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  • Writer's pictureHoekema Family

4 wk. old Trooper Update

Our day to day around here is becoming a lot more routine, slowing down a touch and everyone is starting to fall back into a normal groove of things. Sola is getting her spring back into her step and her full bounce has returned. Meiko gets 'attacked' by Sola on a regular basis again which she LOVES! and the classic ear to ear smile that Meiko is known for is exploding all over her face. They both come up for air blasting sand in every direction showing their utterly blissful state. They dive to the bottom of their water buckets soaking their whole head I guess to cool off. So funny! They continue to roll and wrestle in their newly built 'beach' now collecting a ring of sand around their head sticking to their wet fur from their water buckets. The rains of winter hasn't even started yet, eek. Sand, the gift that keeps on giving! Pros and Cons to everything right?! I find a chuckle somehow within me as I just can't help myself as they turn and spin and wear themselves out in 10 mins. Flat. Sand will do that to anyone. One of the pros for sure.

A high velocity dog dryer was in order real quick with this yard switch. The dogs don't quite love it yet but with a few bags of treats on hand I'll have them begging to be blasted in no time flat! I'll have them turned into exploding Q-tips before you know it!

Trooper had been taking full advantage of his singleton life lately and soaking up the sunshine beams that radiate in through his window. He has his box all to himself and lounges warm and toasty...a bit too long. Living the lazy life... a little too much. He doesn't have much reason to drive him to get up and get going on his own. See?!

Since he doesn't have his littermates to wrestle with, fight for a position at the milk bar, tussle and compete with he has developed a very common challenge for pups in this predicament called 'Swimmers Syndrome' its where his front legs 'swim' out to the sides when he moves instead of him pulling them straight underneath him. At the 4 wk. Mark pups should not only be up on all 4's but be getting around quite well and he's just not quite there yet. This is of very minor concern compared to what I've already gotten this little pup through.

Ssooo I get to spend even more time with this little guy now! Ha! I've started him on dedicated walking lessons this week to strengthen those front muscles in his legs. Ropes got placed under his towels in his box to give him more dips and grooves for his front feet to work into. He also gets placed in a walking trough multiple times a day that forces him to keep those front legs pulled in. I recently posted a video of him on my FB page in one of his sessions.

I had a 'swimmer' in a past litter, which I dubbed my 'pancake baby'. I rehabed him to walk at this stage perfectly, he went home on time with his littermates at the 8 wk. Mark running and playing normally and today he's a big strapping gorgeous strong boy. Trooper is a fighter, a miracle baby that has great determination behind him. This is either going to be a blessing or a curse to his forever family! I'm excited to see this play out and hear about all his future milestones conquered as he thrives in life. I'm hopeful his forever family will bring him to a future meet up and we can all see this amazing pup once again in his full size glory. The other dogs want to play with Trooper desperately but they don't really understand that he's not to to the level of play that they are. I put him down for the first time yesterday very supervised of course and Leia tried tried to pick him up and pack him off. Not a toy Leia! Isla is just a wiggle worm and doesn't know what to do with him so she just... well .. wiggles. Meiko is the perfect Auntie once again and gentle lays with him when she's allowed when Sola isn't with him. She's played this role perfectly since she was a baby. Hopefully by next week he'll be up and around a bit more so he'll be more dog like so the other dogs will clue in a bit more what he actually is. He's still pretty small so we'll see how it goes. I'm hopeful his forever family gets to come in next weekend to meet this amazing little boy. I'm simply honored to have the privilege to raise him.

For now I sit back and soak up every second of the dogs blasting around with Trooper under my arm simply being grateful for the time I get to spend with them all. I took the final step this week and put Sola's 'Mountain Litter' babies to rest. They were placed in the garden right next to all the dogs so they will always be near. Rest well my sweet babes. You would have been wonderful. Trooper will grow up strong and beautiful for you all and represent each and everyone of you extremely well.

The human-animal bond bypasses the intellect and goes straight to the heart and emotions and nurtures us in ways that nothing else can... absolutely nothing. Of this I am 100% certain of. As I sit here and type this up I glance over at my baby monitor screen and notice Trooper goofing around. Playing like a baby polar bear, rolling, biting at this toes and simply being the best he can be. See?! He's already amazing!

May the future be brighter, our days be lighter and whatever is next for all of us may it be filled with joy from these amazing dogs.


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