Lil the little Lab is growing, growing….



Approxiately one week old

 Lilith has grown a lot since January 29, 2011.

Edith held by Gavin, Lil held by Kai – approx. eight weeks old

Lil at three months

Currently six months old, she is at the half way mark towards her first anniversary of life. A good time to reflect on the eventful nature of puppyhood.

She has definitely had some qwaky awkward stages…in fact that pretty much sums up her growth to date. First her legs shot up; then she had a week where she grew straight out; her head sometimes keeps up with the rest of her body and sometimes…not so much. And it is almost impossible to get a good picture of her – not just because she’s growing in spits and spurts but because she doesn’t believe in posing for cameras.

Lil’s head at six months…body looking a month or so behind

Lil leads with her head, which means when taking her picture she is always going to look like a lot of nose and a little bit of body. Not the most attractive or accurate depiction of what she really looks like but as I’ve said before, pictures don’t really seem to be able to capture our dogs the way we see them in real life anyway.

Another difficulty with trying to record her growth through pictures is that Lil is like a celebrity  B-grade starlit when the camera comes out – she seems to forget any sense of self-respect she has and becomes goofier. She will not “sit” for more than three seconds.
The best way to get a picture of her now is to let her go about her business of sniffing for food or potential food and hoping that one of the pictures I take will turn out. Basically, this is not a very successful approach if one wants a ‘nice’ photo.

Lil finding a twig that has the potential to be eaten

In other areas of growth, like learning her lessons, Lil is also experiencing mixed results. She appears to grasp the concept of “sit” and “come” just fine. Actually, to give her credit she is pretty good on acknowledging when she’s being spoken to and responding. Unfortunately, she still has the attention span of a hyper active gnat.

Life is just so interesting and exciting and busy that remembering to “sit” for more than a couple of seconds is REALLY difficult. In my work life I spend a lot of time with young people who have attention deficit disorder. In comparison, Lil makes them look rather focused.

The thing is, that while her body is growing, Lil is still very much a baby learning about life. The junior member of our family in every way, Lil has almost everything to learn about life in front of her and nearly no practical experience. Think about it – she’s only been aware of her world in the vaguest way since February.

If we look at a puppy from that perspective – what a really limited amount of time they’ve been around gathering data – it can be pretty interesting that they pick as much up as they do as quickly as they do.
Here are some of the things Lil has figured out so far:

  • If I want food — and I always want food–when the person picks up the food bowl run and sit politely in my  kennel, wag tail furiously and look very happy and hopeful
  • If I want a thrill, run at the short fury white one who isn’t a dog but likes to run through the room
  • If I’m in the kennel and want out I just bark, bark, bark, bark, bark…no matter how much light or dark there is,someone will eventually show up and let me out
  • If I want to play find the funny face one who is a dog and jump at her; make a lot of noise like she does so we know we’re having fun
  • “Sit” means plant your butt on the ground and maybe get a biscuit
  • “Down” means copy funny face when she gets lower and hope for a biscuit
  • “Lil” means run to the person and hope for a biscuit, or ear rubs and loving
  • “Leave it” means that it is so much fun the person is keeping it just for herself
  • “No!” like “leave it”
  • The high levels in the food room hold interesting things that might be worth playing with
  • The magic tall thing in the corner of the food room has treasures that are saved for strange men in a big truck to take every week – unless me and funny face can get the lid off and score them first
  • “No” and “get out of the kitchen” always are said when you try and score the treasures
  •  Everyone else in the house is older and needs to be barked at when it is still time to play and they’re trying to nap
  • If everything else fails, go to the toy place and toss toys around until a good one is found; then get another and another and another because they all get boring really, really quick
  •  If something new is found, first try and eat it – if that doesn’t work play with it
  • Shredding paper is very satisfying; there is always paper if you look for it

When you think about it, Lil has processed a lot of information in a very short period of time. She’s still learning to evaluate which information is going to be the most useful for her. And as a very young being, eating, sleeping, and playing are still top priorities in her world. Overall, I think she’s doing fairly well in learning to adapt her expectations to the expectations of those she lives with.

Lil’s Maternal Grandma

Lil’s Dad

Lil’s Mom and Dad, field trials

Lil – six months


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