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Whippets In Spaaaace, Week 3

The puppies continue to grow. With their mother as a convenient size reference, observe their terrifying growth rate. There’s starting to be a concern that these puppies are the whippet versions of Babe the Blue Ox. And we all know how that ended – in tragedy and a year’s worth of steak.

The puppies continue to grow. With their mother as a convenient size reference, observe their terrifying growth rate. There’s starting to be a concern that these puppies are the whippet versions of Babe the Blue Ox. And we all know how that ended – in tragedy and a year’s worth of steak.

Tepper the puppy recommends that you read Grass. Clearly this puppy is wise beyond her weeks.

Tepper the puppy recommends that you read Grass. Clearly this puppy is wise beyond her weeks.

It’s been a week, which means it’s time for another installment of Whippets In Spaaaaaace, the continuing mission of four puppies named after some of the greatest sci-fi authors of our day: to seek out new food and OM NOM NOM NOM. (sorry, that’s about as far as the puppies can go before they get distracted by eating)

Asaro disagrees with Tepper, because Asaro prefers space sagas, ship battles, and quantum physics. It is hard to argue with those points, Asaro.

Asaro disagrees with Tepper, because Asaro prefers space sagas, ship battles, and quantum physics. It is hard to argue with those points, Asaro.

There are actually some big changes going on, and not just in their size. The puppies are definitely more interested in the world around them. The plastic tub can still mostly contain them – well, except for Tepper when she’s feeling particularly motivated. This motivation often kicks in when someone is holding any other puppy than her, because Tepper has decided that she is the rightful owner of ALL THE CUDDLES. And as the largest puppy, she’s got an edge over the others. (and, let’s face it, she’s also the cutest. Her big brown eyes pierce my soul!)

Scalzi disagrees with both of his sisters, because he prefers his sci-fi with Star Trek jokes! And if Internet rumors are to be believed, there’s a network that agrees with him!

Scalzi disagrees with both of his sisters, because he prefers his sci-fi with Star Trek jokes!

Another interesting development is that now all of the puppies are showing an interest in human cuddling. They were fine with being picked up last week, but mostly it seemed to confuse them. They would kind of lie on your lap with little thought-bubbles like, “Wait, what’s going on? Why is my head being rubbed? Is there something to eat around here?” The whole situation seemed confusing to them. That’s changing – now when they see a human approaching, their activity level picks up and they scamper over to sniff hands and get head-rubs. Also a new development – they can scamper. During the last week some of that tricky giant belly/stubby legs issue got ironed out, and you’ll notice in the pictures that their legs seem a bit more in line with their general body size. It’s not a great scamper, mind you (there’s a lot of scamper-scamper-PLOP going on), but it’s impressive.
Brin, stretching, feeling grateful that I didn’t try to pose him with books.

Brin, stretching, feeling grateful that I didn’t try to pose him with books.

If they don’t get attention from humans, they’ve also discovered that crying can get them what they want. This is especially practiced by Scalzi, who, according to my mother, is the biggest crier of them all.

If they don’t get attention from humans, they’ve also discovered that crying can get them what they want. This is especially practiced by Scalzi, who, according to my mother, is the biggest crier of them all.

The last big development this week was that they are now actively playing with each other. Previously they would sometimes sit on each other, but it was hard to say exactly how deliberate that was. Things have moved into the realm of hopping onto each other, nipping, and kind of rolling around in a puppy pile. It’s pretty fun to watch.

And that’s pretty much it for this week of whippet development! In non-puppy news, there’s a giveaway for three copies of Iron Night, so you can enter to win one of those. I’ll also be signing the copies, so that’s kind of fun. Iron Night was also reviewed recently at Fantasy Book Café and All Things Urban Fantasy, and there’s also a fantastic review of Generation V over at Bibliotropic that I strongly recommend checking out. Finally, for those puppy-philes in the Rhode Island area – I’ll be doing a signing and reception at Books On The Square on February 28th. Since I’ve been told very specifically that they are “taking a chance on [me]”, spread the word if you live in Rhode Island and let’s see if we can change this bookstore’s mind about out-of-state speculative fiction authors!

The first rule about puppy fight club appears to be: lick everything in sight as much as possible.

The first rule about puppy fight club appears to be: lick everything in sight as much as possible.

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Whippets In Spaaaaace, Week 2

Here are the puppies pictured with their mother for size reference. Quite a difference from a week ago!

Here are the puppies pictured with their mother for size reference. Quite a difference from a week ago!

Back at the end of January, my mother’s whippet, Jessie, had her litter of puppies. Mom made the fatal error of letting me name the puppies, resulting in a litter named after some of my favorite living sci-fi authors. Since whippets usually have large litters, and Jessie’s first litter consisted of eight puppies, I had originally expected to honor (if you call having a puppy named after you an honor – which, really, shouldn’t you?) several more authors. Bad luck, to Alastair Reynolds, who didn’t make the cut. (honestly thought there was one more puppy in that womb – oh, well. a whippet’s uterus is apparently a harsh mistress)

That’s Tepper – look at those inquisitive eyes! She’s the biggest puppy.

That’s Tepper – look at those inquisitive eyes! She’s the biggest puppy.

I also learned from that blog post that apparently adorable puppies + the names of famous sci-fi authors is blog hit gold. Who knew? (okay, apparently everyone knew except me) So here is an update!

This is Asaro. Her coloring is a bit lighter than Tepper’s. She’s easy to pick out when you’re looking at the litter from above, since she has a white diamond on her butt.

This is Asaro. Her coloring is a bit lighter than Tepper’s. She’s easy to pick out when you’re looking at the litter from above, since she has a white diamond on her butt.

Since the litter is half the size of a usual whippet whelping (say that ten times fast), the puppies don’t have to fight too hard for their meals, so they seem to be growing like a science experiment gone awry. I first saw them when they were two days old, and at that time they could lie in one hand. Now they are about the size of guinea pigs, and they require two hands to cuddle, due to all the puppy fat. Seriously, these puppies are so fat that they can barely lift themselves up. The only one who can maneuver with any kind of real agility (and even that is really being graded on a curve) is Scalzi, because Scalzi is the smallest puppy right now. By smallest I mostly mean “least fat.”

Brin has the darkest fur pattern -- it's a dark brown brindle. Here he is attempting jump the side of the tub.  (unsuccessfully -- no Uplift for you, puppy!)

Brin has the darkest fur pattern — it’s a dark brown brindle. Here he is attempting jump the side of the tub. (unsuccessfully — no Uplift for you, puppy!)

Seriously, these puppies are pretty much fat bellies, superfluous legs, and mouths.

That’s Tepper sitting on Asaro – the puppies are starting to play a little bit in those rare moments between eating or sleeping. Mostly this involves sitting on each other, but hey, everyone has to start somewhere. You can get a partial view of Asaro’s butt diamond in this picture.

That’s Tepper sitting on Asaro – the puppies are starting to play a little bit in those rare moments between eating or sleeping. Mostly this involves sitting on each other, but hey, everyone has to start somewhere. You can get a partial view of Asaro’s butt diamond in this picture.

You’ll notice from the photos that their faces are changing a bit. They don’t have the long nose of their mother yet, but they definitely have more of a snout than before. I’m sure in a few more weeks they’ll have long and inquisitive noses, the better to counter-cruise like mommy. Fun fact – their noses have the most incredibly soft and velvety fur.

They have also matured a little from when they were a week old, and existed solely for the purpose of eating, then napping to get the energy to eat some more. They’re still very focused on eating, but after they fill their bellies there will be about a five second period where they will look around inquisitively before taking a nap. Their eyes are open now, and they seem to recognize people. If they see a person and their mother isn’t around, they will now start making little puppy whimpers until you pick them up and cuddle them – I think this is a heat thing, though my mother has the heat in her house pretty cranked right now, and their little tub is full of blankets and a few heating pads. Once you pick the whimpering puppy up, they kind of snuggle against you for a second, then begin exploring any exposed skin for the possibility of a nipple. You know, just checking about dinner.

And that’s Scalzi, taking a snooze. It’s tough work to double your size in a week!

And that’s Scalzi, taking a snooze. It’s tough work to double your size in a week!

Every time my mother or I walk into the room, their poor mother hops out of the tub (it’s one of those plastic swimmy tubs – it helps contain both wiggly puppies and their urine) and runs into the corner where her big fluffy cushion is. She’ll give the most hysterical, “Oh, thank god you’re here. YOU deal with them for a while,” expression.

So concludes another thrilling adventure of whippets..... in spaaaace!

So concludes another thrilling adventure of whippets….. in spaaaace!