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Showing posts from 2022

Storm and Olivia Litter – Week Seven

“The Milk Bath” What a week! The action began one afternoon between shifts, when our caregiver leaves for the day and we arrive to take over. In the ten minutes that the pups were unattended, it seems that piece of trim around the entrance to the whelping box that holds all the slats in place got compromised. We arrived to find every single puppy had exited their dwelling. They were all around the sunken living room and even a step up in the kitchen area exploring this new territory – even Olivia’s water bowl in the kitchen was being used as a swimming pool. A quick repair allowed order to be restored and everyone to be returned to their quarters. As the weather got to be somewhat messy throughout the week, we did legitimize kitchen playtime with the gang by setting out some mats, their play station and their favourite: a tub of balls! The action ramped up in no time as some were bashing the play station with their paws, batting balls around the kitchen and “swimming” in their ball poo

Storm and Olivia Litter – Week Six

Who is the cutest? 😘❤️💋 “A Good Education”   Day by day, this group is becoming more active and playful. They’re spending much more time awake and when we’re in proximity, we can hear them bouncing off the walls of the whelping box as they engage in play with their siblings. This action continues well into the evening in between numerous rest periods. The play station is extremely popular and it allows the pups to hone various skills. When we walk up, they freeze and twelve little heads pop up in anticipation of a little petting or a cuddle. Of course, it’s not all just fun and games. A good education is necessary so the pups spend some of their time in seminars with (the mechanical) Mr. Owl who is teaching them English. The gang is also doing some science experiments on their own. For instance, is it possible to stuff a large plush ball into the mouth of the water bowl? The answer is yes!   You’d think that with all the fun being had in the whelping box, that the pups would be conte

Storm and Olivia Litter – Week Five

 “The Porta Potty” The space within the whelping box has been redefined. One end now features sleeping quarters and the other end has a tray filled with paper shredding that serves as their lavatory. This is the first step toward house training until we’re able to introduce them to the great outdoors. In addition, the pups now have gym memberships with an activity centre and numerous plush toys at their disposal. And it’s open 24/7.  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 other and with us by wagging their tails. With the increased control over their facial muscles, they are making expressions and are beginning to reveal their personalities and communicate their opinions. The

Storm & Olivia Litter – Week Four

We're alert, eating well and love to play together. “The Godfather of Soul” The gang has evolved from sounding like a flock of pigeons to something completely different. We’re not sure who takes the lead, but sometimes when they wake up and begin to stir wanting food, there’s one pup who begins to vocalize like James Brown. Before long, many of the others join in unison albeit that bears no resemblance to singing in harmony. Olivia and her bunch have moved out of the bedroom and relocated into the living room; a veritable V.I.P. room for moms. She has a sofa and a loveseat 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 playground.  The puppies now have numerous plush toys at their disposal and in order to accommodate their rapid growth and increased mobility, we’ve removed the pig rails and added an extension to the w

Storm and Olivia Litter – Week Three

Very crowded at the milk bar these days! “The Flock”   It happens several times throughout the day when Olivia is off on one of her well-deserved breaks. She spends her free time in the adjoining ensuite where she lies on the cool tile or atop our bed. As soon as Olivia comes anywhere in proximity of the pups, they sense her presence and begin cooing like a flock of pigeons to express their need for nourishment and motherly love. Olivia never fails to oblige them and their enormous bellies are a testament to that fact.   The pups reside in what’s called a whelping box: a 4 ft. square enclosure which we’ve lined with mats and towels. In order to accommodate the puppies’ rapid growth, we’ve had to raise the pig rails up a notch. These are rails around the inside of the whelping box, which are there to help prevent mom from accidentally squishing one of her kids. At some point during the next couple of weeks, the rails can safely be removed altogether and an extension to the box will be a

Storm & Olivia Litter – Week Two

We're getting so big! Happy 2 week Birthday! “Let Me be Clear…”   Many of the puppies’ critical organs including their brains are not fully formed at birth and they will spend several weeks developing rapidly. Since the gestation period in dogs is a scant 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 the need for the young of these species to be fed and taken care of for a prolonged period of time.  Puppies are born with their eyelids tightly shut because their central nervous system is still developing including the eye and optical nerves. These are extremely fragile at this stage. The closed eyelids serve as a barrier to protect the eyes from potential damage allowing the eye to develop in safety without the risk of any foreign objects (like dirt or dust) causing an infection or other developmental issues. Of course,

Storm & Olivia Litter – Week One

Less than 24 hours old. “Roulette” We knew last Wednesday would be the big day. Olivia affirmed this when her water broke at around 1:00 that afternoon. We were hoping to get a bit of rest beforehand and have some time to finish getting everything prepped however Olivia had other plans. At 1:40 pm, she promptly plopped Mr. Ruby out on the bedroom carpet. Nearly two hours later, she squeezed Mr. Rose Quartz out atop a snowbank in the yard. Twenty minutes later Mr. Citrine was born on our bed and so it continued like a game of roulette. We never really knew when or where this mom was going to deliver a puppy as her contractions were not very pronounced. We typically have the moms up on our bed where it’s easier for us to deal with the process, but Olivia would alternate between the whelping box, the bed, the snow, the carpet and to mix things up even further, she deposited Miss Topaz on the deck outside our bedroom. After more than twelve hours, Olivia finally completed her task having g

Howie and Pepper Litter – Week Seven

Pepper watching over her puppies. “A Mother’s Love” 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. In fact, Pepper was on her break when the pups were loaded up to go on their road trip. After a while, she went to check up on them and began to whimper when she discovered they were absent. Once the whelping box was cleaned up and stocked with fresh towels, she lay down in the box to play with a toy until they returned. Pepper then escorted each puppy as it was carried from the garage back to the whelping box. Only then would this supermom relax. Over the weekend, we caught a break in the weather that allowed us to get the pups outside for their inaugural outing. Pepper could not contain her excitement in the least. She barked and howled with delight as sh

Howie and Pepper Litter – Week Six

  We're growing by the minute and cute as ever! “The Amusement Park” This has been a very well-behaved litter. They’re pretty quiet, play nicely with others and are very smart. Their ability to hit the mark in the restroom (the potty tray filled with shredded paper) is unprecedented. Sooner or later, it was bound to happen that some little culprits broke rank and marred their stellar reputation. The other day we found a little stuffed chick floating in the water bowl – the victim of an apparent hazing incident. We have no idea who instigated it and no one’s talking! Mother Nature has been less than cooperative with the weather which has ranged from snowy/slushy rain to an extreme deep freeze. Normally, we’d have had a litter this age outside, so under the circumstances we had to be a bit creative, so we set up a fully decked out amusement park in the kitchen. The floor was lined with mats and towels. There were many stuffies, balls, a giant play station and a maze of tunnels. The f

Our lovebug Olivia – Day 50 (pre-parturition)

Olivia hasn’t skipped a beat with her pregnancy. She continues to play in the yard with the pack but sneaks away to seek out and/or excavate a den where she intends her puppies to be born. But not to worry, she’ll actually have them in a nice warm and sterile environment known as a whelping box.  Her appetite certainly hasn’t suffered as she polishes off her meals and looks for more! She is receiving fresh food with fruits, veggies, Omega oils, Folic Acid and vitamins. This week we’ll increase the frequency of her meals to three daily as there is less room for food given the size of the puppies. Olivia’s waistline has expanded from 27.5 inches to 32.5 inches or 82.5 cm. She is becoming increasingly more affectionate, demanding more belly rubs as you can see from the photo above.  Her activity level has remained about the same but over the next week we expect she will be slowing down. Golden Retriever puppy fetus Towards the 50th day of gestation, the fetuses’ skeletons are ossified. At

Howie and Pepper Litter – Week Five

    We're growing like weeds! “All You Need is Love”   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 other and with us by wagging their tails. With the increased control over their facial muscles, they are making expressions and are beginning to reveal their personalities and communicate their opinions. They spend longer periods of time awake and they use it to engage in some manner of play with their siblings whether head butting or wrestling, awake or asleep. They’re also craving a lot of attention and affection and fortunately that’s something that’s not hard to provide.   This week we removed the pig rails from the main part of the whelping box . Now that the puppies are p