Holly is spending more and more time upstairs now, and whenever she comes up she seeks out the squeaky green fish toy to mother. She particularly likes having it with her on the sofa when she is sitting with Ron. I've retrieved it from the whelping box on a number of occasions as she takes it in with her puppies, then tries to keep them away from it as if it were a "special needs puppy". I guess being green, rubber and squeaky could make it special needs! Her second choice is the rubber chicken and she will occasionally take both into a crate for special cleanup. Josie and Fernly sit and watch her, wondering why she is cleaning their toys. She'll growl if they attempt to steal her odd looking "babies". Holly is resting in a crate now, with her chin on the green fish.
The new pen arrived yesterday, a 60 inch plastic pen that I can set up in the family room so the pups can be upstairs but safe from being trampled by the adult dogs. It will be a good way to get them used to the presence of adult dogs as well as typical household noises (although my household is not exactly typical). They'll start coming upstairs to explore this weekend (with the adults all crated) and then spend some time in the pen with the adults free to check them out. Only Argus has been allowed down to visit the pups so far.
Appointments made for BAER testing, a thorough Vet check and first shots after they turn 6 weeks of age. They'll get lots of practice car riding that week, and I hope the weather and roads are good! Pups all hear, but we need to verify whether or not any have unilateral hearing (hearing in one ear) as it may affect how they are placed.
Both show and pet folks continue to ask if I've decided whether there will be a puppy for them, but it's far too early for that. I hate to keep people waiting, but being pressured about puppies takes some of the fun out of it for me. I understand why people want to KNOW, yet I put all this time, work, and money into doing a litter of pups hoping to get a puppy for ME. Until I have done a thorough job of evaluating pups for structure and personality, and have decided who I am keeping, I can't make any decisions as to where the other pups will go, and whether they will go as show potential or companions. So far the litter looks exceptionally nice and most pups still look as if they will be show potential, but soon I will start evaluating movement and basic structure, and then we will have a better idea of what we are dealing with here.
Stay tuned. Pictures tomorrow.