Juliet’s snuggle bugs
Juliet’s puppies have had a busy week. They now spend more time awake and love to be picked up and involved in any aspect possible of our daily life. They are becoming more and more bold with their explorations of the kitchen and their favourite spot seems to be hiding under the stove – or snuggled around the foot of Josh’s chair if he is sitting at the kitchen island. Juliet has been spending increasingly less time fussing over them and still keeps a very watchful eye — however she has been glad to turn over the bulk of meal duties to someone else !! The puppies are now enjoying 4 tasty meals of puppy kibble/mush with goat’s milk, combined with a couple of welcomed snacks from Juliet each day.
Probably the most interesting development of the week was that Josh decided that whoever’s name was the topic of the day in history would be the inspiration behind which puppy should spend study time sitting on his lap…. So needless to say one day we would have Thomas Jefferson, another George Washington — with each pup getting their turn to enjoy Josh’s cozy reading spot in front of the fireplace. It has actually given American history a whole new twist.
The puppies are spending more time this past week in sibling wrestling matches and playing with toys. However, they still remain quite a gentle and polite little bunch — no one has even tried to climb out of the partitioned puppy play area in the sun room yet as everyone just seems quite content to take whatever comes their way.
The weather has still been too cold and the pups too young to venture outside yet — but hopefully by the end of this coming week if weather permits we can broaden horizons with even greater adventures !!
Lovely Lucy and her brother Armani enjoying the winter as young pups
Well the big countdown is on as we have approximately one week left until the arrival of Lucy’s little family !! Fortunately Lucy doesn’t seem to be too worried about anything and is taking the entire pregnancy in stride. She has started to slow down a little but remains fairly active which is great as it will keep her in tip-top shape for the big delivery. No amount of food seems to be enough these days – but then again she does have a very good excuse. We are trying to keep her satisfied with as many healthy foods as possible. Her tummy continues to expand and she has lost a bit of her elegant stride and movement with puppies on board, but she still enjoys her walks and time outdoors. The puppies are entering the final stages of their development; all major organs and systems are now in place and the biggest part of growth during this last week is in size. The puppies could be born safely any time from now on – but unlike human pregnancies goldens almost always carry their pups for the full 63 days from ovulation. In any event the whelping box is all ready with fresh towels and blankets, fortunately Juliet’s pups are almost 5 weeks old and have moved “uptown” to the more spacious sunroom complete with playing area, balls and toys. We will now just try to keep Lucy as comfortable and entertained as possible and start watching for signs of impending labor ! I will be sure to update the “Chronicles” as soon as her little darlings arrive !
On another bright note our beautiful BELLA was confirmed to be expecting later next month as well. Just as Juliet’s puppies are leaving Bella’s will be arriving; and all just in time for Christmas !! Bella seemed quite ecstatic about the news as you can see !
A happy Bella confirmed to be expecting – hope Santa can fill some extra stockings with puppy treats !
Bella is around 35 days along — so the due date is predicted to be around December 23rd. There are no visible outward signs at this point in a canine pregnancy — but ultrasound confirmed that there are indeed little ones on the way and the days of Bella’s svelte waistline are about to be over – at least for awhile. We will look forward to watching both Bella and Lucy as they head into the next stage of their pregnancy ! Many exciting times ahead !
It has been another eventful week for the pups with the biggest news being our move from the living room to the sunroom – which is located directly off of our kitchen. The pups are reaching that stage where they need more room to run and play so they were quite happy to make the change. Once the puppies are a few weeks older it will also allow us easy access to the outdoors (on days where weather permits) and the outer puppy area that is also designed just for them.
So the last 24 hours have been spent re-organizing the sunroom space with blankets and toys for the puppies – as well as a papered area that they are already learning is the “potty area”. The pups have been exploring the entire space with great curiosity and seem to approve of their new abode. Juliet has also quickly adapted and does not seem to mind spending time in with the pups or laying just outside the sunroom door where she can keep a watchful eye on them.
The puppies also started puppy mush this week as their teeth have appeared – which always makes nursing a bit less desirable for a mama-golden. However the transition to solid food will be a gradual one — and although the puppies thoroughly seem to enjoy their goat’s milk/oatmeal/honey creation — they still look forward to frequent visits from Juliet. The pups have actually been quite well-mannered in their approach to eating and have not worn most of their meal as many other pups have done in the past – although Martha Washington can often be seen lying down, belly and all, in the puppy-mush dish!! They continue to be quiet and calm even during meal-time — Must be all those fine manners that Juliet has been teaching them !
The puppies spend more time awake and clearly love to spend time with whoever will go and sit with them. They love to crawl all over someone and cuddle — and Josh’s toes are usually the biggest attraction when he is laying or sitting in with the pups. They are also spending more time gently wrestling with each other and playing amongst themselves. It is amazing how much they have changed since last week, and even from a few days ago.
The puppies remain fairly consistent in size and are all gaining well. They have good appetites and have not missed a beat in moving from Juliet’s milk to mush — and now we will begin to add in a bit of ground kibble.
We are enjoying every minute with these little darlings and can hardly wait to see what adventures are in store for this next week.
Likeness of Puppy fetus at 40-45 days – courtesy of National Geographic
Hard to believe that Lucy is already at day 45 of her pregnancy !! At this stage the puppies are developing very rapidly. Their skeletons, which begun as cartilage are now ossifying and their coats are also becoming more established. Eyelids have developed which will now seal closed until approximately 10-12 days after the puppies are born. All major organs are well along in their development and the fetuses by this point do resemble “little dogs”. Three-quarters of the pre-delivery growth will take place in this last stretch of pregnancy.
Lucy has maintained her usual sunny and cheerful disposition. She did have a bout of morning sickness earlier on in her pregnancy — but she is well over that now and has a ravenous appetite. She still participates very freely in walking and playing – however she does seem to pace herself a bit more over this last week. Her waistline is of course expanding and now measures approximately 80 centimetres (up from 66 centimetres before becoming pregnant).
The greatest amount of growth will now take place so Lucy will probably start to slow down a bit at some point over the next 7-10 days. I’m sure she has already been taking notes from Juliet and we can hardly wait to have her new family join us in a couple of weeks’ time ~ !! Exciting days are ahead !
One last kiss goodnight…
Juliet and Hudson’s pups have had another stellar week. I probably sound like a first-time, over-zealous parent but I am so thrilled with this litter and just love what I see in the development of these pups 🙂 I am still sleeping just a few feet away from the whelping box as Juliet still needs out through the night — but the pups for the most part are a very quiet, contented, peaceful bunch and our entire family is enjoying every minute with them.
The puppies are becoming a bit more active in their daily routine, however sleep-time is still the first order of the day. The last few days the pups have ventured out into the living room area (on the floor) but they aren’t quite sure what to make of it and only spend a short time there before they return to the whelping box. However, each new experience helps build their confidence for the future and we are already starting to broaden the pups’ horizons as much as possible.
The pups are all gaining well and remain quite uniform/consistent in size — much like Juliet’s litter when she was a pup. This week will begin to make the transition to PUPPY MUSH ! the first step towards solid food. Of course the pups always wear more than they eat for the first few outings — but it will be nice to see the puppies moving on to this next step and I’m sure it will give Juliet a much needed break – although she would never complain. She is a completely devoted mum.
The puppies are becoming more mobile and more aware of their surroundings. I was practicing a few songs on the piano earlier today (just beside the whelping box) and you could hear the occasional squawk from a few of the pups at the foreign sound — but they quickly adapted and returned to a peaceful sleep … Even without a lullaby 🙂 We also trimmed nails already this week for the first time without any protest — and in general the pups just seem very easy-going and ready for anything.
We will look forward to the week ahead as things get busier with the puppies and we try to provide as many new learning experiences for them as possible.
Getting bigger !
Juliet’s puppies have had a wonderful week. As you can see from the photo above they are growing in leaps and bounds and sometimes seem to change almost overnight… (I included the banana in the photo just to give everyone a reference as to the actual size of the pups). We passed a huge milestone this week as the pups have now opened their eyes !! This is always a very special time in development as the puppies somehow seem to take on a deeper and more intricate personality once you can gaze into those big, dark eyes. Of course at this point – anything that they see is a mix of indistinct shapes and light. Their vision is still pretty fuzzy but it is one other huge step towards becoming more mobile and self-sufficient.
The pups are also moving around more in the whelping box, often climbing and scurrying over each other (especially when Juliet arrives for mealtime). They are still quite wobbly on their feet but with each day they seem to gain better balance and coordination.
Juliet continues to be a great mum and watches over her little family like a hawk. She is very careful to watch even me when I am removing the puppies from the whelping box to clean out bedding and put in new blankets. She does not take her eyes off of me or the puppies until every single pup is returned safely to her “nest”. If anyone utters even a peep while they are in the holding area, she is quick to hover over them all and check each puppy to make sure they are fine. Juliet is starting to spend a little more time with the rest of our adult gang during the day and is willing to take a few short breaks from the puppies for a walk or a swim – but she is always quick to return to their side and seems to take a great deal of pride in watching over her new little family.
The puppies still spend the majority of their day sleeping — but we are enjoying watching them as they become a bit more aware of life around them. They are a very happy and content bunch and we look forward to the adventures that await this next week.
Two fetal sacs
We had wonderful news this week confirming that our beautiful girl Lucy will also be expecting puppies next month. In the photo above the two dark oval shapes represent the sacs in which the puppies are currently developing. Each sac contains one puppy. The uterus of a golden retriever is very different from a person in that it is shaped like the letter U. So when the ultrasound technician is doing their examination he/she cannot just take one digital image to view all the puppies at once and determine how many will be born. The technician travels along from the top of one side of the U, down, around and up the other side of the U (all of this while Lucy is wagging her tail). So the photo above is just a glimpse of one area scanned. Unfortunately ultrasounds do not give a very accurate count of puppies — we all play the guessing game around here for that !!
Lucy is doing very well although she has experienced a wee bit of “morning sickness” which is quite common around the third/fourth week of gestation. No cravings for pickles with ice cream — but I suppose we are too soon for that ! Fortunately a bit of cooked rice and lighter meals has helped her through the worst of it and her appetite is returning to normal. Over the next few weeks it will increase as the demands of the growing pups become even greater. I am always amazed at the immense amount of growth that goes on in such a short period of time. It truly is a miracle. We will be looking forward to watching Lucy blossom over these next few weeks and hopefully she and Juliet can compare “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” notes.