Saturday, December 30, 2006
The Great Outdoors
The pups celebrated their one-month birthday by venturing outdoors for the first time. The pup I was carrying out started sniffing as soon as we walked out the door. Once I put her down, her nose was glued to the grass as if to say "Wow! What is all this." The outdoors is very exciting for young pups and this crew enjoyed every minute of it. They checked out all the smells, ran around with the big dogs and had a quick picnic lunch when Una stood still for a minute. A few were headed for the rock wall but there were enough people around to make sure they didn't bail off. When they are a little older, we will teach them about edges but they aren't ready for that yet. They stayed outside about 15 minutes before they started getting cold. Not long but quite exciting for five babies.
It's remarkable how fast pups develop at this point. Five days ago they were tottering around on wobbly legs. Now they are running and climbing. They are trying to jump but usually only the front end makes it over whatever it is they are jumping :-). They play with each other, with their toys and with the big dogs.
Their social circle is growing. They've met boy and girl dogs, old and youngish dogs and people of all sizes and shapes. I believe they are up to 70 people, ranging in age from 4 to 74, and six dogs in addition to their mom. They've only met golden retrievers so their view of the world is a bit distorted but that's not all bad.
Just yesterday, Pat and Randy McKinney, Sandy Washburn and Gail Kraeuter spent the afternoon with the pups and Rosie Higdon rolled in last night to stay for the weekend. So, the pups met lots of new people. Pat, Randy, Sandy and Gail surprised me with their visit and a beautiful photo collage honoring Corey for her Outstanding Dam achievement. Karen Hocker made the collage and it truly is gorgeous! You can see more photos from Pat, Randy, Sandy and Gail's visit at pets.webshots.com/album/556693420GDHDzf.
We've swapped nearly all of the big toys in the puppy pen for little, puppy-sized toys. This crew is really into carrying so they are holding, tugging, "killing" and carrying their toys all over the place. We've added a metal scent article, a tracking glove and a dumbbell to the mix so they should soon be comfortable carrying metal, wood and leather, in addition to the usual toy textures.
Tomorrw they'll get their first marrow bones as we prepare them to start eating real food. Their teeth are sharp but their jaws are still pretty weak. And pups this age tend to suck not chew. We want them chewing before we give them food so we'll let them gnaw on marrow bones for a few days before letting them have their first meal. Bet they get lots of attention from the big dogs who will be trying to get those marrow bones out of the puppy pen!