When I was writing the series of books about GloryToo, I went through all the photos I had taken of her from birth. I soon realized that she had begun very early doing what I call her signature move, starting at 12 weeks of age. She would slowly collapse onto her side, then onto her back, wave her feet in the air and either roll on her toy or hold it as she rolled. I enlisted my group of proofreaders for the book series to come up with a catch term to describe what she does nearly every play period, and eventually we settled on CARROT. CARROT stands for “Collapse and Roll on Toy.” As I continued searching for photos of GloryToo CARROTing, I found some of her mother, Lively, CARROTing as well. Each of the 15 books in the GloryToo series includes photos of either her or her mother CARROTing, plus we stuck photos of carrots throughout each book for the kids to search for. (See more info on GloryToo’s books)
Thus I was not surprised that her fourteen-week-old daughter, Hopeful, began CARROTing during Lovely’s playtime on August 10th, 2020. Why not during GloryToo’s playtime? Because she is busy retrieving her own ball, thrown the opposite direction from GloryToo’s ball. By the time Lovely comes out for her ball session, the day has heated up considerably and Hopeful is content to play with a couple of stuffed toys that I bring out for her. Lovely, also a GloryToo daughter (but from a different sire), has never shown any interest in CARROTing. But Hopeful must have inherited the CARROTing genes from GloryToo and Lively, because she started right on time. Genetics fascinates me, and I have lots of chances to observe it since I’m in the seventh generation of my female line. I can’t count the times I’ll see one of my current girls do something and remember that one generations ahead of her did the same thing or something quite similar.
HOWEVER, Hopeful’s signature move is different for her mother’s and grandmother’s. She doesn’t collapse at all. For a while she’ll stand or sit and slam the toy across both her shoulders, or toss it up in the air and catch it. Then she’ll lie down with it and be peaceful for a short time before she rolls onto her back and plays with the toy. Again, she is different from GloryToo: she likes to toss it up and catch it, still while lying on her back. Or she will put both front feet straight into the air and hold it, waving it back and forth with her feet as she bites at it.
After a lot of thought, I came up with HEART, which stands for “Hold, Elevate And Roll with the Toy.” So that’s now Hopeful’s claim to fame. Hopefully, when she becomes a therapy dog, she will be good at visiting the schools and I’ll write books about her for the kids to read, like I’m doing for GloryToo. And every book will have little hearts hidden in its pages for the kids to search for, like they search for the hidden carrots in GloryToo’s books. But that’s a long time in the future, because Hopeful has to be at least a year old before she can test to be a therapy dog. And once she is certified, she will need some experience visiting the nursing homes before I take her to the schools, which can be too exciting for a young dog. But that’s all in the future.
When she was fifteen weeks old, Hopeful managed to break a toe. She was forced to stay as quiet as possible for three weeks. HEARTing during morning playtime helped her get trough those three weeks – and I took lots of photos!
Hopeful at 14 weeks
She started with a Kong Rope toy, but took a break in the middle to CARROT with a stick, making me wonder if I’ll have to describe HER signature move as CARROTS (collapse and roll on toy and stick).
GloryToo CARROTing at 12 & 15 weeks