It’s hard to believe that it’s been a whole week since these little bundles entered into this world on a cold, snowy night. Lovely is a wonderful mum and tends to her little ones with great attention. She is starting to venture out for short periods every day now – and has begun to play and romp more with the others like she used to in her pre-pregnancy days. 7 little mouths make big demands on her resources – so my biggest job is to keep Lovely well-fed with nutritious foods and exercised just enough to help her recovery and not over-tax her energy stores. The puppies are all as cute as buttons… They have doubled in size since their birth and they are all tipping the scales at over 2 lbs. (I’m never sure whether it is better to give details like this in metric or imperial – but for now I’ll stick with lbs./pounds). Needless to say Lovely’s milk bar is in high demand these days. The puppies are becoming more mobile every day and have progressed to a pretty effective crawl when they want to get somewhere. A few of them are quite vocal in ordering their dinner – and Lovely is always quick to wait on them. Mr. Black in particular is always first at the dinner table – that boy never misses a meal 🙂 I am happy to see that the puppies all continue to gain weight with very little variation from one to the next (except a slightly larger weight with all the boys – I think they will be linebackers when they grow up). Later today we will trim nails for the first time – as I’m sure fellow siblings and Lovely are not enjoying the lengths they are reaching. They may be tiny – but they sure are sharp ! All seem very content and have had lots of cuddles and snuggles from our family and close friends. They are certainly loved ! We have also carried out “Bio-Sensor” activities (which really just involves handling your pups in a specific way to promote healthy neurological development). The Bio-Sensor program is proven to give puppies a great start both mentally and physically in life. (If you want to read more about the Bio Sensor Program please visit BREEDING BETTER DOGS. It is a bit of a technical article – by Carmen Battaglia is highly respected for his research on canine genetics. I have read many of his articles and try to incoporate as many of his philosphies behind breeding better dogs as possible.) The puppies continue to wind us all around their little paws with their endearing natures and sweet personalities. They are a treasure.
Lovely’s pups are 4 days old today !! All of them are thriving and gaining weight and doing all the things that puppies do at 4 days old. This mostly consists of snuggling with mum, snuggling with each other, finding the milk bar and whimpering softly if they can’t find the milk bar. They all make the cutest little puppy noises and Lovely watches over them like a hawk. I finally convinced Lovely to go for a short walk yesterday – but as soon as the house was back in sight she raced for the door and couldn’t wait to get back to her babies. She is very protective – and even if she leaves the whelping box for a minute to find me and say hello – she scurries back as soon as she hears the tiniest little cry from her little ones. Pink noses are starting to change to the darker black pigment – which of course will someday contribute to the stunning look that they have as an English golden. All babies are eager to eat and are growing at a fairly even rate – one of the things I personally always aim for. They are still greatly oblivious to the world around them except for smell and touch – as their eyes and ears will not be developed yet for some time. They do however seem to be content and love to snuggle with their mum every chance they can get. Lovely is my main job at the moment – as with the labor and the demands now of 7 little mouths to feed – she needs a lot of nutritional help and a bit of coaxing sometimes to eat (as well as tons of TLC) – mainly because I think she is just exhausted. She has had a fine smorgasboard of stewed beef, liver, cottage cheese, yogurt, chicken, eggs, goat’s milk, rice, blackberries (for iron) as well as her normal holistic kibble and nursing mum supplement. In these early weeks nutrition is vitally important for both the mum and the puppies so we are doing everything we can to address that area. The puppies grow and change rapidly at this age – so I will try to get more updates and pictures soon. I am already thinking how hard it will be to say goodbye to these little angels… they are absolutely beautiful. 🙂
Hello and Good Evening .
(I am writing this on behalf of my mother, seeing as she’s kind of busy right now. ) 🙂
We are in our living room, where Lovely has already had her first puppy !! The first one arrived at 10:29PM, weighing in at .44kg , a girl ! Hopefully the second one will be here soon . It’s so tiny and its making the cutest little noises .
Stay tuned for more post updates , because I have a feeling we’ll be here for a while …..
Now at 11:41PM , Lovely has had her second puppy !!!! 🙂
Another girl !
12:04AM – Puppy numero 3 ! (another girl, of course)
12:19AM – Puppy number 4 ! (THE FIRST BOY!) Keep it up Lovely , you’re almost there !
12:48AM – Puppy number 5 , which, who would have thought .. another girl ! they are soo cute ! Lovely’s doing really good, and as for Sky, Simpson, Lisa, Maggie, Star, Sophie, and Beauty (our other dogs) .. their anxious to find out what’s been making all the little squealing noises .
1:19AM – Puppy number 6 , say hello to boy #2 .
2:40 AM – Surprise – Puppy 7 – Better late than never. Another bouncing boy!
Mom and pups are all doing extremely well. I will keep the updates coming…..
We’re almost at that monumental day 63 that we have been looking forward to !! Lovely didn’t really want this picture posted as she is not looking her best these days – but for all those who are curious as to how she is doing – here is a picture taken today. She is getting very big – and very slow at getting up (when she has been resting). She has decided the loveseat in the living room is her place of choice for relaxing… although I really don’t understand how she is managing to still jump up on it. We are monitoring her temperature as any significant drop at this point will signal the onset of labour in the next 12-24 hours. Personally I think she should just put up her feet and enjoy a good book before the responsibilities of motherhood arrive 🙂 She is still just as Lovely as ever …. It won’t be long now.
Lovely is continuing on her journey into motherhood and faring quite well… She has definitely developed quite a waddle in her walk lately and it appears she might be starting to get a bit uncomfortable with all the extra weight and bulk around her mid-section (and who wouldn’t be). The measurement at her waist is now an amazing 95 cm. – a dramatic increase from her slim and well-muscled body condition of a couple of months ago when her abdominal area measured a mere 63 cm. The puppies can be felt quite easily as they move and Lovely is looking quite full!!
The most notable changes this week have been firstly Lovely’s overall activity level and secondly the appearance of a more matronly attititude. Of course – I can understand completely why Lovely is lagging behind now on our walks and we have had to change our exercise plan to 3 shorter walks instead of our 2 on the regular route. Most notably she has become very motherly (almost to the point of being bossy) with any of the younger ones (and just about anyone younger than herself). If they are out playing with a toy and one takes it from the other – Lovely is right in there telling them off. Or if they get playing too rough Lovely lets them know what she thinks. She has been very vigilant over the others this week and is quite vocal with them if she thinks they are doing anything they shouldn’t. It is quite interesting to watch this recent change in dynamics.
Other than that all is well and Lovely seems content to take an easier pace and spend whatever time she can laying at my feet. I know we will be “counting the sleeps” now until the big event !!
I didn’t get a chance to see it – but apparently National Geographic had a spectacular series on a while back regarding the development of different animal species in the womb. There was a complete segment on dogs – which I am sorry to have missed. However for anyone who may want a bit more insight into how the puppies are developing at this time – here is one other link that you might find interesting: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC GOLDEN RETRIEVER PUPPY FOOTAGE. The images in the clip are of puppies at 40 days – so Lovely’s little ones are a bit farther along – but it is still fascinating footage.
Here is a National Geographic archive photo of a golden retriever puppy(fetus) at around the 45 day mark. As you can see – by this point the puppies are starting to already develop their coat and many of their future “doggy features” have formed. Lovely’s puppies are now around the 48th day – so they will look very similar to this stage. The growth rate is very rapid at this point. Lovely is doing very well and continues to expand in size around the tummy (she is now approximately 86 cm. at the abdomen)…. which is making her walks a little slower these days. However – this morning she was just as happy as ever to head outdoors and check out the new-fallen snow. We have also moved to 3 meals a day since her body requires a great deal of nutrition at this point – but there is less room to store it in. We are all getting excited about the countdown to the puppies’ arrival and have started to prepare Lovely’s special area in the living room where she will deliver the little pups. Since she seems to enjoy peace and quiet these days – it is nice that she has her own spot to get away from the others when she wants to. It won’t be long now !!