The puppies are thriving as they spend their days in the side yard playing with toys, chasing and wrestling one another, napping in the sun. They’re getting bigger and rounder and eating more and more each day. I still feed them all out of the same metal bowl. After I fill the bowl with food, they rush over and push and climb over each other trying to get to the bottom of the bowl. Steve asked me the other day why I don’t give them two bowls so they’ll have plenty of room to eat. That seems sensible but dealing with other puppies pushing them aside while they’re trying to eat is good for developing frustration tolerance an essential skill for dogs – and people. It also helps me see if any of the puppies are easily frustrated. Occasionally a litter will have a puppy who becomes enraged, attacking his siblings, snapping and snarling, during feedings. Easily frustrated puppies are a poor choice for families with young children; it’s best if they are placed in adult homes with people willing to commit to working with them to develop frustration tolerance.
Velvet is also thriving. Her postpartum depression-like symptoms seem to have lifted. She has much more energy than before. No longer content in the dog area, she prefers to be upstairs with me or in the backyard. She wags her tail now for her puppies and plays with them in the backyard. She even willingly nurses them. Inside the house she hunts down dog toys to play with and bones to chew on. She responds to whistling; the other day a song came on the radio with a long whistling intro and her ears lifted up and she began to search for the source. She reacted similarly to a cat toy that makes bird cheeping noises. When the TV is on, she can’t take her eyes off it; she often pants while staring at it, perhaps it makes her a nervous. She’s also a bit of an escape artist. Left alone in the kitchen, she quickly jumps the dog gates and heads for my couch or one of our beds (it’s hard to blame her for preferring them). And when I let her into the side yard and all the hungry puppies mob her at once, she quickly climbs and jumps the temporary fencing to get to the backyard.
It’s been such a pleasure watching Velvet blossom the last few weeks. Especially since she’s leaving us so soon. The puppies are almost eight weeks old and will go home this weekend. Next week I leave for my trip to the Netherlands. So Miranda is doing her best to find a new foster for Velvet by Friday or Saturday.
This litter has been so easy, a real pleasure; it will be hard seeing them go. Each is so even tempered and sweet, very little yipping or barking or biting. I haven’t been scratched or cut by teeth or claws or had a single item of clothing torn yet. We have plans with my family in Virginia for all of Sunday afternoon and evening – too long a stretch to leave puppies alone – so I’ve scheduled pick ups for Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning.
My last hope is that before the weekend, we find a home for Sweet Pea, our final puppy in need of an adopter. I spent time with her today taking pictures and video for Petfinder. I hope it helps:
I also videoed the rest of the puppies and Velvet too. These are probably the last I’ll take before everyone leaves. So wonderful to capture them so happy together.