the morning, they were clamoring to be let out of what looked like a crime scene… only you know, it wasn’t blood.
Not only did I clean a crate every day that looked like a septic tank exploded, I also had eleven puppies covered in poop from head to toe every morning. In three weeks, I gave them six baths, which if you are doing the math, is sixty-six baths, but my efforts were futile. The stench was overwhelming within a matter of hours.
My daughter helped, but I couldn’t glove her up and send her into that toxic waste dump, so poop patrol was always my job.
At one point, I had something of a wine-fueled nervous breakdown. I was crying and mumbling things like, “The poop. It’s just too much. I can’t keep up.”
I think there were times when I was cleaning the crate that my mind left and went somewhere far, far away, maybe to a tropical beach where no one pooped.
When it was time to give them back, I cried like a baby. I nuzzled my favorite, the tiny runt named Fifi, until she was the last to go. My husband patted my shoulder and said soothingly, “It’s okay.” I replied, “If I’d had to keep them another week, I would be crying even harder.”
So here is what I learned from this experience, eleven puppies poop a lot and Disney is a big fat liar. Taking care of 101 Dalmatians is not physically possible without a guy showing up on your doorstep from the health department wearing a hazmat suit.