93, 94, 95….

96 little itty bitty toenails.   That was one of the projects for today.   Puppies grow nails like little tiny fish hooks, and kneading them on momma’s belly can be very painful for her if they aren’t cut back.  Unlike the older dogs who can be trained for the procedure, trying to cut miniature nails on miniature feet stuck to the end of even more miniature legs presents its own set of challenges, but its done.

 In many ways its been an eventful day, but in a pleasant way.

Almost everyone’s eyes are open with the exception of the Chief.  I guess he figures as long as he can smell his way to the buffet he doesn’t have to see it.  Tonight he has “peepers” also – so by morning they should all be open.

I noticed the first instigations of play today.   The puppies are awake and active about 2-3 minutes at a time.  Somewhere in there Sparky was getting his ear gnawed on by Reba, and Ember was trying to chase Fergus’ moving tail.  Absolutely adorable!  This is my favourite age, when they begin to be more puppy and less guinea pig-like, and they are discovering their world.   The fact that Cinder still keeps them clean doesn’t hurt either.  I know in another two weeks it’ll be – You want me to do WHAT?!?!  and then we make up for the unused trash bags going to the dump.   In our township we are allowed a maximum of 2 bags a week – and normally we are about 3 every two weeks.  A litter of puppies catches us up to our quota very quickly.

Tonight I will post the  Kids with their new outlook on the world.

Back from beyond

I’ve had a couple of people write, wondering if everything is okay, since I haven’t added anything to the blog for a few days.  The answer is – the puppies are fine, it is **ME** that’s been under the weather.

 For those who are unaware I work in a fair sized organization over in Barrie as Director of Finance and Administration for a cosmetics and pharmaceutical company, which has just been purchased by another cosmetics company.  As such I have a wonderful staff of 8 people who are diligent and conscientious and working hard through this period of upheaval and come in sometimes even when they shouldn’t!  Such is the case this week – I have a shared case of cold/cough symptoms imported from Montreal.   I was kidding Sid when I told her she didn’t have to go all that way to get a frog in her her throat – so now its in mine!   So between late hours, Sid’s shared “bug” and the lack of sleep in the prior few weeks, I came home Thursday night, didn’t eat and dropped into bed with a fever.  As of this morning things are somewhat better – the fever has broken and I feel almost human again.

So enough about me…what’s with the puppies you are all wondering?!?!

sparky12days.jpg Sparky, Flicker and Ember were still falling somewhat behind the others in their growth, so we’ve been continuing to supplement them with bottle feeding to ensure that they receive adequate nutrition to grow into happy healthy puppies.  Here is a shot of Sparky enjoying his “ba-ba”

 Now that they have reached the magic age of two weeks, we are starting to let them lap out of a custard cup while being held by us.  Messy as it is this way they can eat all they want to.

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The babies are growing like little weeds.  They all have little slits which will soon become eyeballs, and a couple even have the glint of an eye showing (peepers!).  When the eyes have opened I’ll put new individual pictures on the blog.

We will be looking at early weaning/supplementation since it is most likely Cinder is just not producing enough milk.   The video above is Ember, having her second meal of “Just Like Mom”, a recipe I’ve been using for years from the Walkowicz & Wilcox book, Successful Dog Breeding.  Do you like her milk moustache?

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Here are two “Puppy Piles” at two weeks old. On the left going clockwise from top are Reba (the red), Flicker (the dark brindle), Sparky (the sable on the bottom) and Fergus on the top.On the right from the left are Sparky (upside down), Flicker, Ember, Reba and Fergus’ head.Chief was conveniently sleeping by himself off in a corner.

Be ever vigilant…

…or else something might just escape your notice.

 All is well, or so it appears on the surface.  Puppies are quiet, they are nursing, and they are crawling away when they are full.   The perfect situation, no?

NO!!

Back to once again monitoring weights.  Had we not been tracking weights religiously we might have taken Sparky crawling off as being full.  Instead Sparky was starving!  One of the smaller puppies now he, Flicker and Ember are being pushed away when Chief, Fergus, and Reba get jostling for position.   Instead of fighting his way into the huddle, he was just giving up and crawling away, and slowly giving up on life.

Except that a third weigh in with no gain was cause for alarm for us, and we have started once again bottle feeding the three smallest.   Happy to report that tonight everyone is posting good weight gains INCLUDING Sparky!

During one of the feedings Chris managed to shoot some video of the piranhas swarming Cinder which you can see below:


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This video should stream for you, but if it doesn’t it is about 3 megabytes to download. Just right click here and select “Save target as…”Don’t worry, all six are there – Flicker is just hiding between Cinder’s front feet! Tomorrow we’ll go back to pictures!

Goodbye to “puppyhood”

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Sadly Chip’s run as a puppy special in Canada has ended.  Although he won’t turn a year until the 17th of April, we will be in Kentucky at that time showing at the National, and there were no panels of interest in Ontario between now and when we depart for the south.

Thanks to all who cheered him on, and to Don Fitzsimmons for ending his puppy career with a Best Puppy in Group win.

Now it is time to bring out Dolly and see if she can take up where he left off.

See y’all in Kentucky!