Spent the entire evening from the time I got home from work until the time I went to bed cleaning, mopping, relaying down papers and pads. Whew! Good thing my son helped lay down the papers. Time to get the barn fixed up for the pups! I've picked up a heater and have lots of straw, just need to fix them up an insulated box to get out of the cold, and fence in enough area to let them romp, pee and poop in the area that has been sealed and rubberized (hose cleanup sounds so much more fun than papers and mops. I have a bit of straw ready to lay down in the box once I get it built. I also plan on picking up a sleeping bag (mine didn't appear to have made the move from NC) and sleeping with them in the barn to be sure it is warm enough. If it gets too cold, I take them and myself back inside.
Samantha's pups are at the point where I think they can be trusted with light supervision with Freya's pups. I've been letting them socialize under heavy supervision for the past few days and corrected rough play enough that they have gotten the idea quite well. Freya's pups are thrilled to be playing with the bigger pups, and take every opportunity to romp with them. I still worry about their development as they were a good week and a half/ almost two weeks early, but they are growing fast and strong. Their coordination is getting better by the day and improves by leaps and bounds as they begin to play with the older pups.
Brownie, Silver, Flakes and Cat are as big as Samantha's pups, Buck and Face are still a bit smaller, but heavier than Squeaker. Poor Squeaker looks to be the runt of both litters, but she is fast, agile and smart, and, of course, cute as a button. She is also the only dark eyed puppy out of both litters and I have to wonder a bit about the genetic sequences of dogs, and where eye color sits on the chart. I had thought that blue eyes were recessive genes in dogs as they are in humans, but I'm beginning to rethink this. The fact that Squeaker has undoubtedly dark brown eyes suggests that brown eyes are the recessive gene in Siberians. Anyway, they actually make Squeaker look prettier than if she had blue eyes. It completes the striking markings she has on her face.
Can you tell Squeaker is my favorite? Heh, I love the little spunky gal, and she obviously loves me. When I come home, she howls bloody murder until I come and pick her up. When she is awake, she's not happy unless she is either exploring the larger world beyond the kitchen, or being held by me. She has the cutest puppy smile when I pick her up, but the amount of time she wants to be on the go makes me firmly believe she would make a great addition to the team, and her looks and agility would probably garner her a solid conformation. I'll probably take her to the kennel club when she reaches 3 months of age.
Moon is strong and on the go a lot as well, which is a great sign, but her ears have not yet picked up. I'm hoping they will, but if they remain semi-floppy like her father, she is out of the running for a show prospect even if she will be a good addition to the team. She is affectionate to one and all and loves to lick face, chew on ears and fingers, and be held. She is very pretty, almost white, but really a very light gray with barely discernable white markings. I certainly hope she maintains her coloring in to adulthood. Moon is pretty strong and probably as strong as Mitu, but she is not quite as heavy, but is more agile on her feet. She is also very smart, and is one of the first to escape from the kitchen when the opportunity arises. Her soulful blue eyes tell you about the love and mischief inside.
Mitu is a dynamo of energy, is incredibly heavy/stocky like her father, but she has his ears without question. She is going to be a great sled dog/puller/agility dog, or whatever her future owner has planned for her. She is outgoing and affectionate, loves to be held and petted. It will be sad to see her go, but I'm happy she has a great home to look forward to (former musher and vet tech).
Ace is a very beautiful girl, calm and quiet for a husky, which may not make her a good sled dog, but she would be a great companion, pet or show dog. She has very pretty blue eyes, erect ears, and near perfect perportions. She is happy amusing herself, playing with the other pups, or being held and petted. Quite unusual for a normally high-energy breed. She could probably do well in any home, which gives her a secure future in this area of sparce dog sports.
Christmas is a nice blend of active on the go and affectionate. She would make a great show/agility/pulling/sledding dog as well as a great canine ambassador. She has a good amount of intelligence and learns quickly. She was the first puppy to learn to be gentle with the younger litter, yet plays with them a lot. Freya's pups adore her and follow her around until she lays down and bats at them with her paws and mouths them when they jump on her.
Elvis too is a lot like Christmas in temperment, intelligence and affection. He loves his belly rubs most of all and will come up to me and flop down on his back for a rub. He especially loves the belly rub when he is sleepy, and will fall asleep while you rub his belly. When he's not sleepy though, he is very active and inquisitive. If you rub his belly while he is fully awake, expect your fingers to be gnawed upon, but not very hard.
Xena, well, she seems to be the epitome of a sled dog. Very active, not so endeared of being held or still long enough to be petted for any length of time. She is fairly independant, but she is also a good looker, striking markings (she has a white 'mowhawk' stripe down the back of her head and neck, and a mostly white face. She is the only true black and white puppy of the litter, the rest are mostly gray or dark gray and white) and strong personality (like her names' sake ;-). She is smaller than Mitu, but constantly challenging her dominance. She doesn't mind me holding her for a short period of time, but doesn't put up with being held by Jim or James. She may be the toughest puppy to place appropriately here in this land that has barely heard of sled dogs. She may end up on the team by default, we will have to see, as I would definitely not put her in a pet home at this time. We will have to keep an eye on her development.