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Showing posts from 2019

Storm & Hannah Litter – Week Seven

Such a tender moment between momma and puppy. “The Shell Game” It was another hot and muggy day in Caledon and the previous evening’s rain had done little to break the humidity.  The puppies were outside for their usual morning romp. These days, the little ones don’t always acquiesce when it’s time to come back inside and today was no exception. One by one, we gathered them up and deposited them in the whelping box. When we did the headcount, we were one short and it’s not as if there were that many to count yet there were no other puppies visible anywhere. We searched high and low and then by chance we heard a whimper, but it was coming from the most peculiar place and that’s where we found her. Since it had rained the previous evening, we tipped the little turtle-shaped pool up against the fence to empty. It seems that Miss Omelette had crawled behind and nudged it so it slid down and trapped her under the shell. Despite our own trauma, the little girl was unfazed. This wee

Storm & Hannah Litter – Week Six

We are growing by leaps and bounds! “Baby it’s hot outside….” Do you think they care? Not one bit. The name of the game this week was play, play, play. As fickle as the weather can be, it cooperated sufficiently to allow the puppies lots of outdoor playtime. The charge was led by both Hannah and Faith who either demonstrated some gymnastics moves to the gang or played chase with them. A popular activity is the game of tag in which each puppy exhibits a burst of energy in succession. Another popular sport involves racing around hither and thither with no apparent motive or destination in mind. The little ones spontaneously dart across the lawn at top speed but lacking the necessary balance and coordination to go the distance, the sprint also culminates in a tumble. It’s a good thing puppies at this age are seemingly made of rubber. The rock-climbing initiative proves to be very popular. In their more relaxed moments, the abundance of fresh twigs that required reworking was also

Storm & Hannah Litter – Week Five

We had so many adventures outside this week! “A Day at the Carnival” It was Sunday afternoon and we were going to be tied up doing some grading on Paige’s pups, so we moved Hannah and her brood into the bedroom where we’d set up an x-pen. We went in periodically throughout the afternoon to make sure everyone was content. In the late afternoon, we went in to collect the group to return them to the whelping box in the living room except there were no puppies save for one. Not only that, there was no sign of the other three. It appeared that Hannah figured out how to open the x-pen and her puppies were apparently quite happy about the hall pass. Now for the search and rescue. We looked behind drapes, under the bed, behind furniture and still nothing. Finally, we found two of them in our ensuite snuggling behind our laundry baskets, but there was still no sign of the fourth. A further search revealed he was hiding behind the curtain in our shower stall. What an adventure they all

Hudson and Faith Litter – Week Seven

What a fun-filled week we've all had! “We Have Lift Off” This week, the boys experienced their first car ride to the friendly veterinarian. Unlike most other litters travelling to the same destination, the group was pretty chattery on the way there. Once at the clinic, most were on their best behaviour. Their examinations went very well and their time at the clinic was otherwise uneventful. On the return trip, the group succumbed to the rhythm of the road and had to be pried out of their crates to come back inside the house. The pups had an absolute blast outside this week. Faith is both a mom and playmate extraordinaire. She lures the boys along with Paige’s litter into play mode with the “will you play with me stance” leading them on chases around the perimeter of the rock garden and jettisoning off a 6” high rock. Then, she rolls around in the grass while some of them try to cop a snack. At this point in time, most moms have long since abandoned the notion of nursing

Storm & Hannah Litter – Week Four

What an amazing week we've had! “Helter Skelter” This was a week of adjustment as Hannah and her mini pack moved out of the bedroom and into the living room to join fellow moms Paige & Faith. In order to make room for everyone, we had Faith’s pups bunk with Paige’s since they were good friends anyway. Poor Faith must not have received the change of address notice so she frequently spent time lounging in Hannah’s whelping box and often nursed them. Hannah and Paige were happy to share their duties with someone else. To add to the confusion, Mr. Lilac from Faith’s litter escaped from his whelping box and boosted himself into Hannah’s to mingle with her pups. We think he was probably out searching for his own mom. Among other things, Hannah’s pups are finding their voices. Miss Omlette and Mr. Toast would often sing (okay, make that shriek) in unison breaking the ambience of our Caledon calm. Fortunately, these two were unable to recruit the rest of the pack(s)and were de

Hudson and Faith Litter – Week Six

“The Compass” In order to make room for Hannah’s pups to join everyone in the living room, we had Faith and Paige’s pups start bunking together this week. It worked out rather well because the gang was used to sharing adventures playing together outside. Poor Faith needed some time to get accustomed to her own change of address. She frequently spent time lounging in Hannah’s whelping box with Hannah’s puppies and often nursed them. Fortunately, both Hannah and Paige are so easy going that they were happy to have someone else take over their duties. But Faith wasn’t the only one whose compass was broken. Mr. Lilac escaped from his whelping box.  On the second occasion, he even ended up boosting himself into Hannah’s hotel, likely in search of his mom. That was a new one on us. We usually get them breaking out, but never breaking in. Throughout the week, we managed to get the group outside frequently for playtime. There is never any hesitation as they all scurry off in al

Storm & Hannah Litter – Week Three

I love snuggling but this is a bit much.... “Standing Room Only” We won’t lie. Since there’s so little competition at the milk bar, these puppies are getting big….really big! To ensure that everyone stays in shape, we’ve removed the pig rails (the rails that help prevent mom from accidently squishing someone) and have filled the whelping box with more stuffed animals than a toy store, a snake-like activity contraption and some rolled up towels. In order for the puppies to do anything or go anywhere, they have to navigate their way through this plush jungle like a canine steeplechase. As for Hannah, there’s standing room only. Of course, we do relent and make a little room for her at night. Now that their vision is established beyond simply being able to detect light, dark and movement, the puppies are becoming increasingly curious about their surroundings and each other. As they are beginning to get acquainted with their littermates, they can often be seen standing in a pair

Hugo & Paige Litter – Week Seven

This week is all about playtime and fun outdoors!  “The Godmother” Seven weeks ago, they were all chipmunk-size nuggets – all squirmy with little pink feet and noses. They evolved from helpless little bundles to real going concerns that are desperate for backyard time and curious to know what each and every little sight and sound represents. Where has the time gone? As fickle as it’s been throughout the spring, the weather cooperated sufficiently to allow the puppies lots of outdoor playtime. The charge was usually led by Paige who either demonstrated some gymnastics moves to the gang or played chase with them. A popular activity is the game of tag in which each puppy exhibits a burst of energy in succession. Rock climbing is quite popular and there always seemed to be an abundance of fresh twigs that required reworking. And for her contribution to the festivities, Faith (their roommate and apparent Godmother) provided refreshments from the milk bar. The gang is growing ste

Hudson and Faith Litter – Week Five

Our first adventure outside! “Boys Will Be Boys” It was all fun and games during the week when the group was introduced to the great outdoors. Since they were a little young at the time, they made a beeline to mom to enjoy one of her famous milkshakes. On their second outing, there was little hesitation as the puppies scurried off in all directions as though they’d done this a hundred times before. Both Faith and Paige were there to chaperone, but also to add to the excitement by playing with the members of her mini pack. She would frequently tempt them with an offering from the milk bar and dash off with several of them in pursuit. She also demonstrated how to roll in the grass, but beyond that the little ones just improvised. They ran, they wrestled, they rolled around and somewhere along the line managed to find some twigs that apparently needed reshaping. A good time was had by all followed by the requisite naptime. The dynamic in the whelping box is also evolving. This i

Hugo & Paige Litter – Week Six

Our first big adventure outside! “The Gladiator” Never underestimate the strength of a mother’s love. It takes many shapes and forms. It didn’t dawn on us at first, but Paige added a whole new dimension to the concept. This week, Paige’s litter made their inaugural visit to the great outdoors. From a distance, Paige’s behaviour seemed erratic and inexplicable, but upon closer inspection she would lunge at and swallow any mosquitoes she noticed were in the proximity of her little ones. That’s all very well and good, but we were kind of hoping Paige would do the same for us. From day one, these little guys were totally comfortable with their outdoor surroundings. Some litters are very tentative as they venture out, but not this one. They immediately went off to explore the grass, the rockery or munch on fallen twigs. Others used the vastness of the yard to engage in sporting activities with their siblings. Wrestling and jousting were popular sports. It’s funny to watch the pup

Storm & Hannah Litter – Week Two

I can see the world now! “Peekaboo” The big news this week is that the puppies have opened their eyes. At this stage, they can only differentiate between light and dark, but the haze will clear up very quickly over the next week or so as they begin to experience normal sight. They can hear quite well as soon as their ears have opened. Now that they’re being so well fed with the all-day buffet that Hannah has provided, they’re a little quieter at night. That, of course was one of the conditions we gave Hannah in allowing her to remain in the bedroom. In order to accommodate the puppies’ rapid growth, we’ve raised the pig rails in their box up a notch. These are rails around the inside of the whelping box that are there to help prevent mom from accidentally squishing one of her kids. At some point during the coming week, the rails can safely be removed altogether. Now that the puppies are getting adept at staggering around, an extension will be added to the box soon which will

Hudson and Faith Litter – Week Four

What a fantastic week we've had! “Taken” We did the head count twice and came up with five each time. This had never happened to us before and of course we were most concerned. Mr. Ivy was missing from the whelping box! We feared he had been taken and that we’d have to call Liam Neeson to find him and bring him back. And then it dawned on us.  A puppy has escaped the day before, so we promptly put it back into the whelping box. A check of Paige’s residence revealed that there were two puppies in it with green collars:  Miss Kale and Mr. Ivy! Oops….wrong box. Mystery solved. The gang had their first raw feeding of hormone and antibiotic-free meat with organic vegetables, pro-biotics, vitamin supplements including vitamin C, bovine colostrum and Puppy Gold for eye and immune system development, goat’s milk and plain yoghurt to supplement the feedings they get from their mom. They enjoyed it so much, they even polished the bowl. Of course, they are boys. Once that was done,

Hugo & Paige Litter – Week Five

Miss Olive says hello! “The Houseguest” Every now and again a puppy escapes from the whelping box and makes its way to some unspecified location. They never really get too far and are soon whisked back into the box with their siblings. A shortfall in the headcount of their neighbour Faith’s litter led to the discovery that Paige’s group included two puppies with green collars. Oops! When Mr. Ivy escaped the previous day, without checking his undercarriage, it was assumed that it was Miss Kale who had escaped so in he went. Fortunately, both Paige and her crew were very accommodating and welcomed the little guy into their circle. We can’t imagine what he must have been thinking. The dynamic in the whelping box is evolving. 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, they are making expressions and ar

Storm & Hannah Litter – Week One

How cute are we! “The Breakfast Club” This may well go on record for one of the longest whelping sessions in a long time. Puppy births generally happen in the middle of the night and this was no exception. Despite our desire for sleep, Hannah was in no hurry. Her labour began at midnight and she produced her first pup (Mr. Bacon) at 2:00 a.m. followed by Miss Omelette, Mr. Hash Brown and finally Mr. Toast at around 6:00 a.m. just in time for breakfast! One never really knows how a girl will take to motherhood, but Hannah has joined the ranks of those we deem “supermoms”. She has been exceptionally enthusiastic when it comes to the hygiene of her pups and initially licked them so much, we were surprised they still had fur on them. Hannah is so dedicated to the wellbeing of her new family that we have 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, Hannah would race ba

Hudson and Faith Litter – Week Three

Hey do you want to play? “Things that go bump in the night” Now that their vision is established beyond simply being able to detect light, dark and movement, the puppies are becoming increasingly curious about their surroundings and each other. As 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 whether awake or asleep. Admittedly, this activity often culminates in something that resembles bumper cars at the fair. This is the beginning of a key period for the puppies as they are developing rudimentary social skills. They are testing each other’s limits and learning the difference between hard and soft biting and they also take turns sleeping at the top and bottom of the sibling pile which in itself is a sight to behold. To further enhance their experience, we’ve put stuffed animals in the whelping box as an obstacle course of sorts as well as fluffy playm

Hugo & Paige Litter – Week Four

We are becoming more playful by the minute! “How Luxurious!” This week we were able to remove the pig rails in the whelping box that help keep the little ones safe from being accidentally squished. How roomy is that?! The puppies are getting to know their siblings better and are engaging in many playtime activities. They can now pick up a bit of speed when they’re charging at their littermates.  They’ve also found their voices which range from miniature dogs barking to baby wolves howling to pigeons cooing and someone in there even shrieked like James Brown.  In the meantime, Paige is spending more time out of the box relaxing or trying to figure out how to create a cave in the backyard with her partner in crime, Faith. Always on the lookout for sticks to chew or enjoying a good roll in the grass, we have to drag Paige back into the house and remind her to resume her maternal duties. To help the puppies continue to bulk up, they had their first raw feeding of hormone and an

Hudson and Faith Litter – Week Two

Good morning! “Hot Stuff” Since newborn puppies require a good deal of warmth and aren’t able to regulate their own body temperature until the third week, Mother Nature has made some clever provisions for that. Momma Faith’s mammary glands are very warm; in fact almost hot to the touch. She therefore provides her brood a nice warm brew for these cold Caledon nights that not only nourishes and makes them sleepy but also offers a nice warm shelter for them to curl up in. Apparently, Faith hasn’t read the memo as she still insists on excavating a tunnel with Paige, her partner in crime when she’s outside on her bathroom breaks. In order to provide her pups with their sustenance, along with her regular meals, Faith is getting a super-charged smoothie consisting of pro-biotic yoghurt, pre and pro biotics, calcium citrate, vitamin C, colostrum and bio-active proteins to help kick-start her puppies’ immune systems. While the little ones spend a great deal of time eating and sleep

Hugo & Paige Litter – Week Three

Hello world! “Creature Comforts” Paige and her brood have been relocated to the living room which is a pretty regal deal for mom. She’s got both a sofa and a love seat to stretch out on, not to mention some carpeting and some sections of cool wood flooring for lounging. There’s also a walkout to the backyard for those peaceful Zen moments or for chasing chipmunks. Unlike many other moms in this situation, Paige didn’t bat an eye about being transplanted - she knew this was a good deal. In order to provide her pups with their sustenance, along with her regular meals, Paige is getting a super-charged smoothie consisting of pro-biotic yogurt, pre and probiotics, calcium citrate, vitamin C, colostrum and bio-active proteins to help kick-start her puppies’ immune systems. Now that their vision is established beyond simply being able to detect light, dark and movement, the puppies are becoming increasingly curious about their surroundings and each other. They are beginning t

Hugo & Paige Litter – Week Two

Now we can begin to see the world around us!  “Can You Dig It?” At their one-week mark, Paige and her mini-pack welcomed a new roommate into their neighbourhood. Faith and her six-boy entourage made their debut last Friday morning. To say the least, Paige was very excited and curious and didn’t sleep a wink through the entire whelping. She would waver between her own puppies and each new one that Faith produced. Paige would not settle until Faith and her crew were firmly entrenched in their own whelping box (with the door closed)! Paige and her roomie are good friends and once Faith got back on her feet following the birth of her puppies, the two of them would go out on breaks together to work on creating an alternate residence for their puppies. Their tools of choice were their front paws which they used to attempt to forge a tunnel under some rocks in the yard. Lucky us – we got lots of practice with footbaths for the ladies. Paige’s little ones are doing very well.  The

Hudson and Faith Litter – Week One

We love to snuggle. “The Construction Project” As is the case with most pup deliveries, they happen very early in the morning or very late at night. It was the morning in this case and there really wasn’t much on tv at this time. Undaunted by this fact, Faith produced an all-male team of six boys consisting of Mr. Lilac, Mr. Dandelion, Mr. Peony, Mr. Orchid, Mr. Hydrangea and Mr. Ivy.  Faith found the whole process a bit tiring so it took her a little while to assume her motherly duties to begin stimulating her puppies by licking them.  The whole birthing process was monitored by Faith’s new roommate Paige whose litter was born the previous week. Paige reacted to every little squeak of a puppy as she was unable to ascertain whether they were her own puppies or from the new family who just moved in next door to her. Paige was finally able to relax once Faith bunked down in her own whelping box (with the door closed)! Once securely tucked away without the distraction of her fr

Hannah, Day 56 days (pre-parturition)

Embarrassed Hannah due to her expanding waistline. Where did my figure go? Our precious Hannah is growing and she knows it. This girl seems preoccupied with her waistline! There isn’t much room for food these days as the puppies have grown so much that we are feeding Hannah smaller meals throughout the day. We are just trying to make these last 9 days as comfortable and stress-free as possible for her. She will continue to have light activity, afternoon walks and we’re certain that she will eventually discover the catacombs other pregnant girls have dug under our spruce tree.  Hannah’s abdomen has expanded to 32 inches or 81 cm. Heading into her final week of pregnancy, she is just as sweet and loving as ever, however there is definitely a waddle in her walk. National Geographic image of a Golden Retriever fetus. 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 along

Hugo & Paige Litter – Week One

Stunning Paige enjoying motherhood. “The Transplant” The delivery of Paige’s pups was pretty much textbook. It was an easy labour completed in just under four hours. As the time wore on and Paige kept producing girl after girl, we were relieved that with the final “deposit”, they did end up with a baby brother. The six precious girls and one robust boy include: Miss Tomato (red), Miss Garlic (grey), Miss Chickpea (brown), Miss Bell Pepper (orange), Miss Olive (black), Miss Kale (green) and Mr. Blue Cheese (blue). Despite being a rookie, Paige is as devoted as any mom we’ve had and does a great job looking after her mini pack. There were however a few incidents where Paige was over-zealous to make her way outside for a break and at least in one instance, exited the whelping box with Miss Tomato still attached to her nipple who she transplanted onto the bedroom carpet. Paige is such a devoted mom.  It never ceases to amaze us how the little ones know exactly what to

Faith, Day 55 days (pre-parturition)

Faith enjoying a relaxing break after digging a den for her pups.  Faith and Hudson litter As we enter the final stretch of her pregnancy, Faith continues to be such a happy girl. She is often seen rolling around on her back in the yard or in the house. At this stage, Faith is shedding the hair on her belly in preparation for the birth of her puppies.  This week we will introduce her to a pristinely clean whelping box in the hopes she will accept this for her pups as virtually all moms seek out or begin to dig a hole in the yard which is their idea of a good place to deliver puppies. Faith’s abdomen measures approximately 34 inches or 86.3 cm and she still has a fabulous appetite. She is eating a nutritious and “unprocessed” raw meal of veggies, meat, raw eggs, beef liver, pre and probiotics and vitamins.  By day 45 each fetus experiences rapid growth. Calcification of bones occurs, which means that fetuses are now visible on x-rays, allowing veterinarians to verify the num

Paige Day 56 (pre-parturition)

Paige and Hugo Puppies Paige enjoying some vitamin D as she heads into her final pregnancy week.  As we head into the final week of her pregnancy, Paige isn’t really slowing down much. She has always had a high prey drive and when she spots a squirrel or turkey through the window, she is determined to get to it. But on her downtime, she likes to lounge in the comfort of a cozy bed or sofa.  Paige’s waistline measures 32 inches (81.3 cm). This week we have increased her meals to three daily and that seems to suit her just fine. She is eating a nutritious raw diet with pre and probiotics, folic acid, fish oil, bovine colostrum and extra vitamins.  Paige has just begun to seek out a “den” in the backyard in which to birth her puppies. This is normal behaviour for a mom-to-be however, we have a spotlessly clean, warm environment for Paige and her pups called a whelping box. This is where she will sleep and care for her pups once they are born. During the first week, Paige wil