Wednesday, December 17, 2008
The puppies are thoughtfully considering whether it is time to start scampering. You can see it in their faces and how they kind of coil up their chubby little bodies, but then they realize they do not quite have the coordination yet and abandon the idea. However, it won't be long before the scampering begins!
We now have teeth on both top and bottom. The puppies are starting to do a little chewing, which we allow. I am sorry to repeat myself and some of you know this from the F Litter, but we teach bite inhibition rather than stopping the puppies from chewing. In other words, we communicate when the biting is too hard to help them learn how to use their mouths. I just think it is wrong to prevent a baby from exploring the world with his/her mouth, since that is really their main mechanism, and so we allow them to lick and nibble and yes, even bite us. The puppies learn to have a soft mouth in this way, and are not frustrated by constant reprimands to stop doing something they developmentally need to do.
When we sit in the puppy area, the puppies toddle over to us and climb in our laps. They play with each other and us with increasingly frequency. They are not yet hurting each other, but that is coming with all these sharp new teeth. They watch what happens on the other side of their x-pen and they like to visit with Zoey and Faith. They are awake more but still spend most of their days sleeping.
Cadi needs help when she feeds them now. She cannot just lay down because they mob her and so they leave no place for her to lay down. My job is to help clear a landing path, so to speak. This means that I wake up at night to help her get settled -- usually it is twice during the night. They eat a lot more frequently during the day -- about every 1.5 - 2 hours. I am not sure how people who work full-time and do not have a puppy nanny manage to get puppies raised -- it seems like having someone around is pretty important.
My grading is done and so now we can settle into a new normal down here in Utah. It is very strange to live in two places. Montana has all that open space and so it is easier to have so many dogs, but Utah has family (especially the Dear Husband) and friends and familiar places. It is just an odd experience that I am having this year with a foot in two places. I try not to think too much about it as it makes my head hurt and my heart confused so I just plan to spend the next five weeks enjoying being home, raising these puppies, and catching up on my research/writing.
Now that I am done with the trial, the show and the grades I need to turn my attention also to figuring out puppy placements -- not my most favorite thing, as most of you know. However, I cannot keep all these puppies and so I have to figure out the very best possible homes for them. I owe some of you emails and I will catch up on that this week, but don't worry about writing to me even when I do not have lots of time to respond -- when I stop hearing from people I assume they are no longer interested in a puppy. Some homes are already assured, and I need to sort through all the other choices and get this figured out.
I also need to wrap my mind around the idea of keeping yet another puppy. I have five dogs right now and their ages range from 8+ years to 3 months. My main consideration is whether I can give six dogs an interesting life. I am not willing to just have the dogs -- they need to do things -- and I need to realistically consider what I can offer to each dog. I will not be breeding anyone again for two years and so my numbers will stay stable as long as everyone stays healthy (knock on wood). So I am sure I will keep one but it does make me feel a little crazy just thinking about it, and then I wonder -- do I keep a girl, as I always have? Or finally keep a boy (this would make Kim happy)? Or do I just let the Heavens decide by keeping the best puppy regardless of gender? I am tired just thinking about all this -- so I will stop before I have to take a nap at 8 in the morning :)
I love the pictures today! It would appear that we do have another Noah on our hands -- look at the picture of Lucky Karma licking Faith (Galen's puppy)!! The group pictures were on my lap, and we have lots of good close-ups -- care to guess which puppy is which? We even have an early attempt to stack Sydney -- not very successful and she followed it by peeing all over Galen!
I hope your day is so wonderful, and that if you feel the urge to scamper that you will just do it -- no matter who is watching or your degree of coordination! Thanks for your continuing interest and support -- and your visit.
Posted by Mary-Ann Bowman at 6:08 AM