Juniper, our chocolate lab puppy, is now six months old. We received an email from Shauna, Juni's human mom, last week asking if we might bring Juni over so she could play with her brothers and sisters. All of them were going to be together on Saturday so we went for a doggie playdate.
When we arrived, Shauna came running from the house and looked like she was going to cry when she saw Juni. They had expected her to be short and stocky but rather she has lengthened into a rangy, leggy teenager.
Juni now weighs 48 pounds. All her previously cute cuddly little puppy brothers and sisters are also about 50 pounds apiece. It took a few minutes for them to take each other's measure and then the playing romp was on. Lots of mock fighting (I call it grab ass when Juni and Daisy are doing this ~ teeth bared, lots of guttural growling and tails wagging furiously), jumping, racing around and pawing at each other.
It was great fun and so strange to see seven close to identical Junis and her mom all jumping around. They are different shades of brown but otherwise look much like each other (you can sort of tell the different shades of brown in the middle picture above). We kept them straight by their collar colors. Shauna and her boyfriend Matt know them by sight but we sure didn't.
In the pictures above (left to right), Juni is the one in the scarf. In the middle picture, I was doling out treats to the dogs and trying to keep them straight so they each had the same number of treats. In the picture on the right, Juni and one of her siblings are so tired they're playing grab ass but while laying down. Juni is underneath John and using him as protection though she hardly needs it.
Both she and Daisy wear bandannas most of the time to distinguish them from Erin's dog Domino when he's here. Where Juni and Daisy are mellow and friendly, Domino is aggressive (part Lab, part pit bull on 30 mg of Prozac daily) and we all believe he has a bite to back up his bark (though it hasn't been proven yet, thank goodness). However, Domino is fine around his own people and wonderful with Emily and Lucy. If he ever is NOT good with the kids, he's a goner; there will be no second chance.
Anyway, we had a great playdate with Shauna, mom dog Denali and the seven puppies. Now we're figuring we'll have a first birthday party for them in July. What fun to look forward to. Doggie birthday cake!