And so quickly we arrive at a milestone that was unimaginable a mere eight weeks ago - the puppies' last photo shoot with me. It's going to be hard to say goodbye to these sweet faces this weekend, as we bonded at a deeper level than normal, these puppies and I. Just two months ago I was curled up on my side in the whelping box as these little helpless puppies nursed, impressive in their vigor even as day-old pups. It's hard to remember that far back, as the pups now routinely run the perimeter of the yard, climb rocks, play on the big dog dog walks, and are now able to climb on the furniture!
It's been an absolutely crazy last week and a half- with a LOT of learning and fun along the way. The puppy party a week ago saw the puppies meet some new faces and tackle new things - a chute, a ramp, and teeter totter, as well as getting fitted with a harness and pulling a very light weight. They loved the new people, treats, and were unfazed by the new experiences. During the party, one of the pups showed off a new skill - climbing the 30" ex pen. So there was an emergency Puppy Pen upgrade the pups really slept well that night!
More recently they had their final conformation (structural) examination with noted author, exhibitor and AKC judge Pat Hastings. Pat was very complimentary of the litter and rated it as well above average, with the pups each having individual strengths and weaknesses, but all overall quite strong. It was wonderful to get independent verification that meshing Chinook and Tamaskan genetics created some puppies well-suited to their job as family companions that can do almost any type of work.
The puppies will be going to their new homes over the weekend, and while I am thrilled they will be getting individual attention and support that I simply cannot provide for all six of them at this point, I will greatly missed their wagging tails and sweet puppy kisses, particularly in the morning. Puppy partings are always bittersweet, but I am so happy knowing that each puppy is already well-loved and eagerly anticipated by their new homes.
I've included the pups' new, official names this week - it's been good mental exercise for me to focus on using them instead of their puppy names.
Enjoy this farewell to the puppies, and wish them Godspeed on the next, exciting part of their journey.