Steele X Sophie puppies – Day 58 Pre-parturition

Golden Retriever puppy fetus

 We are definitely in the home stretch for our lovely Miss Sophie – and I am so very thankful for the cooler weather this week which has made things a bit more bearable for her !!   She is certainly slowing right down – and still enjoys a wade in the lake but is not her exhuberant self when it comes to water activities.   Even walking across the lawn has become a bit of a chore as she is visibly carrying quite a bit of extra weight.  She is also eating much less – probably due to the fact that there is very little space left in her abdomen.   She is now measuring approximately 95 cms. around the waist.  We have begun monitoring her temperature a few times daily – as any significant drop right now signals the onset of labour.    The fetuses are fully developed at this point and can be born safely from anytime now onwards.

Much like Analiesa – Sophie is convinced that the garden would make a much better spot for the birthplace of her puppies than the one I have set up for her 🙂   She has taken a liking to the exact same corner spot in the garden where Analiesa was digging away and trying to make a nest just a couple of weeks ago.    At least it is better than the one year when our girl Beauty was determined that the spot underneath our neighbour’s boathouse was the perfect whelping box !!    From now until the big day I will need to convince Sophie that I have a spot much more comfortable for her and her little ones in the living room….

We will continue these next few days to make Sophie as comfortable as possible – and will be praying for a safe and easy arrival of her new little family….

Steele X Analiesa Puppies – 1 week old

Mr. Licorice at 1 week young

It is hard to believe that a whole week has gone by since the birth of Analiesa’s puppies.   The time really has flown – although for Analiesa I’m sure that some days have been longer than others.    She has a big workload with keeping 7 little mouths happy and 7 little pups clean and warm.   The puppies have doubled in size since birth and the boys are all weighing around 2 pounds now (900-940 grams) with the girls being just a wee bit smaller.   They have huge appetites – so there are big demands on Analiesa for milk. My biggest job is to make sure that she is eating lots and drinking lots to keep up….    She is a great mum and for the first 5 days would not leave their side except for a few minutes to venture out for a bathroom break.  I was able to finally coax her on Monday to go for a short swim (the thing she loves most to do).   We took her favorite toy and headed to the water for a good 15 minutes – at one point I turned around to throw the toy for her again but she was gone – back up to the house to check on her babies !!   She really does a fantastic job of looking after them —  keeping a careful watch on each one.    She doesn’t let me out of her sight if I pick one up to change a ribbon or weigh them… or sneak in a cuddle… She must have an eye on all of her puppies at all times 🙂

The puppies spend most of their day sleeping.   They are a hardy bunch – strong and sturdy and already crawling around the whelping box with ease.   Puppies are born without sight or hearing – so it will be awhile until they can actually see where they are going.  For now their sense of smell is the primary source of awareness — I think they can smell Analiesa and the milk bar coming from a mile away !!    Mealtime is definitely the highlight of their day – they are all great eaters and enjoy any chance they get to indulge.    I am really pleased with how they are all growing and a very even litter — they are truly adorable.   

We will be looking forward to whatever new adventures unfold this week !!

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Steele X Sophie Puppies (Day 51 Pre-parturition)

Titus and Quincy from Sophie's first litter (Father: Simson)

It has certainly been an exciting time around our household lately with the much-awaited arrival of Analiesa’s little bundles of joy and the mounting excitement over the pending arrival of Sophie’s little ones !!   Sophie is now at day 51 in her pregnacy so the fetuses are well developed.   Even the little details in things like toes, whisker buds and claws have already developed and they are starting to look more like “little dogs” with every passing day.   It is hard to believe that we are already in the final stretch of Sophie’s pregnancy ! She is really starting to blossom in size and is now measuring approximately 90 cm. around the abdominal area.   There is absolutely no mistaking that she is pregnant….  She is still her usual happy self and really hasn’t slowed down much yet.   Her love of the water never wavers and she is just content to be wherever you are – so she has not shown much change as far as behaviour — although in the next 10 days she will start to change her pace dramatically.  I am sure that her and Analiesa will begin comparing notes shortly 🙂

This week we will set up the whelping box for Sophie – which I will keep in the living room along with Analiesa just so that I can keep a close eye on both mums and their babies as the first few weeks are always delicate and critical.    We are fortunate that we have a big sunny corner in the living room that is just perfect and will be a comfortable spot for all. 

I will keep everyone posted over these next 10-14 days as the big event draws near 🙂

Awake is the new sleep….

Well,  they’re here!
I was just about to go to sleep when my mom texted me from downstairs saying the puppies had finally arrived.
Once again, this is Christina’s (tired) daughter – reporting for her, as of course, she is busy with Analiesa and the 3 lovely boys we have already.

Puppy #1,  a boy.   Mr. Blueberry, arrived at 12:20am.

Puppy #2, welcome to the world.  A bit late to be up isnt it?  12:45am.  Another boy – Mr. Lime

Puppy #3.   12:51am.  Yet another boy!  Say hello to Mr.  Kiwi.

Puppy #4, 1:17am!!!!  A girl!  Miss Lemon.

Puppy #5, 1:29am..  Hurray! another girl.  Miss Cherry 🙂

And I shall keep you updated 🙂

********      (Alexis has now turned the puppy chronicles back over to her mom – Christina)

Sorry for the pause in birthing details – but the rest of the evening was a bit of a difficult one.   Unfortunately one of Analiesa’s puppies was stuck and although I tried my best to help remove the puppy – it took numerous attempts and quite some time to be able to do this…. and by the time the puppy was born it was no longer breathing.   One of the down falls of living in a rural area is I knew that I could not possibly drive Analiesa into the vet (as soon as I expected there was a problem) and have him deal with things any quicker than trying to manage it on my own (in this particular instance) —  Every minute is vital when they are at this stage.   I tried everything but I could not revive him.   Analiesa was noticeably upset – which cetainly took the sparkle off the whole evening.   There is nothing quite so sad to me as watching a new mum whine over her lost puppy….

This was followed by the safe arrival of two more puppies – two precious boys.

The puppies have all been nursing well – and Analiesa is proving once again that she is a wonderful mother…

More updates soon – right now I am off to fix a special breakfast for our special mum Analiesa.

Analiesa with her puppies - Day One

Steele X Analiesa Puppies – Day 59 (pre-parturition)

Analiesa and Steele enjoying a summertime swim together.

We are definitely in the home stretch now and Analiesa continues to get bigger with each passing day.   Her abdominal area now measures approximately 89 cm. and she is noticeably slower to get around these days – although she still loves nothing better than to run after her ball or go for a good swim.    The hotter days that we have had over the past week were not very enjoyable for her – I can only imagine how it would feel to be carrying all those pups and wearing a thick fur coat with the humidity and heat we have been experiencing.   Most days she would just find a good shady spot or a cool corner in the kitchen and not venture too far from it….

The most interesting dynamic that has blossomed lately is the water antics between Analiesa and Steele.   To fully appreciate the scenario you should know first of all that Steele is extremely competitive and would retrieve anything you throw out for him from sun up to sun down if your arms would allow you to keep up…   Steele MUST always be the first one to reach whatever toy or stick I throw out (it`s supposed to be for everybody !) and is so quick and strong when it comes to retrieving that there is never any question that he will be first.   He is known to jump over, swim over or bulldoze through whoever he needs to in order to retrieve the object at hand.   Let`s just say he is a litte determined (and unwilling to share) when it comes to retrieving.     Then we have Analiesa – who also loves to retrieve – but in her heavier state these days is not quite as quick and nimble to make it to the water toy….   Well over the last week Steele will race out and retrieve the toy – and as he nears the shoreline he is always met with a very sad-faced Analiesa who has come up empty handed.     It is the strangest thing to watch Steele turn over his coveted toy to Analiesa each and every time.    She gently grabs on to the end of the toy that is sticking out of his mouth – and he quite willingly turns it over to her.   He will not do this with anyone else…. not even me !    Analiesa must certainly have charmed him – as she seems to have him under quite a spell these days !!

The chivalrous Steele with mum-to-be Analiesa.

At this point Analiesa is slowing down quite a bit and the puppies can easily be felt moving in her tummy.   The puppies have basically finished all of their primary development and are just concentrating on growing at this point.   However – the puppies are born without the ability to see OR hear – so these are all things that will continue to develop over the next couple of weeks.

We will try to make Analiesa as comfortable as possible over the next few days as we look forward with great anticipation !!

Steele X Analiesa Puppies – Day 54 Pre-parturition

The changing profile of Analiesa at 8 weeks gestation.

Analiesa continues to blossom and is looking more and more like a “mum-in-waiting” with each passing day.    She now measures 85 cm. around the abdominal area and definitely has quite the waddle in her walk as the growing weight becomes more obvious.   She eats much smaller meals now (at more frequent intervals) as there doesn’t seem to be much space these days for food.

One thing that hasn’t changed is Analiesa’s profound love of the water.   She definitely can’t beat Steele anymore in the great race for the water toy — (She is getting just a bit too slow for that with the growing weight of the puppies she is carrying)    but she is always the first one in the water and the last one out !  And she still puts up a good challenge for the coveted water toy….  every once in a while Steele will let her take the toy right from his mouth and she runs victoriously along the shoreline.

It is easy to feel the puppies moving around now when Analiesa is laying down and they are continuing to grow in leaps and bounds.   The puppies could be born safely from now on — however it is best if they still stay in the cozy environment where they are meant to be for the next week.    Analiesa is resting more now – and over this next week her increasing weight gain will probably continue to slow her down (although I know she will always be up for a swim !)

Won’t be long now and the big day will be here….  The average gestation period for golden puppies is around 63 days.