Saturday, July 28, 2012

Evaluation Day

Do you ever feel as though you are spiraling out of control?  Well that is me this morning.  This week has been so chaotic at work that I have HAD to be in the office whether I wanted to or not.  Trying to run the business and take care of getting things ready for this weekend and guess what I am NOT Super Woman.  Something gave and unfortunately I feel as though I have let down my good friend Linda Dalton.

Our big dog show is this weekend and I also feel as though I have let our Kennel Club down by not being able to be there to assist with all the things I have done in the past.  But my main priority is these puppies.  They are 7 1/2 weeks old and at this point they are way too active to be left alone and I just won't take them down to the show site, it is way too dangerous for them.  My dad is the announcer at the show so he cannot be here and they need him more than me, so I am taking some comfort in knowing that at least I have a representative there.  The other thing is that I promised Linda she could use my RV and I would have it filled up with propane, gas and take it down for her to use.  Last night she called to see why the generator wouldn't work.  It was a major ordeal just getting it down to the site, as I needed someone to stay here with the puppies while I drove and for someone to bring me back home.  I thought I was just doing good to get it down there, I didn't think to check the batteries on the darn thing.  You guessed it, the house batteries are deader than a door nail and nothing works.  Thankfully Mona and Mark and Anne and Dawn are next to her and she can use some of their power, but this morning I am trying to orchestrate getting someone down there to get those batteries working while at home watching puppies.

After the show, everyone is coming up here and we are going to do evaluations, play with puppies and have a BBQ.   Here I feel I have let the people evaluating and my puppy owners down because I didn't realize that I couldn't download the forms online for a fee. have to purchase them and they mail them to you...crap!  So we are going to use the Akita Club's Puppy evaluation form that is found online and make some adjustments to it....I am sorry, this has all been a huge learning experience and I am still learning that is for sure.  I actually think the Akita form is better than the other forms I had planned on using and I am going to suggest to Anne that she take this to the BMDCA board and recommend they do something similar for our members that we can access online, they could even make it a money maker I am sure there are many breeders out there like me that would be willing to pay dearly for this form at the last minute:)

So folks, everyone is coming in this afternoon.  The puppies are resting, I need to finish cleaning up the house and the deck area for everyone and I will post more later.  I know I never did get the 7 week pictures up but it is kind of mute now, as we will be doing 7 1/2 week pictures today:)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

7 Weeks and Counting

I just cannot wrap my head around the fact that these pups are already 7 weeks old and will be going home in a week.  It has really hit home as people call or email me to let me know when they will be coming to pick up their pup.  I still haven't got a clue as to which pup I plan on keeping and I know that makes it hard for everyone else for that I am sorry but just so many wonderful pups with great attitudes, I just never imagined it would be this hard to choose.  Usually you have a choice of one or two pups that are stand out's not in this litter!

We did the temperment testing on Tuesday.  My obedience instructor and good friend Shade did the testing in a friends training building.  We tried to limit the pups to as little contact with where other dogs have been in the building as well as where they were pottied before going in for the test.  Theoretically I was not supposed to be in the building to watch the test, but we set it up in such a way that I could watch without causing interference for the testing.  Overall the puppies did outstanding, there were a couple of small surprises for me but all in all I could have pretty much told you how they would react and what would happen in each scenario for each puppy.  Some came more readily to Shade than others and some flailed harder than others during the restraint test but all in all they came out with wonderful scores.  They did get marked down more than they should have for biting at times and I later talked with Shade about the fact that I didn't think they were biting per say but more teething because that is what they are doing.  She did agree with me that I was probably correct and she wishes that the testing didn't have so much grey area and that I should just use the information to confirm what I already knew in my heart.  This has all been such a learning experience for me.

The puppies have also moved into the big yard outdoors and man do they love it!  My dad has worked hard to fence of under the deck and make a step from the puppy area into the big yard and I so appreciate everything he has done.  He has been an amazing help.  He comes over every day so I can go to work and works on projects to make things better for the puppies.  He absolutely adores them and I think he will also be sad when they go to their new homes.  I also think that if his wife would let him, purple girl would be coming to live with them.  She has a special place in his heart and he just loves her.

The next few days are going to be crazy, we are having our local dog show here in town and lots of my Berner friends are coming to show and will be coming up to visit the puppies.  Anne will be coming up to evaluate the puppies as will Randy Johnson and I am really curious to see what they both have to say.  I am also curious to see if they have the same results or if they will pick different puppies as to who is the best.  If I was a betting person, I think they will pick different puppies...but we shall see.

My son did come over last night to take 7 week pictures, I haven't had a chance to look at them yet but will be doing so today and try to get them up for everyone.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Busy Week

This has been a very busy week, the Pups are now 6 weeks of age and growing like weeks, full of energy and to be honest it scares me to death to leave them alone, so I don't!  Thank goodness for my father who comes over every afternoon and puppy sits and takes care of them so I can do some work at the office.

They are getting so big, they now weigh between 13 and almost 16 pounds, Red Boy is the biggest, he is just a hunk and Lime boy and White Boy are right behind him in size.  Their legs are all huge, as are their feet and I am just amazed at what a consistent litter this is.   Typically I think when you breed dogs you have one or two, possibly three dogs that might be show quality.  At this point I think I probably have 4 or 5 boys and 3 girls that could make the grade, very exciting for me as a first time breeder to have such beautiful heads, type, bone and overall a great litter.  I couldn't have gotten it without great parents in Ivie and Abbott!  Ivie is the most amazing mom.  She is extremely careful of her brood, watches where she places her feet and is constantly making sure that no one is getting into trouble or doing something they shouldn't be doing.  She is still letting them nurse and I am not sure how she does that with their sharp little teeth but she does.

We have had LOTS of Visitors, which is awesome!  Sometimes we get two or three a day and I am so happy for them to be getting the various attention and socialization from friends and family.  If you want to come and play with puppies please let me know and I would love to have you.  bring your Steel Toed shoes (just kidding) and don't wear flip flops or sandals and feet are their favorite chew toy.  They play for about 30 to 40 minutes then crash and sleep for a couple of hours and do it all over again.  We now have the big back yard enclosed off so they cannot get under the deck, it has been trimmed of all weeds and I take them back there daily.  They love to run and play but when they are tired, they want to go back to their deck and comfort zone.  Ivie had dug a big hole and that seemed to be worth hours of amusement this afternoon.  A couple of the puppies thought they would try and make it deeper and at one point I thought I was going to loose Green Boy but he managed to re-appear after pulling out others that had managed to get on top of him.

Tuesday we are doing the temperament testing and it is so hard to believe that in two weeks they will almost all be in their new homes.  I am sure my other dogs will be happy to have my attention again but I know I am going to miss them, they have brought so much joy and happiness to my day to day life this summer.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Good to be Home again

I will say this once again, I am NOT a morning person, but these last few weeks with the puppies have made me be one whether I like it or not.  Being home again from my business trip and sleeping in my own bed once again is so nice, and I have to say that when Frodo woke me up this morning, I really wasn't that upset about it for a change.

It seems that the Thunder and Lightning Storm that plagued the area for what seemed like forever has gone away, and I am hoping for good.  letting everyone slept well.  The puppies were happy to do their business outdoors in the great and wild grass this morning and I am happy to not have to pick up puppy poop this morning...Yeah Auntie Linda and Auntie guys are awesome!

In the midst of not posting you may have noticed the picture above of all the puppies eating.  This is the new and improved eating system that I am LOVING!!!  Anne told me about the Weanafeeda.  I googled them and could not get one fast enough.  Tina from Jadem Mastiffs sells them in the USA and had them in Stock and was very good about getting them sent out to me.  They come in Large and Small Breed sizes and set ups for 6 and for 4 puppies.  I had to buy two of them but they are awesome.  In each little cubby is a stainless steel bowl that comes out and can be washed separately.  The nice thing about this is the it is easy to manage with the little handle on top.  I can carry them out all at once and put them down and all the puppies are getting a better chance of getting a full meal rather than running circles around each other, gobbling and gulping their food down as fast as possible.  This is more like organized mayhem and I can tell who is not eating and who is cleaning up all the bowls after everyone has left the breakfast table....RED!  That boy is a Chow Hound and loves his food.  He has surpassed all the other puppies in the weight category and he is NEVER late to the Dinner or Lunch or Breakfast Bowl that is for sure.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Sorry I have not Posted

The last week and a half have been so crazy, so I am very sorry for not posting sooner.  The puppies are all doing great.  They are growing like weeds and are really now at the fun stage.  They look like big teddy bears and their little personalities are really starting to show.  They had their first worming on the 8th of July and will be wormed again on the 18th and 28th, so they should be all good and cleaned out before they go home anytime from the 3rd of August on.  My vet will be coming to the house on the 1st of August and giving them their 8 week shots and I would like to have them for 24 hours after they get their shots to make sure there are not any issues before going to their new homes.  By going home on a Friday it gives you and the puppies the weekend to get them used to their new environment before going off to work on Monday.

Friday I had a very important Business meeting that I needed to attend in Portland and it was my first time being away from the puppies.  Anne and Auntie Linda came and stayed at the house and took care of the puppies and big dogs.  Little did I know that the Olympic Peninsula would have the Thunder and Lightning storm of the century on Friday and the majority of their time was spent keeping the big dogs calm from all the lightning strikes.  I was told by a friend that the National Park counted 460 strikes in less than 24 hours.  Thankfully it doesn't look like any forest fires were started in the process.  The other thing that you will all be happy to know is that the puppies really could care less about it.  They did awesome according to Anne.

Other than the storm, Anne & Linda loved playing with the puppies and both said very nice things about them.  I swear that in 48 hours they grew tons and their legs are getting bigger and bigger.  Starting to look like tiny tree trunks.  They also managed to finish potty training them and in the last 24 hours none of the puppies have had an accident in the house or on the deck!  Yeah!  Way to go Anne & Linda.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th Everyone!

4th of July and 4 Weeks old today - my I cannot believe how fast the time is flying by.  I will probably post more today as we are having the family get together at my house since I have the best entertainment of anyone.....PUPPIES!!!!  So I will have lots of hands to help with pictures today as well as doing toe nails, now if the Sun would just come out and cooperate it would be a perfect day.

I must tell you all how smart these puppies are.  I put a litterbox in their room yesterday and almost all of the puppies are already wanting to go into it.  Every once in a while, I catch someone doing their business in another part of the room and pick them up and put them in the box.  You will start to see lots of shavings in pictures because it seems to stick to everything...but it sure is cleaner and easier to do than newspapers.

Wow, what a  great day, the sun came out, it was nice for a change and guess who spent some time on the deck?  The puppies did awesome outside today.  Carol helped and we clipped everyone's toenails, they all had their pictures taken and of course I think each and every puppy climbed up in Chas' lap and fell asleep at one point or another.  That is going to be one very sad boy when these puppies go to their new homes.  He is so good with them and it is great to see them interact and play with him.  At one point today they were on the deck with Chas and my closest neighbor decided that he needed to let off some fireworks.  My dogs used to be great with fireworks, but not any more, thanks to my neighbors.  But what was really great was when they went off the puppies all stopped and looked in the direction of the noise then resumed doing what they were doing and when the next few rounds went off they all just ignored the noise.  This is great!  I was so worried that the loud noise of Fireworks would upset them but it didn't.  Unlike Gandalf and Brandy who both wanted to be in the house in mom's lap and please make those things go away.

My dad helped with 4 week old pictures today.  He is getting better at taking the pictures with my camera and I told him we needed to get good head shots today.  Unfortunately in the process he cut off some feet in the pictures.  If possible, I will see if we can redo them tomorrow, but have posted the new ones on this site for you tonight....pretty, pretty heads that is for sure!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Bath Day

Today I could no longer stand how gunky and gooey the puppies were and rather than go to work, I gave them all baths.  They all did very well with it.  My dad came over to help and between the two of us they were clean and dried in no time.  They all did very well, it was decided that Blue Boy was the yuckiest and Pink girl was the wiggliest, I think she would have been happy to not have her bath this morning.

It was nice to see them all clean, cute and fluffy again.  I also worked hard all day to try and keep them clean for their 4 week pictures tomorrow.  Yes they turn four weeks tomorrow, hard to believe.  What also amazes me about this group of puppies is how alert and mature they are.  They are interacting and playing with people and they are extremely alert and so sweet and loving it just makes me so happy every time I go in and play with them.

Today I also went out and bought a litter box and some shavings for them and have started to work on potty training them.  If I can get them to potty in the pan, it will make my life a lot easier and they are so smart I really don't think it will take them long to figure this out.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Fourth of July and I really am hoping that my neighborhood can not go overboard with fireworks this year.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Where is Summer?

Oh Boy what a busy weekend we had.  Saturday we finished off the outdoor deck area for the puppies, although the weather is so crummy and cold I cannot take them out there yet, we tried but they just sat there and shivered so back inside everyone went.  I also decided that there was just not enough room for Ivie and the puppies and the whelping box, so out it went.  The puppies have a room to themselves and Ivie is much happier, she is not worried about stepping on them and she and I have an understanding of when she wants in and out of the room.

The puppies are growing and getting bigger and bigger by the day.  I have changed up their gruel so that it is a bit thicker and they are messier and messier every day.  Sunday I could not stand it any longer and I actually had to give them a bit of a bath, not really a bath but they got washed down to get the sticky gruel off of their face and legs and ears.  They handled it very well.  They are also much more aware of me and my voice, they come running when they hear me and my dad as well.

They are also very much wanting to be petted and held and have attention, such a sweet loving group of puppies.  When friends and family call and ask if they can come and see the puppies I am very happy to have them come over, just know that you want to wear thick socks or shoes that I can spray with bleach because they have sharp little teeth and they hurt.  It is really fun to see them interact with other people.  I have given up trying to accomplish anything, as I just want to spend time with them, loving on them.

However, I am really looking forward to some nice weather and supposedly that will happen later this week.  It will be nice to take them back outside again so I can get a good handle on getting their room good and clean once again.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Oh the Great Outdoors

Today I had intended on working from home - Ha!  I think I took care of one client invoice and answered two emails and that was the extent of my working from home!  But what did happen is the puppies had an extremely busy day.  We had lots of visitors today.  First was Karla, who is a great dog person and my Nose Work instructor.  She hadn't seen the puppies for almost two weeks because she was trialing last weekend and could not believe how big and alert they were.  She gave me some links to look at for puppy socialization techniques and we talked about all kinds of things that I can do with the puppies to help them be more adept to handling different environments.  Thoroughly enjoyed her visit.  Next came Anita, she came to pick up Brandy for some Nose Work and of course had to spend some time with the puppies as well.

Then my niece and nephew came along with Chas and Carol and it was such a pretty day, we decided to take the puppies out into the front yard.  Oh what a big adventure that was.  The puppies did awesome.  Not one of them acted like they didn't want to walk on the grass, they were heading off in all different directions, climbing all over Rian and Thor and generally having a great time.  Ivie really enjoyed the room to maneuver around and at one point was rolling on her back and had about 6 puppies up on her belly trying to eat.  She seemed very relaxed with all of us there.  At one point Frodo came over and was going to lick one of the puppies but she curled her lip as if to tell him go away and he politely took the cue and walked away and stood guard at the other end of the yard.

Being home today also made me realize that these puppies were so hungry and needed more gruel to their diet.  Anne also told me that I needed to include more rice cereal to their gruel to make it more like a paste so I did that.  I have decided that the puppies will get fed four times a day and although they look totally disgusting afterwards they are much more content and happy today then they have been the last couple of nights.  This is all a big learning experience for me and it just goes to show that although I need to work in the office, I also need to be home as well.  Somehow I will come up with a happy medium that is going to make everything come together and work.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

3 Weeks Today

First off I need to apologize for not posting for a couple of days.  I have had to try and go back to work part time and just starting to get a schedule worked out that works for me, my office and the puppies.  I think I have it pretty well worked out, but I may not be able to post as often as I was at first.  What seems to be working is getting up at the crack of dawn, Thank you Frodo:) Feeding the dogs, Ivie won't feed the puppies until after she has had her breakfast, smart girl.  Then letting Ivie feed the puppies as long as she will.  This is normally not a huge amount of time because I have 3 or 4 boys that can suck her dry in about 5 minutes.  After the puppies have eaten from Ivie, then I make up Bottles and supplement them.  Right now they are taking about 4 ounces of goats milk supplement and I think a couple of them would like more.  Then I get ready myself for work, do up the dog dishes, make sure everyone has fresh water, the tomato plants are watered.  Do the picture of the day, Drink massive amounts of coffee and make myself some breakfast.  By then It is time to weigh puppies.

I have outsmarted the puppies in that category.  If you remember, I mentioned that they did not like the box and it was starting to get crazy.  They would try and climb out, it would slide off the scale, didn't like it at all. Did some research online and found a great puppy scale that you held with your hand and it had a sling to put the puppy in.  They wanted $59.99 plus $20 for overnight shipping.....I don't think so.  I went to Swains (this is an institution on the Olympic Peninsula and their slogan is they have everything and they pretty much do.)  I bought a fish scale, then I attached my Costco grocery bag to it, put the puppy in the bag and Wha LA I have outsmarted the puppies and it only cost me $8.99.  After weighing the puppies then it is time to clean out The whelping box and do some more laundry.  Doing lots and lots of laundry these days and I should have taken out stock in Clorox Bleach.  By then my dad shows up for his turn at puppy duty.  He works on some projects around the house and is able to let Ivie in and make sure she doesn't squish someone in the process of feeding them during feeding times and I go to work.  I leave work about 4pm, come home and clean out the whelping box, feed the puppies, then feed the dogs and myself if I am lucky.  Do whatever needs to be done and try and keep my eyes open until after Ivie has fed the puppies around 10 or 11pm.  Then I supplement again and crawl into bed.  If I am lucky she doesn't offer them a mid morning snack and I can sleep until Frodo sounds the alarm at 5:39am.  Don't ask me what happens that he wakes me at 5:39 every morning, if I knew I would put a stop to it.

So know you know why I am not posting very much.  Now onto the important stuff....the Puppies.  Today they had their first taste of Gruel.  Goats milk mixed with Gerber Baby food turkey and rice.  It was a sight to see.  A couple of them figured it out right away and well then there was white boy.  I think he thought if he planted himself over the top of the bowl somehow magically he could absorb it through his skin and keep everyone else away in the process.  Pink, Green, Blue and Teal had it figured out right away and were lapping it up, it will be interesting to see if tomorrow the rest catch on.  Afterwards they were a mess, Ivie just looked at me like really you made the mess you clean it up.  Brandy offered her talents but Ivie didn't like that so Brandy sat on the sidelines and licked her chops.  I actually ended up putting them all back in the whelping box and the puppies did a pretty good job of cleaning themselves.  I somehow think that as I am feeding them this evening, I will be wiping them all down with clean wash cloths.

Four of the boys now weigh in over 5 pounds and the rest are at 4 pounds and catching up, even little purple girl.  Their coats are starting to get fluffy and as I was allowing them to suckle my finger trying to take pictures tonight, I am noticing little nubins of teeth coming in.  They are also all starting to hear and when you tap on the whelping box they look in the direction of the sound and where it is coming from.  The next week should be lots of fun and I will try and post more often, I promise.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I want to start the weekend over....

Yesterday it poured rain all day and was yucky, it was a good day to take a nap and sleep and watch puppies grow and play.  Bad part about that is that my lawn is now beginning to look like a hay field rather than a lawn.  My son came up so I could go out to the grocery store and laughed at me that pretty soon you wouldn't be able to see Frodo in the front yard......well my comment to him was he could help and do something about it.  That won't be happening soon either, he has a new job and working 60 hours a week, so I should be thankful that he came to visit me on his one day off.

So today, the sun came out, it stopped raining and I decided I was going to get that front yard mowed one way or another.  After feeding the puppies this morning they were all happy and content and asleep so I started the job.  It took all day!  I had to weed eat, then mow, then rake then do it all over again.  Of course I had to come and check on the puppies at least three or four times in between.  I guess this is going to be the summer of letting go because at that rate I am never going to get this two and a half acres looking nice.

I did manage to buy a new video camera when I was out yesterday, now the task of learning how to use it.  I should have asked my son, but I was afraid it would have disappeared like the last two that I bought.  I hope to take some videos and post them on U tube or something like that so you can see the puppies.  They are getting so big and it is total chaos when Ivie goes into the box to feed.  They are also learning how to bark and the funniest part is you will watch them bark and then the sound of it scares them and they look around to see where it came from.  They are getting more and more playful and White Boy has learned that if he doesn't get enough to eat he can scream really loud and mom will come back into the box to see what is the matter.  Oh they learn fast.....

Friday, June 22, 2012

And the First one Out of the Whelping Box Is........

Blue Boy!  Surprised the heck out of my dad, who was on puppy watch so I could go to work today.  He said Ivie was laying outside of the box and blue boy started following his nose and the next thing he knew dad was catching him before he hit the floor.  I guess we have some real trackers and scent dogs here:)

They are definitely starting to do more playing and boy can they make some noise.  I have also noticed that the boys especially seem so be carrying some of grandpa Dillon's Genes as they all want to go into their cave to sleep.  According to Anne, Dillon has passed this on to most of his offspring and now it looks as though it is going down to a second generation.  Every night it is funny, the boys (not the girls) but the boys all want to stick their heads under the pig rail boards and the corners seem to be the best place to do this, they almost push each other out of the way to get the corner spot.  Should be very easy to crate train these pups!

I also received some news that Ivie's sister in Belgium had six girl's this morning and all are doing well.  I have been emailing Ronny & Christine pictures of the puppies and it will be fun to see the similarities in the two litters.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

2 Week Pictures are Up

I really have to thank my friend John Lacy for coming over last night instead of going to Kennel Club to help me take two week pictures....John as wiggly and fidgety as these pups were last night I think we did a damn good job and to even think about trying to do them myself ......well that would have been a joke for sure!

As you can see by the pictures they are really starting to grow, pigment is coming in on their nose and their eyes are opening and I do believe today they are starting to actually see something.  My dad, bless his heart came over today to watch the puppy's so I could go to the office and just do what needed to be done.  I am so very thankful for having the best ever employee's, you guys are awesome and things are going smoothly for that I am very much grateful to be able to be home, taking care of these guys.

The puppies are eating more, which means they are sleeping for longer periods of time....YEAH!!!  Ivie is spending more and more time away from them and this morning she wasn't even concerned when Aunt Brandy came back to check on things.  Normally when this happens, Ivie just pushes past Brandy and gets between her and the puppies to let her know...these are MY puppies!  I think the time away from them is a good thing for her, then when she does come in she is more attentive and spends more time letting them nurse.  They still are not getting enough by Ivie but they have taken to the bottle like there is no tomorrow.  Today I watched White Boy just suck down 4 ounces of milk in nothing flat.  Speaking of which, guess who is the biggest?  Yep, White boy he weighed in last night at 3 lbs 12.6 ounces and the smallest is still little purple girl, but she is gaining ground at 2 lbs 11.5 ounces.  She is going to be a fun little dog, she is fiesty and just pushes her way past her big brothers and doesn't let them knock her out of the picture, it is just fun to watch.  I am still on the hunt for my flip camera and if I can find it I will take a couple of videos and post on U tube for everyone.  Someone said I should get a web cam!  Really!!!!  The last thing I want is for anyone to see me bleary eyed in the middle of the night trying to take care of puppies....maybe in a future litter but don't hold your breathe on this one.

Tonight I am noticing that they actually look like they are starting to play with each other.  They are licking each other in the face and I saw pink girl try to bite lime boy, either that or she thought he might be something to eat.  I think the next few days are going to be lots of fun.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

2 Weeks Old Today

Wow, it is really hard to believe that these puppies are already two weeks old.  Tonight a friend is coming over to help me take their two week pictures and I think you are going to be amazed at the differences you see from their one week pictures.

Their eyes are open, although they are still not really seeing things, everything is just a blur to them and it will be another week before they really start to recognize things.  They are moving around as you can see from the picture above, still a bit wobbly but they can pretty much all take four or five steps without falling down.  And they are very hungry all the time, actually they all look very fat and happy and have good weight gain, I think it is just the competition for food that makes them all go crazy when Ivie comes into the box.  These puppies are going to be go getters that is for sure.  I am seeing their little personalities appear and it is fun to watch them change.  Somehow I think little purple peanut is the one that is going to be the ruler of the roost.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I hate it when Work get's in the way

Sorry I didn't post yesterday, I really needed to spend time in the office making sure that everything was running smoothly, and spending time with my employee's and answering their questions.   My dad stayed at the house so I could do this and when I got home, I was ready for a nap, one thing led to another and pretty soon the day was history.  I have a feeling there are going to be a lot more days like that in my future:)

All of the puppies except Teal Boy have their eyes open, it will still be a few days before they can actually see anything and it is funny to watch them wander around going in the wrong direction in search of the milk wagon.  They are also really getting up and walking around.  Poor Ivie really has to be careful when she comes in and out of the box now.  She gingerly steps around and doesn't put her weight down until she know she is not stepping on someone.

The other dogs are now well aware we have puppies in the house. Yesterday I learned that they have definitely become much more protective and pack mentality has kicked into full gear.  Yesterday I received a gift from a very dear friend of new puppy toys for the puppies.  It was delivered by UPS.  Puppies were sleeping and I was in the laundry room folding clothes when he arrived.  The dogs started to bark but I didn't really take much note of it because it wasn't a frantic barking, but they wouldn't be quiet.  So I looked out the window and didn't see anyone here.  I opened the front door so that Frodo and Brandy could go out and investigate and decide for themselves that they were being silly.  Well that wasn't the case.  My UPS driver was just leaving the front gate when I opened the door and both Frodo and Brandy rushed the door before I could stop them and were lunging at the gate as he was leaving.  They have NEVER done that before.  I was horrified at their behavior and apologized every which way but sideways to him.  He laughed and said they don't look like puppy's.  Commenting on the sign on my gate saying I have newborn puppies and to wash your hands before coming in.  Thankfully he has a good sense of humor but after talking with other breeders about this, they told me that the pack mentality kicks in and they will do what they think they need to do in order to protect those babies...good to know!  So if you are thinking of walking into my house unannounced you have been duly warned:)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Eye's are Opening

Happy Father's Day to all the great dad's out there!  It felt strange this morning not taking my dad to breakfast but I told him when this is all done and over with I will take him out to his favorite restaurant for breakfast.  My dad has been so instrumental in helping me with getting ready for the puppies.  He made the whelping box and is finishing up the final touches on the outdoor puppy pen off of my deck.  If the weather around here ever changes then it will be nice on nice days to take them outside and they will be safe and secure to explore the great outdoors.

Yesterday I made quite a few phone calls to various breeders to see if I was being overly paranoid or if there was something wrong with Ivie and why she wasn't paying that much attention to her pups.  Well it turns out I was paranoid!  Yep, I said it!  I have been babying her and helping her so much the last 10 days that I really think she thought I would just take over and be mom to her babies.  So yesterday it practically killed me to ignore them when they cried and walk the other direction, forcing her to tend to them.  It didn't take very many times of that happening and she is back to being a great mom!  I know better than to mess with things but I think because this is my first litter and there are so many of them, that it is easy to be overprotective of them, best to let mother nature do her thing.

Part of that process has been not to supplement them as much either.  I decided three times a day is plenty, they are all gaining weight and doing well and this is forcing Ivie to also spend more time letting them nurse.  This is helping her as well as the puppies.  I have also not divided them up the last three feedings and just let it be a free for all or total mayhem would be a better description.  After about an hour or two, I would go in and some would still be nursing but most would be sleeping and Ivie would get up and go lay down in the side room for a rest and then I would supplement them.  Don't get me wrong, I am still the Milk Lady and they are still crazy about me when I pick them up but I think they are getting more from their mom.  Our schedule is totally screwed up and I have no idea when I will be awake or asleep but so far this weekend I think this is working out much better.

This morning as I did the weigh in Both Pink girl and Blue boy had their eyes open and I think that there are a couple more that will open up tonight.  It is pretty exciting, although I think the whole dynamic is going to change.  For one thing they will see Ivie coming and really be swarming around her feet:)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

And She's Off...

Little Purple Girl is up and walking.  She has been working on getting her sea legs the last couple of days but this morning when mom came into her whelping box she just got up and went,  I think Green and a White are going to be up in the very near future.  They are all working on the coordination so it looks like a box full of drunken sailors staggering around trying to get to mom.

Purple Girl also crossed the 2 pound mark last night and she has been eating up a storm, actually they all have.  Poor Ivie just cannot seem to have enough milk to feed them and I can tell she is frustrated about it.  For a while she would lay there and let them nurse even though she had been milked dry, this morning once the milk was gone she just got up out of the box and looked to me as if to say, I gave them everything I have, can you finish the job.  Then she laid down beside me as I bottle fed them and cleaned up their faces as I put them back in the box.  At the rate they are growing and her lack of milk, I may have to come up with another supplement to make sure they are getting enough nutrition.  So today I am going to explore what options I have and I may try and switch out one feeding to something a bit more substantial and see if that helps.

Anita came over last night to pick up Brandy and borrow my van.  They were going to have a very early morning to go up to Ferndale for an ORT (Odor Recognition Test).  I really hope they pass.  Anita has been working so hard with Brandy and Brandy clearly enjoys doing the work for Anita.  I will let you all know tomorrow if they passed.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Some Things Just come Naturally

Like the Berner pose.  I think they all like to sleep on their backs in case someone walking by just wants to give them a Belly Rub and Blue Boy above is demonstrating the pose at his best at an early age.

The puppies are definitely getting more and more active and I really feel sorry for Ivie when she walks into the box.  They are like little piranah's looking for their next meal.  If I don't take some out of the box she cannot even lay down for fear of squishing them, she is such a great mom that way.  She just looks at me as if to say - ummm I need some help here.  I take 5 out and put them in the laundry basket and then she can lay down and 5 will eat and then I do the switch.   After everyone has had about 10 minutes on a teat, then I put them all back in the box and let them duke it out.  I am telling you all, these pups don't miss a meal and love their food.  They gained so much weight yesterday that I was starting to think I was over supplementing them and I thought I would change the supplemental feeding to 3 times a day rather than 4 times a day.  Well this morning I have extremely unhappy puppies.  As a matter of fact, Red has been telling me all about it now for the past 20 minutes.  I think I will just have to play it by ear and supplement when they are acting really hungry and not supplement at other times.

Some of them are really starting to get their feet under them too.  Red, Green and Purple are almost standing on all fours rather than scooting around.  It will be interesting to see which one actually does it first.

I did not get the much needed nap yesterday as I thought.  Darla had to go out and take care of her dad and then came back later to help with another feeding.  She was amazed at how strong these puppies are.  She is a Poodle person and they had to bottle feed one of their poodle's as a very young pup and she said that he was no where near as strong as these are and I know she enjoyed helping me yesterday and it was very nice to get through the feedings faster than I have been in the past.

However, I do think that I am going to have to limit to one visit per day though because I am really tired today.  I also didn't have lunch because she had come and then I took a nap after she left.  Then when I realized that she would be back, I thought I had better make myself some dinner, but she came back early so I didn't end up eating until almost 8:30 last night.  Not a good thing and I was getting kind of cranky.  I guess I learned the moral of the story is I cannot be polite and am just going to tell people I need to eat if they are here.  These are my good friends and they will understand, if not then too bad.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Little Chunky Monkeys

Today I thought I would post a picture of all of them in the box together.  As you can see they are getting quite big.  I cannot believe how big they are getting.  At this point the largest puppy is White boy weighing in at 2 lbs 6.2 oz and Blue boy is right behind him at 2 lbs 5.4 ounces.  All of the puppies weighed in over 2 pounds last night except for little purple girl, but she is gaining ground and weighed in at 1 pound 10.5 ounces and if you think about it that is how much White Boy weighed when he was born.

As I bottle feed them and cuddle with them, they are really getting to know my scent and are just frantic to have me feed them.  As this is my first litter I don't have much to go on but I do believe these puppies are going to have some good BONE.  For those of you that are new to the breed this is referring to the substance of the dog.  Some Bernese have more Bone and have larger looking legs than others and it looks to me like these pups are going to have some serious substance.  The pigment is starting to be more noticeable on their little noses and it looks like they have little freckles.  This is not the case, it is just mother nature filling in the blank spots, quite fun to see the progression.  I have to laugh because lime boy actually looks like he has a mustache right now.

I have a good friend coming to the house today to let me take a serious nap.  Darla is very excited to spend time with the pups and I cannot wait to see what she has to say.  I am hoping that I can actually take a serious nap and have decided the best place for me to do that is out in the Motor Home where I won't hear any distractions.  Enjoy your day everyone

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ivie is doing Much Better

Thank you all for the notes of encouragement regarding Ivie.  She seemed to rebound back to normal at about 5am this morning and has been doing much better.  Her temperature has dropped back down and she is eating and wanting to check in on her puppies, all very good things.  My gut is telling me that the supplement I was told to give her for milk production just didn't sit well with her and had an adverse affect.  That seemed to be the only different variable in the equation and when I stopped giving it to her she bounded no more FenuGreek for You Miss Ivie!!!

It is so hard to believe that a week has already gone by since they were born.  It seems like it was just yesterday when I was racing around the house like a chicken with my head cut off delivering these sweet precious bundles of joy.  Their ears are starting to flop over and they no longer look like little bats but more like Bernese Mountain Dogs, so cute.

I weighed them this morning and the smallest girl - purple gained 12.45 ounces in one week so I am happy with that.   For all you betting type of folks, who do you think gained the most?    Surprise!  That would be Pink Girl, she outdid all of her bigger brothers and gained 15.55 ounces - almost made the pound mark!  And the one gaining the least amount was Lime Boy at 7.75 ounces so he is going to have some catching up to do.

Again thank you all for your positive thoughts and prayers, I think Ivie felt them and knew she had lots of well wishers out there for her.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rough Day

The puppies are doing awesome, they are growing by leaps and bounds despite the fact that Ivie doesn't have enough milk for all of them.  As of tonight 5 of them have weighed in at over 2 pounds, Blue, White, Red, Lime and Pink.

This morning Ivie seemed really tired and lethargic and just didn't seem to have the energy to look after her pups.  She wanted outside so I opened the door and it was a decent enough day that I could leave it open for her to come back in when she wanted without freezing in the process.  I closed the gate to the puppy room and decided to take a nap and boy o boy did I take a Nap.  I was awakened from a dead sleep to Frodo barking his fool head off.  For those of you that have not heard Frodo bark, he could wake the dead. He has one of those Barks that is just piercing and resonates in his belly.  Anyway, it took me a few minutes to realize why I was awake and found that Anita was bringing Brandy back from their Nose Work class.  When I went out to meet them, I saw Ivie still outside just kind of laying in the grass.  I was thinking this is not like her.  I was surprised that she hadn't gone in to check on her pups and really wasn't interested in the fact that we had a visitor.  I made up some food and took it out to her and she didn't even want to get up to I really new something wasn't right.  Took her temp and it was high 103.2 so another call to the Vets office and off we went.

Christina is not sure why she is lethargic or why she has a temp.  We checked her for Mastitis and she pushed and prodded on her uterus to see if she could feel anything and said that if it hurt, Ivie should have shown her some sign that it hurt.  Ran some blood work and a Calcium count and all are within normal ranges.  Her discharge is not looking that great and she took a culture to see if she could see anything, again, nothing out of the norm.  Brought her home and will take her temp again tonight and tomorrow morning, but she is still acting like she doesn't feel well.  At least she is drinking plenty of water and eating some so those are good signs.  So please everyone send healing thoughts to Ivie so she can be back to her normal self soon.  I am hoping that she is just having an off day and all will be right again in the morning.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Dew Claws Removed this morning

This morning we had an appointment to bring the puppies into the Vet for their dew claw removal.  I know some people do this themselves, but I would prefer to pay a professional to do it.  They have a ton more experience and will be faster and much more proficient than I could ever hope to be.  And at this point my vet bill is so high, having dew claws removed is not going to make that big of a difference.

My dad came over to the house and we tricked Ivie.  He took her outside on the back deck and had her with him while he drank his morning coffee and I boxed up the puppies and went out the front door to the van.  At the clinic, Christina took the puppies and checked them all over, gave them a big thumbs up and both her and Ashley were extremely pleased to see Orange girl doing so well.  As I waited in the front lobby people came in with their pets and wanted me to either hold them or pet them and I felt so badly for acting like a germaphobic but I just politely explained to them I had newborn pups that I was waiting for and I really couldn't pet their cute little dog for fear of their safety.  The whole procedure lasted about 30 minutes and I was back home, through the front door with the pups in their box without Ivie even realizing they had ever left.

But they were not happy campers for a good hour or two.  They were much more vocal and active than they have been and poor Ivie kept on licking them and could not figure out why they were crying.  After lunch they finally settled down and are doing much better now.

They are eating, once again.....they never stop really:)  And it is so funny to watch their little tails wag at such an early age.  They just go side to side as they are eating, it is very cute.  But watching them jockey for position is quite hilarious.  I really need to find my flip phone and see if I can video it.  You wouldn't believe the noise either.  Some of them even sound like they are barking when they get mad. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me

Ivie has given me the best possible birthday present ever!  These babies are so dang precious.  I think she might finally be starting to have more milk but still not nearly enough for these little porkers.  I am having to supplement them with a goat's milk  three to four times a day.

I have also come up with a system.  The puppies are being weighed twice a day ( I will embellish on that later) and depending on weight gain or loss from the last weigh in the top 5 gainers go into a box during feeding time and the ones that are not gaining as much get to have fresh nipples based on the lowest to the highest.  In other words the one that gains the least gets the biggest teat with the most milk.  After 10 minutes those 5 go into the box and the others get to have their time on mom.  While they are eating I start to top off the first 5 with a goats milk supplement.  I tell you this is like a science project but much more important.  My method seems to be working.  At this morning's weigh in, it was the first time I didn't have a weight loss and the two pups that gained the least were Yellow and Green at .9 ounces which is huge compared to some of the previous gains.  and the biggest chow hounds are Pink and Purple each gaining 1.8 ounces.  That is a lot in 12 hours.

Every time I feed I check their color rick rack to make sure it isn't too tight and last night had to change out a bunch of them.  I have a feeling I am going to go through quite a bit in the near future. My collie breeder friend had given me some small collars but I didn't like the snaps, I think I am going to play with them today and see if I cannot get them loosened up because it sure would be easier and I think they could probably wear them next week or maybe tomorrow at the rate they are going.

I also need to trim their little toe nails, man those things are sharp.  Anne said to do it in their sleep, easier said than done.  These guys are constantly moving and trying to trim moving targets is not easy.  You think about it there are a lot of little toe nails that need to be clipped.

The other fun adventure is weighing them.  I have a kitchen type of a scale and at first I had put a little plastic box on it and then put the puppies in the box.  Well that was a lesson in futality.  They would just climb over the sides.  So now I have a Zappos Shoe box on top of it.  The sides are too big and they cannot climb out, at least for the time being.  I am sure that day will be here before I am ready for it.  Once they are in the box they cannot be still for the 2 seconds it takes to get an accurate weight.  So I watch the weight go up and down and once a number pops up 3 or 4 times that is the one I go with.  Not sure how accurate my method is but it seems to be working.

As I look outside on this beautiful sunny day all I can see is my grass getting longer and longer.  Not sure when or how I will ever get it mowed but I am starting to see friends offer to come over and help, so maybe that day will be soon.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Puppies are doing well & Thriving

Anne went home yesterday afternoon and Ivie and I working on creating a routine.  When the puppies sleep so does she and I.  Yesterday she seemed to have figured this out all on her own, she came out of the box and looked into the spare bedroom as if to say come on mom let's take a nap, so we did.

She doesn't have enough milk for them all and I am having to supplement them with Goats Milk, which takes about an hour an a half from start to finish and I am doing this 4 times a day.  I am also keeping track of their weights 2 times a day and the puppies that are not gaining as much end up on the back nipples and the little porkers (namely the boys) are on the front ones.  Ivie at first would be watching every move I made with a pup when I took them out to feed and now she seems to know what is going on.  Plus I think she likes licking their faces before going back in the box to sleep.  Heather, my friend that helped whelp the puppies said I need to get her on Fenugreek as a milk supplement.  I started that yesterday and I don't know if it is wishful thinking on my part or if it is really working but it looks like she has more milk today than yesterday.  With this many puppies it is so important for her to get rest so she can replenish the milk and that is my number one goal.

Ivie is also being somewhat of a prima donna when it comes to her meals.  She has taken to spitting out the kibble.  This morning she wrinkled her nose at chicken breast but scarfed down about 1/2 a cup or more of Brandy's raw food mixture and a handful of goats milk cheese.  At this point I am just happy to have her eat anything and I would be a lot happier if she would eat more.  I took a big rib roast out of the freezer this morning and will throw it into a stew pot and see if that entices her at all.

Frodo is making out like a king in the food department.  When Ivie walks away from something he is right there to make sure that it is cleaned out good and proper for me to try something else.  I figure it won't hurt him, he has been on the skinny side and he is loving it.  Brandy so wanted to play this morning, she was being such a clown and comes back to the gate to the back part of the house and sits there and cocks her head from side to side, trying to figure out what is back there.  I figure I need to get Ivie through the next few days before I let Brandy come and peek at the puppies.  Gandalf really wants to see them.  He has sniffed me from one end to the other and when I brought him in last night he just layed on my lap as if to take it all in, he is such a sweet natured boy, I think these pups are going to have great aunts and uncles to watch over them as they grow up.  I will take more pictures tonight for everyone and try and put them up either here or on the website.

Friday, June 8, 2012

We have 10 Beautiful Babies

It turned out that Ivie Nesting was the sign I needed that babies were coming, sooner than we anticipated.  Ivie woke me at 1am on Tuesday night and I took her outside, little did I know that her water had broken.  She panted and just could not get comfortable.  I kept telling her to lay down and go to sleep.  I am not sure how much sleep I actually got that night but I can tell you it wasn't very much.

Anne had told me not to let her out on her own and to keep her on a leash for potty breaks, thank goodness otherwise I might have let her stay outside for a bit to stay calm and if so I am sure she would have had her babies in her hole.  As it was I was in the shower and came out to hear pink girl screaming her fool head off.  I was shocked, her temp hadn't dropped and we were a day early, OMG.  Panic set in.  Found Ivie and pink girl and another boy that was stillborn in the whelping box, and right behind pink girl comes purple girl.  I am in my bathrobe trying to get a towel and racing around collecting my supplies that I hadn't put in the room.  Trying to revive the boy and make sure that Purple and pink are ok, it was crazy.  I called my good friend Heather that lives about 3 minutes away and has bred Papillons and told her what was happening.  She came down and helped me get things organized.   I have to say Ivie was incredible, she hadn't seen Heather since she was a baby and Heather's 18 month old son came and was doing what toddler's do best and Ivie just took it all in stride.  Didn't care that Heather was in the whelping box helping her deliver her puppies or that Blake was making a ton of noise during the process.  After the second puppy I was able to call Anne and said something to the effect of "WE ARE HAVING PUPPIES NOW".  Anne had wanted to be here to assist but being 5 hours away that wasn't going to happen.  Instead she became my lifeline.  I would call and tell her when contractions had started and between her and Heather we were on a roll.

Auntie Linda came to the rescue as well.  She told work she had an emergency and just left, I am amazed she didn't get a ticket, it took her 2 hours to get here from Olympia and I can usually do that when there is no traffic and it is not summer time so I can only imagine what that road trip was like.  Linda is Miss Organization and she just came in and was able to get warm towels when we needed it and wrote down the important stuff like when puppies were born and how much they weighed and all that good stuff.  After the 8th puppy, Ivie started to get tired.  She had a contraction and then things stopped after a 1/2 an hour Linda and I packed puppies and Ivie up and took off to the vet.  As I was calling the Vet to tell them we were coming in, Anne was calling Linda to tell us to get going so we were all on the same page.. Everyone that is except the "New" receptionist at the vets office.  When I told her what was happening and we were coming in she tried to tell me that Dr. Wagner didn't have an opening until 430 and could I come in then.  I politely told her I was coming in NOW and if Dr. Wagner had an appointment, they could wait, this was an emergency, Go interrupt her NOW and tell her that I am on my way and to prep for surgery.  Apparently she did as I said because the whole staff was standing by ready and waiting.  They took another x ray and realized there were three more puppies so I told her to get those babies out and save Ivie.  Ivie was a trooper and seemed to know we were all helping her.  Orange girl was stuck and the problem child she did not want to come out and when she did Ashley the vet tech really did an amazing job reviving her and getting her moving.  Behind her was the biggest pup of the litter, Lime boy who weighed in at 1 lb 11 ounces so even if she had made it out, I am not sure he would have.

Ivie recovered nicely and we had to tube feed Orange girl she just didn't seem to have the sucking motion figured out.  Brought everyone back home and Linda made sure I had food and then drove home, because she really had to go back to work yesterday.  Wed night was a hard night, I was very worried about Orange girl and I tried many times through the night to get her to eat, tried bottle feeding and tried to tube feed her but I knew I just wasn't getting the tube down the right way.  After the 3rd time of trying and crying I told her dammit you have to eat, I am NOT going to lose you.  I put her back on Ivie and she started to suckle and eat.  I really cried then, throughout the night I would sleep for a bit when the puppies did and then check on her and she was doing awesome.  Anne showed up yesterday around noon and it was just great to have her here.  She checked on all the puppies and agreed with me they are beautifully marked.  She showed me how to supplement them to give Ivie a break and how important it was to get Ivie out of the box so she can replenish her milk.  I am not sure she is producing enough milk for these babies, but they all have gained weight with the supplement and are doing well.

Final count is 6 boys and 4 girls.  Girls are Pink, Purple, Yellow and Orange and boys are Blue, Green, Red, White, Lime and Teal.  Purple was the smallest at 14 ounces and Lime was the largest.  No wonder Ivie was as huge as she was.  She had about 15 pounds of puppies inside of her.

Anne made me go and sleep last night and whoever said sleep is overrated hasn't delivered puppies and worried about them the first night of their lives.  I am feeling much better and will take naps when the puppies take naps.  I also have a few friends that I think I can count on to come over periodically and let me take a good long nap.

I also thought I had an extra day and had planned on going into the office Wed morning at least for 1/2 the day.  I had some clients coming in for appointments and all of that went out the window very fast.  I think somewhere in the panic I did manage to call and tell them we were having puppies and to cancel my appointments.  My staff has been awesome and just picked up the pieces and taking care of everything.  I am glad I had not been working on new clients and actually had passed them all out to my employee's before I left Tuesday night.

Sorry this is such a big post but lots had happened and I just hadn't had time to write.  I will post more when I can.  Susan

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

We are Nesting

Yesterday I took Ivie in for new x rays but I am afraid to say that these were worse than the first set we did, which really made me angry that I had put her and the puppies through x rays twice to not have anything concrete.  To say I left the vets office in tears is an understatement.  I called my old vet who had retired from the clinic at home and felt really bad as their dog is very sick and they had been up all night with her.

Denny is a good friend and could tell I was upset and basically talked me off the fence.  He assured me that all would be fine and just let her do what Mother nature intended and if she has the slightest problems to call him and he will come out to the house.  Plus he reminded me that neither he nor the other two vets in the clinic were doing anything this weekend and I could call them and they could all be there within 10 minutes.  I felt better after talking to him and Anne, and we both are hoping it doesn't come to that.

Ivie is really not eating and has started to Nest.  My dad kept calling me throughout the day to tell me she was going to have her puppies on my bed, which I reminded him was not funny.  As he left he closed off my bedroom and when I cam home from work, I had a training class so I changed clothes and put Gandalf in the car, came back in to shut my bedroom.  I walked in to see a black dog covered in white feathers and feathers flying EVERYWHERE!  I wish I had had my camera.  I was only away for 2 minutes but that was all she needed to shred it.  I am sure it would have made a wonderful nest.

I really think she thinks she will have them outside in her hole that she has dug.  And last night at 1am she woke me to go out.  She really wanted to be in that hole last night, but I won't let her out of my sight when she is outside now.  I think the time is getting close.  I am already exhausted from no sleep 2 nights in a row and the puppies haven't even arrived....what have I gotten myself into?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

No Room for Food

Poor Ivie, It seems the puppies are pushing on her stomach and for the first time this morning she did not want her breakfast.  She ate a small portion and then looked at me as if to say, I really do want it but I just cannot manage it.  I left for the Agility Trial this morning, and then after Brandy ran I brought her back home, and gave Ivie another scoop of food and that seemed to be just fine with her.  So it looks like she will now be getting four or five small meals a day rather than 2.

Dad came over this afternoon and the whelping box is put together and in the room.  Ivie was not too sure about it but thought it was pretty cool when I started feeding her steak in it.  Of course it didn't hurt that Brandy was doing agility in and out of the box, as was Frodo and even Bosco, my son's pug.  At one time we were all inside of it.  As the evening has gone on, she has gone back and looked in the room at least three times tonight to take a peak at her box as I keep telling her.  I wish we had, had time to paint it but at this point I no longer care what it looks like and I don't want the room smelling like paint so it is what it is.  I have posted a before and after picture of the room.  Please understand the before picture was when I knew it was all getting moved out and the room seemed to be a catch all for everything that needed to be out of the way.  The after picture just has the whelping box in the room and it looks huge, although it really isn't that big.  Maybe the fact that my dad used one of the old Travel Agency Signs for the side helps to make it look bigger than it really is.  Tomorrow night I will start sleeping in the room with her to get her used to the idea that this is her room, but somehow I sense she already knows that.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Is Waddeling a Word?

If so, Ivie has it down to a science.  Poor girl looks bigger today than she did two days ago, although when I measured her girth it still seems the same.

Yesterday I bought a horse stall mat to go in the bottom of the whelping box but it is about a 1/4 of an inch too big and so we are having to cut that off.  Have you ever tried to cut a horse stall mat, not an easy task I am telling you.  I got part of if cut and had to take a break, I figured it was time to post on the blog for sure and then I will go back and try to cut some more.  But I tried a test of pouring a cup of water on the mat and it just stayed in one puddle and didn't soak through, so I think this will be perfect for the puppies.  Newspapers in there to absorb the liquid that mom doesn't clean up and I think we are good to go.

This has been a tough weekend, because my kennel club is hosting an agility trial this weekend and I have been trying to run Brandy in excellent class.  For once the weather during our local agility trial is bernerly perfect for Brandy (cold, drizzling and breezy) and Yesterday she qualified in both Jumpers with Weaves as well as Standard for her first leg in Excellent class.  Today was not as good of a day for us but I was in excellent company, many top PNW handlers also did not qualify today as the courses were tough with lots of opportunities for dogs to go off course.

Plus I seem to be the kennel club member that has the best calming affect on novice agility handlers and I am having to be gate steward all three days when I am not running my dog.  Time that should be spent getting everything ready.  Actually everything is almost done and tomorrow after the agility trial dad said he would come by and between us we would get the rest of the whelping box together.

My new Day bed is arriving on Monday and I plan on starting to sleep in this room with Ivie to try and get her used to it for her big day....I guess I have procrastinated long enough the black stall mat is calling to me.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Non Conclusive Evidence

I know many of you have probably been checking this all day wondering what the outcome was of Ivie's x rays today, for that I am sorry, but I didn't get back into the office until 11am and by then my clients were all over me to get their vacations booked.

Ivie and I went into see Dr. Christine this morning and Christine took lots of pictures.  Unfortunately either their x ray equipment is really bad, which she said is a definite possibility or Ivie conceived puppies later than thought and therefore we did not get a good reading.  However that being said we could see what looks like 8 puppies.  The part we are not sure about was a big area that didn't show any puppies which could mean either the equipment is bad and there are more puppies than 8 or there really are 8 puppies .

So after a talk with Anne this morning we decided I am going to take her back in on Tuesday to see if we can get a better picture.  Our main concern is there could be 4 more puppies in there and if that is the case we may really need to think about doing a C section.  Something I don't want to do, but I also don't want to jeopardize either Ivie or any of the puppies.  She has also gained 20 pounds along with the 10 inches around her girth, so we know there are lots of puppies.

Frank has been and laid the Vinyl, it looks great and my dad has finished the Whelping box.  He is now trying to make it perfect.  He really wants to paint it, but I think that is not going to happen, so don't laugh when you see it, it was made out of a couple of old signs I had in storage:)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tomorrow we go in for x rays

1st off I am very happy to say that my computer guy is a genius.  So happy that he has been able to clean out the coffee from my laptop and has ordered a new keyboard for it and jury rigged a separate keyboard for me.  New parts will be in on Tuesday and it will be as good as new.  It just amazes me how not having a laptop for 3 days has really thrown me for a loop and put me behind at work too.

I took some pictures of Ivie yesterday which I am going to post.  She is really starting to look like she swallowed a beach ball.  I also measured her tonight and she is 40 1/2 inches.   Her belly has grown by 10 inches since the 3rd of May...I am really hoping that doesn't mean she is going to have 10 puppies, but if she does then so be it.

Life at the house has been good and I think Ivie is getting tired of feeling like a beached whale.  Tonight for the first time in her life, she snapped at Brandy.   For a minute I thought I was going to have a bitch fight which would have been terrible, but thankfully both girls are very mellow and Brandy seemed to understand that she needed to just walk away and let Ivie get over whatever it was that had bothered her.  Later Brandy went up and cleaned Ivie's face as she does so many times and all was well in the world again.  But it was a wake up call for me to just make sure Ivie doesn't feel threatened in any way and let Brandy know I still love her and she is a good girl.

Let's see the room is all painted.  Frank came today and ripped up the carpet and prepped the floor for the Vinyl.  It is in the house and tomorrow he is going to install it.  Dad thinks he won't want anyone walking on it for 24 hours so he is going to bring the whelping box over on Friday.  I haven't seen it but he is very proud of his work.  I also went and picked out a daybed for the room that matches the furniture in the guest bedroom and that is going to be delivered on Monday so things are starting to come together.  Looks like starting on Monday Ivie and I will be sleeping in the new room.

Tomorrow we go in for x rays....anyone have an opinion on how many pups there are before the x ray?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Laptop Issues

Oh Boy what a weekend, three days off of work is a good thing, that is for everything but the laptop.  I had fully intended on putting a new post on yesterday morning.  Sat down at the laptop had my cup of coffee by my side and my cat decided she NEEDED to be petted.  She was more insistant that usually and yep you guessed it, coffee all over the laptop...a few choice words were said, including something to the tune of Damn Cat.  I called my son, and he told me what to do.  Today one of the first things I plan on doing as soon as possible, is get it into my trusty computer folks.  Hopefully they can get it working again, otherwise I see a new laptop in my future and this was not what I needed right now.

Saturday morning I went over to Kingston which is about an hour drive away for a private obedience lesson with a trainer that I have a ton of respect for.  Shade is amazing and she pointed out so many obvious things that I was doing with Gandalf in a one hour lesson.  I now have lots of things to work on while I am home this summer and looking forward to resuming Obedience training with her later in August when all the pups are gone.  The big thing that she asked me is what is my release word?  Something to think about, we all say and I know I do OK.  This is NOT a good release word and I would encourage you all to think about how many times we say OK in our vocabulary.  She suggested, finished, All Done, Move on.  I am going to do All Done as it doesn't sound like anything else I use.  However, this is easier said than done.  Years of saying OK are going to be hard to change.

Now on to the more important things, Ivie and the babies.  Ivie is doing really good.  She is moving quite slowly now, we measured her belly Saturday night and she is at 38 1/2 inches so the puppys are growing and doing well.  She went swimming with Cindy again on Saturday and I think she really enjoyed being in the water.  Of course who would not love being in the water with Cindy, she messages all those sore spots and she doesn't weigh as much.  This will be her last swimming session for a while.  Cindy helped me pick out colors for the whelping room and came over Saturday night after work and we had a painting parting, complete with Pizza a Wine - could be construed as a dangerous thing, but I am very happy with the outcome. 

We did two walls in a faux pattern using chocolate and berner brown and they look fantastic - thank you Cindy for the great idea and wonderful job of painting.  It came out looking like leather.  My dad came over yesterday to look and see and he was quite impressed.  I needed his opinion on whether two walls this color was too much but he thought it was perfect and in all of his years in construction he hadn't seen as good of a job as what we did....yeah, love pats on the back.  He did tell me that the other two white walls I had painted were the wrong tone of white, which I already knew so he helped me decide what color to do and so I finished it up yesterday....the room is all ready now for Frank to come and rip out the carpet and get that Vinyl down so that Ivie and I can start sleeping in there to get used to her new room....

Keep your fingers crossed on the laptop...Susan

Friday, May 25, 2012

Somewhat Under Control

Vinyl has been ordered and supposed to be in on Tuesday, Yeah!   It will be installed by a friend of mine and he has promised he will have it installed as soon as it comes in and no later than next Friday.  Cutting things close I know but at least it will be done.  So now a new problem, the room must be painted before the new vinyl goes in....yep I am a sucker for punishment.  Cindy is going to come over on Sunday and after Ivie has her swimming session we are going to paint the room.

My dad is building her whelping box and after thinking that 4 x 4 would be a suitable size he has decided that is not going to be nearly big enough and redoing everything.  Luckily he had only cut a couple of pieces off the wood he feels he can salvage it and use it for something else.  He thinks he will have it done this weekend, so I am starting to feel like things are getting under control.  Still have a long list of things I need in the next couple of weeks but I am definitely feeling better about things.

Ivie is getting huge.  All of the sudden she has really grown in size.  I spoke with my Vet this afternoon and she told me not to worry about over feeding her at this point but rather give her what she wants and it might be good for her to have 3 or 4 smaller meals that will be easier for her to digest rather than having a big meal that the puppies are pushing on.  So I think that will be the way things start out the next few weeks.  I have posted a couple of new pictures for everyone to see.  You can tell how big she has gotten.

Monday, May 21, 2012

What are Friends For

I am very happy to say that everything is now out of the Whelping Room, except for one very ugly filing cabinet, which is going to disappear as soon as possible.  My home office has been relocated and I am happy with how it has turned out and feel that it is definitely a place that I can be happy to work from at home.

Now the next issue, the flooring in the whelping room.  Of course my good friend Cindy had to ask the question.  What are you going to do with the puppy's when they grow out of the whelping box?  Oh Crap....I hadn't thought about that.  Of course we are building a wonderful puppy pen outside that they will be very safe and secure in but that can only be when I am home and on nice days when I can be out there with them.  What am I going to do with them when I go into the office for a few hours or in the evening.  The Whelping room has carpet in it.  I had planned on ripping up the carpet after this is all done and over with but I can only imagine the smell before that time.  Carpet has to be ripped up before then.  Cindy suggested maybe I put down linoleum or tile that is easy to clean.   A trip to the flooring store had to happen today, of course today would be one of those days, I couldn't even leave my desk to go to the bathroom, how the heck was I going to get to the flooring store.  Finally I just left early and so happy I did.  I found the best linoleum that will look so good with the decor I am working on.  So tonight I had to measure the room and tomorrow morning they will call to see if it is in stock at the Seattle store, if so they could have it installed by this weekend, hopefully.  So on top of the panic of everything else, I am now thinking if I am going to paint this room, I really need to do it before the new flooring goes in...will this ever end.

I know I am bringing this all on myself, because I want everything perfect for when the puppy's come.   Thankfully Cindy did bring up the subject of the flooring, but I really wish she had asked me a couple of months ago...then again, I wish I would have thought of all this a couple of months ago.

Ivie is doing well and happy with her new increased amount of food.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Spa Day

Ok, you might think I am over the top and crazy but let me explain before you jump to conclusions.  I am extremely fortunate to 1 - live where I do and 2 - have the very best possible Canine Therapy Dog Spa called La Paw Spa owned by 3 my very good friend Cindy Horfstall located about 10 minutes from my house.  My dogs love going to Cindy's spa.  Well that is everyone but Brandy (That is a whole story in and by itself, she is otherwise known as "she who can walk on water".  Cindy does water canine message and therapy and without her, I am sure Gandalf would have never recovered to the extent he did after his major back surgery.  It is great for old dogs, injured dogs and today it was Pregnant dogs.  We thought it might be a nice thing for Ivie to get in the water, it is great exercise and she is a very good swimmer.  Swimming for 20 minutes gave her more of a workout today than I could have done walking with her for hours.  Plus she got the added benefit of getting messaged at the same time.

We weighed her and she has gained about 5 pounds since the 3rd of May and Cindy had to laugh that she was sinking as she was swimming and her belly had to be supported in the process.  Her muscle tone is great and we took some pictures of her today which I have posted.  Overall Ivie was very pleased with herself and I will try and get her in next weekend as well.  Oh yes, I have measured her belly and she is still the same, but I think the pictures make her look bigger because she is wet.

The whelping room project is almost completed.  I do believe I will have that room cleaned out by tonight then my dad can work on the Whelping box and I can start getting that room all set up.  One of my employee's has a day bed that is in storage that she said I can borrow it, so that will be nice to be able to sleep in the room with her.  Ruth thought it was funny that Ivie is the pregnant one and yet I am the one Nesting. LOL!  Let's just say I  just like to have everything organized and set up and don't want to be running around at the last minute looking for something that I may or may not need.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Cleaning out the Whelping Room

I have a back den that over the past year or two I have been remodeling and it is finally finished.  So I got the bright Idea that I should move my office out of the 3rd bedroom into this back room and use the bedroom for the whelping room.  Easier said than done.  I cannot believe how much crap I have accumulated since moving into this house.  I have already taken two loads of stuff to the Goodwill and I haven't even opened the closet door....kind of scared too now.

So How did I get so motivated today, well that would have to be motivation by panic and my good friend Cindy Horfstall who said that if I got it all cleaned out by tomorrow night she would take me to dinner....I think your off the hook Cindy, no way it is going to be done.  However I am quite pleased with the progress.

Had a good long talk with Anne today about Ivie and how to make sure she is not starving, or at least in her opinion.  Anne has always had girls that didn't want to eat and had to cook and beg them to eat so having Ms. I am STARVING is such a flip side.  There is a huge balance that needs to be done here.  She needs to not be hungry yet at the same time, I cannot have her get fat or it will be harder on her to whelp.  But tonight I think she was quite happy.  She had some blueberry's, cottage cheese and an egg mixed in with her kibble.  She was very happy and although she secretly hoped my dinner would jump off my plate and into her mouth, I don't think she was terribly disappointed when it didn't happen.  She is very content and laying at my feet right now.  Tomorrow, I promise I will post some new pictures and re-measure her waist.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Three and a half inches

Two Weeks ago my good friend Mary who breeds Rough Collies told me that I needed to measure Ivie's belly and keep track of it for fun.  So I did, except I forgot where I wrote down the numbers...but if my memory serves me correct the middle of her waste was 33 inches - tonight it is 36 1/2 inches so she is definitely starting to look like a pregnant girl.  I think I will try and measure it every 4 days just to see how she is growing, this time I am writing the numbers on the kitchen calendar so I know where they are.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Appointment Made for X Rays

I have been so busy at work the last couple of weeks, I haven't had a chance to call and make an appointment for x rays but today, I was able to get that done.  May 31st at 9am.  This is 55 days from the 1st breeding and we should be able to see how many skulls and spines there are.  I have been told she cannot eat before coming in, so I wanted the 1st possible appointment and God help me when she realizes she is not getting breakfast that morning until it is over with.

Poor Gandalf has not been able to be in the house with her since she came into season.  He just cannot seem to settle down around her and let's face it he isn't always the brightest bulb in the box.  Last night I thought I would try it again one more time and I think he finally figured it out.  Of course he had to try and poke her one more time and of course the outcome was the same.  Except this time, either her teeth finally connected or he decided that hey maybe I should go and lay down and leave her alone...yeah, finally.  Maybe life around her might get back to normal if only for a little time.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Whew it is Hot out there

We have had the coldest, wettest winters and now it looks like summer may grace us with her presence early.   The last three days have been absolutely beautiful.  Today I think it must have gotten up to 80 degrees on the back deck this afternoon.  Ivie has been able to stay cool and comfortable in her yard on the North Side of the house.  I have been fortunate in that my father has been working on an update to the deck (actually it will be a new puppy pen when completed) so he can keep an eye on her and the other dogs and she has him convinced that my bed is the coolest place on the property and it is her divine right to be on it.

The house was warm last night and she really did have a hard time settling down and getting comfortable.  I think those little babies are starting to get in her way of comfort.  But once I had her jump on the bed she calmed down and went to sleep.  Pretty soon I am going to have to find a stool or something so she can get on and off the bed easier....yes right now life is all about Ivie and making her comfortable and happy.  

However, if you asked her she would tell you that I am starving her to death.  She is so hungry and each week I have upped her food by 1/4 of a cup of kibble and she is now up to 4 cups of food a day.  I have had to start feeding her separately from the other dogs, she has started trying to steal Brandy and Frodo's food and I am afraid that someone is going to get hurt, so it is just easier to feed her separately.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Will I be Ready for This

I had dinner last night with my good friend Mary and she has been a wealth of information regarding breeding and what if questions.  I confided in her that I am terrified of how I am going to manage these puppies alone and run a business at the same time.  I am nervous about how I can work from home to be there for Ivie & the the puppy's and yet keep things running smoothly at the same time.  I just about fell over when she offered to spend time at the house for me so that I can spend some time at the office...It is times like this that you find out who your friends really are.

My next panic attack happened this morning, when I realized that I only have about 4 weeks before these precious baby's are born.  There is so much to do.  I still need to get my home office completely taken out of the room I plan on using for the whelping room and into the back den.  It is a huge task and I guess I just need to take one thing at a time and start moving things.  I still need to get my dad to build me a whelping box and then there are the supplies that are needed to be on hand, so am I in panic mode...yes I am.

Tonight when I came home, my son was at the house and it was good to see him.  Ivie was very happy to see him and had to push her way onto his lap, as she so likes to do.  He hasn't seen her for a while and he said it looked as though she has matured a lot.  She is really starting to fill out and her belly is starting to grow.  Yesterday I noticed her nipples are also starting to be more pronounced.  He reminded me of when we went to pick up Frodo as a puppy and how much his mother, Carmen impressed us.  I think he was right and right now Ivie is starting to remind me of Carmen.

I think one of the best parts of this part of the process is meeting new people who are interested in getting a puppy.  I think I have some amazing homes for these baby's and for me that is the best part of this process.  I thought I would create this blog for some of them that want to know how Ivie is progressing and I thought it would be fun for them to be able to check in and see what I am seeing on a day to day basis.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Where do I start

I had a brilliant Idea tonight on my way home from work to start a blog about my dogs.  Those of you that know me, know that I do love my dogs and they are a big part of my life.  5 years ago when I brought my first girl, Brandy home, it was with the hope that one day I could breed her and work towards improving the breed.  Brandy did not turn out to be a dog that I wanted to breed, although she is an amazing working dog, I feel there are many other things that need to be considered when making the decision to breed.

I brought Ivie home from Europe in the summer of 2009 and it became apparent that she would be my dream girl and hopefully my foundation bitch.   The hard part about breeding is choosing a stud dog.  There are so many wonderful boys out there, where do you start.  For me, it was picking a boy that had a good front and good orthopedics, these are Ivie's weakness' and I really started searching about a year ago.  I loved so many boys but Anne Summer's boy Abbott really stood out for me.  He has it all, type, temperment and a beautiful head.  I couldn't think of a better boy and when I approached Anne about using him, she was just as excited about the possible match as I was.  That really made me even more excited as she has so much more experience in these things than I do.

Ivie came into Season last October, while I was up in Canada at the Tradex Show.  Arrangements were made and we planned on doing the breeding at that time.  As a first time breeder I was so nervous, what if I missed the day that she needed to be bred.  I drove my vet crazy, taking her in just about every other day doing progesterone testing.  finally the day came, that my vet called me and said I needed to take her to the stud dog....Yeah the time was here.  I called Anne and she suggested I come down to Portland the next day and we would breed her at that time.  Unfortunately Ivie had other plans.  during this time, she had a swollen jaw and my vet thought it was a clogged saliva gland, she assured me it would go away and I didn't need to worry about it...well that night, I had to worry about it.  Her throat got really hot and red and she was obviously in a great deal of pain.  I packed her in the car and raced off to the emergency vet, hoping to catch the first ferry in the morning, it turned out she had an abscess and it needed to be opened up and cleaned out...all hopes of breeding her at this time went down the drain.  I had people tell me that I could put her on antibiotics and still breed her but I could not see the point.  She is young, she would come into season again in 6 months and to me, I wanted her completely healthy so that she could have good healthy puppies.

I started to plan my summer around when I thought she would come back into season, around June. My good friend Mary, told me not to plan, these dogs have a way of totally changing your life and just do what you would normally do.  So in March I decided to enter Ivie as a special in a dog show about an hour from the house.  Her first time in the ring as a special and she won Breed.  I was so excited and she showed so well in the group ring for her first time.  The next day, I was told that the judge wouldn't put her up and not to expect it.  That person was wrong and she won again.  It was super exciting.  We all love our own dogs and everyone thinks there dog should win any competition but it always doesn't happen the way we want.  This time it did.  So discussions were starting as to which shows we should take her to and I went home thinking I was going to be doing the dog show circuit once again.  The next day Ivie came into season, two months early. so all plans for showing her went out the window and keeping her happy and healthy and getting her bred was my number one priority.

I was much more relaxed this time around and I only took her into the vet twice for progesterone and wasn't the crazy breeder lady this time.  Of course we had her entered at a big show in Canada and that didn't happen, instead we spent Easter weekend in Portland doing the breeding.  Ivie was a very good girl and a little bit of a hussy too.  We ended up getting four natural ties and drove home feeling very confident that I had a pregnant girl in the car.

I spent the next month treating Ivie like a princess that she thinks she is.  My whole goal was making sure that she didn't have to worry about anything.  I cancelled all travel plans and spent time at home with her and my other dogs.  Those friends that knew I had bred her were just as anxious as I was and I could hardly wait until the time came that we could do an ultra sound.  I knew in my heart of hearts that she was pregnant, too many little changes had happened and I could see in her to not be.  My vet's office doesn't have an ultrasound machine so they suggested I use another vet in the next town.  They really must have thought I was the Crazy Dog lady.  Who requests an ultrasound to confirm pregnancy?  The first question they asked is if it was a planned pregnancy?  It was super exciting, she only did a small area and in that area we could see three babies and possibly a fourth.   Considering this was in a small area, I am sure we have more but it doesn't matter, she is going to have Babies!!!!