Sunday, August 2, 2009

Squirrels, Stacking and 'Sploring!

Over the years, our dams have regularly hunted for their pups. Both Abbi and Lily caught rabbits for their babies. In the Gamebird litter photo archives is a wonderful photo that Lise got of Bizzy standing at the door with a dead squirrel in her mouth. She was determined to get that squirrel in to her pups. We had a repeat of that very same experience yesterday. I was working on the pool when Risk ran by at the head of a golden parade. In her mouth was a squirrel and hot on her heels were Una, Dreamer and Corey.

Unlike Lise, I didn't think to get a photo as I got control over the gang and avoided Risk who was trying to give me that squirrel. Yuck! When we got to the house she was became quite determined to take it in to the pups. Normally very obedient, she initially would not give me the squirrel. Nothing like standing there for what seemed like five minutes holding onto a dead squirrel waiting for your dog to release it. (Not to worry, I put my work gloves on before attempting this.) Risk finally regained her senses and gave me her prize. I love owning hunting dogs but there are days that they try me.

Amanda and I stacked the pups on the table for the first time this morning. It's always interesting to see how pups handle this event. Some litters hit the deck of the table and won't stand for a few sessions. Not this crew! I put them down and they stood immediately. They really liked the vanilla yogurt we used to guide them into a stand. Some did it well, just like little show dogs, some not so well but all had a great first session. Enjoy their photos under the 5-week photo page.

All of the pups are running now and we've had our first puppy tiffs so they are growing up. The tiffs are typical sibling squabbles where they struggle for the best sleeping areas and favorite toys. However, this is the beginning of learning how to inhibit their bite. I can promise you, they are now armed and dangerous with those puppy teeth. Whew! We'll go through three weeks of progressively stronger bites until at 8 weeks, they finally learn to control their mouths. If you come to visit in the meantime, wear long pants and sleeves :-).

When we first turned the pups loose in the dining room a week ago, they would toddle only eight or so feet from the pen. Now they have taken over the dining room and kitchen and, if we didn't close doors, they'd be all over the first floor. Tomorrow they get to explore the screen porch, their future home, for the first time. There are a few new videos of their romps under 5-week videos.

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