Puppies are almost four weeks old!

It’s been almost two weeks since we started the first tastes of solid food for the Fine Nine, and during that time they’ve done their absolute best to absorb their food through their skin, ear flaps, and paws. They were STINKARIFIC.

Yesterday we had an amazingly warm (even hot!) day, crazy for mid-March, so we gave the puppies a spa day and then let them dry out on the porch in the sun. By the time they were dry and fluffy we had almost lost the light, so I apologize for the imperfect photography, but I figured you’d all lynch me if I made you wait for the next warm sunny day!

There’s also a sentence that goes here that says blah blah camera lenses distortion wide angle aperture blah blah, and means “Yes, they look a little bit like bobbleheads. It’s not really like that, just the way I was trying to use a short lens to take their pictures because if I used a long one and got further back they would all have plummeted to their deaths off the chair I had put them on because they repeatedly tried to plummet to their deaths as it was even though I was only a foot away.” I suppose it’s a good thing in the end, because that way I can’t look at these and torture myself trying to evaluate tiny baby puppies who can’t be evaluated at this age!

So what are these babies like? They do have a slightly different flavor than the litters we had last year. They’re more dependent on people, and they believe utterly that humans will always save the day (they kept walking off that chair and trusting I’d catch them, over and over and over again; they never saw the edge and pulled back). They’re incredibly snuggly. They want you to understand everything they’re going through and they tell you stories all day long. Big talkers for sure.

They are bigger bad-human-noise-alerters than the last set were; they don’t panic or worry but if they hear a plate fall or something break they will all bark exactly once in a chorus and then sit up and look at you and expect you to solve it. They also don’t like angry words or bad sounds; if one of the kids yells at another kid in actual anger, it sets up a whole chorus of rumbles from the box. However, they’re completely relaxed around all “scary” sounds; we’ve had the fire alarm go off and kids screaming in play and video games and (just last night) a HUGE thunderstorm with lightning strikes very close to us, and they either sleep or gaze around thoughtfully through the whole thing.

Last night during the thunderstorms we lost power, so the puppies got exposed to flashlights and lanterns and eating their supper meal by Itty Bitty Booklight. Nothing phases them. As long as a human says it’s OK, they’re fine.

Oh – one note on the babies: Nobody’s ears are coming up this early. It’s actually the opposite. Because these guys are smaller, in some of them (Corduroy and Hugo show it best in these, but it’s actually the case in a bunch of them) the ears haven’t gotten heavy enough yet to fall forward from the horizontal newborn position. They should be down in the next week or so and then we’ll wait for them to come up to normal Cardigan position when they’re 8-10 weeks old.

So here are the little bubs:


DESPEREAUX (who hit 2 lb yesterday!)






MILO (who is SO handsome this week – and also SO fluffy)

BIANCA (her eyes are fine – one of the things I don’t like about using wood shavings is that they’re dusty and make eyes run, which stains faces. Once we get them off the shavings the little tear stains will disappear)


These puppies arrived right as Sammy was finishing up a false pregnancy, so she’s quite hormonally attached to them and believes that perhaps they have something to do with a great achievement on her part. Whenever they’re out she puts herself next to them and poses gleefully.

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  • Reply Susan Whelan Temple March 14, 2012 at 10:19 am

    They are adorable! I LOVE Bianca. I think that white face is so special. Milo’s brows make him look pissed, in a cute way. Still in absolute infatuation with George. If he’s missing, you may find him in CT.

  • Reply Priscilla Petty Babbitt March 14, 2012 at 11:14 am

    they are all so wonderful, wonderful indeed.. <3

  • Reply Joanna Kimball March 14, 2012 at 11:20 am

    It looks like Bianca is going to have one blue eye – not sure yet but it’s lightening up. I thought of Frankie immediately!

  • Reply Susan Whelan Temple March 14, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Oh MAN! One blue eye AND a white face… you’re killing me!

  • Reply Priscilla Petty Babbitt March 14, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Aww– we love our frankies blue eye .., while practicing today in Lowes a couple of women who walked by ask if he could see out of it , a common question I incounter :-/

  • Reply Julie March 14, 2012 at 10:02 am

    R-A-M-O-N-A!!!! I love.

    • Reply rufflyspeaking March 14, 2012 at 12:53 pm

      I’m praying she turns out! For obvious reasons (only show-marked one without a peenoodle) she’s the most reasonable one to keep, and the kids know that and are already very attached. I am also hoping it’s her because my other favorites are the big fat boys, and I really need to let them go mentally before I get so attached to them that it becomes impossible.

  • Reply Amanda Rains March 14, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Bianca. *dies of cute overdose*

  • Reply Mandi W March 14, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Oh George!!! I didn’t think it was possible to love him more than I did from the last pictures but it is possible!! I just love the look in his eye, he is such a sweetie.

    • Reply rufflyspeaking March 14, 2012 at 12:50 pm

      He IS.

  • Reply priscilla March 14, 2012 at 11:12 am

    MILO, HUGO, MONSTER , and handsome GEORGE… oh MY!!!
    I know all these pups will be great companions with their people one day..
    Your comment about Sammy is the best! You keep me so entertained .. no i dont have a life.. LOL

  • Reply Mike March 14, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Great stuff, it’s great to see them doing well

  • Reply Ruth March 14, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Its the bottle feeding, my Tibetan Mastiff was bottle/tube fed as a pup, and while he has all the instincts to bark and alert and sound evil, he’s convinced deep in his heart that all humans will pet him and love him and feed him yummy things. Even the vet gets greeted with big doggy smiles and wagging tail and utmost ‘woohooo, PERSON!!!’.

    • Reply rufflyspeaking March 14, 2012 at 12:50 pm

      Yes, they think they’re people. For sure. When they cry they look for us, not their mom. Even SHE looks at us when they cry! And more and more often they’re asking to be held and carried around; they don’t just want food and then sleep.

      • Reply Micaela P. March 14, 2012 at 7:55 pm

        I was wondering if it was a Daisy Poppy personality trait or if it was the hand-raising, sounds like probably more of the latter than the former? So, SO interesting, all of this. And what a dearheart Ms Sambuca is… she does look ever so proud!

        I’m so glad I don’t have the slightest hope for one of these because I think I’d be heartbroken to have to choose. They’re all gorgeous. I particularly love Monster’s brindling, even more this time than the last pic of him you’d posted, and is that a smidge of tan edging Corduroy’s eyes??? Because if so, *swoon*.

        I really wish you had nothing else to do but write blog posts for us and post gorgeous pictures of your animals & lovely girls. My day is considerably improved when you do.

        • Reply Ruth March 14, 2012 at 8:38 pm

          I’d expect that nature is a factor, but the hand raising is definetly a major part. My dog’s breeder said that his litter was one of the most personable litters she’d raised (and she’s been breeding Tibetan Mastiffs for almost as long as I’ve been alive….). Considering that we entered the place and were immeadietly swarmed by 9 TM puppies I’m not going to argue with her!

          • Beth March 15, 2012 at 12:14 pm

            Jack’s breeder had another litter that was a few days older and hand-raised. They were a) noticeably smaller and b) WAY gentler with people. Sweet, quiet little pups. Still lots of energy but totally different personalities. Breeder said it was in large part due to being bottle-fed.

        • Reply rufflyspeaking March 14, 2012 at 8:55 pm

          Daisy P is a very, very bonded girl. She’s super “vibey” and checks in with me all day long. She’s sitting beside me right now and when I typed her name she jerked her head up and stared at me. Stuff like that is common for her. So it’s definitely part of who she is, but it’s become more exaggerated because they think we’re part of who they are too. Honour and I joke that the puppies’ names for the entire household are Mom, Food, Other Food, and The Disappointing Ones. They do their very best to get something out of the Disappointing Ones and are always up for being carried, but Food and Other Food are very high on the adoration list.

          • Micaela P. March 15, 2012 at 2:05 am

            so, *ahem*, Corduroy? Am I seeing that color right or was that due to wood shavings? I’ll crush on him & Monster from afar.

          • rufflyspeaking March 15, 2012 at 5:11 am

            Corduroy is a very, very dark brindle. You can see the stripes in the sun but to the naked eye in the box he looks black. He’ll get more stripes as he matures, but he’s always going to be quite dense and dark. You may be seeing a little hint of his red striping on his face or it may be the shavings; that’s a good question.

  • Reply laura March 14, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Harold. It’s still Harold for me. And each time you post I keep doing the math and seeing how I can swing it, timing wise. Oh Harold.

  • Reply rufflyspeaking March 14, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    I loooove that everybody has a different favorite. I hope that’s exactly what happens with their new owners, whoever they are. And I do still have just a couple of pet boy openings – hint hint!

    • Reply Mandi March 14, 2012 at 12:59 pm

      If George just happens to be one of them, I’m in trouble. I’m in NH and way too close to let him go. We lost our lab in December due to bloat and I miss the company.

      • Reply rufflyspeaking March 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm

        He is, actually. Or, more accurately, none of them are promised except Bianca, and I keep it that way until I know temperaments a little better. Deposits get you your choice in the order they’re given, but right now I know who people are leaning towards and both tri boys are not gone. Can you come visit?

    • Reply Kelsey March 15, 2012 at 12:17 pm

      Yeah, it’s funny how everyone gravitates towards a different pup. When I was looking at the pictures, I was puppy-crushing on Hugo, but I thought, “Well, he’s obviously the prettiest and most perfect dog in the world, so everyone’s going to want him.” And look! Nary a mention! (Until now. HUGO!)

      • Reply rufflyspeaking March 15, 2012 at 4:23 pm

        HUGO indeed!

  • Reply Erin St March 14, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    They are all so wonderful and beautiful! I don’t think I could choose a favorite this week if I wanted to because they are all absolutely perfect. Congrats to you and Daisy Poppy on such a beautiful litter. These pics make me want to go play with a big pile of puppies (notice I didn’t say have puppies.. funny I got in all this to have puppies and yet the closer I get to actually having them, the more scared I get. I have 1-2 years still.. maybe I’ll be ready then). Keep ’em coming!

  • Reply Jess March 14, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    RAMONA, you gorgeous little girl, you! And Harold and Despereaux, too. Are they starting to exhibit personalities at this point? I have guesses as to what they’re like but really curious to know from the expert source!

    • Reply rufflyspeaking March 15, 2012 at 4:28 pm

      Yes, for sure. Ramona is smart and very involved with stuff. She is a big fan of being carried around and is super curious about everything. Harold is alert and athletic and very “with it.” Despereaux is hilarious and confident and never lets anything get him down.

  • Reply Sue March 14, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Feel free to pop Monster on a plane bound for Minnesota! You can send Harold along also to keep him company!

  • Reply Baledwr March 14, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Warn them about Uncle Pie – who walked right off a table at 10 weeks. Too trusting!

    • Reply rufflyspeaking March 14, 2012 at 8:51 pm

      I know! I have that in mind, trust me! These guys would do exactly that.

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