|Posted on January 3, 2016 at 4:40 PM||comments (0)|
The snow is here, finally. Our dogs enjoy running at full speed, snow flying from beneath their feet and out behind them like a spray of white sand. Their mouths are tightly clamped, lips tense, as they concentrate on the trajectory, usually just out of reach--but not always.
When it's time to go back inside after a time of fun--and my own cold feet--I tell them, "It's time guys. We have to go back inside." Immediately, six dogs come from all directions, whether they'd been lying down, looking for apples on the ground under the trees, or mauling their toys. In a moment I am surrounded and followed by a small group of canines ready to escort me back to the house. Some might have their toys in their mouths as they quietly "take" me back to the house.
These dogs understand my words, my actions, my thoughts. They are truly some of the most intelligent and sensitive of creatures. One cannot apprciate these animals until one comes in contact with them. Every day is a new adventure in the making, and never dull with my friends around. Velcro dogs, indeed!
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"Active and Fun"
As the day approaches, the sun rises out of the East and the pups now are getting a good start to their morning by suckling enthusiastically, the day is sure to become another warm one, one in which I must try to keep the puppies as comfortable as possible. The forecast said 91 degrees today. Well, that’s going to be a challenge for all of us.
Yesterday, the heat had pups panting and gave me the opportunity to wash each one down with a cold cloth. I’d also dipped my fingers into cold water and put that to their mouths, which they licked up eagerly, trying to figure out what that cool liquid was and liking its cool feeling around their lips and tongues.
I imagine they felt a little better. I dipped a couple of pups’ chins into the water, too. Izzi and Tulip didn’t know what to think, but as is expected, their noses got some into them and they sneezed it out again. When I put each puppy to sleep by wiping each pup’s paws, bellies and heads, they were once again content for the moment. This was a good training session, too, as later on, when they are not in the pool anymore and will be moved to the kennel where I will sleep with them, they will be getting their daily wipe-downs from head to tail. They then learn to be handled and touched everywhere without complaint.
Their walking ability is getting much better. I watch them navigate their pool with more ease, though sometimes they do lose their balance and topple over. Right now, most of the pups, with the exception of Indi and Tria, have fallen off the nipples and lie strewn around their mother.
Tulip seems to be contemplating whether she should just let her body flop down and allow sleep to take over, or not. There, she just crumpled to the floor of the pool beside her big brother, Thor. She is out for a little while, until next time Bianka comes back to refill their tanks.
Tria has lost her grip on Anki’s nipple and lies asleep, with her head bobbing up and down with every breath her mother takes. When they get full, there’s nothing to stop them from dropping like flies and into a deep, twitching sleep.
I held Izzi this morning, after she’d satisfied her tummy’s capacity and petted her lightly. Her head came down on my shoulder and she was out instantly. She didn’t move. Should I put her down again? I thought about it. This was good for her. I held her a few moments longer, and then she started to twitch. A soft whimper, a sleep-induced outburst that indicated she’d already gone into deep sleep mode and would likely not awaken by my putting her back down as she was, was emitted from her mouth. Then came the low, soft moan with each breath, to tell me she was now deeply involved in her dream. The twitches clinched the decision to lay her back down in the pool. She stayed where I put her down and kept right on twitching.
Thor has now taken a turn to top off his tummy some more. His mouth is attached, but seems to be slowly losing its grip as he tires from all the effort. Tria has awakened and is now suckling alongside Thor, who has decided to keep suckling since he has company. Tria is half-heartedly suckling, apparently too tired to do much work at it. She fell asleep at the nipple and slowly rolled down onto Thor’s side, using his torso as a pillow.
What a sight it is: sleeping puppies and sleeping mother. A happy bunch they are. With three fans on them, and air moving around, and full bellies and nothing to worry about, they have it made…what a life.
Every day my face gets “washed” by Izzi, Indi, Tulip and Tria. Thor is not so much a licker of faces as the others. He is more of an observer. He watches me when I play with the others, coming over when he thinks he should intervene, and then stares at me from a little distance. He will look right at my head, and just stare at me, as if in deep consideration of his next move. He will come and visit me to chew on my fingers as much as the others when he wants to. I can tell that he will be the one who will let the others go ahead and use all their energies to do something, while he will conserve and be patient to get what he wants without too much effort.
Thor came up to me as I was playing with Izzi a couple of days ago. I had been leaning over the pool, while Izzi lay on her back, paddling her front legs at me, flexing her feet and tasting my fingers lightly. Suddenly, there was Thor as I looked up. He was three inches from my head and staring at me with curious eyes. Just a moment ago, he was on the other side of the pool. He just sat there on his haunches, as if in deep thought about what I was doing with Izzi. I call him, “the observer”, for I often find him just watching me.
As I document the pups’ developing personalities over time here, much will become evident to indicate each puppy’s disposition. Their personalities will shine as bright as their coats; their minds eager to learn new things and explore their new world, and make new friends. That’s what it’s all about for these little creatures, soon to be as big, or bigger, than their mother.