It’s hard to believe that the first week of puppy life has already come and gone. It may not look like it but there are indeed 10 puppies somewhere in that photo above – we have a couple that really like to lay between Ivy’s front paws so sometimes they miss out on the photo op! As you might be able to tell, things are getting a little crowded at the milk bar with 10 hungry mouths to feed – but Ivy is doing an excellent job of caring for her puppies and I try to keep a vigilant eye to make sure that everyone gets an equal chance to eat. (In a sense I am the milk bar police – ensuring that the premium spots located farthest from Ivy’s head [where there is usually more milk] are shared amongst everyone; there are a couple of boys that like to steal those spots).
The pups have all gained well and have almost doubled in size since they were born. They are all weighing close to 2 pounds now and seem to grow overnight. They really only have two things on their agenda these days: EAT and SLEEP! Both of which they do quite well. Over this upcoming week they will become a little more active as they gain mobility – although already they are quite agile at crawling around the whelping box. Their eyes have not yet opened, and they cannot hear yet either – but they have an amplified sense of smell – so no matter where Ivy is in the whelping box they can easily locate her and scoot quite quickly to reach her.
My main job at this point is to keep Ivy completely satisfied and supported in the food department. Feeding 10 puppies requires a huge amount of food intake – and offering meals that are too large in size does not help her tummy very much. So I break down her energy requirements into 4 or 5 meals throughout the day. Her meals currently consist of beef, turkey or fish mixed with ground veggies like spinach and carrots, rice or oatmeal once a day to give her some carbs for energy, a splash of goat’s milk or yogurt, eggs, sardines or a beef bone – as well as probiotics, kelp and a vitamin blend. So far Ivy is truly enjoying the endless buffet of food!
I also make sure bedding is kept clean and dry and that no one gets trampled or accidentally squished whenever Ivy comes in and out of the whelping box. We also weigh the puppies daily during the first week to make sure that everyone is gaining fairly and adjust puppies at the milk bar accordingly if need be…
Lastly I make sure Ivy gets out for a little R&R break from the babies for a nice walk every day – fortunately it hasn’t been too cold here lately, a little rainy but Ivy never minds.
We will look forward to an exciting week ahead as the pups become more active and open their eyes for the first time sometime next week!
We are thrilled to announce that Spinnaker and Ivy’s pups have finally made their grand entrance into the world!! Ivy is now the proud mom of 7 lovely girls and 3 adorable boys. We did actually have one other little girl puppy born, but she took a bit too long to get out of the birth canal and unfortunately she could not be revived when she arrived. It is always a very sad occasion to lose a puppy – and an unfortunate reminder of just how fragile life is. Just as every human parent marvels at the birth of a child – I always feel a huge sense of awe when any puppy is born. Every new life is such an intricate miracle.
Ivy is usually no drama queen but she certainly chose to draw out this particular chapter in her life. Over the last few days she was getting slower and slower on our walks and wanted to be the centre of attention at all times (which we were only too happy to oblige). By Wednesday she began pacing and panting and digging and searching for a perfect outdoor location to have her pups! Fortunately I was able to convince her that I had a much better spot in mind – INDOORS! As Wednesday turned into Thursday’s dawn the panting, pacing, restless behaviour became more intense and by Thursday at 1:00 p.m. (after around 15 hours of Stage 1 labour) we had our first little bundle of joy – a big boy who came bursting into the world and seemed only too ready to take his first breath. Following that, Ivy took a fairly leisurely pace with delivering her puppies – sometimes an hour break in between and then a large 2 hour break after the 7th puppy. Her last puppy was born at 10 pm so it was a full day of puppy whelping for Ivy…. I’m sure she was exhausted by the time it was all done but at the same time she seemed very relieved to not be carrying around 20 extra puppy pounds anymore.
This is Ivy’s second litter so she has quickly settled into her maternal duties and has been spending her hours carefully cleaning and caring for each puppy. She whines as soon as one of them wanders into another corner of the whelping box and is most content when all ten are snuggled up to her tummy for a drink. She will only leave them for a quick 60 second bathroom break or to quickly lap up a bowl of food….. She is definitely one dedicated mama.
My biggest job now will be keeping bedding clean and Ivy comfy and fed around the clock. My other important job is to make sure that everyone gets an equal turn at the milk bar…. Sometimes the boys tend to monopolize things and the girls get left for last — so I try to monitor things and ensure everyone gets a fair share. The milk demands of 10 puppies will be high so we will make sure that Ivy has 24 hour room service and lots of highly nutritious meals.
We are grateful for this wonderful new family of pups and can’t wait to watch them grow!
We are heading into the final stretch of Ivy’s pregnancy and counting down the days until we hear the pitter patter of little paws in our home once again! Ivy’s waistline has been growing bigger with every passing day; she still loves her time outdoors but there is a definite waddle in her walk and the extra weight of babies on board is seemingly starting to slow her down just a little. We will still try to maintain a couple of leisurely walks each day to keep her in top form for delivery day.
Ivy is quite happy that we have increased her diet over the last few weeks and she enjoys a broad variety of foods these days: beef tripe, smelt, eggs, raw beef or turkey with spinach, apples, blueberries, carrots, and sometimes a little bit of rice or pasta. I’m sure her appetite will start to slow down this next week as the available space for food in her tummy becomes less and less.
Over this next week we will set up the whelping area and get all the towels and blankets and puppy supplies sorted out and ready. We will keep a watchful eye for any signs that the puppies are getting ready to make their appearance and do our best to keep Ivy pampered and comfortable until the big day is here!
The puppies have had a wonderful week. How could they not? They are such a cheerful and happy bunch. They greet every day and every person with a wagging tail and a full heart. Rain or shine, no matter what the day brings they are ready to make the most of it!
This week the pups have increased in their playing and interaction with each other and with every individual they come in contact with. They don’t miss much and are a very observant and interactive bunch. Even when we’ve had a long play session together or have spent time together – they really don’t like being left alone anymore (in their puppy play area). They long for human connection and attention whenever they can get it.
We had a busy day today with baths, microchipping, our trip to the vet and then the health exam itself. All the puppies did very well. They are always the stars of the show when they arrive at the clinic. They were very curious and interested to see the other patients at the clinic and of course loved meeting all the technicians and doctors.
By the time we arrived back home in the afternoon the pups seemed quite exhausted from the excitement and quickly sought out a nice shady spot to enjoy a nap.
Tomorrow the first of the pups will begin to leave and it will be time for me to hand over these precious little bundles to their new families. As a breeder you think that saying good-bye will someday get easier but it never does. I fall in love with each of these little darlings a 100 times over in the 8 weeks they are here with us and letting go is hard. The only thing that makes their departure any easier is seeing the great joy that they bring to their families.
So we wish you the very best, little ones, as you start this next new chapter in your lives. It has been a privilege to the be the first one to hold you and love you. Fare thee well ❤
Every day is a beautiful day!
Sparkle’s puppies have had a great week. They are becoming more active and expressive and their little personalities are starting to emerge a little more all the time. They spend more of their waking hours playing with each other and are also much more interested these days in whatever I am doing. If I am sweeping up – they are right there. If I am cleaning up their blankets and sleeping area – they are right there. If I am gardening – absolutely there and ready to help. If I am making meals for the adults – again I have 4 sets of very sweet brown eyes watching me intently.
All the pups are very friendly and easy-going and the highlight of their day is always any time spent with people. In their opinion, I don’t think there as any such thing as “too much” when it comes to the love, cuddles and snuggles department.
We have had a number of hot days here and the pups have decided that their new favourite place is the shady area underneath my husband’s work trailer. I can usually coax them out for some short play periods running on the grass or exploring the garden – but they quickly return to the cool shade of the trailer area and seem to enjoy finding just the right spot there away from the hot, summer sun. Of course they have their own puppy play area as well – but they usually like to be out wherever the action is.
The pups are continuing to develop and grow well – their coordination is becoming more refined with each passing day. They are all weighing between 10 and 11 pounds with the girls on the lighter end of the scale which is to be expected.
We will have an exciting week ahead with temperament testing, microchipping, baths, a trip to the vet and all the other outdoor adventures that each day brings. I will certainly be savouring each moment with these little beauties as we head into their final chapter here with us….
Sparkle’s pups have had a great week and are becoming even more adorable with each passing day – if that is possible! They are all weighing around 9 pounds now and are enjoying their daily meals of puppy kibble and goat’s milk – with the occasional delicacy on the side of raw beef dinner or duck dinner. Sparkle still provides the occasional evening snack but the pups are fairly comfortable now with waiting on my offerings when it comes to meals. In typical golden fashion they love, love, LOVE their food!
The weather has been all over the map this past week so we have tried to make the best of it. The pups spent most of the weekend on the covered deck to keep them out of the rain with a couple of daily trips through the lawn and garden area – which kept them very happy and entertained. Evenings of course they come indoors but they love being outside during the day irregardless of the weather! Yesterday we moved the pups to the bigger puppy area next to the rock wall which they immediately explored and made their home. They love all the sights and sounds of the new area; they especially love the mornings when my husband is loading up his truck for the day’s work and people are coming and going and showing the pups all kinds of attention. The pups absolutely love any and all snuggles and cuddles 🙂
Sparkle continues to be a great mum and always enjoys playing with her pups…. Every golden mum is a bit different but Sparkle is one of those mums that just dotes on her pups completely and loves spending as much time with them as she can. It is heart-warming to watch her play and interact with her pups. She is indeed a special girl.
The pups are spending much more time awake and playing these days – they are a happy and inquisitive bunch. There is not yet much to note as far as differences in temperament – but over the next 2 weeks we know that there will be subtle changes to observe. However – with parents like Hugo and Sparkle – we know that we are set for a wonderful, lovable, easy-going crew.
We will look forward to the week ahead and will be hoping for lots of sunny days so the pups can have lots of time outdoors to explore the world they find so fascinating!
Sparkle’s puppies have had a very adventurous weeks full of firsts!!
Even though the weather has been a mixed menu of clouds, rain, and I think that golden ball in the sky might be the sun? – the pups have had a chance to venture into the outdoors which they have completely embraced and enjoyed. Firsts have included: first time outside, first time hearing thunder, first time on gravel, first time on grass, first time hearing wind chimes, first time seeing robins on the ground, first time going potty on newspaper…. you get the idea 🙂
With all of the wet weather the lawn areas have remained fairly soggy and buggy so we have spent isolated periods down on the grass and in the balance of time the pups have enjoyed lazing around on our front porch overlooking the garden. They love watching people come and go, birds and insects busy in the garden and the fish that occasionally jump in the pond. They are fascinated by everything so it is a great joy to watch life unfold through their eyes.
Sparkle only provides an am and pm snack now – but she continues to watch over her precious babies and play with them whenever the time is right. The puppies are all weighing around 7 pounds now so they are clearly doing well and thriving on their smorgasbord of Sparkle’s offerings and puppy kibble soaked in goat’s milk.
The pups are continuing to gain confidence in the world around them. We try to introduce them to as many new sights and sounds as possible and they are gaining in leaps in bounds in terms of being comfortable with whatever each day brings.
We will look forward to another adventure-filled, exciting week ahead!!