The Joy of Six

10 May 2013   5.00 PM   62 F  Cloudy

Still raw from the loss of Vader, our emotions and feelings are at the stage of being under control and looking as if everything is ok, until we are asked how we are doing or people pass comment on his passing and then it all comes to the surface again. Fortunately, most of our friends are similarly minded and we grieve with close friends of ours who lost one of their dogs at the same time we lost Vader. Around here, no-one says “oh, it’s just a dog”.

However, no matter how sad we are, the truth is we have the responsibility to take care of all of our other dogs and to ensure that they know how much they are loved and cared for. In return, they seem to know that perhaps a gentle nuzzle or simple nudge is all that is required on days like those. However, that’s not the case with the puppies. At only 11 weeks old, they have no concept of much other than exploring, having fun, eating and destroying anything they can reach. When eventually they tire, you will be rewarded with puppy snuggles. No matter how sad we are, those 6 puppies have been able to lift our spirits and bring a smile. Knowing our interactions with these little guys shape their characters, it’s always important to be the kind of “boss/leader/head honcho” that you want them to respect and be willing to listen to and work for.

They are now 13 weeks old and are still an amazing bunch of little dogs that think they are big dogs, right up to the moment they discover something they haven’t yet encountered. Our daily walks go a little further, the explorations of the woods beside the trail goes just a little deeper and the play wrestling gets a little bit wilder. But the sight of a loose adult dog in the driveway still brings them scuttling back to the safety of the 2 legged giant, a trip to the dogyard fence comes to an abrupt end when the inhabitants roar their excitement at seeing small fluffy meals wandering around. Their first road trip was accompanied by an hour of screaming and wailing, and a lot of bemused looks from passersby. Their first visit to the vets was great fun right up to the moment that the vet actually appeared. Then we had a game of statues !  I guess being frozen in place is preferable to running around screaming and peeing everywhere.

Generally, they’re a very happy crew, mostly content with their lot and really only loud and objectionable if they decide that they’ve been in their pen too long and want to go and have an outside play session. Break up season is in full swing here and the trails that we used to be able to nicely walk along are now something akin to walking a tightrope. If you’re lucky, you can stay on the surface and if you’re not, you can be thigh deep in snow, face first into a tree or knee deep in water. If you’re really,really unlucky, all 3 at the same time. The puppies don’t seem to care, they just tear along and if the snow gives way under them , they just slide along on their chins until they come to a stop, pick themselves up and charge off again. They are having a wonderful time finding necklines, dog booties, gloves, pine cones and assorted branches to carry, chew or fight over.

Queen and her pups examine the power pole tension cables.  They look like a great chew toy.
Queen and her pups examine the power pole tension cables. They look like a great chew toy.

The pups are all fantastic little characters in their own right as well as a great mob. The 2 girls, Tanera and Tiree, are both bright sparks, vibrant and very mischievous. They are at the forefront of any nonsense and nearly always at the front of any race back home too. Taran is a bit of a loner, happy off wandering on his own, and much less invested in group activities. He’s also the smallest male but the most dominant at the food bowl. Raasay the rascal – a lovebug, a livewire and a dog that brings a smile to your face as he tears around, ears flapping, tongue lolling and tail swishing. Col, the big guy, the serious one who has a curious streak in him a mile wide. And that leaves Eris, happy-go-lucky, kind, sharing, handsome, strong and willing but as we jokingly say – possibly not the sharpest knife in the block.

Raasay, a rare calm moment.
Raasay, a rare calm moment.
tiree 12
Tiree leads her brother Raasay home
Taran and Col 12 weeks
Taran and Col decide that out of million available sticks, they have to share this one.

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