Finn and Tinkerbell, our pups in the year 2000, were a study in contrast! Finn (called after the famous Irish giant ) almost 13 kg when he was born (the average birth weight being about 11 kg). Tinkerbell (named after J.M. Barrie's small and feisty heroine) was only 9 kg when she was rescued at an estimated age of about 2 days. Finn was a truly gentle giant, placid and docile, while Tinkerbell would protest vigorously and vociferously about everything and nothing! Neither pup was aggressive, however.

Because of the large size difference between the pups ( Tinkerbell at 9 kg, Finn at 13 kg!) were were concerned about leaving them together overnight in the pool. Finn kept trying to ride on Tinkerbell's back with his nose to the back of her head (this is how pups ride on their mother's back, and Finn was therefore treating Tinkerbell as a substitute mother!), and we were concerned he might inadvertently push her underwater and drown her. We therefore hastile concoted a partition out of plastic netting weighted down with boulders, leaving Tinkerbell overnight with just a concrete floor and a plastic paddling pool. However, we were wasting our time! The next morning we found that Finn had removed the boulders and squeezed (somehow) under the partition – and the pair were happily playing together in the paddling pool! We didn't make any further attempt to separate them, and no problem actually arose, even though Finn did continue for a week or so to suck on Tinkerbell and try to ride on her back in the water. We discovered that Tinkerbell was well able to take care of herself!

Tinkerbell was actually the instigator of much of their play. While Finn tried to doze quietly at the edghe of the pool, Tinkerbell would be swimming around calling him urgently to come and join her! Finn actually took to playing with a squeaky red ball. One day he was doing so while Tinkerbell kept calling to him urgently from the pool. Finn looked at her, then picked the ball up and dropped it into the pool beside her!

Finn squeaking his red ball
The pair became more and more playful together as the time for their release approcahed. With Finn always the leader they would career and splash round the pool, then climb out, climb into the paddling pool, play in there for a time and then climb out, slide down the concrete slab ramp and back into the main pool. As all the pups did, they loved having the hose on, and this would stimulate their play.

Finn (below) and Tinkerbell (above) playing in the pool

Tinkerbell suffered from the same delay in multimilk supply in late July, but apart from that she gained weight steadily, and was 20 kg when she was radio-tagged and released with Finn on August 8th.

Read more about Finn

Read more about Tinkerbell

Read about Finn & Tinkerbell's Release