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Showing posts from May, 2014

Mango and Haydain’s Litter – Week Seven (and a half)

“Marionettes”
It begins at a moment’s notice. They move quickly and quietly using gestures and head movements discernible only to themselves. With their front appendages working the earth at top speed, the target is identified and the extraction begins. We’re not sure how they even realized it was there, but that’s how the game of tearing up the landscape cloth begins. And what a game it is. The little minions are so elated at uncovering these little treasures, they do victory laps with half the mini pack in tow. Needless to say, this often culminates in a little tug of war and to the victor go the spoils.
The weather during the week has largely been cooperative and the puppies have enjoyed a great deal of time outdoors, always reluctant to have to come back inside. Moments after waking in the morning or after a nap, their first priority is to screech in unison like first graders anticipating recess to communicate their need to connect with nature. They also seem unfazed when the weathe…

Bailey and Jazz’s Litter – Week Seven (and a half)

“The Conga Line”
The level of activity in the yard has risen several notches since that first day the puppies staggered outdoors. It’s a joy to behold from a remote corner overlooking the busy playing field as all ten puppies from the combined litters interact with one another. One group can be found stripping bark from twigs and trees; another is honing their digging skills (sorry) while others are either playing tag or wrestling. One of the popular sports events this week was taking a running jump off a rock onto the lawn; a daunting five inch drop. Even the “dream team” of Bailey and Mango got in on the action. Mango leads the group around the yard like the Pied Piper or revelers in a conga line, while Bailey plays tug of war with the puppies using branches.
When you play that hard, sooner or later, it catches up with you. One by one, the puppies collapsed in a heap, totally spent. There was one group of five nestled atop one another in a hollow they had crafted at the base of a tre…

Mango and Haydain’s Litter – Week Six

The Rules of Engagement
There is some puppy behaviour and means of dealing with it which we’ve experienced over the years and have documented here for your prospective benefit. The list may vary a bit from litter to litter, but here are some points specific to Mango’s progeny.
1.You may use all necessary means available and all appropriate actions for self-defense, however if a puppy bites you, you may not bite it back. 2.Do not make eye contact unless you are prepared to engage the puppies in cuddle or playtime. If you make eye contact and do not follow through, this will result in them shrieking at the tops of their lungs and a commotion akin to a prison riot. 3.

Bailey and Jazz’s Litter – Week Six

“Where there’s trouble…there’s Chardonnay”
That’s a statement that may well ring true in real life too. In this instance, it’s used endearingly to describe the latest antics of Bailey’s brood. And yes, Miss Chardonnay was up to her old tricks again. Each week we add a slat to the door of the whelping box to increase the height of the enclosure. Each week, Miss Chardonnay undermines the level of our security. Yesterday, we found she had escaped the confines of the whelping box and was standing in front of the patio door ready to lead the charge outside. Their outdoor time is great fun, especially since this lot runs with Mango’s gang. Each morning all ten pups chant at the top of their lungs to command us to let them out. Once outside, Miss Champagne can typically be found tied up in some kind of extreme exploration in the far reaches of the yard or engaged in a tussle with one of her siblings in a sand pile. Mr. Merlot makes the rounds with each and every sibling and playmate or gets i…

Mango and Haydain’s Litter – Week Five

The Sentinels
There was one positioned at either end of the compound, standing tall, foreboding, vigilant. No one was getting out and no one was getting in. They weren’t armed, but they meant business and they looked the part – at least to the extent that a Golden Retriever mom can. This describes Mango & Bailey looking out for her flock as they frolic in the yard. Now that their litters have been combined into one super litter, playtime has taken on a whole new dynamic and everyone is having lots of fun. This enhanced socialization benefits the puppies and establishes the foundation for their current and future relationships with both animals and humans. All the puppies have become fast friends since they now eat, sleep and play together. The mothers don’t discern between which is which and all the pups are loved and cared for equally.
The groups’ initial exposure to the great outdoors was a bit tentative. Let’s face it, there’s a lot to take in as a little being in a great big w…

Bailey and Jazz’s Litter – Week Five

“Sticks and Stones”
Puppies don’t learn about sticks and twigs - they don’t need to. Puppies apparently come out of the womb already acquainted with their connection to nature’s debris. Since we had the good fortune of experiencing some reasonable weather, Bailey’s litter was introduced to the great outdoors. Unlike puppies from some of our other litters who may cower for a moment as they take in the vastness of the universe, these fearless little minions wasted no time in darting straight across the grass, albeit somewhat aimlessly. Miss Champagne was intrigued by a pile of freshly cut logs - fatalities of the ice storm. Mr. Merlot made a beeline to a twig and began to munch away at it contentedly. Miss Chardonnay, the heretofore unfulfilled escape artist was overcome with joy at her newfound freedom and proceeded to run around in circles. Once their mom was introduced into the mix, a game of cat and mouse ensued with Bailey occasionally flopping down and rolling over, allowing the li…

Mango and Haydain’s Litter – Week Four

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The Dormitory


We heard the cry in the wee hours of the morning. It was faint at first, but growing in urgency. Shaking off our sleep to listen, it appeared to be a sole puppy voice off in the distance; summoning, very tiny, somewhat muted and a wee bit lonely. We sprang out of bed to investigate. After an inspection of the whelping box and performing a head-count, we learned that Miss Daisy had scaled the barrier of their enclosure and gone on a solo expedition to the nether reaches of the living room. We found her on the far side of the room examining the fireplace tools. She was promptly returned to the warm comfort of the whelping box to snuggle with her littermates - another happy ending.


The gang began to wean this week and was introduced to mush: a canine smoothie comprised of moistened puppy food, oatmeal, goat’s milk, supplements, probiotics and honey. It only took minimal coaxing, but the group heartily embraced this newfound source of nourishment. This is the …