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Showing posts from April, 2014

Bailey and Jazz’s Litter – Week Four

Oh what fun we are having!   “ The Godmother ” She was born in a small village in Central Europe near the Danube, travelling to this continent at a very young age. Despite being supplanted, her system of values was unhindered. In some cultures, it’s all about respect. Respect and family. And this circumstance was no different. Her stature was one to be loved and respected, even feared.   She was, after all…..the Godmother. Bailey’s role as “Godmother” to Mango’s litter began the moment Mango and her pups arrived home from the veterinary hospital after a C-section. Bailey contributed very generously to the nursing of Mango’s brood, which outnumbered her own by seven to three. After a few days, her assistance as a wet nurse was no longer required, however Bailey was so attached to Mango’s pups that she has taken it upon herself to continue to nurse them even in Mango’s presence. Mango is a doting mom in her own right, so as a benevolent demonstra

Mango and Haydain’s Litter – Week Three

Mr. Orchid “The Good Samaritan” It was a very still evening as the glow of the sun’s rays ebbed in the distance and Mother Nature’s traffic slowed to a crawl. The birds had settled in for the night and off in the distance, the crickets began their cheerful chorus.   Meanwhile in the whelping box, it began without warning. There was no indication as to who the instigator was, but before long the entire puppy-pack was howling like miniature wolves, each united in a song of their own making with multiple tracks laid randomly atop each other. And this, of course was the prelude to dinnertime. Of all the things a mother is to her pups, one of her key roles is that of a real estate agent. Despite the improvements we made to the whelping box by adding the “lounge” extension to it, Mango asserts that there must be more suitable accommodations for her pups elsewhere. Without access to the “interpet”, she heads out each day on foot in search of n

Bailey and Jazz’s Litter – Week Three

Mr. Merlot “ Walking Tall ” Realizing her mother had just left the room, she saw her chance. She tiptoed over to the slat wall - her only barrier to the outside world. Standing upright and surprisingly tall, she began her ascent. It was proving to be more difficult than anticipated, but she was determined. Just a few more inches. But before her escape was realized, Miss Chardonnay was apprehended. Increased security measures were promptly implemented and another slat was added to the gate. The puppies have all managed to hone their motor skills as they stagger around in their little den. They are interacting with each other as well as their stuffed animal roommates; playing, snuggling and nibbling. The little ones coo with delight as we pick them up and cuddle them. And picking them up is becoming a workout in itself as the puppies are growing in leaps and bounds. That also means they need their nails clipped every few days, but fortuna

Mango and Haydain’s Litter – Week Two

Miss Poppy. “Let There Be Light” It was early and the sun was inching its way across the morning sky. Its rays enveloped the room bathing her body with warmth as she lay slumbering. She roused and slowly struggled to her feet turning toward the French doors that led to the patio. Suddenly Miss Lily shrieked as if to say, “Good Lord, mom. I can see!” Puppies are born with their eyes closed to help protect them in the in the womb, during birth and beyond. They open around day twelve allowing the puppies initially to only differentiate between light and dark. The haze clears over a week or so and they begin to experience normal sight. They are able to hear quite well as soon as their ears have opened but it will take some time before the little ones can figure out what it is they’re hearing. What Miss Lily and the mini-pack may not have realized was that they have now been moved from the bedroom area to a big bright space in the living room. Mango

Bailey and Jazz’s Litter – Week Two

Mr. Merlot giving his new friend kisses. “To Catch a Thief” Some may be of the opinion that a puppy’s life is easy - that it consists of nothing but eating and sleeping. On the surface, this may appear to be the case. Since Bailey has only three puppies, there’s not much competition at the milk bar. In this situation, we add numerous stuffed animals to the whelping box to force the little ones to climb over the obstacles to reach their target thereby building muscle mass. As well, when they lie sleeping, they are constantly twitching – a state known as “activated sleep”. These involuntary actions help strengthen their leg muscles. The net result is that they are now able to walk on all fours, however “wobble” would be more apropos. No one enjoys the toy-filled whelping box more than Bailey as she can frequently be spotted absconding with one toy or another. She carries them around proudly and snuggles with them during her naps. Now that the group is well established, Bailey takes a

Mango and Haydain’s Litter – Week One

Mr. Ivy cuddling with Miss Iris and Miss Daisy! “The Wet Nurse” Motherhood comes naturally to Mango. Despite her C-section, she accepted her pups right away. When she arrived home, a little groggy from the surgery, her “sister” Bailey stepped up to the plate to help out and cross-nursed Mango’s puppies while Mango was recuperating. This arrangement continues to work out well, considering that Bailey has only three little ones in her own litter. We weigh the puppies at least twice daily for the first couple of weeks in order to carefully monitor their progress. It’s interesting to see that while Mango is busy nursing, Bailey even keeps a watchful eye on Mango’s puppies, occasionally providing an escort as they’re whisked off to the weigh scale. Thanks to Mango’s dedication as a mom, spending almost 24 hours a day in the whelping box, the puppies have pretty much doubled their birth weights. Mr. Orchid was the first boy to break the 2 lb. barrier and Miss Poppy the first for the gi

Bailey and Jazz’s Litter – Week One

In Dreamland! “Juxtapositions” For the weeks leading up to the birth, a mother-to-be knows she’s going to have a litter. When puppies are delivered via C-section, it’s a bit confounding for her because somehow the babies have miraculously appeared. Once at home, Bailey was quite apprehensive about these squealing little creatures so she attempted to bunk down in the adjacent whelping box that we had reserved for expectant Mango and her litter. On her bathroom break, she even hid inside a little doghouse that we have in the run. With a little coaxing, Bailey came to realize that these were in fact her babies! Almost in an instant, she turned into supermom. Moving forward, Bailey insisted on having “breakfast in bed” and needed to be persuaded to come out of the whelping box to have a bathroom break. Once outside, she would literally run to a spot to do her business and run back to tend to her puppies. Much to our relief, Bailey appears to have abandoned any notion she once may have