Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Puppy Cheat Sheet and Singing

Today’s post is especially for Kate but I thought all of you might enjoy it. You may have noticed that the puppies do not wear collars and in fact, they are not marked in any way. We used to paint toenails to tell puppies apart but since our third litter we have not marked puppies.

It started with Maize’s first litter – there were just three puppies and easy to tell apart. For some reason we just never marked puppies again, and so it can be hard for visitors to tell them apart. Kate was a regular visitor last summer when Halo had her first litter, and she quickly mastered the identity of each puppy. She was one of just a couple of the kids who visited who could reliably tell puppies apart.

Kate is coming up this weekend, and since she only has a couple of days to visit I thought I should make her a “cheat sheet” so she could study puppy identification on the way up from Utah and have a head start on mastering names. But others of you are planning to visit and/or maybe you are curious how we can tell these puppies apart, and so I thought you might enjoy seeing the Puppy Cheat Sheet.

Dawson is easy because he has a skunk stripe.

Sula has the skinny blaze and no swiss kiss (white spot on neck); her front feet are also the darkest.

Rosebud is also easy -- she has lots of white on her face and the white on her front paws goes up higher than anyone else.

Darby's muzzle white is a little less on the right side and she has a swiss kiss.

Kinsey has a narrower white blaze and also less muzzle white (but more than Sula); Kinsey and Sula can look alike but Kinsey has a swiss kiss and a little more white on her face. Sometimes Kinsey and Darby look alike but Kinsey has a darker right front foot.

Lolo is easy because she is small!

Madison has perfect face markings and is easy to tell apart because she has what I call an apple dumpling head -- it is very round with a short muzzle. Madison also has a distinctive one-hair swiss kiss.

Ledger looks a bit like Rosebud with lots of white but he has less white on his feet and face (especially on the right side of his muzzle), and given that he is a boy and the only other boy is very distinctive, you can turn Ledger over to confirm identity.

This morning I got up to the Montana Puppy Choir! They were at the edge of the whelping box singing in their cute puppy voices, dressed in identical tri-colored suits. The choir has Rosebud, who barked occasionally to add emphasis to what I am certain was, "Ode to Breakfast". They are simply delightful!

My 911 Nikon call has been answered! Terri from Portland is sending her identical camera to visit for a couple of weeks while ours is being repaired!! Isn't that incredibly nice of her?! The camera is already on the way so soon we will be back in glorious close-up pictures -- I can't wait. I am sure I speak for the crowd when I say a big THANKS to Terri!

I took today's pictures right when I got up to the Montana Puppy Choir. They were already disassembling and then Halo joined to silence their pleas for more milk but I still think you can see some of the action. The single puppy sitting at the edge of the box is what everyone had just been doing. In the group picture you can see them milling about as they finished their singing. The two puppies sitting together with a puppy butt in the middle are Ledger and Rosebud -- look at the front feet to tell them apart. The cute picture of Halo with satisfied customers helps you have perspective about their growth -- aren't they getting big?! The puppy who is down is Darby -- you can tell by the slight bit of rust that comes into the white muzzle band on the right. Also, you can tell it is not Kinsey because the outside toe on the right paw is not dark. Yes, you have to be a detective to tell them apart sometimes -- but I am betting that Kate will have them all sorted out before she leaves Montana!

News Flash! New behaviors this morning! First puppy to climb out of the box is Dawson! First puppy to wag her tail at a person is Sula!

I hope you have many reasons to sing today!

No comments:

Post a Comment