Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Click little speech balloon icon for captions.

The Roseannadannas turn three weeks old today, leaving behind the label "transitional."

They have met and been handled by ten people, including two (older) children.

They've had a field trip outside every day in the past week when it hasn't rained. On each trip they are exposed to a slightly more challenging area (slope, undergrowth, and "obstacles" getting increasingly challenging.)

They are still riding in their Moses basket to their night crib in the bedroom closet, and back downstairs in the morning, but it is getting really heavy, and sometimes I have to sway it a little to keep them from climbing out.

They've experienced, I think, seven substrates, not counting human laps, etc.

They now rush the the front of their containment field when they see a person. Rush laps. Kiss faces, and try to get to faces to kiss them.

They know and trust Gramma Pip and Uncles Moe, Cole, and honorary Uncle Ernie. Aunt Sophia -- a proven good puppy Auntie -- is still at more of a distance, because Rosie says so. The grown dogs take on different roles. Moe is vigilant and protective, but increasingly keeps his distance as the pups become ambulatory, just as he did when Rosie and her siblings were tykes. Cole blocks Sophia and either blocks or distracts Ernie when Rosie starts getting unhappy about him. Pip would totally take over if Rosie would let her. She's very relaxed and matter-of-fact with the babies, just casually nurturing them, and they respond to her as if all puppies have a Gramma to babysit them, and it's just automatic for a puppy to grok that.

I'm just feeling little teeth under the gums now. Nursing is about to get a lot less fun for Rosie.

They are beginning to play with one another, soft toys, and parts of their mother, and to gum on humans in a way that suggests mischief or piranha-fish rather than suckling attempts.

Their new day pen is a 4'x6' space bounded by 16" deep (high) Closet Maid wire shelving* zip-tied at the corners. Big enough for a person to lie down and snuggle inside. It is half carpeted and bedded, half newspapers. They went to the newspapers to eliminate literally within seconds of being set down on the carpet remnant. They do this en masse when they wake up from a nap, even though the newspapers are slippery and hard to toddle on, to say nothing of hard to squat on.

For a completely raw video, taken with some smudges on the lens, of their first time outside on grass, look here.

* One of the few human constructions that I am convinced will survive global nuclear annihilation. Based on my observations during Katrina recovery search.


  1. I love this stage, when they start looking and acting more like dogs, and less like some sort of mole-rat.

    Starting to create a mess in the bedroom closet yet?

  2. How long until they're weaned?

  3. Wow, now they are 'real' puppies! (Sorry, I just had a dispute about my now being a 'real' 'merican, and the adorables made me feel 99% better, with just 1% residual snark.)

  4. Here's a weird thing.

    All the comments to the blog come in to my email, and get sorted into a folder -- once for approval, and again when they post.

    According to blogger, ALL the comments are now being posted by someone named "Sue."

    The names show up correctly here.


    Michelle -- no mess yet. I just change the blankie every few days.

    Rob -- when Momma says. I don't force-wean pups by separating them. She may allow continued comfort-suckling right up until they leave. I'll start them on supplemental solids this week some time.

  5. Looking so very good. This is the week they really start to show their individual personalities. Becoming more mini-dog like and extremely mobile. I let my "Mom" dog decide when and how quickly to wean, I think they know just fine. Still envy every minute you have with them!

  6. I loved the video. It was awesome to see the social order of the older dogs.

  7. That video was amazing. Poor Rosie...is she disturbed at all that she can't carry them now, or does she just pretty much hold them in her mouth now until you come to help?

    There's a Rottie breeder I used to follow whose bitch would continue to nurse on an as-needed basis up until the pups went home. And then another person who bred Jack Russells (a hump-and-dump breeder, as Terrierman would call it--quite accurately too) had a bitch that would kick the pups off the nipple at 6 weeks, almost to the day.

    You know you're giving me a horrible puppy fever, but I will not give in. Now is NOT the time for me to have a puppy!

    (Laugh of the evening: my word verification is "spierm." Which is only half of what's required to make Rosannadannas, Pistons, etc etc!)

  8. So, normally when the pups get too big to pick up like they were live quail, Momma would carry them by the scruff with her incisors.

    Which Daisy Doe of the Orchard helpfully kicked out of Rosie's mouth three months ago. (She's only got two left.)

    I knew that Rosie would have challenges with grooming and burr removal (herself and her mother). I suspected that she could have an issue removing amniotic sacs, and made sure that I was on hand for that -- this was somewhat correct. Never occurred to me that she'd have trouble picking the little buggers up. Which I'm just as happy about, since it keeps her from moving them under the back porch and playing coyote.

    BTW, that doe is setting an early date with a bullet. She persists in bedding near the house, hanging out with my goats, and will stand her ground when I approach, including twice when I was on the bloody TRACTOR. Too bold, that deer ain't right.

  9. We have one of those deer here...was munching the neighbor's sweet corn (15' from their house, mind you) at 5am last week.

    I had all three dogs out for their morning constitutional and decided to be a good neighbor and at shoo the deer away...started across the pasture, thinking the deer was the normal flighty type who would, you know, depart as four predators approach together...

    Nope. We were within 30' when my sleep-fogged brain registered that this really wasn't going as planned. Fortunately our Daisy chose to peacefully grab a last mouthful, then casually sauntered off into the misty wood.

  10. Also -- in passing -- I see you took up Lynelle's color advice re your deck. I'm sure it'll look swell when completed.


I've enabled the comments for all users; if you are posting as "anonymous" you MUST sign your comment. Anonymous unsigned comments will be deleted. Trolls, spammers, and litigants will be shot.