Monday, December 30, 2013

Time Flies!

Page in Pre-Labor Christmas Day
So much has happened since the last blog post it is hard to know where to begin.  Of course Page made that decision easy, having her pups on December 26th.   Page's  temp dropped on Christmas morning, so she spent the entire day in the den with my family on her bed.   She clearly was uncomfortable, and eating was out of the question.   Around 7 pm her pre-labor started and she literally walked to the whelping box on her own - she decided since we would not let her have her babies in a hole she dug in the bushes, that the whelping box was the next best place.   Lise slept with her, and at 10:47 am on the 26th we saw her first hard contraction.  At 2:15 her water broke and the first pup showed up at 3:50 in the afternoon.  (Thank you, Page, for having them during the day!)

So I would like to introduce Gaylan's Time Litter in order of appearance:

Miss Red, born at 3:50 and weighing in at 1 pound 1 5/8 ounces.
Mr. Green was born at 4:39 and weighed in at 1 pound
Mr. Blue was born at 5:15 and weighed in at 15 7/8 ounces
Mr. Yellow was born at 5:35 and weighed in at 14 5/8 ounces
and lastly, Mr. Black was born at 6:05 and weighed in at 1 pound 2 ounces.

Gaylan's Time Litter on their birthday - 12-26-13

Page is being a wonderful mother and the pups are growing like weeds!    Today they had their second day of Early Neurological Stimulation (a/k/a/ biosensor) and Early Scent Introduction.  They spend their time like all pups at this age, nursing, sleeping and having their mom clean them.

The Color litter is over a month old and they are doing GREAT!!!  Scoop had a battle with mastitis, which is one reason why I have been remiss with the blog.   Keeping the breast compressed with heat, using cabbage and having the pups nurse was a 24-hour-a-day job for three days.  Alas, we lost the battle as the breast erupted and we had to bottle feed the pups… every four hours around the clock.   The good news has Scoop healed nicely, is off the meds that the pups could not have and is back with her babies.   Everyone around here is very happy.

While they were weaned Scoop lived at home with my husband Jim who dutifully took care of her compresses and medications.  The pups moved up to Lise's house in Huntington Station and never missed a beat.   One day was gorgeous, so we took them outside.

Color Yellow enjoying the great outdoors
Lise and The Color Litter during their first trip outside.
There are tons of photos and videos in the weeks 3 and 4 folders for the Color Litter as well as in the week one folder for the Time Litter.   


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Changing The Pen

Depending on the size of a litter, there's a time when the pups are a bit too big for the whelping box for the dam to be able to comfortably lie down, but it is too soon to move them to the pen.  That time arrived about four days ago for the Color litter, so we decided to bring out a pen that we could adjust.  We had never tried to divide the pen before, but we are trying to balance giving the puppies too much room with the need for Scoop to be comfortable.  So as you can see, we inserted a board over the floor, and put the giraffe in to watch over the pups. 

The pups are now walking quite well, so we made another adjustment and added a potty box, which they are doing very well with.  You will see lots of photos of the pups getting into the potty box for the first time.  

Scoop, is having some issues with mastitis, which is inflammation of breast tissue.  It has only affected one breast and has not limited her nursing, but she is in a fair amount of pain.   We are hoping she will get over it quickly, so if you would, send some healing thoughts her way.

When it is time to clean the pen I set up a sheepskin and let the pups nurse in the room.  As you can see, it is getting tight around the milk bar.  Afterwards they investigate things in the room, which is always fun to watch.  You'll see lots of pictures of their adventures, like the one below, in the photos and videos that I posted in the week 2 photos and video.

We will be moving the pups to Lise's house at the end of the week so we can be there when Page whelps her litter at the beginning of next week.    As though we were not busy - things are going to get busier in about a week!

Stay tuned ...

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Eyes Have It!

Here are the Color pups trying to nurse today.   Scoop goes in to clean them and they frantically try to reach the milk - a few can reach, but most cannot.  It's Scoop's way of building their muscles - making them reach and stretch.  After cleanup, she lays down to let them nurse.    They are all growing, some a little faster than others.  You may notice in the video that my hand is supporting one of the pups.   That is for two reasons - it takes less energy for her to nurse and to stop the larger pups from knocking her off.  If you listen carefully you can hear how serious they are about their nursing.  Someone suggested that I put up a video of a nursing session set to the Rocky theme, because it really is a fight to the finish.  

Every time we have a litter there are certain milestones that take my breath away.  The opening of the pups' eyes is one of thoe times.   Even though I know they cannot see me, there is something about seeing the glimmer of light in their eyes that just makes my heart sing.  Over the past couple of days each of the pup's eyes have opened.  They are learning to walk and  starting to bark.  Scoop has been a really good mother!

This week we added a piece of tile for different footing in the box, which they love because it's cool.   We also began the toy swap, where every day we change up the toys that we put in the box, which we do for as long as the pups are with us.  We will be doing ESN and ESI for another five days.  So far their ESI scents have been eucalyptus, banana, lemon, grouse, apple, almond extract, leather, sheepskin, wood, pigeon and evergreen.  It is fabulous to and listen to and watch their little noses taking in the scents.

They are also walking like drunken sailors - taking a few wobbly steps and then flopping over.  But within the next few days I suspect they will be walking fairly well.   In another week their ears will be open and walking like champs!  

I uploaded a lots of new photos in the week two folder.   ENJOY! 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

One Week Photos

The Color pups are nine days old - can you believe it?   I am having some technical difficulties with the photo-hosting site, so have not been able to upload photos for the last couple of days.   So I thought I would give you a close-up of each pup taken when they were a week old.  So here are the Color pups - girls first, of course!
Miss Black

Miss Green

Miss Pink

Miss Purple

Miss Red

Miss Yellow
And now the boys!

Mr. Blue

Mr. Brown
The pups have sure kept us busy.  We are cutting nails every three days and started adding things to the whelping box.  Of course, we have lots of snuggle time with each pup.  On Day 3 we started Early Neurological Stimulation and Early Scent Introduction, which will continue until day 16.   Many of you have heard of ENS, but perhaps have not heard of ESI.  We started doing ESI with our litters about eight years ago and have seen some pretty impressive results in the adult dogs.  It's quite simple to do - you present different objects for the pups to smell for 3-5 seconds.  With our pups we include game birds, such as pheasant and duck.   At a recent Avidog seminar one of the participants brought us a grouse wing, which got eight paws up but he Color litter!  

Other kinds of items we present are natural materials such as dirt, wood, leaves, grass and moss.  We avoid foods, but will use fruit.  Lastly we will present household objects made of plastic, leather and metal. It is amazing to see pups as young as 3 and 4 days old show very clear likes and dislikes!

Gayle has done a webinar for the AKC about ESI, which is due out by the end of the year.   If you want to be notified when it is released drop me a note at

Stay tuned as I hope to have the photos up on the sharing site soon.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Remembering A Special Man

Our blog today is dedicated to Jim Lovell, a friend who was tragically killed in a train derailment in NYC on December 1st.  Professionally Jim was a video, lighting, sound and production expert.  He worked on many special projects, including the Today Show concert series.  

Jim's wife Nancy worked for Gayle for a number of years, helping raise our puppies.  Jim and their dog Scout would regularly join Nancy on woods walks with all the dogs.   He loved to visit the puppies, too, and took his socialization job very seriously :--).

When we started our online dog business, Avidog, Jim was one of our biggest supporters!  He spent hours talking with us about how video could be used to enhance our courses.  He developed a video strategy that we are implementing today.  He introduced us to fabulous videographers, managing our connections and their efforts.  Throughout it all, Jim would not take any compensation. 

He always had a smile on his face and a kind word.   He was a gentle, smart, generous, loving man who lived for his family and helping others.   If you wanted to see Jim light up, ask him about his kids.   He was very involved in their lives and was so proud of them.  Words cannot express how much we will miss him.

Jim loved Gaylan's puppies.  We are so sad that he never got to meet the Color litter because  we know he would have loved them, too.  Godspeed, Jim. You were a very special person!

The Lovell Family
Jack, Jim, Finn, Nancy and Hudson

Speaking of puppies, the Color pups are growing like weeds!  I've posted more photos in the Week One folder. Our families and friends have left after a terrific Thanksgiving weekend so things will be a bit quieter around here. The puppies got lots of handling, and Scoop was terrific about all the people interacting with them.   Scoop has started spending some time out of the whelping box, so you will notice that the tent over the box is gone.  If she is feeling like she can leave them, then she no longer needs the "den."

In the next blog post I will tell you some of the things we are doing with the pups at this point.   But it's late, so I will say good night for now.

Enjoy the latest pictures!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Wonderful Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was a wonderful day here in Lido Beach - a whelping box filled with beautiful, healthy puppies, a dam (Scoop) who is really wonderful with her pups and a house full of family.  In addition to Lise and my mom and dad, who live on Long Island, I had family who travelled from Houston and Galveston, Texas; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Salt Lake City Utah, as well as some of their friends who live in New York City.  There were 21 of us in all.  

Here's what the pups did on Thanksgiving!   Kind of looks like the rest of my family sacked out after dinner!

My family could not believe that we have someone in the room 24 hours a day for the first week or so.  Of course they asked why, and you might be wondering, too.  So here's the scoop (no pun intended).  
Gaylan's Color Litter at four days old
When the pups are born they are not able to walk.  They can crawl on their bellies, but often circle rather than travel in a straight line.  That lack of ability to move creates a problem when Scoop goes to lie down.  As careful as she is, there is always the possibility that she could lay on a puppy and not realize that she has done it, and the pups are not able to get out from under her.  The result could end up in a puppy suffocating.   It does not happen often, but it does happen.   So until the pups are big and strong enough to get out from under Scoop, we are there to make sure nothing happens.   That said, though, it does not mean we are always moving them in the box.  Even at this young age, we let our pups solve their own problems unless they are at risk or the effort to get somewhere will not be worth the calories expended.  We like to see a weight gain at the twice-daily weigh-ins, so there are times we will help out the little ones.  The good news is, the pups are growing like weeds!  They are really getting around well. 
Scoop and Miss Green

In addition to family members coming to visit, they had some very special visitors on Friday - Rosie Higdon from VA and Connie Watkins from NC were here visiting Gayle and Andy for Thanksgiving and they came with Gayle to visit the pups.  In the pictures you will see a great toy that Gayle brought for the pups, too!

I've added more  pictures and video to the week one folder - enjoy!