About Me

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My name is Lesli Hyland. In my fifty one years on this earth, my home and my heart have been graced with the company of twenty four dogs. Many came to me as seniors. All of them taught me something and helped determine the course of my life. I became a dog trainer because of them. I met my friends because of them. My husband and I are are forever bonded by our mutual connection to them. Currently, as a Dog Walker I have access to other people's dogs and I am allowed to experience their unique personalities. The dogs make me a better person by forcing me to closely examine my motivation, my actions and my choices. Everything I do affects their behavior, safety and happiness. It is an awesome responsibility. The dogs keep me honest.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Wow.  What a horrible blogger I am!  Here I am raising a litter of foster puppies and not a word has been said about it here!  Sorry!  Not that I have people holding their breath waiting for my next installment! :-P But I started this blog primarily to force myself to write regularly.  Failed experiment I'd say!
Any hoo... 

Mamacita arrived at my house on June 18th and gave birth to 3 pups (Cookie, Biscuit and Popcorn) on June 20th!  Big thanks to my friend Cookie Mac for helping me through the whelping! 

Mamacita was an owner surrender to my local animal shelter. What is she, you ask?  Good question.  My best guess is Rat Terrier and Corgi but it is only a guess.  Her pups are all tri colored with ears that look like they will eventually stand up.  They are 3 1/2 weeks old today.
 I'm not a big fan of the birth process.  Can you say YUK?! But I do enjoy watching the instinctive behavior of both the mother dog and the babies.  They all know their jobs and their purpose and I find that very reassuring. My job as their foster caregiver is to keep them safe and give them a good start in life through proper nutrition and lots of socialization. my husband and I handle the pups several times a day.  I talk to them. I sing to them. I play the radio and run the washer / dryer  so they'll be used to normal household noises.  I will expose them to different environments, dogs (big and small), my cat and lots and lots of people! One of a puppy's key socialization period is 4-16 weeks so it's "crunch time" now as we head into their 4th week.

When all is said and done (at 8 weeks of age) my hope is that I will have helped these pups develop into stable, friendly, potential pets ready to be adopted.  After that it will be up to their new families to continue socializing them and training them. 

But I do all this knowing that there is a big, unknown, black cloud up above that might darken their sunny future.  That cloud is their genetic make up.  The father of this litter is unknown.  Mamacita is shy and wary of strangers at first , but wiggly, silly and affectionate once she gets to know you.  I don't know if her shyness is genetic or whether she was not properly socialized herself as a puppy.  A dog's behavior is always determined by a combination of both those things. Socialization and good nutrition can only take these puppies so far.  They need to have a stable genetic make up as well.   There will be no shortage of folks wanting to adopt them - they are cute as buttons, but finding good matches for challenging puppies is a different story.  Let's hope these pups have solid temperaments.
Only time will tell!

Right now the pups are getting adventurous and Mamacita is trying to teach them some social manners.  They are demanding little beasties.   They are very vocal, attempting to bark and growling when they are frustrated. Cookie is already picking up dry kibble in her mouth and all 3 have experimented with lapping water, so we'll start feeding gruel today.  I hate to start it because my sweet, fluffy puppies will soon be food encrusted messes!  But Mama will appreciate the help I'm sure.

More blogs to come - I promise!

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