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Paw Notes with Strider, Roxy and Shooter

A Yes that’s it, come on... yes, this way, keep coming, no no, not him it’s me you want, that’s right your eyes are on me- get ready, wait for it, here it comes, the swoop and up I go - now the hug - yes, I am the chosen one!

HI – let me introduce myself I’m Strider, the great explorer, pup of all pups and very cute, so every human I meet says. My human mum says I’m a German Shepherd puppy & Shooter & I - that’s my brother - are extra special as we are going to be police dogs, (whatever they are) when we grow up, we both think it sounds impressive. Personally, I think, regardless of this police dog thing, I’m even extra, extra special as I’m all black like my mummy and Shooter isn’t.

Oh here comes Roxy, she’s my sister and she is going to be a display dog with the Cheshire Dog Display Team when she’s older; I guess that means she is special too! I think we were destined to be special as our mum is very clever, she can do lots of really clever things - she can even jump through hoops of fire whilst lots of people watch her at shows!

It’s our birthday today - well sort of - we are 7 weeks old and lots of things seem to be changing; most noticeable is how much quieter it’s becoming around here as my brothers and sisters leave for their new homes. We have had lots of fun times playing, pouncing on each other, I am really good at those games. Things are definitely changing round here, my human mum told Shooter, Roxy and me that the adventure was just beginning, and that sounds like fun to us. I have to say I reckon that the last seven weeks has been pretty exciting, it’s amazing what a pup can do in such a short time!

Transitional phase

I don’t remember much about the first ten days or so; I’ve been told that I spent most of the time sleeping and eating, I then entered something called the ‘transitional phase’. I don’t really recall that, but when I was 11 days old something magical happened, my eyes opened and I began to see things! At first everything was a bit hazy which meant I kept bumping into my brothers and sisters when I was practising walking. Over the following days as my walking improved I started to see things more clearly. Lots of strange things happened around that time, I started to get teeth and hear sounds, the world was becoming a really interesting place to investigate, and boy do I like investigating!

For as long as I can remember there has been another mum in my life but she calls herself our human mum. She doesn’t look like my real mum but she brings us food and plays really good games, I like it when she picks me up especially when she strokes me, now that is relaxing. I am glad she is around as our real mum started to spend less time with us once we got to about three weeks, I didn’t understand why, I mean we all made a massive fuss of her whenever we saw her, I know what you are thinking, ‘cupboard love’, but that’s not totally true; granted her milk does taste great but she is also tender and kind.

Socialisation period

Three weeks also marked the start of the socialisation period; it sounds complicated for a pup but I quickly discovered that it simply meant that we were in for lots of new and exciting experiences, which can only mean fun!

We have always lived in the house; we have our own room, with its own TV and sound system! Sometimes we listen to a CD which has lots of different noises on it including fireworks, thunder, traffic and even babies crying, to name but a few. I’m not sure what these things are exactly at this stage but I have been told that we will meet the things responsible for these strange noises; thinking about it we have already met one called a vacuum cleaner, it makes a huge racket and it was a bit scary to start with but we quickly realised it was all noise and nothing to worry about.

One of my favourite discoveries was the world beyond our room. When we were very lucky we were all taken into other parts of the house, called the lounge and kitchen, now believe me when I say you can really have some fun in these rooms. There were so many new toys, different smells to sniff and lots of nooks and crannies to explore, even better was when I was allowed to do all of this without my brothers and sisters and of course that meant that I got all of the attention to my self.

We dogs are called ‘Man’s Best Friend’ and I think, even though I am a puppy, that you’ve got it the wrong way round. You humans are a ‘Dog’s Best Friend!’

I love people! Since we were tiny babies lots of people have come to visit us and I quickly began to realise just how different you human folk can be; some of you are big, some small, some of you have loud voices, others soft, and you all smell different. But the one thing you seem to have in common is that you are all good fun and you make my tail wag and wag. My brothers and sisters and I play a game to see who can catch your attention first. I’m very good at it; perhaps it’s because I’m so cute...

One thing we did find weird is that you human folk are really sensitive - if we even put our teeth on your skin, you squeal in pain; us pups don’t want to hurt you and we always feel very sorry when we make you squeal. It’s hard not to use our mouths when we explore. Over the last few weeks I’ve been getting better at remembering; apparently we have been learning something called bite inhibition.

Well these first seven weeks have been packed with things to learn about but apparently the three of us have to go and explore lots more new things, meet lots more of you humans, other dogs and do more of this socialising thing. It sounds like we are going to really enjoy ourselves and it will be fantastic, even better than the things we have already been doing, WOW do I just love having FUN! Bring it on!

Bye for now - Strider

Strider was helped by Sue Williams CFBA BSc & Debbie Cordingley BA

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