Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Two female dogs claiming to be mom to newborn puppies

First, FunnyLooking giving birth to her puppies ...

Then Ducky (FunnyLooking's mom) getting all excited when she smelled and saw her new grandpuppies ...

Two days later, Ducky started whining when she wasn't allowed to get near the newborn puppies ... (we were afraid this might trigger the new mom's protective reaction so we had to put the two other doggies, Ducky and Teddy, on leash).

Third day, we woke up to see the puppies curled around Ducky ... (yes, she was on leash in her own space inside our home, some five meters away from FunnyLooking's nesting place and we don't know how the puppies got to be there!). Worried that the puppies might be hungry already, we slowly brought each one back to FunnyLooking's breast.

Ducky started whining again ...

Four days later I was starting to get a bit irritated with Ducky's whining. Being the only one left at home, I didn't know what to do and decided to call up the vet for advice about this ... and the vet said:

"Oh, sometimes that really happens, when a female dog wants to be a foster mom to another dog's puppies. You can let her stay with the babies, but try to stay nearby for a while and observe what happens ... and see how FunnyLooking reacts to this. And by the way, you can check later if there is milk that may come out from Ducky's teats."

Upon hearing this, I immediately let Ducky off her leash and she hastily ran to the babies. But the moment FunnyLooking approached her puppies, Ducky started to growl.

Uh-uh, I guess the vet forgot to tell me to observe how Ducky actually reacts to FunnyLooking getting near her own babies. After an hour or two, I had to pull Ducky out so that FunnyLooking can feed her babies. And made a resolution to myself to try to ignore Ducky's whining again. I didn't want the puppies to go hungry at all.

For the next few hours, all went well, with some intermittent whining from Ducky.

Fifth day, as adviced by the vet, I slowly pinched Ducky's teats to see if there was milk that will be coming out. Whooooh, I started laughing because I couldn't believe what I saw there. I didn't believe it when the vet told me about this but there was milk coming out indeed!!! Quite a surprise and what a relief!!! Now we can let Ducky and FunnyLooking take turns to stay with the new babies without worrying that they might get hungry!

For the next few days both dogs took turns in feeding and keeping the puppies warm. But still Ducky wouldn't allow FunnyLooking to get near when it was her turn to be with the babies. This seems to be nice break for FunnyLooking and gave her the chance to be as frisky as she used to be.

Every now and then, FunnyLooking would sneak in to stay nearby Ducky and her babies. This went on until a time that Ducky stopped growling at her presence and simply allowed FunnyLooking to lie down beside the puppies while it was still her 'turn' to care for them.

Things went on smoothly for the past week ... and we just laugh it off whenever we find the two 'mom-dogs' race each other to be the first one to be with the puppies, after having their own meal. Imagine two dogs racing each other like this!!!

Three days ago (the puppies must be around 3 weeks old by then) ... we saw FunnyLooking and Ducky lying down together, with their heads touching pa nga. Strange but they were lying there comfortably. No growls, no quarrel at all. We were extremely curious what happened.

When we looked closer, we found out that while FunnyLooking was feeding one puppy, Ducky was also feeding the other puppy!!!

Ha-ha! Took a while before they came to accept that this was not a competition after all. That they can both be moms to the babies, can stay to keep the babies warm, and take care of them as well, together.

Oh, amidst all these, Teddy appears to be cool and even seemed to be 'sympathetic' to both female dogs. Not indifferent at all. Whenever Ducky starts her whining, Teddy just 'bumps' his head on Ducky's face in a playful manner as if telling her, "Oh please, tone down your voice!" Then turns to FunnyLooking and starts their 'tag' game all over again.

And he is even helping take care of the babies --- learned to clean them, and sometimes pushes their behind to keep them 'walking'.

One thing I noticed here ... while both mom-dogs are caring for them, and while Ducky is the more 'confident' mom between the two, the puppies seem to know who their real mom is. I often see them run, or should I say, crawl, towards FunnyLooking.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Parenting to the XYZ Generation (Part 2 of 2)

To be a mom to children of the present generation, which I prefer to call Generation XYZ, is something that is probably comparable to taking up a post-doctorate degree! I've been pursuing this 'study' for more than two decades now and yet, I haven't mastered it yet. New questions keep coming up and there is no easy answer to most of it.

For some of us who may be thinking of influencing and making our own contribution to creating a better world for the next generation -- this can be truly extra-challenging.

How easy it would be to simply manage things 'automatically" with the help of our 'autopilot' to manage day-to-day situations and never worry how this is going to affect the development of would-be parents and adults in the next generation.

But after having been made aware of how one's upbringing can influence much ofone's growing up years, as a parent, I want my two daughters to grow up happily, with confidence, and as responsible individuals. I also want them to be aware of who they are and be able to utilize whatever gifts have been bestowed on them, and have the tenacity and optimism to face challenges along the way.

Daunting task? Maybe, if we really think about it.

But if we live it one day at a time, striving to be sensitive and maintaining an open-mind (and heart) and a learning attitude while remaining conscious of how we respond to daily life circumstances, I believe the pay-off will benefit not only our children but also WE, the parents. We do and we will commit our own 'mistakes' in this kind of process. But such 'mistakes' are mere indications of the battle between the 'old' and the creation of an evolving 'new' approach to parenting.

It's not easy but it's possible. It can be done.

The joy in hearing stories from my daughters of how their day has been, how they hate that so-and-so somebody in school for being so mean, and how they almost got a perfect score (almost!) in their class exams, only prove that it's been a fruitful day for all of us. That all those years of challenging myself to continue learning and practicing what I've learned has been all worth it.

Who knows, one day, I might be able to retrieve back my badge of honor. It would be wonderful to hear my daughters' friends say, "Hey, your Mom rocks! Can I come and visit you at your place again? Jamming uli tayo!"

Or better yet, to hear my daughters tease me about my being able to post a blog again ... after some time of doing a lot of reflection and re-thinking these past months.

[Image credit]

Monday, August 4, 2008

Parenting to the XYZ Generation (Part I of 2)

Originally uploaded by deca.tv

Years ago, I've heard my daughter's friends describe me as a 'cool mom'. Whatever that means, I graciously took this as a compliment to my open attitude towards my two daughters -- of not resorting to giving 'lectures' when I see them act quite 'differently', of course, in comparison to how I think I acted when I was their age!

My desire during the past years was to learn with them, to learn from them, on how it is to be a teenager in the present times.

I did learn a lot from them. And until now, it seems that they really enjoy teaching me and giving me tips from how to dress up for a meeting, to helping me understand what the latest catchphrase means, and even in updating me with the latest craze in showbiz, techno gadgets, and whatever is happening in the music industry. Each day, there is always a new lesson for me.

These conversations (while I am in this learning mode) also helped me understand why they enjoy watching horror films and still find them funny while I can't even stand to watch a horrifying scene. This attitude also helped me appreciate their kind of music, the likes of Mars Volta, My Chemical Romance, Urbandub, and many other bands I've become familiar with now.

I can't remember exactly when I started to act more like a 'typical' parent, as my daughters describe it, wherein a series of shoulds and shouldn'ts became part of my vocabulary. It must have been the clutter and 'garbage' covering our homely living room ... or the pile of laundry that's been in the corner of their room for the past two weeks that triggered this. I don't exactly remember. Foremost in my mind was the need to get things organized. To create a better ambience inside our home. To be their mom. Period.

But the point is, I just found myself issuing more 'commands' that need to be followed, a tone which I only realized when they also started to respond with a "Yes, Mom!" (or was it actually a "Yes, Ma'am"?)

There were even times when I simply allow my 'autopilot' to take over and deliver those punches of guilt-inducing lines, which can be hurtful, I realized later on. Such strongly-worded statements I would say that I don't want to be on the receiving end of what my autopilot is able to pull out, unknowingly.

These are moments when I've been drained of all
energies, had been under stress from work, or had been dealing with a difficult client ... only to find out that upon arriving home there's still a lot of things to do ...

Sometimes it's just too much.

Putting it simply, there are times when my badge of honor of being a 'cool mom' fades out and loses its relevance amidst the challenges confronting working moms like me.

On hindsight, I think this is also what happens with most 'typical parents' (from my daughters' point-of-view) who have been out working the whole day, have been going through Manila's heavy traffic and several other stressful circumstances that make it difficult to maintain a 'cool attitude' once we are with our children or with our family.

(to be continued ... )