Safe and sound!
On the tails of winter “superstorm” JONAS – we have had our own flurry of activity with the arrival of Nina’s new family. How fitting that a beautiful boy named “Storm” (Canadian Grand Champion Bonett Bride Fire Tower) should be the sire of this new litter of pups!!
After a very long day of pacing and restlessness on Tuesday, Nina finally decided to get down to the business of welcoming her family into the world around dinnertime, Tuesday evening. One by one the little pups made their entrance into the world – with 5 robust boys being born by the midnight hour. Unfortunately after that – despite Nina’s heroic efforts – no other pups could be delivered. After trying every trick in the book to get things moving along again, we ended up taking a trip to the vet clinic early Wednesday morning where Nina required a C-section to rescue the two remaining pups. I am so very thankful to the amazingly skilled and caring vets and techs at Centennial Animal Hospital who quickly attended to Nina and helped her through the surgery. The two remaining pups (both girls) were quite large which is most likely what caused the halt in deliveries – sadly one of the girls could not be revived despite everyone’s relentless efforts. It is always heartbreaking to lose any kind of life – no matter how big or small, old or young – it is the part of breeding that I will never, ever get used to. A bittersweet 24 hours….
We are grateful and blessed by the 5 boys and 1 precious girl that now lay nestled in, warm and safe with our beautiful Nina. We can only dream of the amazing things these pups will do and the great joy they will bring their new families.
Cuteness in motion.
The puppies are getting bigger and cuter every day. They are now weighing in between 9 and 10 pounds and meal time is still their favourite part of the day. Puppy mush has transitioned into moistened puppy kibble with a splash of goat’s milk and the puppies are refining their eating habits gradually – they only wear 1/4 of their meal now instead of the entire thing!
We moved everyone out to the sunroom this week which they have enjoyed completely. This way they have more room to play through the day and will also have easy access to the outdoors. If we get a nice day later in the week we plan to go outside and play for a bit in the snow. It will be interesting to see their first reaction to the fluffy, white banks that surround our home.
The pups have had their fair share of visitors which they have basked in. They are all very social and affectionate pups and love nothing better than spending time with whatever human crosses their path. They are very interested in anything that is going on in the house and keep a very watchful eye on everyone that comes and goes, the other goldens in our family and anything else that is unfolding throughout the day.
Tia continues to be a stellar mom and enjoys spending time with her pups through the day. She still offers them an occasional snack – and if ever the pups are getting a bit too much for her she retreats to a quiet spot or back to the kitchen with her other golden buddies.
At this age there are still not any blaring differences in personality. All the pups are quite happy and easy-going, friendly and confident. It will be interesting to watch for subtle differences over these next two weeks – however with parents like Tia and Kingston we will be expecting nothing but great things from all of them!
Ready, set, go.
Tia’s pups have had an exciting week. Every day seems to bring new adventures now – the pups are spending more time awake and are much more mobile than last week. They seem to increase in strength and coordination every day and love to explore the kitchen and mudroom to see what new treasure they can uncover. The puppies typical daily routine begins around 6:30 when they wake up along with the adults, followed by a breakfast of puppy mush (goat’s milk and oatmeal baby cereal) with some ground puppy kibble around 7 and a good romp around the mudroom while I make sure their bedding and play area is refreshed. Tia also checks in on the pups around this time and is always quite happy to oblige their never-ending appetites with an additional snack of milk. The pups then quickly fade off into dreamland before another yummy meal and play session around noon. The balance of the day is usually a repeat of those activities – with a longer play session before the pups’ bedtime which is usual around 10:00.
Of course quality control is always carried out by the adult goldens who vigilantly keep close watch to make sure that all is well with the pups.
The pups are all weighing in between 7-1/2 and 8 pounds and are healthy, robust youngsters who seem to grow almost overnight sometimes. The pups had a number of wonderful visitors this past week so they continue to mature in confidence and socialness as well.
We look forward to the week ahead! As the pups become busier we will be spending much more time together; creating memories that will last a lifetime ❤
The home stretch
Nina is doing very well and is entering into the final week of her pregnancy. She hasn’t slowed down in the slightest and still enjoys nothing better than a good romp in the snow with her golden buddies. With the fresh blanket of snow that fell on Thursday (18 inches for us!) even a simple walk in the snow is a good workout. Blazing a trail through chest high snow is a bit of a task but is sure to keep Nina in tip-top shape as we head towards the big day. Nina’s tummy area is now measuring around 91 cms so she definitely has a fair share of extra weight to carry around.
At this stage of development most of the initial formation of organs and bones is complete and energy will be spent on final furnishings such as coat, whiskers and and nails. The intestinal area is also one of the last to mature which is why a puppy’s tummy can be a sensitive thing for the first few months following birth. The pups will continue to increase in size this week, as will Nina’s appetite! Diet is of utmost importance during this time so we make sure Nina receives a vast array of protein sources and fresh food. A typical day might include pheasant, elk, turkey or beef, a lamb bone, veggie greens, carrots, sweet potatoes and a topping of fish oil with kelp and herbs. Over this next week we will break up meals into smaller snacks as the space in her stomach becomes more limited.
The whelping box is set and ready to go…. Now we will patiently count down the final days until Nina’s precious family arrives!!
Nina with babies on board
The big move
This week has been full of changes for the puppies. Today we moved the entire crew to a bigger space just off the kitchen where they have more room to play and explore. The pups aren’t old enough yet to spend time outdoors with the current frigid temperatures – so for now they will spend some time in this larger area before moving to the sunroom in a couple of weeks’ time (which allows for easy access to an outdoor play area once they are a bit older and able to weather a snowy adventure). The pups weren’t quite sure what to make of the change at first – but they have quickly embraced their new surroundings. They have amazingly already adapted to the papered “potty” area that they now have access to. They are such tidy little pups — most of them have already picked up on the idea that the blankets are best kept clean and dry and the papered area is for any tiolet duties.
This week the pups have also begun feasting on puppy mush. This consisted earlier in the week of goat’s milk, oatmeal baby pablum, kefir and honey — within the past few days we have also added in some ground up puppy kibble. The pups are quite hearty eaters and did not need to be asked twice if they were interested in some “mush”. The funniest part of the entire event is when the last morsel is licked clean and the last speck of hair on their fellow littermate is licked clean – then one by one they fall asleep in the mush dish; happy and content with full little bellies.
The pups are all weighing in around 6 pounds now with a fairly uniform weight across both the girls and boys. They are spending more time awake, more time curious about what the humans around them are up to, and more time interacting with each other. Despite the fact that their “play” with each other sometimes looks a bit rough – they are a sweet and gentle bunch and this is actually a very important step in learning. Tia still faithfully watches over everyone – fortunately she has a little more freedom these days to play with her other golden friends – and the meal demands are not as great, but she is quick to offer a snack at all hours of the day or night and rushes to check on them at the tiniest cry.
We look forward to the week ahead as the pups continue to mature and make great strides in their development.
Our lovely Nina enjoying the last weeks of tranquility
It continues to be an exciting time in our household — Tia’s pups are becoming more mobile, responsive and interactive and we now also excitedly await the arrival of Nina’s new family!! Nina was confirmed to be expecting back in December and the evidence of her growing belly is now becoming more apparent to everyone she meets. Her pups are due around the 25th of January so the big day is fast approaching! The majority of puppy growth occurs during the last 3 weeks of gestation so Nina’s appetite is ever-increasing and we are making sure that she receives additional delicacies to provide everything she needs. Nina’s abdominal area will be expanding in leaps and bounds from here on in.
At this stage of puppy development things are happening rapidly. The skeletons of the pups which began as cartilage are now solidifying, eyes and ears are formed, toes are separated and the beginnings of what will some day be a soft, thick coat of fur are taking shape. The puppies, even though well insulated inside Nina’s tummy, have a great sense of touch – so even stroking Nina’s belly during these last weeks can have positive and long-lasting effects. I would probably be inclined to sing to them as well 😉 but puppies do not have a sense of hearing until well after their birth.
Nina remains her active, happy self and continues to participate in all of her normal, daily activities with her golden buddies. This is all good – as it is important for any mum-to-be to remain in the best physical condition possible. This makes the final days and the actual delivery of the pups a much easier event.
We will continue to look forward to the exciting day when we can meet Nina and Storm’s new family. It won’t be long now!
Keeping warm in the January chill
Tia’s pups have had a super week. They are becoming more mobile and spend a few more hours awake with every passing day – although the big focus for each of them is still always eating and sleeping – in that order! Tia of course continues to be a great mum and dotes on the pups around the clock – making sure their bellies are always full and every whisker is clean 🙂
The pups are gradually becoming more mobile and stand on all fours from time to time to attempt moving around the whelping box. They are anything but ballroom dancers at this age and still walk and stumble in awkward and uncoordinated steps. However – they seem to get the most important mission accomplished when it comes to reaching Tia for meals and are actually starting to show an interest in the world around them, just beginning to explore the sights, smells and sounds of our home.
The pups are all weighing in around 4 pounds with only 4 ounces of difference from the lightest to the heaviest. Even the girls seem to be holding their own these days and everyone has a keen appetite. As of tomorrow we will be slowly starting to transition the pups from their dependency on Tia to providing them with the world famous “PUPPY MUSH” – a mix of goat’s milk, yogurt, honey and baby oatmeal cereal. This is the first step in easing the pups towards a solid diet that is not completely dependent on Tia. As much as Tia has been a devoted mum I’m sure she will be looking forward to the relief!
The pups already have a number of stuffed, colourful toys in their play area but as this next week unfolds we will add an extension to their living quarters and more items to invite interaction and stimulation. It is exciting to see how they begin to engage with the world around them.
New horizons will await this week as the pups spend even more time awake and more time participating in the world around them!