Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Photos from the Home Front:

Wow, a lot went on the eight and a half days that I was in El Salvador out of communication with everyone back in the States....

Doug learned to ride a bike without any training wheels (thanks to a lot of help from his Grandpa C!).

It seems Darcy grew another inch or so!

(My parents came to see me the day after I got home. In one of the photos above, Darcy and my mom apparently are consulting over a phone issue!)

(also above, is a photo of "Black" Ransom when she was about 4 weeks old)

(these two photos were taken just a day or so before I left for El Salvador)

And, Ransom reverted back to a wolf pup! Darcy had been entrusted with the solemn responsibility of continuing the pup's training and SOCIALIZATION but, she got too busy hanging out with her grandparents all week and left the pup on her own in the back yard. Wow! I could tell what had happened the moment I picked the pup up (even before confirming it with Darcy)... The silly pup would not make eye contact any longer (something we had really worked on and had gained much ground on) and she squirmed and flailed in my arms, unwilling to be held and she ran about the house like a crazed animal with no manners whatsoever. I was surprised at how quickly she had "detached" from us...but, then, I got to thinking about it, and eight and a half days is a HUGE chunk of your life when you are only nine weeks old, anyway. Gladly, Ransom found her manners and willingness to LOOK at us and interact calmly within just a day of me dragging her about with me...but, the way she was acting when I got home simply confirms in my mind that my instincts have been right and that this pup is going to require consistent socialization and training. She is just so dominant, self-sufficient, fearless, and independent that she NEEDS consistent training and continual socialization. She would turn into a real handful if just left in the backyard ignored for long periods of time.

Ransom is nine weeks old...and almost has gotten too big for Rayna to lug around! When I left for El Salvador, Ransom's ears were still sweetly symmetrical and tipped over so cutely. When I got home, I was shocked to see how much longer her nose had grown (not to mention those legs of hers!) and dismayed to see that she will not be escaping the "ugly ear" stage that is so common among German Shepherds. One of her ears is presently bent almost flat against her head at a cock-eyed angle. I'll be glad when they begin standing up erect!

(Laura, who got Ransom's litter mate brother told me last night that his ears never went through the ugly stage at all...just went from being perfectly tipped to standing erect...without the in-between-smooshed over grotesquely stage. She also reports that he has perfect manners, perfect coat, perfect behavior, and is calm and quietly affectionate. ...Well, I knew Ransom was the rough and tumble, rowdy, trouble-maker of the litter when I got her, so, I'm not going to worry about the fact that her siblings have better social skills... besides, I doubt that any of them would have dove off a high bridge into deep water below without a second thought at 7 weeks old like my fearless little fighter began doing!)

Here are the three kids out in the front yard yesterday modeling for me their souveniers from El Salvador. Darcy got a Soccer Uniform that has the seal of El Salvador on it. Doug got a hat. Rayna got the white top she is wearing.

I am beginning to wonder if little Rayna HAS any permanent teeth! Those top teeth just keep falling out, but no new ones come through in their place. She is currently short about EIGHT teeth--poor kid!

This silly girl has been watching too many Martial Arts shows on TV, I think!!!

(My Three Dumplings: Rayna, Darcy, and Doug.)

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