Muddy puppies will grow into dogs

a pup 5/30/09Yesterday was a rainy, humid, day. But puppies don’t care about muddy feet, floors or food bowls – they just want to play! And so, against my wishes but in line with my instincts I let them out when the rain had let up a bit. They had a blast! They were rolling around with Chloe and chasing each other and basically getting into the best kind of puppy trouble – the dirty kind. And I noticed something, how much Chloe seems to really enjoy being a mama.

Now we’ve had a series of mamas and each has been different; Bella, our first, was a strict mama, her tag line would be “now cut it out all of you and behave!”. Sweetie, our mama from last year would have the tag line, “Here’s how to be in submission, and here, and here and here…now get me out of here!”. And Annie‘s would be, “Where’s my KONG? Where is it? Oh, you want to nurse – FINE, hurry up I have to find my KONG!!” But Chloe’s would be “Hi you guys! How are you? Wanna wrestle? OK! I love you all.” It is heartwarming and so sweet to watch. I can’t wait for a warm sunny day to get some video on it to share with all of you.

Chloe and her pups 5/30/09Puppy adoption interviews are going well. I’ve met some wonderful families full of love and eager to share it with a puppy. Watching them choose a puppy makes me wonder what is it exactly that we respond to in a puppy? Mostly I think it is looks and what those looks tell us about the kind of dog we hope it will be. But what most people don’t realize is that the description of the kind of dog the puppy will be is really just a story – an invention made up of what that puppy represents, how it reminds them of a past pet, or is the opposite of a past pet, that sort of thing. Most people don’t really chose based on temperament (though, with this group you can’t go wrong – with a mama like Chloe) or energy level match – though some do go into the process with those ideas in mind. But I tell you, I can tell a family that given their set of criteria one puppy would be better than another but most don’t listen once they have gotten their eyes on a pup – they just fall in love and the story line begins.

I will be firm with litters that are clearly divided up with low energy, high energy pups, nippers, skittish and easy going ones, but with this group they are all really similar so I am less directive. I hope people realize that it really doesn’t matter what the puppy looks like because the dog he or she will become will resemble that puppy very little – what matters most is how that dog is treated – giving it a balanced life of structure, work, play, discipline, exercise, and love. And it matters how that dog is taught to be a good companion and the consistency and clarity of that teaching. Those things shape the life of that dog and the enjoyment the family gets living with the dog. Not that cute little fuzzy face or the little body they live in currently.

Hermes as a pup

Our dog Hermes as a puppy

adult Hermes

Hermes now

Lollie as a puppy

Our dog Lollie as a puppy


adult Lollie

Lollie now

June 2, 2009 • Tags: , , , , , • Posted in: behavior, Chloe, dog adoption, observations, pups

3 Responses to “Muddy puppies will grow into dogs”

  1. Rob - June 2nd, 2009

    Oh my god! those pics of Lollie and Hermes as puppies are *amazing*. can’t wait to see them in july!

  2. Judy madura - June 4th, 2009

    We are hoping to get to meet these puppies soon. It sounds like these pups are very lucky to have you!

  3. Jessica W. - June 15th, 2009

    Thank you for your help in answering a couple questions I had on this very subject you just wrote about.

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