I’m not sure how it happened but my pups are eight weeks old this week. I feel like I have so much more that I want to do with them! But thinking back, I wouldn’t change one thing. They are gorgeous, well-adjusted puppies who are swimming, pointing, retrieving, and into absolutely everything. They are bold, outgoing, happy, and well socialized. What more could I ask for?!
Almost all of my puppies have had great homes lined up since before they were born, and they will be helping their owners put birds in the bag come hunting season. I can almost imagine the stories now! Some good, some bad, some probably ugly as each pup learns his or her job.
My pups are sleeping through the night in their crates and between the eight of them I had three messes in the crate last week—my fault as I heard them whining but was just too tired to get up! They don’t protest at all at night when I put them in their crates. They are using the doggie door consistently and any accidents that do happen are on the way to the door. They love people, dogs, and riding in the car. They are comfortable being alone or in groups and are confident with or without their littermates (of course they have a big fear period coming up, but for now they are great!). They are retrieving with gusto and they love chewing on toys and on me. A mouthy group! They are all swimming by now and will go check out any body of water without fear. They are happy to have their nails clipped, ears cleaned, and teeth checked and respect that they need to be still when I ask them to. They have developed a love affair with birds over the weeks and love to carry them. All of them are pointing with style and searching with a mission.
While they don’t “know” any commands out of context yet, they understand that they shouldn’t jump for attention, and they are offering me behaviors such as “sits” and “downs” for petting or cookies. I have shaped eye contact so they give me great attention when I say “watch me.” They walk on leash well and enjoy their one-on-one time with me. They each get their own dog bowl at mealtime and I have started telling them “wait” before giving them their bowls at most meals. I think they are pretty well prepared to meet their new people—who can’t wait!
My little Teal girl is the first to go—the smallest of the bunch. She has a hilarious one-harmed three-sixty spin move that she does when she’s excited that makes us smile. She is going to Maine, and our cousins, down to visit from upstate NY, have offered to drive her to their house, and the owners will come get her from there. They aren’t dog people, but as a mom to two toddlers, she asks “how hard can it be…she’s just a tiny puppy!” After three days she was exhausted—and these pups are easy! Teal gets to Maine, sleeping like a dream the whole way in the car, and is named Lemon. After a few days Lemon’s owners call to tell me that she is a great little pup and settling in just perfectly.
And then there were seven.
The following weekend I drive to Kentucky to take three puppies to their owners. Two are going to Wisconsin, and one to Illinois. I stay with a friend who graciously allows me and my puppy pack to wreck her home.
Pink girl, whose broken toe is healing nicely, heads to Wisconsin to become a duck hunter. Her family names her “Ghost” and is already thrilled with her retrieving skills. Orange boy will be staying with them for a few days until his family can come get him. He is named “Sigg” and will be a grouse aficionado when he grows up.
Black boy heads to Chicago and his family names him “Louie.” This is perfect for my little man! He has lots of love in store for him and already has a vacation to Lake Michigan planned. What fun!
Green boy is the next to go. I pack his crate, his blankie, and a favorite toy and put him on an airplane for the biggest trip of his life. He arrives in California later that day. “Nemo” has big shoes to fill living with a great guy who has big expectations for him.
We had a great home lined up for Red girl, but at the last minute they had some personal things come up, so “Red” will stay with us. Part of being a responsible Weimaraner breeder is understanding that these dogs are not for everyone and it often takes more than just a “good home” with nice people to handle their demands. Red, who is a very special girl and gorgeous to boot, will stay with me until I can find that perfect home for her who will give her what she needs and help her reach her potential. If it means she stays forever—then lucky me! But I hope that she can make someone else proud.
Flower girl, we’re calling her “Flower,” is with us for twelve weeks because of an understanding that we had with her owners. She will stay in town and we get to be involved in her training. And we’ll get to hunt behind her for years to come!
I have decided to keep purple girl—who my mom nicknamed “The Purp-etrator” for good reason. She is trouble! We’ve named her “Elle” and she is a strong personality with high drive and a lovely confident way of going. She is already picking on my big dogs!
So at nine weeks I’m still at six dogs. My two big girls, my 15 week old puppy, and three little puppies. I’m thrilled to be involved with all of them and the happy phonecalls and emails from my other puppy owners are starting to roll in. Along with the questions…and I’m loving it. Exhausted. But loving it.
My wood floors need to be refinished because I’ve raised these pups in my home. My screened in porch needs to be repainted. There are potholes scattered about my yard from puppies digging with wild abandon. My grass is almost gone. My pigeons are terrified. My garden is wrecked. The cat is in hiding. My car has at least a few thousand more miles on it from driving them all over the place. My shorts are ripped, I’m missing half my underwear and two dozen socks. I’ve been late for work countless times because my shoes are never where I put them the night before and I can’t find a matching pair.
But my heart is full and I couldn’t be more proud of raising happy, well-socialized, puppies who are in great homes!
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