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.