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It has been a year since the Terrible Trio were puppies, so the advent of Max and Millie has reminded me of a great many things I had forgotten. Though there is much in common with puppies, yet each individual puppy starts out with certain specific traits that continue into its life as defining character traits. When Helen was a baby she was always very slow to react and very deliberate. I even thought at one time that she was “slow”. But finally this trait manifested itself as thinking several times before making a decision, which is an indication of a deep thinker, the total opposite of “slow”. Troy on the other hand was always impulsive and throws his heart into everything he does. He is still the same, but a nearly 50 kilos of impulsive, enthusiastic dog is sometimes a bit too much. When I got Petra she was slightly older and some very bad habits were instilled in her, primarily one of always cowering, afraid of ill treatment. This habit has taken me more than a year to try to break, and now finally she is starting to stand up to and growl at Helen whenever the latter tries to bully her. Finally!
As for Max and Millie, it is fun trying to discern any traits that will continue into forming their adult characters. I can see now Millie as the go getter, the leader into any mischief, the perky, bubbly, noisy active one. Her ears have already perked up and she is always the first one out of the door. She is the one who jumps highest to greet me in the morning. She is the one who bites harder, the one who barks and growls, the one who tries to hog all the food. She is an extrovert and somewhat pushy. Yet still a total baby, when frightened by the big dogs she is the first to scream and run to me. I really cannot blame her. I think I would do the same if I found an elephant rushing towards me.
Max on the other hand is, by comparison, a bit more subdued. He takes his time with everything, a sort of dignified deliberation to all his movements. He is not as hyper as Millie, but when provoked just as determined and often gets his way in the end. He too is still a baby and his reaction to the big dogs is still the same.
My new babies are now starting to catch on about their food and their toilet training. The word “food” is a strong motivator to move, to rush downstairs to the kitchen. And now the word “Yalla” brings them out of a deep sleep to follow me wherever I lead.
Well follow is said very loosely. They weave in and out from between my legs, quite often stepping on my feet and just plain stopping in front of me. But they keep moving in the general direction I am trying to move towards. They enjoy their forages into the garden where I take them immediately after every meal. To them the front garden is a whole new world that they have not yet explored fully. Just one corner of it is where they head immediately because this is the part they know. I am looking forward to introducing them to the back garden and the pool.

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Of course the number of meals they have now have restricted my movements. Though the mid-day meal is the same as the rest, the cooked meal of boiled chicken, carrots, squash and potatoes mixed with some boiled rice, yet their breakfast alternates between two menus. One day they have a boiled egg minced with soft white cheese and mixed with finely shredded balady bread, the next day again finely shredded balady bread doused with a couple of spoonfuls of plain yogurt and a full teaspoon of honey. They love moth menus and lick their plates till they shine. The final meal of the day is dry food dipped in some water to soften it.
One of their most adorable traits is that they play and run all over the room where I am, then suddenly, without any warning, they collapse at my feet and are fast asleep in a matter of seconds, yes, real babies.
The Terrible Trio at that age were obviously larger in size, but Max and Millie are definitely stronger in build and rougher in their play. Here I think the breed plays a role as well. Golden Retrievers, though large dogs, are still more delicate than German Shepards. This inherent toughness can be seen in their rough hair, their sturdy, muscled legs and how heavy they are compared to the Golden Retrievers at that age. Even when these two run up and down the wooden stairs they sound like a herd of cattle not just two puppies. They are going to become big, tough dogs if they take after their parents.
My new furry family is growing, in number, size and age. God bless each and every one of them.
7 June 2015

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