Getting bigger and stronger every day
Honey’s pups have had a great week and they are all growing and developing right on track. Honey has been an exceptional mum and usually must be strongly coaxed with treats to even take a bathroom break from her little family. She is always the first one to rush back and get in the whelping box with her pups – heaven forbid if anyone or anything is in her way — the puppies are the center of her world and she is completely devoted to looking after them. I have managed to get Honey in for a couple of brief swims — just to give her a break from the demands of 7 hungry mouths — but she quickly returns to the pups – who don’t seem to mind that the milk bar can be rather wet at times !!
The pups are all weighing in between 800-900 grams – so around 2 pounds. The pink pigment in their nose and paws which is visible at birth – is now turning to the trademark black which always gives them such a stunning look as they grow older. Most of their day is spent sleeping and eating – but they are slowing starting to become more mobile and crawl easily around the whelping box – especially when they know that its dinnertime.
We will look forward to watching the pups open their eyes this week and will continue to be fascinated with each of them as their little lives unfold.
Things can get crowded at the milk bar !
Sleep has been the number one order of the day for Opal’s pups and you can find them in some of the strangest positions, cuddled up or upside down sleeping soundly together. When they are not sleeping – eating is the next big event of the day and the puppies already become quite animated whenever they can smell Opal anywhere near !! The pups are all gaining well and it is always a tell-tale sign that everyone is getting bigger when it becomes necessary to trade in everyone’s ribbons for larger ones. The boys definitely seem to out-muscle the girls at mealtime and can be pretty glutenous, which is completely normal however I try to reposition the girls whenever I can so that they are getting a headstart on the boys to even things out. The pups have almost doubled in size and Opal is a terrific mum. Once in a while she will lay outside of the whelping box if things get too hot in there – but for the most part she is completely absorbed with motherhood and seems to have settled into her role quite naturally.
The pups’ eyes have not opened yet so their main source of stimulation is through smell and touch. They only spend limited time awake at this age but are already getting stronger on their legs as they move around the whelping box and explore — usually in search of dinner and OPAL !!!
My biggest job at this point is keeping the laundry going and making sure that Opal has a non-stop buffet of food – as feeding 10 mouths requires lots of input !! We will look forward to watching their development over this next week ….
Discovering the world at 2 weeks old
It has been a week of both triumphs and tears as we have marvelled firstly in watching Lilly’s lovely pups grow bigger and stronger every day. We did however have heart-breaking news earlier in the week when one of Lilly’s pups, Miss Baby Blue started to decline in health. This can sometimes happen in a large litter – and is often just Mother Nature’s way of addressing weakness or illness. It is referred to as “fading puppy syndrome” and for no apparent reason a puppy that has appeared healthy will stop gaining and thriving like its siblings – and eventually death occurs. It is with heavy hearts that we bid farewell to Miss Baby Blue… It is always extremely hard to say good-bye. It is profoundly felt by everyone in our family.
This is by no means a reflection on the rest of the pups who are all doing well and getting bigger by the minute. The pups are now all weighing between 2-1/2 to 3 pounds and the biggest event of the week was having eyes open ! It always seems like the puppies come to life once you can gaze into their beautiful faces and see someone looking right back at you. Of course at this stage — what they are seeing is still rather blurry — but it is exciting to see this next stage of development taking place. The pups are also starting to move around much more and are very aware of Lilly as well as each other.
We were very surprised to receive a wonderful package of puppy toys this week from one of our puppy families !!!! (THANK YOU FONDA!!) Such generosity and kindness are overwhelming. The pups are thoroughly enjoying their new toys — especially the little green and blue stuffed critters that the pups seem to think are a source for milk – as they are constantly sucking on them looking for dinner ! The puppies will become even more interactive in the week ahead and will appreciate the toys even more as they continue to spend more time playing and exploring. We will look forward to a great week ahead !
Honey with her lovely new family
I would like to preface this post by saying that 3 litters on the go at once is not for the faint at heart and takes every ounce of time and energy one has and then some. I would certainly not ever intentionally plan on having 3 litters on the go — but sometimes luck runs as it does and things don’t go the way we would have originally designed. Admittedly – I had hoped to have a litter with Ace and Honey later on this year or perhaps even in 2013 — but apparently Ace and Honey had a different idea!!! While I was away during the day earlier this spring – our goldens were left in the care of someone very dear who I completely trust and is well experienced with our golden crew. However – girls in heat and boys with romance on their mind is not always an easy thing to manage — and in a split second lapse Ace swept our sweet Honey off of her feet and the rest is puppy history. Ace must be feeling like quite the casanova now with 3 little families off and running !! Although Honey and Ace’s rendezvous is coming a bit earlier than we had planned – we are thrilled to announce the safe arrival of their puppies — 4 hardy boys and 3 sweet girls born in the wee, wee hours of this morning. If Honey looks a bit damp in the above photo — it is because she wasted absolutely no time at all in heading straight for the lake as soon as she knew everyone was safe and sound and snuggled into the whelping box. Everyone is doing well and Honey is bunked in beside Lilly in her own separate area — I am sure Lilly is passing on words of motherly wisdom every chance she gets. It is certainly a full house here but I have enlisted lots of helping hands (there is never a lack of volunteers) — and there are always plenty of hugs and cuddles to go around with such cuteness in our midst !! & I am grateful that my husband just completed a brand new puppy area just off our deck for outdoor time which will help accommodate all these lovely little cherubs !! All mums and pups are well and I am completely stocked up on coffee (and laundry detergent)…. so all is good in our part of the world tonight 🙂
Welcome to our world !
Well after a great deal of waiting and a very long labour — Opal’s beautiful puppies finally made their grand entrance into the world early this morning. The first little girl puppy appeared just around midnight and was soon followed by another sister … Four sisters made their way into the world before they were joined by a handsome brother and Opal did a terrific job greeting each one as they arrived. A few of the puppies were rather on the large side — so there were times throughout the night when the delivery was rather difficult for Opal — but she is such a sweet and strong girl — she faced every birth with patience and diligence. We actually thought that by 6:45 a.m. she was all finished — as she decided to head outdoors and take a dip in the lake and also eagerly took me up on my offer for food. However – lo and behold by 8:45 we had another little boy in our midst (just to keep those girls in line) and not long after, another boy joined us at around 9:30 a.m. At that point we discovered that Opal still had one more puppy to go — however it was very big and in a breech position …… It took quite awhile for the pup to deliver. This last 11th puppy -a beautiful girl – unfortunately did not survive. It is always heartbreaking to lose a puppy – even at this very young age….
The final count for Opal’s new family is 5 boys and 5 girls. Glad to see that Opal believes in equal opportunity !!
Opal is quite exhausted from the last couple of days – but she is a superb mum and has easily segued into her new role caring for her little ones. The pups are all doing well and I think we will all sleep well tonight knowing that Opal and her 10 babies are safe and sound!! More updates to come !
Life is sweet
To say that this past week has flown by would be an understatement !! It is hard to believe that it has already been a whole week since Lilly’s lovely pups arrived in our home. They have had a great week doing the things that puppies normally do in their first week of life — sleeping and eating and sleeping some more. We have enjoyed snuggling with each one of them this past week and have already begun handling them in specific ways that help encourage proper socialization and temperament as they grow. Our youngest son Josh always spends lots of time with the pups even at this age — probably why he is always their favourite !!
The pups are all weighing in between 1-1/2 to 2 pounds which is approximately double their birth weight – so they are right on track. The boys of course always seem to muscle their way into the milk bar primo seating positions — so they are gaining ahead of the girls in typical fashion. Lilly is being an excellent mum and is especially enjoying the fact that she can eat to her heart’s content at the moment with so many mouths to feed !
It will be an exciting week ahead as the pups continue to grow and develop – with the biggest landmark being that they will soon open their eyes 🙂
Do you remember that saying “A watched pot never boils….” ?? Well it takes on a whole new meaning when waiting for puppies !! Opal has now reached the 63 day mark and puppies should be arriving anytime now. She has already picked out her choice of the “perfect spot” for the nursery — which just so happens to be in the garden beside our front deck. It will take some careful bribery with treats to convince her that I have a better place in mind. Funny how the girls never like the spot I prepare for them in the living room !!
Opal’s abdominal area now measures approximately 93 cm and she has a very notable waddle to her walk. She is a bit slower these days to rise to her feet from a laying position — and prefers to spend the majority of her time just laying on the cool grass down by the lake. She occasionally wades into the lake – but for the most part is keeping pretty quiet and low key. Her appetite has continued to give us challenges — the thing that she fancies one day is no longer popular the next — so it has been interesting to try and find things that she feels like eating. Today’s dish of the day was Canine Life muffins made with turkey, carrots and broccoli — however the amount she will consume keeps on getting smaller and as the onset of labour approaches her appetite will diminish completely. We will finish getting Opal’s whelping box and birthing area set up this afternoon – and then just wait on Opal to decide that the time is right. A female’s body temperature drops 12-24 hours prior to labor commencing — so that will be our first indication that the big event is close at hand. For now – we will just do our best to keep Opal happy and comfortable 🙂 We will provide more updates as soon as we have any news !