Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Catch-up time

I've been unusually quiet since it's been unusually chaotic here. I can barely keep ahead of the pups latest tricks. Actually, I can't. Yesterday, I went out to the car, realized I forgot my keys, came back into the house. As I grabbed the keys from the kitchen counter, I spotted something brown and furry in the corner. An escapee. What? How did that happen. As soon as the others heard me in the kitchen, they stormed the baby gate. 10 puppies rushed through the house. Stunned, I fixed the hole in the fence, then ran up and down the stairs to retrieve one puppy at a time. It was crazy.

When I returned from my appointment, I surveyed the damage. They'd climbed through the stair rails onto a table, knocked off newspapers, bedding. They'd dumped some garbage. And since their perimeter had gotten bigger, they'd pooped at the edge. I spent the day cleaning, reinforcing the enclosure and taking the puppies outside for a break.

Most loved the backyard and our living room. They all had a turn at stealing my dog's toys and napping on his bed. He was fine with the whole scene as long as there weren't more than 2 little mongrels in his face.

On Saturday, all the pups spent the day at the shelter. They played in the outside pen. It was so fun to watch them run and tumble.

Then on Sunday, in the beautiful sunshine, the pups got to play at the park. We made a huge enclosure and let them go. We walked all of them on leashes. Or really, they walked around with leashes attached to people. It was important for them to have a good first experience on the leash - no pulling, lots of freedom. We were a spectacle that attracted a crowd. People got to hold a puppy and play. It was all very well supervised. The pups are in a stage where they're better one-on-one, or maybe two-on-one. All of them at once is just overwhelming to them as well as to people. And any negative experience could impact their future. With such a large space and constant supervision, we were able to give the puppies a fun afternoon. They slept well that night.

A few more days and they'll go to their new homes. I wasn't ready last week, but now I am. They need their families, some space and to start their training. They are all using newspapers now for their bathroom needs. I know many of them will respond to being outside more. But with 11, I can't possibly keep track of it all and be consistent. I'll miss them, of course, but they're ready.

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