There are certain rules that breeders are supposed to follow. Chief amongst them would be the adage to never, ever get overly attached to young puppies, because the grasp on life of a young puppy is tentative at best.
In spite of this, there are sometimes puppies that just, by whatever obscure means, grab hold of your heart and lodge themselves there, reason be damned.
The day I picked up Delilah’s silvery brindle girl and she gazed placidly at my face, eyes locked on mine and unblinking, was the day I gave up trying to be objective. A few days later, I picked her up and crooned, “Well, hello Pickle”. I realized that she’d just named herself, and that name, apparently, was “Pickle”. I asked her if she was sure that was her name (Pickle? Really? As Sean said, ‘let’s just name all of them after condiments, in that case’), and she just blinked at me and wiggled her ears.
I’m taking that as a ‘yes’.
This is one of the most alert litters I’ve ever had. At just over two weeks, they already crowd to the edge of the whelping box when they hear or see people. They make little puppy yipping noises, and generally act pleased to see us. When you pick them up, they gaze at you, in full awareness that you are a different creature altogether from their mom (who pays scant attention to them at the best of times).
They’re also already at the playing stage, which is always fun to see. The boy is bold and brave, and regularly harasses his sisters into games of mouth wars. The dark brindle girl is the second most feisty, and just as large as her brother. Pickle is more sedate, calm and playful yet a little bit aloof. Her pied sister is a cheerful slug, happily eating, napping and occasionally rolling on her back when her brother knocks her over.
As with all my puppies, I won’t enjoy seeing any of them leave.
More photos below, or on Flickr.