Gulliver X Abby Puppies (Day 57 Pre-parturition)

National Geographic illustration of Puppy at full term

Abby has slowed down considerably the last few days and is resting more now.   She is still her same cheerful self – but her pace has diminished notably over this last week with the growing bundle of pups that she is carrying.   Her appetite remains strong –  if anything she has been a bit more ravenous this past week and is enjoying many snacks of many kinds throughout the day (there is not much room for big meals at this point).

Abby’s abdomen continues to grow and is now measuring 88 cm.  Today we will begin taking Abby’s temperature a couple of times daily to monitor things – as any sharp decline now will signal the onset of labour within 24 hours.    The whelping box and all of our other supplies are ready and waiting as the puppies can be born safely anytime from now on — but traditionally goldens go full-term to 63 days which can be calculated fairly accurately when progesterone testing is done before mating (which we were fortunate to be able to do with Abby).   It is very easy now to feel the puppies moving – and even visible at times when you watch her stomach area from a few feet away.    Abby’s body has also begun to produce milk in preparation for the big event.

We will continue to make sure Abby is comfortable and as pampered as possible as we move ahead to the weekend and the greatly anticipated arrival of her little family….

Gulliver & Daisy Puppies ~ 6 weeks old !

Mr. Blue looking dapper at 6 weeks old...

Another week has completely flown by and Daisy’s pups continue to become more adorable with each passing day.    It wasn’t the best week here weather-wise…. between the rain and the bugs we didn’t get to spend as much time outdoors as usual – but the pups always have a cheery disposition no matter what we have on the agenda.   Finally by yesterday we were able to spend the day outside again which the pups absolutely love and you can almost see them smiling as they roll and romp in the grass and explore the gardens.

The boys are now weighing between 9 and 10 pounds (Not to mention any names but there are a couple of boys that always seem to wiggle their way into being first in and last out at dinner time….they are the 10 pounders).  They are all growing well with strong structure/bones and healthy coats.   The girls are a bit smaller as is to be expected weighing between 7-1/2 and 8 pounds.   I always try to give the girls primo seating at mealtime so the boys don’t muscle their way to more food….   but they seem quite capable of holding their own and all of the pups are gaining well.

This week continued with more time in either the house or the yard to explore, more visitors and more new experiences.    In the week to come we will try to introduce the pups to more unfamiliar sights and sounds as well as a ride or two in the car — all the fine things in life.   We haven’t ventured to the water yet — only because we had a heavy goose and duck population earlier this spring and I want to make sure the pups immune systems are well established before exposing them to the lake environment.   Hopefully that will be another adventure for us to look forward to later this week.

Charlie continues to do well.  He is back in with the bunch again this week after taking periodic breaks over the last two weeks when it appeared his smaller size could open up the possibility of injury.    However – he is up to a whopping 4 pounds now.  It appears he is closing the gap on weight and seems to completely enjoy the time with his siblings — so it is life as usual for Charlie (aside from the special hand fed meals).   He still battles a lingering sinus infection but hopefully we can find a better way to address that shortly.  

We will continue to enjoy every minute with these lovely puppies and hope that the good weather prevails so that we can have a full week of adventures ahead.

Gulliver X Abby Puppies (Day 51 Pre-parturition)

Abby girl not looking too stressed out about the upcoming big event !!

As you can see Abby is handling her pre-whelping days very well and doesn’t seem the least concerned that she is carrying around a tummy full of puppies !!   She continues to be her lovable, cheerful self – although this week she does seem a bit more tired than usual and has slowed the pace somewhat during her walks.   

Her abdominal area now measures 81 cm which is a bit smaller than some of our other girls have been in the past at this stage – but Abby was quite the slender one to begin with – and is a bit longer in the body with more room for passengers — so it will be interesting to see how many puppies are actually “on board” !!
She continues to eat well and it is hard to believe that we are less than 2 weeks away from the big day !
Development wise — most of the structural foundation of the puppies has been set — the puppies just now continue to grow in size and other small intricacies are completed.
We will be getting all the whelping supplies and preparations in order in the next few days just to make sure that everything is ready well in advance.    Unlike human babies which can often come at any time – puppies are not born until the full 63 days gestation (unless there is a serious problem) which is calculated from the day of ovulation (which can be narrowed down usually to a 24 hour window) .  
So we will continue to pamper Abby as much possible over the next 13 days to ensure that she is comfortable, well-rested and healthy for the job that lies ahead….   

Gulliver & Daisy Puppies – 5 weeks old !!!

This week has been one big adventure for the pups !!   They have loved the opportunity to explore the yard and gardens and find the most interesting things to entertain themselves: butterflies, bugs, sticks, bushes, buckets — the possibilities are always endless.   They have also enjoyed their new space on the deck just off the sunroom where they have lots of room to play and lounge about.   

The puppies are spending more time awake now and also more time interacting with each other.   From time to time the play gets a little rough from an onlooker’s perspective but it is all part of learning and we keep a watch on everyone so that no tyrant emerges.    We make sure the puppies have time in smaller groups also as well as one on one time with our family so that no one pup has the opportunity to rule the roost.   This week we did find the need to remove Charlie whenever we could not be right with the pups as the older ones just get playing a bit too rough for someone Charlie’s size.

Charlie had a bit of a tough week with the return of his sinus infection and the last few days in particular he has had a harder time than usual during eating.   Lately more of the milk is going up into his sinus cavity which means he always has his dinner running from his nose which can never be a good thing.   We will keep trying some new methods to see if we can get over this hurdle — however he is always in great spirits and has gained well.  He is now up to 1.15 kg (around 2.5 pounds) and really is a happy little guy so we will just keep trying to do everything we can for him.    He has certainly won the hearts of everyone who meets him with his valiant character and adorable personality.

Not to be outdone — the rest of Charlie’s brothers and sisters also continue to grow in charm and adorableness.   They are all a very gentle natured bunch and the most easy-going little family of pups.   The boys are now weighing in around 3.5 kg (or 7-1/2 pounds) and the girls are just under 7 pounds.   They LOVE mealtime and still enjoy a few snacks a day from mum Daisy – but for the most part their diet consists of mush (soggy puppy kibble and goat’s milk).  They always come running when mealtime is announced 🙂

We will continue to spend as much time outdoors this week as weather permits and will enjoy this wonderful stage in their development as each puppy starts to develop into their own individual.

Gulliver X Abby Puppies (Day 43 pre-parturition)

Abby as just a young puppy herself....

Well Abby is now at the day 43 mark and continues to be in wonderful spirits — her normal, happy, easy-going self.    I sometimes wonder if she has any idea of what is taking place inside of her — or of the great event yet to come !!    Soon enough I imagine she will be looking for that perfect spot in the garden to have her puppies – as our girls never seem to like the idea of having puppies in the warm, clean environment I have prepared for them…!! and I am sure there are still a couple of nice holes left over from Daisy’s pre-whelping digging that Abby would love to claim for her own !!
Abby has now expanded to 76 cm at the abdominal area — she is still enjoying regular exercise and activities so nothing has really slowed her down yet in that department.    Up until recently the majority of the development of the puppies has been involving cells and organs etc – and spines and skulls have now calcified – but from this point on the puppies will really gain in weight and size – so I think Abby’s bikini days are over for awhile !
Abby’s appetite has been on the increase so she is getting lots of healthy snacks and additions to her normal meals with fresh meat and vegetables and whatever else would be considered princess fare.    We will continue to do everything possible to make the next 20 days easy and comfortable for her — and look forward with great excitement to the big day fast approaching !

Gulliver & Daisy Puppies – 4 weeks old !

Miss Yellow just being her adorable self

The puppies have had another impressive week becoming more and more mobile and more aware of the world around them.    They are growing in leaps and bounds with the boys all weighing around 2.5 kg now (around 6 pounds) and the girls weighing slightly less and then of course Charlie bringing up the bottom end at 850 grams which is about the equivalent of a one week old puppy (but this has been an amazing accomplishment for Charlie).

The puppies had quite a few changes this past week with the first being the beginning of our transition to solid food.    Early in the week we began with one meal a day of “Mush” which consists of oatmeal, goat’s milk and tinned lamb meat (which has now increased to three meals a day) — still topped up by visits to Daisy’s milk bar.  Daisy has continued to be an excellent mum through all of this and is never far from the pups – even though it was high time to start relieving her a bit from her meal duties as the demands of 40 pounds of puppies was just becoming too great.       In this week ahead we will decrease the milk and oats and begin adding some ground puppy kibble – which I am sure they will devour with glee as they never need to be called twice for dinnertime.    As a special note I would just add that this little bunch has been undoubtedly the neatest little bunch of pups when it comes to mealtime.   With most of our previous litters the puppies have had more food covered on them then in their mouths during these first attempts at eating — but everyone has been quite orderly and tidy in their approach to mealtime.   Daisy must have trained them all well !!

We also moved the pups out to the sunroom which is just off of our kitchen yesterday.    This gives the pups alot more room to play and roam and if the sun ever comes out again here it provides easy access to the outdoors so that the puppies can enjoy some time exploring and playing out in the fresh air.   Hopefully tomorrow or the next day will give us the opportunity to spend some time outside !

The puppies all continue to excel in the cuteness deparement and are very sweet and affectionate.   It is hard to pull myself away from them and get other things done… but fortunately there is no shortage of attention givers here and everyone loves spending time with them.

We will continue to introduce them to the surrounding world and look forward to all the new adventures this week will hold !!

Gulliver & Abby Puppies – Day 37 (Pre-parturition)

Abby enjoying the summer before maternal duties begin !

We were happy to confirm last week that our sweet girl Abby is indeed expecting with puppies due just in time for fireworks on the Canada Day/Independence Day long weekend !!   The proud papa is once again the beautiful boy from Australia: Canadian Champion Giltedge Traveller AKA “Gulliver”.    The timing will be perfect in our household as Daisy’s puppies will be getting ready to leave for their forever homes just as Abby’s will be arriving (so not too much puppy withdrawal for all of us here) – and both litters will have center stage as they enjoy some of the summer here in Muskoka !

Abby is already starting to blossom with the pups growing in her tummy and has increased from her slim 61 cm to almost 68 cm at the waistline.   We will keep track of her measurements just as a point of interest — each mum carries her puppies a little bit differently so the growth in this area never really provides any scientific insight — but it makes for lots of conversation and speculation as we try to predict how many pups Abby might be carrying.

Abby is in great spirits and really doesn’t seem too affected yet by her pregnancy — other than the fact that she is a bit more affectionate than usual and is sleeping a bit more.    She still participates in all her regular activities and will begin eating a bit more in these weeks to come to provide for the puppies that are developing inside of her.  

The development of puppies is quite a rapid process — the pups already have developed toes, whisker buds, claws and last week in the ultrasound we could clearly see each little heart beating strong and clear.   The gender of the pups is already clearly established and their skin pigment is starting to develop.   The fetuses now are approximately 40 mm long.

We will continue to make sure that Abby is living the life of a princess and receives all the royal treatment she needs to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy.   Hopefully she can enjoy the next few weeks to their fullest before the duties of motherhood arrive !!