Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Another sign of spring time ... comtemplating puppies.

It has been a few years since we had a litter of puppies on the farm. The golden litter that was born on Brett Favre's birthday have all grown up and become pretty respectable good citizens - doggy wise, anyhow.
Longer ago than that, though - was the Old English pups. We have never bred for money. We spend far too much feeding, washing, training & spoiling the pups to ever make any. Not to mention the toys and collars we go through while we search for new homes and keep all the different pups properly identified for each & every new pup mom & dad.
But, there is little that makes me smile like watching them grow up & learn. It helps that my little guy is a great helper, and will donate time towards playing with all the new pups - with the sole exception being the one that will nip at him relentlessly. We handle the pups from day one.

Very delicately, mind you. We try to weigh them from time to time, and check them over for any problems. By the time they open up their eyes, they're pretty easy to deal with already, and are not alarmed by people at all.

It isn't long at all before they get lots of time in an outdoor puppy playpen. They love it - they soak up the sun, play, eat, poop (move the cage) play more, all the while with kids playing with them in & out of the pen, and me being paranoid about hawks (hey, it could happen!)
Of course, they learn to come when they're called - and what's more fun than getting mobbed by a whole litter of pups, I ask you - what??
Of course, once in a blue moon, we end up holding one or two for an extra little while so their new homes can get properly ready for them. That's when the personality really shines. Like this little girl here. She LOVED to sleep with her head straight up in the air. I can tell you, she started this very early, not too long after her eyes opened. As far as I know, she still does it, too.
The only danger, of course, is having your darling son ask if he can keep one. Sadly, he didn't bring it up until all the pups were spoken for, and I could not call up any one of the happy new fams and say 'oh, well, you know that pup you fell for? well - change of plans'. No, that wasn't going to happen. So, we had to search for one ourselves. And, we ended up with Cupcake. She is 3 this year. And now, we wonder - is it time for one single litter of puppies from Cuppy?
The boy can't help it. It's in his blood. Lovin' these goofy dogs. Lord knows I grew up with the same breed. My whole childhood I cannot remember having another kind of dog. It was always an Old English Sheepie. Always a female. Always named Muffy. You'd have to ask my Mom why they were all Muffy, but they were. She(they) would follow us when we trail rode on horseback, or with the 3 wheelers (yes, I know they don't make them anymore. Bite me). Watch us play on the playset. Follow us in general all over the farm, and anywhere we wandered off to. She loved us, and we loved her. They are wonderful family dogs. But good lord, the hair. I'm going to be shaving Cuppy for the summer. I will decide then if she should have some pups, but my gut says 'not just yet'.
Oh, and here is me, circa 1983. With Muffy, of course.

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