Friday, June 27, 2014

Busy Day Today - 8 Weeks

It has been such a busy week and with my ankle out of commission it has made it even harder, however I cannot thank Joan Faye, Susan Kowitz, Mary Franden and my Dad enough for coming over and picking up the slack or poop or whatever it is that needs to be done.  My ankle is getting better, it doesn't quite look like the balloon it did on Tuesday and is turning all kinds of pretty colors now.  It is not broken as I went in to get an x ray against my better judgement, but too many people were concerned that it looked broken I figured I would go and get it xrayed just so they would leave me alone.

On Tuesday Susan K came up to the house and we loaded all the pups into the van with Ivie's assistance, We opened the gate and they followed mom to the van and we just lifted them up and put them into the crates.  Ivie stayed behind and Joan met us at the vets office.  Susan and Joan transported puppies back and forth and one of them stayed with the vehicle at all times just in case someone walking by had the notion that they could take a puppy, not that I think that would happen but no one wants to take any chances.  Dr. Linda checked them all out and they got a good clean bill of health,  No hernias, no heart murmurs and good hips and joints.  They all got their first set of shots and we micro chipped everyone, that way I have all the numbers to enter into Berner-Garde should someone get lost down the road it is a way for people to find out who they are.

Wednesday, Susan, Joan and Mary came over and we had Bath Day.  Susan and Joan washed the puppies and Mary and I dried the puppies.  We had quite the assembly line going and I am so thankful for every one's help.  Susan and Joan were soaked afterwards but all the puppies did very well.  Mary and I took turns, one holding and one using the blow dryer and at first the pups did not like the dryer, but realized that escape was futile and settled in and let us completely dry them.  I am not saying they liked it but they all put up with it and no one was allowed to be squirming or crying when the blower was turned off.  To say that we had 10 fuzzballs afterwards is an understatement.  Boy were they ever cute, I hadn't realized how dirty they really were and of course immediately after we let them out into the back yard, Orange boy had to go dig in the dirt tunnel that he is working on.  Oh well, they are still very clean and cute.

Today my good friends Ruth and Randy are coming to evaluate the puppies along with my friend Dani who lives in Portland.  Randy will evaluate, Ruth with scribe and Dani is coming to help move the puppies on the deck since I hurt my ankle and cannot really run with pups at this time.  It promises to be a long day and I just want everyone to know I most likely won't be contacting you until Sunday at the earliest.  Once Randy has determined which pups are show dogs then I will be contacting the show puppy homes first for them to be making their decisions about puppies.  After that is done and I know who is left over for Pet homes then I will be letting them know what the status is, so please be patient and I know the time is getting close and everyone is anxious - including me.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Busy Little Bees

This is the only way to describe the puppies.  This morning as I was trying to pick up red girl to weigh her, a puppy was under me and as I was trying to avoid stepping on the puppy I ended up falling into a hole and spraining my ankle.  To say it hurt is an understatement. Thankfully as I fell I was able to hang on to red and not drop her and not fall on any other puppies.  As I sat there crying inwardly and trying to breathe, I had all 10 puppies climbing all over me, giving me kisses and they were just happy I was on their level.  I kept my feelings in check as to not upset the pups and eventually managed to get myself up off the ground.

I know that the one thing I am supposed to do with a sprain is to elevate and Ice.  However, I had to go to work, which is impossible in both instances to do.  So now that I am home again this evening writing this I am finally able to elevate and ice and hoping that it is feeling better tomorrow.  If not I am not going to work that is for sure.  Too many things going on this week to have a bummed up ankle.

The pups are all doing great!  Purple and Hot Pink hit the 15 pound mark and Little Lime has passed up Red and Silver girl and is now 12 lbs 2 ounces,  I figured I had about 145  pounds of puppies on me this morning.

Yesterday my friend Cindy Geisler came and helped take puppy pictures.  We had a wonderful time and it was so nice to spend time with her and not be at a dog show or having her do a chiropractic or acupuncture on one of my dogs.  We were able to take her dogs for a nice walk and it was just a lovely afternoon.

Tomorrow morning I am taking everyone into the Vets office for their first shots and micro chips.  I also need to bathe the puppies this week, so I am thinking either Wed or Thursday, could be both:)

Friday, June 20, 2014

7 Weeks old Today

Gosh where does the time go?  This has been a very busy week for me, between work and visitors coming up to see the puppies so I am sorry I haven't posted this week.

They are getting quite large, the biggest is Purple boy weighing 14 lbs 4 ounces this morning and the smallest is Lime Girl at 10 lbs 4 ounces and the others are all spread out pretty evenly between them.  Hot Pink Girl is close behind purple though - she does not miss a meal and weighs 14 lbs and Black boy is slacking off at 13 lbs 14 ounces.

Today is a big day - The puppies will be temperament tested this evening and my good friend Linda Dalton is coming up to help me with it along with 3 other puppy homes.  I normally don't have puppy people watch the temperament test as it can sometimes surprise people on how the puppy's act.  But two of these gals have been around these tests before and one person has been so great to come and help me when needed and she has some specific things she is looking for in her puppy so I want her to be able to watch as well.

I don't think we will try and take pictures today since I don't want to tire them out before the test so hopefully I can get those done tomorrow.

The puppies are very active they love running and playing in the agility tunnel and the other day I have never laughed so hard.  I let Dallas my two year old show dog come and be in the yard with the puppies.  He was so excited and happy and would go to one end of the tunnel , crouch down with his butt up in the air and the puppies in the tunnel would bark at him and he would bounce from side to side.  Then he would run to the other end of the tunnel and you could hear the puppies running through the tunnel and they would bark at him at the other end and he would bounce and play bow at that end.  This went on for quite some time and it was so fun to see them all run and play with him.  At one point he and Ivie were rolled over on their backs and each had 4 or 5 puppies on top of their bellies.  Of course the ones on Dallas were looking for the milk bar but he didn't seem to mind at all.

They are still nursing on mom, although she is starting to wean them and every once in a while gets after them and lets them know that they have had enough and she is not going to put up with them trying to nurse on her.  They are eating 3 times a day - first thing in the morning, which seems to be getting earlier and earlier each day, this morning was around 5:30am, 1pm and 8pm and we are up to 8 cups of puppy food soaked in water for the 10 puppies at each meal.  Sometimes they polish it all off and other times they leave some for mom to clean up, which she happily obliges.


Saturday, June 14, 2014

We Moved to the BIG Yard yesterday

Having my son here has been sooooo nice.  He has been enjoying the puppies so much and it is just really nice to hang out with him as an adult without any girlfriends around.  The plus side is he finds projects and things to do while he is here and yesterday he and my dad, fixed the steps down to the big dog yard so that the puppies can navigate them and not fall off and hurt themselves.

He also did yard patrol, raking grass, and puppy proofed the yard.  The end result is happy, happy puppies.  Tired but happy.  I wasn't home when they let them out there but have been told they were all playing in the tunnel and climbing in and out of holes and playing king of the mountain.  This is all so good for their coordination and muscle development.  They tend to play hard for about 30 minutes and then sleep for about 2 hours up in their puppy area on the deck.

Last night some of my son's friends came by after graduation to see the puppies.  They were all in the house asleep and thought that getting woken up to be petted and played with was a great thing last night.  Abby, Tak and Donovan had the best time and it was another great experience for the pups.  The other milestone we had last night is....drumroll please.......NO STRAY POOPS!!!  All poops were done in the litter box and there were not that many - they made it to going outside!  I don't know if this was because of the nightly play session or that they are finally getting the picture - but hey I will take it anyway it comes.

On another note - birds beware!  Aunt Brandy is now on full guard duty and you had better not be landing in the backyard to mess with any puppies or she will be having bird stew for dinner.  I just love watching how the big dogs go into protective duty when puppies are around, these dogs are just the best.

Well it is going to be a busy day, I see a Costco run in my future today and later John and I are going to take 6 week pictures to be posted later tonight.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

They Love Attention

Sorry I haven't been posting much but my Son, who hasn't been home since October has come home to stay for a week.  It has been so nice having him here, he has been helping with the puppies, working in the yard, going to the dump and just taking care of things that have needed some attention.

Although he has been around for other litters, he has never stayed at the house, so is getting a first hand experience and I do think he is enjoying it very much.  The puppies adore him and he has been so helpful in bringing them in and taking them out that I will really miss his help when he leaves on Sunday.

The pups are all getting quite big and playful now, they sound as though they are going to tear each other from limb to limb at times.  Mom is starting to hold their heads in her mouth to let them know that biting is not acceptable.  I remember the very first time I saw her do this, I was amazed at how controlled and gentle she was and yet forceful enough for them to get the picture.  It really is amazing to watch how she teaches them things.

I am starting to wean them off of ground up food to softened food without puppy formula.  We are almost out of formula and when it is gone - too bad, so sad.  Their little teeth are needle sharp and so they need to start chewing, but they are so funny, they don't like change that is for sure.  Right now their mixture is 50/50 softened food to ground up food and they lap up the ground food and then have this look on their faces, like really, you expect me to eat that, surely you must have more of the good stuff.  Although there are always a couple that will go and clean out everyone's bowl - mostly, lime, teal and Hot Pink.  The boys are the first to leave and the girls are the last to stay.

This weekend, I am going to be working in the big yard, going through it with a fine tune comb so that the puppies can start going out and having more room to run and play.  They are ready and my dad is anxious for them to be out there, but they pick up everything in their mouths and I just want to be sure that there aren't any hidden surprises out there for them to pickup and chew on.

Have a great Day

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Busy Weekend

Yesterday we had some visitors, first my friend Claudia came by.  Claudia is an AKC judge and local Bulldog breeder.  She needed some puppy breath and kept giving me a bad time since the pups were so sleepy, she accused me of drugging them before she arrived.

Next came my friend Kim, Kim also lives in town and has always had Australian Cattle Dogs and is changing breeds and getting her very first Bernese Mountain Dog.  She was also quite surprised at how mellow the puppies were and I think she is smitten with a couple of the little girls.

Then we had Brian and Shannon come over from Renton, they got to experience first hand how getting on and off the Olympic Peninsula can be frustrating, as the Hood Canal Bridge opened up just for them adding an extra 45 minutes to their trip.  Brian, Shannon and Kim all got a grooming lesson, which my older dog Brandy was just all too happy to be the subject of.

I like to do this with my new puppy people, so they can understand the difference of undercoat and outer coat, as well as learn how to do toenails, trim fee and get an understanding of how much hair in involved with these dogs.  Brandy thought this was great and kept on jumping back into the puppy play area for her turn on to be loved upon again.

Ivie is so good with the visitors, we have a routine, she comes out and greats them by their car, smells the car and visitors, then we scrub up, spray shoes and come in to the puppy play area.  After it is all said and done, Ivie likes to escort them to their cars so she can make sure that they are not stealing one of her babies and we are all happy.

Brian and Shannon brought with them a towel for me to have so that when the time comes for them to bring their baby home, I can put it down for all the puppies and mom to lay on so their is a familiar scent.  I have found this works well for the first night away from home, so I would recommend as others come that you do the same.

Well time to get ready for another round of visitors today - have a great day everyone.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

5 Weeks

Hard to believe these babies are already 5 weeks old but they are - their little personalities are staring to really shine.  They are playing more, chewing more, eating more and of course pooping more.

Yesterday my niece and nephew came to play with the puppies, I am sorry I wasn't at the house when they came - that darn work thing again - but according to my dad, who spends most afternoons at the house playing and sitting with the puppies it was a great experience for them.  At first they weren't too sure of these quick little people that came running at them but after a while they realized that this was fun and all had a good time.  Ivie did great as I was pretty sure she would be but after our last experience with children and her babies you never know.  One thing I do know is they were tired last night and slept great.  So great that I was able to sleep for 10 hours - what is that!  I think my body must have needed it as I haven't slept that long in a very long time.

Today is going to be a busy day for them as well.  I know of at least three sets of visitors that are coming to the house to see puppies today.  Kim will help me take their 5 week old pictures and they will get wormed again today.  So I will try and post more tonight, but right now I have to finish up cleaning the puppy room before folks start arriving.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

We are Growing

Oh my goodness, in the last few days these guys are getting more and more active and the last two days have had some pretty big milestones.  The puppies are really starting to love people interaction.  Their little tails are wagging when I pet them and my chin is either really clean or full of leftover puppy food because each and every one of them have been giving me lots of kisses

Yesterday, Dallas had a bath and I used the blow dryer for the three plus hours it takes to completely dry him, next to the puppies.  They were a bit nervous at first but after three hours they could care less. 
Yesterday afternoon dad took off one side of their whelping box as they are getting too active for Ivie to come and go.  This opens them up to freedom at night, yet gives them the security of where they have been sleeping.  I put down rubber matting on the floor and added a litter box for them to start the learning process of being potty trained.  I have had great success with past litters and already a couple of them are starting to use the litter box.  Of course I have shavings from one end of the room to the other, but that is not my concern right now - that is what my Dyson is for.

I have newspapers down in the rest of the room and as of tonight - newspapers are great chew toys.  They have spread them, tore them and moved them all around - oh well, the idea was good.

Today they were also moved to the Weana Feeder method of feeding.  Rather than having circular bowls the weana feeder has individual feeding stations so they learn to eat a bit slower and the piggly wigglies don't get all the food.  I took a picture today and will post it tomorrow after they are downloaded.

We had our first future home come to visit today.  Joan lives here in Sequim and has been dying to come and visit and help out where possible, so today I put her to work, holding puppies while I clipped toenails.  I think she had fun and Ivie was on her best behavior once again and has yet another fan.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

4 Weeks

Oh My Gosh - where does the time go - it is hard to believe these puppies are already four weeks old but they are.  I have pretty much moved them outside since the weather has been nice and that way they can have more room to spread out and can start learning to poop in the grass.

Last week I had a scare in that Orange boy all of the sudden just wasn't doing well.  He didn't want to eat and was lethargic so off to the vets office we went.  He had a temp and she checked him for Parvo which was negative, thank god.  And determined that he just had an upset tummy.  She gave him some IV's to get him hydrated again and a short of antibiotics to kick start his system.  We isolated him from the other puppies for 24 hours just to make sure that if he did have something we didn't spread it all the way through them.  I am happy to say that 24 hours later he was full of piss and vinegar and feeling his oats.  Dad joked that she gave him a pick me up shot.  Thankfully no one else was showing any signs and they seem to be thriving with all the fresh air.

Little Lime girl is still the smallest and this morning she weighed in at 4 lbs 2 ounces.  On the flip side, Black & Purple Boys both weighed in at 6 lbs 12 ounces this morning.

We have our routine,  I wake up and take them all outside in the grass, so hopefully they poop and pee in the grass and not the deck, I usually put Ivie out with them and then come in the house and make their puppy gruel and place it out in the grass for them to chow down.  While they are eating I feed the big dogs then Ivie comes back out and cleans out their bowls and starts cleaning them.  It has been a bit cool in the wee early morning hours.  So in this time I go and put fresh bedding down in their box and take the rest out to be washed - I call this the great Poop Fest.  Then I clean each puppy with a damp soapy washcloth and bring them back inside until they have pretty much dried.  Then I weigh them and bring them back outside where the poop fest continues.

During the day they pretty much sleep, play with each other and poop.  We do a midday lunch around 2pm and then an evening meal around 8pm.  After the evening meal they all get cleaned up again and brought in the house for the night.  They have been doing pretty good about sleeping through the night - which has been wonderful for me.

They are starting to love human interaction and I have been soliciting friends and family to come and let the puppies chew on them.  Their little teeth are getting sharper by the minute but they just love getting petted.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Great Outdoors

This week, I have had to go back to work at least part of the day and my dad is enjoying taking over puppy sitting.   Today was such a beautiful day that we decided they should be outside for at least part of the day.  We set up the x pens in the grass and brought them out.  It was so fun to watch them sniffing and checking things out.

They caught on very fast how to get up the step onto the deck and immediately found what we affectionately call the puppy cave.  I have taken a plastic vari kennel apart and they all seem to love hiding inside.

Dallas so enjoyed seeing the puppies outside today, he could hardly contain himself.  He wants to play with them so bad.  He is such a wonderful puppy sitter.

Last night I think Ivie tweaked something trying to get in the whelping box and has not been feeling too well today.  I have been giving her pain medication and trying to message her, but I haven't been able to place where the pain is coming from.  I think she was very happy to have the puppies outside today so she had some room to maneuver.  I had originally thought we would make a step for the whelping box and leave it up but under the circumstances I think we will try and take it down in the next few days in order to give her more room.

All of the puppies are doing well on the puppy gruel and little lime girl has finally reached the three pound mark, much to my happiness.  Of course we have Hot Pink and Black at 5 pounds and Purple boy is hot on their heels.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

We are All Doing Much Better

The puppies are starting to get the hang of lapping up their food instead of sucking on it.  There are moments of brilliance and then the next round they act as though this is a brand new thing and they don't know what to do.  Up until a few minutes ago everyone but Lime girl was getting the hang of it and finally she did too.

Lime is still the smallest and I try and give her every advantage I can.  Whether that is bringing her out of the whelping box and just letting her nurse on Ivie all alone in the living room or putting her on the best teat when everyone is fighting for their spot.  She is doing well, but is quite small compared to the others and she just may be that way, in any case she is so sweet and very easy going and is going to make a very sweet pet for someone.

I have been getting asked about when people can start coming to visit the puppies.  I had originally said at four weeks but that is next weekend and this is a bad weekend for me.  Our local kennel club is putting on an agility trial and I have to make an appearance or two during the weekend so it is best if I am not trying to manage too many things at one time.  I think the following weekend would be ideal, the puppies will be 5 weeks of age and their little personalities will really be starting to develop at that time.

If you would like to visit please let me know in advance and if I have lots of requests I may have to limit the number of people on any given day and the amount of time you are here.  I ask that you don't bring other dogs to my house as I need to keep my property as contaminate free as I can for the puppies sake.  Please wear shoes that you don't mind me spraying with a bleach water mixture and if you have old pants that is good as well.  In the past I have seen where the bleach water has gotten on pants - including my own but it is all for the safety of the puppies.  You will also have to spray your hands.  Send me an email and I will give you directions to my house and if that weekend doesn't work for you then we still have a couple more before the puppies will be going home.

I did have  situation last weekend that was not too good in that some friends with a 3 year old child came to see the puppies.  He was a very, very active child, running full steam ahead and tried and tried to climb in the whelping box to get to the puppies.  Ivie was beside herself with worry and she just knew that if he succeeded he would hurt one of her puppies and she came very close to biting the child.  Ivie has NEVER, EVER tried to bite anyone but it was in her right to protect her babies and that is what she was trying to do.  Because of this incident I am not sure how Ivie is going to react around children the next time they come to the house.  I will test the waters next week with my niece and nephew that she knows and they know to be calm around the puppies.  I need to have children be here so that the puppies can get used to them but I also need them to be well mannered and not screaming or chasing after the puppies.  It was a very stressful situation last weekend and I have been putting off writing about it because I never want to offend or hurt anyone's feelings, however I have to protect Ivie and not put her in that situation ever again.   Thanks for understanding and by the way I love comments if anyone ever wants to post one, that way I at least know someone is reading this.

Friday, May 23, 2014

3 Weeks Today

Ever have one of those days that at the end of the day you wondered what the hell happened and you wish you could start it all over again, well that was yesterday.  Backing up to Wed I had opened a new bag of formula and although it looked different, I didn't think anything about it.   Wed night purple boy and lime girl had some loose stools.  When I woke up yesterday morning - whewy I had ten puppies with some pretty stinky diarrhea.   Nasty, stinky and very smelly.  My morning consisted of cleaning puppies, cleaning a whelping box and cleaning more puppies.  I called Anne and asked her what she thought about what was happening and she agreed with me that it was most likely the formula but to be on the safe side, I should take stool samples into the vets office, get them all wormed and start them on puppy gruel earlier than anticipated.

As I was preparing to do this, my holistic vet called and was originally scheduled to come to the house at 6 pm to give Brandy and Dallas a chiropractic adjustment and she wanted to know if she could come at 1:30.  It was now 11:30 so I was going to have to wait to go to the vets office until after Dr. Finn had left the house.  I was also supposed to go to work for a few hours, ha! That wasn't happening, so I called my office and explained that I wasn't coming in.  Dr Finn came and didn't finish until after 4pm - ugh, I still needed to get to the vets office before they closed.  This is when Christine told me that she had locked her keys in her truck, which was parked immediately behind both of my vehicles.  She needed to be at another appointment at 5pm.  My dad was here and I had to borrow his car to take her to her next appointment while AAA came to the house to unlock her truck.  Then off to the vets office before they closed in order to get stool samples analysed.  Good news I was able to accomplish all of this and find out there was nothing to worry about and I was pretty confident at that point that the formula was a bad batch.

Next I had to pick up a different brand of formula to make the puppy gruel and back home.  Still had stinky puppies but they were STARVING and pretty sure at that point that someone had slit their little throats for lack of food.  I hadn't been able to give them anything all day.  I made the gruel and thankfully it was nice enough that I could take them out on the back deck to feed them.

They are really not ready to eat puppy gruel and I think I managed to get some down them in order to keep them from crying in hunger.  At 8pm I sat down at my computer for the first time of the day and realized that I hadn't eaten all day.  I don't think I have ever been so happy to have a day be over with.

Starting today - it was a much better day.  The weather was not as nice today so I had to feed the puppies in the kitchen.  I have these wonderful rubber mats that I put down and decided today that I would do one puppy at a time, dipping my finger in the gruel and letting them suck on it bringing it to the gruel.  It has been a slow process, 10 puppies every couple of hours but I am happy to say that at the end of the day, I have 8 of the 10 puppies that are starting to lap up the gruel and diving in with gusto.  Hopefully tomorrow little lime and orange boy will be doing so as well.

The puppies are starting to get more and more active and it is fun to watch them start to chew on each other.  Last night little teal girl had the heating pad in her mouth and was tugging and pulling on it with all her might.  Made me laugh after a really crappy day.  Tonight I am sure I will be able to sleep much better not worrying about upset little tummies.

Tomorrow my dad said he would come by and help me do 3 week pictures so stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Oh how the puppies are growing and are all little chubby puppies.  Their eyes are all open, although they cannot really see yet, they are busy moving around the whelping box and running into the walls and each other.

I am noticing that they are starting to paw at each other and mouth each other a little bit.  Purple Boy and Red girl are doing it the most and it is really fun to see them starting to interact with each other.

Of course they all interact whenever it is chow time. and right now they are really only eating, sleeping and pooping.  The poop always comes immediately after I change the bedding.  This morning I thought I would wait an hour after they had eaten so that they could get that all done.  Nope, they had to wait until fresh clean bedding was down to do their business.  Funny how that works.  I am still supplementing them, usually first thing in the morning, midday and the last thing at night so about every 8 hours.  It is a two hour process to feed them and I have had so many people offer to come and help and I would really love the help.  However, these puppies are the most difficult pups I have ever had the pleasure of bottle feeding.  I have taken to wearing a leather glove - otherwise they would claw my hand to shreds and their toenails are trimmed to the best of my ability without taking them down to the quik.  Black boy takes forever and I get a real upper body workout with him he fights and pushes for a good 30 minutes on each feeding.  Orange boy needs to be fed twice as he only eats so much in each feeding.  Lime girl spills half of it out her mouth.  Gold attacks the bottle like it is her last meal and Hot Pink well she can suck down 6 ounces in nothing flat, so you have to stop her before she gets too much and make sure she burps.

Good news is that starting on Friday I will work them over to puppy gruel and the bottle feeding will go away.

Friday, May 16, 2014

2 Weeks

Sorry, Sorry, Sorry!  I have been wanting to post for the past week but remember me telling you about upgrading Internet.  I did but it didn't work.  Monday the CenturyLink guy came to the house and proceeded to tell me that what they sold me over the phone wouldn't work, but he could give me better internet, I would just have to get a new router.  hmmm.  Many phone calls to local business' later, I found the one and only router at Wal Mart for $499.00!  I just about choked and went online and got it at Best Buy, but it didn't arrive until today.  So between Monday and today I have been trying to work off my cell phone.  To say I am relieved to finally have service back is an understatement and the fact that it is about 1000 x faster than what I had.

So much has happened this week, on Tuesday Addy and Dave went home.  It was so nice having them stay with me and help with the puppies.  We had a scare Monday night when in the middle of the night Ivie managed to step on little Lime Girl.  Dave woke me scared to death that she was seriously hurt and he was crying, he felt so bad that it had happened on his watch.  The good thing is at this age they are pretty flexible and although she screamed for a while she seemed fine within an hour.  I did take her into my vet the next day just to be sure and Linda said she was just fine so that put us all at ease.

Black boy was the first one to start opening his eyes.  Now they all have little slits,  They still cannot see and it is funny to watch them walk into each other or the side of the whelping box.  They are all up on all feet and walking really well.  Poor Ivie has to make a loop around the box and she still cannot lay down without assistance since they are so active.

For the longest time Teal and Lime were they only two that hadn't reached 2 lbs.  Teal reached that mark on Wed and Lime hit the 2 lb mark today.  Black hit the 3 pound mark on Wednesday and by the afternoon Hot Pink Girl was also at 3 lbs and working hard on catching up with him.  She succeeding in doing so this morning.  She has been renamed in this house as Piggly Wiggly.  That girl can eat!

Well now that I have internet I should not be so bad about posting.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mothers Day

Good Morning Everyone - it is a beautiful sunny day and what a nice day for all the mothers to enjoy being with their children.

Ivie is still being a good mom and trying very hard to feed all of her babies, but it has come to my conclusion that she just doesn't have enough milk for all of them.  One of her teats doesn't produce any milk so there are 9 good teats for 10 puppies.  Last night Addy and I began supplementing again and I think everyone will be happier.  I am going to try and do it just 3 times a day, once at night, once in the morning and once midday.  Their sense of smell is amazing and this morning as I was starting with the two smallest, teal and lime girls as I would put them back into the whelping box the puppies that were around them started waking up and tried to suckle on them for the milk they had just had.

Black boy was the first one to reach 2 pounds last night and I think with the supplementing I will have a couple more that will reach that 2 pound mark today or at least very close to it.

The picture above is of Chas, Chas is my stepbrother and he adores puppies.  Chas has begged my dad to bring him to the house every day so he can see the puppies.  We told him on the first day that he had to wait until they were a week old before he could hold one.  So yesterday he held me to that promise.  Gold girl is his favorite and he calls her Goldie, I just loved this picture of her giving him kisses.

Friday, May 9, 2014

1 Week Today

Oh My Gosh - where has the time gone - I cannot believe these babies are already a week old.  Momma Ivie is doing well and all the pups are getting enough nutrition from her that I am not supplementing.  Addy was doing it in the middle of the night but I asked her to stop since it was giving Ivie the idea that she didn't have to take care of her babies since we would do it for her and that is not what I wanted from her.  I know she can do it and it is showing as all of the puppies are thriving and have fat little bellies.

Addy and I trimmed toenails yesterday - 120 toenails if you think about it - 10 puppies x 12 toenails per puppy that is a lot of toenails and boy do they squirm so you have to try and wait for them to stop squirming so you don't take them down too far.  I think Ivie was much happier that we did that, some of them were getting quite long and sharp.

It is fun to see the black pigment start to come in on their little pink noses and little goldie is going to have a black spot right in the middle of her blaze,  I cannot wait to see how that is going to turn out.  Little Teal Girl is the first one to a teat and the last one to leave so she is gaining nicely and Hot Pink Girl is the biggest pig of the bunch.  She just muscles her way in and knocks off whoever is in her way, I predict she is going to be the alpha of the litter and the busiest of them all.  It will be interesting to see if I am right.

Every once in a while you hear one of the pups bark or growl, it is the funniest thing to hear.  You can see them dreaming and their little legs just running for all they are worth.  They are also getting a very good sense of smell and someone always has to be with Ivie when they are sleeping and she decides to come into the whelping box.  It is mayhem all squirming and scooting towards her as fast as they can scoot.  Pretty soon I think a couple of them are going to be walking - they are so strong already it amazes me.

Addy and I will take new pictures tonight at one week of age and I will post them on here as soon as I can.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

All is Well on the home front

There hasn't been much to write about so I didn't yesterday - sorry if I disappointed anyone.  Mom's milk is here and the puppies are reaping the benefits.  All have surpassed their original birth weight and I wouldn't be surprised if we don't have our first 2 pound puppy by tomorrow morning - anyone care to guess who that will be?  I will give you a hint - one of the boys.

A couple of the puppies are getting pigment on their noses and I do believe I am going to have to trim toenails today as they are starting to get long.

Addy and I are in a routine - I go to bed around 10pm and get up at 6 and she goes to bed at 7 and gets up around 2 or 3 - this is much nicer puppy rearing than trying to do it all by yourself.  Have I mentioned how much I love having Addy here?

My good friend and Collie breeder Mary came by yesterday to see the puppies.  She thought they all looked wonderful.  She is very happy for me that I have seven girls to choose from, especially since this is Ivie's last litter.  She likes Silver and Red the best based on what you can at this age.  We noticed that little gold girl is starting to get some black pigment in her white blaze, either that or someone has gotten her nose dirty somehow.

Ivie fell asleep after Mary left in the whelping box and didn't move from 3pm to 9pm when I basically woke her up and encouraged her to go outside for some fresh air and to get some nourishment.  This morning she has been looking for a place to dig and I secretly think she is hoping to move the whole crew outside - not happening sweetheart.

The puppies sense of smell is getting amazing - when she comes into the whelping box they all start stirring and crying out for her, I am going to have to try and take a video of it and see if I can post it for you.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Do you have a Cows Nose?

I got your attention with that headline didn't I?  So yesterday afternoon Addy and her husband Dave showed up and what a blessing they are, such great people and for Addy to selfishly offer to come and stay with me so I can get some sleep - well those friends just are pretty amazing in my book.  Especially when one has been sleep deprived for a day and a 1/2.

When they arrived Addy asked if Ivie's milk had started to come in yet, which it hadn't and I told her so.  She then proceeded to ask me if I had a cow's nose?  huh, did I hear that right.  I know at this point I am rather sleep deprived but I couldn't have heard her correctly.  So she pointed to her nose and said a cow's nose, do you have a cow's nose?  Why on earth would I have a cow's nose is beyond my scope of things, and I told her no I did not.  That is when she told me that in China they make a Soup with a Cow's nose in it and it helps with milk production.  Ok, now I have learned something entirely new.  If I couldn't get a cow's nose, then a pigs nose was the next best thing and pigs feet were good as well.  It is now eight pm on a Sunday night in Port Angeles and finding these things are not going to happen, but I can make some phone calls in the morning and see what I can round up.

We had some dinner and Dave worked on my internet which I have been saying for years is slower than slow.  He tells me that the technology that my internet is coming in on is outdated and they stopped using it 10 years ago....hmmm that is about the time I bought the house and had it installed... Great....One more thing to talk to Century Link about, however since they have a monopoly and I have no other option up here I don't know how that is going to change...but I digress again.

Addy then sends Dave off to the store to purchase supplies to help Ivie.  As they are talking in Chinese I have no idea what they have planned but have my faith in them.  Addy and I decided at that point after weighing the puppies that they really needed some supplements and so we bottle fed them after they had nursed on Ivie for a while.  I felt better going to bed knowing they all had full little bellies and had faith that Ivie's milk would start coming in soon.  So off to bed I went....oh the much needed sleep that I was talking about.  Anyone that says sleep is over rated has never had puppies and been deprived and this is only day one - you should have seen me the first time around.  When I woke this morning, Ivie and babies all looked very happy and her milk was starting to come in, whether this is on her own or Addy's doing, I don't know, but I will give her the benefit of the doubt.

This morning I woke up much refreshed and sent Addy off to bed.  Puppies all look great.  Ivie was happy to see me and this morning when I weighed everyone their weights were starting to climb back up.  Ivie's milk is now coming in and I think the danger part is over.  I then made those phone calls for Addy, looking for pigs feet, cow's nose or a pig snout.  I can just see the eye's rolling on the other side of the phone call and I will be the subject of many dinner conversations tonight.  What we do for our dogs - right!

At noon we had an appointment with my vet to get dew claws removed and have her check on everyone.  Dew claw removal is one of those things I hate but I hate dew claws even more so I do remove them.  Quite a few of the puppies had double dew claws so I am glad we did remove them all.  In the middle of the removal the vets office had an emergency so we had to stop and wait.  This made for a long afternoon.  On the way home we stopped at the butcher and picked up our treasure's and Addy is going to make some god aweful concoction tonight after her nap that I am sure the dogs will love. Me not so much and I plan on making sure the kitchen window is open so the smells don't permeate the house.

So there, I hope you all have had a good laugh and for those breeders out there that are reading this, I expect you all to stock your freezer's with Cow Noses, Pig Noses and Pigs Feet.  I will let you know how it goes.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Day 2

Not much to post today other than the fact the Ivie and I are very tired.  She has been sleeping most of the day and the puppies nursing on her off and on.  Her milk still hasn't come in all the way but the puppies are maintaining their birth weight so that is good.  That is all except little teal girl.  I have been putting her on the best teat in the house for the past 24 hours and if she doesn't start gaining by this evening I will probably start supplementing her with some goat milk formula.  I hate to do this if I don't have to so here is hoping that she starts to gain.

Help in the form of sleep is on it's way - Addy Cui is a friend of mine that recently moved to Washington from Hong Kong.  Addy is fellow Bernese lover and has offered to come and do the night shift for a while.  This works well since she works remotely for a company in China and is awake from 10pm to 4am every day and is happy to sit and work next to the whelping box and make sure all is well.  This will allow me to get some much needed sleep for this fog induced stupor that I find myself in at the moment.

This morning the puppies had their first official visitor and that is Chas.  Chas is my Step brother and ADORES puppies.  He will be pestering my dad for the next 8 weeks to come and see the puppies and is the best at sitting with them.  They always seem to know that he is a gentle soul and gravitate to him.  He so desperately wanted to hold one of the puppies today but I told him they are still too little and they tend to squirm and he would feel bad if he dropped one.  He did get to pet each one and wanted to know which one was Lucy.  During our first litter - Chas thought that little Yellow Girl should be called Lucy and it stuck with us.  I told him we didn't have a Yellow girl in this litter and he was going to have to come up with another name for one of the puppies - should be interesting to see what he comes up with,  I will keep you posted.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Morning After

Ivie is much better this morning, has some color to her gums, she still doesn't want kibble but is happy to have turkey and raw beef to her diet and that is fine, right now she can have whatever she wants which includes my home made banana bread that she seems to really like.

The puppies are all doing very well.  All have gained a little bit of weight except for the two little ones Teal and Lime girl but they have only lost a small amount so I am still not worried.  I haven't started supplementing but m prepared to if need be, I want to give Ivie time to bring in her milk and if she can do it naturally that is the best for the puppies.

Ruth stayed with me last night and she let me take a good 4 hour nap this morning.  Afterwards we weighed and took pictures of all the puppies.  For the life of me, I cannot figure out how I managed to lose the pictures of Orange Boy, Gold Girl and Black Boy but I did and when someone comes over I will enlist their help in getting those and posted on the blog for you.  In the meantime I didn't want to lose the order in which they should be so I have left the pictures of pups in that order from the first litter.

10 Beautiful Babies

So this afternoon my girlfriend from Roy showed up and as we were sitting in the living room catching up on things, Ruth noticed that Ivie had a discharge.  I took her back to the whelping room and she didn't want to leave her box.  We both decided that the time was near - give or take a few hours.  So I called Dr. Wagner and told her what was going on and she and I both agreed that if we were going to do a c-section, doing one at 5pm rather than 2am was a good thing.  She called in her troops for the vet clinic and I called in mine - all meeting at the clinic about the same time.

Three hours later, lots of bloody towels and working hard to revive puppies we have 10 beautiful babies.  7 girls and 3 boys.  All are healthy and strong with beautiful markings.  The biggest is a boy at 1.5 pounds and the smallest is a girl at 1.04 most are between 1.24 and 1.36 so it is a very consistant litter.  I am not concerned about any of them thriving which is much better than the last two litters of many sleepless nights and crying and praying to god that they all survive.  These puppies are good and strong and have healthy lungs.

Ivie had a hard time with this c section.  Her blood pressure dropped and they had to put in an extra tube to get fluids into her and it took her a long time to recover.  She is now at home with her babies and seems to be doing much better.   She hadn't eaten all day and they have a big tube down their throat for the anesthesia so I like to start her off with some vanilla ice cream.  That was a huge hit she perked right up after spoon feeding her some.   Then I had some chicken that I was saving for her and she just about ate my hand trying to get it...poor girl is starving.  She polished it all down with some raw food and some pain pills wrapped up in turkey.

The pain pills are starting to kick in and she is sleeping with her puppies nursing on her  She doesn't have a lot of milk yet, but I am sure it will be coming in soon.  Right now it is important for the pups to suckle on her to get the production moving along.

I have the night shift and Ruth has gone to bed and will relieve me in the morning.  Then we will take some pictures of everyone and I will post them so you can see them.  All in all I am very pleased with these pups.

Friday, May 2, 2014

They say a watched Kettle doesn't boil

And I am beginning to think a watched mom is much the same.  Although this morning Ivie really didn't want to eat her food.  She ate some then spit it out - much to Dallas and Brandy's liking.  She is resting, her temperature has not dropped which they say in necessary in order for her to start delivering puppies.  However Ivie has never read the breeders handbook and does things her own way.  With her first two litters I never saw her temperature drop, so why should it this time.

In either case, my very good friend Ruth Johnson is on her way to spend the night with me tonight.  Which will be so nice in case puppies decide to come in the middle of the night.  If not we have a c section planned for Tomorrow at 1pm and I have all my peeps lined up to help.  Linda Dalton - also coming in from out of town and is the BEST at organizing people.  I have my friend Mary Franden, who is a collie breeder, Susan Kowitz who has a puppy from my first litter and is the queen of taking pictures and documenting everything.  Anita Pedersen who is a retired er nurse and will do whatever anyone tells her to do, Courtney who is my dog sitter and a vet tech.  Ashley Angevine who is the vet tech on call and the best at reviving puppies that don't want to be revived,  I know we have Kizmet today because of Ashley's determination and willingness to not give up and of course Dr. Wagner who has given me her cell phone and told me I can call her in the middle of the night - here is hoping we don't have a middle of the night thing and more of a afternoon delivery.  My team is in place!

I have been nesting for two days, there is enough food at my house to feed a small army, I have cleaned, cleaned and cleaned some more which is probably a very good thing.  I managed to get 1/2 of the lawn mowed again last night and I think I will do the dog yards again once Ruth is here.  That way if I cannot get them mowed for another three weeks it won't look like I am growing hay in my back yard.  At least it is cooler today which is nice for Ivie.  

I will keep you all posted....The countdown begins.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

1st Day of Waiting

When Ivie had her big litter two years ago she decided to deliver her puppies two days early, while I was in the shower.  So this time I decided I would be prepared.  I brought home all files I needed from the office last night and advised my clients that I would be working from home for the next couple of weeks since my dog was going to be having puppies.

I have to say I think most of my clients were understanding and excited, but there are a few that I don't think understand the concept.  Why would you stay home with puppies, don't you just let the mother care for them....Yah right.  So then I have to explain to them that what should happen when a person makes the decision to breed their dog.  Puppies are fragile, they can get squished unknowingly by their mother and especially when there is a big litter, it sometimes is just impossible for her to lay down without laying on a puppy.  Then you hear the muffled ummph cry of a puppy that cannot breath, and you have to roll your hand under mom and pull them out.  Also with a big litter, mom usually doesn't have enough milk, and you have to watch and rotate the puppies on to the good teats and sometimes supplement with goats milk in order for everyone to get enough to eat.  A good breeder will also socialize and work with the puppies as they grow in order for them to be able and willing to adapt to their new environment.  After talking with them for a while, they are amazed as they had no idea that so much went into raising a litter.  So many people have never gotten a dog from a breeder but rather gotten them from a pet store or humane society or a friend who's dog just happened to have a litter of puppies.  I must admit I have been one of those people in the past and recognize that person....but I have gotten off the subject of coming to work from home in order to be prepared.

Last night I laid out all the supplies needed, changed the light bulbs in the whelping room since the only way to do so is to put a ladder in the whelping box and I didn't think that would be too good of an idea with puppies in the box.   I had bought a couple of bulbs that are supposed to last 20 years and decided this was a good place to put them.  I wondered as I was trying to get them out of the packaging If I break them getting them out of the package will they still be replaced by the manufacturer?  I doubt it - it practically takes a rocket scientist to figure out how to get these dang things out of the packaging, but I managed and installed them without breaking them, Yeah!  

We are ready and prepared!  This morning Ivie woke me up in her normal manner of whimpering and letting me know she was hungry, this is a good sign that maybe today is not yet the day and I can actually take a shower, which I did for inquiring minds.  She ate her breakfast, went out in the yard and did her business and proceeded to whine and wimper for the next hour.  I think it was because I was home and she was hoping for some sympathy, which of course she did get.  Took her temperature and it has not dropped, although this has never been an indication of puppies coming with her and proceeded to double check the whelping room.  Towels, check.  Scissors - check, paper towels - check, garbage can - check, dental floss - check, iodine - check and the list goes on.  I am ready - I think and as I sit here typing she is relaxing by the front door, probably hoping I will let her out so she can go dig a hole big enough for a small car to get lost in - but that is not happening sweetheart at least not today.  Anyway, I am prepared - I think!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

4 Days to Go

Everyone keeps asking how Ivie is doing.  She looks beautiful, has a pregnant glow, her coat is shiny and lush and her milk is coming in.  She is hungry and I am giving her three meals a day instead of two as she cannot eat a big meal any more.  I am coming home at lunch now to feed her and check in on her  and take her for a waddle down the road.  I say Waddle because that is what it resembles.

She is very careful about staying out of Dallas and Gandalf's way and she spends most of her time laying by the front door.  I don't know if she will hold out until Saturday but no matter what I am prepared.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

One Week to go

Oh my goodness, it is hard to believe we have one week to go before babies are born.  I am so excited and can hardly wait to see what Ivie has.  She looks like a small house on four legs or others have mentioned she deeply resembles a beached whale.

The reproduction vet indicated that because Ivie has had two c sections she will most likely need to have another one.  I had originally scheduled x rays for Monday, however a very wise old time breeder told me that if we were doing a c section there was no reason to do x rays.  We will get all the puppies and that is the main reason to do x rays.  No reason to expose the puppies to radiation if it wasn't necessary, which it wont be.

My other issue was that my regular vet is leaving town at 5am on Friday morning and won't be home until late Sunday night.  ACK!!!  I was panicking.  My vet suggested that we drive to the repro vet in Tacoma but that is two and a half hours away and the last thing I want to do it drive home after a c section with Ivie and a bunch of puppies, what if she goes into labor on the way there, what do I do then.  So I made inquiry's and made phone calls and decided our back up vet will be our old vet, Dr. Wagner.  She did Ivie's first C section and did a great job, she allowed me to watch and be available to help if need be.  We had left the clinic because Dr. Wagner had a baby and was on maternity leave when Frodo had gotten sick and no one was able to help me at that time.  Dr. Wagner was more than happy to be available to help and gave me her cell phone in case I need her in the middle of the night.  The plan is to let Ivie start the delivery process on her own, this will help with her hormones and milk production and then we will go into the vets office when she shows any signs of not being able to deliver on her own.

Today has been shopping day!  Or at least getting dog and cat food day since I will have to work the first part of next week and the store where I get my pet food is the opposite direction from work.  $600 dollars later, my dogs and cat will be able to eat for the next two months.  It is amazing how fast it all adds up.  Then off to Costco - lets just say my check book is looking rather empty right now.  I still have a few other things I have to pick up but the weather was threatening to rain and if I didn't get my lawn mowed today, It may not happen for another month and that would not be a good thing.  So I am happy to say all the dog yards are picked up and mowed.  I still need to weed eat but I couldn't get my weed eater started today, instead Dallas and I went for a nice long walk.

I will try and keep everyone up to date on things as they happen on this blog.  I find it is the easiest way to stay in contact with my puppy homes.  Feel free to leave comments or questions and I will answer them as I have time.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Leaving for the Specialty

Today is both exciting and hard as I am leaving for Hampton Virginia for the US National Specialty.  I am extremely excited to meet up with old friends, share my passion for Bernese Mountain Dogs and see some dogs from the East Coast that I normally would never get to see.

However in order to do that I must leave Ivie and the rest of the crew at home.  I gave Ivie a bath yesterday to get her cleaned up and toenails trimmed before she has her babies.  She is looking somewhat liked a beached whale at this point and she has 3 weeks left to go, she is going to be Ginormous when the time comes.

I also just found out my regular vet is going to be out of town when Ivie's pups are due.  This is terrible news and I am afraid I am going to have to take her over to Tacoma to Dr. Smith's office for a C section.  The thought of driving home with Ivie and babies is not a pleasant one, but I just don't trust the other vets in my area to do the job.

I will dwell on this more as I explore my options.  Meanwhile they are calling my flight so I am off to the best show on least in my opinion

Thursday, April 3, 2014

She's What!!!

Breeding dogs isn't as easy as throwing two dogs in the back yard and hoping they will get the job done, no it is much more complicated than that.   Or at least breeders and Vets seemed to make it more complicated than that.  There is a magic hormone called Progesterone and basically when your girl comes into season you monitor her progesterone - at about $100 bucks a pop by going into the vets office, they take blood from her and send it off to a lab.  At least here in Sequim they send it off to a lab as my vet doesn't have the equipment to test it in house.  I usually get the results back the following morning.

So based on my last experience with Driving to Utah to breed to Beowulf and having Ivie get bit by a brown recluse spider and losing all but one puppy I decided that my pocket book really needed a break this time around.  Although I would have loved to breed to Beowulf, it just wasn't going to be feasible.  He was going to be spending the Winter in Arizona with his family and although the idea of spending some time in warm weather was appealing I decided that I would breed to a Beowulf Son, Chandler.  Chandler lives in Federal Way and I really enjoy spending time with his Mom and Dad, Marty and Jon Moore.  Chandler just turned two and it was decided that Ivie would be his first girlfriend since she was a proven bitch and had produced nice puppies in the past.

So when Ivie came into season, I got a bit nervous when Jon told me he was going to go to the Arizona regional specialty.  I crossed every finger and toe that I had that she would hold off long enough for him to get home.....That is where this story really starts......

On Tuesday Ivie's progesterone was at .2, remember she needs to get to 5.  So I wasn't too worried.  we decided to wait until Friday and do another draw.  My vet does the draw and the next morning I decide to go to the dump and do some stuff at the office.  Meanwhile in the morning Ivie is acting all antsy and I couldn't figure out what was wrong with her, so I put her outside and then figured it was safer to bring her back in the house while I was out doing my errands.  Around 11:30 I noticed an email from my vet letting me know that her progesterone had risen to 1.9...hmmm this could be a bad thing, so I called Anne (my mentor and very good friend)  Anne says you need to get progesterone done today.  Call Dr. Smith and see if they can get you in.  So I call and they tell me that I have to be there by 2pm for them to get the results back the same day....It is now 11:37 and I am 2 1/2 hours from her office and I don't even have my dog with me....ok then, we will be there.

I race home, change my clothes, grab my toothbrush, an extra change of clothes and a small bag of dog food that I happened to have for this very reason and flew out the door.  Thankfully the bridge wasn't open for any submarines and I made it to their office at 2:01pm...whew!  Linda meets me and while we are waiting for results we go and have lunch, great for taking my mind off of things.  Linda is now getting worried about the time, so we head back over to their office and I ask if they have the results back from her test.  This is the actual conversation.  The young girl says let me look,  It says here that Ivie's progesterone is at 6.3.  My response - SHIT!  6.3 are you sure!  her response, as she looks horrified by my language at this point is - would you like to talk to the doctor?  My response, no need, I know what I need to do - Thanks!

And Out the Door I go (I think that is a line in a song)  I call Linda, she lives close and asks if I need anything to get on the road.  I think I am good.  I call Anne, She says I need to call Jon, so I call Jon.  Jon has left the dog show to visit his parents in Quartzide about 2 hours away.  He says he will pack up and start driving north, which means going back to the show site, load up his trailer and stuff and drive right by where he currently is...Did I say how much I like Jon.  Anyway I start driving south.  Ivie and I spent the night in Oregon and we met Jon the next day just north of Sacramento.  We find an area and let the dogs be together but Chandler just couldn't get the job done.  Being young and all he just didn't quite know what to do.  We tried and tried and I realize at this point that we need help.  All our help is in Oregon, so we start driving North.  I meanwhile am following Jon and making phone calls.  Jon is exhausted and we pulled into Weed, California at a Pilot Truck Stop and park his trailer.  By now I have been coached by the best of the best in breeders on how to help Chandler and I have to say, he got the job done!  Good Boy Chandler!

The following morning we drove to his place and got another tie, I then came on home and worked the next day, to leave work and go over to Federal Way the next day for another tie.  By this time I have put some major miles on my van.  For someone that was hoping for something close to home and simple, well that just went out the door.

Yesterday, I received confirmation from Dr. Smith's office that Ivie is pregnant and she expects her to have 7 to 9 puppies on or around May 3rd.  This is such good news and I am so happy.  Now comes the waiting.  Thankfully I am going to the National Specialty next week, I am sure when I get home, I will see a big change in my baby girl.