Friday, November 1, 2013

Good Dog, Fern

Three days old!
A milestone of sorts!  Last night while I was walking Fern we came upon two large loud parties of kids dressed in costumes, talking/eating/drinking around a fire (one fire in a chiminea, the other in a portable firepit) something I have never seen before in my neighborhood.  In both cases Fern stood and watched them, wagging her tail and waiting to be invited to the party.  Six months ago she would have startled, barked at them, and stood there grumbling under her breath.  Fern is very reactive and is easily startled by strange things, and these were definitely strange in this quiet neighborhood.   Good dog, Fern!  I've put a lot of work into her, taking her places and exposing her to a variety of novel situations.  It's really paid off. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013


No time for a regular post, so a picture will have to do today.  Pups are all gaining weight, growing fast, and very robust.  Certainly the largest pups we've ever had here, and Nena is being an excellent mother.  Appointments made for dewclaw removal and BAER testing, paperwork started for registration.
Nena and pups, one day old

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Puppies born on Tuesday, exactly as I had expected.  Only 5 of them, but they make up for it in size, all weighing 14-16 ounces.  (My pups normally weigh in at about 12.)  It was not an easy whelping, and had I not been there to assist we would have lost all/most of them.  Once they were breathing (and yelling) they were all ready to nurse.  Nena was terrific throughout, including a visit to see Dr. Jim at the vet clinic for an ultra sound.

We have 2 black boys, 2 black girls, 1 liver boy, all born with most or all of their nose trim and eye rims, which is a good way to start.  Dew claws will be removed on Saturday morning, then we sweat the hearing until 14-16 days.  Once I know they all hear I will relax and start to enjoy the pups!  No names for anyone until I know their hearing status.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Moving Right Along

Moving right long - but slowly.  We were on Puppy Watch all weekend, but of course Nena didn't have them, so I'm probably going to have to take vacation when the time comes.  "Due date" was 10/27 +- 2 days, and I was betting on the + anyway.  Nena rotates between her pen in the basement, all set up for whelping, and the family room.  She did some nesting last night (first I have noticed) but that's as far as it went.  She went outside ready to chase rabbits, and is currently staring at me, willing me to feed her.  Some bitches don't eat the day they whelp, but that's rarely the case with Dals, many of who eat right up to the time the first pup arrives.

It's fortunate that Ron is retired and is a night owl so there's someone around most of the time. He checks on Nena just before he comes to bed and I get up a few hours later.  That way I don't have to lose work days when nothing is actually happening.  We never let the girls whelp unattended, as we sometimes have to step in and dry pups, cut cords, tie cords, or help keep things organized if the pups come too close together.  Pauli had a puppy lodged crosswise with its head twisted back, and that required a trip to the vet for assistance.  Pup did not survive, but we did NOT have to have a caesarian done.  Holly's whelping last year went smoothly, other than a couple of cords cut too short that required tying.  Hopefully Nena has inherited the good whelping instincts that are still normally present in Dalmatians!

Once we've got pups, I'll check with everyone on my list to see who is still interested.  People have a way of dropping off the reservation list for a variety of reasons.  Time, money, finding another puppy elsewhere, or deciding to wait awhile longer.  Not a problem.  Much better to make that decision now.  Then we have to wait and see who hears, hopefully all of them, but deafness can occur in Dalmatians, and later we decide who has show potential and will go as a show prospect, and who will go as a companion.  Hopefully we will have the right pups for the right homes - but first we just need puppies!