Sibling Puppies

Raven (left), Clover (middle), and Dart (right).

I have two 13 week old rough collie puppies from the same litter. They look similar, but their personalities are different. Raven, the male, is a laid back, friendly guy. He learns quickly and does not usually push the boundaries. He is a Labrador retriever disguised as a collie. He is a big cuddle bug and loves food. If you are feeding him food in one end, he does not care what you are doing with the rest of him. We have had no problem trimming his toenails as long as cool stuff was being popped into his mouth. He learns quickly and is usually well-behaved.

Raven. Both puppies like to sleep with their feet sticking up in the air.

Clover, the female, is 2 1/2 pounds lighter than Raven and seems petite in comparison. She pushes boundaries as far as she can. She thought the dishwasher was the neatest thing ever and it was hard to keep her out. I put her in time out when she would not leave the open dishwaster alone and after 3 days, she sits nicely in front of the dishwasher, waiting for something to drop on the floor.

Both Raven and Clover prefer Dart’s food to theirs. I felt like a goalie trying to stop them from getting to Dart’s food while eating. After several days of working it through, the puppies sit nicely while he eats. The puppies will not eat their food until they know Dart does not have food available.

Clover is the craziest pup I’ve had. She pulls temper tantrums when she gets frustrated. It usually involves her jumping up and down and pawing and biting at her bedding to relieve her frustration, but sometimes she jumps in her water bowl. The other day, I noticed Clover trying to get a piece of kibble out of the water bowl. She thought it was fun and she began to stick her nose in the water and blow out. She appeared to love the results.

I take them for walks separately and took Raven first the other day. I left Clover in the front yard to watch us go because she usually goes bananas when she is left behind and I wanted her to learn we will come back soon and there is no need to act like a maniac. She quieted quickly, so I thought progress was being made. When I returned, I found her in the house. I forgot to shut the front door when I put her outside. It explains why her yodeling did not last long. I noticed water on the floor in the kitchen and wondered if she had peed. I thought we were making progress with house training and was upset but Regis, the sleuth, determined it was not pee. I then looked at the large water bowl I keep in the kitchen for the dogs. I fill it with fresh water every morning. It was almost empty and there was water everywhere around the bowl. The bowl was not tipped over. I think she got frustrated when I left for a walk with Raven without her and came into the kitchen and put her nose in the water bowl and then walked around the kitchen shaking her wet head. I could be wrong. It is circumstantial evidence, but that is my best guess based on the facts.

We have some furniture with glass shelves. Clover likes to get between the shelves to escape from Raven when they are playing. I tried to thwart her by putting up masking tape. While taping the shelves, she snuck in from the untaped side and then sat there trying to figure out how to get out. While she contemplated escape, I taped up another table. As soon as she figured out how to get out of the one table, she ripped the masking tape off the other one.

While Regis was in the southeast recently looking at boats, I put the dogs in their pens and headed to Port Townsend. I did not get far because I got an indication of low tire pressure in one of the tires. (It turns out it had a screw in the tire). I do not have a spare tire and I do not know where to get help with a Tesla on the west side of Puget Sound. I immediately returned home to find Clover out of her pen and Raven sitting nicely in his. Clover either jumped or climbed out, the little rascal.

When she is frustrated with us because we stop her from doing something she wants to do, she gives us “the stink eye”. She puts her head slightly down and looks up at us showing the whites at the bottom of her eyes. Regis and I are getting used to “the look” when we frustrate her.

The breeder and we have worked regularly touching both puppies feet, ears, etc. to get them used to being handled. The day I attempted to trim their nails, I introduced the Dremel tool which I use to sand toenails. Our last three dogs were trained with it and were cooperative. I have never had a problem sanding below the quick, but have had problems doing that with clippers. The puppies were curious about the tool but not crazy about it touching their toe nails. I made some progress with Raven and quit while I was ahead. Clover screamed like she was being tortured and that was without the tool touching her toenail. It was awful, so we gave up.

After that, Clover would not pee or poop in the grass in the front. Many people would say their is no connection and perhaps not. For two days she would not pee or poop in the grass. She went on the deck, sidewalk, ramp for Dart, and straddled a small stone wall to pee on it. On the second day, after taking her for a walk, she returned to her normal behavior. Normal for her is to hold it as long as possible when I let her outside while Raven goes immediately. I read that puppies her age can only hold it 4 hours. She can go 10 hours. At least that’s working well most nights.

When I tried to clip nails the second time, I used toe nail clippers. Raven moved his foot and I cut the quick. It looked like someone had been murdered in the house. Even with stuff to stop the bleeding, I could not get it to stop and he would not stop moving so there was blood everywhere. I eventually doused his whole foot with powder and put a sock on it. Clover was determined to rescue him from the sock and remove it. I had to put them in their pens with stuffed Kongs to quiet them down long enough to get the bleeding to stop. It worked and as soon as they were released, Clover pulled off the sock and waved it proudly as she ran through the house.

I cut Raven’s toenail too short.

Dart happy to have the bed to himself.

Raven always finds the strangest places to sleep.

So much for my instructions on how to use the spot cleaner.

Clover. It does not look comfortable. She often tries to chew that spindle by her nose when I am not looking.

Raven and Clover checking out one of their new pop up crates.

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