It's proving a little difficult to get decent pics of Getka with the pups. She watches me and often when I make a move she makes a move. Missing her time outside and playtime I think. For the most part until recently I've been letting her out the back door into the small dog run for potty breaks which are frequent. In the early days, when let out the front she'd head under the gazebo. She was quick to come out when called, but not without carrying a belly loaded with dirt. Then one day I caught her digging around a plant I really don't want her near and one that until now all dogs have avoided. Wanted to break that cycle and I think it's now broken. Early on I think she was looking for alternative places to place her pups which isn't uncommon. Both Ritz and Majestic have been known to venture under the gazebo and commence to digging when their pups were a few days to a week old or so.
Today I took Getka out and threw for her her favorite thing in the world... her frisbee. She's not all that eager to continue the game of fetch but loves to settle down and chew the thing. And honestly, I doubt the act of running, with bags swinging, is a very pleasurable experience. She really appreciated some time on the grass though and a half hour break from the woes of motherhood.
I also took a little time to take my pup Shine out for some socialization today. Thought about it last night and realized I've been so busy I haven't really been following my own best advise. Early socialization makes all the difference in the world with these pups. With any pup actually. The more they experience the better. And the earlier the better. Some caution and common sense does need to be used when deciding where to take them due to incomplete immunity. But waiting for that last shot to get on board makes socialization hard. With each passing week, they get used to their surroundings and things outside those surroundings become scary. For the most part, 8-9 week old pups are pretty fearless. At least mine are. But that can change rapidly. I'll share with you a link that I think explains the way their brains function at various ages that I think will be helpful when it comes to socializing your pups. I've shared it with owners of past litters and have been told it's on point and was appreciated.
From there we headed down the road and took a stroll down main street of the very tame little town of Hawthorne. She started out bouncy and happy but was caught a little off guard by the traffic which was little more than an occasional car -or at most a parade of a few cars. She balked at those. I gave her some time to watch and get her bearings before demanding a little more with a tug of the leash and some encouragement. With that she eagerly came but the traffic was a little troublesome throughout our walk. Next, I noticed some older kids chatting while sitting, facing each other on the covered concrete breezeway that leads to the public library. After brief consideration I decided, with their permission, walking her between them would be a good experience. And it was. She was a little hesitant in the beginning to walk the narrow area left open between them. And actually they offered minimal interaction. Told them we were socializing. I assume they weren't exactly sure what that meant. As we walked, Shine didn't really stop for any interaction herself until she reached the last person. She stopped, must have caught a vibe, gave him sniff and then with acceptance, a lick. It was only a moment and she let loose the puppy behavior. We walked on 20 yards or so away before I decided I wanted to see her reaction to a repeat of the same path. We turned around and again weaved our way through the kids. The second pass was a breeze. She got a few more rubs and chatter and was happy to accept both. And for the most part our journey back to the car was smooth as well. We heard the whistle and saw a train rolling down the tracks a block in the distance. She watched but didn't seem particularly bothered by it... just interested. Had we been closer, I'm sure it would have been a different story. For that, I would I'm sure ended up picking her up. There are limits to what you can expect from them. But on the same token you can't give in to every little balk.
I do think had I ventured there with her a couple weeks ago things would have been easier for her but it is what it is. And tomorrow is another day and another challenge. Just glad I didn't put it off for another couple weeks.
There is one thing I'm certain of, and today confirmed it once again. A tired puppy is a good puppy! Have hardly heard a peep from her all evening.