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.