Thursday, July 31, 2008

Adventures with the dynamic duo

[From Pearl's humans]

Pearl has been enjoying her extra time with Adian and Atticus (AKA 'the dynamic duo'). This week, Pearl has gotten to show them exciting new things like the art of romping in the grass, and important 'grown-up dog stuff' such as how to wear a 'gentle-leader' on walks.

The pups didn't need too much instruction from their mom on how to have a fun walk in the grass. They got right to sniffing and rolling. They didn't seem to mind at all their new 'gentle leader' snout accessory (a must for all CCI puppies).

Below, Atticus (left) and Adian (right) lounge expertly on the lawn.

In general, the pups sleep hard and play hard. Although they've now had a brief taste of splendor in the grass, they are still perfectly happy to play in their kitchen area x-pen, especially when their mom gets to join them. At night, however, each pup sleeps in his or her own crate. They vocally announce their need for a middle of the night 'outing', but otherwise are good sleepers.

It should be noted, though, that not only do they have their own sleeping crates because that is what 'grown-up dogs' do, but also because they quickly learned how to escape from the x-pen! The mystery of how the pups would suddenly appear outside of their pen was solved when they were caught climbing over. Below, Adian is caught in the act showing off her 'spider-dog' skills while Atticus tries to look innocent.

Pearl is obviously tremendously proud of her adventurous pups!  Stay tuned for news of Pearl's 'D' pups as they get ready for 'college'.

Friday, July 25, 2008

They're on their way!

Greetings all! I must admit I'm feeling lots of motherly pride after having watched my youngest group of pups excitedly leave home to join their new families.

A few days ago, my humans and I brought my pups to the Canine Companions puppy park where they got to play and then do some grown-up dog stuff like getting their first shots and their ear tattoos.

I was told that the next day Alaric, Amita and Avila all left to meet their puppy raisers. They were a bit nervous and it was hard to say goodbye, but I know that by now they have already made wonderful new friends and are starting to settle into their new homes. Adian and Atticus came back home with us because their puppy raisers weren't able to pick them up yet. (It will be nice to have a little more time with them.)

Although I am to retire from having puppies, I'll always be a mom, and as with all of my pups, am eager to hear all about all the 'A' pups adventures (which I will share with you, dear friends).

My kisses to all my pups!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hanging out in the puppy pen

[A note from Pearl's humans.]

This past week was the last chance for Pearl and the pups to spend time together as a family before the pups had to head off to CCI and their new lives with their 'puppy raisers'.

Usually, when Pearl's pups have stopped nursing and switched to all solid food, Pearl hasn't be able to spend any significant amount of time in the puppy pen in case they try to nurse. However, since Pearl clearly loves to hang out with the pups and do fun 'pup' stuff like play on the slide, the solution was for us to dress her for playtime!

Although she looks quite fetching in a t-shirt, the pups found it a bit puzzling ('where did all mom's fur go?').

The pups also enjoyed just relaxing with each other. They used naptime to do puppy performance-art by making various sleeping configurations on the floor.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My, how they've grown!

At 7 1/2 weeks, the pups have gotten quite big!

Alaric was 1.2 lbs at birth, and now, at 7.5 weeks, is a full 18 lbs.

[Above, Alaric shows he's always a very 'cool cat', er . . . dog.]

Atticus grew from a little over 1 lb. (16.7 oz.) to 15 lbs.

[Above, Atticus displays his serious face.]

Amita went from about 0.8 lb. (13 oz.) to 12.5 lbs.
[At right, Amita is ready for her close-up.]

Adian increased in weight from little over 1 lb. (16.3 oz.) to 13 lbs.

[Above, Adian is queen of the slide.]

Avila went from little under 1 lb. (15.7 oz.) to 12.5 lbs.
[At right, Avila shows her contemplative side.]

Monday, July 21, 2008

Cool tips from Pearl for the 'dog days of summer'

Hello friends. We've sure had some hot days here in California this summer! I've never had my pups during the summer before, so this time my humans had to come up with new ways to keep them cool.

Since my pups also found their own ways to beat the heat, I thought I would share some doggie tips for keeping cool during the summer.

First of all, when they are feeling a bit warm, the pups sometimes take a dip in their water bowl. Alaric has even tried to soak and nap at the same time.

My humans keep telling the pups that water bowls are only for drinking, and then they give the pups ice bottles instead. The pups don't complain though, because the ice bottles are great. Not only do they keep us dogs cool, but they make great head and leg rests.

When they were younger, the pups would all share a bottle
. Nowadays, however, at most one or two of them will comfortably fit on a bottle (unless they get really creative).

The only problem
with ice bottles is that they aren't much fun to lick (though when the pups were younger, they did try). So, when it is a particularly hot day, my humans give the pups ice cubes and even blocks of ice with fun stuff in it.

Of course, Alaric likes not only to lick the ice, but to nap in it as well, and since he's a good boy, he usually lets his little sister have corner.

This weekend, my humans also brought out a little pool. I told my pups that humans have these giant bowls of water called 'pools' that you can swim in.

They didn't know what 'swimming' was, but they thought it sounded fun. I told them th
at they were much too young to swim, but that they could get in the little pool and splash around a bit.

They had a great time. Some of them even discovered a secret that every dog eventually learns - that water from the hose tastes the best!

Keep cool my friends! Pearl

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The pups meet their namesakes

Greetings everyone. Pearl here. Last week, my pups and I were busy playing and relaxing, and enjoying visits from some of my friends from school.

In case you didn't know, I often work in my caretaker Diane's third grade classroom where it is my job to greet all the students and bring them lots of joy (and, of course, be petted and admired). Although my duties as a mom have meant that I often need to take time off from school, I have always been able to share stories and pictures of my puppies with the students.

In the past, my school friends have been able to follow my puppies' progress (some classes even charted their growth). For this last litter, I was thrilled that I could name several of my pups after friends from school who had lovely names beginning with an 'A'.

[At right, Alaric the puppy relaxes with his new friend (and namesake) Alaric.]

Although the students are now on summer break, some of my young friends were able to come by to see my pups last week. I was particularly pleased that my pups Alaric, Amita and Avila could each meet their namesakes. [I am hoping that Adian's namesake will also be able to come for a visit!]
[Above, Amita (the puppy) shares a smile with her namesake Amita.]

[At right, Avila gets the pleasure of meeting her namesake Carlos Avila (and the rest of the Avila family).]

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The GREAT Outdoors

Greetings friends! Pearl here again.

Recently, my pups and I have gotten to spend our morning playtimes in the backyard. Although the pups aren't playing on the grass yet, they really enjoy the sunshine, the fresh air and the smell of flowers and trees.

They love it when I spend this time playing with them.
They crawl all over me and play with my fur. Yesterday, one of the little rascals even tugged on my tail! Although they can be a bit rambunctious, this is my favorite part of being of being a mom. It makes me feel like a puppy myself again.

I also get to spend some quality 'snout-to-snout time' with each pup. As you can see from the photos (taken by my humans), both Atticus and Adian got to share stories of their adventures with me. They both told me all about the fun they are having on the slide (and each proudly insists that he or she is the best climber and slider).

When they are not playing or chatting with me, my puppies like to just hang out in the fresh air.

Above, Alaric shows his 'happy-to-be-outside' face. At right, Amita takes a stroll around the puppy-pen and admires the potted plants.

And, as always, they are quite happy to spend the time wrestling with each other.

At left, Atticus wins a round of his wrestling match while, at right, Avila tries out a new wrestling move (the flop).

However, all that playing tends to make the pups warm and tired, so they usually end the morning by cooling themselves off with an iced water dish or a frozen bottle and then settling down for a nap. I must admit, I have a bit of a snooze myself!

Until next time . . .Pearl

Monday, July 7, 2008

'A' Pup Acrobatics (or 'Cirque des puppies')

[A note from Pearl's humans]
The pups have new toys for their new big play pen. In addition to the 'Clifford' slide (which all of Pearl's pups have enjoyed playing on), the 'A' pups now have a tunnel which was given to them by a friend (thanks Tina!). Thus, when they are not laying around cooling themselves from the heat, they seem to be practicing their 'circus' acts.

Above, Alaric the Magnificent and his assistant perform the 'dog with the really long neck' illusion.


And, at left, Atticus demonstrates his famous one-legged tunnel twirl.

For his encore (below), Atticus chooses the slide. He can both slide down AND, as he shows his mom, climb UP (not an easy feat).

Below, Alaric and Amita perform 'puppies in a tunnel' (a version of 'clowns in a car') and then assist with Avila's backwards slide routine.

For more 'A' puppy antics, see Pearl's Youtube Channel.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

Pearl and the 'A' pups want to wish all their friends and siblings a Happy Fourth of July!

At right, Amita does her George Washington impression.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


[From Pearl's 'humans']

It's time for the yummy gruel! A couple days ago, we gave the pups their first taste of the weaning gruel, and they dived right in. In general, they are fairly dainty eaters (no hoovering sounds), but they have not yet learned that it isn't proper etiquette to walk or stand in your own dinner bowl. (Atticus, as you can see from the photo, tried eating with two paws in his food.)

In order to make sure that the puppies are well- hydrated, we offer them some water along with their food. They have not, however, figured out exactly what the water is for. Since they are still nursing as well, the water must seem like a poor substitute for milk.
Except for a couple puppies who mimic their mom's water drinking, they tend to use the water more for splashing than drinking. Ice cubes are much more popular as they can be easily seen and are fun to move around the bowl with one's tongue.

Avila demonstrates the joys of ice cubes

Although the puppies are nursing less often now, they still are thrilled when whenever they can get a drink from mom. They show their joy with happy slurping noises when they nurse and by forming a stampede whenever mom walks by (think Beatles' fans in 'A Hard Day's Night').  Check out the video below..