Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Big Move

I'm sorry I haven't been on much lately. I've been sick for quite some time so taking care of the pups and dogs was all I could handle; the blog had to wait. I did have the energy to move the pups to the indoor puppy pen though. They moved downstairs on Sunday evening and hit the ground running. They have more space, which they love, and a potty area, which they are ignoring, and all kinds of new toys. From the instant they were put in the pen, they have been exploring. New smells, sounds and sights entice their curiosity. Corey has free access in and out so they have their mom when they need her. I am still bringing them upstairs at night since it's warmer up here but they are clearly preferring the puppy pen.

Mr Black is gaining on Miss Raspberry--she weighs 4# 3 ounces and he weights 3# 15 ounces. They are both great nursers and Corey is being a sweetheart despite newly arrived baby teeth. The pups are also wagging their tails, pouncing on foreign objects and climbing on people. They are clearly feeling very comfortable in their world.

I've taken a bunch of photos and videos and will try to get them uploaded tomorrow. You'll be amazed at how much they have grown.

Off to bed,


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Comedy Crew is Coming!

While we are having fun with the Dream Team, Dart is getting ready to present us with the Comedy litter. She was bred on Saturday to Joker (hence the litter theme), a wonderful 13-year old Canadian Amateur Field Champion and American-Canadian Master Hunter. The litter is due on June 25. This will be Dart's first litter so we are all very excited.

Three Weeks Old!

The Dream pups are three weeks old and as you can see, growing by leaps and bounds. Miss Raspberry is now over 3 pounds and Mr Black is just about there. (You can see from the photo above that he doesn't have trouble relaxing :-).) The pups can hear and see relatively well and are up on all four though still pretty wobbly. They sleep 70% of the time and eat 25% of the time so playtime is limited. However, they are starting to interact with toys and each other. People are still big blobs that they can't quite focus on but they are respoding to voices and hands. We'll start their litter box training later this week, once they are more stable on their feet. Corey is keeping up with clean up at the moment so there isn't a rush. They'll move downstairs when they are ready to handle the sights and sounds of family life. They've already met the other dogs, especially Una who has snuck in the box a few times. Una is in a false pregnancy so is pining for puppies. When Corey goes outside, Una will sneak in to nose the puppies. She isn't up for nursing though she certainly has milk. Here is a short video of Miss Raspberry playing with Corey while Mr Black graps some lunch.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

They're Growing!

Miss Raspberry

The Dream Team seems to have turned the corner and have gone from struggling to thriving. It's so wonderful to watch them now. All of our efforts have resulted in fat, happy pups. What a relief!

Miss Raspberry hit 2 pounds this morning, a big milestone. Mr Black is gaining ground and is now at 1 pound 10 ounces. Both pups nurse until they are full rather than running out of energy before they run out of room. Corey, as always is a doting mom, who has enough but not too much milk. Life is finally back to normal!

Both pups have their eyes open now but are pretty myopic. We call this the Mr Magoo stage--they can see but only a little. We are still keeping the room dark to allow their eyes to gradually adapt to the light. Neither can hear yet but that should happen over the next few days.

Corey is still adding "pups" to the whelping box. Yesterday was the day to add toys according to our schedule so Corey is taking this task very seriously. We have the Green "Labrador" (the toy she chose right after Miss Yellow and Miss Red went home), a Christmas reindeer, a gray bear, a birthday cake (she literally chose that the day they were born), a yellow hedgehog, a green bone and now a pheasant (of course). Guess Corey wanted a litter of nine, just like the Wind litter. The pups aren't interacting with the toys yet but will do so over the next few days. I'll try to capture some of their initial play antics on video, if I can.

Speaking of video, I'm posting their first video on the Blog site as soon as I figure out how :-). OK, I can't get the video on the side so here it is:

That's all for now!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Goodbye Misses Red and Yellow

We said goodbye to our two borrowed pups yesterday. Miss Yellow and Miss Red were reunited with their mom, Schooner, and their littermates after a long trip to Long Island. Neither the pups nor their dam missed a beat and the pups immediately settled down for a meal after we arrived at Sue Carpenter's. It was hard to send these pups home, they were wonderful to have here.

Corey has really missed her two "big uns." She has looked everywhere for them and now walks around the house carrying a big toy and whining softly. I tried explaining where they are to her but she doesn't seem convinced that all is well. She's now bringing toys into the whelping box. The big, green rubber toy appears to be her standin for her two short-coated pups. She even turned down food rather than put down the toy! That is a First for Corey.

Corey's two pups are doing better every day. Hopefully, they are over the hump and will continue to thrive. Miss Raspberry doubled her birthweight yesterday and is now over 1 1/2 pounds. Mr Black is the smaller of the two but is now 1 lb 3 ounces. By comparisons to other litters, these two are quite small but they are strong and vigorous so we are optimistic.

Corey continues to be a wonderful mother. She is getting a little bored hanging out in the whelping box since we still have it in the upstairs bedroom. Normally, we would have moved it into the dining room by now, putting the dam into the middle of family life. However, we have been concerned about the pups' fragile state so have decided to keep them in a quiet place a bit longer. Good for the pups but bad for Corey's social needs :-).

The pups' eyes should open this week and they'll be able to hear by next weekend so they'll be ready to take on the world by then. In the meantime, I'll keep Corey working each day to keep her brain stimulated.

We've been entertained this week by Una, who is going through a false pregnancy. She has almost as much milk as Corey! She kept trying to steal the Labrador puppies and eyed the two goldens with envy. Initially Corey was concerned but she finally realized what was going on. Una even got in the whelping box yet this morning and is cleaning and snuffling the pups when I bring them out of the box. These pups sure are getting lots of mothering!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Dream Team is Growing!

The Dream Team pups are 8 days old and are doing well. Although not as large as our past litters, they are consistently gaining weight each day. Both pups are vigorous and nursing well. Misss Raspberry has almost doubled her weight and Mr Black is verging on one pound. They use their Labrador "littermates" as pillows and warming pads. The Labs are very sweet about this and tolerate the snuggling well as you can see.

Corey is doing great and is starting to get bored. She feeds the pups regularly but no longer spends all day every day in the whelping box. Since I'm returning the Labs to their breeder on Saturday, we'll move Miss Raspberry and Mr Black downstairs this weekend.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Dream Litter

The Dream litter was born the day after I installed a new computer so I've been between machines, software and files. I finally have enough things on the same computer to get photos posted of our new pups.

Although small in every sense, the Dream litter has been a big challenge from the start. I am not one to typically use a lot of technology to accomplish breedings, believing that the dogs and Mother Nature know best. But, in this case, I really, really wanted to keep Corey's genes alive. She is a fabulous dog with an amazing pedigree. That fact that she doesn't have a lot of pups on the ground is not due to her lack of capabilities. So, I made an exception and used every technological advance that I knew of in order to get her pregnant. And it worked!

Corey whelped three puppies the night of April 8. First born was Miss Raspberry, then Miss Yellow and finally Mr Black. All were small but appeared strong and started nursing within a reasonable time. I thought there might be one more pup since the ultrasound had shown that but there was not.

The pups had a quiet first night and we were off to the vet's in the AM for a check up and to ensure there were no more pups. The pups' first day went smoothly although I noticed they were only nursing on the front nipples. Corey was quite full of milk and the pups were too small to handle the larger teats.

Unfortunately, that night things went downhill. Miss Yellow crashed at 1:30 AM. We revived and stabilized her but it happened again at 6:30 AM. We put her on glucose/electrolytes and thought we could save her but she crashed for the third time at 12:30 PM and there was no bringing her back. She died in my hands and despite Corey's best efforts, she could not be revived. We were heartbroken to lose this little girl but were glad she knew as much love, skill and knowledge as we could give her in the 36 hours she was with us.

While we were struggling to save Miss Yellow, we realized that Corey was verging on mastitis since neither Miss Raspberry nor Mr Black were strong enough to nurse on the larger teats. To solve this problem we borrowed two beautiful yellow Lab puppies to help manage the milk supply. They are the big kids in the photos :-).

More later...