Well, it’s been four weeks with the puppies.  Twenty-seven days to be exact.  Twenty-seven nights of interrupted sleep.  We aren’t regretting it but it has been trying at times.  The puppies are more like babies than we would like to recall.  But they are getting better about house training.  They generally let us know when they need to go outside (which isn’t always welcome when it is fifteen degrees out).  And they are getting big – when we got them they weighed 14 pounds.  This past week they weighed in at 20.4 and 21!!

For the boys, it continues to be a learning experience.  I don’t think they are regretting it either but at times I am not so sure.  The nibbling on their feet in the morning, the jumping up on them as they watch TV in the evening, the constant “attention” seems to wear down on them at times but they are learning.  We have been watching episodes of the Dog Whisperer and that has helped them learn to stand their ground, defend their space and establish their place in the pack.  It is a slow process and so far the boys seem to be considered more like toys to the puppies than fellow pack members.

But where the boys lack the tolerance for having their socks chewed (while still on their feet), they make up for in helping with the dogs.  They help make sure they get out in the mornings and maintain the peace while we are getting ready.  They help in the evenings with feeding and again, making sure the dogs get out even with soccer practices and the normal family activity schedule.  They help to entertain the dogs in the evening so we can keep them exercised and hopefully tired when it is time for bed.  Tired puppies and good puppies, as my youngest often comments “they are good when they are asleep”.

So aside from having two adorable puppies to play with, chase around when they swipe a shoe or sock and clean up after, the boys are getting a healthy dose of responsibility.  They are learning to stand their ground, establish their place in the pack’s pecking order and realizing that getting dogs (their wish for a long time) is not all fun and games.  Perhaps most importantly they are learning to love and care for a being that is dependent on them- that is a lesson that will carry forward as they get older.