Spinnaker & Ivy Puppies – 6 weeks old

IMG_9532.JPGThe puppies are getting bigger and busier every day.    We finally had a chance to venture out doors on Tuesday and Wednesday as the temperatures warmed up a bit – but today we are back to freezing with snow/rain/sleet here in Muskoka, so the pups have been confined to “indoor recess” once again.     They really loved getting outside and hopefully the ground will start to dry up enough that I can get them down romping around where they can explore  more fully in the days to come.   Unfortunately at this young age a wet puppy equals a chilled puppy – so until the slush and snow dry up a little, we will have to be content with the deck area.

The puppies spend more time awake and are at that stage now where nothing is safe from mouth exploration!  Any and everything that might be at puppy level needs to now be puppy appropriate.   Over the past week Ivy has taken to the habit of delivering any beef bones that come her way and laying them down in the puppy area for the puppies to enjoy (Sometimes she does this before she has even had a chance to enjoy them herself.)   This has certainly given them something much better to chew on!   We have taken the puppy activity box out of the area now as things that were once amusing to run through, bat at and look at are fast becoming tempting chew toys.

The pups continue to eat 4 meals of kibble with goat’s milk and either yogurt, eggs or fresh meat with Ivy visiting frequently throughout the day for snacks.   She is such a good mum and always wants to be a part of whatever is going on with her pups – whether it be feeding, cleaning, playing or re-organizing the play area.  The pups are all weighing in between 9-1/2 and 10 pounds.

They are a content little bunch and there is nothing like starting each morning with their 10 sweet faces and waggy tails to greet me 🙂    We will look forward to getting outside more in the week ahead and meeting and making more friends!!

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Spinnaker & Ivy Puppies – 5 weeks old!

IMG_9408The pups have had yet another wonderful week!  As much as the cleanup and care of 10 puppies can be a bit over the top sometimes, and the on-going freezing winter temperatures here every day can make a person feel a little disheartened — it’s impossible to ever have a bad day when you have ten darling faces gazing up at you and ready to cuddle at a moment’s notice 🙂

The pups are spending more time awake, playing and interacting, both with each other and our family.   They love to chase each other around and play a rough and tumble form of tag but usually those bursts of energy are short lived and the puppies collapse into a pile of sweetly sleeping babies.   They love to explore and have figured out how to break out of their puppy play area once again – so we have put the final full level door up when we can’t be in the immediate area so that no one gets into unchartered territory and places that aren’t puppy proofed!

The pups are all eating well and are dining on 4 meals a day now, usually of kibble soaked in goat’s milk interspersed with some fresh meat or eggs. They are all hearty eaters and are weighing between 7 and 8 pounds.   Ivy still provides the occasional snack but her role to provide “meals-on-wheels” is becoming less important to the pups.   In the weeks to come she will feed the pups less and less – although she will continue to care and watch over them and even engage in play with them.

For now the puppies are quite content with their play area indoors.  In the course of a day they are also allowed out into the entire loft area to play and explore, but I am hoping that by next Monday or Tuesday when warmer weather is forecasted we can get outside for some fresh air on our big covered deck.   Fingers crossed we will break out of these frigid temperatures soon so that the pups can continue to explore the even bigger world outdoors!

We will look forward to watching these adorable babies continue to grow both physically and in character over the week ahead!!

 

Spinnaker & Ivy Puppies – 4 weeks old!

Big changes this week in the life and times of Ivy’s little family!!   We added on a large extension area for the pups to play in and although the pups were quite tentative to explore the space initially, they have now embraced the new space and have quite a lot of fun playing with the toys and making use of every square inch.   The one main attraction in the larger space is our activity cube.   This is a large plastic cube structure with various treasures suspended from the upper bars (spoons, balls, mobiles, metal cups) … something that I started using a few years back as an additional way to introduce new sights and sounds to our puppies.   I have always believed that puppies need to be exposed to a myriad of sensory experiences during their time here with us…  In my opinion the first 8 weeks of puppyhood are like building the foundation of a house, both in terms of health and mental well-being; if you don’t do things right in the first 8 weeks the foundation will be faulty and even your best efforts after that can never repair things completely…   Anyway – long story short I like to make sure our pups are surrounded by lots of things to stimulate their senses in every aspect.  Even something as simple as clanging spoons and metal cups starts building a comfort and confidence in a young puppy that can’t be taught at a later age…

The pups are all gaining well and are all weighing in between 5-1/2 to 6 pounds now.    Most of the girls are on the lighter side of that scale (which is natural) but there are a couple that are determined to keep up with the boy’s club 🙂   In any event they all truly enjoy their food and are eating 4 meals of mush and kibble during the day along with side snacks a la Ivy.   Ivy is such an amazing mum — she will sit at the side of their eating area and watch OH SO patiently while they eat their meal.  Only when they are all finished (and starting to pass out) will she enter their little eating area and lick up whatever is left (and lick up whatever the pups have covered themselves in).

The pups are becoming much more interactive with our family and are SWEETNESS personified as they scamper up for cuddles or attention whenever they hear someone’s voice.   Clearly it would be easy to spend the entire day just sitting in their play area and being a part of their world — they are really a darling bunch and love everybody and everything.

We will look very much forward to watching the pups as they continue to grow in confidence and character in the week ahead!

Spinnaker X Ivy Puppies – 3 weeks old

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Just TOO cute!

Ivy’s pups have had another wonderful week.  They are now spending more time awake than last week and their awareness of the world around them, and the people in their lives is becoming more and more acute.   They still spend a great deal of the day sleeping, but when they are awake they toddle around the whelping box and climb over toys or fellow littermates – almost always looking for something to eat…   Ivy is still the centre of their universe but they love to cuddle with our family as well and come scampering to the entrance of the whelping box when they know we are near.

Generally the pups are a pretty quiet bunch, except for the heightened squeals when they anticipate mealtime which is usually around every 3 hours.    Things at the milk bar are now “standing room only” – but fortunately we are at the 3 week mark which means most puppies have reached the next stage of development where they can “lap up” milk, not just suckle it.    So we officially started a new chapter in the smorgasbord of puppy meals today and the pups did fantastically.   We introduced the puppies to their first platter of puppy mush – which consists of goat’s milk, yogurt, eggs, honey, and a bit of liver water (for the taurine) and although they ended up wearing almost as much as they ate – they did seem to quite enjoy it.   Of course afterwards the pups spend a good 15 minutes licking each other clean – and then Ivy licks the pups clean a second time!  It certainly did not take any convincing at all to get them interested in this new menu item so we will have a great week ahead continuing with the puppy mush – and we will gradually add in some ground meat and eventually a bit of ground kibble.   I’m sure Ivy will appreciate a bit of a relief from feeding duties (although she will still nurse the pups as we transition to solid food and even beyond that). The pups are all weighing around 4 pounds now and Ivy has done a wonderful job of keeping every happy and bellies full.

We will look forward to watching the puppies interact even more with the world around them over this next week and by the weekend we will add an extension onto the whelping box so they have more room to roam and play.

Spinnaker & Ivy Puppies – 2 weeks old

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The puppies have had another great week and continue to sleep and eat – and sleep and eat – and grow.    They are all weighing around 3 pounds now and things are definitely starting to get crowded for Ivy at meal times.   Ivy has recently developed a new technique to feed the pups whereby she sits up when the pups are nursing – that way there is lots of space for everyone to find a spot!  The pups almost appear to hang from Ivy as they jockey for a position at the milk bar – but everyone seems quite happy with the new arrangement and bellies are always full.  The pups have an endless appetite and if Ivy has been away from the whelping box for any length of time they squeal and yelp with great delight as soon as she is close enough for them to smell that meals-on-wheels has arrived!    We will have one more week of Ivy providing the main course and then we will very slowly start to introduce the puppies to some puppy gruel as they begin their transition towards solid food.

The pups spend a bit more time awake these days; they seem quite aware whenever I come and sit in the whelping box – although they are usually more interested in checking out any exposed fingers or toes I have to see if maybe I might be a source of milk too!!   They have enjoyed checking out the stuffed toys that are now in the whelping box and I’m sure their curiosity will continue as we add more and more toys and objects to peak their interest in the weeks to come.

The biggest achievement of this past week is that the pups now see the world with open eyes!!  They can’t really see much more than fuzzy shapes at the moment – but it still is a wonderful thing to be able to look into the sweet faces of these puppies and have them looking back at you!!  The pups had their first nail trim already this past week and a couple of them have already learned how to escape out of the whelping box – so we now will have the little door in place that keeps everyone safe and in one spot (for the moment).   Ivy is enjoying her walks a little more every day and has graduated to sleeping just outside the whelping box as it is getting both too crowded and too warm for her in there.    In the weeks to come we will move the puppies to a larger area – but for now they are content in a smaller space where they can snuggle together and are familiar with the scents and sights.

We are enjoying every minute with these little beauties and feel so very lucky to be a part of these early weeks.