Enjoying this new found world of the outdoors !
I think you could see Opal’s puppies actually smiling this week as they welcomed their new found freedom outdoors. The weather has finally warmed up enough – and the pups have matured enough that they can spend some longer stretches of time out in the fresh air exploring the great frontier. The puppies have a nice play area up on the deck which keeps them out of the muck and mud. Our spring here has been extremely slow coming and quite wet – so I am grateful that the pups have a large area that is dry and clean to romp and play in. They love the little dog house that we have in the corner and chase each other around and around with great enthusiasm…. and yes — all 9 puppies can actually fit in the house and love to snuggle up in there to sleep 🙂
The pups are spending more time awake and really love being engaged in either time with us or time exploring their new found world. They are the happiest little bunch and always approach everything with just the right mix of caution and curiosity. Their tails are always wagging and they always seem ready for every new adventure. They are also more attuned to my comings and goings and love to follow me wherever I go.
Opal continues to be a stellar mum and allows the pups to still sneak a snack from her a couple of times a day. While some mums have weaned their pups to a greater extent at this age — I always allow each mum to make her own call for the most part in this area — and Opal still loves the entire interaction involved with motherhood — so I am letting her enjoy it. She has also become more playful with the pups — when enough is enough at the milk bar she will run and weave her way around the pups turning the entire situation into a game…. The puppies just adore her and seem to realize what a special mum they have.
The puppies continue to grow and gain well. They are eating 4 meals a day currently with little extras from Opal. They have been enjoying their kibble soaked in goat’s milk and usually once a day they are indulged with a little snack of raw beef which they devour. I think a few of them must be ordering out for pizza as well…. they certainly don’t miss a beat in the meal department.
We will hope that the weather stays clear and sunny over this next week and look forward to every new adventure with Opal’s darlings.
Opal’s puppies continue to do well; getting bigger and cuter by the minute !! They are now all weighing between 7-9 pounds with a bit of variation quite normal in a litter of this size where some pups are just more enthusiastic eaters (and maybe a bit pushier) than others!! There is also a slight difference in weight between the males and females — but all of the puppies are gaining well and have nice substance and beautiful coats. I keep waiting for them to find their voices and get vocal about meals or some other desire of their heart — but most of the time you don’t even know there is a litter of puppies in the house they are so quiet !
The pups have a bit of a routine and spend most of the morning in the kitchen where they have lots of toys to play with and become acquainted with all the sights and sounds of a busy household. They really love their time with our family and the older dogs in the house. Opal also loves this time as she has lots of room to play with them and can either sit/lay with them or seek a more secluded corner of the room. The pups then spend the majority of the afternoon in the sunroom where they have additional toys and lots of space to play. We have also just begun venturing outdoors for short periods during the day…. As the weather warms up and as the pups get older we will expand the time outside so that the pups can have plenty of fresh air and sunshine.
The puppies have enjoyed their move to the sunroom — We began with a space that was double that of their whelping box with the one area being completely lined with newspaper. The puppies caught in within 24 hours that the papered area was for potty duties and the bedding was for playing and sleeping — Such smart pups !!! Now that they have got the idea we will open up the room to give them even more space to play.
The puppies are spending less time sleeping and more time interacting with our family and exploring their new domain. They are a very happy bunch no matter what the day brings — and Opal is always close by to keep a watchful eye on them. We will be hoping for some nice, sunny days in the week ahead so that we can spend some much awaited time outdoors !!
9 reasons to smile!
Opal’s puppies continue to get cuter by the second and we have had a great week !! The puppies are spending more and more time awake and are becoming much more interested in exploring the great lands that lay beyond their whelping box. They have especially loved their time in the kitchen where they can check out whatever toys the adults have left lying around – and a whole new realm of sights and sounds that are new and interesting to them. They still seem to stay quite close as a group and don’t go on “extreme” independent missions; holding on to the security of being close to each other and not venturing too far into the “unknown”. Of course they only last 20-30 minutes and then they all curl up and snuggle in for a good nap.
The biggest development this week has been the introduction of “puppy mush” which is the first step in the transition to solid food and independence from mum for meals. The puppies gladly lapped up their first instalment of puppy mush – and quite surprisingly did not end up wearing most of the mush (like most puppies do). I am not sure if this is because they are exceedingly well-mannered and polite – or if they were just too hungry to stop and play in it first !! In any event they have welcomed their new found menu and I think Opal is breathing a sigh of relief as well.
The puppies also decided this week that they should enlist in choir practice. I have been practicing for our upcoming Easter musical and with the piano being right beside the whelping box, the puppies get to listen to every bar and every run through. Earlier in the week they didn’t know quite what to make of all the music and usually expressed some kind of concern with a chorus of howls. However they now let me get through the majority of my practicing with only the occasional interjection — which is usually (amazingly) somehow always in the same key !! What talented puppies we have!
Opal continues to be a super mom. She is now spending more time back in the kitchen with her friends and outdoors for a walk and fresh air — but she is constantly checking on her puppies and loves to spend time with them. I think you can even see her smiling when she is laying with them or letting them crawl over her….
The pups are all gaining well and are weighing in around 5-1/2 to 6 pounds…. They have very healthy appetites and I’m sure they must be ordering in when I’m not looking as they seem to gain remarkably even overnight. I think we need to give Opal a great deal of credit for being such a great mum and keeping the smorgasbord open all night for her little family 🙂
We look forward to the coming week — after the cold snap tomorrow we will be moving out to the sunroom where the pups will have a great deal more room to run and play — and on sunny days we can just scamper out the door to the deck area where they can enjoy the sunshine and great outdoors. A whole new world of adventures is waiting for the pups in the weeks ahead !
Opal’s puppies have had an excellent week. They are spending more time awake now so their daytime is filled with romping in the whelping box, playing with the toys and each other, eating at the milk bar (and then going back for seconds), and cuddle time with our family. They are a very easy-going bunch and most of the time you would not even know there was a puppy in the house ! The only time now that you will hear the occasional squawk is if the living room gets too warm in the mid-day sun — or if Opal is standing at the entrance-way to the whelping box (which creates a chorus of “hungry” chirps). Opal continues to be a most diligent and caring mum. She does spend her evenings now sleeping just outside the whelping box – but that is only because the area has become a bit crowded with the increasing size of her puppies. She is never far from her little family – however she has graduated to a new spot on the living room floor where she can keep a watchful eye on them. By the end of this week we will be moving the puppies out to the sunroom where they have a much larger play area – and Opal will have a bit more freedom to come and go as she pleases with them. We will be adding more interactive toys and a “potty area” in addition to the blankets and bedding that they are now accustomed to.
The puppies are all gaining well and are weighing in between 4 and 4-1/2 pounds. There tends to be a bit of a variation in weight when you have 9 puppies as the more enthusiastic eaters and connoisseurs of fine food readily push some of the more mannered pups out of prime seating at the milk bar !! However – things will start to change now. By tomorrow we will introduce the puppies to the wonderful world of “puppy mush” !! I’m sure that Opal can hardly wait !! The puppies now have small, sharp teeth which will make nursing increasingly uncomfortable for Opal …. and with their grand appetites it is time to take that next step towards culinary maturity! So we will be gradually transitioning the puppies over to something other than mum’s milk — which will start with a sloppy mixture of goat’s milk, yogurt, rice baby pablum and honey. The food games are about to begin !
The pups are becoming more aware of our family and the world around them — we always look forward to this part of puppy development where everyone becomes more interactive with our family. We can hardly wait for the adventures to come this week !