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Bella and Hudson’s Litter – Week Seven

“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”


The days leading up to Christmas seemed a magical time. There was a certain electricity in the air and the puppies were feeling it too. Their energy level was soaring as was demonstrated by Miss Mistletoe, using one of her siblings as a springboard, catapulted herself out of the whelping box. The five inch step in the foyer, once so foreboding is now a launching pad which the puppies use to leap down to the lower level as part of their circuit training. When we’re sitting on the floor with the puppies, they spring up like dolphins as they try to plant kisses on our faces. Despite everything, each of the puppies has been more nice than naughty, so Christmas should prove to be very enjoyable.

After Santa dropped off toys and goodies for the puppies, near pandemonium ensued. There were so many toys that the puppies kept losing track of which one they were playing with, or with whom. A favorite was their mini rope toy - really just meant for one…

Bella and Hudson’s Litter – Week Six

“The Precipice”
Bella’s puppies are such an alert and active little bunch. No matter how hard we try to sneak past them as quietly as Ninjas, at least one or two of them raise the alarm to alert their siblings and they all start squealing in unison for some attention. While their play is becoming a bit more coordinated and adult-like, they’re still just kids at heart. And with every litter, there are always a few new things to experience - like observing Mr. Eggnog lying on his back trying to bite his own tail causing himself to spin around on the floor like a break-dancer. Mr. Icicle revealed himself as a hoarder by quietly accumulating all the toys in the room while the other puppies were off playing.


We can certainly sympathize with Bella’s hesitation to nurse her offspring who bite our fingers, noses, pants, shirts, shoes, shoe-laces or anything else that is within easy reach to aid in their teething. It’s remarkable how puppies always seem able to readily figure out how to play wit…

Bella and Hudson’s Litter – Week Five

“The Hall Pass”
Since the puppies aren’t quite ready to venture outdoors, they’ve been granted a hall pass that allows them access to our foyer at playtime. They’ve graduated from a 32 square foot whelping box to a 350 square foot space where they can enjoy their favourite leisure activities. As with any gym class, when it’s time to run laps, the teacher gets out in front to set the pace and Bella was no exception. Mind you, the puppies didn’t realize they were running laps – they were just chasing Bella to try to score a quick drink from the milk truck and Bella was running laps to escape their pointy little teeth!


The puppies’ ambulation took many forms; some walked, some bounced, some slid, some galloped, some ran, some skipped and some even bunny hopped. When Bella finally excused herself from class, the puppies settled into a variety of activities. With their vision and hearing now fully matured, they are very inquisitive, exploring every little aspect of their new surroundings. Mo…

Bella and Hudson’s Litter – Week Four

“Rise and Shine!”
When they are in the mood to play, it doesn’t seem to matter to a puppy if their intended playmate is asleep or not. We observed Miss Holly, intent on playing with Mr. Gingerbread who was sound asleep, biting on his ears until he was aroused enough to engage her in playtime activities. From there, the festivities ensued and each of the puppies picked out a partner or two for the hoedown. They stagger around, bump heads and noses and bite one another anywhere their mouths will fit. Now that the whelping box has an extension on it, the puppies have room to spread out in what must seem like a vast arena. They use the original portion as their lounge where they sleep, play and cuddle with each other. The new area, which is lined with shredded paper is mostly used for “relief” and is a step toward potty training.
Bella couldn’t be happier at the moment as she’s gotten a reprieve from being the sole food provider to her puppies. The little ones are being weaned and are enjo…

Bella and Hudson’s Litter – Week Three

“The Lion Tamer”


This week Bella and her puppies made the big move from the bedroom to their own private sanctuary in the library. At the same time, the extension was added to the whelping box providing Bella with a little lounge to curl up in or give some of her little ones private feedings. The room also has other amenities like a sofa that Bella uses for naptime and that we can use for visits and a place to pamper the puppies with the seemingly endless series of pedicures. Since the days are short and nights are long, in the winters we outfit the whelping box with full spectrum lighting to ensure that the puppies have a source of vitamin D before they are able to go outside.
The library is off the main foyer - the hub of the house - sort of a Grand Central Station. From her vantage point on the sofa overlooking the whelping box, Bella likes to lie there watching over her little flock, keeping an eye on the goings on in the foyer. With a puppy gate blocking its entrance, the rest of…

Bella and Hudson’s Litter – Week Two

The Real Estate Agent”




A mother is many things to her newborn pups. She provides them with the warmth necessary for their survival as their body temperature is three degrees below normal at birth, climbing a degree each week thereafter. She stimulates them to get them to breathe at birth by licking and to encourage their bodily functions until they get the hang of it themselves. She provides them with nourishment in her milk which contains antibodies vital for the first several weeks of their lives. Bella demonstrated another role earlier in the week during her bathroom breaks. Despite the creature comforts we have provided her inside the house, she would poke around at one of the two spots in the yard that she has chosen for her puppies. She would then run back to the door to see if they were going to follow her there, thus playing the part of a real estate agent.
This was a big week for the puppies as their eyes began to open. Miss Snowflake was the first of the girls, followed by M…

Bella and Hudson’s Puppies – Week One

This first week has flown by for us, but for the puppies it must seem like an eternity. At this stage, they spend virtually all of their time eating and sleeping which allows them to almost double their birth weight in the first week. It’s remarkable how within minutes of being born, they are able to seek out their mother’s teat and begin nursing. Puppies are born without sight or hearing and it will be a while before their eyes open, so for now their senses of smell and touch are what guide them to their mom’s nipples. As a matter of interest, most of our Goldens have ten nipples, but it is not uncommon for a bitch to have an uneven number. For that matter, Bella has eleven!
The puppies don’t stray too far at the moment. They propel themselves around with their tiny forelimbs and a great deal of determination. Occasionally, we’ll hear crying in the middle of the night when one little soul has lost his way and ended up in a far corner of the whelping box. Once the little one is “air-…

Bella and Hudson Puppies - One Day Old

We are pleased to announce the safe arrival of Bella and Hudson’s puppies. After an exhausting couple of days, Bella now has eleven beautiful puppies delivered by emergency C-section; six adorable girls and five handsome boys.  Mom and pups are doing great.
Bella began having small contractions last week and by Saturday night, they seemed to intensify. On Sunday, she was focused on digging a nest for her pups in the yard and by the evening, she was becoming increasingly uncomfortable.
As time passed and she was not progressing with her contractions, we took her to the vet clinic for an ultrasound. The verdict was that the pups were becoming a bit stressed so they needed a little help with their coming out party.
We are so thankful to the amazing staff at Graham Animal clinic, Dr. Carol Graham and Dr. Rasa Levstein for their compassionate care of not only Bella and her pups, but us as well. 


Bella seems very comfortable in her stylish whelping box at home. It’s perhaps not exactly what s…

Maddie and Jazz’s Litter – Week Eight

The first one came across in a stealth-like manner. Shortly thereafter another one, followed by another. Upon discovering a weak link in the fence that separated the puppies from the rest of the pack, their biggest fan Haydain was able to breach the barrier. Needing no second invitation, Heidi and Whitney followed suit to the delight of little group who welcomed their large playmates enthusiastically. After a brief, yet invigorating play period, order was restored.

This week, the gang made their first trip to the veterinarian for their check-ups, vaccines and micro-chips. This brave bunch passed all their tests with flying colours. Not ones to leave an opportunity wasted, the puppies spent their waiting time trying to pull down the plastic ends of the garbage bag that lined Dr. Matt’s wastebasket. Fortunately he has a sense of humour (and a Golden of his own).
It was another great week weather wise, so the puppies spent much of their time basking in the sunshine. Of course, it wasn’t …

Mango and Steele’s Litter – Week Eight

How do they come up with this stuff? We witness a lot of antics with the puppies, but this one was rather innovative. Picture two puppies inside a plastic doggie crate with the door removed and another two puppies outside the crate, rolling it over as if it were a drum or a tumble drier. How on earth do they get everyone to buy into these pranks….especially the puppies inside the crate?!

This was another big week for the group as they went on car rides. There was some minor protesting at the outset, but remarkably the entire group settled within minutes and allowed the gentle rocking motion of the car to coddle them to sleep. One such outing was to the veterinary clinic where they received their check-ups, vaccines and micro-chips. Everyone was exceptionally well behaved, but we could swear we heard a collective sigh of relief as we pulled into the driveway at home.

No week is complete with lots of playtime and once again, the weather allowed for an abundance of outdoor time. The pup…

Bella and Hudson Litter- Day 56 (Pre-Parturition)

I am not really sure where the time has gone, but Bella is now quite pre-occupied in selecting the best spot to have her pups. Her search takes her to a quiet corner of the house under a tree, probably a very luxurious location in the wild, but we have a much cozier and cleaner place in mind – her whelping box. We imported this premium whelping unit from England so I am not really sure why she feels “dirt” is better.
This week, we will re-acquaint Bella with the whelping box and make all the final preparations for the puppies’ arrival. We will be introducing it to her daily and trying to convince her as to how wonderful it is.
Bella is now receiving four smaller meals a day, as there is less room for food given the size of the puppies. She is becoming a little picky with her meals, but we continue to offer her a “gourmet” selection of nutritious foods. 

Bella abdomen seems to expand daily. She is now measuring approximately 36.25 inches (92 cm). Today we had her tummy x-rayed to see just…

Bella x Hudson Puppies - Day 46 (Pre-Parturition)

It was difficult to tell Bella was even pregnant as she didn’t really show much until day 37, when all of a sudden her waist line bulged to a whopping 33.5 inches (85 cm).

Bella continues to have an amazing appetite and is now eating three small meals a day. We are feeding her a very nutritious diet of premium kibble, ground beef or roast chicken, boiled rice, digestive enzymes and probiotics.

Bella seems very active at the moment but as we head into the homestretch, we expect she will slow down. She is ever so affectionate and she is demanding frequent belly rubs, which we are very happy to oblige.

Pre-natal period: It is an interesting fact that a dog's tactile perception develops before birth, therefore unborn puppies can detect touch when the mother is petted from the outside of the abdomen. This establishes the basis for puppies to tolerate being touched, when compared to puppies born to mothers that were not petted.

Pregnant dogs that are exposed to stressful events tend to rel…

Mango and Steele’s Litter – Week Seven

Clearly it was a misunderstanding. When the puppies are outside in their play area, we provide them with bowls of water for drinking. With their entrepreneurial spirits running high, the puppies discovered that using the water coupled with the holes they dug in the lawn, they were able to create their own mud bath spa treatments. Needless to say, this resulted in several of them resembling Chocolate Labs, thereby requiring bath time a little early.
It’s not hard to tell that Mango is breathing sighs of relief in only having to offer the pups the occasional quick snack. The gang is devouring their solid food and their portions have grown considerably. The reward, of course is that all of the puppies are a happy, healthy bunch mostly weighing in between eleven and twelve pounds.
While food and sleep are still atop the list, the puppies’ sphere of interest has extended far beyond the microcosm of their litter. They are exploring the yard in every-widening circles with each outing, venturin…

Maddie and Jazz’s Litter – Week Seven

It begins innocently enough. a puppy will crouch down in the grass, watching and waiting very patiently. Off in the distance, he spies another puppy that has moved away from the group for a private moment to conduct some “personal business”. At just the right moment he darts ahead, his tiny legs pumping as quickly as they’ll carry him right up to the moment of impact. As inappropriate as it may be, the puppies appear to have invented their own variation of cow tipping.
Now that the group is gobbling up herculean amounts of dry food, Maddie has pretty much retired her role as a nursing mother and repositioned it as an occasional playmate. The puppies are weighing in the neighbourhood of thirteen pounds, which is right where they should be for their age and litter size.
Since weather conditions were near perfect during the week, the puppies had an abundance of outdoor time. There is no shortage of curiousity in the group and everyone saw fit to explore every square inch of the yard. Some …

Mango and Steele’s Litter – Week Six

We knew it was bound to happen - we just didn’t know when. And what we’re still uncertain about is who the instigator was. Very early one morning, we were awakened by loud, almost celebratory screeching coming from the puppy area. Upon investigation, we discovered that the entire litter had launched an escape from their whelping box in the night and was having one big free-for-all in the living room. We obviously have to step up security in the dorm!
Unlike Maddie’s litter, mealtime is conducted in a very civilized fashion in this group. One thing that doesn’t differ is the ear-piercing indicator they proffer that mealtime is expected to be punctual. Of course, once dinner is served, composure is restored and the sound is reduced to the mere smacking of lips. That said, everyone is gaining well and the lot now weigh between nine and ten pounds each. Since they’re eating a much drier food, they are starting to drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.
Over the weekend, the puppies welco…

Maddie and Jazz’s Litter – Week Six

The week began with the puppies engaging in product testing spill-proof water bowls. They subjected them to tests under various conditions and determined that the bowls can actually be substituted for other toys and used for their amusement. The group concluded that when the bowls are inverted, they’re really not so spill-proof anymore.
When they weren’t consumed with their Discovery Channel antics, the gang spent much of their time outside exploring more and more of the yard, running, climbing rocks and in one or two instances, learning how to dig holes from Maddie. And now that the puppies have developed a better sense of balance, they no longer stagger around like the last guests at an office Christmas party.
The puppies have made even more new friends with some of the other dogs in the pack. They’ve become acquainted with their dad Jazz, the gentle giant. They were also quite intrigued with six and a half month old Haydain, really just a big puppy himself who loved to play with the …

Maddie and Jazz’s Litter – Week Five

There’s no such thing as sneaking into the puppies’ room anymore. This attentive little bunch soaks up every sight and sound and the nine little heads continually pop up to see what life is going to serve up next. They now have a huge interest in people and the world around them. With the increased control over their facial muscles, the puppies are making expressions and are beginning to reveal their personalities. In addition, they bark, growl, yelp, chirp and howl – whatever it takes to get someone’s attention, including each other’s.
The gang is spending lots of time outdoors exploring and even trying to engage their mom, Maddie in play. Some of their favourite activities include games of chase or scrimmage, with or without a ball. A fun one to watch is the jousting competition, whereby they’ll lunge, bounce off their opponent and roll over. Apart from that, there’s the usual biting, nipping, pouncing and wrestling, followed by a deep sleep so they can do it all over again.
A big st…