Puppy Progress Week 6 - Being More Dog

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Wednesday 8 March 2017

Puppy Progress Week 6 - Being More Dog

Over the past 5 weeks my puppy progress updates have mostly talked about how 6 blind, deaf and essentially helpless puppies that looked more like hamsters have grown and developed. The changes were always changing if you like. One day it was sight, then it was teeth, then it was standing etc. until last week we were almost surprised to notice just how dog-like they had become. They ran, they played, they fought, they pooped.....and in many ways  hat is the story of this last week as well. They still run, they still play, they still fight, they still definitely poop.....but everything is bigger and faster. For want of a better word they are so much more 'dog' than they were just 7 days ago.

Adopting Leela has inspired a collection of dog-themed poems and illustrations:
Love, Fluff and Chasing Butterflies - 50% of profits are donated to the Dog's Trust 

Size wise growth continues much as before, which has been reassuring as the transition to solid food has gathered pace. 


Which is really all there is to say on the subject. In total there is now almost 11kg of mini-dog running around.

And running is, fortunately, what they are getting to do lots more of since in Human-Land we have been very lucky to find ourselves moving house once more to another perfect base for both us and the pups. It's almost unbelievable how well things worked out. When the puppies arrived in January we were staying in a wonderfully perfect house (courtesy of Nina at sanjosespain.com) but one that due to availability we could only stay in until the end of February. Where we would stay next we weren't sure butith 7 dogs now on the scene we were, unsurprisingly, limited in our choices and we weren't relishing a move at all. 

Then, one day Esther asked some neighbours 2 doors down (in an almost identical house) if their children might like to see some puppies and before we knew it they were asking if we might like to rent their house from them (also through sanjosespain.com) at the end of our current term. They were happy to get a longer term booking prior to the summer season and we would get to stay in the same beautiful location with amazing postcard views from a spacious and luxurious house with loads of space to create a puppy living area. It really was just perfect. Once again life provided what we needed just as we needed it, in the nick of time....and all because of these special puppies. That the owners even came out to San Jose especially to get the house ready, show us around and really make us feel like we have found a home - a place we can relax into. Well it's just a wonderful gift they're giving to us. We feel incredibly grateful to everyone who is playing a part in this puppy adventure. 

And so last Tuesday we made the move and took the opportunity to relocate the pups from their spare bedroom setup in our previous base to a much more spacious area and run in the ground floor studio apartment. Plus, with a little extra hardware in the form of a second puppy pen we have added another area in the top floor living room so that they can start getting used to more human noises and activities during the day as well (they're even getting used to the nutribullet!)

Everyone that has visited has commented on the little puppy paradise they are getting to enjoy.  The pups have met lots more new humans this week and another dog too; including my Dad and Teresa who even helped out with Leela walking and puppy clean up duties.  The new area certainly seems to be bringing out the puppies inner-dog. For example, they're not just running now but really sprinting around, chasing each other's tails, jumping in the air for toys and throwing them around when they get them. Leela, on her regular trips to see the pups also seems to like running around with them (although she's still making good use of a high surface to escape on to at regular intervals) and teaching them good doggy manners with the occasional stern warning growl. 

It's probably also worth mentioning that while Leela is teaching the puppies they also seem to be teaching her. Obviously we have no idea what life Leela had before she came to live with us, but she showed zero interest in toys and play until these puppies arrived yet in the last week we've found her a few times enjoying a chew-toy herself. Perhaps they're showing her how to play?

Overall though, for us anyway, it's the puppy-human interactions where we've seen the most change. A week ago when we entered the room they might sit up but mostly as they thought milk or food might be forthcoming. They didn't really want to 'play' with us. That has massively changed now. Pretty much every time now that we descend into the studio or poke our heads up to the living room, depending on where they are, we get confronted with a line of expectant faces and wagging tails and as soon as we enter their area we become the toys. They paw, they chase, they want to play tug-o-war with the other toys on offer. They really seem to want to be with people and it's not just us they're recognising. Frequent visitors are definitely being recognised as they enter the room as well and greeted excitedly. 

Fortunately, given all the excitement, it seems Leela has been teaching them bite inhibition. They do still give the occasional harder than comfortable nip, but most of the nibbling of toes and fingers during play is gentle. 

And there is also clear variation between the pups. Jess and Pati, for instance, love being picked up and fussed and sit and tap our feet to remind us they are there. Bella, on the other hand, wants us to play with toys but will still roll on her back for a tummy rub when she's tired, which isn't often since she's usually the last to fall asleep. Jess and Teddy still love rolling around with each other, Rose loves to run around the room and really wants to get up the stairs if we'd let her (with her long legs) and George....well everyone loves little George. He plays with toys, he loves fuss, he's quiet at times but increasingly scrapping and feisty after a few training sessions and tactics he's learned from mum. Basically he's unbelievably cute (as are they all of course).

Adopting Leela has inspired a collection of dog-themed poems and illustrations:
Love, Fluff and Chasing Butterflies - 50% of profits are donated to the Dog's Trust 




All of which has made for a busy but very fun week and, all being well, more to come. In the week ahead we have some big events on the horizon, not least the potential first vaccinations involving the first ever car ride!



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