What a lovely weekend! It included my 90-year old mother, my brother who is visiting from Costa Rica, and me paying a visit to my sister, brother-in-law and nephew in rural Wisconsin. There are so few opportunities for my brother, sister, and me to get together with my mom, and given her age every get together is special. Al flew back to Costa Rica early Sunday morning. He was eager to get back to his wife, farm, dogs, and gardens. Hopefully he'll be able to come up for Christmas as he did last year, and perhaps I'll be able to visit him in Costa Rica once I'm retired.
Retirement officially begins on Wednesday! Tuesday is my last working day, and will include going to lunch with the people in my unit, perhaps for the last time. I've already gone to lunch with the folks from Land Management and there was an office party last week as well. Happy Hour with friends who worked in the Attorney Generals' Office is on my agenda too. I'll sure miss everyone but may be able to go back part time in another month or so - things are looking promising for that, and it would give me some money for the projects I have planned around here. We shall see how this all plays out as there are no guarantees.
Pups are all doing well and growing like crazy. Fern was certainly a slow starter, but has settled in to being a great mother, as calm and sensible as I could ask. Spotting and trim are looking nice, with only one of the pups (a liver boy) missing any eye trim that I can see. The trim on the blacks is all complete, and the liver noses are moving quickly.
It's such fun to watch the spots come in. The three black-spotted girls and the patched black boy have shorter coats so their spotting is quite distinct already. The black-spotted male and the three livers all have thicker coats, so the markings are not as distinct yet.
Dew claws were removed a week ago and all the little scars are healing nicely. The black-spotted boy has been dealing with a staph infection on his back. He had a bruise on his back that probably happened when Fern was picking up the pups all the time, and he developed staph in that area. I just noticed it the day the dew claws were removed, so had the vet check it out then and prescribe antibiotics. It's drying up now and the hair is coming out in little tufts, but the new coat is growing in already. Obviously it causes him no trouble since he is the largest fattest pup in the litter.
One of today's projects is cutting nails, lots of sharp little puppy nails! If they aren't kept trimmed they can do serious damage to Fern's breasts and leave big scratches on their littermates' heads.