The good life….
It’s hard to believe that the pups have already reached the 4 week mark. Most definitely time has been flying by here. I can’t even blink and it seems like the pups have changed.
Our extra foster puppies have now returned to their original home – so things have returned to a bit more of a balanced pace and I think Nina is glad to have her own little family back to herself. She has certainly been heroic through everything and hasn’t missed a beat! Nina has proved herself as mum “extraordinaire” over these past few weeks and truly is to be commended for her undying dedication to each and every pup!
Nina’s own pups don’t seem to miss their former playmates in the least and spend more time awake now interacting with each other and observing the rest of the comings and goings of our household. They are a very happy and contented little bunch — you seldom hear a peep from them except at around the 4:00 am mark where they are still longing for an extra feeding from Nina 🙂
The pups are all weighing in between 6 and 7 pounds!! No lightweights in this bunch. We have begun the transition to solid food which begins with the infamous “puppy mush” (goat’s milk with baby cereal, yogurt, eggs, and a small amount of ground puppy kibble). The pups have easily accepted this delicace however Nina has so much milk left over right now with her reduced puppy numbers the pups usually can get quite their fill on milk without having to consider anything else!! They seem to be open to whatever is on the menu so that is great and we will continue to adjust their mealtime over this next week.
The pups have sporadic bursts of energy through the day where they play with each other, scurry about the whelping box or the living room, and seek out myself or Nina for some cuddles and interaction. Any round of activity and play is quickly followed by nap time…. the pups still require great amounts of sleep at this age and can sometimes fall asleep mid task (usually part way through dinner)
We are so very much looking forward to the week ahead and can’t wait to be a part of these puppies’ lives as their little personalities begin to emerge!!
The puppies have had a good week and are becoming more alert and active with each day. They have thoroughly enjoyed their foster brothers and sisters and the whole group are quite content to play and snuggle together as the mood invites throughout the day. The pups are much more aware of the humans in their lives and enjoy spending time with anyone they can interact or cuddle with.
The pups are all weighing around 4-1/2 pounds now and as of today are beginning the transition to solid food – which all begins with the world famous “Puppy Mush”. The pups didn’t have to be asked twice to partake and completely enjoyed every last lick of puppy mush. For the first few meals they will wear just as much as they consume (!!) but fortunately they will finesse their table manners in the days to come.
Nina continues to be an outstanding mum and dotes completely on everyone without missing a beat. She watches over every pup with a very careful eye and makes sure her entire family is always belly-full and content. She seems to have enjoyed having the extra puppies to look after — hopefully she won’t miss them when they return to their original home later this week.
It will be an interesting/exciting week ahead as the pups become more coordinated and agile, as they experience more menu changes with additional meals of puppy mush, and as things return to a slower and easier pace with the departure of their foster brothers and sisters.
The faces we will miss…
Things have certainly been busy here with the ongoing care of the 9 foster pups who have joined us…. but there are still always plenty of hours in a day to enjoy these sweet Tia babies. My how they have grown! Hard to believe that they are 8 weeks old already and will soon be heading out to new horizons and new adventures.
We have had a great week! It hasn’t been all that cold for a Muskoka winter in February so we have had lots of chances to enjoy the great outdoors and play in the snow. The pups have the most playful bounce as they bound through the banks and over our little trail. They especially love following any of the older goldens around and exploring the garden areas that have the smallest areas of dirt still showing through.
The pups are spending more time awake and are always curious about what is going on around them. They love to watch people and interact with people and investigate every nook and cranny of the world around them.
We had a great visit to the vet this week – the pups were superstars and everyone in the clinic ooohed and ahhhed at their cuteness as we entered the building for the big exam and vaccine. All the pups passed their examination with flying colours – and enjoyed being spoiled by Dr. Duder and her never-ending supply of ROLLOVER.
The pups are all weighing between 13 and 13-1/2 pounds — good sturdy pups with just the right amount of playful energy, confidence and calmness.
The house really didn’t ever get very noisy with these babies — they were a pretty quiet bunch — But even so – the house will seem even quieter without them. We wish them the very best that life has to offer as they head out on this next new chapter with their new families. We will miss you puppies!
Nina’s pups have had a great week. The most exciting development is that the pups now open their eyes and can hear. Their vision is still blurry at best but I always look forward to this stage of development when you can gaze into those big, brown eyes!
The puppies also have become great friends and buddies with our new house guests – a litter of 9 adorable pups who were in need of a surrogate mama (You can read full details in the post below). They seem pretty oblivious to the fact that there are more bodies to crawl over and more mouths to feed and simply carry on with life as usual. They love nothing more than to cuddle up with their new adopted brothers and sisters and dream the afternoon away.
The pups are becoming a bit more mobile but are still earnestly working on coordination and balance. They can crawl around the whelping box quite speedily whenever Nina enters for mealtime – and their steps become a bit more sure and steady with each day.
Nina continues to be an outstanding mum. She is spending a little bit less time in the whelping box the last 3 days (things start to get pretty warm in there weigh so many bodies) and she seems to enjoy the odd break laying back in the kitchen with the rest of our golden family. She has quickly taken the visiting pups under her wing and cares for all of the pups with amazing dedication.
The pups are weighing in between 3-1/2 to 4 pounds; they have certainly not missed out on anything with the addition of other mouths to feed. Fortunately Mother Nature is quite gracious in this respect and if the demand is there – the supply will usually follow. Of course Nina is eating enough for about 5 goldens right now – but we indulge her every need and provide a broad variety of protein sources and the best meal plan we possibly can (with 24 hour room service).
It will be exciting to watch all the pups increase in their awareness of the world around them and in strength and ability over this next week! There will not be one dull moment here!
Tia with her new family…
I wasn’t even sure how to entitle this week’s post – Maybe “Puppymania”, “The More the Merrier” or “One Big Happy Family” would have been a better way to introduce this latest entry…
Last Wednesday we had the honour of bringing home 9 wonderful puppies born to a lovely golden named Sara a few days before our Nina gave birth to her pups. Sara lives with her wonderful breeder down in the tropics of Southern Ontario. Unfortunately, it was discovered that Sara could not produce milk for the pups – so the call was put out to find someone, anyone who could help out. The search for a surrogate mom was on – as mama’s milk is always the very best for any young baby – whether human or canine. Long story short our girls Tia and Nina gladly offered to step up to the plate and welcomed Sara’s 9 beauties with open paws. Tia was very much at the end of her maternal duties with her own pups – so she had lots of time to devote to her new little family and we appointed her the overseer of 6. Nina of course is busy nursing her own pups of almost the same age – but did not mind in the least that 3 new puppies appeared at her belly almost overnight. Both girls have really been stellar through all and are doing a great job at making sure these little ones get the care and nutrition they need. It is becoming a bit more difficult for Tia with each day… Mother Nature has already begun the hormonal transition that would take a normal mum at this age through the weaning process and departure of her pups – which means less milk production and a bit less attachment when it comes to pups. Consequently we are bottle feeding some of the pups to supplement, Tia is nursing when she has milk available – and Nina is the 3rd part, main course of the menu. The pups are basically in rotation between these 3 feeding options. Fortunately no one has complained about the cooking and they all seem to like it here so far. None of our gang mind the extra company and all the pups are living in perfect harmony. It is very sweet to see them all snuggled together and even sweeter to see Tia and Nina taking such great care of them. It will be a busy time ahead until these newcomers can start the weaning process and return to their original home – where, as you can imagine, they are missed beyond words.
Nina with her 6 and then some….
Catching up on beauty rest…
The puppies have had an excellent first week doing everything that puppies do at this age (which isn’t a whole lot). Eating, sleeping, eating, eating, sleeping and from time to time pulling themselves around the whelping box.
The pups at this age are really quite primitive. They cannot see or hear and their bodily movements are limited at best. But they ARE CUTE!!!! and they CAN smell. They know when mum Nina has entered the room after being out for a 5 minute break and quickly try to crawl to her side. At nightime – often a pup will get confused and end up at one end of the whelping box while Nina is at the other. Nina is thankfully a very vigilant mum and will start whining if any puppy is beyond her reach. It always amazes me to see the depth of the love and care that a golden mum has for her pups.
The puppies are all gaining very well and are weighing in between 2-1/2 and 3 pounds. Mealtime is definitely the highest priority for each of them and fortunately with only 6 they can always find room at the milk bar. Mealtime isn’t always the most peaceful event of the day – puppies can get a little bit frantic as they all scramble for elite “seating”. Funny how they can act like the haven’t eaten in days… Sometimes it seems more like there are 20 puppies than 6 but things quickly settle as soon as bellies are full and thirsts are quenched.
We will look forward to this next week as the pups mature more and slowly become more aware of the world in which they live.
It’s amazing how far Tia’s pups have come in 7 weeks. From blind and deaf little babes weighing around 1 pound and seeking only the warmest most secure spot next to their mama – to this!! No adventure is too great!
The pups have really enjoyed their introduction to the outdoors. We began last Friday with very short periods outside, and fortunately the past few days temperatures have hovered around freezing which have allowed for extended periods outside. The pups just love to romp around in the snow and search for any little treasure that has been left behind from this past summer and fall.
The pups are becoming much more aware of voices and people and different sound cues. For example – if I even begin scraping a dish in the kitchen they are all convinced I am making their dinner no matter what time of the day or night and break into a fevered pitch in the anticipation of a great meal!! They will often just stop whatever they are doing to watch and take things in and are all very observant and intelligent.
Tia’s youngsters never miss a meal and are weighing in at around 12 pounds now — the girls have stayed fairly close to the boys in weight – although a couple of the boys seem to be pretty passionate about meal time so they are a few ounces ahead of everyone.
The puppies are definitely getting to that stage where they rely more on human interaction and look forward to any time spent with visitors or our family. This is the time where it becomes obvious that puppies need families of their own to supply for them all the love and attention that they crave — either that or I need to grow at least 5 more arms!
The temperament testing went very well today – really no surprises and the pups are all right in the middle for scoring (with a few subtle differences) which is what I aim for and hope for in our puppies. Nice to see that they are all confident and friendly pups with well-balanced character. I look forward to spending every minute of this last week with them and can’t wait to see what the future will hold….