There only being two of us, there were plenty of hectic moments. That being said, we are so honored and grateful for our relationship with Voight's partner that she trusts us enough to watch Voight while she was overseas. There is also something very special about having three of the four dogs we have raised together. Here they are, posing in their respective attire: Tai in his puppy in training "bib", Paige in her puppy in training jacket, and Voight looking mature in his harness (We had his harness, but obviously we did not use it when he was here. We only put in harness for the picture. When we took him out in public, it was in jacket like Paige, although his did not say "puppy in training".)
It was also interesting to have three dogs in that it put Voight back in our vocabulary. I was channeling my dad's mom for most of the time, going through roll-call before I got the right dog I wanted to call/ correct/ feed/ whatever. My sentences began "Voi-Pai-Tai - STOP IT", or whatever. Liam's and Mika's (whom I don't think has made an entrance into this blog yet) names were thrown in there too. I found myself echoing my Nana again - "If I'm looking at you, I'm talking to you".
So anyway, my inabilities aside, having the three posed a few problems, mostly that Voight does not like young males. Period. He was fine playing with Suki, a female only three weeks older than Tai. Voight is in no way a mean dog, but I think he gets a bit... jealous, competitive maybe? - with other males, particularly those who are young and intact. Add that to our Tai being a little instigator - subsequently, Tai ended up being farmed out to be puppy sat. We are supposed to puppy swap, and we do feel that this was a very good experience for him. He came home with glowing reports from both families who watched him (sorry, proud parent moment). It was also good that he was gone, because Paige was still recovering from her altering and Tai seemed to want to remove her stitches (consequently the little girl has staples in her tummy, but they will be removed tomorrow).
Voight was a pleasure to watch - and because he is someone else's dog, he comes with, shall we say, a certain disregard for uber-strict puppy raising rules? Voight sleeps with his owner ON the bed... it's a challege the first few nights to get used to an 80 pound Labrador who insists on being a cover hog. Voight also plays tug with his partner's husband - which we obviously never have, until now. There is a reason that we don't teach our dogs that - Voight nearly pulled Amy over on the first tug. Not a good thing.
Paige also benefitted from having an older dog around - she seems to be more confident and assertive with Tai, who came home yesterday. Paige would play and steal Voight's toys, and "teeth-rattle" or "sword fight" with him, and the benefits seem to be her being less of a softie when it comes to Tai. We caught her laying down last night with Tai, which we thought was adorable until we realized her noggin was holding his head down, along with her paw. He had this look on his face that said " 'Ello? Shishter? Can 'ou move your facsh? Pleash?"
So Voight went home to his mommy, and Tai is home with us. It was a hectic two weeks, but very much worth it... although we have a new appreciation for those of you who handle two or more pups on a regular basis!