It’s that time again…

As you may have perceived, Annie had pups several months ago and they started going home this week.  The next to the last pup went home on Thursday which meant that the last pup came into our house to stay with us.  Some might say it is so sad to be the last, but I will tell you, they are the “Boss” of the house.  Little Quattro came inside with avenges and made his mark in our hearts. 
He made himself right at home and settled in with the big dogs and got his spot on the couch right between Elaine and me and sometimes on the dogs.
Asleep on Meggie
The good part, it’s like getting a puppy all over again and you see the cuteness and how adorable they are and when they settle down, it’s like an angle sleeping in your arms and we want another one at times.
Some might say we are just watching him until he goes home, but the pups get so much because of the other dogs and the things they do with us and the dogs.  Just Friday evening, Little “Q”, Clancy, Molly and us, went for a walk around the lake, all in tow.  Little “Q” drank from the lake, carried sticks, found an old tennis ball and pranced around like a big kid.  When we got to the dock, we went down the long walk over the water, but Little “Q”, unsure of the feat, stayed behind which is a natural thing to do because it’s new.  Clancy saw this and went back and coaxed him along and both of them took the long walk, but Little “Q” was just a little slower but he made it all by himself.  Elaine and I even gave him his first experience with swimming, not once but twice in the lake.  All in all, this is some of the most important things that one can do with a new pup, not this particular activity, but learned activity.
His life opened up because of all the new things around the farm and in the house.  He met some “guest” dogs that were here for a day or two.
Roxie and Finn with Little "Q"

He watched me blow leaves, saw wood and heard many things that were new.  When he was inside, he learned where long stares go, vacuum cleaners and dishwashers were and their sounds, and he learned that they were not bad, just different, and this is what makes a great start.  When they come in, we don’t change a thing, they just become part of our life, and the day a new pup leaves our driveway, everything is new to them and usually by "dog" nature, they will protect themselves if they are not sure either by barking, biting or by running. It’s not always that they are scared, they are protecting themselves and I’ve seen it a thousand times but's it’s our job to show and teach them.  The consequences are big, no matter which way it goes. 

Little "Q" and Finn
When they step into the new life with their new parents, the new parents will determine what the pup will do or be, not us…  Always remember it’s not the amount of tricks they do, it’s the attitude they have and the more well rounded they are, the better they act and communicate.  If they never do a trick, but will get along with all people, children and dogs, you’ve done a great job, but remember if they are well-rounded, they can do anything and go anywhere and the sky is the limit. 

Just two weeks ago, we went on a shepherding trip and after it was over, we all went out to eat including the instructor and all nine of our border collies.  I looked around, I saw well behaved dogs because these people take their dogs everywhere and do things together making the dogs part of their life.  It's amazing to see and be part of of a system that works so well.

It was a very bittersweet day yesterday and I will miss them so much.  It's hard to imagine how much you get attached to them, but you do.  I've had a thousand people ask "how do you do it", well it's gets harder each time.  In my dreams, with the very last litter, I would like to keep all of them, but I doubt that happens.

Heaven is the place of final and complete happiness, God has prepared for us - and if animals are necessary to make us happy, then you can be sure God will have them there." Rev. Billy Graham
Maybe all of them will meet me...   Give your dog a hug today from me... Ken

Thank you Annie...