Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Great Outdoors

I took about a trillion photos of all the puppies in the yard for the first time on Friday. They didn't all know how or want to do the stairs but with a little encouragement they managed to traverse the dangerous descent. Emma has been doing the stairs for about a week now so she showed a couple how it was done. She was also the first to the end of the yard where the ramp leads to the shed. I have a feeling that although she will be living with a 7 year old Ridgeback, Emma is going to be in charge in no time.

Rue experienced grass for the first time too and gave it a taste test. In fact they all did and grass gets the thumbs up from everyone for good eating. Rue leaves today so she will have the opportunity to sample someone else's grass!

Raylan is a pretty confident boy so he was quickly exploring the yard and strutting around like he owned the joint. His mom Sandra is on a cruise in the Mediterranean so he'll be with me a little longer. Good thing it's not too long otherwise Sandra might not get this gorgeous boy at all!

Peggy, who is now at her new house and making friends with Luke the Cocker, took her time about getting up on the ramp. To her credit she never quit and tried very hard for quite a while to climb up. She might have looked for an easier way but sometimes you just have to go through a challenge instead of around it. Best of luck to Peggy who I hear got to sleep *on the bed* for her first night (and chances are every night from now until the end of time).

Every year the town does a garbage pick up and you can put out trash that they don't normally take in the course of regular pick up. Rue found some bundled bamboo and bits of wood that I hadn't moved out of the yard yet and commenced flossing. Chewing on garbage is much better than anything in my house!

Kota and Peggy thought about going back up the stairs but changed their minds. Up is much easier than down but once you go up it's hard to get down so they opted for continued play in the yard. The size difference here is pretty apparent. Peggy was 15 pounds at the vet and Kota was only 9.5 - she was also almost fully half the weight of Kenzi who was the largest puppy at 17 pounds.

Kenzi doesn't know she's a big boned girl. I think she is secretly a marshmallow on the inside despite outward appearances - she reminds me so much of her Daddy Boy in size and attitude. She lets you know what she thinks of something but once you tell her she must behave she gives in pretty easily, she just needs to know for sure who's calling the shots.

Leeloo is calling the shots! Despite her considerable size compared to her siblings, Kenzi is still no match for her mother who was happily chewing on and beating up her kids in the yard. She doesn't let them nurse and gives a bit of a growl when they approach her tummy but otherwise she is being very good. Except for the unmitigated smack down that she just can't seem to resist.

I'm not very sentimental when it comes to placing the puppies, especially the ones who get picked up in person. Once I see the puppy enveloped in someone's loving arms and being hugged and kissed, I don't worry so much. It's the ones who are flying I worry about and not because they are going on a plane, it's because they are travelling alone. To walk away and leave a puppy who has trusted you from day one is a little more difficult. I don't rest easy until I hear that they are safe and sound in their new owner's arms. They always come through with shining colors and are never the worse for wear but even knowing that doesn't make it any easier to walk away from a face like this. Oh, little Kota.

Of all the puppies I will find it hardest to walk away from her. Despite being born half the size of everyone else and staying that way throughout her growth, she is one little fighter. I imagined she'd be spunky, naughty, high energy and a challenge and in fact she is, only it's tempered with softness, femininity and a sweet temperament that draws you in for cuddles. This is the very thing that is most dangerous! Her new home has been warned of the heart-melting effect this puppy has!

She doesn't take crap from her siblings either so I have no worries about her being able to take on the world. Vesper will be on the opposite coast from her but I bet she'll never forget being beaten up and told the-what-for by a sister half her size. None of them will!

Vesper is destined to enter the show ring but for the next few months she can just smell the flowers and grow into a pretty puppy. She will have her big brother Jax to show her the ropes not only in all things Newfoundland, but also in the show ring. I am hoping to be at her first show in November, on the end of her lead, we'd have a gas together in the ring that's for sure!

Zeke is one of the puppies who leaves today too and he is going to get to visit several siblings in the future. For the puppy owners in the Martimes who may not know it, there are organized Ridgeback walks every month in the Dartmouth area and it's a great way to meet up with fellow Ridgebacks ... most of them are related! It's a great group of people and a wonderful way to compare notes and allow siblings to meet up for a romp. There's also a group in Calgary, on Facebook they are called Rhodesian Ridgebacks of Calgary and they are hoping to organize walks as well - those ones are 'hosted' by Michelle who is getting Emma. Lots of Invictus babies can meet up there but of course everyone with a Ridgeback is welcome.

Tezlin may not be able to make it to the Calgary walks but she will get to visit her Uncle Hunter in BC. Maybe she will turn into the mountain biking nut he is! Hunter is in fantastic shape and taking a Ridgeback through the woods and over the dale while you bike is a great way for everyone to stay in shape. I'm sure Tezlin will have a marvelous time and I'm doubly sure Hunter will be thrilled to have a Ridgeback to play with!

So this is it ... the last photos of the D litter puppies all together in one place. In the next 24 hours they will be scattered across Canada. It's crazy to think they were so small only 8 weeks ago ...

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