Friday, August 21, 2009

Sometimes It's Just Not Fun

In most of my recent posts, I've told you about the fun we have been having with the puppies. However, it's not all fun and games and puppy kisses. There is a massive amount of work that goes into raising pups the way we do. It's work we love but it is still work.

For the last week, we've been doing that work in record heat and humidity. Personally, I am not a summer fan and I hate the three Hs--hazy, hot and humid. Andy wants to move south and to me that means Philly not Atlanta. At some point last night, I was tired of sweat running into my eyes, matted hair and everything being slimy and damp.

This morning was the worst--Amanda called in sick, I couldn't walk the dogs/pups until after 9 due to another appointment, and it was 80 degrees with 89% humidity when we started out. We all trooped into the woods but the pups were struggling from the start. The big dogs had a good run since they know where the stream is and can swim anytime they want to cool off. The little ones and I were not so lucky.

I had planned to head up the mountain today to introduce them to a new path. However, a bear went through our neighborhood night before last so I decided that adenture could wait until I had another person with a cell phone. We don't often have bears but the thought of four adult goldens, nine puppies, me and a bear is more than I can process early in the morning.

So, we did a relativly easy walk but we were all panting and tired after 30 minutes. Once back, the pups passed out on the cool slate floor in front of the fan, the big dogs went in the air conditioning and I got to clean the pens. Two guesses who has the better life around here.

Thankfully, the pups have become well housetrained in the past week. They poop outside or in the pans 99.9% of the time and pee there about 90% of the time. They do love to play in their water bowls though :-).

There are some new photos and videos up under the 7th week. Most of them are swimming shots due to the heat but I've also got some shots of the pups playing in the puppy yard and even doing the slide. Down at the water, you will hear them whining in the videos--the process of being left on the bank is stressful for them. I try to monitor their stress; I don't want it to be too much (I've made that mistake in the past) but I want to teach them to feel stess and handle it. Every puppy swam that day except Mr Brown. However, he swam the next day. They each develop at their own pace.

The slide is a favorite developmental activity for our pups. The process of doing the slide is complicated for a puppy--they have to find the up ramp, cross the crate and part of the wire grate, then climb up on the slide and, with courage, go down it. We make a big deal out of them going down so soon they want to do it over and over. They try climbing back up the slide but they can't do that. They try climbing onto the grate but they can't do that either. It takes some teaching over Week 7 and 8 but soon they have put the whole sequence together. Most love it--Dreamer will still do it today if you ask her and she can barely fit her butt on the slide anymore.

Well, it appears I talked myself out of whining. Have a good day! I'm off to take another shower!



Kathy said...

What a great post!

I am SO with you on the heat/humidity thing. Fifty miles south of Indianapolis is absolutely as far south as I will ever go...we ended up here by accident!

Deb said...

From the video clips, it doesn't sound like you had a bad day! Sounds like you are absolutely enjoying these pups! From the swimming videos, I expect lots of flashy (splashy) water entrances from these kids!