The puppies have had a great week !! We made it through the holidays without too much chaos and it has been a real joy to have 9 little bundles of love to include in our Christmas celebration. Santa didn’t forget the pups in his travels and brought them some special toys and treats – because of course they have all been such good little puppies this year !!
Much of the pups activities this week have included our Christmas preparations so it has been a time of exploring and learning for each of them. They have all been amused with the Christmas tree and decorations – and fortunately they are not yet tall enough (and maybe not bold enough) to really be a threat — so the tree has remained intact and the pups have simply enjoyed sniffing at the branches and looking at the sparkling lights and shiny balls. They have also spent more time outside this week – which they seem to enjoy. The days have still been quite cold so they usually can’t be out for too long but they enjoying jumping around in the snow and rolling around with each other in the white fluffy flakes.
We have had a great week. But then again – how could a week filled with the wagging tails of 9 sweet puppies not be great !!!!?? The pups are all changing before my eyes – or so it seems sometimes…. Quite often it appears that they’ve grown overnight !!! Of course with the amount that they love to eat – it should come as no surprise. They say that goldens LOVE their food – and this bunch is no exception. The boys are all weighing in around 7 pounds and the girls a bit smaller – they are still trying to keep their figure for the swimsuit season….
This week we have spent more time playing outside of their normal play area so that the pups become familiar with new experiences and sounds. They have spent time in the kitchen and other areas throughout the house and have had a lot of fun exploring. They have also enjoyed meeting all of the other goldens in our family — and have especially enjoyed playing with Juliette (our puppy from Happy and Kori’s litter) – probably because she offers them the novelty of a bigger golden – but is completely non-threatening to them as she is still just a young pup herself !! It always amazes me how gently all the others will play with the little pups. Everyone seems to know just how hard or how soft to interact. It has been quite entertaining to watch them all play together….
The pups are still eating mush which keeps them pretty covered most of the time — but this week we will be moving on to more solid food so hopefully table manners will improve !! It is hard to get photos of any of them “mush”-less – as by the time I bathe them and allow them to dry completely it is almost time to eat again !! However – they are an adorable group with or without the mush. They continue to all be very sweet natured and love to cuddle just as much as they love to play — they are very easy-going and easily accept whatever is on the agenda.
I am hoping we have some warmer days this week so that we can venture outdoors. A few of them accidentally tried to follow me outside yesterday when I was feeding some of the older ones — and they had a look of complete shock on their faces as they took their first few steps into the snow and then didn’t quite know what to make of it !! But we have had some extremely cold days this past week — so I hope the weather will cooperate and we can aim for a trek into the snow later this week when the sun is shining….
The puppies continue to be a complete joy and we are loving every minute with them. Happy still tries to sneak in to spend time with them whenever she can — she thinks they are pretty special also 🙂 We are looking forward to the adventures that this week will hold for all of us !!
As Happy’s puppies begin life with their new families — Lilly’s pups are now the star attraction and have quickly segued into center stage here at our house. They are a delightful little family of pups with very easy-going temperament and beautiful looks — but I guess with parents like Steele and Lilly you wouldn’t expect much else 🙂
The biggest hit of the week has been MUSH !! Mush is all a part of the weaning process as the pups learn to become a little more independent and also give mum Lilly a break… Of course there is nothing civilized at all about meal time and the puppies end up wearing more mush than eating – and also take great pleasure in walking through it, laying in it, playing in it and even sleeping in it !! They all have great appetites and are thoroughly enjoying this step toward solid food. I think Lilly is quite enjoying the transition too – although she still stays close to her babies – and also enjoys licking out whatever remnants are left behind in their dinner dishes.
The puppies spend more time awake now – starting to gently play with each other and their steps are becoming more sturdy. They don’t explore too far yet when they are out of the whelping box for mealtime – and are quite content to just snuggle together at any chance they get. We have begun adding stuffed toys and balls to the whelping box which the pups quite often ignore but sometimes play with — they will start to become more curious in the weeks to come.
No real personalities emerge yet at this point. There are very subtle differences – but really personality does not begin to emerge until the 6th and 7th weeks. However genetics does play a huge role in establishing the foundation of their character – and so far the puppies are very easy-going and have a wonderful, loving disposition. We will soon be moving the pups into a larger play area where there is more room to romp with one another and more toys for play.
Generally they are a very quiet bunch — but they have learned that I am now a major food source – so whenever I am near it is cause for quite excitement — although they are quick to settle in those times when I don’t have food !! They are also visited quite frequently by our sweet girl Happy who’s puppies are now 8 weeks old. Whenever Lilly is not looking Happy will sneak into the whelping box and try to feed Lilly’s pups or just give them a good checking over to make sure everything is OK. Happy is such an amazing mum — she has taken quite a joint interest in Lilly’s pups 🙂
This week will hold more new experiences and adventures for the puppies and I am looking forward to watching them grow and explore the world that is waiting !!
Well here we stand at that difficult crossroad that comes when our puppies turn 8 weeks old !! Always a time of mixed emotions as I am firstly so proud to see how far each of these little pups has come and so proud of Happy for taking such good care of them. However it is also a very sad time for me to say goodbye to these precious angel puppies. In some ways I have probably been a little bit more attached to Happy’s family of puppies than some of our others in years gone by – mainly because of the rough start we had in the early days following their birth – and all the extra hours of bottle feeding and cuddling that took place through those first 4 weeks. Hard to believe that the little girls that used to fit in the palm of my hand are now an armful and ready to head off on new adventures with their forever families.
Yesterday we saw the departure of both Miss Violet – now known as Lila and Miss Pumpkin – fondly called Ellie. Both girls are such beautiful examples of the golden retriever breed and I know they will be great ambassadors wherever they go. I am so thankful that I have had the opportunity to meet such loving and kind families over the years and that both Lila and Ellie will be going to exceptional homes where I know they will have the kind of life that I dream of for each of our puppies. Of special note – Lila will be going to live with a very dear family that we first had the opportunity to meet a couple of years ago when they adopted “Payton” (a Simson and Beauty baby) from us. (It was great to see you Mimi and I know that Lila will have a great life ahead with your beautiful family – both the human and the canine one !!)
We have had a grand last week together — lots of time in the snow and lots of time playing puppy games in the kitchen. The girls all have such beautiful temperaments and just love whatever time we spend together. They are all growing very nicely and the litter has remained very consistent in size and looks — a very beautiful family of girls indeed.
Happy does not seem to be having any difficulty with the departure of her little ones — she has actually taken quite a liking to Lilly’s current litter of puppies and can be found very comfortably nestled in with them whenever Lilly isn’t looking !! I think Happy has passed along her wonderful, gentle and sweet disposition to her girls – and I think they will have that same loving spirit wherever they travel in the adventures that lay ahead.
The final few will head out this week – except for Juliet who will be staying here with us 🙂 We wish all of our puppy families the very best for the Holiday season that lies ahead and for all the chapters that are waiting to be written in life with their new puppy….