Remember the blog post about trying to explain their personalities and their activity levels? Well... you can pretty much ignore all of that now. They aren't ALL completely different, but they have certainly changed. Don't say I didn't warn you that it could happen.
I'm going to share some entertaining (for you at least) stories from the last week or so, so you can get an idea of why I used the title of "Puppies Gone Wild."
1. On an average night, I go to bed around 11-11:30 when I have puppies. It's mostly because I don't want to get out of the pen to go to bed... they are so much fun to cuddle and playing with them is my version of heaven. Right before bed, I clean the pen if anyone has conveniently forgotten the plan. I get up anywhere from 5:30-6:30 in the morning to let River and Easter out and to feed everyone breakfast. Understandably, the puppy pen is somewhat different from when I left it the previous night. The bedrooms in my house are on the second floor, and I can look down into the living room where the puppy pen is set up. I usually look down and tell them good morning, and they start their whining for food time.
Well, the other morning (fortunately a weekend, so I wasn't late for work), I came out of my bedroom at 6:00 to start the morning routine. I looked down at the pen, and every single blanket was rearranged and disgusting, every toy was in the potty area (that was the one area without any poop), and all the puppies were sitting and looking at me with absolute innocence - which is the only reason I didn't vow to never have puppies again. They were adorable, but it took me almost an hour to clean the pen and all AROUND the pen, as I think they had poop flinging contests overnight. (Sorry... I promise it won't all be about poop). It took another 30-45 minutes to give everyone a quick sponge bath. Thankfully, those days are few and far between!
2. River is a very easy dog to live with - she's not demanding, and other than her need to bark at everyone when they first come in the door (including me - Tangent: I swear, I think she is trying to tell me about her day - "I slept on the couch in the morning, and then I moved to your chair, and then I drank some water, and then I teased Easter over the gate, and then I barked at the mailman when I heard him pull up, oh... and the lawn crew used the leaf blower today, and I barked for them not to forget the porch...."), she is pretty much my perfect dog. If you haven't spent much time around her, you wouldn't know that she's incredibly clever. She's learned to open the sliding glass door, she will occasionally break Easter out of her "kitchen jail," and she can find (and eat- even the peel or wrappers) a banana or a baked good ANYWHERE... and there is no evidence of her crime - she's very careful. BUT, I think she wants me to know that I didn't just think I had two bananas left because she will burp in or near my face - making sure I know she got them. Note: that's why I leave fruit and bread in my microwave
Her latest plan completely backfired, and it was incredible! I really wish I had decided to grab the phone to video instead of just laughing hysterically, so I will try to explain what I saw.
I had just fed the puppies their lunch, and River and Easter get a handful of food at lunch as well. While the puppies were eating, I ran upstairs to start another load of laundry. (More on laundry another time!). I got distracted and did a few more things before going back downstairs. I had heard some clanging, but I figured it was the food pans against the metal pen or River/Easter trying to get the stray kibble the puppies missed - they are amazing to watch... no thumbs, but they can somehow get it through the pen!
When I looked over the banister, River was standing on the couch, and 7 of the 9 puppies were out of their pen - trying to get to River with their little paws on the edge of the couch. The other two puppies were following Easter in circles around the pen... much to Easter's enjoyment. River looked like she was trying to stay away from hot lava (or needle teeth, which is true), and she had this panicked look on her face - desperate for my help.
I imagine in her desperation to clean up the food pans and get those stray morsels, she thought it would be much easier to open the latches (two of them) to get the pen gate open. What she didn't plan for was letting the puppies loose - and unleashing the addiction to the milk bar they had been missing. I'm pleased to report she has not let them out of the pen since then!
3. Shortly after the puppies have arrived in their new homes, I usually receive some inquiries from the owners that go something like this: "What's with the ice?" I'll warn you now... my dogs are obsessed with ice - known as "water biscuits" in our house. When they are around 5 weeks old, I start giving them a couple cubes of ice - it's great for sensation (cold and wet), they like to play with it/push it around, it's not as messy as water, and it melts slowly as they suck/chew on it. And, they are Mountain Dogs... they should experience ice, right?
My older dogs will come running at the sound of the ice dispenser on my freezer. For people visiting, they are usually a little bit taken aback when two sets of eyes are staring them down when they just wanted some ice to cool their beverages. Ice and bananas are like dog crack in my house, and ice is always available and cheaper, so they get a handful of ice cubes a couple times of day... bonus - no calories if you need to watch their diet in the future.
These puppies are already completely conditioned to the sound of the ice dispenser. They will be playing or fast asleep, and BAM! Ice!!!! They love it. A couple of them even make these little happy sounds - I will try to video it for you. Green girl especially - she almost coos when she has her ice cube in her paws. Flipping adorable.
Lots of firsts this week (which is where the betting part comes in) -
- First to rip up grass on a trip outside - Red girl
- First to potty outside - Naked girl
- First to run into the potty area on command - Teal girl
- First to roll a ball intentionally - Blue boy
- First to look up and watch a plane - Hunter boy (I would have taken that bet any day!)
- First somewhat of a "Baroo" - Pink girl
We had our first warm, dry day since they have been old enough to go outside, and I'll post some pictures later. They all loved the sunshine, and while not all of them immediately liked the wet grass on their feet, everyone was trotting around within 15-30 seconds. I couldn't have planned it any better... a plan flew overhead, several cars drove by, and there was an ambulance siren in the distance. I'm hoping for more opportunities to have them outside over the next 10 days before they start heading for their homes.