Saturday, June 5, 2010

Tim's surgery and ICAN video

A much belated update on these pups.

Tiny Tim had his cleft palate surgery under the skillful hands of Dr. Gary Lantz, a board certified veterinary surgeon and dentist who specializes in oral surgery. I am pleased to report that Tim's cleft palate was successfully repaired, and he should have an excellent prognosis.

New names since joining ICAN:
Bailey (Joy)
Cookie (Holly) - sponsored and named by a Brownie troop
Kitt (Star)
Marlo (Rudolph)
Spencer (Frosty)
Pete (Nicholas)
Herbie (Kwanzaa)
Kanika "Nika" (Noel)
Blitzen kept his name
Tiny Tim is still "Tim" or "Timmy", and not so little anymore

A cute video of a presentation at Plainfield Correctional Facility featuring the Holiday litter, showing off all the skills they have learned.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Snow pups

Star checking out the white stuff

Nicholas practicing Up on the porch

Rudolph in the plants


Frosty spitting out a leaf

Noel and Joy wrestling


Frosty eating snow

Rudolph off exploring

Rudolph digging in the snow

Joy running through the snow

Joy in snow

Frosty in the plants

I was lamenting that this litter hadn't gotten the opportunity to go outside. . . well the pups finally hit the snow this afternoon. I took them in small groups out to my front yard and they played on the sidewalk, porch steps, porch, and in the snow. All the big pups were curious and actively exploring, although most opted not to go too far into the snow. Rudolph was a wildman, bounding through the snow, and Blitzen and Joy were the next most exploratory pups. Tiny Tim was a mama's boy and mostly just wanted to crawl into my lap.

7 weeks old

Joy sleeping with visiting Golden Retriever Ella

Joy and Auntie Tacara

Joy and Rudolph

The entire gang after a rumble through the house

Hard to believe that the pups will be leaving next week, and I will be able to reclaim my living room. At 7 weeks of age, the boys weighed 13.3 lbs (Nicholas) to 11.3 lbs (Rudolph) and the girls weighed 11.6 lbs (Star) to 10.9 lbs (Noel). Tiny Tim weighed 8.5 lbs and continues to thrive. The pups continue to have play time loose in the house, and are increasingly more active and mischievous. The kitchen towel that normally hangs on the oven door is no longer safe. The pups have been exposed to new experiences such as meeting the resident house cats, other adult dogs, potentially scary toys such as Jump & Shout Elmo, and a hairdryer. During the day while I am at work, they listen to NPR. At other times, they listen to a series of sound effect tapes. This is the first litter that has not been able to go outside - just too cold. This weekend, the pups have transition from soaked kibble to hard kibble with a little water added. They are not too sure yet they approve of this new food texture. I typically feed the pups two at a time, and almost immediately, one of the pair runs over to the other pup's bowl to see if it got something better. But in the end, there isn't a piece of kibble remaining - the litter is currently consuming 20 c of kibble per day divided into 4 feedings. On Friday evening, three ICAN volunteers came over and we put the pups through some standardized temperament tests such as response to a loud noise, scary object, fast moving object, etc. Always fun to compare and contrast the pups to earlier litters and attempt to make early predictions. Such tests are typically good at picking out extremes, but so much can change as the pups grow up. Overall, this litter was a soft, non reactive group which is exactly what we are looking for in assistance dog candidates.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

More puppy pics

Nicholas and Rudolph

Nicholas in the box

Noel and frog

Frosty sleeping amongst the toys

Civil eating

Unidentified cutie

Reintroducing Tiny Tim

Tim chewing on visitor's shoe

Tim loves to sleep on stuffed animals

Tim and more stuffed animals

Close up of Tim

When the litter was born, I mentioned that there was a 10th surviving pup who was fragile and not expected to survive. Tiny Tim had a rough first few weeks, but is currently doing well and his prognosis is good. He is the small black pup without a collar. Tim was born with a mild cleft palate that prevented him from being able to suckle normally. Although he was able to stay with his mom and littermates, he required round the clock hand feeding and had a couple of serious medical set backs. He currently weighs 7 lbs, which is the low end of normal for his age, is eating kibble and milk just like the other pups, loves human attention, and plays well with his bigger littermates. He is a plucky, feisty little pup who can keep up with the big boys. If all goes well, Tim's cleft palate will be able to be surgically corrected when he is neutered, and if successfully repaired, he should be a functionally normal pup. Even if surgery is not an option or is not successful, he should be able to adapt and do quite well.

Pics from last weekend

Shoe thieves

Working the shoelaces

Time for a nap

Cuddles with a guest

Noel asleep on a guest's shoe
Chewing on the company
Noel asleep in a guest's lap

Blitzen sleeping with a guest on the floor

Yet another shoe to steal

Entertaining company is hard work - pup asleep under the couch

6 weeks old

Willow, Rudolph and unidentified black pup

Willow has never gotten much into playing with the pups

Mom and pup

The pups are 6 weeks old and are already the size of many 8 week old pups. The boys weigh 11.8 (Nicholas) to 9.6 lbs (Rudolph) and the girls weigh 10 lbs (Star) to 9.6 lbs (Noel and Holly). Willow left today, for some much deserved R&R. The pups had one last round at the mobile milk bar, but seem totally oblivious to Willow leaving. For those of you watching puppy cam, you have likely noticed that the pups are out of the pen more, having playtime in the house. Group feeding sessions have also come to an end - the pups were getting too frenetic and it was impossible to tell how much everyone was eating. So now, the pups are pair fed from individual bowls. The pups are eating around 1 1/2 c of soaked kibble a day each. The pups continue to entertain visitors and thoroughly enjoy human attention.