Wow has time flown by!! The last 16 days have been crazy, to say the least. We found a new vet, the puppies tested positive for giardia, and we’ve spent the last two weeks perfecting two weeks and two days perfecting our puppy dosage via syringe technique. Luckily, these are smart puppies and they quickly realized I was going to give them their medications, with or without their cooperation. So now they all sit -or cuddle depending on their personality – and open their little mouths and take their medication like good boys and girls. In the last two weeks all the puppies have redoubled their weights. At 3 weeks they were all around the 4, 5 and 6 pound mark. At 6 weeks, everyone had doubled that weight except Carter, Panda and Bella. And at 10 weeks, everyone has doubled their six week weight which is an amazing feeling. So we are sending healthy, happy, beautiful dogs out into the world over the next few weeks. Yes, it’s true! A number of the puppies have been adopted by wonderful families into their forever homes! Panda, Bella and Butch go home tomorrow to wonderful families. If this afternoon goes well, Carter may join them. Smokey, who is now named Decoy, goes home to his new family (and his fantastic big sister, a gorgeous lab girl who will make him mind his Ps and Qs!) on March 22nd. I won’t deny it – we’re kind of stoked to have our other favorite boy around for a little while longer. Duncan has had no takers, a real shame, because he is a fantastic boy. Which is why he gets our first puppy update for day 46.
Duncan: Still Available!!!
Of all our puppies, when Duncan gets it, he GETS IT. And we’ve been pleased to see his progress and growth over the last few weeks. I think my post about him scared off prospectives but honestly we should have a line out the fence door filled with people hoping to adopt this dog!! Duncan comes to us when called and trust me, this is rare since they know when I call they are either getting their meds (Yuck!) or have to come in from the yard (No fun!). Duncan is one of the few who will zero in on that back door and make sure to hold it until he gets outside. As difficult as he was to training pad train, he’s going to be a BREEZE to potty train. In one-on-one play, he is incredibly gentle. He prefers the cat toys right now (but then, they ALL do!!) and loves to chase her feather pull, chew on his rope and get his keys if you dangle them for him. He’s got “no jump” down as a command and will often wait patiently for you to come to him rather than jump all over you (I’m looking at you, Marzi). He’s stubborn, smart, loyal and sweet, everything you could ask for in a dog. He loves to herd his pack but with bi- or tri-weekly trips to the dog park (which a good dog owner should do anyway, IMHO) he will get that need to herd out of him. He has stopped herding the puppies in the house and has not tried to herd the human part of the family, both of which were concerns. Duncan is gorgeous with his gorgeous triangular head, his shiny, black coat and his amazing temperament and personality. I hope someone snatches him up and loves him forever! Because he deserves that and is going to make someone the best forever dog in the world.
MJ (the puppy formerly known as Carter): ADOPTED!
Did you know that Carter sings? Well let me tell you, we didn’t either. Holy cow can this dog sing when he’s happy, sing when he’s unhappy… that said, he has learned “hush” and he will stop singing if you ask him to do so. That said, we rarely ask him because, frankly, it is SO DARN CUTE! Carter has always, and continues, to have the biggest personality of the bunch and is a total ham. He rushes up to me for a close-up every time he sees the camera out. And if you want to get him to take a bath, sing “Spa day, spa day! Carter gets a spa day!” over and over in a silly, “singy” voice. Carter will sing right along with you and happily accept his rinse, lather, repeat, massage with a towel routine. Carter loves to take his chew rope and sit at my feet. And if I forget to talk to him after a little while, he’ll “arrroowww” at me quietly to remind me he is right here and wouldn’t mind a pet now and then. With his super star quality and ham-like personality, he’s going to keep someone or a family very entertained. He’s going through toys quickly now so we’re changing them out every few days to keep him happy, challenged and mentally engaged. He figured out how to open the kitchen cabinets but did not have the reach to get to the knob so he taught Marzi how to open them next. Mission accomplished, right? Puppy proofing, while a good idea with ALL puppies, is a great idea but with Carter it is a MUST! That said, he is SUPER smart… and with the right toys and training he’ll understand his boundaries and stay out of trouble. We had a discussion about the kitchen cabinets with Carter (no OPEN, Carter, and we closed the door) and he got it right away. We then brought in new squeaky toys and Carter has not only left the cabinets alone but has not trained any of the others to open them for him. So while he can be the mastermind behind puppy chaos and destruction, he really just wants to be mentally engaged, loved and paid attention to, something all intelligent puppies want and need. The difference is Carter will go seeking mental challenge if you don’t provide it. Which, when you think about it, is incredibly super cool. 3/7/2011: MJ, aka the puppy formerly known as Carter, picked his forever family yesterday (and they picked him, too!)!! We are SO excited for this amazing little boy and know he is going to an amazing couple who will love and adore him and appreciate all his wonderful traits and quirks. We are so happy that it worked out so well for our adorable little Hollywood!
Decoy, or the puppy formerly known as Smokey – ADOPTED
Decoy aka the puppy formerly known as Smokey has blossomed into a wonderful pack leader. He went from being slightly unfair – let’s pick on Panda! – to a fair puppy who stops the puppy insanity when it goes too far. He’s also a tattletale, which cracks me up, because 9 times out of 10, he’s right there in the trouble with all of them until he gets tired, and then walks over to the kitchen gate and “ArooooooRoooRoo”s to let me know that the pack is misbehaving! He’s still a mellow boy and he loves his cuddles and is very much a people dog. Decoy has turned into one of the finest looking boys we have in our litter. With his “smokey” eyelids – which makes him look like he has on silver colored eyeshadow on his lids – his lab face and long, lean body, he’s going to be an amazing looking dog with the personality to match. We are so excited for him – his new forever family include new parents who will love him and a big sister, a gorgeous, well-behaved, obviously very loved lab girl – who will play with him, teach him the boundaries and family rules and be his constant companion. Selfishly, we are so excited about his new family’s vacation! This means Decoy gets to hang out with us two more weeks until March 22nd. We’ll give him a small crate in the kitchen to start loosening those bonds with Marzi and Rascal (in fact, Marzi and Rascal will start sleeping in their own crates on Sunday night as well!) and start potty training him with ours next week. I know this is anthropomorphizing Decoy to an extreme but he’s just a good ole country boy dog. I can see him bounding through the fields (or back yard), curious about everything, not afraid to get muddy and just being happy to be alive, outside and with nature. We’re so excited for Decoy and are so blessed to have him in our lives for the 46 days he was “ours”. We’ll enjoy him for the next two weeks and then send him home knowing he will spend the rest of his life being loved and cared for.
Panda – ADOPTED
Panda formerly called Puffy who has now changed her superstar name to P.Snappy (hey if Sean Combs can do it, so can Panda!) has turned into one of the funniest dogs I’ve seen. She’s also spent an inordinate amount of time the last few weeks eating, sleeping and GROWING! Although she still has her puffy baby coat, we are seeing signs she’s ready to blow coat and move into a sleek, young puppy coat any day now and we are so excited that she is reaching this big puppy milestone!! And heaven help the puppy who disturbs this little girl’s beauty rest! Panda loves to sleep right now and who can blame her – she doubled her body weight from week 6 to week 8 and AGAIN doubled it between weeks 8 and 10. While the others are scaling back from four solid meals to three good meals and one snack, Panda still needs that late night boost to get her to morning. And we’re happy to provide it to her. Her favorite place to sleep is on my lap or Jays and we know that she will be the perfect lap and play puppy for a certain lovely family who has adopted her. As mellow and sweet as Panda is with us, she gets pretty irritated with her litter. They are all so much longer than she is in the legs which makes it hard for her to keep up in puppy wrestling or play. But she’s a fighter, our Panda and will chase after them, or find an area to wait and launch a sneak attack at their hind legs when they least expect her. Her one-on-one play is hysterically funny; she will bring you toy after toy as if to say “this one! no, wait, this one! ooh no THIS ONE!” until you finally pick one and start the fun. Panda goes home tomorrow to her wonderful new family who will spoil her and love her and treat her as the little princess she is. And all of this wonderful starts for Panda bright and early tomorrow morning!! We are so happy for her and can’t wait to see how she continues to grow!
Butch – ADOPTED!
Butch has had a time of it for sure. Last week, we thought we had the perfect parents for him only to have Butch returned to us seven hours later with a litany of bad excuses for why they wouldn’t be his forever family that can be summed up in a few words: Some people should stick with cats. Butch has always been the sweetest of our litter and he continues to display that gentle kindness in spite of a bad Saturday last week. Butch is one of our most striking dogs – with his cinnamon brown coloring and gorgeous white markings, he’s a standout both in looks and in personality. As he matures, he’s stopped sharing his toys as readily and gets into tussles with his mates a little more than he did a few weeks ago but this is a normal process of maturity and one that would have concerned us had he skipped it. He scored incredibly good results in his 8 and 10 week appointments, has doubled his weight like the others and is going to be one of our tall puppies for sure. He loves being around other dogs and people and loves to be held and cuddled. He gives great kisses and neck nuzzles and his bite inhibition is right on point. This means that, while he will bite at the other puppies in play, he no longer nibbles on us, something the others have also stopped doing for the most point. But Butch, that smart, sweet boy, has stopped entirely, which is nice. Just as everything happens for a reason, we know now that Butch came back to us last week to get placed with his REAL forever family, a lovely couple who have two kids at home who are going to play with Butch and love him as he should be loved… for himself. We’re not sure what those other people are looking for, what void they hoped Butch would fill and didn’t but we are so glad they brought him back. Because Butch is now placed with the people he was meant to be with and we’re so happy about that. Butch goes to his forever home tomorrow and this time, we have no concerns, trepidation or worries around it. And that peace of mind is priceless.
Bella – ADOPTED!!
Bella continues to blossom and bloom as our little princess of the group. She has doubled her weight and now looks like Decoy (Smokey)’s little sister. She has the same silky ears, round lab features and silvery, smokey eyelids that Decoy has in a more petite, lady-like body. We can tell she’s in a growth cycle; she’s eating, sleeping and playing and then passing out for hours at a time. Bella loves to be outside as much as her siblings but can often be found curled up in a sunny spot, enjoying the day after a half hour’s romp with her more wild and crazy siblings. Bella is never ready to go inside when time’s up and often uses her quiet nature to her advantage. She figured out early on that the puppies who run catch my attention first and often I do a quick head count and have to head back out to get Bella, snoozing away in the warmth of the day. And Bella being Bella, she is always happy to see me but sad to have to come back inside. However, being the princess that she is, the only sound of protest is a heavy sigh. While Bella looks more and more like Decoy (Smokey), she has really bonded with her sister, Marzi, and loves to play with her and roll and tussle with her. Bella used to avoid Marzi, the more adventurous and wild of the two. But now they happily share a rope, steal the keys from each other and have a good time grabbing the cat toys and playing together. I know Marzi and Bella will miss each other for a bit but both will be so happy in their forever homes. It will be great if we can see Bella when she’s a little older and see if she and Marzi still have that bond!!! Bella is going to a home with three lovely kids and she will be loved on and adored by the entire wonderful family! While the kids are all in school, Bella will do what she does best – sleep and snuggle and get energized for hours of fun when school is out in the afternoons. What a lucky girl that Bella is! It will be interesting to see if she keeps that girly girl personality as she grows up and matures into a striking, beautiful dog. And with three kids reminding her of “no nips!” we bet Bella will lose the last of her puppy nipping in no time. Bella has already figured out that outside is a place to potty and so potty training her should be no trouble at all. We’re going to miss that little princess but we know she’s going to a great home tomorrow and are looking forward to her beginning her new life with her new family.
Marzi – ADOPTED INTO THE GLOEGE FAMILY!
Speaking of Marzi, she has been adopted into the Gloege family and boy, does she know she’s our girl. We’re trying REALLY hard to not spend more time and attention on the two we’ve adopted into our lives and our forever home. And I think we’ve done a good job of loving and taking care of all eight puppies fairly. That said, part of our excitement at our other six going to their forever homes is that it frees up time and attention to spend on our own two. Marzi is the tallest of the puppies and boy can she run! I mean she LOVES to run and does it with grace and easy (most of the time). We won’t discuss the number of face plants she suffers throwing her long, lean body off of the planters outside. Marzi and Bear love to play with each other and he will chase her for awhile and then let her chase him. It’s wonderful to see and Bear is very protective of HIS little girl. If she jumps off something too high and lands too hard, he is right there snuffling at her to make sure she is okay. We’re not sure how he’s going to handle it when she can outrun him. Luckily we have some time before that happens. Marzi is a joy and loves to curl up next to me and put her head in my lap. She’s not a big cuddle bug. She’ll let me pick her up and cuddle her and put her on my lap but she really wants to be next to me. So long as she is touching me and getting the occasional pet, she’s happy. And this is a good thing because Bear and Rascal are both Mama’s boys and demand to be physically on my lap a few times every day. Marzi has started separating herself from the group and will often call to me with a plaintive whine if I don’t sneak her an extra scratch behind the ears before bedtime. Marzi doesn’t have to be first for the petting and love but she wants to darn well make sure she gets the last moment of my attention and will stay awake long after her brother, Rascal, has passed out in a puppy heap on my lap or on my other side to get that stolen moment. Marzi enjoys stuffies and ropes but her big thing right now are chasing the cat toys and running, running, running! It will be interesting to see how her interests evolve once it is just the five bears, Drue, Jays and me in the house.
Rascal – ADOPTED INTO THE GLOEGE FAMILY!
I was a little worried about how Kodi Bear would feel about Rascal. Kodi Bear stole my heart in 2009 and has had to share it with Pooh (Meemsy) and Drue for 2 years. That said, he was the only DOG who had my heart and he was okay with that division of love. It took a few weeks for us to decide Marzi was the other puppy we were keeping but I knew Rascal was my baby from day ONE. And since I already have a 4 year old, 87 lb baby Bear, I was not sure how he would take his new little boy sibling. Luckily there is nothing but love thanks to a great book about introducing, raising and cultivating proper relationships between two male dogs. And while it is hard not to rush to Rascal first, Kodi adores and snuffles and enjoys Rascal immensely because we work hard every moment of every single day to ensure Kodi knows he’s FIRST in our hearts. I won’t lie… Rascal’s impending adolescence has my heart thumping every time I think about it. I mean right now he’s 18 lbs of cute, cuddly Rascal. But we didn’t name him Grizzly Bear for nothing and if paw size and leg size is any indication, our Grizzly may be the same size as Kodiak or bigger!! This is where the hours of training, obedience classes, classes with Kodi and working with the puppies to ensure they accept Kodi as their alpha RIGHT NOW when they are little will pay off in the long run. We’re pretty lucky with Rascal. He’s pretty zen when it comes to this whole “I’m alpha and in charge business”. To be perfectly honest, Rascal is kind of a… well… a whiny mommy’s boy to put it plainly. And I confess… I like it. Kodi LOVES me. I know this. But 2 years on his own, plus the near death experience of heartworm treatment means he loves me in a needy, “don’t LEAVE ME” way. Rascal’s is a little healthy whiny mommy’s boy, something I better enjoy now because in no time he will outgrow it. And that’s okay… because it is hard enough having one needy Bear. I really don’t need or want two. That said, I will definitely enjoy the cuddling, wiggling, fussy, whiny mess that is Rascal. Because just like kids, these angels are only going to be puppies once. And then I’ll blink and they’ll be all grown up.
Tomorrow will be a difficult and wonderful day as we say goodbye to Panda and Bella and watch them go home. Butch may be going home tomorrow too! But we will always have this wonderful time with them, our G-8 and look forward to more adventures with Carter, Duncan, Decoy (Smokey) and our two babies as we wait for Carter and Duncan to be placed in their forever homes and enjoy Decoy (Smokey) for the next few weeks until his pick-up date is here. We are blessed.