The past week just seemed to have dissapeared. The puppies are taking up more of my time, as their waking hours become longer and I am trying to fill their expanding minds and increasing body awareness with ever new little challenges.
A typical day starts at about 6.00 am, after I made myself a cup of coffee, I open the "jail gates" (at least that is how the puppies think of their puppy pen ;-)). I still need to help them get to the outside quickly, before the bedroom carpet receives all their early morning body functions. But even that is getting better every day. Early morning is typically an exploration and play time outside the bedroom door, where we have a series of very low steps interlaid with white large pebbles. There is a grassy slope on one side and of course lots of soil and flowering plants around. I think it is one of their favourite spots. between Lollie and Cassie they have dug a nice hole in the ground and the puppies love to further excavate it. And there are always leaves, twigs, seedpods or other plant parts that they find to amuse themselves.
It was interesting to observe how their co-ordination has improved over these past days and how they have become increasingly confident and able to manover over the steps.

Lacroix on "the steps"

After the morining romp they are allowed a bit of semi-free time in the bedroom while I clean up their pen. Anthony usually supervises further while I prepare the puppies' breakfast, which they get "served" in the bedroom patio. This is their private jungle-gym. It is a fully enclosed small patio planted with succulents off the bedroom. There is a small tiled section and lots of pebles, rocks, soil, plants for them to play in and learn.

Like many dog oweners and breeders, I believe that the best way for puppies to learn and for their bodies to develop is on their own account in challenging, but safe environments.
It is lovely to watch each puppy tackle obstacles in their own way. Chanel will "jump first, ask questions later" ;-), whereas BB (who will officially be known as "Pierre Cardin", or Pirri for short) will tackle things slowly - one foot at a time. Lacroix (HB) usually follows without thought, as long as one of the others are in front and little BG (Anthony and I have still not settled on a name for her :-(), has her moments of wild abandon and sometimes she likes the comfort of a human to watch and "think" a little before romping in anyway :-).

Lacroix trying to eat the wooden step

The situation is totally different when mum is there. the puppies follow "blind" where mum is leading.

So, they will have breakfast in the patio and then stay there on their own for some time. At this stage they are usually getting tired and mostly sleep.
At around lunch we have started serving chicken necks and they are an absolut hit with the puppies. It keeps them busy and provides nourishment for some time.

They come into the puppy pen for a siesta. It has been very hot here lately and in the pen we can provide the best climate controll for them.

Late afternoon is back into the "big" garden, where I take them into a new corner every day. Different plants, different footing, different noises, different light. These sessions I also split them up sometimes - one alone, or only 2, sometimes 3 and one has to remain in the pen. Then they get rotated. The "pack dynamics", even just between the 4 of them is most interesting. We always finish by having all 4 out. Anthony and I sometimes have drinks while watching them play. The other dogs, cats and if it gets late, even the ducks are always around and the pups have received the odd "clap" form the cats to teach them to mind their manners and keep their distance.
Lollie is still very protective over them, so we humans have a "juggle act" between allowing the puppies to learn, keep mum happy that her babies are safe and keeping the other animals happy and encourage them to interact with the pups.

Lacroix playing with Waldi

Chanel and Lacroix both trying to follow Waldi up a small wall

Pirri watching the fish

Then there is some more food and late evening is cuddle time and grooming time. One on one.

In between all that we have daily visitors and if there are no visitors the staff have to come and play with them. If I see that they are wide awake and up to an additional play session they get that during the day too. And of course whenever I walk through the bedroom I "just watch" or play with them for a little while :-).

The pictures below were taken during the course of this week.


BG portrait


Pirri our natural retriever

"It's mine!"

Sisterly love ...

... can be deceptive