A Walk on the Wild Side

On my way home last night I stopped and picked up venison and caribou scraps from the local processor. I hadn’t fed caribou before and was excited to do so. It was a big hit as was the meaty venison rib cage I brought home. The puppies had as much fun with that one as they did previously. They also enjoyed wrestling with the scraps.

Before it got dark I decided to try to take a walk out into the back field with Gel, Midge and the puppies. It was very slow going. Walking with five puppies is extremely difficult. I’m surprised no one has suffered a broken leg (me or the puppies) yet. We didn’t get too far into the field when I heard the motor of an ATV and then some dog scuffling. I ran ahead concerned that it was my neighbor in the front who has five very nasty dogs, but instead it was my good neighbor, Red, and his four dogs. The puppies were a bit concerned about all these strange dogs, but all in all, they handled it well.

Every time the puppies come in contact with a new dog I worry about exposure to disease, but I guess that’s really the only way they are going to develop functioning immune systems, by slow, steady exposure.

This morning was the first time I opened the door to the puppies’ pen in the house and asked them to follow me out the door. Up until now I’ve been carrying them two by two. They are doing very well with their recalls and following me when I ask. I think the cats are quite overwhelmed by the black and white hoodlums who have invaded their house.

Over the weekend I bought a small furniture dolly and put it in the inside pen. The puppies have a great time wheeling around on it and sleeping under it. Tonight I plan to put a plastic crate in one corner of their pen so they can start sleeping in a crate at night. If she wants to, Midge can “escape” the puppies by sleeping on top of the crate. I think for the most part all of the puppies are using the litter box I placed in the inside run last week. In their outside run, they are for the most part only going in one corner. I do not think many dog breeders bother to litter train their puppies, but in a pinch, I think the early imprinting of using the box or at least going in one corner of their living quarters will be handy.

This morning I took all the dogs out into the back field again. The puppies seemed to enjoy their excursion. They surely didn’t want to go up in their run when it was time for me to go in to take a shower. I know better than to take a shower, get dressed for work and then try to put them up. I’d soon be covered in clay. As it is when I take a shower, the water runs brown for quite a while from all the clay I have on my legs and arms from the puppies. They get awfully dirty in the morning when the grass is wet.

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