This girl reminds me in the face and head of Daphne, my beloved puppy from Clue’s last litter. She even has the same beauty spot right above her nose.Personality-wise, they couldn’t be more different, though – Bridgid (and, by the way, yes, I’ve known all along that I spelled her name wrong and it should be Brigid but I typed it wrong on the records and now I’m stuck with it until her new owners, whoever they are, change it and set me free from my own spelling stupidity), despite her ability to do the “Catherine on the moors looking for Heathcliff” pose, is the opposite of a drama queen.
She’s one of the longest of the girl puppies, and looks like she might make a show baby, but I always forget that she’s on the list because she’s so placid and happy all the time. I have a feeling that she’s not showing me all there is of her, though – she’s Clue’s daughter, after all.
Sebastian and Oberon are known as “the cows,” after somebody said they looked like Holsteins. They’re so strikingly marked that you can fish them out of the box, and they’re so big that they’d stand out whatever color they are.
Sebastian is a puppy I’m watching closely for show potential; he looks like he is going to have his dad’s set-on of neck, which often means good shoulders too. His front is already deep and his coat is tight and hard.
He’s very, very calm and athletic. Never cries, just goes about his business with quiet eyes.
There are puppies who we cajoled for twenty minutes to get one good shot. And then there’s Peaseblossom. Girlfriend is made for pictures. The kids put her up on the stump, she gave me four looks in ten seconds, and I said, “Wow. I think we’re done.”
This above is “I am unbelievably pretty.”
“Here–profile! Be sure to take my good side!”
Here’s “I cannot pay the rent!”
“I still can’t pay the rent!”
“And… Back to pretty again!”
“OK, I’m done – trailer! Somebody bring me a Perrier, please; I’m exhausted.”
Our lone merle baby, Clue’s boy, is sweet, brave, and curious. He looks so eerily like his mother to me that every time I look at him I can almost see him as a grown dog.
Of all the puppies we put on the stump, Felix was one of the only two who spent most of his time trying to figure out how to get down, how to grab clover leaves and drag them up with him, and how to dig up and carry around the mushrooms on top. He’s very oral and often has something in his mouth.
So far he’s a nicely built puppy with the balanced body he’ll need for what I hope is a performance home; I think he’s going to be on the small side (and is definitely lighter boned, again just like his mom) for the show ring, though we’ll wait for final evals to be sure.
He’s rather a thinker, more serious than some of the others. He loves to tug and is usually hanging from my pants leg whenever I’m in the box with them. That’s what gets him all happy and silly; otherwise he’s outgoing but quiet and very easy-going.
Since I know I stiffed you last week on anything even approaching enough text about the babies, this week I am hoping to avoid the lynch mob (I just wrote “lunch mob,” which I don’t want to avoid at all) by doing individual posts about each puppy. I know people are dying to know their personalities and temperaments and what makes one black and white puppy somehow magically different from the other twelve.
So watch for them over the next day or two as I get pictures edited and try to say intelligent things about each of the babies.
However, before I get going, I’ve been laughing about this all evening:
I had as a goal for the day getting good, personal pictures of each baby. This involves creating an elaborate illusion that I came across beautifully posed puppies in a deserted forest glen as they perched adorably on a flower-strewn stump. So that’s what you’ll see.
HOWEVER, thanks to our friend Dave, who came over to visit puppies and ended up drafted into this crazy process, you get an uncensored view at what it ACTUALLY looked like.
The puppies turn five weeks old today! I have puppy people coming and I think if the weather is good enough I’m going to recruit them to help me move puppies around and try to get real pictures. We’ve had nothing but rain lately and no chance for anything resembling decent photography.
I’m now in my third week of photography classes; Biff (the darkroom instructor with ADD) continues to be an unmitigated joy. A typical class is learning how to load film in a camera (which takes about five minutes) and an hour and thirty minutes of stories about growing up in Detroit that take unexpected detours into topics including fresh fruit, hand soap, the retina, Flint, racism, his wife, and why Manchester New Hampshire is called ManchVegas (illegal gambling!).
I get unlimited darkroom time, President Obama gave us our first rolls of film (the economic stimulus money that went to Massachusetts was obviously doled out with a heavy hand to the community college system, because every single building on campus got new stuff – you walk into a typical brutalist 60s-style classroom building, ominously named only “B,” and go “Hey, new flooring!” and happily skate around on your socks past astonishingly cheerful classrooms full of new computers and projection machines), I sit next to the Oracle from the Matrix – it’s all pretty great.
Also making me happy is the fact that Community (the show) is evidently a documentary, because every single one of the characters is in class with me. There’s Goth Cowboy (who did a perfectly decent studio lighting setup in order to highlight a tree made entirely of dollar store skeletons and “This fake eye I had sitting around”); Fragile Girl Who Has Had Lots Of Counseling (in a soft voice, “I took this picture of an eagle, in a cage”); Aspergers Dude, who checks six times a class to make sure the syllabus hasn’t been updated; It Fell off the Back of a Truck guy (“I have… ummm… a lot of cameras. And I can get more. Anyone need a camera? I’ll only ask you like twenty bucks”) and the entire front row, which spends a huge amount of time debating whether Empire or Jedi was a fuller realization of the future-dreaming utopia of Lucas’s youth. One of them, known to me only as Fred Weasley because I’ve never seen his face but the hair is a dead ringer, got so passionate about whether the Spice Must Flow that he splashed stop bath in his eye and had to sprint wailing down the hall to find out if he was going to die or go blind.
Back on the home front, I am getting Bronte (my retired girl) squared away; she has two great families interested in her and now I have to make the hideous decision of who gets her. I have honestly never been in this situation before; I NEVER have multiple people looking at retired dogs. I was joking to one of her prospective families today that this is completely uncharted territory for me because usually I’m offering dogs to strangers in elevators (not really, of course, but you do often wait for months or even years for the right place to come along for a retiree).
The puppies have another three weeks at home before they begin to leave; I think I still have three pet slots open but I honestly haven’t been pushing it because I had the very uncomfortable feeling that I was losing threads of conversations because there are so many puppies and so many inquiries. The great news is that I am THRILLED with the crop of prospective owners we have and I have just a fantastic feeling about where these puppies are going.
The puppies themselves are so wonderful that I can’t believe it. I was looking for a very specific thing in terms of personality and ability for these guys and I think I got it and more – they are brave, confident, adore people, will try anything and everything, but they’re not screechy and they’re not demanding. There’s not a single puppy that I worry about because he or she is acting shy or odd; there are a few (Moth) that are going to be so confident (Moth) that they’ll be handfuls (Moth), but I am much happier with that than the opposite. Every night I scoop one out and take him or her with me to a Big Scary Place where they have never been (tonight it was the dark cold wet rainy path outside) and every time I put them down, they look around for a second, and then they start bounding in circles and playing. NOTHING worries them.
Their dad went to what turned out to be a huge Cardigan show on the Cape, and was used in Judges Ed down there because of his outstanding layback and prosternum and depth. It was a really nice confirmation of why I have always loved him and what I hope we’ll get in these babies. Right now their bodies are still forming, but I am getting an idea of who I think is going to be in the show-potential pile and I am very pleased with them.
Oh, and I STILL have no idea on fluffs. At three weeks none of them looked like they were getting long. Four weeks, still none. At five weeks none have the matte, soft, wavy look that I usually associate with fluffs (they’re all very slick-shiny and their hair resists being pushed backward) but a few of Juno’s babies have long guard hairs that stick out and Peaseblossom (of course, because she’s the nicest bitch so far) is growing outrageous eyelashes and fluttering them at me. Kate is supposedly going to come down soon and we’re going to mutter intensely and examine the backs of ears and pants and see if we can tell what’s happening. Since their dad has such a dense, stand-off coat and Juno was quite puffy as a baby I am honestly not sure if I am just seeing a coat stage or if those few are fluffs. I think what I may end up with is what a lot of people call coaty puppies – they may even be genetic fluffs but they have a functional shiny double coat (there’s just a lot of it) and they don’t get excessively long or soft. That’s more than fine with me – I would honestly have an entire house of fluffs if I could, because I adore the way it looks, but I want the coat to be a working coat too.
Pictures as soon as the clouds break, and hopefully somebody will cry fluff if they see one clearly.
I’ve been up all night editing photos because my normally beloved computer has been acting like a neighbor’s kid who needs to take a long walk to Spankytown. So I am sorry there aren’t labels on them yet – I will do it as soon as I can.
The incomparable Can/Am.Ch. Propwash Syzygy – also Italian Champion, Spanish Champion, Gibraltar Champion, Croatian Champion, German Europasieger and Bundessieger, Portuguese Champion, Champion of Central Europe, number one Herding dog in Italy, and BIS in the World Dog Show. Fifteen years old and amazing.
Also known as the dog who Godric tried to drag around by his venerable and still gorgeous ears.
When I recover from my mortification, I have many more pictures. I had a GREAT Saturday. Gander, maybe not so much. Sorry, buddy – hope the Papillon spit came off easily.