Wednesday, September 1, 2010

8 weeks old

Eight weeks old, and the pups will be leaving soon. Just like with Willow's previous litter, these pups started out smaller than average, but by 8 weeks, have grown into substantial pups. The boys now weigh 14-15 lbs (Buckeye is the current big boy) and Laurel weighs 13 lbs. Hard to believe some of these pups only weighed 8 oz at birth.

The highlight of the pups' day is chow time - they are true Labradors. It is turning into a feeding frenzy trying to individually feed each pup in a crate. It is a mad dash for the open crate doors, and then if allowed, they check out each each other's empty bowls, just to make sure there are no left overs. Many of the pups have figured out that the dog food is stored in the pantry, and sniff and scratch longingly at the door. The other morning, Linden found some stored unopened bags of food and proceeded to chew a hole big enough to get his entire head into. By the time I caught him in the act, he had turned into a stuffed tick. Amazing that none of his littermates joined in. When I put Linden back in the puppy pen, he just rolled over and went to sleep. He was still full at lunch and dinner, and didn't get another meal until bedtime. The dog food bags are now all up on chairs. Starting today, the pups have gone from 4 meals a day down to 3 meals a day.

In addition to playtime in the house and yard, and entertaining visitors, I have started taking the pups out individually on leash in the morning while it is still cool. They are still cautious and only venture around the immediate neighbor's front yards, but have been exposed to passing cars and school buses, and happily greeted neighbors as they walk by. And inside the house, I have been trying to come up with new things for them to experience. Even something as simple as a hair dryer is a big experience for a baby pup.

And the pups have had the necessary veterinary care, including vaccinations, wormings and microchipping. Fortunately, this litter has been free of any major health problems.