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puppies

puppies

The Daisy Poppy babies are six weeks old!

And I stink and haven’t posted pictures! I threw some that I took today in a gallery below, but I sort of hope you don’t look at them. They are completely wumpus because I didn’t even start taking them until it was five o’clock and we were losing the light. The puppies had been with people for three hours, they were wet from their weekly bath, they were sleepy and had no desire to give faces, and I was falling-over tired and could barely focus the camera. So take them for what they’re worth, but they’re not my best or even my middling-worst work. Blech.

My excuse is that we have puppy people or other visitors over almost every day now, and so the good light in the afternoons is almost always gone by the time I have a second to catch my breath. That’s a GOOD thing, because these babies have become total social butterflies and they adore everyone who comes through the door. We’ve also been getting them outside solo, to see how they’re starting to react to people one on one. Some go adventuring and a-sniffing, some strike out on their own and look behind themselves to say “Are you coming with me? It’s FUN!” and some put themselves into heel position and put a paw on your foot and ask where you’d like to go.

We got them out on their six-week birthday, Thursday, which was raw and wet and nasty, and the only puppy who liked it was Milo. Because he rocks. Everybody else (and I did take pictures of everyone, because I know you all will come after me with large rocks and sharp objects if I don’t do an update) looked miserable and like they were sucking in their cheeks and moaning. So you will not get those pictures. Milo just walked over and jumped into my lap and then chewed on me thoughtfully while he got rained on.

If you haven’t yet figured it out, barring a serious conformation flaw showing up in the next two weeks, he’s the one who is most likely staying. My kids are in active and serious rebellion over the fact that we can’t keep two – they are all in love with Ramona – but it’s becoming more and more obvious that Ramona is a performance puppy. And I don’t mean code for “pet,” I mean I can’t keep her busy enough and her brain is prodigious. I think she’d hate the show ring, and I’ve got Juno who is my first priority for serious work if we ever have enough money to do more than play with her. It wouldn’t be fair to add another working puppy to the end of the line.

I don’t think Milo is the best puppy – evals at eight weeks will tell the tale, but I suspect Monster is the pick boy and Handsome George a close second or maybe will flip into first by the time they’re eight weeks. But I think Milo is the boy who has what I need – he’s the right color, that breathtaking head, beautiful front, lots of bone but he’s not going to be large or heavy. And he loves me. I mean REALLY loves me. The rest of the puppies love me in a congenial “I know you; you’re Food!” way; they seem to love their new families as much if not more than us at this point. But Milo turns on and sparkles for me, he follows me around, he’s the puppy in natural heel position. And I love him right back. Since our dogs are not kenneled, having a happy relationship is very important for all of us.

So I guess that’s our news for the week. Otherwise the puppies are thriving and glowing and I am so happy with them I could burst. In very sad news, we had a terrible tragedy three days ago, when Sleepy Chicken, fooled by the fact that all the other dogs love her, walked through the baby gate that keeps them safe and into Bramble’s jaws. The murder was quick and thorough. So Saturday was spent with chicken breeders, desperately looking for a young hen to fill Sleepy Chicken’s place in Honour’s arms.

I think we found her – I told Honour that she had to actually name this chicken, because we always end up calling them something goofy like Shavings Eye because they don’t have names and some crisis happens (like a shaving gets in a tiny chick eye) and then I ask her how the Shavings Eye chick is doing and then we’re sunk. Sweet little Sticky Feet is a prime example. Thankfully we’ve managed to avoid Poopy Butt until now, but I don’t think we can do it forever.

Well, never ask a kid with OCD to name a chicken on short notice. She just looked around the aisle where we were standing in Tractor Supply (where we had gone to buy chicken treats for her) and named her after stuff that was next to us. So please say a warm hello to our new baby hen, who came home, got a hot bath (which she LOVED), was properly pampered and medicated and wormed and treated, and took her place in the puppy photo shoot with complete calm. Her name is Strawberry Lawnmower.

puppies

Almost five weeks: Bianca!

Soft, sweet, feminine, fluffy, and one blue eye – it’s like a perfect storm of fabulousness. She knows it, too. She’s got to be one of the girliest puppies I’ve ever raised, but she’ll walk right through the bigger boys without a second glance – she’s a bit of a steel magnolia for sure. She’s on her way to one of my favorite owners of all time and she is going to have SO MUCH FUN.

 

puppies

Almost five weeks: Hugo

Look at this little guy, all made of chocolate!

He was one of the last puppies we did, so he was waaaay sleepy and we didn’t get a lot of open-eyes pictures. That’s kind of a pattern with Hugo – he spent the entire day on Saturday upside-down on someone’s knees, so blissfully asleep that he would start sliding slowly toward the floor and not even wake up. Fortunately, she didn’t mind 🙂

puppies

Almost five weeks: Monster

Monster sacking out on Meri’s knees while she coos to Milo.

Monster is just a great puppy. He’s big, handsome, stable, knows his own mind but isn’t obnoxious about it.

He’s got what I now think of as a trademark Shade marking on his face – a square blaze on one side and a triangle on the other. Corra from the prior litter has this, only I think reversed? Anyway, it’s super cute.

We love him. He’s going to be a big, solid dude with a heart of gold.

puppies

Almost five weeks: Handsome George

He’s incredibly handsome. He’s incredibly George. Taking his picture lasts four seconds because he hits his mark and you’re done in ten frames. He’s gorgeous. His name is going to be Winston in his new home, but Clooney would work just as well.

puppies

Almost five weeks: Ramona! and Milo!

Ramona was very sleepy by the time we got to her, so she kept collapsing on me as I tried to take her picture.

Intervention was clearly required.

Ramona is a really neat little puppy. She’s got the highest play drive in the group and she’s always got her mouth on something. She’ll tug eagerly already. She’s on top of the chickens and trying to move them. She’s also very loving and affectionate and gets along with Sammy and Godric and the non-Mom dogs the best of any of them.

She’s the logical choice for us to keep – she’s a workaholic, she’s a girl, she’s a brindle, as far as we know she’s not a coated puppy… but…

CRAP ON A STICK, PEOPLE.

I am so head-over-heels for this puppy that it’s sickening. He is HILARIOUS. His face is like a plush toy. He’s EXPLODING with coat. I want to run away with him to a desert island and live on the rainbows and unicorn tears that radiate from his laughing face.

Heck if I even know what he looks like in terms of conformation, because every time I look at him I just make squeaking noises and bury my face in whatever region is fluffiest that day. I think he’s pretty good, but honestly it’s the fact that he’ll catch my eye, stare at me and then flip himself completely over and bounce back upright and giggle and run away. He’s going to be BAD, and therefore I must love him.

puppies

Almost five weeks: Despereaux

Despereaux was hard to get pictures of today, because he is a maniac. He is SO BRAVE. He knows the entire world adores him and as soon as you put him down he leaps off with great confidence toward parts unknown.

The great thing about him is that not only does he run away, he comes back. He’s the smartest of them all about having his name called; I know he can’t see even close to that far, but he can zero in on your voice from thirty feet away and he’ll come trotting back toward you with his tail wagging.

He’s turning out quite handsome; we believe he’s a true black and white and he’s either fluffy or “fluff-adjacent” as my kids call it.

His big news is that he broke three pounds today, which means he’s not only growing but his growth is accelerating. He suddenly has lovely round bone and fat feet. Even his tail is getting plump! He’s steadily making 2-3 ounces a day now, and he looks bigger every time I peek in the box. You’d now have a hard time picking him out from the girls, who are only a few ounces heavier, and he’s likely to overtake them this week. I am watching for that neck to lengthen out as he catches up with the other boys, but his topline is already strong and his rear looks great. I am now pretty sure that by eight weeks he’s going to be right in the middle of the pack, and will not be a small dog as an adult.

But, let’s face it, even if he’s small he’s going to knock your socks off from sheer force of will!

puppies

Almost five weeks: Corduroy!

OK, first – can we just say this ia a seriously cute puppy? Because WOW.

He thinks so too!

When Sarah and Linda came up over the weekend and we did our first little puppy evals, this guy was a big favorite. He’s got a LOVELY sound front, he’s not super big, and he trots EVERYWHERE. He’ll trot rather than walk. Even outside, he was chugging along like he owned the place.

 

puppies

Almost five weeks: Harold

Harold is first on our list for today – my sweet puzzle-piece boy.

He’s a considerate, serious, handsome puppy. He’s very nicely built for performance, with a lovely front and rear and a moderate amount of substance, but he’s not a puppy who forgives himself easily. You say no to him once and he not only stops, he goes under a table to think about things for a while. He doesn’t get nervous or apologetic about it – but you can tell he thinks it’s a big deal.

This makes him extraordinarily well-behaved for such a little guy. We’re pretty sure we know where he’s going, where there’s an older dog he will need to be very polite to, and it’ll be a perfect match. His personality is a new experience in Cardigans for me, because most of my babies live on the ragged edge of chaos and I’m always trying to get them to settle. He’s a lot more like my Dane puppies were, very tuned in to what people are thinking and trying always to adapt to what you want. I suspect he’ll be like his mother, who is a dear love.

Meanwhile he is a huge snuggler, loves laps, loves staring deep into your eyes and thinking serious thoughts.

 

puppies

Almost five weeks old!

First, the global updates: The puppies went outside today for the first time ever, which meant HUGE SCARY THINGS like big chickens and pine cones and sticks and THE SUN!

Their response was approximately this: WHEEEEEEE! and then ZONK. There’s nothing more wonderful than a bunch of puppies sprawled for the first time in a pool of sun, their eyes slitted with the joy of baking themselves.

They also got the seal of approval from Clue. (That’s Despereaux.)

And then we tried for about twenty minutes to get even a single picture of them all together, which was pretty much a debacle, but here’s one I took as I was falling over sideways.

Individual posts on their way!