As you’ve gathered from some of my previous posts, I love dogs. I have 2 of my own but thanks to the internet, I have grown attached to a Great Dane, Noel and her 3 babies.
Early January: While cruising through Facebook, I found a link to Explore.org. It has links to live webcams of different areas around the world; 4 of them following future service dogs. The initial one I started watching is of a litter of yellow labs that will one day serve as Warrior Canines through Warrior Canine Connection. I had been following the labs for a few weeks watching the puppies get more mobile, get their names, move to a larger play area, etc. BUT then my world changed.
January 29th (Tuesday): My sister Denise calls to tell me there is a pregnant Great Dane at the Service Dog Project site. I log on and there is Noel, a beautiful black and white Great Dane that reminds me of my own pup, Tipper. She’s apparently going to go deliver her puppies within the next 24 hours. We see her get up, move around and try to burrow down in the nicely spread out blankets the caretakers have placed for her. Denise is so excited she says, “I might have to stay up all night watching this.”
January 30th (Wednesday): The next morning I get a text with an update from my sister, “no puppies” and throughout the day, more texts “no puppies.” I then start making fun of her how she’s so wrapped up in following Noel. She’s trying to figure out how she can watch Noel while at the doctor, considering changing her schedule, etc.
January 31st (Thursday): Morning comes – still no puppies. I’m now getting wrapped up in this and concerned. When are these puppies going to come? Are they OK? Is Noel OK? I follow along on my iPad as I’m getting ready for work. Once settled in the office I log on for a quick check. I had been resisting following the webcam at work but I had to see if the puppies were coming. Just as I log on, I see Noel’s human mom, Megan take Noel out of the room. As you watch the webcam, people comment below in a chat room style discussion so you learn about the people in the room and the operations of the Service Dog Project. You feel like you’re part of a community following everyone’s comments, getting to know some of the regulars on line, in the room, the dogs, etc.
In the past a hand written note would be placed stating “Out to Potty.” By now people all across the world are watching and waiting for these puppies to be born. So when she’s not in view of the camera, we get worried. I see the hand written note getting placed on the futon but this time it says “Out for X-rays”. Of course Denise and I are immediately on the phone expressing our concern for Noel.
Now I’m not only wrapped up in this…I’m obsessed!!! I have a 90 minute meeting but I figure out how to bring the site up on my iPhone. Nothing happens other than draining my battery.
During lunch Noel comes back online and there is one puppy with her. Come to find out she had the puppy on the way back from the vet. I now have a 60 minute web conference meeting, so on one monitor I’m following the meeting but on the other monitor I have Noel up. (IF anyone from work is readying this – this is NOT a regular occurrence!)
To top off the madness of trying to keep up with my job and Noel, in honor of Super Bowl weekend my department is having a chili cook-off competition and my team is meeting at my house to cook our chili. As I’m preparing to leave the office, I get a text from Denise saying “Now?” I missed the delivery of one of the pups. Denise tells me play-by-play what happened but sadly the puppy didn’t make it. I can’t believe I missed it!
Of course once I get home I bring up the webcam. My plan is while we’re cooking our chili one person will need to monitor the computer. As I’m waiting for my team to arrive of course I’m watching Noel. Just before everyone arrives, Noel delivers another puppy and this time I’m get to see it. Sadly just like Denise’s play-by-play details, the same thing starts to occur. A lady helping care for Noel is now rubbing the puppy and rolling it from side to side. The look on Megan’s face is so solemn. I’m so sad for them and sad for the one pup thinking, who is it going to play with? It needs a sibling. This seems to go on for a long time but all of a sudden you see Megan’s face just light up and everyone in the room is now smiling. Even though there isn’t sound on the webcam, I felt like I was right there with them. I know I don’t know any of these people, dogs, etc. but the tears just started rolling down my cheeks.
Noel had a total of 5 Nuppies. (The “P” in puppies is replaced with the first letter of the mama dog’s name.) Three survived – Magnus, Murphy and Mariah.
February 6th (Wednesday): I’ve slowed up how much I log in to watch and just check in with Noel from time to time. BUT Denise told me today that Olive, another Great Dane on the property should be having her babies in about 10 days! I don’t know if I can handle another 48-60 hours waiting for the Oppies (or Oopsies…they aren’t sure who the daddy is…seems like there’s always drama with reality TV!)
I love how the internet has opened up the experience to follow the Labrador puppies at Warrior Canines and the Great Danes at Service Dog Project. If you dare – log on to Explore.org and follow the pups. We’ve found a few other ways to follow the pups such as Facebook and blogs. Other than the webcam two of my favorites are the Doggy Daily blog and the Shutterfly pictures. Here the Danes are enjoying Nemo and all the snow.
You can’t look at these without feeling some of the pure joy they are having.