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Showing posts from September, 2014

Whitney and Jazz’s Litter – Week Five

“The Al Fresco Dining Plan”
Life is good. Not only do the puppies get to spend an unprecedented amount of time outdoors with some of the beautiful weather we’ve been having, but they’re also stylishly dining al fresco. Beneath a giant patio umbrella surrounded by clear blue sky, a gentle breeze and chirping birds, they’re enjoying some of the three meals of the chunky porridge-like concoction they get daily.
Of course there’s a lot more to do outdoors than eat. The puppies also savoured a few naps stretched out in the cool grass. And there’s no shortage of things to explore and sports to play. Some of the gang tried their hand (paws) at rock climbing and others set out in search of twigs and fallen cedar leaves. While Mr. Raven and Miss Crimson were playing a game of chase in the middle of the yard with the others gathered around, Mr. Sapphire wandered off by himself to begin plotting his escape from the compound. He stealthily and decisively began to dig a tunnel under a section of fen…

Sierra and Hudson’s Litter – Week Three

“The Hangover”
It took a quite a while before they stirred and they were all rather groggy in the morning. It was a particularly late night and everyone had enjoyed themselves at the milk bar, which thanks to Sierra acclaim as one of our best moms ever, is still open 24/7. This must be the dreaded milk hangover. That doesn’t mean that the puppies are exempt from gym class. The group now has a great deal more room to stagger around in since we’ve added the extension to the whelping box and a play station too. Miss Kahlua was the first to spread herself out and take advantage of this new block of real estate at her disposal while Sierra keeps a watchful eye on her family from her vantage point perched on the sofa. Despite the many options available to her now, Sierra chooses to sleep in the “dorm” with her little ones quite regularly.
When the puppies aren’t eating or sleeping, they’re managing to hone their motor skills as they stagger around in their little den. They are interacting wit…

Heidi and Rockit’s Litter – Week One

“The Recital”
The room was dark. Only a blade of moonlight cut through a gap in the drapes. With only minutes to curtain call, the performers were growing restless. First the sopranos opened softly. Then the altos and falsettos layered their voices on top, piercing the silence like violins being tuned before a performance. As this a cappella arrangement of “Mommy, We’re Hungry!” reached its crescendo, the audience of two was brought to its feet, wrenched out of our sleep at 3:00 a.m. once again to help Heidi and her little ones get recoupled. Ironically, it seems as though the choir spends most of the day and evening just resting up for some of these impromptu late night performances.

Heidi is now the octomom; mother to eight perky little darlings, but this description is also anatomical in nature. While most Goldens have ten teats and our Bella has eleven, Heidi has been endowed with only eight. This is why we promote an equal opportunity milk bar where each and every little creature g…

Whitney and Jazz’s Litter – Week Four

“Oh Tannenbaum”
He awoke from his slumber to find that he was in a place that was unfamiliar to him. A gentle breeze tickled his whiskers. He feared not because he was not alone. And so began the gang’s first outdoor adventure as experienced by Mr. Buff. A rather brave bunch, the puppies wasted no time taking in their surroundings and searching for things to amuse themselves with. For the most part it was their sibling, but they made careful note of some things to take a closer look at on their next outing. In the meantime, Whitney assumed the role of a sentinel. As she stood there majestically surveying her flock, the puppies saw an opportunity and seized it. They quietly lined up on either side of their mom, got up on their tiptoes and fastened themselves to Whitney’s dangling milk bar apparatus like furry white tinsel hanging off a Christmas tree.
There’s no doubt that Whitney is rather delighted by the fact that her puppies are receiving three square meals of mush a day now. This me…

Sierra and Hudson’s Litter – Week Two

“Like Mother like Child”
First it was just one, followed by another and then another. We’re not clear on why it happened, but since Sierra has been sleeping on her back in the whelping box, more often than not, her mini-pack has been doing likewise. One benefit of this sleeping position is that we can inspect everyone’s feet and schedule them for their weekly pedicures. With their tiny little black paws pointed skyward, we can hardly wait until they all start snoring in unison. Since her pack mate Heidi who was about to have her own litter had designs on moving into Sierra’s whelping box with a ready-made family, we relocated Sierra and her family to the living room. Here she joins her good friend Whitney who is already living there with her four week old flock. While Sierra spends a good deal of her time in the whelping box with her puppies, she now has the added freedom and flexibility of sharing the end of a sofa with Whitney in the event she needs a power nap. The living room is a g…

Heidi and Rockit’s Litter

“The Test Drive”
After her temperature dropped and she spent a restless night, we knew that Saturday was going to be Heidi’s big day. We rose at 6:30 a.m. to attend to the rest of our pack and get a few last minute things in order. In the meantime, Heidi rummaged around in the bedroom to plan for the event. She lay in the empty whelping box we had set up for her and that seemed to feel okay. She jumped on the bed….well only just her front paws because she needed some assistance to get all the way up and that felt pretty good too. But when Heidi discovered that the door to Sierra’s whelping box was open with Sierra out on a break, she saw her chance and settled in with Sierra’s puppies. She even began to nurse some of them. This felt good. It felt right. And this box already came with a set of puppies! We tried to convince Heidi that she really needed to make her own puppies, but she would have none of that. We finally had to use a lead to extract her from there. Needless to say, we has…

Whitney and Jazz’s Litter – Week Three

“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”
She wasn’t taking “no” for an answer. She nudged him this way and that and whacked him on the head with her paw until he was finally aroused from his deep slumber. To her delight, Mr. Raven finally gave in and played with his sister, Miss Marigold. This is such a heartwarming phase of their development when the puppies begin to interact and play with one another, learning rudimentary social skills. They are also fine-tuning their vocal abilities. If we weren’t certain that the windows were closed, at times we could swear that there was a flock of pigeons in the room.
Since the puppies are very well established, Whitney, who’s been a stellar mom, has been taking some breaks outside of the whelping box for a bit of much-deserved “me time”. The only thing is that she’s enjoying the freedom so much that we sometimes have to drag her back to the whelping box and remind her of her responsibilities. She catches her stride in no time and is back to satisfying her fam…

Sierra and Hudson’s Litter – Week One

“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”
They were perplexed. Everything they needed to get their sustenance was exactly at this location, but all of the fountains necessary to draw down mom’s sweet nectar were missing. What the puppies didn’t realize was that Sierra inexplicably decided to sleep on her back in the whelping box so the milk bar wasn’t where it was supposed to be. As if life isn’t hard enough being a tiny little sightless puppy coming up on one week of age when mom throws a challenge of her own into the mix. It took a while, but the little ones, led by Mr. Screwdriver were eventually able to navigate their way to the out-of-place plumbing.
Puppies are born without sight or hearing and their eyes don’t open until sometime during the second week, so for now their senses of smell and touch are what guide them to their mom. They use their tiny forelimbs, coupled with tremendous resolve, to propel themselves around as they seek out their sustenance and warmth. Since their body temperat…

Heidi, Day 56 (pre-parturition)

As we head into the final days of Heidi’s pregnancy, we are certainly seeing her slow down. She is spending most of her time lounging on our back deck and just watching the other dogs frolic and play. When she does venture out, Heidi has been wandering our yard seeking a den in which to whelp her puppies and it would appear that she has excavated a 2’ x 2’ foot hole under the spruce tree. This week we will introduce her to a pristinely clean whelping box in the hope that she will find this acceptable for her pups.
Heidi is shedding the hair on her belly in preparation for the birth and we can actually feel the puppies moving at this time. Since she is eating 3 meals daily and measuring 36 inches (90 cm), we will most likely transition her to 4 meals daily. At this stage, the puppies have a full coat of hair and can be felt moving around in her tummy. The coat is one of the last organs to develop. It is now very crowded in her uterus, so we will definitely make Heidi as comfortable as …

Whitney and Jazz’s Litter – Week Two

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“Movin’ on Up”


We should have known this was coming. Now that Whitney’s mini pack has settled in, like so many before her, mom decided that she would like to trade up her living quarters (in her opinion) for something of her own choosing. On one particular bathroom break, Whitney excavated a corner of the dog run; rocks, dirt and all, to the extent that we were almost inclined to rent a backhoe to fill it all back in. After escorting Whitney out on subsequent breaks to police her activities, she soon abandoned that endeavour. We, on the other hand did have plans to move Whitney’s group out of the bedroom and into the library. Since we were expecting Sierra’s litter, we set up another whelping box there, hauled Whitney and her family down to it, but again, Whitney had other ideas. Despite her puppies being situated in the library, Whitney with a silent protest, insisted on returning to the bedroom because that’s where she felt the most comfortable. We relented and brought…

Sierra’s Big Day (Hudson & Sierra Litter)

“Like Riding a Bike” We should have known better. Since most of our girls catch us off guard and like to whelp their puppies on our bed, we thought we’d be ready this time. Our initiative included putting some under pads on the bed followed by a couple of tarps, a top sheet and some blankets so Sierra could deliver her pups there. So where do you think she decided to deposit her litter? In the whelping box, of course! The best laid plans…… After a restless Sunday night, Sierra finally settled down to business interspersed with a few bowls of vanilla ice cream. The first to arrive was the feisty little Mr. Grasshopper followed by his sister Miss Kahlua, Mr. Screwdriver, Miss Limoncello and finally Miss Cosmopolitan, all weighing in at around a pound. Like an old pro, Sierra embraced her return to motherhood like a fish to water or riding a bike, for that matter. She had her five little charges all cleaned and lined up at the milk bar in no time. All in a day’s work. And so begin the advent…

Whitney & Jazz Litter – Week One

“The Memo”


No matter how hard we tried, she would have none of it. We begged and we pleaded and even resorted to bribery but it was all to no avail. Whitney was so dedicated to the wellbeing of her new family that we finally had to drag her out of the whelping box just to get her to go out for a bathroom break. Once outside, to linger was out of the question. Like a woman on a mission, Whitney would race back to the door, anxious to get back to tend to her babies. Even Whitney’s meals were delivered to the whelping box so that she could enjoy breakfast in bed with her flock.


One never really knows how a girl will take to motherhood, but Whitney has joined the ranks of those we deem “supermoms”. She has been exceptionally enthusiastic when it came to the hygiene of her pups and initially licked them so much we were surprised they still had fur on them. This certainly qualifies as the cleanest litter ever. We were awestruck by the observation that Whitney rotated sides when feeding her pu…

Beautiful Heidi– 43 days (pre-parturition)

So far Heidi has experienced a bit of morning sickness but is feeling much better, polishing off her food and looking for more! She is enjoying being spoiled with extra belly rubs as she seems to know our routine at the end of each day.
While she still spends a bit of her time with the rest of the pack, Heidi prefers to lounge indoors with her pregnant “sister” Sierra or with us. eidiHHHHHHHOver the next couple of weeks Heidi will begin to slow down and we will feed her smaller portions but more frequently with the very best diet possible to ensure that her puppies are receiving all the nutrition they require for the best start in life.
Heidi’s abdomen is approximately 33 inches or 83 cm.


This is when the puppies will head into a huge growth stage. Their heartbeats can easily be detected with a stethoscope or ultrasound. They are developing toes, eyelids, whiskers and claws and beginning to look more like puppies everyday. The fetus is about 45 millimeters long and has developed skin pi…