The puppies have been trickling out since last Saturday. With serious evaluation, I felt a few puppies might be ready to fly the coop at 7 weeks, so I offered this up to their potential owners. After a long visit, everyone agreed and Nymeria (now Kestrel) and BenJen (now Ryhs) left. Oh My GOSH!!!! Going from 9 puppies to 7 puppies was Heaven and Hell all in one! I missed them so much....but the energy level drop was amazing. It was square rooted power.......7 hellions just did not create the chaos 9 could! The next day, Jamie (now Kash) went to his home living on a working sheep ranch. He not only has hundreds of sheep in his future, he has grandchildren to play with. His love of children made me proud of all the socialization work "we" did as well as the nice, sound genetic foundation that was planned.
Yes, the puppies trickled out...and now, 8 weeks later, I've got three left.....the two I am keeping and the runt puppy. Arya (now Bess) was the runt and was born a little premature. She looks great now but I felt she could use a little more time...so she will stay another week. I'll get her through her next fear period and then she will go to her new home......another working sheep ranch owned by my good friend.
Now I work on adjusting back to "normal". Although what is normal when keeping two puppies was the decision made....and one is a boy pup at that!!! I was going to send the boy off to be raised by a friend.....but so much of this journey has been "punt" and things changed...so Jon Snow (yes he keeping his litter name!) is staying. The art of letting go and trusting flow continues......I wonder what lessons I am to learn in what lies ahead.
I have closed my Facebook account....I'm not sure if it is for a while or forever but it was time for me to take a break. I was listening to a pod cast where the topic was "more social, less media" and all that Facebook has represented for the past 4 months made me think it was time for a break. On the one hand, I'm so sorry to be missing out on the puppies going home and what the owners are sharing. On the other hand....all are texting me and I feel blessed to be a part of each of their lives. I can't believe the fabulous homes that each puppy picked! I'm also looking at all the time I spent on Facebook......time I am now hoping to spend on relationships, dog training and the list of heart projects for spring. I'm still on Instagram....pictures make me so happy and it feels like people share more "good thoughts" there! If anyone "needs" me....which really makes me laugh because I feel sheep dog blogs are really a thing of the past......I still have messenger.
There is a bit of a heavy heart here as I close this chapter of my life. I've learned over the years to Never say Never, but I am pretty darn certain I won't be having a litter of puppies again. For me, personally, I feel so much responsibility in providing all the socialization and experiences that young puppies need to leave my home with resilience to stress. The feed back from all the puppy owners makes me very proud that this litter was all that and more. But 9 puppies was a lot.....and then the issues with Sis...it was a good way to know it's time to pass that baton to the younger generation! And with that, I grieve a little.
My thoughts as I head off into the next chapter of "raise two puppies in the same household" is an idea that Patrick Shannahan gave me years ago. He told me, "teach puppies to learn......that is your task!" Tied with learning to learn, I am searching for ways to create independent thinkers.......my definition of which is exploring and self rewarding without me being the que or the reward giver (at least not every time). In addition, I've got name recognition, recall, leash walking, manners, bonding, car riding....ALL THE THINGS!!! :)
The journey continues......as always I'm reminded of my moto......
Seize the Day!!!
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