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November 18, 2021

Happy Chonksgiving from all of us! I plan to write some posts soon about what it's like to foster tiny puppies for our local animal shelter and the kinds of supplies you'll need in bulk to survive, if you want to add a similar volunteer gig to your life. But, I'm getting ready to take an extra-long Thanksgiving break (Nov 19-28), so instead please enjoy pix and videos of our latest foster babies that we're calling TATO (like mashed potatoes) and GRAVY. They are just 2 from a litter of 9 puppies born at our shelter. We went for sanity over heroics and offered to foster just 2 of them. #ChonkyPuppies


9 Puppies!!! No, we didn't agree to foster ALL of them.

Their momma gave birth the first evening at the shelter, and another foster family took care of her and all 9 puppies for 6 weeks. Then, the shelter's behavior team divided the puppies into compatible groups/pairings, and several foster families, including us, agreed to keep them for the next few weeks. Originally, the plan meant fostering them for 2 weeks, but with the Chonksgiving holiday and everything, it looks like more like 3 weeks total.

photo grid of 9 puppies, 3 in each row

Their Momma got adopted earlier this week, so she is already in her new home. Yay for her!

image of a german shepherd dog with some test describing how she came to the shelter and gave birth, etc.

Our 2 Chonksgiving Puppies

We're calling them TATO and GRAVY. The shelter did a fundraiser, where some donors get to name all 9 puppies. We needed to call them something, though. We went with a Thanksgiving theme ... CHONKY puppy style.

So far they are very good, very sweet puppies. Housetraining is going well. They potty on cue outside. When they need to go inside, they mostly use potty pads. That means clean-up hasn't been too rough. 

Other Puppy Training Tasks

I'm teaching them to walk on leash with tiny body harnesses. That mostly goes okay, but they lag and act like boat anchors a lot still. During the holiday break, I plan to introduce them to clicker training. I want them to learn basics like SIT and SHAKE. I might even teach them a little nosework. We'll see. 

Chonksgiving puppies under a bookcase with a toy, one puppy is blonde, the other is more traditional german shepherd looking
chonksgiving - puppies snuggling together, one puppy is blonde, the other is more traditional german shepherd looking
chonksgiving - puppies eating off a blue plastic plate, one puppy is blonde, the other is more traditional german shepherd looking
chonksgiving - 2 german shepherd mix puppies running toward the camera

Gravy originally outweighed Tato by about 1.5 pounds. They're pretty much the same weight now -- just under 9 pounds. 

chonksgiving - german shepherd mix puppy tilting her head
chonksgiving - german shepherd mix puppy tilting chewing ion pink toy

Tato's blue eyes are super sweet. Most of the time, she is the mellower of the 2, so she is easier to photograph. 

chonksgiving - blonde german shepherd mix puppy sweet face
blonde german shepherd mix puppy sweet face in the sunlight

After a bit more than a week with us and learning dog stuff from our 3 dogs, their confidence continues to grow. They will likely be more of a handful for these next couple of weeks. We've been lucky, though, to enjoy fairly nice weather, so that helps. They tire out must faster running around outside. It was super cold yesterday. It should be warmer for a few more days now during my holiday break. 

Along with the sound of their tiny feet romping around, I love how they snuggle. 

Have a great holiday, if it's one you celebrate. We hope you are healthy and doing well. 

Happy to report we got our COVID booster shots recently, so that's a relief since cases and hospitalizations here in COLORADO remain stupidly high. 

About the Author Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related.

I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

  1. “Tato’s blue eyes are super sweet. Most of the time, she is the mellower of the 2, so she is easier to photograph.”
    It’s such a grateful blog, I m a pet lover especially Dog, I think dog animal is much closer to human beings than others else. thanks, dear for sharing your articles with us and also grateful

  2. they are some real cuties!! Thanks so much for opening your home to them. I know it means a lot when the shelters have someone to help foster. have a great Thanksgiving

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