RIVERSPRUCE HOUNDS

2009 OTTERHOUND LITTER

5 WEEKS OLD - June 30, 2009

Where does the time go? 5 weeks old already!

These little guys are growing and developing SOOOOO fast! It is already a distant memory when one puppy would fit comfortably in the palm of our hand.

I'll do my best to mention each puppy's individual personality - but let me say that the uniformity within the personalities is pretty obvious. For example, if one puppy is described as more or less confident than another, it isn't extreme ends of the spectrum, but rather simply a slight difference. They are growing and developing rapidly, and while one puppy may be more independent than another for a couple of days, they may just as easily swap those traits in another couple of day, so take everything with a grain of salt!

This week has been very busy for them... lots of new visitors, lots of new experiences - including exploring the great outdoors, and lots of new mental, visual, tactile, and audio stimulation!

Liv is still feeding them 3-4 times a day, but for a shorter amount of time during each feeding. She pretty much wants to nurse them only when she is "uncomfortable" (or thinks that she can sneak out their chewies), which is happening less and less with her milk supply diminishing now. She is pretty consistent about DEMANDING that we let her in to nurse the pups every night at 2-3am - why she won't wait until it is time for us to get up in the morning, only Liv knows!

Their 5 week old photos are candid shots, so while I took hundreds of photos of everyone, most didn't turn out too good... so some of the pups will have fewer than others posted this week - sorry!

Rocko

Still definitely our fuzziest puppy, Rocko is a character! One of the usually more independent pups, he and Lilith will frequently be off on adventures on their own - looking very much like "evil twins"! Even though he can be independent, he is is fairly responsive in following us or in responding when we call the puppies. Rocko is on the low end of the activity level, as compared to the other pups - but that isn't saying much, as he can go, and go, and go with the best of them. With all of the coat that he is carrying, he gets warm quicker and has figured out that laying in the cool grass is pretty comfortable. Rocko is one of the most constant pups as relates to his personality - meaning he isn't likely to be clingy one day and independent the next, or whining one day, and quiet the next... he usually is pretty much the same, day in and day out. He doesn't get flustered very easily, and is probably our most "likely to be napping" puppy.

Mouse

Little Mouse is an endearing little gal, although she really isn't that "little" anymore, and is one of the most responsive pups in the litter. While not a lot phases her, she is probably the second least confident puppy this week - at least she doesn't rush into the unknown and takes a more sensible approach - easing herself into new things as opposed to rushing into new situations on her own. She loves her "people time" very much, and almost always has her tail wagging when she is with you. She is pretty much always happy - happy when we are carrying her, happy when she is playing, happy when she is eating, happy, happy, happy. Mouse is the second to least coated pup at this time, but is getting a good bit of fringing on her ears and sides of her face, which unfortunately doesn't show up well in these photos. At first glance, she looks very much like Bertha, but her face is currently a good bit darker, and she is a bit more streamlined looking (which may be due in some part to her lack of coat).

Magnus

Still definitely our bruiser, Magnus has become very adept at using his size advantage amongst his siblings, and is now learning that the same thing doesn't work with us! Of the litter, Mags is the frequently the least confident about new situations. For example, he was the most hesitant when introduced to stairs - but was then the first to figure out how to use them and DELIGHTED in going up and down and up and down once he figured them out, well before any of the others. He simply takes his time when confronted with new things, doesn't get too flustered, and then conquers them with persistence. He can be about the most pushy and independent pup at times, but is also one that really demands one on one personal lap time with us. He is developing a habit of falling asleep in our laps with part of our hand or a finger in his mouth kind of like a "binky". He will need gentle, yet firm, guidance without being pushed faster than he is ready. Our least coated puppy still, he is now developing a good bit of fringing on his ears, and longer hairs are sparsely beginning to appear throughout his coat.

Lilith

This girl isn't a standout any longer in the "highest energy" department. She is still very active, but not any more so than the majority of the others. She is however, one of the most independent. She has no qualms about exploring further than the others, and taking longer to return. While Lilith is one of the most independent, if you watch her while she is off exploring, you can see that she is keeping a lookout for us or her siblings and doesn't allow herself to miss out on any happenings. She is probably right in the middle of the pack as far as her confidence at this point. She reminds me a good bit of her big brother Bart (Henley) from the last litter in that she will oftentimes sit and view a situation from a distance before deciding how best to handle it. She is very playful with her sibs, and has no problems with letting them know when she has had enough. Lilith Ties with Howdy for the second most coated pup.

Bertha

This girl is a very well rounded girl this week. While in the past she has had moments where she wasn't as outgoing, or took a while to warm to a situation, that seems to have changed now. She does get a bit flustered about things, and rather than get to work on figuring them out right away, she will whine and complain first. She is one of the most responsive puppies this week to people, and can generally be found to be underfoot - however, she is also one that plays endlessly with her siblings. She is almost ALWAYS the last to give up and fall asleep - fighting it to the bitter end, for fear of missing out on some of the action. She is most likely to be the one that is always involved in anything interesting going on - even if it means dashing from one location of excitement to another and back again. Bertha is middle of the road in amount of coat, and she is getting quite fuzzy ears and head, and longer coat is appearing throughout her body.

Howdy

Little Howdy is, at this point, the MOST responsive of the puppies, and is pretty confident. Much like his older brother Mikey, he is the one that wiggles his little butt simply in anticipation of you talking to him! He enjoys his adventures, and is second only to Lilith in his habit of wandering quite a ways off - but will usually come running back right off the bat when you call him. He, like Mouse really is a perpetually happy puppy. He is happy when he plays with us, happy with his siblings, happy when his legs don't work and he does an unexpected somersault, and happy to fall asleep. Some days he is pretty brash and jumps into the unknown, and some days he is a complainer when things don't go his way and worries about things he isn't familiar with. Howdy ties with Lilith for second most coated puppy. Howdy has, from the minute he was born, had Ron tied around his little paw!

As I was typing the personalities of the pups, it reinforced overall how similar they really are to one another and how the differences can shift from day to day. Overall, I'd say the entire litter is on the upper end of the scale as relates to confidence and all recover quickly when something does bother them. While some of them tend to be more independent than the others, they are all surprisingly responsive in the long run - for now at least, until they realize that we aren't the center of the universe! Here is Ron taking the gang for a walk.