Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Puppy Pictures and Updates

Oscar Wilde wrote, “Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative.” So, at the risk of being labeled "unimaginative," I'd like to know, what in the world is going on with this weather? Today is January 31. Presently, it is 61 degrees in Macomb. Am I happy? For sure! I hate the usual winter weather. I'd rather be outside in 61 degree weather than outside in freezing temps, snow, sleet, icy rain, or any other horror of winter -- and I am pleased that our furnace isn't running constantly and that there is no snow to shovel. But, hey, this is the Midwest and the middle of winter. I can't help but wonder how nature is going to get even with us sooner or later!

Okay, so I know the real reason you checked the blog out today is that you are wondering why I haven't posted anything for almost 2 weeks. Well, not much interesting has been happening for one thing. It's hard to write about life when it's rather dull. On the other hand, better a dull live than one full of stress!

Many of you are also awaiting information about the puppies.

So, here goes: The puppies had their first baths on Friday night in preparation for a visit from Loretta and Tom, who came on Saturday to select a puppy. The bathing and drying went well. I stayed dry during bath time, which made me happy. None of the puppies fussed or decided to leap out of the sink or to jump on my shirt. (I think they were too busy wondering what the heck was going on!) Sebastian left on Saturday. Gracie leaves Friday.

My plan right now is to keep Olivia and hope the potential she seems to have for the show ring actually comes to fruition.  That, of course, leaves Rafe, Griffin, and Gabe. I am waiting for the perfect homes to come along for each.

The puppies are into a routine now, which makes things a little easier. They have the run of our utility room when we are home. Puppy-proofing it has been a challenge. This litter has some definite explorers and problem solvers. I have a cat tunnel that our cat totally ignores so it's become a puppy toy. They're having a good time going in and out through the various holes and frequently I find a couple of them curled up sleeping inside. Their many toys are strewn across the room and they are into chewing on the white bones I give my dogs. They also love untying shoelaces, nipping fingers, and grabbing pant legs of the unsuspecting. We've more or less perfected the puppy shuffle, which seems to be the safest way to get across the floor without stepping on a puppy who was across the room only a second before we put a foot down. The shuffle protects them from being stepped on and us from stumbling over a wayward puppy.

By the way, an article that focuses on teaching bite inhibition to puppies is "Angel Days and Devil Days" by Vickie DeGruy. You can find it at http://www.canismajor.com/dog/bite2.html

Here are the new photos, taken Saturday when the puppies were 8.5 weeks old. None of them appreciate our photo sessions, as is apparent by the expressions on their faces, ranging from curious to not amused to down right irked! 

Sebastian was still here at the time of the photos so I am including his picture also.  Since Sebastian has left, it has been interesting to watch how the dynamics of the litter have changed. Rafe and Griffin now vie for top spot. Griff is a little braver than Rafe when it comes to exploring the environment. Rafe lets Griff solve the problems and learns from his discoveries. Together they make the most mischief! They both love to hide behind the recliner and run in circles in the family room. Olivia does it too. She puts her little tail down to make herself sleek and aerodynamic and off she races! Gabe is the quiet cuddly one. He has more of the Lhasa personality the standard describes."Chary of strangers," Gabe was the puppy who stood back and watched as the other boys vied for Loretta and Tom's attention with their antics. Once he decided they were okay, he approached cautiously and greeted them. Then went back to watching. Gracie is the more outgoing of the girls. I'm hoping Olivia will blossom once Gracie leaves.

I tried to get some short video of the puppies last week and, for the most part, succeeded in that I got some video and it was of puppies, but none of them were doing anything too exciting --playing with toys, having a puppy battle, stealing toys from each other, etc. I did catch one of Gabe which some of my Facebook friends thought was cute. 

Thanks to all of you who read this blog!

Life is good when you have a Lhasa to love you.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Most Recent Puppy Pictures

Hi! The puppy's pictures will speak for themselves I suppose. I don't have much to say this week, except it has been a week of firsts for the little guys. Their mom has been separated from them for most of the day and she seems happy with brief visits. I would be too if puppies with sharp teeth descended upon me in a horde looking for a quick meal! Dancer is so sweet and tolerant. She lets them maul her and when she's had enough, she looks at me with soft, expressive eyes that basically say, "Please, get me the heck out of here! Now."

The other firsts involved the first car ride, the first visit to the vet clinic, the first check up, and the first vaccinations. Everyone did well except Griffin, who was the only one to squawk when he got his shot. The puppies were a big hit with the staff at the clinic. It was good for them to be passed around and socialized.

They are now nearly 8 weeks old. Time has flown. As Dancer's work decreases, it seems that mine has increased. The little rascals can get into the strangest places and predicaments! The potty training is coming along. They seem to be getting the hang of it -- more or less! LOL  Their personalities are emerging. Gracie is the more outgoing of the two girls. Olivia is spoiled by our granddaughter, who claimed her when she was only a few days old. (Guess which girl I'm keeping?) Sebastian has appointed himself CEO. Griffin is second in command. He is the scout and the explorer. Gabe is the quiet one who sits back and takes it all in. Rafe is a cuddle bug and likes nothing better than to be held in the crook of my arm on his back. A couple tummy rubs and he is in dreamland.

Life is good when you have a Lhasa to love you!

More later.


Gabe and Rafe

Sebastian and Griffin

Olivia and Gracie

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Latest Puppy Pictures

Okay, so where is winter? Not that I love cold weather, ice, and snow. Not that I enjoy scraping car windows and scooping the driveway, Not that I appreciate icy winds and below zero temperatures, but this is really weird weather for Illinois in January! It makes me wonder what big, nasty surprise Mother Nature has in store for us in the coming months.

How well I remember last year at this time. Our October puppies were old enough to leave home and their new owners had difficulties getting to Macomb because of the snow and extreme cold. We stayed home from the usual winter dog shows because we were fearful of late night travel in the cold and thought the trips just were not worth the hassle of loading and unloading dogs and equipment in the freezing temps or the risks of the bad roads and blowing snow.

Olivia and Gracie, 6 weeks
About the puppies -- they are growing and becoming more rowdy. They love to explore and manage to get into places I never imagined. You would think that after all the puppies we've raised in this house that I would have a better idea of how to puppy-proof things, but the problem-solving ingenuity of these puppies is hard at work! Their personalities are emerging, and getting to know them is interesting. We have a couple of rabble-rousers and a couple of "I'll hang back and watch and see what happens" types, and a couple that are in-between, depending on the circumstances. Their attitudes adjust quickly from day to day. They move fast and more than once I've nearly tripped on, stepped on, or shut the door on one of them. They've discovered the thrill of chewing on shoe laces and tugging on pant legs. They've met the cat, who was not happy to be approached by a horde of curious puppies. You would think he'd be used to puppies after living here for 4 years. He just leaps onto the highest perch he can find and watches them, sometimes with an evil look in his eye, crouching in attack position as if he were some kind of cougar ready to spring.

Gabe and Rafe, 6 weeks
We've begun to wean them, although Dancer is none too keen about being away from them very long. She is a good mom! They like the mush that the puppy food becomes when mixed with hot water, but they still mob their poor mother every chance they get. She is calm, tolerant, and easy going in her approach to mothering. She loves them, and it is so sweet to see her curled up napping with the puppies cuddled against her.

Our granddaughter loves the puppies and I appreciate her interest. It is great to have puppies around young children again. Klara is 5 now and is doing a nice job to help us socialize the puppies. I did not let her help me name them. Her choices were by far as odd as my own children's choices used to be!

Sebastian and Griffin, 6 weeks
We're working (it's going slow) on paper/piddle pad training. It's hit or miss, but a couple of the puppies are making really good progress and manage to get in the general vicinity of the piddle pads the majority of the time! Unfortunately, it is not the same two each day! One step forward, two steps back -- never a dull moment.

The coming weeks will bring more "firsts" as we begin to extend Dancer's time away from them by a few hours each day and introduce them to more new things. The next planned 'first' comes at the end of next week when they get their first car ride -- to the vet's clinic for their first shots. 

I hope you enjoy the photos. More later!

Life is good when you have a Lhasa to love you!