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20 July 2005

This is my last full day with the puppies.  They are growing up and I'm starting to leave them outside more.   I first thought I would need some sort of fence, but with Sheila being so gentle with them, and Kimba avoiding them like the plague, combined with the fact that their little legs don't go farther than a couple of feet from where they are set down, a fence seems kind of superfluous and I've felt more comfortable leaving them alone without sitting there to make sure that they are OK.  As I sit here typing, they are sleeping outside, Kimba is sleeping under my desk, and Sheila is inside, lying down where she can see the puppies out the sliding glass door, watching them intently.  Once a herding dog, always a herding dog!

howlwall.jpg (42482 bytes)These are weird little guys.  They are absolutely determined NOT to be fenced in.   Anywhere.  Yesterday they were locked in the bathroom when Ellen and Shelly came to return my laptop computer.  We were sitting there talking and suddenly here was Hagrid, who had scaled the wall of the barricade to get free.  He was followed soon by Harry, while Weasley, who couldn't figure out how to climb over the fence, sat in the bathroom howling.

Now that I've started giving them more freedom, I feed them out on the patio and then they start howing at the wall of the house, paying no attention to this huge yard behind them, all the space they have to explore, but only knowing that there is a WALL there that is obviously designed to keep them from going where they want to go.

Last night they finished dinner and still whimpered and whimpered and yelped and complained, so I carried them out to the grass area and put them down.   They still continued to complain until I finally got down on the grass to sit with them.  I decided that what they are missing is "MOM" to climb around on.   They are only four weeks old and not really ready to be on their own, even with three of them together.

But once I got down to be Mom they were happy, except for Weasley, who had somehow gotten back on the patio and couldn't figure out how to get back to us.  I was going to carry him to the grass, but he quieted down and I figured he'd gone to sleep.

The others played for awhile, rolling around and making tentative playing motions toward each other, and play growling as they grabbed my hand--a new discovery for them (replacing sucking on my fingers).  Finally they curled up next to me to go to sleep, whereupon I decided to bring them inside rather than sit outside on the grass with sleeping puppies, when I had things to do myself.

Weasley had, indeed, fallen asleep so when I put the others back in the bathroom, I went to pick him up and realized that he had chosen a nice soft, presumably warm, pile of poop to sleep in.  Yuck!  What a mess.  So Weasley had his first bath before he joined the others in the bathroom.  Then they all slept all night.

In the morning, we were back on the patio for breakfast again, which they inhaled.  But again the whimpering and yelping and trying to get in the wall.   As it was early morning, the grass was still "dewey" and I wasn't about to go sit on it.  The puppies huddled together.

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I looked at the food they'd spread over the ground, which was now wet and cold, and saw that one of them was kind of shivering, so I went and got a blanket and put it in a little box-sort of deal that is off the end of the patio.  Then I picked each of the puppies up and put him on the blanket.  Instantly, they all went to sleep.

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I'm thinking of how quickly puppies grow, compared to human babies.  
Paul and his siblings arrived on July 1 and were probably just a day or two old.
It is now less than 4 weeks later and Paul's siblings are already walking,
eating solid food, playing, and have grown significantly from the
helpless blobs they were on July 1. 

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