Thursday, July 28, 2011

Too Cute For Words

Lucas & Weather

And suddenly, they are dogs!  The pups have gone from little spotted blobs who do nothing but nurse and sleep, to little Dalmatians.  When I took everyone out of the box to change papers and give them a clean rug, they immediately started exploring the pen and surrounding area, and for the first time exhibited the play behavior that is so much fun to watch.  Like slow motion wrestling, with mouthing, tiny growls and attempts to grab a littermate's muzzle or legs.  So cute.  They were out of the box for about 15 minutes, finally settling down on Reebok's rug.  When they were placed back in the box, the activity started all over again.  My ten minute "chore" took an hour!

Pups are SO CUTE at this age, and they develop quickly now, with very noticeable changes in appearance and actions every day.  Soon they will wag their tails when they hear my voice, and will start making an attempt to keep their blanket dry.  They will be taken out of the box for awhile every day to explore, and this weekend they will have company.  Being handled by strangers is very good for pups at this age.  Next week they will start to come upstairs for a few minutes at a time, and I'll cut down the front of the box and give them full access to the pen.

Just a few more days for the heatlamp, which Reebok will appreciate!  She's been an excellent mother and is finally willing to stay upstairs or outside long enough for me to have some time with the pups.  She obviously has plenty of milk, as the pups are all chubby and plump and content. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Too Cute!

Hey, let me in!

The two pushy ones on top are "Weather" Karkinnan and "Letty" West, both named for characters in John Sandford's mysteries featuring Lucas Davenport.  Weather & Letty are the two liver girls, and they are the pushiest pups in the litter, as well as the largest and heaviest - I think there is a direct relationship here!  Their brothers are "Lucas" Davenport who is a handsomely marked, moderately active boy, "Virgil" Flowers, a laid back, mellow, lightly spotted boy with a Teddy Bear face, and "Sloan", a more colorful, very vocal boy who is the smallest, but makes up for it in attitude.    All three boys are black-spotted.  Because the pups all heard by Sunday, they got names.

And now they are getting cute!   When I change the papers and give them a clean rug, the pups walk clumsily around the pen, exploring their space, tasting Reebok's blanket, trying to climb up my leg, sniffing everything.  Reebok is outdoors with the boys while I do this or she would be in my face or on my lap!  Pups are SO CUTE now that it's hard to leave them to get other things accomplished. 

By next week it will be impossible to get anything else done.  3-4 weeks is my favorite age, when the pups become little dogs.  We're starting to schedule puppy socializers now, friends to handle the pups.  The more people that little pups meet, the more confident, friendly and outgoing they will be as adults.  Time to set up BAER testing at 6 weeks too.  Rosie will see the pups at 5 weeks and 7 weeks and start deciding which two she will take.  1st and 3rd and 5th are mine, 2nd and 4th are hers (in exchange for letting me lease Reebok).

Short blogs this week as I am working overtime, trying to make up at least a little of the money I lost during lay offs.  Gonna be a long week!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Good News In Paisleyland

The daylilies are at their peak

The little Arboks all hear!  So nice to get that out of the way.  I was getting a little nervous when the boys were not responding.  Both liver girls heard on Friday and barked at me when I tested.   One boy gave me a single response on Saturday so I was not sure on him, but on Sunday morning two of the boys were responding.  Only the smallest boy slept through everything.  Finally yesterday evening he popped his little head up when I pinged my finger on a food pan.  This morning all pups popped right up when I tested them.  Whew!  We'll do BAER testing later to confirm hearing, and within a couple of weeks will also identifyy any unis (pups that hear in one ear rather than both ears).

Now we have to get through one more week.  Because I lost a litter to canine herpes several years ago, I'm still paranoid.  It's very rare, and there is no reliable way to prevent it.  Because it can be a respiratory infection in dogs, most adult show dogs (and probably most city-dwelling pets) have been exposed to it, but will show no symptoms. Because they will not necessarily develop an immunity, the dams may not be able to pass immunity on to their pups.  It's normally only fatal to pups under the age of 3 weeks because they can't develop the fever necessary to fight it.  Once pups are 3 weeks old they will be able to fight the virus, so we will keep all fingers tightly crossed for one more week.  If you've ever heard of Fading Puppy Syndrome, this is one of the causes.

Argus and I hiked the Reservoir Park Trail yesterday.  The park includes a Dog Park, so I hoped that there would be some friendly Labradors for Argus to swim with.  We had the park to ourselves, but I quickly discovered why there were no dogs swimming!  The shoreline was a foot of black gunky mud.  Argus didn't mind bit, but he sure got dirty.  He splashed in a real lake further along, but still required a bath to remove the remaining muck!