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Showing posts from February, 2020

Chapeau and Chanel Litter – Week Four

This week is all about fun times! “Determination” This week, we added an extension to the whelping box which has doubled its size. Now that the puppies are getting even bigger, they need a bit more space to allow them to pick up speed to scramble from end to end. 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. Since their hunting and chasing instincts are emerging, they practice with their siblings or their plush toys. Kids always find ways to get into trouble. The other day Mr. Aramis (brown) and Miss Shalimar (blue) managed to escape from the whelping box as Chanel was on her way out for a break and chased after her unless they were just trying to get a better look at the living room carpet. We cured that by adding another slat across the entrance…or so we thought. A short while later, we discovered Miss Opium (red) in the middle of the living

Storm and Faith Litter – Week Five

We are more alert everyday! “Canine Compassion” Night had fallen fast. There was absolute stillness. Not a sound could be heard either close at hand or in the far-off distance. Moonlight trickled in through a crack between the drapes. And then out of the silence a cry arose. It began softly but became more persistent after a few moments. We went to investigate and discovered Miss Grand Marnier in the far corner of the whelping box extension while her siblings were all huddled together several feet away in the main sleeping area. As if on cue, two of them staggered over and laid down beside her. Her crying ceased immediately. Dogs are pack animals and their emotional well-being relies on the presence of their pack-mates, whether other dogs or humans. It underscores the need for love that we all experience. 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 othe

Chapeau and Chanel Litter – Week Three

We are a snuggly bunch!  “Animal House” Chanel and her new family were relocated to the living room from our bedroom this week to join fellow mom Faith and her mini pack. In order to accommodate the puppies’ rapid growth, we’ve had to raise 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 if they settle in behind her. At some point during the coming couple of weeks, the rails can safely be removed altogether. Since the puppies are getting adept at staggering around, an extension will be added to the box very soon which will give the gang lots more room to play in. That’s when the real fun begins! 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 to get acquainted with their littermates and can often be s

Storm and Faith Litter – Week Four

This weeks it's all about playtime! “Divas” The pups are spending a great deal of time playing and interacting with their siblings. Mr. Blue Curaçao and Miss Crème de Menthe are enjoying a great brother/sister dynamic as they play. Meanwhile Mr. Marsala expends some of his energy either singing or providing instructions to the group with his verbalizations; we’re not sure which. Since everyone is growing so quickly, they need weekly grooming, and no one enjoys spa day with mani-pedis more than our two resident divas: Miss Limoncello and Miss Kahlua. Of course, we’re not using colour just yet. The action has ramped up in Faith’s quarters this week! Miss Faith and her crew have been relocated into the living room which is like a V.I.P. room for moms. She has a sofa to stretch out on for her ultimate relaxation while being able to keep a watchful eye and ear on her brood. What’s more, she has a private yard for a little walkabout which her puppies will eventually use as their

Chapeau and Chanel Litter – Week Two

Chanel is such a devoted momma.  “Friends” It’s good to have friends. That applies to humans and canines alike. Since Chanel has such a large litter, her roommate Faith (who has her own litter of 7) has pitched in to help out with some nursing duties. One might think that these moms would be possessive or even jealous, but in true Golden fashion, that’s simply not the case. Faith just gives Chanel’s visiting pups a quick sniff, puts her head back down and enjoys a little nap while the little ones get their sustenance. It’s exciting for us when the puppies’ eyes open at around the 10-day mark. Many of the puppies’ critical organs including their brain are not fully formed and they will spend several weeks developing rapidly. Since the gestation period in dogs is short (63 days), the tradeoff 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

Storm and Faith Litter – Week Three

  We're growing bigger by the minute! “The Memo” Even though the pups are in a warm, clean and safe environment, it’s apparent Faith didn’t get the memo. She is still trying to excavate a tunnel or igloo in the snow with a view toward relocating her puppies there. This is instinctive behaviour for all moms as they are hard-wired to create a den for her family. Meanwhile back inside, we experienced our first round of escapees from the whelping box. Mr. Blue Curaçao, Mr. Marsala and Mr. Sambuca were among the culprits who were able to scale the slat and venture onto the bedroom carpet. We added another slat just to make sure we kept everyone safe. 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, the

Chapeau and Chanel Litter – Week One

24 hours old and already their pigment is changing to black.   “The Guessing Game” No two pregnancies are the same. We checked Chanel’s temperature at 1:30 am and determined we had a wee bit of time, so we extinguished the lights and settled in for a little nap. Little was right. At around 2:00 am, Chanel was becoming more restless so when we got up to investigate, not only did she just deposit Mr. Brut (light green) on the bedroom carpet, but she’d already deposited Miss Opium (red) on the ensuite tile floor. She continually kept us guessing. Miss Dior (pink) made her entrance on the patio and Miss Obsession (beige) graced the tarp we’d put on the bedroom floor. It wasn’t until the birth of Mr. Jovan Musk (orange) that Chanel improved her aim and began having puppies on the bed. The rest of the group was rounded out by Mr. Polo (forest green), Miss Shalimar (blue), Miss Chanel no5 (white), Mr. Aramis (brown) and finally Mr. Hugo Boss (grey) approaching 9:00 am. Of course, sleep

Storm and Faith Litter – Week Two

Full tummy! “The Complaint Department” Now that Faith’s pups are quite established, mom is taking a bit of time to herself. She’s still on call around the clock, but she does venture out of the whelping box for some cuddles or to have a nap on our bed. Whenever Faith’s breaktime is deemed excessive by her mini-pack and they’re feeling hungry again, they all start chanting or even howling to let her know that breaktime is over and she’d better get back to work. 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. One of the most exciting events for us is when the puppies’ eyes open. Many of the puppies’ critical organs including their brains are not fully formed and they will spend several weeks developing rapidly. Since the gestation period in