Our Puppies

Celebrating Regal Golden Puppies .......

About Us

Our goal is to breed and raise exceptional quality British Style Golden Retrievers. Our bloodlines are from only the most respected kennels worldwide. We are members of the Canadian Kennel Club, UK Kennel Club and GRCC and strictly adhere to their code of ethics. Our breeding dogs have passed all health clearances for eyes, heart, hips and elbows.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Bailey and Frank’s Litter – Week Seven

It won't be long now till we meet our forever families!

“The Return of the Big White Monster”


Perhaps that’s something of an overstatement, but imagine that you’re a seven week old puppy with limited life experiences under your furry belt. One afternoon as we were tending to the litters in the living room, we heard growling coming from the library where Bailey’s litter is located. Bailey, we thought, was telling her brood that they’d reached their quota on the milk-truck and that she wasn’t interested in any further top ups for a while. We called out to her, but to no avail. We decided we needed to go investigate. To our surprise, we found our big boy Haydain, sprawled out in the middle of the whelping box enjoying some of the puppies’ toys. Haydain occupied so much space that the pups barely had any room left for themselves. Whenever a puppy approached, he would emit a bassy, resonating growl to communicate that he preferred to keep the toys all to himself. Of course, it was all in good fun as he rolled over on his back to allow them to climb all over him.

The level of activity in the yard has risen several notches since that first day the puppies staggered outdoors and they are so intent on going outside whether rain or shine. Best of all, we had a giant outdoor play fest on the weekend with Bailey’s, Sierra’s and Whitney’s litters combined. It was a joy to behold from a remote corner overlooking the busy playing field as all the puppies interacted with one another. One group could be found stripping bark from twigs and trees; another was honing their digging skills, while others are either playing tag or wrestling. One of the popular sports events was taking a running jump off a rock onto the lawn; a daunting five inch drop. Even Whitney and Sierra got in on the action. They led the group around the yard like the Pied Piper or revelers in a conga line, while Bailey played tug of war with the puppies using branches. When you play that hard, sooner or later, it catches up with you. One by one, the puppies collapsed in a heap, totally spent.

The pups are an alert, well-balanced and affectionate bunch who are willing to make friends with everyone. It’s hard to believe how quickly the time has passed so we’re now firming up travel plans for some and getting them used to crates to help ease the stress of travelling. As the puppies mature, they are becoming even sweeter and more affectionate, not to mention: demanding of attention. We have been treasuring our remaining days together with each and every one of them. So remember as you go off on your journey: “I wish you shelter from the storm, a cozy fire to keep you warm, but most of all, when snowflakes fall, I wish you love”. So long, little ones.

That concludes this edition of “Puppy Tales”.  See you next litter!
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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Sierra and Storm’s Litter – Week Seven

We are growing up so fast.


It was to be the biggest event of the year and the weather seemed to be holding out. They came from near and far for a singular purpose: it was gonna be a party! The invited guests were all of Sierra’s, Whitney’s and Bailey’s litters with the moms designated as chaperones. The event began with drinks….as usual. Each of the litters sought out and chased their respective moms for their liquid refreshments. Once the little ones were topped up, the fun began. Some unsettled weather from earlier in the week ensured there was a fresh supply of twigs and small branches on hand. The day’s favourite activities were crawling into a “foxhole” that their Aunt Bailey had dug and the tug-of-war competition which was usually played with one on one or two on one. In a canine interpretation of the shot put, the puppies would see how far they could flip the water bowl. In these circumstances, anything goes.

Since some of Whitney’s litter was beginning to trickle out to their forever homes, Sierra’s puppies moved into the whelping box with the remaining pups. Despite the one week age difference, everyone was pretty much the same size. In the meantime, Bailey’s pups moved into the quarters vacated by Sierra’s group. This did confuse the moms a bit until they figured out where their kids were, but that wasn’t a great hardship.

We also had a vet visit during the week for their checkups (for which they received rave reviews) and their vaccinations. For some reason, each puppy had to be awakened to take their turn. We suspect they were just pretending to be asleep because of some rumours they might have heard about veterinarians.

Sierra has continued to be a good sport and a great mom throughout the entire motherhood experience. She patrols the house, checking up on her brood and still endures a few feedings a day, but occasionally needs to remind the gang when they’ve surpassed their quota. Fortunately Whitney steps up to the plate to help out now and again. Now that the puppies are maturing, they crave more one on one attention and are most content when they’re curled up with a buddy or on someone’s lap.

As our time together winds down, we reflect on all the love, laughter, happiness and kisses we’ve shared. These are memories we’ll treasure forever. As you go along your journey with your new families little ones, we wish you much love and safe travels.

That concludes this edition of “Puppy Tales”.  See you next litter!

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Bailey and Frank’s Litter – Week Six

Rain or shine we love being outside!

“Decisions, Decisions”


This week was all about treasures and discovery. Since the weather was a bit unsettled during the week, Mother Nature contributed numerous twigs and bits of bark to the yard. These quickly became the gang’s favourite toys. While we get a little squeamish when we have to go outside in a bit of drizzle, the little ones don’t give it a second thought. Rain or shine – it doesn’t matter. As long as they get to go outside, they’re happy. This week, their outdoor activities included tug of war with a stick; one on one, one on two or simply having a nice leisurely chew. They engaged in chases, whether actual or imagined and hide & seek was a huge crowd pleaser. The water bowl was also a key attraction and it often did double duty as a footbath. For some reason, the puppies were curious as to what the underside of the bowl looked like so it needed frequent refilling.

We can never quite understand the decision-making process of a little puppy. Sometimes they’ll jump up spontaneously, dart off in a particular direction on rubbery legs so a fast sprint often culminates in a toppling over. But Bailey is there to watch out for them and when she feels it’s time for the group to go back inside, she stands in front of the door signifying that playtime is over. Each vigorous play session ends the same way though – with the puppies curling up and drifting off to sleep.

When the weather refused to cooperate, not that it mattered to the puppies, the carnival came to town…or at least to the foyer. Here the gang could try out the big play station, play with a toy, a ball or a human or in some cases, just have a little snooze. All in all, this is a great group. They’re generally quite quiet and very well-behaved. They sit and watch very quietly and patiently while we change out some towels or empty the wastebasket. They must be on their best behaviour since Santa will be coming soon. The one exception is Bailey. She keeps nudging our bedroom door at night to see if we’ve changed our minds about letting her sleep in there. We think she’ll be getting coal in her stocking.

That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another captivating installment of “Puppy Tales”.
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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Sierra and Storm’s Litter – Week Six

We are so well behaved.

“The Sortation”

This one goes in here. This one goes in there. This other one goes in here. Like letter carriers arranging the mail for their morning route, we were tasked with sorting each of these precious little packages back into their respective whelping boxes after a large backyard outing with Sierra and Whitney’s litters together. They were a bit reserved to start, but after a swig of liquid courage from their mom, the little ones raced off to join the rest of the group in activities ranging from scavenger hunts to rock climbing. It was one big, happy outing with neither judgment nor discrimination – just a whole lot of fun. The puppies’ play is becoming a bit more coordinated and adult-like, but they’re still just kids at heart. And that spinning around trying to chase your tail thing never gets old. Toward the end of a long, fun-filled day, the puppies like to get some good night cuddles before they drift off to sleep dreaming of tomorrow’s adventures.

Even Sierra’s role has evolved to that of a pack leader as her brood matures. Her pups are weaned now since they are eating three meals a day of solid food….with a few milkshakes throughout the day. She is affectionate and playful with them, teasing them with toys and showing them when to bite and when not to. She lets them know she’s the dominant dog and would correct them if they were to misbehave, but this group is so laid back that it’s not likely to be necessary.

The puppies are certainly eating well, much to Sierra’s chagrin, since there are rarely any left-overs for her. Everyone is gaining weight and they all have the waistlines to prove it. Their muzzles are lengthening and are beginning to look a bit more like the adults they will eventually become. Their emotions are becoming apparent too, so they whine to show fear, whimper if they’re hurt and bark when they are excited or want attention. And they do want lots of attention. It’s virtually impossible to walk anywhere near the whelping box without several furry little heads popping up to see what’s going on. We’ve learned that once you make eye contact; it’s game over. From that moment on, you have to make a detour and pick a puppy to cuddle and then another and another.

That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another riveting installment of “Puppy Tales”.
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Whitney and Storm’s Litter – Week Seven

Sticks are the toy of choice this week.

“The Cuban”

It was a cool December day. There was a gentle breeze rustling through the trees and the sun’s rays struggled to peak out between the clouds. He sat atop some rocks in the crisp Caledon air – a dull grey morning, but that did not concern him. Like a connoisseur with a prized Cuban cigar, he worked the shaft until it felt right to him. And so it was that Mr. Snowball enjoyed his stick.

This particular outing was special as we had both Whitney’s and Sierra’s litters out together for a jumbo play date. They stayed in their respective groups at first, seeking out their moms as they both ran off with the little ones in tow resembling a furry conga line. Once everyone had a snack, Miss Candy Cane and Mr. Shining Star came to chase us trying to tug on our pant legs. In the meantime, Mr. Coal was at the door to the house wondering if he could get back inside. We were able to coax him to come back and join in on the fun. When the moms broke away for some quiet time, the two groups merged and played together as one. We think there was probably a little romance or two blossoming between the new-found friends.

The gang went for a car ride this week to visit our friendly veterinarian and received great reviews as expected. They were even well-behaved in the car, but no doubt relieved to return to the safety and comfort of their whelping box with their mom anxiously awaiting their arrival. Whitney has been a stellar mom who dotes on her puppies, checking up on them frequently to attend to their every need. However, no week in complete without some kind of incident in the dorm. Apparently Whitney pushed down the slats that block the entrance to the box when she departed and the entire group followed en-masse. They were all recaptured and order was quickly restored.

To our sweet little puppies who have given us so much love and happiness these past seven plus weeks, when we think of you we’ll find comfort in knowing how much happiness you will bring to your new families. You have given us so many kisses and memories that we’ll treasure always. So long, little ones. We wish you all the best in your journey, but most of all, we wish you love.

That concludes this edition of “Puppy Tales”.  See you next litter!
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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Bailey and Frank’s Litter – Week Five

Our very first adventure outside!

“The Line Forms on the Right”

The procession seemed endless as they came from all corners of the house. We’re not sure why, but Bailey’s litter has proven to be a tourist attraction among the rest of the pack. Granted, Whitney and Sierra, the two other moms would frequently come to visit and even nurse the little ones. Then Faith and Chanel, our two youngest girls along with their “Uncle” Storm nudged the barrier aside so they could stand by the whelping box and simply watch them. Never one to be shy, Haydain our gentle giant plodded right into the whelping box on numerous occasions to examine the puppies up close and personal. This must have confused the lot when they realized that this model wasn’t equipped with the usual milk apparatus.

When they weren’t eating, sleeping or playing, Bailey’s litter spent some of their time this week product testing. Since we are giving the puppies progressively drier food over time, we are also giving them water to drink to help keep them hydrated. We do this in a “spill-proof” bowl. The group demonstrated that this type of bowl is not so spill-proof after all and that it also doubles as a toy. This necessitates several bedding changes throughout the day.

As luck would have it, the weather cooperated sufficiently to enable us to introduce the gang to the great outdoors. What they lacked in confidence initially, they made up for in their curiousity and quest to gather twigs. Puppies don’t learn about sticks and twigs - they don’t need to. Puppies apparently come out of the womb already acquainted with their connection to nature’s debris. Mr. Firecracker demonstrated his skill as a pathfinder, leading the pups around on a scavenger hunt. Once they grew accustomed to this vast expanse, many just raced around aimlessly, enjoying the crisp Caledon air or chasing their mom in the hope of getting an afternoon snack. The moms typically spend a good deal of their time frolicking in the yard with their litters, except in this case Bailey seemed to be somewhat more interested in going back inside to see if there might be some food waiting there.

This is the beginning of the most influential socialization period for the puppies. They’re learning to communicate with each other and with us by wagging their tails. With the increased control over their facial muscles, the puppies are making expressions and are beginning to reveal their personalities and communicate their opinions. They’re craving a lot of attention and affection and fortunately that’s something that’s not hard to provide.

That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another entrancing installment of “Puppy Tales”.
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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Sierra and Storm’s Litter – Week Five

What fun we had outside!

“It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood”

It was a beautiful fall day on the weekend so Sierra’s litter had the opportunity to experience their inaugural outing. As we carried them out and placed each one on the lawn, they were a little bit apprehensive about the big green carpet at first. The feeling didn’t last and before long, they were overcome with curiousity as they darted off in all different directions to explore this great big space. Mom was never far away, so they kept circling back in the hope that the milk bar was open for an afternoon snack.

On top of being siblings, it’s evident that the puppies have also become fast friends as they frolicked in the yard together. Everyone settled into a variety of activities. Some were curious about rock climbing, but didn’t actually summon up enough courage to try it, while others settled in with a nice little twig, either alone or with a friend. There were a few who favoured wrestling, jousting or playing rugby without a ball. Of course they always keep circling back to us to catch quick cuddle before they run off again at top speed.

The pups were even making friends outside of their group this week as was demonstrated in the co-op escape from their whelping boxes of Mr. Lifesaver and Mr. Cinnamon Twist from Whitney’s litter. The two were apprehended quickly and quietly and placed back in the custody of their moms.

The puppies are learning to communicate as they wag their tails to us and to each other.  With the increased control over their facial muscles, they are making expressions, beginning to reveal their personalities and voice their opinions. They bark, growl, squeak, yelp, chirp and howl – whatever it takes to get someone’s attention, including each other’s. And while their play is becoming a bit more coordinated and adult-like, they’re still just kids at heart. Mind you, the puppies were so spent from their big outing, that in the ensuing naptime some of them sounded like grandpa snoring on the sofa after a huge Christmas dinner.

That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another enthralling installment of “Puppy Tales”.
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Whitney and Storm’s Litter – Week Six

Our big adventure outside!

“The Conspiracy”

Like the Navajo code talkers before them, their communication was cloaked in secrecy so the collaboration went unnoticed. They chose a cool, misty morning to put their plan into action just as the household was beginning to stir. We are unaware of exactly how the conspiracy unfolded, but somehow Mr. Cinnamon Twist from Whitney’s litter and Mr. Lifesaver from Sierra’s litter managed to escape from their respective whelping boxes in tandem for a rendezvous in the living room. The two were safely apprehended and placed in the custody of their mothers, but to this day, no one is talking.

This week, we managed to get the group outside for playtime. Just like their introduction to solid food, this group embraced the outdoors on their first outing like they’d done it a hundred times before. There was no hesitation as they all scurried off in all directions in search of treasures. It’s as though gathering up sticks and chewing them is part of a puppy’s DNA. Some of the gang even tried their hand at rock climbing while others were content just to munch away at a prime twig. Of course, no outing is complete without a game of chase. It’s fun to watch them hop around. Once they hit their top speed, they typically just fall down and repeat the exercise several more times.

Whitney always escorts her puppies outside for playtime. Her role is part sentinel, part playmate, albeit the pups do chase mom around for a while in the hopes of a snack. We have blankets to spread out on the lawn to sit on as we take in all of the action and Whitney wastes no time in curling up on our laps. While the little ones are off exploring the yard, she reprises her role as the biggest lapdog of all. Before long, the puppies are spent and they try to curl up with their mom or on a corner of the blanket so we have to carry them in and put them to bed, one by one. There’s nothing like fresh, country air for a good night’s sleep.

That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another stimulating installment of “Puppy Tales”.
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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Bailey and Frank's Litter – Week Four

Mr. Sparkle says hi everyone!

 “Food Fight”

This week, the gang began to wean and was introduced to mush: a canine smoothie comprised of moistened puppy food, oatmeal, goat’s milk, supplements, probiotics and honey. The convention with mush when it’s introduced to a new group is that the puppies typically sniff at it, shake their heads or walk away until we dab a little on their mouths to coax them into trying it. When the bowl was placed in the whelping box, Mr. Sparkle made a bee-line toward it and began to chow down as though he’d been doing it for years. The rest of the mini-pack followed without hesitation. The unsettling part of their mealtime was that they have achieved the title of messiest litter ever because they walked in it, skated across it, sat down in it and even swam in it.

Mealtime may be a scene out of National Lampoon’s Animal House, but it’s still a bit of a reprieve for Bailey as each of the puppy’s twenty-eight razor sharp teeth are coming in. Not yet ready for retirement, she still dutifully brings her milk truck around several times a day and night to keep her family topped up and even makes the rounds to both Whitney and Bailey’s litters as a canine “Meals on Wheels” of sorts.

Last weekend, some friends and a few local future families came to visit. There was a great deal of interaction between the families and both Whitney’s and Sierra’s litters. With Bailey’s litter; not so much. In their defense, they’d had a big breakfast followed by a milkshake from mom so some of the little ones were experiencing milk comas. Not the least of which, since they’re the youngest litter, they do need the most amount of sleep. One thing we can guarantee is that they’ll be ready to take on the world by the time their stay here comes to an end.

That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another heart-warming installment of “Puppy Tales”.
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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Sierra and Storm’s Litter – Week Four

Hello everyone!

“Keeping up with the Joneses”

Sierra and her brood also had an enjoyable visitor’s day. Since they’re right next door to Whitney’s group, they had the added benefit of being cuddled by anyone who happened to be in the room! This lot was perhaps not as animated as Whitney’s litter, but then again, they’re a week younger and they still need lots of beauty sleep. That certainly didn’t hinder their participation for the big event and they were equal crowd pleasers. Bailey’s litter which is younger still, slept through most of the festivities nestled in the arms of their future families!

As much as this lot enjoys their leisure time, they are also getting their fair share of exercise and to this end; an extension has been added to the whelping box. This is the beginning of a key socialization period for the puppies. When they’re not sleeping or eating, they spend more time playing with one another. Now that they’re gaining strength and coordination, they scurry around at top speed. They pounce or head butt each other resembling furry little dusters. They test each other’s limits and learn the difference between hard and soft biting.  They also take turns sleeping at the top and bottom of the sibling pile. Since their hunting and chasing instincts are emerging, we ensure that they have plush toys to play and cuddle with, that is until either Bailey steals them to play with herself.

Sierra has raised very polite puppies!
Mealtime now consists of mush: a canine smoothie comprised of moistened puppy food, oatmeal, goat’s milk, supplements, probiotics and honey - all blended to perfection. Their inaugural dinner got underway with a bit of coaxing, but the group gradually got the hang of it and culminated in the licking of some of the sticky residue off the faces of their littermates. Subsequent meals were consumed in their entirety and conducted in a very orderly fashion. Mind you, Sierra has spoiled the lot with the continued attendance of her milk carriage. Either way, the puppies get their fill and always enjoy a leisurely post-breakfast nap. What a life.

That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another installment of “Puppy Tales”.
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Whitney and Storm’s Litter – Week Five

Hello everyone!

“The Evacuation”

There were several practice runs that lead to this moment. Well-rehearsed; well-coordinated, but this event was unlike anything we’d ever witnessed. Early in the week, Mr. Snowball and Miss Candy Cane departed the whelping box for a little walkabout. Around midweek, Mr. Snowball, Miss Mistletoe and Mr. Plum Pudding took their turn, unfazed by the violation they had committed as they calmly studied their surroundings. On Monday morning, it became apparent. These were all dry runs for what came next. As we approached the living room that houses Whitney’s litter box, the entire litter of eight had evacuated their dwelling to go for a leisurely stroll around the room. They all surrendered peacefully and without incident, but this latest breach has underscored the necessity for stricter security measures.

Time for cuddles!
Notwithstanding their occasional lapse in judgment, the group was all fairly well-behaved as they received visitors over the weekend. Everyone received a major dose of cuddling while some of their guests seemed to work through a mental checklist of every puppy to hold so no one would be left out. They doled out licks and kisses, nibbled on watches and lapped up all of the attention they were getting. Even the moms made sure they got some attention of their own.

Last week, our poor Whitney contracted Eclampsia, a blood calcium deficiency. As a result of her treatment, Whitney was unable to nurse her puppies, so Bailey and Sierra rolled in with their own milk trucks to help out. Forever the good sport, octomom Whitney clad in a t-shirt to cover her “apparatus” made up for lost time by spending entire days in the whelping box with her brood, sometimes napping with them, but mostly just hanging out. The pups were extremely happy to be with their mom. They expressed their enthusiasm by climbing on top of her while Mr. Shining Star clamped his jaws down on mom’s tail and Miss Mistletoe gnawed away on Whitney’s leg. Whitney took it all in stride.

That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another regal installment of “Puppy Tales”.

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Bailey and Frank’s Litter – Week Three

Happy 3 week Birthday to us!

 “This Masquerade”

There are two things that Bailey does not lack: cunning and determination. For instance, Bailey is banned from the backyard until she comes to the realization that the whelping box is much better lodging for her puppies than the giant hole she has excavated under a spruce tree. Whenever we let various dogs out into the yard, Bailey stealthily mixes in with the pack by keeping her head down and pressing forward so she can continue with her quest outside. Despite the fact that she bunks in the library with her puppies, when it’s bedtime for the big dogs, Bailey pretends to be one of them and happily enters an empty crate because she knows the routine that a treat is sure to follow. Every morning at a time of her choosing, she makes a pilgrimage down the hall to jostle our bedroom door to advise us that it’s time to get up. What all of that amounts to is one smart lady. And we’re sure her pups are lucky to have her as a mom. In fact, Whitney and Sierra’s puppies are lucky to have Bailey as their “aunt”. We’re not sure what has possessed her, but Bailey has even taken it upon herself to nurse all of these pups as well.

Thanks to Bailey’s tenacity in feeding them, her own puppies are growing rapidly and it’s amazing to watch the transformation every day as they become more mobile and their personalities begin to emerge. We’ve added an extension to the whelping box to give them more room to meander around in and even pick up a bit of speed. When they’re not sleeping or eating, the gang spends time playing with one another. With this being the beginning of a key socialization period for the puppies, they are testing each other’s limits and learning the difference between hard and soft biting.  They also take turns sleeping at the top and bottom of the sibling pile. Since their hunting and chasing instincts are kicking in, they practice with their siblings or their plush toys (unless mom has absconded with them). Their new play station helps them to develop their strength, co-ordination and cognitive skills. All of this stimulation seems to generate huge appetites to the extent that one of the puppies emitted a shriek like James Brown. Before long, the whole crew was howling like a pack of miniature wolves to signal that it was dinner time yet again summoning Bailey to bring the milk truck by.

That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another inspiring installment of “Puppy Tales”.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Sierra and Storm’s Litter – Week Three

How cute are we!

“The Drill Sergeant”

She heard the commotion from across the foyer and went to investigate, walking with her usual confident swagger. To her, the hubbub was unacceptable. She marched right up to Bailey’s dorm (aka the whelping box) which housed Bailey’s eight chirping minions and barked, admonishing them to keep the noise down. Sierra promptly swung around and returned to her own group to nurse them. So unusual were the antics of all the moms this past week. Whitney napped in front of Bailey’s box while Bailey tip toed into Whitney’s; likely just checking for more toys to steal for her collection but also nursing Whitney’s puppies while she lingered. Sierra snooped around in both of the other whelping boxes, occasionally pausing to nurse some of their inhabitants. It’s apparent that all three are not possessive of their broods and trust one another implicitly. In true Golden fashion; everyone is welcome.

The group now has a great deal more room to stagger around in since we’ve added the extension to their whelping box. When the puppies aren’t eating or sleeping, they’re managing to hone their motor skills as they explore their little den. They are interacting with each other as well as their stuffed animal roommates; playing, snuggling and nibbling and learning rudimentary social skills. Now that their vision is established beyond simply being able to detect light, dark and movement, they are becoming increasingly curious about their surroundings and each other. They coo with delight as we pick them up to cuddle. 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 and Sierra has no reservations about letting us know when they’re overdue. Fortunately mom is looking after the rest of their grooming needs for now.

That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another nail-biting installment of “Puppy Tales”.

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Whitney and Storm’s Litter – Week Four

Cleaning each other up is the best!

“His Majesty’s Feast”

This week saw the introduction of the puppies to gruel or mush:  a healthy concoction of oatmeal, kibble, honey, goat’s milk and vitamins, all fit for a king, to supplement the feedings they get from their mom. It’s always interesting to see how things take shape during the inaugural feeding. They’re usually a little apprehensive about consuming something their mom didn’t deliver, but that certainly wasn’t the case with this group. Mr. Coal and Mr. Cinnamon Twist needed no second invitation and their message to the rest of the group was clear. One by one, the puppies descended upon the bowl to see what the fuss was all about. Toward the end of the feast, unrestricted by etiquette, both Miss Mistletoe and Mr. Sugar Cookie were walking through the bowl and even laying down in it. Whitney also enjoys mealtime because she gets to finish the left-overs (if there are any) and lick the sticky mess (also known as dessert) off their faces. Of course, the milk bar is still open 24/7 and remains a popular venue, but there’s no doubt Whitney is rather delighted that her puppies are receiving three square meals of mush a day now. This means a bit of a reprieve from each puppy’s twenty-eight razor sharp teeth so that Whitney need only provide a top-up. Inexplicably, both Sierra and Bailey with litters of their own have stopped by Whitney’s whelping box to pitch in and nurse them too.

The group’s other activities have proved to be just as much fun. With an elaborate play station at their disposal (no batteries required), the little ones are developing their strength, co-ordination and cognitive skills as well as learning how to engage in an activity with a littermate, even if it’s just bumping heads. So far, their cheerful banter and chirping have not disturbed the solitude of their neighbours since Sierra and her brood share the same postal code as next-door neighbours.  Little do they realize that a giant play fest may well be on the horizon once the pups are old enough to withstand a little dose of the crisp Caledon air.

That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another chilling installment of “Puppy Tales”.
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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Bailey and Frank’s Litter – Week Two

Cuddly new toys arrived this week!

“The Toy Drive”

Toy drives are generally thought of as philanthropic deeds designed to bring some measure of joy to the less fortunate among us. Apparently Bailey does not subscribe to this notion. During the week, she started sneaking into both Whitney’s or Sierra’s whelping box stealing toys, one at a time. Every so often, she would work out a self-concocted exchange program of sorts whereby she would enter their whelping box with an already well-used marrow bone and “exchange” it for yet another toy. But it didn’t stop there. Later on, we witnessed Bailey sneak into our bedroom where there is a small stash of dog-toys for the rest of the pack and steal some of those as well. We managed to track Bailey down to her lair where we found she had stashed all of the toys like a canine hoarder. We even caught her cuddling them during her breaks. Humbug, we say.

The actual purpose of the toys is to provide obstacles for the puppies in their whelping box so they need to climb over them in order to get around, thereby building muscle mass. But that’s not the only workout they get. When the puppies lay there sleeping, they are constantly twitching – a state known as “activated sleep”. These involuntary actions also 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.

Despite the thievery, Bailey is a great mom. Her litter is now located in our library so Bailey has a sofa to lounge on during her breaks throughout the day and night. Notwithstanding her new sleeping arrangements, mom’s on call around the clock to tend to every whimper. Admittedly, she administers some of the quicker meals sitting up like a mobile milk bar or meals on wheels. Since some of the puppies have already tripled their birth weight, Bailey gets top marks in that department.

The highlight for Bailey’s litter is that their eyes have opened. At this stage, the puppies have hazy vision and can only differentiate between light and dark, but this will clear up very quickly over the next week or so as they begin to experience normal sight. They are able to hear quite well as soon as their ears have opened. No doubt they will be spending some time trying to comprehend the tenancy of their whelping box and to distinguish between the toys and their siblings.

That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another captivating installment of “Puppy Tales”.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Sierra and Storm’s Litter – Week Two

We love our new toys!

“The Mobile Salad Bar”

A mom’s job is never easy. To add to this challenge, Sierra contracted mastitis this week; an inflammation of a mammary gland which is an infection caused by a little bite or scratch. This is not uncommon and not serious when diagnosed and treated in the early stages. We opted for two courses of treatment: the medical solution of a regimen of antibiotics coupled with the homeopathic one of strapping a cabbage leaf to the affected area. While the cabbage patch mom’s malady is improving very rapidly, the rest of the pack has been very curious about Sierra’s mobile salad bar.

The puppies have all gained well with everyone more than doubling their birth weight. That’s quite an accomplishment considering Sierra is only firing on nine of ten cylinders. Sierra is a very attentive and loving mother, looking after the needs of her little family with every whimper, never straying very far from them or for very long. She does however find a moment for her frequent ritual of rolling on her back in the foyer several times a day. Normally puppies will bellow whenever they’re hungry, but Sierra keeps them so well fed with the all-day buffet at their disposal that we barely hear a peep out of them. In fact, she’s even done double-duty by helping to nurse some of both Whitney’s and Bailey’s pups.

This week, we relocated Sierra and her family to the living room. Here she joins her good friend Whitney with her own three 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 one end of a sofa with Whitney in the event she needs a power nap. The living room is a gateway to the puppy run outside where the group will eventually be introduced to the great outdoors. Fortunately both Sierra and Whitney are not possessive and greet all passers-by amicably. In fact, both ladies have been observed doing surprise dorm inspections on each other’s whelping boxes, so we’d best keep things as neat as possible.

We’re always jubilant when we notice that the puppies’ eyes have opened. At present, they can only differentiate between light and dark, but the haze they look through will clear up very quickly over the next week or so as they begin to experience normal sight. They are able to hear quite well as soon as their ear canals have opened. This is when the fun times really begin as the little ones discover the world around them.

That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another regal installment of “Puppy Tales”.

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Whitney and Storm’s Litter – Week Three

Look at how much we have grown!

The Hat Trick

It begins as a tiny little chirp. And then again. It’s followed by a retort, albeit amplified. The little puppies are beginning to find their voices and it’s fun to watch some of them as they seem to startle themselves when they emit a mini-bark. Yes, they’re growing up…but not too quickly yet.

There are three key things that puppies do. They eat and they sleep and they also work out. Their exercise regimen may not be readily apparent but as they lay there asleep, the puppies are constantly twitching. These involuntary actions, referred to as “activated sleep”, help strengthen their leg muscles allowing them to stagger around on all fours like the last guests at a sorority party. We’ve also added numerous stuffed animals to the whelping box which forces the little ones to climb over the obstacles to reach their target (usually the milk bar or a sibling to sleep on) thereby building muscle mass.

Now that the puppies can see and hear, they are beginning to get acquainted with their littermates. They can often be seen standing in a group gently colliding or rubbing their noses and heads against one another. In one episode, Mr. Shining Star, Miss Candy Cane and Mr. Coal were playing atop Mr. Snowball who was not initially not amused since they’d awakened him, but he quickly warmed up to the idea.

In the first two weeks, we reported the misadventures of Mr. Cinnamon Twist and this week was no exception. One afternoon, we heard a great deal of wailing coming from the library where Whitney’s whelping box was located, but in all likelihood it was more like a celebratory chant. Having escaped the confines of the whelping box for the third time now, Mr. Cinnamon Twist was found happily exploring this strange new world known as our library. We can hardly wait to see what happens now that Whitney and her family have now been relocated to the living room with Sierra’s litter as next door neighbours.

That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another chapter in the continuing saga we call “Puppy Tales”.

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Bailey and Frank’s Litter – Week One

Bailey is so devoted to her 8 precious babies.

“The Wet Nurses”

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. We welcomed: Miss Bubbles, Mr. Hangover, Miss Champagne, Mr. Crystal, Mr. Firecracker, Mr. Sparkler, Mr. Tuxedo and Mr. Balloon. It can take a while for mom to come to the realization that these are her babies, but in the meantime both Whitney and Sierra came to Bailey’s aid by helping to nurse some of her puppies.

Part of mom’s job description is to stimulate her newborn pups to eliminate by licking them. In this regard, Bailey’s maternal instincts kicked in fairly quickly and she became a very focused and loving mother, attending to the needs of her little family with every whimper. The puppies have all gained well and easily doubled their birth weight by the end of the first week. We weigh them at least twice daily for the first couple of weeks in order to carefully monitor their progress.

Since the gestation period in dogs is short, the trade-off is that puppies are quite helpless at birth. Biologists refer to species that produce immature dependent offspring as altricial, which means “to nurse, to rear or to nourish”. It refers to the need for the young of these species to be fed and taken care of for a long period of time. The puppies are born functionally deaf since their ear canals are closed. They are also blind, since their eyelids are tightly closed, but both will open during the second week. Newborn puppies are also unable to regulate their own body temperature and for the first three weeks, their temperature climbs one degree until it reaches the normal range. When mom is on her break, we use a heat lamp to keep everyone warm and cozy, but when mom’s around, they’ll either snuggle up with her or lay intertwined with their siblings.

Despite all of the creature comforts that we’ve provided to Bailey, she still spends some of her time during breaks to continue excavating a cave under the spruce tree in the yard as a place to rear her babies. This crater is so big, we swear we can hear an echo in it and every day she returns to the door after a hard day’s work sporting the latest look in blackened paws.

That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another enchanting installment of “Puppy Tales”.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Sierra and Storm’s Litter – Week One

Snuggle time with momma.

“The Roadblock”

We knew it was going to be a long night, but as night turned into day, it became evident that Sierra was going to need a little help in delivering her puppies. While she was lying on our bed experiencing contractions, the funny thing was that Sierra somehow managed to maintain her trademark wiggle lying down. Since she was expecting a litter of only five, the pups had grown so big that the first one in line created a roadblock, necessitating a C-section. The procedure went well and before long, we were graced with the births of five not-so-tiny babies: Miss Cotton Candy, Mr. Jellybean, Miss Lollipop, Mr. Gumdrop and Mr. Lifesaver.

Any time puppies are delivered via C-section, there is an ensuing period of adjustment. The mother-to-be knows she’s going to have a litter, but then she goes to sleep and wakes up with these foreign little beings demanding her attention. It takes mom a while, sometimes several hours and sometimes a couple of days, before she comes to the realization that these are actually her babies that have mysteriously appeared. There’s never reservation about nursing them, but we have to clean and manually stimulate the puppies to help them eliminate until mom rises to the occasion herself. Fortunately it didn’t take long for Sierra to come around and perform all of her maternal duties. Sierra even rose to the occasion to help nurse Bailey’s pups when she returned home from having her own C-section.

Sierra has always been one to make herself comfortable, regardless of her surroundings and circumstances. After two or three days of laying in the whelping box nursing puppies, Sierra decided she would changes things up and get comfortable by lying on her back in the middle of the whelping box. The puppies were confused at first because the milk bar wasn’t where they expected to find it, but they eventually managed 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 temperatures will not have been regulated until after week three, the little gang relies on mom and each other for warmth. Of course, we do use a heat lamp for good measure when mom is off on a break.

That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another beguiling installment of “Puppy Tales”.

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Whitney and Storm’s Litter – Week Two

Everyone pile on the milk train!

Change of Address

She just wouldn’t take our word for it. Since our Sierra was expecting her litter this week, we moved Whitney and her pups out of the bedroom and into another whelping box that we’d set up in the library. Everything was identical to the previous setup in the bedroom and her puppies were already settled in their new surroundings, but Whitney wasn’t convinced. She kept coming back to the bedroom to perform numerous inspections to make sure we hadn’t left anyone behind. After a little coaxing and several treats, Whitney was satisfied with the new arrangement. After all, this room featured a sofa that she could use to lounge on when she was on her breaks. In time, Whitney relished our regular cuddle sessions with her on the sofa as well. In fact, Whitney seems to enjoy it there so much that she has abandoned any notion she ever had about relocating her brood to a spot under the spruce tree in the backyard.

One of the most exciting events for us is when the puppies’ eyes open. Many of the puppies’ critical organs including their brain are not fully formed and they will spend several weeks developing rapidly. The same is true of the eyes. Puppies are born with their eyelids tightly shut because the eye itself is still developing and is extremely fragile. The closed eyelids serve as a barrier to protect the eyes from potential damage. Now that their eyes are open, it will take a few weeks before their eyes mature and their eyesight begins to approach normal. The ear canals begin to open at around the same time, but the ears are much more fully formed than the eyes and their hearing will be quite acute within a week or so.

The puppies have all grown very nicely and Whitney has been stellar as a mom. In fact, she has even been outsourced to cross-foster Bailey’s pups. While Bailey was sleeping off the effects of the anesthetic from her C-section, both Whitney and Sierra helped to nurse Bailey’s pups. The other day, when Whitney was laying just outside the whelping box on one of her breaks, Mr. Cinnamon Twist went in search of his mom. He managed to scale the barrier into the library and make his way to his target. We have to give the little fella top marks for determination.

That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another riveting installment of “Puppy Tales”.

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Monday, November 2, 2015

Whitney and Storm’s Litter – Week One

Mr. Coal

Despite the fact that he volunteered to be first out, Mr. Coal may have had some second thoughts on his way through the birth canal since he needed a little assistance with his extraction. The remainder of Whitney’s labour was relatively uneventful as one by one, her puppies popped out. Miss Candy Cane was close behind, followed by Mr. Sugar Cookie, Mr. Plum Pudding, Miss Mistletoe, Mr. Cinnamon Twist, Mr. Snowball and finally Mr. Shining Star. All of the puppies made their debut in and around the one pound mark. Whitney embraced motherhood with tremendous zeal. As several of the puppies were attached to the milk bar busily nursing, Whitney was licking them with such enthusiasm that they were flopping up and down like little marionettes. We were doing our utmost to keep the newborns dry and warm while Whitney was taking us to task by cleaning and stimulating them until they were all drenched again.

Apart from nourishment, a mom’s milk contains antibodies vital to the puppies’ survival for the first several weeks of their lives. Whitney proved to be very magnanimous as a mother, spending virtually every waking and sleeping moment in the whelping box nursing her youngsters. This allowed them to double in weight toward the end of the first week. For the first few days, all of Whitney’s own meals were delivered there so she could enjoy breakfast in bed with her flock. She needed a great deal of coaxing to come out of it for her bathroom breaks which were very brief. As the week wore on, Whitney relaxed a little and periodically jumped up on our bed to get a little cuddle or two before returning to work.

We weigh the puppies at least twice daily for the first week to ensure that everyone is getting equal access to the milk bar. Whitney watched us very carefully and even whimpered as we picked up a puppy to take it to the scale. If the process took too long for her liking, she would rush to the scale and escort each puppy back to the warmth and safety of the whelping box. It’s inevitable that at some point in time, a puppy is going to make a break for it, but it usually doesn’t happen during the first week. In this instance, Mr. Cinnamon Twist made a wrong turn and ended up on the carpet outside the whelping box. Since we’d witnessed the episode, he was promptly returned to the custody of his mom.

Newborn puppies are unable to regulate their own body temperature and for the first three weeks, their temperature climbs one degree until it reaches the normal range. When mom is on her break, we use a heat lamp to keep everyone warm and cozy, but when mom’s around, they’ll either snuggle up with her or lay intertwined with their siblings. As the song goes, “love the one you’re with”.

That’s for now, but be sure to join us next week for another beguiling installment of “Puppy Tales”
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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Sierra, Day 59 (pre-parturition)

Our beautiful Sierra with only a few more days till pups arrive!

We’re in the home stretch with our happy girl Sierra who is getting bigger with each passing day. She may be carrying around lots of extra weight but Sierra continues to wiggle with delight throughout the day and tip toes around to keep an eye on all the activity around her. She now measures 34.5 inches (87.6 cm).

We are monitoring Sierra’s temperature twice daily as any significant drop would signal the onset of labour. At this point, the fetuses are fully developed and can be born safely. The puppies have basically finished their development and are just growing bigger now. They are born without the ability to see and their eyes don’t open till about 10 days after birth.

We will make our girl as comfortable as possible over the next week as we look forward to the big day!

Stay tuned….

Bailey, Day 58 (pre-parturition)

Less than a week till her babies arrive!

Unlike most other pregnant females, our Bailey inhales her meals. She has an appetite like we’ve never seen before and is eating four times daily. Bailey continues to blossom as her tummy has expanded to a massive 36 inches (91 cm), so she has quite a bit of extra weight to carry around!

Heading into her final days of pregnancy, Bailey is pretty much just enjoying lying around and watching her fellow pack-mates frolic in the yard. The whelping area has been prepared for the big event, but our biggest challenge is monitoring Bailey’s activity outside. She has begun the hunt for a den to have her puppies in. Like many of our other moms, Bailey likes to dig under one of our spruce trees. We’re not sure why they all seem to prefer a cold, muddy hole to a comfy, warm and clean den in our bedroom.

The puppies can be safely born anytime now, but Bailey typically goes full term which is 63 days from the time of ovulation. It is easy to feel the puppies moving around as they are growing rapidly now. We will continue to pamper Bailey as we await the BIG day!

Stay tuned…..

Friday, October 23, 2015

Whitney Day 57 (pre-parturition)

Miss Whitney doing what she loves.....relaxing!

We have less than a week to go until the big event. Whitney’s abdomen has continued to expand and is approximately 34.5 inches (87.5 cm). She weighs 76.4 lbs. (34.6 kg) which is up from her usual weight of 64 lbs. (29 kg); the difference of which would be her litter of puppies.

Whitney has definitely slowed down this week, however her appetite has not waned. She is currently eating 3 times daily and next week we will increase to 4 times daily.

Our expectant mom is now on a mission to find a location to have her pups. Her favourite spot seems to be under a spruce tree in the back yard, but of course we have other plans. So, this weekend we will introduce Whitney to the ever-so-cozy and spotlessly clean whelping box, lined with freshly washed linens and towels.

At the moment, Whitney seems to be most comfortable on the dog bed in front of the fireplace in our bedroom. She is still managing to join us on the bed for belly rubs and cuddles but we think by Sunday she will no longer be able to jump up on her own and will have to wait to be hoisted up.

Stay tuned ...

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Sierra - 45 days (pre-parturition)

The above dark area shows a pup in the gestational sac. Sierra’s ultrasound – confirmation of pregnancy at approx. Day 29

This is an exciting time for all of us as it seems like an eternity since we have had puppies in the house. Sierra hasn’t experienced any morning sickness at all. She knows exactly when meal times are and is the first to remind us if we are late with meal service! She goes outside for brief bathroom breaks but usually arrives back at the door within minutes demanding to come inside. We believe she uses a code which consists of 3 barks a pause followed by another 3 barks followed by 2 barks, a pause and repeat. Sierra is a very happy girl and always shows her enthusiasm but her distinctive howl and her uncontrollable tail wag which is more like a full body wag are her trademark. 

At this point, the embryonic sacs are a little over 4 cm.  Although several sacs were detected during the ultrasound at day 30, it is still difficult to determine exactly how many babies Sierra will have.

Fetus at approximately day 39

At day 39, the puppies head into a huge growth stage. Their heartbeats can easily be detected with a stethoscope or ultrasound. They start to develop toes, eyelids, whiskers and claws and are beginning to look more like puppies everyday with their canine features becoming more pronounced.

Around day 45, the fetuses develop their sex organs. The leg buds lengthen and toes become more fully developed. Pups continue to grow and pigmentation develops. The eyes now have lids and remain sealed until approximately ten days after birth.

The gestation period in dogs is approximately 63 days. We are looking forward to the miracle of birth once again on approximately November 4th.

Stay tuned…..