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!!!!