6 weeks old !! (Beauty’s Babies)

Beauty's boy - Mr. Tangerine at 6 weeks.

Beauty's boy - Mr. Tangerine at 6 weeks.

It seems like just yesterday I was skirting Miss Beauty from the sunroom quickly into the living room as she began the labor and delivery for her beautiful pups.   It is hard to believe that six weeks have flown by in the blink of an eye – and her beautiful boys and girls are now growing and becoming more and more adorable every day.    With the rain this week we have had to spend a few days indoors – and the bugs here these days are near Amazon proportions  – but we have taken total advantage of any sunny or windy afternoons to venture outside and explore the world.   I generally keep Beauty’s pups up on the deck in a penned in area so they are out of the bugs – and then take 3 or 4 pups at a time down to the grass where they can run, play and frolick to their heart’s content (10 pups at once is just too much to supervise – and they also seem to really enjoy the one on one time I can spend with them when there are only a few pups on the prowl).   They are truly enjoying their time outside and are a very confident bunch as they face the world and all its wonders that are waiting.   Every single pup has had the greatest time with the over-ripe dandelions on our lawn that are now a whispy white whirl of fluff waiting to be chewed on or batted at.    No one has really been brave enough to approach the water yet – but hopefully in the weeks to come they will venture a bit closer to the lake and give it a try.    Simson has been a FANTASTIC dad….  He lets the pups crawl all over him and chase him around and is just the greatest sport about playing with all the little ones and watching over them.   Beauty is playing a lesser role these days as far as nursing is concerned….  but she is always vigilant.   All of the pups went today for their first vaccination – with not a whimper or even a sound of discontent – and impressed everyone  with their amazing personalities and charm.   They were snuggled and cuddled and admired by every person who came through the doors and were hands-down a HUGE hit with everyone.     Our vet – Dr. VanderKraan was of course excellent with each one and made it a pleasant “first” vet experience.   He commented on the great health, structure and disposition of the puppies  🙂  and gave them a complete checkup as well as their first series of shots.     Needless to say – Beauty was quite distressed when I left home with all of her little beauties…. however I have never seen her as happy as she was when we returned later in the morning…   jumping and prancing and completely ecstatic to know that her pups were once again home with her.     

We will continue to brave the bugs this week and enjoy each day as we strive to introduce the puppies to as many new things as we can.    They are all a beautiful, adorable group and continue to win our hearts over with their sparkling personalities…  🙂

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5 weeks old (Analiesa’s Babies)

Analiesa's beautiful boy at 5 weeks old

Analiesa's beautiful boy at 5 weeks old

When you are a five week old puppy …. every day is filled with new adventures 🙂   The puppies’ biggest adventure this week was to head out  into the great outdoors – which in Muskoka is a brave thing this time of year!!   Actually – we had to pick our outings very carefully as the mounting black fly and mosquito population is enough to discourage even the biggest outdoor enthusiast – human or canine.  Fortunately we had a nice breeze off of the lake for the most part that kept the bugs at bay and allowed Analiesa’s pups to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air every day in the earlier part of the week.   All the pups enjoyed the change from being indoors and seemed quite happy to play or nap outside as long as mum was somewhere close by.    Analiesa’s role has lessened in the milk department and now the pups mostly turn to her for reasurrance and the occasional snack…  They love to play with her as well and it always amazes me that the pups can chew on her lip and her ears and climb all over her with not the slightest sign of discontent on Analiesa’s part.     All of the pups continue to grow well and weigh in around 7 and 1/2 pounds.   The boys are all very close in size – and the girls are a shade smaller – however do not be fooled by their smaller stature.  They are quick to join in the roly-poly games with their brothers without hesitation and Miss Rose especially can be found often trying to pull on her brothers’ tail (to his great dismay).   

The pups are spending a great deal less time in their actual nesting box – which is cozy and covered in blankets – and seem to prefer being out to roam through the kitchen or just lay on the tile floor.    They all interact quite a bit more this week with each other – but have very gentle and sweet personalities.   They are a wonderful bunch and a complete joy to care for and spend time with.     They all just seem to have that special way of looking into your eyes and making you forget the cares of the world.

It has been raining today so they have not been out much – but hopefully the rain will subside soon and we can return to our adventures.   They have enjoyed the visitors and time with friends and family ….  It won’t be long now and they will begin a whole new chapter with the loving families that await.  🙂

5 weeks old (Beauty’s babies)

Beauty's pups celebrate their 5 week birthday!

Beauty's pups celebrate their 5 week birthday!

It has been a whole new world for Beauty’s pups this week as the biggest achievement has been heading outdoors for some serious play and exploration time !!   The puppies weren’t really quite sure if they liked it the first day out – I think they just preferred the safety and security of their familiar nesting box and the living room 🙂  but by yesterday you could tell they were happy to be outside.   They especially like any time out on the grass where they can run and explore with total freedom.   We only take a few pups at a time when they are out roaming on the lawn – firstly so we can completely supervise anything they are getting into and secondly so that they can have some individualized time with us away from the “pack”.    The bugs however (both black flies and mosquitoes) have limited how much time we can spend in the grass – and part of our time outside is usually back up on the deck (which is attached to our house) where any fly population is minimal.   In any event – the pups are now embracing this new chapter in their lives and are exciting to watch as they explore their new horizons.     They are all eating well and feasting on 3 meals of puppy food a day – with Beauty only adding their favourite snack in the morning and right before bedtime at night.   Beauty is still looking pretty tired out these days – she is an incredible mum and would feed the pups at their every suggestion if I would let her.   However – the pups are a great size 🙂 and are doing well on the puppy food – so its high time to give Beauty a bit of a break.

The brothers and sisters are all starting to engage in more play with each other and spend more awake time than last week.   They are all a very good natured bunch and get along quite well considering there are 10 little personalities emerging.   Thankfully they are very easy-going and are content with whatever is on the agenda for the day.  They have enjoyed our recent visitors and are becoming more and more adorable with each day.     We will do everything in these next few weeks to prepare them for the road ahead and life with their new families – as it won’t be long now and they will be setting out for the biggest adventure of all !!  🙂

4 weeks old (Analiesa’s Babies)

The dashing Mr. Clementine at 4 weeks old.

The dashing Mr. Clementine at 4 weeks old.

It’s an exciting time in the life of Analiesa’s puppies as they begin to interact more with each other, our family and the world around them.   They are a happy bunch and are quite content to roam through the kitchen or rest in the nesting box – or snuggle with anyone who picks them up.   They are all weighing in at just under 7 pounds – having nice solid structure and beautiful faces 🙂   Each pup seems quite attentive when we talk to them and they have the sweetest way of looking back into your eyes as though they understand every word !   Which of course they do…

All puppies are moving well on all fours and have begun to play and roll around with each other during their awake time.   They have also been eating very well and now have atleast two meals a day of solid food (although it is still fairly mushy at this point) giving Analiesa a much needed break from nursing duties.    They seem to be a bit neater than Beauty’s pups with their table manners – but I suppose with less competition for their meal things don’t get quite as intense around the dinner dish.   The boys especially have started a bit of rough play with each other – but that is a necessary part of development and it is always in good fun.   Analiesa still keeps a watchful eye on each one – and will not let any of them out of her sight.   She is a great mum – spending a bit less time in the actual nesting box with them these days – however her role and presence with the pups is still a very important one.

Each pup has had a partial bath or major face wipe at some point along the way – but by tomorrow we will be giving each one a full bath.   Mealtime hasn’t been too messy – but it will still be nice to get each pup completely spic and span – even if only for a few hours until they walk through their dinner or fall asleep in it.

All the pups are maturing into quite beautiful girls and boys – I can especially see a bit of Analiesa’s facial attributes in a couple of them – but of course their looks will change a hundred times over in the next few weeks.   By the weekend we should venture outside as long as the bugs don’t get too bad – Sorry pups… this is Muskoka after all….  🙂

4 weeks old (Beauty’s babies)

The charming Mr. Burgundy at 4 weeks old.

The charming Mr. Burgundy at 4 weeks old.

Beauty’s puppies continue to grow and learn this week with the biggest event always being mealtime.   Now that the pups are able to dine on a mushy mixture of real food…  there is never a dull moment.   Most of them end up wearing most of what is in the dinner dish – followed by the game of “Who can lick the most dinner off of their brother or sister” – followed by walking through the dinner dish and whatever is left – and completed with sleeping in the dinner dish.   All of the mealtime events of the week definitely called for a full head to toe bath by Friday – so each pup was given a quick introduction to bathing and dried and fluffed up to perfection.   Gail Hope (who will be providing a future, loving home for one of Beauty’s little ones) graciously agreed to help with the whole bathtime festivities and the extra pair of helping hands was greatly appreciated…. Thanks Gail !   Fortunately the pups did manage to stay quite fresh and immaculate looking for a couple of hours – until the next meal was served….  although they are getting a bit better with their table manners.     Analiesa also stepped in for awhile on bath day and relieved Beauty from her nursing shift.  Not all golden retriever mums will share feeding duties with another – but remarkably Analiesa just laid down in the kitchen and allowed Beauty’s pups to have a nice long drink after their bath.   I think Beauty truly appreciated it as even with the solid food we have added to each pup’s diet they still have a huge draw on Beauty, her milk supply and her overall resources.   All of the pups are weighing between 6.5 and 7 pounds (with the big brother Mr. Black still tipping the scales at more than that) – so they are quite a hearty bunch.   We will be increasing their solid food now as they seem to enjoy it immensely and are doing well on it – and start to give Beauty more of a break….  although she never shirks from her responsibilties and is ALWAYS trying to get into the nesting box to feed her little babes.   We have had a few visitors this weekend which has also made for a fun time with all the pups.   The play center with doggy toys has also given the pups a chance to explore.    They are a happy bunch and will continue to learn as they spend more time awake in the weeks to come.   🙂

Analiesa’s Babies (3 weeks old)

Analiesa's puppies exploring the new world of FOOD.

Analiesa's puppies exploring the new world of FOOD.

Analiesa’s puppies were introduced to the exciting new world of real FOOD today….  which is never a very pretty event but it is always quite funny to watch.   Inevitably the pups always end up wearing more of the meal than they actually eat – so it is always guaranteed to be an extremely messy time.   The girls surprisingly seemed to take to the whole thing a bit more readily than the boys… diving right in and eating until they fell asleep – head still in the dish 🙂   Mr. Darling Clementine was the funniest as he would lick the mush off of my fingers, lick it off of his sister’s face, lick it from all around the sides of the bowl – but refused to actually put his head right into the dish and eat.   I even tried to guide his head to the right location for a full mouthful – but he insisted on eating from every other location where the food had haphazardly ended up rather than eat anything from the dish.   I know Analiesa will be grateful as they make this transition as all the pups are now sporting sharp little baby teeth which are bound to make nursing barely tolerable for poor mum.   

The puppies are all growing well and all weigh in currently just over the 4 pound mark – with the boys being a very slight amount larger than the girls – except maybe for Miss Rose who must be eating chocolates and icecream behind my back as she seems bigger every time I turn around.    They are all trying valiantly to walk – although they are still pretty wobbly and just beginning to get control of their legs.  They can see quite well and can also hear – so the world around them is truly beginning to take on more importance.   They are all a very good-natured bunch and seem very content to just snuggle or slowly wander around their nesting box (although eating is still their most favorite past-time).   Analiesa continues to be a great mum – although she is spending a little bit less time in with the pups these days – partly because of the size the pups have reached, the heat they generate, and their never-ending appetites – and partly because it is just a natural part of the gradual weaning process that will start to take place.    She still watches over them very carefully – and is especially concerned to know where each and every pup is at all times (whenever we are carrying one around or playing with a pup she is always there checking up on us).

In the next few days we will probably extend the play area of the puppies so they have room to roam as they become mobile.  The best part of all will be in a couple of weeks when we can venture outside – as the pups always seem to LOVE that.   Many adventures ahead and we are enjoying every minute.   🙂

3 weeks old (Beauty’s pups)

Beauty's boy - Mr. Gold at 3 weeks.

Beauty's boy - Mr. Gold at 3 weeks.

It’s been a very exciting week here as Beauty’s pups become more aware of the world around them and grow increasingly more adorable every day.   Their eyes are now starting to focus and they also can hear now – so it makes our interaction with them very interesting.   I attached an additional play area (weaning pen) to the nesting box today – so the puppies now have double the area to play and explore …  with 10 bodies the nesting box was starting to get a bit crowded.   A special thanks to Gail Hope for the lovely blanket and the extra towels that will certainly come in handy with the extra area and also with so many pups on the go and the busy (and messy) stage they are about to enter….   The pups are up on all fours now and they are quickly gaining balance and coordination as they try to play with each other, scurry to mum at mealtime or just cruise around the box looking for whatever they can find.   We have tried some supplementary food a couple of times now – either in the form of a little meatball fed by hand or some milky (special puppy milk) with rice pablum slop…. but the pups still aren’t quite sure what to make of it (except for Mr. Black – AKA  Tornado – who I have actually had to pull out of Beauty’s dinner dish on a couple of occasions).   Needless to say – Tornado (nick-named by my son Josh after a pup called “Tornado” in a book that he is reading) is tipping the scales at over 5 pounds now !!  🙂    He certainly seems to be a “big brother” in more ways than just size – as I often see him wandering through the nesting box as though he is checking on everybody…   The rest of the gang are not featherweights though … they are weighing in all at 4 pounds plus.    Other than watching the pups waken to the world around them this week – the highlight for me has been to finally sleep back in my own bed (as of last night)…   I still come downstairs to the main floor a couple of times through the night to let mums out and check on the little sleeping darlings – but it is nice to see that pups and mums are healthy and doing well and they no longer need me to be within arm’s reach.

The pups are spending less and less time sleeping – so we will have lots to experience in the weeks ahead.  They are all such a gentle and adorable bunch that it is a complete joy to spend time with them…   I will keep everyone up to date with our adventures.