Saturday, September 26, 2009
The puppies turn five weeks on Monday, and already I notice that they are not nursing much from Cody. They are now getting gruel made from really soggy kibble mixed with puppy replacement formula. Tomorrow I’ll add ground beef to the mix. I got home too late to cook.
I’ve found the secret to making puppy mush from kibble: soak the kibble in milk for a REALLY long time (like three hours, at least), and you’ll be able to mash it with a fork.
The little rascals now come when you call them. Sometimes they’ll come to you even when you don’t call them, but that’s because they want to bite your ankles.
Last night I was awakened from a sound sleep by the sound of a puppy yelping. I sprang out of bed and noticed that the baby gate separating my bedroom from the living room was opened. The puppies had gotten out, and Cody was trying to herd them back in my room. For some reason, she doesn’t like when they go into the living room. Whenever I take them to that room, she tries to herd them out!
Oh well…I suppose mother knows best…
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I had the fence around Cody’s kennel heightened after she sprang over it the other day. So today I locked her in the kennel with her puppies, ostensibly to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. Cody screamed like a banshee for a while, then all went quiet. Before I knew it she ran into my office, ears back, head down, and tail wagging. So much for the kennel.
The puppies enjoyed some playtime in the living room and when I locked them back in my bedroom, Turbo Puppy screamed blue murder to get out again. I ignored her and eventually she settled down for a nap.
This weekend their puppy room will be furnished with toys and ramps, and boxes to climb into and maybe a crate. I think it’s time to start crate training.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Puppies are beginning to follow me around; that is, when they are awake. I think they are drawn to my ankles: they LOVE to sink their fangs into my succulent flesh. The little devils are becoming so independent now. I wanted to spend some cuddle time but they all slept. I only got to hold Little Darlin. He’s a real snuggle bug.
I brushed his coat, too with the baby brush, and he really seemed to love it. Tomorrow I’ll have to find some new adventure for the puppies. Perhaps a new toy would be in order. Must keep those little brains active and growing!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
It’s time for more pictures, I know. Truth is, I’m adjusting to a new work schedule, and I’ve just got a handle on things now. It’s been a few days since I’ve taken pictures.
I woke up early this morning to handle and play with the puppies before work, then fed them just before leaving the house. The Screamer seems to be the only puppy who doesn’t mind being cradled on her back like a baby. It will be interesting to see just how her personality turns out.
The litter will come to me when I make cute sounds and bend down. They also appear from all corners of my room when I yell “Come and get it” just before putting down their food bowls.
I noticed this morning that The Screamer isn’t too much into eating. This morning she barely touched the food, and tonight she walked away from the supper dish and went to sleep. I”m told that she’s still nursing from Cody, and perhaps the only puppy to do so on a regular basis now. She seems fine, though, playing and exploring. She sometimes eats Cody’s food. Perhaps she’s insulted by the baby food. Who knows!
Turbo Puppy ate till her tummy was going to pop, I thought. I added ground beef to the food this morning and their caregiver during the day gave them at lunch. I didn’t put any in the dish tonight, and the pups just didn’t seem interested. Time for me to don my apron once more and cook up a batch of ground beef. Sigh…
They went out to play in their kennel this evening, and really seemed to love playing there. I also bought new toys for them yesterday made of hard plastic with holes in them. Cody didn’t mind the kennel too much today, either. My hand-dandy yard boy heightened the fence of the kennel so Ms. Cody couldn’t jump out this time.
I’m now off to train my other white shepherd–the obedience competition is just around the corner.
Monday, September 21, 2009
The puppies went into their kennels with mom once more today. I’d decided that they’d continue to stay in my house until they went to their new homes, but the kennel would be a fun place to hang out in the days for a few hours. They explored every inch of the run, which has a combination of concrete and grass. They loved lying on the grass and burying their noses in it.
Cody, however, did not like the kennel, especially when I left her. She jumped the fence and appeared in my office with a very pleased look on her face. By afternoon I brought everyone inside. I’ll take them out again perhaps tomorrow if the sun still shines by the time I get home.
The Three Muskateers, who are now called The Fiends, are playing with their toys more. Little Darlin dragged Mr. Moose again around the whelping box. This morning I heard one of the puppies barking; actually, it was just two woofs. I was in another room, so I didn’t get to see just who barked.
I’m off to give them their dinner now–homemade puppy replacement formula mixed with Gerber Baby Rice Cereal mixed with some ground beef. Yummy….
Sunday, September 20, 2009
I didn’t post anything yesterday. Not that I had nothing to report, but I was just too tired after work to write, and I had to be up very early and on the road the next morning (this morning). Sleep deprivation, alas, has caught up with me. As I drove to work at 5:00am on the highway, sleep weighted my eyelids like anchors. I fought to stay awake, and in the past have been able to resist the temptation, but this morning I fell asleep at the wheel and my car drifted into another lane. Fortunately the car behind me wasn’t going very fast, and they blew their horn. I woke up.
Being a dog breeder is a labor of love: you HAVE to be passionate about the breed of dog that you are producing, and you MUST be willing to make sacrifices and pay the consequences. It is hard work. Yes, the dam takes care of the puppies, but you, the breeder are ultimately responsible for the pups’ and dam’s welfare.
I refuse to cut corners with my care of the dogs. As long as I’m at home I continue to handle the pups and introduce them to new experiences.
The puppies played in the living room today with some new toys, including a box that I turned upside down for them to crawl into. Turbo Puppy and Little Darlin immediately explored their new surroundings, while The Screamer remained in the place where I set her down. Eventually she went off to explore and check out the new toys.
I didn’t appreciate just how tough kibble is until I tried grounding up some in the food processor. The idea was to grind it till it was fine so that I could mix it in with the puppies’ cereal. In the end I gave up, I managed to break it down some, but not to the fine consistency that I wanted. Right now it soaks in the puppy replacement formula for their dinner.
Little Darlin asleep in my hands. Notice the nose leather and pads of paws are beginning to darken. Before long black will replace the pink areas.
Cody’s confidence as a mother increases daily. She no longer does the head tilt when her babies cry, but attends to their needs, and if they persist in crying, she simply ignores them.
She’s spending more time away from the puppies, but checks in on them frequently, sometimes just to lick each puppy briefly before leaving the box to sit in the living room with her human family.
Today was the first time since their birth that the puppies didn’t engage in their mid-morning to mid-afternoon screaming. The day was slightly cooler and I had three fans running in my room. Of course they had their damp towel to lie on. I would not recommend anyone leave newborn puppies to sleep on damp towels unless you live in a very hot country. I live in the tropics and my house can get quite hot. The kennels outside are built of concrete and they are considerably cooler. If I moved them out there, I would surely need to supply a heating lamp.
Because they were so comfortable, the puppies nursed long and vigorously throughout the day, and they slept well, too. Cody ate quite well today.
Today was a good day. I can only trust that tomorrow will be, too.
Mom takes a break