Sunday, March 29, 2009

Now the real work begins :)

Sorry for the late report on Friday night's ceremonies. I spent most of yesterday napping, and I sent Team Cheers south to deliver some things to Faith.

Anyway, Friday night's transition event at Helping Paws went very well. The new foster homes are all excellent, and this made it that much easier for myself and Team Cheers to deal with all the emotions involved. So good luck to Hudson (Sam), Boston (Kelly), Becca (Rebecca), Hazel/Angel (Diane) , Sawyer (Woody), Izzy (Vera) and Carla, Norm, Cliff, Lilith(whatever your names end up being). I know that you are loved and treasured in your new homes.

And thanks again to everyone who was wearing a Team Cheers T-shirt on Friday night. You all made my job that much easier.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Last Call!


As some of you may know, part of my full kennel name includes the phrase "Last Call", hence the call name "Cheers". And "Last Call" seems an appropriate title for this post. Today is the last day here for the puppies. Tonight they go to Helping Paws and are passed on to their new homes to start the next step on their journey in becoming sevice dogs. As you can see by the above picture, they are so excited that they are nearly climbing out of the pen. A couple have even been able to climb up onto the platforms that I use to get in and out.
Its going to be a busy day here. Team Cheers went to work this morning, but they are only working part of the day. I think they want one last romp with puppies. I know I do. Then its baths and naps as the puppies need to be clean and well rested for the their new caretakers. I do want them to make a good first impression at their new homes!
Speaking of which, to all of you that are getting puppies-Good Luck! I hope that you enjoy them as much as I did.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

For Tiga

Yes, those are Tiga's puppies. We've always been inspired by that picture, and staff has been trying hard to get a similiar picture. But 10 puppies don't really fit on any given side of the X-pen, so Team Cheers has been stumped for quite some time. Tonight they finally figured it out.
Tiga-this picture is for you:

Tonight is the second to last night that the puppies will be here. Team Cheers has already been discussing how they will deal with "Puppy Moving On" day on Friday. I suspect that it will be with equal parts sadness and happiness. On one hand, they are very cute and it has been a pleasure to watch them grow and see personalities develop. But on the other hand, they are rapidly approaching the stage where they are needing more attention than they can receive here. And sometimes they can be a lot of work. For example, Team Cheers estimates that it has done between 120 and 150 extra loads of laundry. That's a lot of trips up and down the stairs!

A blast from the past




A former staff member of mine was kind enough to provide Team Cheers with pictures of me when I was a puppy.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Great Outdoors

Everyone here at Team Cheers has been eagerly awaiting this day. Events have conspired to delay it, but FINALLY we got to put the puppies in the puppy pen. Let me explain-when I employed my current staff, I specified that I would need a special outdoor area just for my future litters. Team Cheers, with some help from great neighbor, got it done. Team Cheers has been eager to use it, but between meetings, the weather and other issues, the pups have not been able to utilize the pen. Until today.

Today when the pups got back from their maiden voyage to Helping Paws (hopefully this will be the subject of a future post), they were taken straight from their kennels and placed in the pen. I honestly thought that the puppy testing would have tired them out, but apparently they found the fresh air invigorating.


They loved the room-it gave them more space to chase each other.

Some, of course were curious about the other side of the wire.

They were also provided with familiar toys, which they enjoyed tremendously
Some learned how to chew on sticks.
They explored the corners.....
Hung out in the tunnel...........
Checked out the flower beds
Posed nicely
Occasionally I had to step in and show them how to play properly

Here you see me giving a sniffing lesson

Another corner is explored. Apparently the blond boy is the lookout.

They also worked on their prancing skills
As well as exploring the dark recesses of their play area.
And they ran! Oh my did they run!
At one point it got so silly that I had to step out. The pups all weigh around 9-10 lbs, and when they all get to running is quite a sight to behold.
And they learning picnicking skills.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Taking the show on the road

As we head into the last few weeks until the puppies take the next step on their journey and transfer to their foster homes, we have been getting lots and lots of requests to "see the puppies". If you count the neighbors that wandered by today, I think we had 20+ visitors. Team Cheers has begun to make jokes about "show times" and "priority seating". Today the puppies put on good shows at 11:00 and the lunch show at 1:30 went really well too, but I must pass along my apologies to the small crowd at the 2:30 matinee. The pups were too pooped after the 1:30 to do much except nap.

But they did manage to rally nicely for the 4:00 show, and being that the weather today was very nice, the show went on the road, or at least onto the driveway. It wasn't much of a show as the puppy pen was too muddy and icy for them to go into. But Team Cheers did manage to take the X-pen onto the driveway in what looked to be a relatively dry area. (boy were they wrong-the puppies will be getting their first non-Mom baths tonight). What follows are more pictures of the puppies outside:



In other news, Team Cheers has been letting the pups out of the X-pen on an individual basis this weekend and giving them chance to explore on their own(under close supervision of course)

Here's Rebecca's first encounter with Kami the cat. Kami dealt with it surprisingly well. She displayed equal parts disdain and curiosity and did not hiss at the puppy. Could it be that Rebecca's charming personality won her over?

Apparently so, because the conversation continued in another room.

One of the advantages of having one or two pups out at a time is that I can actually play with them instead of having the whole herd (you thought they were a pack? Ha!) trying to nurse on me at once.
Here's one of the boys posing nicely.
Sorry no video today-Staff was very busy seeing that all the guest were taken care of today. We hope that they enjoyed themselves as much as we did.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Puppies Everywhere!

First of all, congrats to Faith (I think I'm her aunt) on the birth of nine puppies, and to Rio on the birth of 10 little hunters-all 19 born yesterday. I hope that Crew Rio, Team Faith, and the folks from Helping Paws are enjoying a well deserved rest tonight.

Sometimes it feels like I have 19 puppies here. You may have noticed that the pace of my blogging has slowed down. That is for a variety of reasons. One of the main reasons is that when staff cleans the X-pen, they turn all the puppies loose on the floor of the living room and dining room. That gives me enough space to properly play with the puppies, or at least attempt to teach them how to play properly. Sometimes I have to stick their little heads in my mouth to get them to settle down.

The other reason is that there seems to be lots of people that want to come to see the puppies. Tonight is the first night that I haven't had anybody to show off the puppies to since Saturday Don't get me wrong, guests are great (I saw former staff members on Sunday and Monday) and I LOVE to show off my litter. But they do wear me out too. (Closed circuit to Crew Rio staff # 2-Vera did a real "zoomie" tonight! I am so proud!)

The other reason is that staff is having a hard time getting good pictures. The puppies seem to have 3 speeds; eating, sleeping and GO!. Or in other words, the only time that they stay still long enough to have cute pictures taken is when they are asleep. And though their table manners have improved, their eating behaviour is still not cute.

Here's me patrolling the pen for leftover puppy food and whatever else I can find to eat in the X-pen :)
One of the boys actually sat still long enough to get his picture! I'm not sure which one it is ( I think its a boy because it looks blonde, and all my girls are red, except Diane, and she has a very distinct face) Staff takes tons of pictures and can never remember who is who. I must remember to get them on that portrait thing this weekend.

Here you see puppies plotting there escape from the X-pen. Lucky for me they can't quite get up there yet. Several of them have taken running jumps at my step! All this activity tires them out. Below are several pictures of sleeping puppies



Puppies exploring

Puppies wrestling.


video

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Please Stand By.....................

We thought we had a substitute blogger for the weekend, but alas, we have not heard from them yet. But we were lazy, so there aren't many pictures, and my thoughts are not in order. And no, the guest is not Rio (like I'd let THAT lab blog here-she can't even count dinnerware) or Merlot (yes, I'm giving her lessons, but she's not ready for prime time yet). So while we wait for our guest, here are some of the latest pictures. Above you see me sitting on my perch and dispensing wisdom to the puppies
This one obviously didn't appreciate what I was telling them and fell asleep.

This picture is from last night. The puppies like to sleep with their heads against the sides of the X-pen, and for some reason this one fell asleep with its teeth bared. The staff was watching TV, and looked over and saw this-I think it startled them a bit. And yes, those teeth are as sharp as they look.

Here I am answering Rebecca's question while the rest of the class debates whether her point is valid or not.
I honestly don't remember what was going on here, but hey, they look cute, don't they?

Here's a short video of puppies wrestling. Its all we've got. I told you that I was not that prepared!
video

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

"Funner"


Today the puppies were introduced to new toys. Faithful readers of Helping Paws puppy blogs will recognize them. As there is not a lot of room in the X-pen, tonight the puppies got to play with some of their new on the floor. Some played with toys, some played with each other and one or two showed their hunting lines (take that Rio!) by tracking down some vicious (and HUGE) dust bunnies. Sorry, no pictures of the dust bunnies though.


Which reminds me: as part of the whole whelping process, I have been shedding TONS of fur. Some think it is because I am under stress, and some have speculated that I'm building a nest. But now the truth can be told. Some of that fur has found its way under couches and chairs and morphed into dust bunnies. It was part of my plan all along to place these dust bunnies around the Team Cheers complex in order to test my puppies hunting ability. I imagine that Rio is starting to do the same thing, but I suspect that I can create way bigger dust bunnies than she can. I guess she will have to rely on her Golden brothers and sisters to create really large dust bunnies.


Anyway-on to more puppy pictures-I shouldn't be giving away any more canine secrets.

Here you see the puppy bed and some of their toys.
Kelly contemplates the puppy walkway. She later was the first to get on (3 of her 4 legs anyway) but she didn't remain on it long enough for Team Cheers to get a picture.
Puppies playing with their favorite toys-Each other!
Puppies in the tunnel. A few managed to crawl through the tunnel into the kennel and back out.

Another view of the walkway-it probably has an official Helping Paws name, but I don't know what it is.
I think that puppy on the right is about to do something naughty.

I think most of you remember that Kelly has a song (See post entitled "The Name Game"
Well, now she has a dance too. It can be viewed below

video