Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Nose...and Eyes!

Puppy development is a good indication of the priority of dogs' senses: nose, eyes, ears. The pups have been able to smell well since the instant they were born. Their noses, dogs' primary sense, have enabled them to stay alive by helping them find their mom and figure out where the milk is.

Now the pups' eyes are begining to open. It is always such an exciting time when we get a peak at the little eyes as they gradually appear. Over the next few days, they will open fully but it will be weeks before they can see well. Their ears are also gradually opening but it will be another week or so before they can hear.

In the meantime, the pups are receiving lots of visitors. Today, Charlie and Lauran Mancuso arrived early for a visit with Skye and the babies. Skye loves it when they come, squinting her pleasure at seeing them. While Charlie and Lauran spent an hour petting Skye and loving the babies, I trimmed toe nails, weighed the pups and did their Biosensor exercises. After Charlie and Lauran headed back to Pennsylvania, Amanda, Jimmy and 8-year old little Jimmy came to pet Skye and love the pups. Then, tonight, Jack and Sue Belicka, Brass's owners came to visit for the first time. They had a great time with the pups and I got to visit with Brass (and 14-year old Red).

We also collected DNA from Brass for the prcd-PRA test (progressive rod-cone degeneration progressive retinal atrophy). We'll know in a few weeks if Brass is clear or a carrier. prcd-PRA is a newly discovered disease in golden retrievers, primarily in field lines. It causes blindness in midlife so our goal is to not produce any effected dogs. Luckily, this form of golden PRA is genetically similar to the disease found in other breeds so we were able to piggyback off of their research efforts. Doing simply DNA tests, we can determine if dogs carry two, one or none of the genes for this eye disease. Skye has already been tested and is clear so even if Brass is a carrier, none of the pups will be effected.

The pups have been enjoying their scent items recently. We used grouse wings two days ago and three of the pups actually grabbed the wings. Wow! Then yesterday, we used a chrysanthemum blossom. The pups literally buried their noses in the flower and breathed deeply. It was a hoot. This morning was a dirt day. This was clearly not as exciting as grouse or flowers, they sniffed and moved on. Oh well, we don't always pick well.

We have two-pound pups so they are eating well. Most of us are sleeping much better these days. Poor Skye still has to pull night duty but she still seems to be enjoying most of it, particulary with visitors who will tell her how wonderful she and her babies are.

Time to hit the hay! New photos and videos posted under Week 2. Enjoy!



Deb said...

Love the photos and videos. My favorite part is how Dreamer wants so badly to "help." What a "little sister" she is!

Gaylan's Golden Retrievers said...

Skye is being so patient with Dreamer's enthusiasm. Amanda and I were musing this morning about what kind of first-time mother Dreamer will make. If nothing else, it will be entertaining!