Tak's puppies are getting so big! They're super fuzzy and feisty already.
Puppy brains learn and develop most within the first four weeks of life. The more exposure puppies have to different environments, sounds, people and things, the more socialized they are to these changes. Because of this, we have begun working on a puppy pen, and shortly, Tak and her babies will move outside. They were three weeks old yesterday - it's amazing how fast those three weeks have gone by!
|Toots (right, female) kissing her brother Tosh (left)|
|Miles tethered out at his own dog house with his buddy, Yeti, in the distance. He's adjusting well to his circle.|
We are all trying to lay low during these very hot days of summer. We had a bit of a reprieve from the heat, though, with a quick five-day mini-vacation up to our favorite place: the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, last week.
I went up initially for a talk I had in Tecumseh, Michigan. But, I figured, why not turn it into a little trip. It ended up being a fantastic socialization adventure for Mr. Miles.
We started our photo journey of the U.P. with a picture of the infamous wolf in the U.P. welcome center right after entering the Upper Peninsula. Elise was not thrilled about this photo. :)
|Sophie (left) and Elise (right) in front of the wolf at the UP welcome center|
|This was all new to Miles, and he was a little afraid at first...|
|but soon, he felt at ease and loved playing and running full-throttle down the beach!|
|Miles loved watching Elise playing on the beach. I wonder what he was thinking?|
Every opportunity for new experiences, smells, sights, people and places creates new connections in a young dog's brain, just like children learning about their world. Miles had plenty of experiences on this trip to forge lots of new pathways of socialization and experience, and he reacted beautifully to all the changes.
We hopped back in the truck and headed along Route 2 all the way through Manistique ... and visited the biggest, deepest, coldest of the Great Lakes: Lake Superior
|Emily Curtice plays chauffeur on a quad ride to pick raspberries with Elise|
|Elise (left) and Sophie (right bottom) got to pet a baby bear at the Oswald's Bear Ranch outside of Newberry, Michigan. That's me behind them :)|
How many UP friends can one person squeeze into a five day visit? My friend Stan arrived at the Shaw's kennel and offered to take the girls and I out on his boat on Lake Superior. Unfortunately, it became chilly and windy, so we opted for pizza in Grand Marais instead. There, we hung out with Stan and his daughter, Laura, and I had the opportunity for more photos...
Once again, Miles went to new places and met new people, and did beautifully!
Finally, we left the U.P. and began the trek back down I-75 to Tecumseh, Michigan where I would be presenting our dogsledding talk, Backyard Iditarod, to the library. We had some time to kill, so spent the night in a hotel in Bay City, and Miles got to spend the night in a hotel room for the first time (and again, did beautifully).
The next day, our friend Anne Schneider Keller, the teen librarian at the library, sent me directions to a great sprinkler park/dog park for the kids AND Miles to let off some steam and get cool. By the time we arrived at the library, Miles was pooped!
|Miles catching some ZZZs at our talk at the Tecumseh District Library. Photo courtesy of Anne Schneider Keller|
What's more, we had the opportunity to forge our own memories of the U.P. and our favorite place. My only regret is that I wasn't here when Miles' brother, Theo, passed away unexpectedly. I can't help but think that if I had been here, he'd still be alive...
Until the next adventure...