Steele & Opal Puppies – 7 weeks old

Still loving time spent with mama

Still loving time spent with mama

Opal’s pups have had another exciting week.     The early part of the week was very cold and wet — so the puppies were only outdoors for brief periods of time and enjoyed romping and playing in the kitchen with some of our older goldens.    Fortunately the sun decided to come back out and stay later in the week – so the pups still had the chance to do lots of exploring on the lawn and through the gardens.  They love to run through the grass and find shady spots to hide and sleep.

The puppies also had a number of visitors this week.   They are always ready for as much playtime, interaction and cuddling as they can get – so visitors are always welcome sight.   The puppies have also become much more interactive with me –  and quickly follow at my feet most times of the day in hopes that I will garnish a big bowl of food !!   They are all good eaters with the boys especially still leading the group with their unending appetites.   The comparison of goldens to a hoover vacuum is not far from the truth with these little guys – the food seems to disappear almost as quickly as I put it into their dish.    This is of course reflected in their sturdy and chunky little physiques – the boys are all weighing in around 10 pounds – and the girls between 8 and 9.

Opal is becoming less involved with her pups although she does still enjoy playing with them.   The puppies try to sneak the odd, quick snack but for the most part Opal is finished with her mealtime duties.     She is cutting the apron strings just a little more every day which is part of the necessary transition as the puppies get ready to head off to their new homes.

The puppies have been a real delight to have as part of our family — they are a very quiet and gentle-natured bunch and I smile everytime I see their happy faces looking back at me.   I plan on enjoying every minute of this last week with them 🙂

Steele & Opal Puppies – 6 weeks old

Snug as a bug

Snug as a bug

The puppies have had an excellent week.    Fortunately the weather for the most part has been warm and dry – so the bugs (mosquitoes and black flies) have remained at bay and the puppies have been able to enjoy most of their days with ample time outdoors.    They alternate time between their puppy play area and time spent running and playing on the grass.   Their favorite spot is always beneath the birch tree where they love to lie in the shade and look for small sticks and treasures.

I had the great support of both my mother and the rest of our family this week to help in caring for the pups while I made the big drive to Virginia to pick up my daughter from Liberty University.    I was only gone for 48 hours – but it took a great deal of coordination to make sure that the puppies (as well as the rest of our goldens) would stay on their usual routine and receive all the care they needed while I was gone.    I am happy to report that everyone did a stellar job – and the only real surprise when I returned home was how much the puppies had grown and changed in two days !!   I’m not sure if the puppies missed me or not — they were just too busy enjoying the sunshine and having fun !

The puppies are spending more and more time awake now.  They love to tussle with each other and take up often in chasing games around the bushes or around their play area.  They also love any time spent with people – our family, our children’s friends, visitors — any snuggle or cuddle will do !   They are becoming less and less dependent on Opal – but they still enthusiastically look forward to the occasional snack now and then, and Opal is always such a good sport to oblige them.    She always keeps a presence somewhere close by and enjoys spending time with her little family.

We will look forward to the week ahead as even more of the puppies’ individual personalities begin to emerge….

Steele X Opal Puppies – 5 weeks old

Naptime pile up

Naptime pile up

We had beautiful weather for most of the week so the pups had a great time outdoors enjoying the sunshine and exploring.   Exploring and playing are quickly followed by naptime and the puppies already have a favorite spot to pile up and snuggle up together – in between an old Little Tykes play center we have and a travel crate.  Every last puppy must squeeze their way into this one spot when its “quiet time”.    They are so adorable together.

The pups have continued to lap up the puppy mush which is now getting thicker every day.  They still wear plenty of it on their faces – but they are getting a bit more refined with their eating habits all the time.    They are all gaining well with the girl puppies weighing in around 6 pounds – and the heavyweight, bring-on-a-second-helping boys are already around 8 pounds.    The pups have also easily picked up tidy habits for their indoor area.    They have quickly adopted using the papered area for potty duties and keep their bedding and toy area quite spotless — It always impresses me how already at this age they have such a strong instinct to keep their immediate living area clean…..

We had some lovely visitors over the weekend – which the puppies always enjoy.    After the final family left I began making the pups something to eat and then began calling them to follow me outside.    I thought I had everyone with me (as they are usually so willing to follow) and set down the dishes for the pups – did a quick head count ….. But to my dismay I only had 11 puppies !!    I re-traced my steps — checked the puppy gate that led into the hallway (where the tricky puppies sometimes squeeze through), checked outside to see if someone had possibly been let outdoors accidentally, checked every hiding spot I could think of…. No puppy !     I went through the house and the grounds again – using my “Pup-pup-puppy” call that always brings them running for dinner.   This is ALWAYS my surefire way to find any stragglers or wanderers….   Still no puppy.     By this time my mind and my heart are racing and I am wondering what on earth has happened to my 12th puppy ….   Finally after checking through the house another dozen times, checking under tables, the cookstove, behind doors….   I found little Mr. Tostito — tucked fast asleep under the curtains behind the water dish !!  I must have gone right past him at least 2 dozen times — calling and calling…. and he snored right through the whole thing !  I guess all of our visitors just tuckered the poor little guy out completely !  I quickly fixed him some extra food (as his brothers and sisters had cleaned every dish down to the last morsel) …. and he happily re-joined the rest of his family!

It is actually snowing here today — the pups didn’t last long at all outside in the wet, cold snow and the bitter wind  — so it will be indoor fun time today !!

Opal continues to be a super mum — always keeping a watchful eye on her precious babies and still visiting when her kids want a quick bite on the go or a late night snack….  We wish Opal — all of our other Dreamkeeper mums — and all of our extended Dreamkeeper two-legged family and friends a very happy Mother’s Day !!!!

Steele X Opal Puppies – 4 weeks old

Opal's 12 gems !!

Opal’s 12 gems !!

We have had lots of adventures here this week….    Firstly the puppies are gaining in their mobility and coordination and are spending more time awake and playing with each other.   The main portion of their day is still spent sleeping – but during the awake hours there is more interaction with the world around them.   An exciting milestone for the pups was to head outdoors this week.   The weather here seems to have gone instantly from winter to summer, and with the warm, sunny days I thought it would be a perfect time for the puppies to see what life was like outside of our four walls.    They have loved this new chapter of their lives and are enjoying spending time out in the fresh air.

This is also typically one of the messiest weeks in puppydom.   This is the week we begin the gradual transition to solid food – which means that the puppies get a bit of puppy gruel/mush every day.    Their puppy gruel/mush consists of goat’s milk, natural yogurt, honey and oatmeal (by next week we will start to add in some ground puppy kibble).   For the first few days the puppies walk through it, lay in it, play in it ….and if we’re lucky they get some in their mouth !!  Already now after a few days they are refining their eating habits and are consuming more than they are wearing !  Opal still visits her little family frequently for mealtimes — but this starts to ease some of the demand on her.   It also helps prepare the puppies for the diet of kibble that they will need to be on before they head out for their new homes.

We did have another development this week that was worrisome at first but has fortunately resolved itself.  Early in the week some of the puppies started to develop a cough – which immediately raised a high level of concern — as any young life is always fragile and there was really no rhyme or reason behind it.     The puppies all continued to eat well and play well – which is always an excellent barometer of how serious something is — however the cough is not something I’ve ever seen before in a litter.    We treated the puppies with a homeopathic remedy of herbs and vitamins — and within 3-4 days each puppy recovered completely.   Still no explanation for the illness – perhaps some kind of virus…. I am just grateful that everyone is now well and continuing on with the great adventures of puppyhood that are in store.

We are looking forward to another great week ahead and I continue to marvel at each of these little lives that we have been give to carefully watch over…