After seeing pictures of the puppies, someone wrote to suggest that I color code them so I can tell them apart, but actually after the first hour, I had no problem at all.
Two of the puppies have white noses. These are Harry and Princess (one boy, one girl). That means that the other two without the white noses are William and Diana, also a boy and a girl, so it's very easy to figure out who is who.
But over and above the obvious genitalia identification (white face with penis? Must be Harry. No white face, no penis? Must be Diana), their behavior and Princess's markings are a big help.
Princess is the only one with a white spot on her back and a white tip on her tail. She has almost no fur at all, but the white spot is very distinctive.
And Harry? Well, Harry is a determined lap dog. I'll be sitting in my office and I'll hear a puppy whining over and over again. I don't even have to get up to know that it's Harry and that he's sitting staring at my chair. He wants me to sit down and hold him. If I get tired of holding him, he'll be happy to stay in the chair, but none of that running around on the floor for him.
Diana is the shy one. She was the last to join the group, only surrendered about a week after the others were surrendered, so she was separated from her siblings for long enough to be kind of the "outsider." When you open the door to the dog cage, three wiggling bodies tumble over each other trying to get outside (fortunately, most of heir elimination products make it outside). But Diana stays in the cage, looking kind of dazed. She eventually comes out but she seems to have a problem with her hind legs and she favors the back left especially. She has a lesion there which may be hurting her, so I've started putting Neosporin on it and hope it helps.
As for William? Well, he's the largest and the least needy, so William just pretty much goes his own way while I'm catering to the others.
But, as you can see, if you're with these guys for any length of time, it's very easy to know instantly which is which. Or maybe it's just a Mom thing.
They are on a pretty good schedule. They go into the cage around 9-10 p.m. at night. I cover the cage and they usually bark around 11-12, when I take them outside and they do their business, then they go right back in the cage and I don't hear from them until morning (7, if I'm lucky). During the day they play outside of the cage, and sleep in the cage (their choice) but are no problem at all to care for.
Their willingness to go so uncomplainingly into the cage was a great boon today when our new water heater was finally installed.
The arrival time was anywhere from 2 to 4, and of course the guy didn't show up until 4. I locked the puppies in their cage and locked myself away in this office with Lizzie and Sheila so they didn't spend the entire installation time trying to get into the house.
It worked perfectly, and within an hour or so, we had the water heater hooked up and heating water. Within another hour, we had hot water again. Yippee! You never know how much you want something until it's not there, of course.
All of the dogs were very happy to have it done. Lizzie and Sheila immediately ran in the house and the puppies immediately ran out of the house.
Walt and I just sat there watching the passing parade.
Today is my 9th Journalversary...I am starting my 10th year of writing this journal!