Saturday, January 30, 2010
Five weeks old, and the pups are finally coming to life. This is very mellow bunch. There has been increasingly more puppy wrestling matches, more playing with toys, and the pups are starting to have playtime in the house outside of the puppy pen. This weekend, the pups began entertaining visitors, and they met their first young children and a number of adults. Just today, Blitzen and Kwanzaa FINALLY climbed over the low "half gate" that allows the adult dogs to come and go easily. From other litters, someone has climbed over this low panel at 3 1/2 to 4 weeks of age. So now there is a taller "half gate" which will likely contain this litter until they leave for ICAN. These pups may have started out small, but they have recently made up for it and have gained a huge amount of weight this last week chowing on kibble and milk. At 5 weeks of age, the boys weighed 7 lbs (Rudoph) to 8.9 lbs (Nicholas), and the girls weighed 7 lbs (Miss Piggy Joy, who was on a "diet") to 7.5 lbs (Star). Willow and the pups together are eating over 20 cups of kibble per day. As a group, the pups out weigh Willow.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Look how big the pups have become
Four weeks old and growing fast. Now that the pups are getting kibble (soaked kibble and milk), they are really putting on the weight. At 4 weeks, the boys weighed 5 lbs (Rudolph & Blitzen) to 6.1 lbs (Nicholas). The girls weighed 4.7 lbs (Noel) to 5.4 lbs (Joy). The pups are now living in the full sized puppy pen with lots of toys and doing a reasonably good job using the litter box. Their favorite toy is a Little Tikes toy piano. Today, they had their first big adventure outside the pen loose in the living room. Personalities are starting to emerge:
Nicholas - big easy going pup
Joy - little Miss Piggy, a complete glutton who we need to pull away from the bowl at feeding time
Frosty - social, mellow boy who loves to sleep on his back
Rudolph - the last pup to become interested in eating kibble, just wanted Willow's milk, a little mama's boy
Blitzen and Kwanzaa - showing early signs of being adventurous
Noel and Holly - smaller, feisty pups
Star - a mellow pup who tends to keep to herself
Monday, January 18, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
It has been busy in puppyland and no time to post or take many pics. The pups are over 3 weeks old and moved into the puppy pen on Saturday, and are already using the litter box at least some of the time. Current weights for the boys range from Nicholas 5.1 lbs to Blitzen at 3.7 lbs. The girls range from Noel at 4 lbs to the other three girls at 3.8 lbs. The pups are fully functional little beings - they can see, hear, move around easily, and even are getting their baby teeth. Unfortunately, the gang has had some GI issues, so more cleanup, less milk production, and more supplimental feeding. Joy, Nicholas, and Holly are the eating champs - chowing on soak kibble, canned food, and goat milk. Joy has earned the new nickname of Miss Piggy. Some the other pups are not as adventurous in the eating department and I am still coaxing them to try canned food.
Rudolph sleeping - doesn't look very comfortable
These pups still like to row sleep (Joy, Kwanzaa, Star)
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Lunch is getting rather lively these days. Note Star cuddling up with Willow.
This is the age of rapid change and the pups are transforming before our eyes. They are up and walking around, interacting with each other and the small stuffed toys in the pool. If you sit down in the pool, they come over, try to climb in your lap or just enjoy getting petted. Eyes are open and ear canals should be opening next week. We had a noisy night Thursday night/Friday morning. Initially I thought that Willow had bailed on them during the night, but instead, I woke up to a pool full of hungry pups. Willow was tapped out and the gang was looking for more chow. Not a big surprise since together, the pups weigh over 20 lbs. I introduced goat milk in the bottle Friday morning, and they weren't quite sure at first of the new texture and taste, but I got all pups to take the bottle. By bottle session #2, they were pros. If these pups learn assistance dogs skills as fast as they caught on to drinking from the bottle, they should be stars. We are bottle feeding three times a day. I also introduced canned food on Saturday. Again, not too sure of the new texture and taste, but this litter is catching on very fast to the concept of prehending food, chewing and swallowing. Often the pups try to suck down canned food at first. Yesterday, I set up the puppy pen in the living room, and sometime next week, I will move the pups from the pool to the pen, always a fun transition.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Hard to believe that the pups are already 2 weeks old. The boys weigh 2.3 (Rudolph & Kwanzaa) to 2.8 lbs (Nicholas). The girls weigh 2.1 (Holly & Star) to 2.3 lbs (Noel). About half the pups have their eyes open. Tonight, I will add some small stuffed toys to the puppy pool to provide environmental enrichment. In additional to their daily BioSensor exercises, the pups received their second nail trim tonight.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
The puppy pile
Two to four weeks of age is my favorite age since the pups go from helpless little blobs to adorable beings ready to take on the world. The process has begun. The pups are starting to do a bit of walking, fairly aimlessly, but walking none the less. For the first week, Willow stimulated them to toilet by licking. Now, the pups purposely move away from the puppy pile and take care of business on their own. Eyes are just starting to crack open, still looks like we are 2-3 days away from seeing eyeballs. Pink and Orange are in the race to be the first pup to open their eyes. At 7-10 days of age, I typically give the pups nicknames since it is so impersonal to just call them by their collar color. Odds are that ICAN will rename most of them. But for now:
Rudolph (yellow pup) red collar
Nicholas (black pup) blue collar
Blitzen (yellow pup) black collar
Kwanzaa (black pup) yellow collar
Frosty (yellow pup) orange collar
Noel (black pup) purple collar
Holly (black pup) green collar
Star (light yellow/cream pup) pink collar
Joy (yellow pup) turquoise collar
Friday, January 1, 2010
This litter does enjoy sleeping in a row (not staged)
Segregated puppies - again, not staged
Red boy sleeping in the puppy pile
Lots of changes for the pupsters. All nine have doubled their birth weight which is a good rate of gain. Weights range from 1 lb 5 oz (Purple, Green, Turquoise) to 2 lbs (Big Blue). Willow's milk supply is improving, although not overflowing. She is ravenous, despite getting over 6 cups of high calorie kibble per day. The pups have moved up to the big puppy pool (the same pool used for whelping) and made the adjustment without issue. Willow enjoys being able to stretch out. BioSensor exercises continue and the pups received their first nail trim. The pups vocal range now includes mewing, squawking, a hint of a bark, and a very cute trill. The corner's of Pink's eyes are starting to crack open. I expect eyes to open mid next week.
Life in the big puppy pool
Life in the big puppy pool