Exploring the outdoors with mum
Another week has flown by with lots of new and exciting adventures for the puppies !! Probably the highlight of the week was the pups’ excursion for the first time outdoors. Yesterday we introduced the pups to the big wide world and they LOVED every minute of it. Although they seemed to self-limit their play area to the shade (due to the hot day) they managed to find lots of things to play with and had a great time exploring under the big birch tree. Mum Abby was never far away and seemed to enjoy the fact that they could all play and spend time together in the cool grass.
We also moved the pups from the living room out to the sunroom (which is just off of our kitchen) so that they have double the area to play in when they are indoors. It also gives them easy access to the outdoors – which is a nice move for the pups now that they are getting bigger and spend more time awake. They have been introduced to more toys and play things which keep things interesting for them during the waking hours.
The other big news this week was the introduction of “mush”. I think Abby was probably the happiest to see this transition as the puppies now have sharp little teeth that make nursing a bit of an endurance task for Abby ! The pups didn’t need to be asked twice to dine on something a bit more solid than mum’s milk…. and although for the first few days they seemed to wear more of it than they actually ate — they are quickly getting the hang of things and always enjoy meal time.
The pups are all gaining well and are quite consistent across the board — although the girls are a wee bit smaller than the boys as is usually the case. They have spent an increasing amount of time this week playing and interacting with each other and also seem more aware of our family. They love to be picked up and cuddled and quickly come running whenever they hear my voice 🙂
We look forward to another great week ahead and will be hoping for nice weather so that we continue to spend some time outdoors every day….
Abby's "sleeping beauties" at 3 weeks old
The story of the week has definitely been the incredibly hot weather that we have been receiving. For the most part the pups didn’t seem to mind much but by the hottest day (Thursday) they were starting to complain a little (as we have no air conditioning — and the area where they are situated in the living room can get quite toasty in the afternoon sun). Fortunately it only took the slight breeze of a fan to make everyone happy again !
The pups continue to grow and gain weight at a steady pace. They are all around 4 to 4.5 pounds now with the girls being slightly on the smaller end as is usually the case. They spend a bit more of their day awake and love to roll around and play with each other. They are getting quite good at walking and are very mobile in their awake time. They are very aware of mum Abby whenever she is close by and meal time is most definitely still their favourite time of the day.
Abby is spending less time with the pups which is completely normal at this stage and has enjoyed spending more time out running with the others or swimming in the lake. The third week is always quite demanding on a nursing mother as the puppies are completely reliant upon her as a food source and you can imagine the needs of 30 plus pounds of puppies for milk !! Today the fun begins and we will introduce the pups to that wonderful concoction we fondly call “mush”. I think the pups are completely ready for a little taste of solid (or almost solid) food as Mr. Blueberry and Mr. Bean have both been caught climbing into Abby’s dinner dish the last few days !
The puppies continue to change in appearance – almost from one day to the next so it seems. They all have beautiful faces and that gentle expression through the eyes that is one of the most endearing traits of a golden retriever in my opinion. It will be exciting to watch them gain more experience in the world around them as they grow this week….
Sometimes breeding can have many challenges — especially when it comes to newborn puppies and pregnancies. The golden community is a close-knit and compassionate one – and today we are all sending up prayers for Lemon (Ch Dutch Consolidation Who’s Next) who is lovingly owned by Kelly and Marco Bastiaanssen in the Netherlands. Lemon is in very critical condition following numerous surgeries and complications – to read her story you can follow this link http://angels4lemon.chipin.com/medical-expenses-for-ch-dutch-consolidation-whos-next-lemon
Please pray for Lemon and her family – and if you would like to help out in a tangible way donations are also being accepted towards mounting medical costs.
Please pray for Lemon - Ch Dutch Consolidation Who's Next
- Seeing things in a whole new light !
Abbys puppies had a busy but quiet week….. Busy growing and maturing, busy sleeping, busy eating — but very quiet in comparison to Daisy’s 8 week old pups that were departing over the past week…. For now the majority of the day is still spent in dreamland….. Sometimes you will see a young pup move and twitch and make sounds while it’s sleeping…. it makes you wonder what such a young pup would be dreaming about at this age !!
Abby continues to be a great mom – doting on their every need and never far from their side. She actually took the liberty of spending a bit more time outside these past few days. With the hot weather she readily welcomed an extended swim in the lake and loved playing ball with the others. She had a very rough time following the surgery with the pain that can sometimes ensue with a C-section…. so it was wonderful to see her out running and enjoying the water with the others once again.
Abby on the right with good friends Daisy in the middle and Steele (far left).
The puppies opened their eyes around mid-week so that always marks an exciting stage of their development. They are also becoming much more mobile in the whelping box and half scamper/crawl with excitement whenever they see Abby coming. Of course – they LOVE mealtime !! All of the puppies are gaining well and are quite content – even in the recent heat we have been experiencing. They are a quiet bunch through the night…. often with puppies a loud chorus of whining and squealing can be heard in those early hours when stomachs are starting to feel empty !!
We will look forward to watching them mature even more this week and will be adding more sights and sounds to their day as they start to spend more time interacting with the world around them.
Life is good !
Hard to believe that here we are at that monumental 8 week post for Daisy’s pups. What a fantastic 8 weeks it has been !! I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to watch these 8 little lives unfold and it has been a pleasure to love them and care for them through this first chapter of their journey.
Every litter of puppies here at Dreamkeeper is extremely special to us — and of course within the golden retriever breed – you know you can always count on fantastic temperament, great character and adorable looks…. but each litter always has its subtle differences and individual strengths.
Daisy and Gulliver’s babies in particular have just been the most easy-going, contented, happy puppies I have ever known. I think that even if the sky was falling or they had gone without food or water for countless days – they would have an enormous smile on their face and just be ready for whatever life was going to bring their way. They are always ready for whatever each day brings and just love life. Perhaps that is why Charlie has weathered the storm so well with his cleft palate. He seems really quite oblivious to his handicap and is always ready for anything. I am so glad that we chose to help him fight for life in those early days when things seemed so uncertain.
We have spent many hours by the water these last few days. It has been quite warm and the pups just love to wade in the water and lay down to cool off. Miss Yellow definitely takes the prize for being the first one to plunge right in and actually swim !!! This is unusual at this age — as it is typical for our puppies to wade around and paw at the water – but generally swimming does not follow until a later date. But obviously Miss Yellow didn’t know what the norm is – and just trotted straight into the water and kept right on going — dog paddle and all !!
Our first departing puppy – Mr Red (fondly known now as Chudleigh) left for his new home today…. so already the bittersweet taste of goodbye is in the air. Although I know that the puppies really need a family of their own once they reach this age — it is hard to say goodbye. Each one has a special place in our family and it seems like saying goodbye is something I never get used to. 3 more puppies will be leaving on Wednesday — and the rest will depart gradually through the balance of the week. Mr Purple will be leaving on Saturday to join Southeastern Guide Dogs….. We hope and pray that he will do well in their program and that he will help to contribute to the invaluable, life-changing work that they do.
I hope our adopting families will keep us up to date as their new family members settle in and become everything they were destined to be…. Every time a puppy leaves – a piece of my heart goes too. I wish each one of them the very best that life has to offer …. and most of all love beyond description.
One week old -- the adventures are just beginning !
This week has given a whole new meaning to the term “time flies”. It’s hard to believe that Abby’s pups are already at the one week mark !!
The puppies are all doing well and gaining nicely. They have almost doubled their birthweight now and mealtime is by far the most favourite part of the day for all of them!! Even though the puppies at this age have no sense of sight or hearing – they have absolutely no trouble locating mum Abby whenever it is time for a snack.
Abby is doing a fantastic job as their mother. It is often a difficult transition for a female following a C-section — and many first time mums have been known to reject their puppies when they miss out on the actual birthing process. Abby wasn’t quite sure what to think for the first 48 hours — but she has completely accepted and embraced her new family and never leaves them for more than a few minutes (when it’s time for a potty break). Even when I remove all the pups from the whelping box and place them in a warming box while I clean the bedding and blankets — she stands right beside me watching over them. She observes every move I make with complete scrutiny and she will not take her eyes off of the pups until I have placed all of them carefully back inside her whelping box area. She actually double checks to make sure I didn’t miss anyone !!
The puppies are all content and have started to gain mobility as they crawl around their bedding area. It always amazes me how quickly they grow and how many milestones are reached and passed in these first few weeks. By the end of the coming week their eyes will open and they will also gain their ability to hear.
For now most of the day is spent sleeping and snuggled up closely to each other or Abby.
It will be an exciting week to watch the puppies grow and develop — we will keep everyone posted on how things go !!!!
Miss Yellow wishing all our friends across the border a Happy 4th of July !!
The pups have continued to have a great week !! We had lots of sunshine so it allowed us many hours outdoors enjoying the fresh air and time to explore their part of the world. They all seem to love playing in the gardens and hiding in the bushes — and always seem to find some new treasure of special interest.
This week continued with much of the same as far as socialization — trying to introduce the pups to new people, new surroundings, new noises and experiences. They all get along quite famously with no apparent tyrant in the bunch – but we still divide the pups from time to time just to give them a different social climate to play in.
They continue to grow well and the boys are all weighing around 11 pounds and the girls noticeably smaller at around 9 pounds. However – the girls are quite confident and outgoing and have no issues keeping up with their chunky brothers !! All the pups are very sweet and gentle-natured – and love nothing more than to climb on my lap for a big cuddle at any given time…. (and with each passing week it gets harder to fit them ALL on my lap at the same time). They love people of all ages…. and basically just love life !
Charlie continues to do well and has reached 5-1/2 pounds. Our trip to the vet this week didn’t provide any answers yet as far as timeline for surgery etc — so right now it is just wait and see. He is eating well and we have been a week now without a sinus infection (!!!) so I am thrilled at his progress. I tried adding some Slippery Elm bark and Echinacea into his milk meals which seem to have helped the infections — so hopefully we can just keep moving forward. He doesn’t seem to mind or notice that he is smaller than his siblings and is right in there playing and romping just like the rest of them …. so we will just keep hoping that he continues to do well.
Tuesday we will be doing temperament testing and then by the end of the week we will go for first vaccinations to our local veterinary clinic. We will also be spending time down at the lake to see who might be the strongest water dog of the bunch — and we will be squeezing a bath in there somewhere too so we can look our best for the first vet appointment. We follow a more conservative vaccination schedule — which is better for the long-term health of the puppies… I will be sending this information out to all of our adopting puppy families shortly.
I am looking forward to this last, special week before the pups start heading out to their new homes. I always wonder what life will hold for each one of them. I hope that each one is loved and treasured – and that they will continue to bring joy into the lives of others — just like the joy they have brought into our home !!