Monday, December 18, 2006

Up and At 'Em

Sorry I haven't posted in a few days. The pups are taking an increasing amount of my time, not just because they are more work but because its hard to do anything else now that they are up and about. And up and about definitely describes them right now.

Everyone is seeing pretty well (if you are about a foot away) and they are walking like champs. Ears are beginning to open. They are able to control their body temperature completely and they graduated from the Bio-sensor exercises last night. Their last few scents were wood, pigeon and rabbit skin. (Andy gasped when I hauled an entire log in for the pups to smell. No little splinter of wood for these kids, they needed to experience the real thing.) Now their development comes from their environment, not exercises.

The pups play with each other most of their waking moments when they aren't nursing. We started putting big, brightly-colored, stuffed toys in the whelping box so they can get the hang of playing with things they can see. The few smaller toys in the box still go unnoticed. Everyone has gotten stuck in the pyramid at least once and lived to tell about it so they are handling that stress well. You can see Miss Yellow making her way through the pyramid above. Most of them prefer to sleep with their head on a pillow so the toys have multiple uses.

They are quite big, in fact all but Mr Red are too big. Mr Green and Miss Pink are over 4 pounds. Miss Yellow and Mr Blue are at least 3 3/4 pounds. Mr Red hit 3 pounds this morning. Our guidelines are that the pups should be 3 pounds as they turn 2 weeks of age and not hit 4 pounds till they are 3 weeks of age. Obviously, the Big 4 are getting too much milk so I'm letting Una sleep in our bedroom if she chooses so the pups don't have a non-stop milk bar all night now. Mr Red still gets private nursing sessions so he is just about on target.

Una still rules the whelping box. She isn't yet willing to share too much with Corey, who is ready to step in as "mom" at a moment's notice. The pups had a visitor today and as we all went over to the box, suddenly both Corey and Una were in there cleaning pups. We could see Corey come to her senses and realize that she was...drum roll please...IN THE BOX. After this dawned on her, she carefully finished up scrubbing the pup she was working on and quietly left the box. Una seemed okay with the whole thing although she clearly thinks she can handle this litter all by herself.

Of course, she is also a little bored so has gone back to work this week. She is doing "pile work" for field training. However, she couldn't sneak up on a bird if she wanted to since, as she runs, you can hear her boobs slapping together from 50 feet away. But, she's happy to be out running so we don't laugh at her.


Jackie said...

I love reading all of your detailed updates on the puppies! Thanks for taking the time to share their progress. How long until they get to venture outdoors?
Merry Christmas!

Gaylan's Golden Retrievers said...

The pups won't go outside until they can control their body temperatures and have enough coat to protect them from the cold. They don't gain full control over their body temperture till the 4th week and usually don't have enough coat until 5 or 6 weeks, depending upon the weather. If it stays as warm as it has been, they might actually get outside at 5 weeks on a sunny day.