5 February 2005
Weaning can always be a difficult process, with a lot of protests, a lot of crying, a lot of "c'mon...just once more...please?"
But despite my begging, the puppies have finally made me realize that they are growing up and don't need me any more.
It is amazing how much they have matured since they went on puppy mash. They are playing, they have stopped peeing and pooping in their cage, when I come into the kitchen they come running out, hoping I'll give them something to eat. They sleep through the night. They play with each other and with toys. They even try to raise themselves up on their hind legs to get into the dishwasher when I'm loading it, just like Kimba does. They aren't helpless any more.
When I first started feeding them solids, they lapped it up greedily, but couldn't quite get it all, and as it got mashed into the sides of the plate as they slid across the plate to the other side, they didn't seem to know how to get it off, so I would scrape it off with a spatula so they could do the slide-mash all over again. Now, however, they are getting much more efficient at cleaning a bowl in record time. Scrawny Leo is starting to look roly poly with all this solid food in him.
It's kind of a bittersweet time for me because I can't cuddle them any more. Others can, but since they still associate me with food, as soon as I pick them up, they get frantic and begin sniffing and rooting around and wondering where the milk is. Whenever I go into the kitchen, they are all around my fuzzy slippers. I manage to get the food prepared without stepping on anybody, but as soon as they've finished eating, they scamper back to the slippers and try to cuddle up to them. Redirected to the fuzzy toy in their bed, they accept that as Mom.
It seems I've gone from motherly nurturer to pooper scooper. If "garbage in, garbage out" is true, these guys are taking a lot of garbage in. Or a lot of food is being processed. It seems like all I do all day long is pick up puppy poop. After they eat, I pick up all the poop and then roll the sheet on the floor into a ball and put it in the washer, while they are going back to sleep. Then I replace the sheet and wash the dirty one and then when they wake up we do it all over again.
It is fascinating to see how instinctive it is for them not to soil their bed. Now that they have the run of the kitchen, they always leave the cage to eliminate. It's funny to watch them wake up, then stagger out to the kitchen, obviously still half a sleep, do their business, and then stagger back in and go back to sleep again. Reminds me of myself in the middle of the night!
Their testosterone is also kicking in as I am seeing puppy humping going on now. No longer do they suck each other's genitals. They have graduated to sniffing butts and checking out the humping technique. I'm so proud.
I've given them a couple of Sheila's toys and they are starting to bat them around, as Sheila stands at the door of the kitchen as if to say "Hey! Wait a minute! those are mine" (even tho they are toys she hasn't played with in a long time).
For anybody with a fast connection interested in keeping up with the puppies, I've uploaded a new 10 MB file of them at You Send It. You Send It only keeps files for 7 days, so this link will expire on February 10 and it only allows for limited downloads (but somehow I don't think that's going to be a problem!). This is the link to that file:
It's not the world's greatest movie, but it does show them moving playing a bit and you get to hear Toby barking.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
I just love this picture