Monday, October 15, 2012

Snitch Alert

Sleepless nights have a new meaning. The barking and whining starts just a few nights ago. The pitch increasing until the pillow shoved over my head no longer muffles the sounds. The pack has been so well behaved. The first thought is seperation anxiety and the next is growing pains. Too my surprise, the dogs are actually on watch. McCoy has climbed over the wall and escaped into his idea of heaven. A shredded magazine surrounds him and the look of contentment is plastered across his face. Oh yeah! That was fun. Everyone quiets down as soon as he is put back into his bed. After the second night of this, it's apparent that anyone left behind is going to snitch him out. What a bunch of tattle tales (or in this case, tails). This works out pretty well for me until the frequency of escape increases. It's not as easy as putting McCoy back anymore. These little 8 week old pups are extremely smart and learn quickly. Five dogs are missing the next day. They combine their new found skill of escape along with their knowledge of going up and down stairs to the awaiting pet door into the yard. All five dirty faces have the time of their life! As they take a dip in the tub to rinse off, the water play begins...splish splash, they are truly labs. There isn't a downside to this kind of life.        

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Cuddles

I had to share this photo. A few of the pups were sleeping in the litter box over the last few days. We realized that they were barracading themselves from crazy playtime bumps and pounces. We thought that we would experiment with a bed. Apparently it worked.
 

Games

In the last couple weeks since my last post, more distinct personalities have started to emerge. Most days, they are all amazing. Some moments, they are trying. Like this very moment, the single moment that I have finally sat down to write. PG is sitting in my lap. No, not still. He wants down to play. Nothing can stop him. He just slid off the chair onto the floor. It's a two foot jump, and he could care less. He's one of the adventurers in the pack. I learned that the first time that I used the vaccum to clean out the whelping box. While the others stood cautiously back, PG and McCoy thought that the vaccum was the biggest and best toy that they had ever seen. They pounced, tugged, and batted at the nozzle...such fun! Zeus and Athena followed their lead the next time. These days, I have eight puppies that hear the sound of suction and start running towards me. It's playtime!

I have picked PG back up onto my lap and blocked him in. He's been barking and crying for the last few minutes as he looks for an alternate route down. I set him down with Arli, and she has decided to entertain him. They play tug with the little giraffe that she stole from their play area the other day. She's very fond of the toys that we bring home for the pups...that's a story for another time.

I fondly recall taking care of eight little hamsters for the first month of this adventure. They fit in the palm of my hand the day they were born. It was all really easy. They mostly slept, crawled around on their bellies with eyes shut. Arli fed and cleaned up after them. There was no ghastly smells and messes to handle. It's not as easy anymore and sleep is sporatic, however I wouldn't give up experiencing the world through their little playful eyes.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Really?!

As I climbed up the stairs from my bedroom to enter the kitchen area, there was the most offending foul odor that I have ever smelled. Okay, there was that one time when the neighbor kid thought that it would be funny to microwave cat poop in a burrito. It's a toss up, but I think this was actually worse. The rest of my morning consisted of scouring the walls, floors, and eight dogs of all fecal matter present. Ahhh and finally the fresh air flowing through the quickly opened windows provided the life source needed to jump start my lungs again.   

This was 3 days ago.

Immediately following that ominous hour, it was pretty clear that the space was not set up in a way for eight puppies to keep their 2 bedroom condo clean. Even though one side was set up as a play/potty area, it was impossible for them not to step in it and track it through the den area meant for sleeping. As a result, an official toilet was installed immediately in their favorite potty corner. A plastic box with pine pellets was added (please never use kitty litter; it can clot in their urinary tracts and cause infection or worse).

And the winner of the "good dog" award was Zeus! He was the first to climb in the box on his very own and complete the deed. I know that it's warped, but I am proudly attaching a picture of this exciting feat. The others have since followed suit with only a few accidents here and there. Has there been an aura of light and angels singing the last two mornings? I can't think of a better cause for celebration.

Be sure to learn more about Zeus in the Chocolate Tidal Wave.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Eyes Wide Open

 
Oh boy! It won't be long now. Curiosity and containment don't go hand in hand.We're expanding the whelping box this week to add a second room. Soon, they will all figure out how to climb through the doorway of the current single studio room that they have known for the last 3 weeks. With the added room, the potty training begins.  
 

 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

First Steps

I am in awe. It feels like I am watching "Bambi," and I cannot help but root for the little tykes.  Puppy eyes have not even opened yet and some are already taking their real first steps. Using their noses to guide them and shakey legs to propel forward, they are off exploring the confines of their weaning pen. I must admit that occassionally they may end up on my bed, just another safe space to stimulate their senses. And if they happen to snuggle up against my neck and fall asleep, even the bravest explorers need a soft place to rest.
 
video
 
  

Sunday, August 26, 2012

91/2 Weeks

 
 Arli's romance with Rainbo's Splish Splash ("Splash") was 9 1/2 weeks ago. After a game of chase, a moonlight swim, and a shared meal, their destiny was set in motion. Splash is an 80lb. classic looking Lab with a thick waterproof coat. His sire and grand sire were two of the top Chocolate Field Champions in the nation. Splash has 15 Field Champions, 2 National Field Champions, and 13 Conformation Champions in 5 generations of his pedigree. This explains his handsome good looks and high degree of trainability. Splash is a fully trained field dog that can do multiple marks and blind retrieves. He has a strong retreiving desire, is a good water dog as is intelligent to train. He has a friendly demeanor with other dogs and loves everyone. It was Arli that captured his heart though. Her confidence and beautiful dark coat stunned him. Truly an amazing swimmer with a natural instinct for diving as well as an easy going temperament... one look. maybe a short sniff too,  and he was captivated.
 
As star crossed love goes, Arli and Splash burned hot for 5 days and ultimately had to part ways. The distance of land between them was too wide an expanse to overcome. Splash needed to run free and continue his field work while Arli had to return to her pet assisted therapy program at the Juvenile Hall; not to mention that she needed to be back in her soft bed, enjoying a warm gourmet cooked meal!
 
Arli will always remember her time with Splash, especially as she looks at the eight miniature versions that resemble the best parts of him. The combination from the both of them has produced a gorgeous litter of Chocolates, strong and easy going. The coming weeks will be fun!    
 
Born August 19, 2012