Under Sue and Joe's expert care and rearing (with the assistance of myriad friends, human and canine - it takes a village!), Otter and her litter mates enjoyed a wonderfully enriched baby hood. All manner of obstacles, including the famed "Adventure Box" from Avidog, toys, pools, tunnels and other items of puppy interest adorned the large puppy pen that was their early outdoor summer play area. In addition to mama Dory, several of Sue's older dogs gently showed the pups the ropes.
As the puppies got older and more mobile, Sue and family took them on little outings in the car. I was privileged to be there for a visit when the pups first went to the beach!! They spent most of their time wrestling under the dock, out of easy reach of the humans, but they did all get their first tastes of the warm, calm cove waters. Several also tried kayaking on a boat that was on the beach :).
After taking up VT residency, Otter has continued to blossom and has furthered her good doggy skills under the tutelage of her big "sisters", Pepper and Dakota and with periodic play dates with her Golden puppy cohort Phoebe. After a few rather stern lessons on how not to be a complete jerk :), she and Pepper are best buddies and spend hours jawing, snuggling and running together on our many woods walks. Now that Otter has gained some clues on doggy dos and don'ts, Kota is beginning to engage her in play together as well. All hugely heartwarming for the humans of the house. We are blessed with a very happy home with these three black Lab beauties.
Otter has also been busy on the training/learning front, beginning all the tiny pieces of skills that will later serve us well in obedience, agility and field. She very much has a mind of her own about when and how to do things LOL, but she's getting it all down pat and is a joy to train and learn with. We think she is brilliant (all biases aside, of course). She is a terrific traveler in the car, and a wonderful snuggler during down time. If fact, I feel a warm bit of puppy love asleep at my feet right now.
Stay tuned for more adventures of Otter and her big sisters!