We took last night off, no company. Although we love having puppy visitors, I decided that last night would stay open, no visitors.
We took the pups outdoors for an hour after it cooled off, and they did really well, adventuring farther afield and playing with leaves, branches and toys. Several of the pups have been whiny & a bit unsure outdoors, but last night they were much better. Mancini had been the worse, but last night he was just fine, starting to explore, play with toys and wrestle with Fern & Dixie. Mickey has always been confident outdoors, although he demands to be picked up occasionally - but does not really want to be held, just noticed. Murray is a little sound sensitive, and was bothered by the neighbor's mower on Sunday, and flipped his ears around in response to some barking last night. He's the most independent puppy, the least interested in being held. Luci was the whiniest one last night, although she had been fine before. They all seem to go through their little "stages" where they are more or less confident, more or less cuddly, and fussier about being restrained. Fern is definitely the bravest, yet the most mellow. She follows me all over the yard and never acts nervous about new things. Am so pleased with how she is developing!
I worked at stacking the pups last night, using a treat to distract them. We didn't get good stacks for very long, but it gave me a chance to admire what a handsome litter this is. Absolutely lovely structure, the right combination of their parents. Am a bit bummed to have multiple blues and unis, but both are characteristics that go with Dalmatian spotting. Sometimes you have more of them, sometimes you luck out and have fewer of them.
Because I did the litter for a bitch for me to keep, and because Fern appears to be exactly what I wanted, I am very pleased over all. Just wish I had a couple more like her, as several of the great potential homes that have been waiting for show quality bitches will not get a puppy this time. Although Dixie is lovely, and should be shown, I'm quite sure she has unilateral hearing (in one ear) and that does not really work for a foundation bitch (you're limited in your choice of potential stud dogs because you have to consider hearing) and unis normally don't go as performance dogs. Although they make great companions, it may be a handicap in advanced performance work - although there are some excellent unis working in Agility right now. What she needs is a home where they just want a show dog as well as a beautiful companion. Perhaps I'll find something local, co-own her, and keep an option to show her, like we did with Penny's brother Ch. "Charlie Brown".