….while visions of sugarplums dance in their heads….
The pups have had a wonderful week! What could be better than Christmas and a house full of puppies all at the same time??!! It has certainly been a busy time here but we have enjoyed every minute!
The pups reached a big milestone a few days ago in that their eyes are now open. Of course at this stage they don’t have refined vision yet so anything they see is a blurred mix of shadows, shapes and light – but nonetheless it seems to add a whole new dimension to their personality when you can gaze into those innocent, sweet, brown eyes.
Tia has continued to be a stellar mum and spends a great deal of time with her pups – either right in the whelping box feeding them and resting with them – or just outside the perimeter where it is a bit cooler for her. She has enjoyed going on walks everyday with all of her other golden buddies – but is always eager to return and check in on her family.
The pups are all gaining well and now weigh in around the 3 pound mark. They love meal time which is usually followed by their second favourite activity – nap time! They are moving around the whelping box a bit more these days but their steps are still quite wobbly and they only manage a few shaky moves forward before they plop back down on their bellies. They love to be picked up and cuddled and seem to be a bit more aware of our family and their surroundings than they were a week ago.
We are looking forward to watching them become even more interactive over this next week and can’t wait to ring in the New Year with these 7 amazing beauties.
I’m not sure exactly where this last week has gone – but here we are and Tia’s pups are one week old today!! The pups have had a great week and have almost doubled in size. Their amazing rate of growth continues!
The boys have overtaken the girls a bit in the weight department (which is completely normal) and are very passionate about mealtime! Fortunately Tia is only too happy to accommodate her new little family and basically stays in the whelping box with them at their beck and call 24/7 – except for the occasional potty break and yesterday I did finally convince her to come for a nice walk with the rest of the gang.
The pups still do not have any sense of sight or sound – so their entire world revolves around smell, taste and touch. They are still fairly limited as far as movement and make their way around the whelping box now by dragging themselves by the front paws or trying to awkwardly take a few stumbling steps. However, they still manage to get themselves quite quickly into position for meals if Tia has been out for a moment – meal time is definitely the first order of the day for all of them.
Overall they are quite a content and quiet little bunch. For the first few weeks I usually sleep beside the whelping box to ensure I can let Tia outside for a break if needed and that I can rescue anyone if they get off in a corner somewhere away from brothers and sisters. Fortunately there has not been much action this past week and everyone seems very happy and well-cared for under Tia’s loving motherly watch.
We will look forward to the upcoming week as the pups continue to change and develop at great lengths and can’t wait to celebrate a wonderful Christmas with these special little gifts from above.
Tia is delighted to introduce her new family!
It has been a few long but exciting days here!! It all began on Sunday – just following the grand presentation of our Christmas musical at St. Andrew’s Church….. When the last song had been sung and the final notes played we hurried home to see how Tia was progressing with the arrival of her puppies. She of course had been under the careful watch of our son Josh (we knew she was in the very best hands) but we knew that the time was growing nigh for pups and rushed home as soon as we could.
When we arrived home we found Tia panting and pacing and trying to find a comfortable way to lay or sit with her belly of pups. Sunday’s unrest carried over into Sunday night, then Monday and as Tia started the first actual stages of labour she panted and paced ever increasingly; topped with the next part of labour – digging and rearranging any blankets in her bed or whelping box to prepare a “nest” for her family.
Tia’s labour continued well into the evening on Monday which is a bit longer than usual but Tia did not seem distressed or bothered so we just held tight and tried to be patient. In the early evening a fierce wind and rain storm blew through our region – taking out power lines in our area so we lost power which then added a bit of a twist to things. Fortunately we have a fireplace so we were able to keep everything warm and cozy for Tia and candles and flashlights added a peaceful glow to the room as we continued to wait for the first puppy to appear.
Apparently Tia was in no hurry to let those pups enter the world – as she waited, paced and waited some more all through Monday night!!
Finally in the early hours of Tuesday the first pup appeared – Mr. Blue Christmas. Soon to be followed by another brother – Mr. Gingerbread. Tia continued to deliver the pups fairly consistently ranging from 15 minutes to 45 minutes between puppies. When all was said and done we were graced with the arrival of 5 beautiful boys and 2 sweet girls: Mr. Blue Christmas, Mr. Gingerbread, Mr. Jingle Bell, Mr. Ho-Ho-Ho, Mr. Frankincense, Miss Holly and Miss Mistletoe. Unfortunately there were two other puppies (1 boy and 1 girl) born who did not make it. This can sometimes happen when there is a long labour or if the protective sac of the puppy breaks to0 early in the birthing process and the puppy takes in too much fluid…. Any loss of life is always very tragic to me – there is still a cloud of sadness in the air even though we are so very grateful and thankful for the 7 healthy pups that arrived safely. The pups are all quite large in size – most weighing just over a pound. Tia has settled right into her new role and will only leave the pups for 2-3 minutes for a potty break if I coax her to…. She watches over her pups with great devotion and it is nothing short of heart-warming to watch her snuggle in with her babies and care for them.
We look forward to the exciting weeks ahead and know our Christmas will be all the merrier with these little cutie-pies here in our home!
We finally have Tia’s whelping box set up – AND the Christmas tree up (and decorated) so I guess we are ready for anything!
We are definitely in the home stretch now. The next entry in our PUPPY CHRONICLES will be to introduce you to Tia’s new family. The puppies will hopefully arrive Monday or Tuesday but they can be born safely anytime from now on. We have been monitoring Tia’s temperature daily as any drop now below 99.0 F means that labour will commence within 24 hours.
Tia is still eating well, enjoying her walks and wading in the lake. She remains fairly happy and content although from time to time seems to have trouble getting comfortable these last few days. Understandable with a belly full of puppies!! (Tia is now measuring approximately 95 cms around the abdominal area) The puppies now have a good start in their development with all the major organs, bones, body systems and coat well formed. They will be born with eyes still closed and no sense of hearing yet – but that will develop in the 10-14 days following birth.
We will do our best to keep Tia comfortable over the next few days and just like a child waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve we can hardly wait to meet her new family!!
Our lovely Tia with babies on board….
We are closing in on the final 10 days of Tia’s pregnancy and the combined excitement of the approaching puppies’ birth and the holiday season has filled our house to the brim!! Tia continues to do very well and you can see by the photo her tummy is getting bigger by the minute. She still is fairly active and consistent with her usual routine – although I have noticed in the last 2 days she doesn’t quite have as much spring in her step as usual. Quite understandable with the extra weight she is now carrying.
Tia’s abdomen is now measuring 90 cms and will continue to expand over these last days. The skeletal parts of the puppies are now completely ossified and would show up on an X-ray if we were to do one at this point – however I usually refrain from X-rays for our pregnant girls unless we have reason to believe there is something out of the ordinary going on. The puppies have continued to grow in size over this past week and their organs continue to mature. Last to develop are things like the intestines and the sucking reflex which will be necessary for them to nurse once they arrive in just over a week’s time.
We didn’t get the whelping box assembled and in place yet this week as I had hoped — but that is on the agenda for tomorrow. The biggest hurdle will be figuring out how to make room for both the Christmas tree AND the whelping box in our living room – but we will find a way to make it all work and keep Tia comfortable and happy. Unlike people – dogs are extremely predictable with their whelping date and usually hold quite true to the 63 day gestation period (+/- 24 hours). As long as a breeder does progesterone testing when a girl comes into season (to monitor the level of that particular hormone) – one can come up with a fairly accurate whelping date. The only thing that also enters into the picture is how long a girl is in labour… however, all things considered with Tia we should see the arrival of her sweet little bundles of joy around December 14th or 15th ❤ We can hardly wait for the big day to arrive!!!