Saturday, 31 March 2012

Saturday special

Quick playtime video to make up for missing a post this week. Check out the brief puppy zoomies around the box - what could be cuter!

Friday, 30 March 2012

somewhere to lay my head

For those of you who have asked and wondered where I find time to blog, the answer is that the time I spend on my blog is the time other people spend cleaning their houses.  If you have ever visited, then you will know that this is but a small exaggeration.  Bathroom?  Clean.  Kitchen?  More or less hygienic.  The rest?  Often muddy and normally dust to be found in abundance.  Puppy pen?  Clean.  Oh yes, the best of everything for the puppies.

And because the puppies get the best of everything, they have also now been allocated the cleaning/blogging portion of my day.  I already don't sleep much, so I don't know where I could possibly carve out an additional bit of time from my day and the puppies' socialisation schedule has started in earnest.  That's why yesterday the blog suffered. 

One by one the pups are being carried into town to see all the traffic, people and noise.  They get to visit the folks in the post office and the bakery and get cuddles and oohs and aahs from all kinds of strangers, including kids.  Along the way they get to feel grass under their paws and sniff and feel and hear lots of different types of foliage as I rustle it when we pass.  They're doing great at it. 

Each puppy is getting to spend a little bit of time alone inside and out.  They're not very keen on being alone, but if there's food involved, well then it's not so bad after all.  Typical little Lappies already. 

Today each puppy will get to sit in the car with me with the engine running and a little movement out of the drive and back.  This is in preparation for their first real car trip next week when they go to have their eye tests.  There is usally much vomit and yowling involved in the eye test trip. 

It's a tiring time for puppies with all this activity.  Here they are looking for a comfy pillow.

Brown Wolf resting on Hopea

Hopea resting on the water bowl.

Brownie snoozing on the cow.

Little Ilo on the boomerang.

Toes on the lobster.

Brown Wolf finding the sun too bright for sleeping, so she hides under the paper.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

big puppies - little puppies

Tuuli has had another busy week.  Has she been here a month already?  Or perhaps I should say only a month!

She has had several more visits to noisy town and city centres.  We had an unrestful few minutes sitting on a park bench watching a noisy digger do its thing.  We took a stroll through a street market and slowly along next to where the new John Lewis is being very noisily constructed.  All the while there have been many treats from strangers' hands and other dogs to meet too.

She has been to ringcraft a couple more times and her show stand is coming along nicely.  She will just about let the judge look at her teeth now.  Frankly, like her adopted granny Neka, she will do more or less anything for cheese.

She gets brushed regularly and has also had a bath.  Every puppy needs to experience everything you can think of that it might come across during its adult life.  A bath is one of those things, so every puppy should have a quick, gentle bath before the age of 6 months so that when the need eventually arises for a real bath, it won't be a complete bolt from the blue.  Tuuli took it all in her stride, especially compared to Neka, Keskiyo and Maija at the same age who all howled and cried during their first baths.

Next week Tuuli will spend a few hours in our local kennel.  Again, it's a way of introducing her to the idea of staying in the kennel, but she soon finds out that we will always come and get her again.  When she's a little older I'll leave her there overnight.

Kate & Jerome have very generously taken Maija to stay with them for a while so that we can concentrate on one less dog.  Maija loves to stay with them and play with Taika, Minna and her own sister Kaija from next door, so we don't feel too bad shipping her off.  Tuuli misses her ever-ready playmate, though.  She's had a game with Keksi and several with Neka, but the puppies are her favorites, and she plays so gently with them.

A gentle game with Brown Wolf

And another with Toes.

She even bring toys to the puppies to tempt them with.

In this photo you can clearly see her brand new bottom teeth.  She's really teething ferociously now and I expect those tiny pointy canines to come out any day.  I remember finding two of Keskiyo's stuck into my forearm at this age.

The puppies make for entertaining playmates, but Tuuli's favorite place is snuggled up with Keksi.  I worry that she will miss her big brown surrogate mum when Keksi goes home in a week or two.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

5 week weights

Since moving outside into the large pen for part of their days, the puppies' muscles have been developing exponentially and it completely changes even their posture.  They are now much more sure-footed and strong and can really pounce when they play.

Here is the updated weight info - first the numbers:

And the graph:

And, as usual, the chart comparing the average litter weight with my previous litters.  Someone did ask the other day about why there is only one entry in blue - the first litter.  That was Neka's litter containing Keksi and her siblings.  I only kept 2 weeks' worth of weight information in those days and apart from the birth weights, the next two weeks' data was lost in my computer's Great Data Fry of 2009.  But, as you can see from Keksi, the puppies did indeed carry on to become strong and healthy dogs.

Neka, Keksi and I are all suffering from hayfever this week.  It doesn't seem to be having any effect on the puppies, though.  Plenty of playing on display in this video, with an abrupt end to the filming brought on by my having to break up a little spat.  What you might call a hissy fit.  Or, perhaps, a hissy tiff.

Have you guessed I'm a bit behind after my busy weekend?  Lots of photos tomorrow.  Promise.

Monday, 26 March 2012

5 week portraits

The pups are growing fast and changing daily now.  They have had lots of visitors over the weekend and all the new families are getting very excited.  Now comes my job of trying to figure out who is going where. 

Brown Wolf

Ears back, no neck pose.

Tucking into a snack of minced chicken.


Quite the little poser. 

I guess I needed a different colour trousers for photographing this one...


And speaking of posers, how's this one?

Eyes firmly on the chicken prize.

Little Ilo

Such a serious puppy!

Tucking in, tongue in evidence.


Difficult to see his face in all that thick fur.

Standing.  Just.


This looks like a caption competition photo.  Everytime I look at it I think he's about to start talking.

Another one not overly interested in standing.

Friday, 23 March 2012

hand-shyness easy cure

At this age the puppies tend to run towards you with tails wagging when you stick your hands into the pen to say hi or pick someone up.  However, they also learn pretty quickly that it makes a good game to scamper away from the hand reaching for them.  There can also be a bit of shyness around this time as the puppies adapt to so many changes & new experiences in their young lives. 

Tuuli, too, is shy of most strangers and the cure is the same for 4.5-week-old puppies as for 4.5-month-old puppies - yummy stuff!

Everyday when Tuuli has her regular socialisation jaunt to some noisy place or other, there is always a nice stranger or two who want to say hello.  I always have a pocketful of tasty treats and I always get the strangers to give Tuuli one or two treats.  This way she will learn that hands = good stuff, even strangers' hands.  It's not an instant fix in a shy puppy, but it does the trick eventually.  I'll keep doing this for a long time to come just to reinforce the message. 

With the 4.5-week-old gang, the magic potion came yesterday in the form of a little bit of minced raw chicken.  Om nom nom!

Never one to shy away from a hand, Hopea is, predictably, the first to tuck into the chicken mince.

It attracts the attention of Brown Wolf, who puts up a "Keksi paw" to get my attention.  Daniel will be pleased to see evidence of Keksi's signature move in all these puppies.

Pretty soon everyone wants in on the chicken action.

On the menu today is scrambled egg.  That's always a good puppy day.

Thursday, 22 March 2012


Yesterday it was finally warm enough for the puppies to spend some time outside.  First they had lunch then a quick top-up from mum, who was also delighted to get some fresh air for a longer period than it takes to have a quick wee.

She even stuck around to play with them for a while.

Once Keksi exited the pen it was time for playing and running around.  They weren't always 100% sure about the wind stuff, and their little tails would go down, but they were soon up again.

Then it was time for a snooze.  And they were happy to pile up in a heap in the shade.

Of course I didn't forget to get a video of their first time in the outdoor pen.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

worms & snails & puppy dog tales

Yes, I know it's supposed to be snakes.  And it's supposed to be about boys.  However, it's appropriate in this instance.

When Tuuli arrived she was enamoured of the grass - I guess it was novel after the frozen winter ground of Sweden.

Just look how small she was only 3 weeks ago!

She still loves nothing more than a tuft of grass to carry, chew, toss into the air and play with.  Oh, and eat of course.  And if it has a great clot of mud on the end, then so much the better.  But now that the weather has warmed up and everyone has been mowing their lawns, I spend rather a lot of time extracting from her mouth wads of fresh cut grass the size of tennis balls.  How does she fit it all in there?

In addition to grass, she has added worms to her list of desirable prizes.  I suppose there is the element of the first hunt and kill about it, but it's quite disgusting.  I've taken several live worms out of her mouth.  And she swallowed far more than I managed to get from her.

Soon it will be snail season and I've never yet met a Lappy puppy who didn't like crunching up snails.  Eeuw is what I have to say to that.  But they really love them - it must be something about the texture.  That combination of crunchy with a slimy centre is apparently irresistible.  Like Ferrero Rocher for puppies, perhaps.

Don't let your puppy eat snails.

Apart from the ick-factor, snails carry a lungworm parasite that can be life-threatenting to dogs.  And dogs can pick up lungworm even just from snail slime.  So, keep your puppy away from snails.  But I'm warning you now, it can be tough.

Like all worrying things puppy-related, though, it is something they eventually grow out of.

There has been plenty of socialising still going on, of course.  We graduated from town centres to city centre and had a lovely sunny afternoon in Exeter window shopping and getting treats from strangers.

Sitting in Cathedral Green people watching and listening to some excellent close harmony being performed by a bunch of students.

A bit overwhelmed by all the feet going by.

Not too sure about the stairs.  This is the same staircase that flummoxed Neka as a puppy.  But where I eventually had to carry Neka to the top, Tuuli was a bit more brave.  But then again, Tuuli has already negotiated the stairs at home...

It was pretty slow going at times.

Made it!

At home, she enjoys playing with her new bear, a gift from the Collies down the road.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

4 week weights

The noise level is ramping up now as the puppies exercise their lungs and spend a little more time playing and a little less time sleeping.  Normally at this age I like to get them out into the outdoor pen, but it's still a bit cold out there most of the time, so they are housebound.

The first little spats have broken out - mainly between the girls, of course - as they start to suss out who is strongest and what they are capable of in terms of pinning siblings to the floor on their back and pulling ears or tails.  This is when the pecking order seems to be getting established.  At the moment no one is really dominant yet. 

Hopea was the first to do most things, including interacting with the toys.

But she doesn't push the others around.  Brownie does a little bit of pushing, but that's mainly due to his size as he can easily bowl over any of his brothers and sisters simply by barging into them. 

And speaking of bowls, I have never had a litter of puppies so intent on falling into the water bowl.  They all seem to be doing it, and it often appears to be on purpose.  However, they are not very keen on having soaking wet bottoms and they run around dragging their tails and wondering what's going on with their fur.  All very amusing for the humans, needless to say, but I do rush to dry them off in a towel.  Honest.

Here are the weight updates and comparisons.  Click the image for a larger image that's easier to read.

A video of the move to the downstairs pen.  They are unsure at first and stand there with tails hanging down, but it doesn't take long for the tails to go up and for them to start stomping around enjoying all the new space they have.  You can see Tuuli playing with Little Ilo and hear Maija complaining that she is in her crate and unable to join in the fun.

Monday, 19 March 2012

4 week portraits

The puppies are very quiet this morning.  This is a rather unusual event.  Fair warning, new-owners-to-be, spring puppies wake up very early and increasingly so as the sky lightens more and more early. 

It's no surprise they are tired this morning, though, as they had a big day yesterday. They moved into their new downstairs pen, met all the big dogs, and even had some visitors and cuddles from complete strangers (strange to them, anyway - we know them, obviously...)  Actually, they had already met Tuuli already, because twice she sneaked upstairs when my back was turned and I found her in the box with the puppies.  Yup.

In addition to all that, we had a lovely warm and sunny day so the puppies even had their 4-week photos taken outside and got a little taste of the big wide world.  Interestingly, they weren't a bit fazed by the experience.  In fact, Hopea and Claw did so much wriggling and wagging and wanting to run & play that it was difficult to get any shots of them at all.

Brown Wolf - preferred to stand rather than sit.

Hopea - looking a little bit sleepy here, but she soon woke up & then getting a photo was impossible, except for ones that were blurry with speed.

Toes - with ears back, taking in all the sounds of the great outdoors.

Little Ilo - In a bit of a funny pose, but you need to know how tough it is to get any photo at all.  It's a legitimate excuse!

Claw - doing his fashion model pose.

Brownie - with a pretty good pose of his own.

And here are some cute getting-to-know-you pics from when the puppies first moved downstairs.

Neka saying hello and doing her granny duty.  She spends as much time in the pen with the puppies as Keksi does.

No one else is allowed inside the pen, so Tuuli contents herself with saying hello and playing from the outside.