No matter how long we have been doing this I am always entranced by the cuteness of puppies, the little squeaks, the puppy breath, their tiny little noses, and itty bitty feet. How easily I am sucked in to watching them, noticing each day how they have grown & what new skills and behaviors they are showing. Watching them sleep (and wondering: what do dogs dream about?) I do not think I have gotten out of the house on time once since they were born. Always one more glance over to check on the kids and…
I am sucked into the cuteness again:
Oh look that one just yawned! & How sweet when I rub her little belly she shakes her rear leg just like a big dog! & Aw look at those little noses! I swear the cuteness never ends at this age.
We like to have the mom in the house, and raise the puppies in the living room. It lets us spend the maximum amount of time with them. Even at the early age we are handling them and playing with their feet, all ways of starting to socialize the kids and build a bond with them. Dan built a special little indoor puppy pen to keep them corralled safely with mom. And it is here that they will live and grow, until their size and coordination allow them to escape the indoor puppy pen and wreck havoc on the living room. At which time we have a nice outdoor puppy pen, with room for them to romp, run, and grow strong. It has an x-tra large dog house, complete with a flip top roof for easy access any time we want to play with them or change the straw bedding. But till then, the little buggers are all happily in the house, where I can ohhh and ahhhh over them all the time!
By request from my friends who (like me) crave a dose of puppy cuteness I started a public photo album to chronicle these first few months. I will attempt to update it regularly, so please check back to see the kids grow (Oh and they grow so fast…)
Guppy Puppies photo album
And as they grow it is fun to watch how they develop.
Who leaves the puppy pile to sleep by themselves first (think about it, they have been in one big pack since before they were born, are born into a strange loud world blind, it must take some guts to be the first to venture off by yourself for some room to stretch out and sleep alone)
Or opens their eyes first, (in this litter it was the little male runt at 13 days )
Walks first (they start out rolling and propel / pushing, gradually they get the strength and coordination to lift themselves off the blanket and walk)
Who seems shy or pushy (like the one big female who is always the first to feed).
Watching as their character and personality emerge*.
For those of you following along at home : A Puppy Development Chart, although not specifically for working sled dogs, it is still a nice overview of the stages a dog grows through.
*yeah OK maybe I do over humanize my dogs, but I really do credit them each with a unique personality, emotions, attitudes, & the ability to learn, feel, and express.
**Also in the name of full disclosure: it took me almost 2 hours to get this done. The puppies were making the cutest little squeaky noises. And they are learning to stand up on their little legs and really walk around. Plus they are opening their eyes, and starting to see and react to things. Then nursing is like a feeding frenzy, after some curl up in bunches while others stretch out alongside Guppy and nap. Just had to go play with them mid blog post!