People always ask me if I will be sad to see the puppies go, and my answer is always NO, absolutely not. Although I love doing a litter of puppies, they are an incredible amount of work to do properly, especially living in the city. As long as I have good homes waiting for them, I am delighted when it's time for the pups to leave. It will be fun to be down to just my own puppy, eventually.
Pups are pretty easy up until 6 weeks, are small enough to be easy to carry, are easy to clean up after, and are usually pretty content when they are in their pen. Once they start visiting the rest of the world, they are no longer happy when they need to be in their pen. They want to be outside, or even better they want to be in the family room. When they are outside they don't want to be there by themselves, they want someone to entertain them, and to pick them up when they want to be picked up. In the family room they require constant supervision - and clean up.
If I didn't live in the city with close neighbors, I could set up a pen for the pups in the yard, and leave them outdoors for extended periods of time, weather permitting. However, puppies can be LOUD, and neighbors are always an issue here. IF I had a kennel building it would be even easier, but puppies really need to be houseraised to be properly socialized.
It's important that puppies meet as many people as possible, people of all ages, especially kids. This litter has been socialized to the max and we have had dozens of visitors including lots of kids, yet somehow I've missed a few people I know wanted to come over. I'm running out of evenings and weekends for puppy visitors and for that I am sorry, but having company every night takes it toll on my sanity. I've given first priority to families with kids, just because it's so important for pups to be exposed to children of all ages.
This weekend the pups went visiting again. They've traveled to have their dewclaws done at 4 days, for their hearing testing at 6 weeks, for the vet check a few days later, to visit Jess & Stella Cavalier, plus two more weekend trips. On Saturday they visited Carol, Stephanie & Foster, and I left them for the afternoon. They were played with as a group and individually, and traveled home in Carol's car. On Sunday they went over to visit mom Pauli and her co-owner Wendy. We had a nice group of people, a picnic in the yard and the pups got to explore, and play with their mom. I thought they'd be tired when we got home, but NO they wanted to be outside later in the evening, so Ron sat out with them.
I've raised a lot of litters over the years, and don't think I have ever put more time into one. These guys were raised to the very best of my ability, doing the things that make me a Responsible Breeder, rather than just a Puppy Raiser/Seller. Now it's up to the buyers to continue. Mickey and Dixie leave this week, Mancini will probably leave on Saturday, Luci will fly out early next week, and now I need to start looking for a home for Furry Murray. I used up three of my homes on Lucy's litter when I sold it for Patti, so now I need one more home for my own puppy. If Murray has to stay for a few more weeks that will be fine. TWO pups will be easy, and neither Murray nor Fern are vocal.
Whew . . . I'm about puppied out!