The Police Escort
Perhaps they thought the garden would look better without it. The puppies worked tirelessly like a little gang of lumberjacks and before long, the large green plant growing alongside a honey locust tree lay shredded in a heap. All of the perpetrators had wisps of green foliage in their fur and protruding out of the corners of their mouths like over exuberant vegans at an all-you-can-eat salad bar. Intent on exploring another shrub nearby, Miss Lemon stretched up as high as she could onto her tiptoes thereby losing her balance and doing a backward summersault on the mulch-covered ground. She shrieked and was momentarily disoriented, but wasted no time in getting back to the job at hand. With their tremendous appetite for exploration, the little ones know no boundaries.
Bailey is a mother-extraordinaire. Unlike most moms, Bailey spends her time on outings playing with her puppies, either rolling around in the grass with them or having them follow her around the yard like the Pied Piper. Whenever one or more of her brood strays too close to the fence line that separates the puppy area from the big dogs, Bailey, the leader of the pack, runs over to provide them with a “police escort” ensuring their safe passage around the yard.
We can never quite understand the decision-making process of a little puppy. Sometimes they’ll jump up spontaneously, dart off in a particular direction and fall down along the way. While they’re gradually getting more coordinated, it’s always a delight to behold. Also entertaining are the various puppy games: the head-butting, jousting, wrestling, gnawing and the stealing and sharing of toys. Of course, no outing is complete without the chewing of twigs or bark chips. And when he feels it’s time to go back inside, Mr. Mint stands in front of the door signifying that playtime is over.
This week we had another middle-of-the-night awakening. This time it was Mr. Plum who managed to scale the wall of the whelping box to wander the seemingly vast expanse of the living room (which it would if you’re only 8” tall). We’re not sure how he managed that feat and he’s not talking, but the puppies are surely communicating and displaying emotions. They’ll whine to show fear, whimper when hurt and bark when they’re excited or want attention. Messrs. Rhubarb and Grape are certainly not shy about letting us know they want some cuddle time.
The puppies growing and gaining weight in leaps and bounds. Their muzzles are lengthening and are just beginning to look a bit more like the adults they will eventually become. We are spending some time alone with each puppy, playing gently and teaching them to relate one-on-one in a safe, trusting situation. As we hold them, they reward us with all the kisses we could ever want. With each passing day, their capacity for love and their bonds grow stronger. And before long they will be ready to share that love with their forever families.
That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another riveting installment of “Puppy Tales”.