New Adventures for the Puppies

The puppies are learning lots of new tricks lately.  Molly has decided it is about time to wean them.  She doesn’t lay down now for them to nurse, they just have to stand up on their back legs and try to catch her.

We have started feeding them a “puppy mush” of canned food mixed with milk.  They seem to like it. . .

. . . some of them a little more than others.

The first few feedings were pretty messy.  Here #6 is covered in his dinner.

They have also been outside for a bit of fresh air and sunshine.  The sunshine has been hard to come by here the past few weeks.  We have had lots of rain – about 13 inches so far in November.  There was a little bit of clearing though and I took them all outside. They weren’t really too happy to be out there as it was still pretty cold that day and they weren’t used to that yet.

The puppies have also had visitors.  Our neighbor Rio came to see them.

He must have the magic touch because his puppy was asleep very soon.

His mom Cindy put her bandit puppy to sleep too.  After they have eaten, they are usually ready for a snooze.

The little puppies are growing and getting more mobile.  The more adventuresome ones have learned to climb – right out of their box.  Here Big Boy is stranded in the middle trying to get back in.

Since they had started climbing out, and we needed a place to feed them besides their sleeping area, we added to the puppy condo again.

Now they have a sleeping side and an eating & playing side, all with higher walls that they (hopefully) can’t climb out of anytime soon.

Molly does not mind visitors holding and playing with the puppies, we’ve had several friends visit and hold them.  Grizzly, however, is still not allowed to get too close to them.  He is very curious about the little creatures – but he is only allowed to look at them from outside the box.  He  has tried to climb into the new area with the puppies, but Molly won’t allow it.  Apparently it will be a while longer before he gets to know his offspring up close and personal.

This little one is starting to show the heeler markings more and more.  They tell us that the “red” heeler color is recessive.  Grizzly’s father was a red heeler and two of the puppies are showing those colors. Though they are called red, it looks more like a cinnamon brown color to me and she has a bit of the gray color also.

It is interesting to me that the dogs have so many different colorings with the same two parents.

They still sleep in a dog pile.

When latecomers arrive, they just climb right over the top of the ones already there.

Molly hasn’t abandoned the puppies, she still checks them carefully several times a day and cleans them if they are not up to her standards.

Some of them have become very playful, they growl, bark and pounce on each other.

They enjoy playing with each other – it’s a good thing there are lots of them to keep each other company.

What Else Is Going On

By far the most photogenic, adorable things around here are the new puppies.  It has been a lot of fun to watch them grow.  We have been spending time on a few other things though. We had a really nice garden this year.  Lots of peas, beans and tomatoes.

tomatoes beans

Our potatoes were much better than last year.  The plants were big and healthy -over waist high.

peas and potatoes

We dug at least 40 or 50 pounds of potatoes; Satina, Russet Burbank, and Yukon Golds.  All the varieties did really well.  Here are just a few of the Yukon Golds.

wheelbarrow of potatoes

We have had a lot of rain in October – almost 16 inches.  Then a freeze down to 25 degrees, so the garden was through.  Last week we had a couple of nice dry, warm days so we worked in the garden pulling out the remains of the plants, liming and fertilizing and tilling and generally getting it all ready for winter.  We let the chickens in since all the crops had already been harvested.

garden w chickens

They quite enjoyed being out of their little yard and foraging in new territory.  After a while though, they discovered that out the garden fence is the orchard.  In the orchard are fruit trees.

tree w bulbs

At the base of the fruit trees is the nice soft dirt where I just planted tulips and daffodils.

tulip bag (2)

bulbs planted

The chickens thought it was great fun to dig in the nice soft dirt – and they almost had the bulbs exposed.  So their sojurn outside their run was a brief one.  Dumb chickens.

After we took out all the old plants, we fertilized the soil a bit and Rick tilled it in.

tilling

Now we have to get it covered – if you don’t cover the soil around here the rain and snow leach out all the good stuff you just worked in – and it will be ready to plant in the spring.  We’ve had rain the past few days and yesterday the snow level dropped, so we need to get the plastic on before the snow arrives down here.

snow on mountains

The snow level is expected to drop to 500 feet or less in the next couple of days. It is already low on the mountains all around us.

snow level

We have had some rain – about five inches so far in November – which  has given us some incredible cloud formations and sunsets we have really enjoyed.

sky 2

sky

So there you have it – we have been doing something besides playing with the puppies.

Puppy Update

The puppies have learned to sit up and are starting to walk on all fours rather than crawl.  Their eyes are open and they are much more alert.

white sitting up

Their heeler markings are becoming more distinct.  Gray (or blue they call it, but it doesn’t look blue to me) is starting to show through the white in their fur.

 heeler markings

The one yawning here is the largest pup.  A male who has pronounced heeler markings.  #6 – the runt – is right next to him.  You can see that the little place on his head is healing nicely and now has fur.

yawning (2)

Though they are more awake and alert, they still spend a lot of time sleeping all in a pile.

white on black

Grizzly has been very curious about those little creatures, and Molly has let him a bit closer.

grizz looking a molly

He only got to meet one nose to nose though when Molly was outside.  She would not have approved.

grizz meets pup

They are all much more alert and mobile.  They have also started growling and barking – which is really hilarious.  This little one reminds me of Molly.

molly jr

It seems there is always at least one asleep on its back with the paws in the air.

asleep paws up

Since they are getting so much more mobile, Rick built them a little better box to keep them corraled in.  I wonder if the Craftsman people know their tool boxes are multi-purpose and can be used as puppy crates?  The whole gang slept through the remodel.

better fence

Eye patch (there is also an ear patch) licking his sibling  – they have just started doing that too.

eyepatch licking

So that is the latest on the puppies.  Three are now spoken for, so if you want a puppy for Christmas you need to get on the list!

upside down

Eleven Days Old

The puppies are a eleven days old today.  It is amazing how much they have changed in just that short time.

puppies pile asleep

They spend about 99% of their time eating and sleeping.

Considering their eyes are closed and they don’t maueuver too well yet, I am surprised at how well they find Molly to nurse.

nursing puppies

Molly is getting out more each day.  She loves to be able to run around outside, then she darts back into the shed to check on the puppies.

molly after

They seem most content when they are cuddled together.

snuggle together

They have grown a lot in the past eleven days, they are very plump little things.

black and white

Just in the past two days they have started to be a little more adventuresome.  Now they are trying to climb the sides of their little pen.

climbing

They have also learned to hang on pretty well.  When Molly is done nursing she sits up, usually the puppies roll over and go back to sleep.  Now sometimes they hang on like this little one.

hanging on

Though Grizzly is the dad, he has not been allowed near the puppies.  At first Molly wouldn’t even allow him inside the shed.  Now she lets him come in, but makes him stay far on the other side of the room from her and the little ones.  Probably wise of her.  Grizz would not intentionally hurt anything, but he would try to play too rough with the puppies.  It will be interesting to see when Molly decides it is safe for him to be around them.

proud parents

Here is little Patch – now their eyes are opening a bit.

patch

Molly has been really good with her litter.  She cleans them thoroughly – licks them up one side and down the other.

moly cleaning pup

The runt of the litter, little #6 is doing well.  The spot on his head is healing up and growing hair.  He is still the smallest of the bunch, but not by much.  He is very aggressive about getting into the pile to nurse, and his little belly is full when I check on him.

#6 head

They are just adorable.