Sunday, 30 January 2011

three, two, one

Buddy (Kicker, aka Sonni) has now settled in with Nick & Rachel back in the ancestral homeland. No, not Finland - Surrey. Both Granny Neka and Keksi's sire Kimmi come from Surrey. It's a real hotbed of Lappies.

Here are the excited trio getting ready to hit the road. I can imagine that Buddy is quite looking forward to his future trips in that campervan.

Then Tippi (Honey) left with Susan & Ian and a rather excited Tarkka. This was the only photo in which he wasn't on 2 legs trying to say hello to his new little sister.

And the penultimate one to leave, Kuura, with Daniel & Jim. Mum Keksi and housemate Ismo were both a tad too excited to pose for photos.

Hopefully we'll have settling in photos of those 3 tomorrow. In the meantime, here is Sisu at home in his snazzy new bed.

And for more news of Sisu - and to see his rather nice show stand! - hop over to his new blog:

While back at the ranch, we are left with one little white one. Marja will be with us for a couple more weeks because her new family will be taking a holiday before the sleepless nights and house training duties.

Friday, 28 January 2011

seven, six, five, four

The inevitable has happened. The puppies are almost 8 weeks old and one by one are setting off on their new adventures, going to their new homes in time to spend the weekend with their excited new families.

The first to go was Bo (Budgie) in the wee small hours of the morning for her trek to Scotland with Alan and his dad. Rona played it smart and waited at home for the puppy to be delivered. Smart!

And here she is settling right into her new favorite spot.

Then Ukko (Kuusi) set off for the short trip up the road to Exeter with Becca and her mum. I did tell him before he left that his new home was furnished with white (white!) sofas. You should have heard him laugh.

Looking pretty tiny in his new crate.

Next was Sisu (Vee), following his sister alllll the way up to Scotland with Kristiina and Eric. They haven't even arrived home yet, so we'll have to wait for pics of him settling in.

Sisu will have a new name as well because apparently "Sisu" is a kennel name somewhere so it was refused by the Kennel Club. Second choice is Saimaa, so hopefully we'll be luckier with that one. He'll still be called Sisu, though.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

7 weeks old

It's been a busy time but the puppies are doing what puppies tend to do: they are growing up. Getting more demanding as they learn about housetraining and more noisy as they learn just how hard they can bite each other's ears before all hell breaks loose.

They are also getting very fluffy and their ears are starting to come up. In fact, Marja (Marilyn) had one ear up and one ear down today, so hers are just about up all the way.

Since the last update who goes where has all been settled, and so we know for sure who's who. We still don't know if the Kennel Club will approve the names, but we live in hope.

And speaking of names ... I do know better than to settle on Finnish puppy names without first consulting my Finnish friends. Yes, of course I do. So, did I consult any of my Finnish friends before agreeing the pups' new families choice of names? Er, no.

Apparently one or two names might be a little amusing in Finnish. We can live with that.

Kuura (Junior)

Kuura means "frost" and is part of his sire's name.

Bo (Budgie)

Bo is not a Finnish girl's name - and don't believe the online naming sites if they tell you so. It's a Swedish boy's name. But we don't mind, she's still Bo to us.

Sonni (Kicker)

Sonni means "bull" but this one is not a bit stubborn or clumsy. At home he'll be called Buddy.

Tippi (Ho

Tippi is a Swedish name, but it's also a Finnish word meaning "tip" as in to tip a waiter. Any waiter would be lucky!

Marja (Marilyn)

Marja means "berry".

Ukko (Kuusi)

Ukko is the Finnish god of the sky and the natural world.

Sisu (Vee)

Sisu means "perseverance". Aptly named puppy. That's all I'm saying.

Monday, 24 January 2011

eine kleine nachtmusik

(Well, sort of.)

Whoops! I've been away a whole week? Sorry about that, but I guess I've just been too busy to blog. Now that's busy!

For one thing, they've decided they would quite like to be housetrained, please. And, so, its squawks all round each time they need to answer the call of nature.

The puppies have been on their various socialising activities; trips to the pet shop and the post office for cuddles with all the cars, lorries, motorbikes, mobility scooters and pushchairs along the way. And, of course, no puppy should be without a bit of music in their life. The camera wasn't around when they first heard Jay playing guitar, but we did manage to catch the moment when they first heard him playing piano. Here they are enjoying a bit of Beethoven (not actually Mozart).

And later the 7-week photos. Yes, 7 weeks. Already.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

6 weeks old

The puppies now have names, and I have written to the Kennel Club to register them. Usually litters can be registered online which is much quicker and more convenient. However, when using a sire from outside the UK, we have to send the KC all that dog's health and home registration information, so the process takes a little longer and must be done the old fashioned way. Hopefully they will approve all the names chosen by the puppies' new owners-to-be.

Having said the puppies have names, as I write I still don't know which name will be given to Marilyn and Honey. Later today that little mystery should be solved once and for all! Can I just say I'm glad I'm not the one who has to choose.

Junior - Infindigo Persikka Kuura

As with his nickname, he has been named after his father, Kuuraturkki. 'Kuura' is Finnish for 'frost', a fitting name for a boy who looks like his coat is frost-tipped.

Budgie - Infindigo Persikka Bo

'Bo' is a Finnish girl's name, and this little puppy almost responds to it already.

Kicker - Infindigo Persikka Sonni

'Sonni' is Finnish for 'bull' in honour of this chunky little guy's stance much of the time as he stomps and hops all around the pen.

Honey & Marilyn

Infindigo Persikka Tippi

Infindigo Persikka Marja

'Tippi' is a Swedish girl's nickname
'Marja' is a Finnish girl's name

But I'll have to get back to you on which name applies to which girl.

Kuusi - Infindigo Persikka Ukko

'Ukko' is the Finnish god of the sky, weather, harvest and all natural things. You may recall there was an 'Usko' from my last litter so I can see some confusion in my future. Just for a change.

Vee - Infindigo Persikka Sisu

'Sisu' is Finnish for 'perseverence', 'go' or 'guts'.
His new family are about to find out just how appropriate that name is for this plucky little guy.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

big bad world

Yesterday I made a flippant remark about taking a puppy to the pet shop when I went to pick up some food. However, in a few days I'll be doing exactly that.

Everyone who has had an Infindigo puppy (or attended my puppy class) will recognise the socialisation refrain. As far as I'm concerned it is the single most important thing you can do for your dog. (I used to say that it is the 2nd most important thing they need after food - but let's face it, as long as there are cats, sheep and horses in the world to leave poo lying around, dogs will never starve to death. Yuck.)

Everything your puppy experiences as a youngster will have an impact on the rest of his life, and so it is our responsibility to make sure they are exposed to as many safe and safely scary things as possible before they are 12 weeks old and beyond. The point is to teach them that although the world may well be a big scary place, it's not a big bad place. Socialisation teaches puppies to be confident, happy and brave, at ease in new situations and adaptable in the future.

The puppy pack that goes home with each of my puppies includes a sheet on socialisation - there's plenty of work to be done by the new owners. But the socialisation started right here when the puppies were born, and since they have moved downstairs the experiences have ramped up.

It started with daily handling by myself and Jay, being put in a cardboard box each day, when they were old enough, standing on the carpet, on a towel, on newspaper, on cardboard. They moved downstairs and suddenly there were lots of people to meet and be handled by, many new noises and many new experiences. For one thing, they get a daily visit into the garden pen, weather permitting. They get to play with - and on or in - wide range of things like cardboard boxes, plastic bottles, noisy things, slippery things, movable things.

They also get an increasingly thunderous daily dose of both the Crash Bang Wallop CD and its cousin, Clix. These desensitisation CDs have similar but different sounds for a broad range of experience for the puppies. The former has a particularly amusing (and irritating) section on laughing, crying and screaming - babies and adults. Clix seems to have a lot more banging & gunfire, but dogs in Devon get to hear plenty of that anyway since it seems people around here never get tired of killing things.

In addition to all the people and sounds, by the time these puppies are 7 weeks old they will have had 2 trips down the High Street being carried by me & Jay. This exposes them to a wide range of traffic in the form of cars, lorries, buses and motorbikes. On the way they get to visit the friendly folks in the post office, bakery and pet shop. It's a walk that takes 25-30 minutes, round-trip, without a puppy. With a puppy it takes an hour or more.

Also by that time, each puppy will have had a few minutes alone in the indoor pen and the outdoor pen, starting at one minute and building up to 5 minutes. Each one will have had a walk (being carried) down the park just as the primary school lets out for the day, getting to sniff and touch things along the way - branches & leaves, tree bark, hanging ivy, etc. And each one will have spent some time in the car both just sitting quietly and with the engine running but not moving.

When they are 7 weeks old they will travel in a group to the vet to have their eye test. Some puppies suffer with travel sickness, some don't. With this bunch, I'm guessing only one or two will be sick. We'll see.

For today, a selection of puppies acquainting themselves with the toys.

Kicker pauses from the job of killing the tug rope to pose
for the camera

Budgie getting to grips with the bone. It's fascinating the way these tiny new puppies hold & chew bones exactly like their adult counterparts.

Kicker again - this time with the pheasant - while his littermates have a snooze. I particularly like the bottom with feet in the air behind him.

It's a mystery why Vee thinks the hard rubber hoop makes a good pillow.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

dining out

My day starts at 6 or thereabouts. (If you don't count the increasingly tedious insistence by Keksi that she get a trip out to the garden at 3 am, that is.)

First up for me is preparing the puppies' breakfast. While that's soaking to soften it a little I take the big dogs out. Then, weather permitting, the puppies go into the garden pen and have their breakfast, leaving the indoor pen empty for cleaning. At this time of year it's completely dark, so one thing these guys won't be is afraid of the dark.

Puppies come back in, have a little play and then conk out to sleep for an hour or so and big dogs get their breakfast. In the meantime I deal with the dishwasher & clothes washer and make sure I've got a steady stream of clean, dry vet beds.

Then I finally get my coffee at about 8 am, have a shower and get a little work done, if I'm lucky.

After my shower today I need a trip to the pet shop because I ran out of big dog food last night. Perhaps I'll take a puppy with me.

And for you, a couple of little films Jay took when the puppies went into their outdoor pen for the very first time a couple of days ago to have lunch. They are surprisingly brave about it all. There's plenty of wagging tails and a bit of playing & pouncing - by Vee & Honey, in particular.

In the second video look out for a cute moment of nose-to-nose action between Neka outside the pen and Budgie inside.

While they're uploading I'll be doing some invoices so that I can swing by the post office to send some orders when I go out for dog food. Multi-tasking is my friend.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

5 weeks old

Two days ago the puppies started to get really fluffy. It was all of a sudden - went to bed at night and they were same as always, got up the next morning and it was like someone had stuck them in the fridge overnight - fluffy, puffy puppy coats. Like when Keskiyo has been out running in the cold wind or snow and he increases by about a third again his usual width in coat.

Super fluffy means super cute photo subjects this morning, and I usually get this week's pics outside for better quality colour. No such luck this time around, and not even because it's raining. It has, in fact, stopped raining briefly but my puppy wrangler has gone away for a week and so we had to get the camera out quick before he left at the crack of dawn.

And as it has rarely stopped raining for the past 7 days, the puppies have only spent about 10 minutes outside - they had lunch al fresco yesterday and came back in quick after I had cleaned the indoor pen and before they got too soaked by the persistent drizzle.

Long-standing followers of this blog will know that there is another exciting event that usually takes place at the 5-week mark: the puppies' names are revealed. Again, that is not happening this time because we still just don't know who is going where.

I know, I know, you don't have to tell me.

I know for sure where 3 of them are going but it's still either/or for the remaining 4. To be very clear: all of these puppies are most definitely spoken for and have homes, but this time we're determined to make final decisions about who goes where when they are 6 weeks old. Hopefully by then I'll know who is the absolute naughtiest one to send to ... oh, I had better not say!

Just kidding! Actually, all these puppies are relatively quiet and well behaved so far. One puppy in particular (who shall go unidentified) was getting rather too large for his/her paws for a couple of days. And no wonder - absolutely everyone who came to visit the puppies immediately went for this one, picked him/her up and commenced cuddles. It makes sense, they recognised this puppy after all. However, so much attention can make little Lapphunds a bit demanding and so it must be carefully rationed. It took two days of ignoring this puppy completely when he/she kicked up a fuss for attention before normal good behaviour resumed.

And let that be a lesson to Lapphund puppy owners! These pups do tend to generate a lot of attention from people. A lot. And so the canny owner is careful to discourage demanding behaviour. After all, Lapphunds already grow up secure in the knowledge that they are something pretty special.