This week Jane tells us about Mushroom’s great escape as well as the first major change in the pups life…moving. They also had the opportunity to play in the garden and meet some of the bigger dogs. Read on to see what other adventures they have been up to:
The great escape, well that came on Saturday, good timing as Mr Martin was at home to help stem the tide. Firstly, we heard a noise and found Mushroom (don’t ask, but I just want to say I did not pick that name) in the hall. She had got out of the whelping pen, made her way through the baby gate and was on the way to the main house. We put her back 3 times! On the third time, we found them all out feeding from Bunty on the study carpet.
So, the puppy pen had to go up in the kitchen. To do this we have had to move the dining room table into the living room, tight, but ok. Therefore, never one to miss the opportunity for a mammoth clean, that is what I did. Great way to spend a sunny Saturday. Then we bought them through, two by two.
It was an interesting time to see how and who reacted. Mushroom, well she wasn’t shy at all and took the advantage to explore her new surroundings, no surprise there. Followed, a few moments later, by Tizzy boy and Classic. The others sat calmly together for comfort and surveyed all around. Within an hour they had eaten and were running around as though they had been there all their life. No one had any major adverse reaction to what is the biggest change of their life so far. I was rather pleased. This means they are now more in the thick of the action, so to speak.
Rather unexpectedly we have the washing machine running almost 24/7 (I have hidden the electric smart meter thingy we have so Mr Martin can’t see usage, one of his hobbies is to keep an eye on the cost and then tell me about my usage levels!). We have the telly on, we have cut the grass, cooked meals, oh yes and hoovered (hoovering seems to be my new hobby). All taken in their stride. They have of course been hearing some of these things, but in less volume due to being more distant. Up close and personal didn’t seem to faze them at all.
Moving into the kitchen also meant that the big dogs met the pups for the first time. Mums are protective of their young and to start with it is a good idea to house Mum and pups in a quiet place with little interruptions from the others. So, moving the pups to the kitchen was also a big step for Bunty, she was protective but fine with the others. Dad, Mr Darcy, was a bit overwhelmed to start with, due to the sheer number of pups, now he believes they are nothing to do with him but are fine. Great Aunt Grace was mesmerized and has been sat watching them for hours holding a rubber tyre toy in her mouth. Great Aunt Connie has sniffed them and then decided she was not required to help in any way and goes about her day as normal. Grandad Leo, well he fell in love.
Leo is just the most wonderful dog, he is kind, steady and gentle. He won a lot of prizes in competitions, but best of all he is a lovely dog to have around and a super ambassador for the breed. He rarely steps out of line and his only misdemeanour in the office was to take Poppy’s Ham sandwich from her bag (to be fair it was unzipped and, on the floor). He didn’t eat it, he just stood with it in his mouth, I bought Poppy lunch that day! He has been sniffing the pups and other than Bunty he has had the most contact with them thus far. I had two lovely Grandads, that encouraged me and indulged me when I was younger. It is absolutely lovely to watch Leo do this to his grandpups.
The weaning process is moving on, without going into too much detail, we have had ups and downs, as to be expected (hence washing machine usage 24/7). But we seem to have got onto an even keel now. They are really good eaters and it is giving Bunty some respite. She is as thin as a rake, despite feeding her loads, hopefully, as I feed the pups more, she will start to add some weight back on, other than that though she is very well, and her coat still has a lovely shine.
So, with the relaxation of lockdown rules, you are now allowed to visit someone in their back garden. This is enabling the pup owners to come and see the litter, something they have all been eager to do. We have a programme of visits over a two-week period to spread out the risk for us. I have set out a clear method of access to the property, I will open gates. There is hand washing before handling pups. Patio chairs will be cleaned pre and post visits. The list goes on. We had a trial run with friends of ours that live in the village, also eager to see the pups. That gave us useful info to make the process as slick as possible. Once the owners have been, I have a long list of other people in the village who want to come and see them. It would have been a lovely opportunity in more normal times to have a garden party to enable us to cuddle pups, chat, drink tea and eat cake. It is not to be. I suppose that I can eat cake and I am certainly cuddling pups. Lucky me and rather well-timed I can gear the buzzer go on the oven, Victoria sandwich here I come!