Since the puppies turned 3 weeks old, here are some of the things they've experienced: New things in their play area every single day; They've met and interacted with in person at least 30 different people - some with multiple visits; Played on 9 different surfaces in 7 different locations; Eaten from 8 different types of containers in 6 different locations; mastered the Doggy door and been exposed to many challenges, sounds, tactile/vibration experiences and visual stimuli; and little bits of personal time with me every day. Yesterday, Cooper's co-breeder and professional dog trainer/evaluator came over and did the Volhard Puppy Aptitude Test with them. She pronounced them all "sweet and confident". And I agree. They are! We put them on the grooming table for the first time ever so she could evaluate their structure. We did not try hard for photos, so while these are not the best, they aren't bad considering!
Today, we had no visitors, so I decided to take the puppies with me to run errands. They had not been in the car since they were 3 weeks old. (Bad Breeder! I usually try to take the puppies for a car ride every week, but with all that was going on with Rhani, I just couldn't fit it in this time.). Anyway, Dave helped me load them in the car - their first time in a wire crate also - and off we went to the drug store, grocery store, CostCo for gas, Starbucks for me and the salon where I get my nails done! The receptionist there breeds Berners so he was happy to come to the car and grab a puppy to take in. Yadi and Albert went in first. They made the rounds of stylists, nail techs and customers with many ooos and ahhhs! Steve had to go back to the desk so I took Waino in next. He was equally made over. Sadly, when I took him back to the car to get Goldy, the boys had figured out the exit and were clambering to jump out of the crate into the parking lot, so I did not get to take Goldy in. None of these people are counted in the 30 people they've met since Goldy didn't get to meet any of them! I hope to make it up to her!
They were good travelers. A little whining at first but then they all settled in. Yadi did throw up his breakfast on the way to Costco. Puppies - being dogs - ate it before I could pull over to clean it up! And at the very end of the trip, Waino decided to pee in the crate and then lay in it! Ugh!
The rest of the week is crazy! Tomorrow, another breeder friend is coming to evaluate the puppies' structure and movement; Thursday, we head to MIZZOU for their B.A.E.R hearing tests; Friday they go to the vet for their wellness exams, first set of vaccinations and OFA DNA Repository Blood Draw AND then Meg, the puppy daddy owner, is coming in from Chicago to evaluate them. She will also microchip them. Meg is not only a long time successful breeder of Dalmatians but also an AKC judge. On Saturday, Rhani's co-owner, Carola, is coming from Canada to evaluate the puppies and pick hers. It's a big evaluation week! Temperament; Hearing; and structure by 4 breeders including one AKC judge. Regardless of the outcomes, I love them all!
If you've read this far, please read on. I am looking for homes for Goldy and, probably, Albert. I've never had a situation where I didn't know where all the puppies were going by this point in their lives. Rhani's health issues brought about by this pregnancy and delivery have been pretty much all consuming and I have not had the time or mental capacity to focus on finding great homes for these guys. Plus it was a small litter, and I never imagined it would be hard to place them. I think Albert and Goldy are both adorable and have big personalities. Both would excel at any performance sport. If you know anyone who might be interested, please spread the word!
I spoke with Rhani's doctor this afternoon. The protein in her urine is still very high but has dropped by half from what it was 3 weeks ago. Her view is that the meds we are using are working. She also told me that she has never seen a case where a dog had such awful kidney values combined with such high protein loss when the dog survived. 3 weeks ago, we all thought she was done. But she is still here - loving life, playing with Jo Jo, eating like a pig, and drinking normally. We are not out of the woods yet, but I hope we'll get there. Her doctor calls her a miracle. Please keep your prayers for her coming!
Until next Time...Every Day Is A Gift
I like to keep a diary of the puppies as much for myself as for prospective puppy buyers and interested friends. Sadly my blogs for Lucy's and Baili's litters are no longer available due to legacy systems, but I recently reviewed the Imagine Litter blog. It was a good refresher on all kinds of things and brought back lots of good memories. Looking forward to Cardinal memories too!