|Posted on June 15, 2016 at 7:10 PM|
“Behind the Scenes”
As the puppies grow, I don't manage to get the time in to post as much as I would like. Here is my latest posting:
Last night, I climbed into the pool to sit with my puppies. I’d changed the bedding and sat down right in the middle of the pool. Once there, I was surrounded by the pups, eagerly trying to “taste” my shirt, my arm, my shoes, and any part of me that was within easy reach of their mouths. I’d get patted with paws gently swatting towards me. I say “towards” because it looks as if they’re testing what it is they’re swatting before moving in.
When the pups swat at me with their rounded paws, it’s as if they were giving me a “high-five”. The slow motion of the movement they produce when doing so, causes their feet to flex, and toes to stretch as the paw returns to the floor—or, usually, I let their paws land into my open hand half way to the floor. Then, I rub the paw and let it down again. They appear to be perplexed by my action, as they stare at me a moment, then up goes the paw again. More often than not, they will approach me after that, ready to lick and chew whatever part of me is in close proximity.
Some of them, like Tulip, licked me a lot on my arm last night. Tria came up slowly, cautiously, as if unsure of whether to continue to come and investigate, or not. She, it appears so far, is a little aggressor. She likes to use her strong growl to try to subdue her siblings in play. She will chew on me and then lick me and chew some more. She is friendly, but really gets into her play-fighting mode with her litter-mates.
Sometimes, I approach Tria with my hand to pet the top of her head, as I do to the others all the time without difficulty. She would duck her head out of the way of my hand, then I'd pet her again the same way and she wouldn't duck. Then I'd leave her alone.
Later on, I tried again to pet the top of her head. She ducked. I petted her again, she didn’t resist, in fact, she let me pet her again the same way. I immediately rubbed her on her back, where she likes to be rubbed, and then left her alone for a while. I work on her that way when we play and then most of the time she ends up not even knowing I’d touched her on her head. She doesn’t mind so much anymore now. She will learn not to mind being touched anywhere over the next few weeks, as all of them will.
Amidst tails wagging in front of me, I can sit in the middle of the pool and I will become a mountain to be climbed by the little furry climbers. I allowed them to walk over my legs, and that was entertaining. They are anything but elegant as they attempt to overcome everything in their way. They actually just seem to fall over my legs as they stretch their short limbs as far as they can to overcome the mountain of leg before them. They hop, roll, stumble and topple over me as they learn to negotiate difficult objects in their paths.
I am amazed how they can lunge at one another and land where they intend, though usually in a small heap in front of their victim. That often puts them at a disadvantage, for now the one towards whom they had focused their energy has become the aggressor and shows no mercy in dealing with her attacker.
Tria has a very serious-sounding growl. At one time, she was approaching me, so I picked her up and held her on her back, with her head slightly elevated in my arms. While she paddled with her front paws, and licked my hand a little at first, she started to mouth my finger and then growled when I rubbed her belly. I looked at her eyes as she growled as fierce a growl as she could muster for such a small body. I had to laugh at her, because as mean as she sounded, and with such concentrated effort in trying to intimidate me that way, it was very difficult to take her seriously because of her size and appearance.Those little blue eyes captivated me.
Her growl lasted but a second or two, and then I spoke to her quietly, telling her that her growl was very vicious-sounding but not necessary, and quite ineffective. She licked my face then, grew quiet and grunted a little. With a limp body—the right way up now--I put her back into the pool where she could try to find a more suitable combatant.
Both Tria and Izzi are both very active, but Izzi is gentler in her methods than Tria. I watch Tria as she seems to go right into the crowd, possessed with a determination akin to a bulldozer, while Izzi will watch first, picking her path and carefully making her way towards the trajectory.
I think of Thor as the little guy who just wants to play when he feels like it, and when tired, will then settle down on his own, away from the noise and activity, so he can get a good nap in before the next refill of milk. He is careful, observant and extremely tolerant of his siblings and not too worried about what’s going on around him when it’s time to sleep.
Tulip has been stepped on, climbed over, chewed on and squished by her littermates while trying to sleep. When I watch her during those moments, she does not react much. She will stretch, yawn, and try to get back to sleep again. Come to think of it, all the others do the same thing.
As for Indi, she is much like Thor. Her gaze is very innocent-looking and full of curiousity, but she can still defend herself well from her siblings when she wants to. She knows when to walk away.
Despite the growls, the biting, the chewing and the stiff postures, I have come to notice more and more as I watch this little brood interact. I see that they calm down rather quickly and easily; that they react to my words with some kind of understanding as I tell them how good they are and how well they are growing. Somewhere, I know they understand what I am telling them. Their eyes tell me that there is a lot going on “behind the scenes”, and their behaviors prove it.