Thursday, May 5, 2011
A bit needs to be shared about Mom at this point because we are all on the lookout for her prodigy. Ruby is first and foremost a talker. A LOUD talker; snorter and whiner. She isn't shy about letting us KNOW how she feels. She is also overflowing with love and energy and her presence is felt, (and heard) the moment she enters a room. She is lacking any quiet subtleties and would probably make a terrible hunting partner. She likes to follow us room to room, which almost landed her the name 'Shadow'. She is VERY serious about her pack. When I drop off one of the kids somewhere she looks at me like I'm crazy and she cries for them to get back in the car. She is very happy when her whole pack is assembled and unhappy when it isn't. She doesn't drag out her disappointment though as that would go against her happy-go-lucky nature. I think her loyalty is what makes her such a good Mom. She is incredibly attentive to her family, regardless of human or canine status. To say she loves food would be a gross understatement. She happily lives up to her nickname of 'Hoover'. This nursing thing is right up her alley because she can eat all day and night - sheer heaven for Ruby. Nearly every discretion she has entered into since puppy hood has been a direct result of her deep affection for food. Welcome to the club Ruby!! She is an incredibly reliable alarm clock. Her stomach dictates what time in the a.m. she will come a-snorting. She usually begins this morning ritual by getting her big black snout right up into my peaceful sleeping face. This is when she starts to snort (softly at first) she is nothing if not considerate. Along with the snorting comes the tickling of her whiskers on my nose. This is immediately followed with a load 'thwacking' noise produced by her thick, bullwhip of a tail. She prefers to thwack her tail on wooden things like the door or dresser which produces a nice LOUD rhythmic noise. As if this wasn't enough to get my eyes open she then starts to shake her collar vigorously, clanging together her dog tags, just for good measure of course. Somehow this noise doesn't make me angry. Impossibly she somehow manages to convey her happiness through this noise. Happiness at another new day, another opportunity to eat, another chance to love and be loved. All this happiness comes through to me in her snorting, and cavorting. Amazingly I somehow 'catch' her enthusiasm. Call me crazy but it's a fabulous way to wake up. Much better than any old obnoxious alarm clock. Anyone can have one of those. Not everyone can be blessed with a happy, pig-snorting pooch. After I drag myself out of bed I am greeted with a new, more excited round, of snorting and butt wiggling accompanied by her tail beating on my bare legs. I can't imagine how this ISN'T painful for her when it's SO VERY painful for us! It never appears to cause her pain or slow her tail down one bit. I think she channels extra power to her tail by way of frantically wiggling her hind end. She puts so much power in the wiggle that she's able to turn her tail into a weapon. I'm amazed she can stay upright on all four paws due to her exuberance. Even when she's in a more mellow mood she still walks with her rear end happily sashaying to and fro and her tail bobbing from side to side like a happy flag. It's nearly impossible to look at her and not smile. When I describe her as 'snorting' I am NOT exaggerating. If you didn't see her and know that she's a Black Lab you would absolutely guess that we have a pig in the house. This works great for me because I've always wanted a pet pig and so now I have a dog that sounds like a pig and eats like one too. It's like two pets in one. Lucky, lucky me! Her special snorting talent works against her stealth when it comes to stealing food. She gives herself away every time. She snorts whenever she sniffs, and she's SO obviously loud that we can HEAR her intentions before she can commit the crime. It's priceless really. We can hear her snorting out the goodies on the kitchen counter and can intercept her specialized 'hoovering' techniques before the food gets wiped out entirely. Yesterday I was running errands and Micah Jake was on 'puppy duty'. He called me alarmed and said, "I heard Ruby snorting and then a brand new loaf of bread was missing from the counter." Along with this information was the fact that when he found Ruby downstairs she somehow had bloodied the top of her nose. The blood is still a mystery but it was easy to determine the fate of the loaf. Guess those puppies ran her dry again . . . *sigh*. Ruby has ways of earning her keep. She makes a wonderful 'pre-wash' cycle for our dishwasher. If we miss any morsel of food on a dish or silverware during the loading process she makes sure to complete the job for us. Thank goodness for that super duper heat cycle that sterilizes the dishes. Along with all the talents I've mentioned so far, Ruby came to us already adapted to noise and lots of children. Praise God! Darrah was three when we got Ruby and she's not a 'gentle' child. She plows into Ruby from every direction and angle. Ruby just rolls over and lets Darrah cuddle into her. Darrah uses Ruby's tummy for her personal foot warmer. So thin is the line between the two that I have a hard time telling where Ruby begins and Darrah ends. They are like two puppies together. Her patient demeanor has been a requirement to her survival in our house. I chalk a lot of this up to the fact that Ruby came from a home. Not a large breeder. They just had the one litter and three kids (along with lots of friends) to raise the puppies. She was exposed to all the normal chaos of a busy household. She fit into our home like it was meant just for her. This is what we want to accomplish with Ruby's puppies as well. So needless to say, it will be interesting to see if any of Ruby's pups get her 'endearing' talents. Only time will tell . . . . Happy Mother's Day Ruby :)
Today is day 11 and we have VERY chubby puppies! Still no open eyes yet. We are beginning to see some differences in the puppy's little habits. The kids are, of course, very anxious to have the puppies open their eyes and I admit I'm a little curious about this myself. However, being a Mom, I know that once their eyes open and focus, it will be a mere 'blink' in time before they realize they are in a box. A very nice box indeed, but still a BOX. Which quickly translates into a desire to escape the box. So they can keep their eyes closed a little longer, thank you very much! :) Before I launch into their particular personalities let me just say that I would love to have some favorites picked out - one puppy of each color would be nice. In all honesty, I love them all equally still. I will tend to think one is SO sweet and has to be the best of the bunch but then I pick up another one and realize that I was wrong and on and on it goes. They all have us equally whipped. I'll start with Mr. Green because his volume demands this. He is, I think, the biggest and most needy. He doesn't like to sleep on his back like all the other pups, (already bucking the system) AND, although he is the biggest in size, he is by far the 'littlest baby' of the bunch. It's adorable and endearing. He strings along a constant stream of little chips that have us attending to his every whim. Maybe he's the smartest as well as the biggest?? While Green is throwing his baby bulk around, it's Mr. Mellow Yellow who has the biggest head. He has garnered for himself the nickname, 'Butterball' and rightfully so. He is big; sweet as butter, and the lightest color of golden in the litter. He is neck-to-neck in the weight category with Green. In addition he loves to snuggle into our necks which is priceless. Next we have Blue. Blue was our first-born and is the 'butterscotch' color of his Dad. He is unbearably sweet and delightful. He was breach at birth and is most likely not going to do anything by the book. He has us wrapped around his paws. Blue also has a very vocal streak in him and is tipping the scales along with his brothers. Boy Orange is showing his own personality and is a love bug. He is super fun and loves to be held, showing his delight by sleeping on his back and snoring softly while he practices 'kung-foo' moves with his stealth black paws. We are expecting great things from Orange. Red Boy is a satiny sleek black boy who is sweet as can be. He is very serious about his groceries but doesn't make a lot of ruckus about it. He is on the quiet side compared to some of his more vocal siblings. He also likes to lie on his back and have his chubby tummy rubbed. He survived his first nail clipping like a pro and so far seems to be an absolutely delightful little chap. You can definitely say that we've started our 'socialization' early. Our White Boy is actually black of course :) He is wonderful. Just watch your paws and HIS! He is our resident 'daredevil'. I know, I know, how can a puppy that can't walk, hear or see be a 'daredevil'?? Good question, I agree, but somehow White has it covered. From his first few hours of life he has managed to wiggle, roll and squirm his way into potential disaster. The scale has never been tipped (literally) so many times. Strong arms are no match for White if he feels he has somewhere else to be. Let's just say it's a good thing he has padding and can bounce. Maybe he has some Evil Kenevil in his genes. No bikes for him! When White isn't practicing his moves he is sleeping and charming us like a champ. Our last boy is Turquoise. A color we had originally reserved for a girl pup but when the boys just kept -a-coming, our Turquoise ended up being a boy. He is golden and a perfect shade all his own. He is not as light as Yellow and not a darker Butterscotch color like Blue. He is uber-adorable and can be most often found curled up next to his Mom's head. He is a boy who knows how to love and appreciate where the food comes from, (smart, very smart). He is also huge, competing valiantly for the title of 'chubbiest'. He is fun to love on, because he becomes like a noodle in our arms. Last but not least is our ONLY little girl, Lavender. Saving the best for last of course :) Actually Lavender has been fairly quiet compared to her brothers. She has a air of dignity about her. At first we were concerned because she is so much smaller than her brothers. Our fears were unfounded as we learned that she is a tenacious little thing. She can plow her way through the puppy 'mosh-pit' without any intervention on our part. If all the food spots are taken she simply submarines her way down underneath all her brothers and finds what she needs. She is the only puppy who has perfected this technique. Not that we spend a lot of time watching them of course - HA! Somehow we miraculously escaped having a 'runt'. Good thing because we would be worried if any puppy wasn't holding their own. So this is the rundown on our puppy personalities to date. New photos are coming soon . . . . .