It's again been three days since I posted, and what an eventful three days it has been. All puppies have left the building. Albert (now Stanley) is on his way to Chicago with Jorene, Anthony, Jaime and his great great aunt Dolce (our Baili's sister from our very first litter). Goldy/Scout is not far away with Ali, Tyler and Kimbers. My house feels very empty, but I am sure that Baili, Rhani and Jo Jo will be delighted to have their old routine back in the next few days as we "unpuppy" their surroundings and they get back their hours with us that they were giving up to the babies the past 9 weeks. I am delighted with all the new puppy homes but feel such a sense of sadness that they are all gone. I love each and every one of them, and this was a very emotionally stressful litter situation due to what happened to Rhani as a result of breeding her this time. But look at those happy faces! These puppies will all have happy lives and will give their people great joy for hopefully many years to come!
I started this blog entry with the climax, but we packed a lot into the last three days. First updates from Cal (aka Waino) and Link (aka Yadi). Cal did not make it to the Macy's Parade, but he did get a romp in Central Park! He was wiped out after the outing and fell asleep on the couch during the Cowboys game!. He's doing great and has their doorman wrapped around his paw!
Albert went on walks at another park and for one more section of our neighborhood including the busy street outside our neighborhood. He was a bit taken aback by the cars whizzing by but quickly recovered. All the piles of leaves provided a more interesting distraction! The poor little guy was pretty distraught about being alone without Goldy. He figured out how to open the gate to his area and was out and about numerous times in my office before I figured out how to secure it. I put Rhani in the office with him on Friday night so he wouldn't feel alone. I, however, neglected to secure the gate before I went to bed and found him sleeping on a pair of my boots with Rhani on the dog bed on Saturday AM. No harm done! When Goldy came home Saturday afternoon, she and Albert had a good romp in the back yard!
I've said my good byes to these very sweet happy confident babies and hope their new families will love them and enjoy each of them for many years to come. Now, I say good bye to you. Thanks for following our journey. Until next time....Every Day IS a Gift!
Taken too long for an update! So here goes another jam packed post! Here's what has happened during the last 3 days - Day by Day... But, let's start with 8 week "mug" shots!
Really, Sunday night - I had my one-on-one good-byes with Waino. He's such a handsome little guy. I will miss him and his independent personality. He reminds me a lot of Jo Jo as a puppy. I told his new family that they will often say to him, "It's a good thing you're cute!"
I picked Harrison up at the airport at 8:30 Monday AM and brought him to the house to meet his new puppy and the rest of the clan. I first introduced him to Jo Jo and told him that THIS is what that cute little puppy you are taking home will grow to, so make sure you remind him daily that you are the human and he is the dog! Harrison was unphased so we we went on to meet the puppies. It was love at first sight! We had a couple hours to visit and take Cal on his first leash and collar walk. He actually adapted quickly. Cal is for Cal Ripken because Harrison and Jordan are originally from Baltimore and are Cal Ripken fans. (I suggested that Ripkin might be more fitting than Cal for this puppy! LOL!). Harrison's flight back to NYC was supposed to be at 1:45 so I dropped them at the airport at about 12:30. They had no problems checking in and were appropriately adored by all the AA employees. Sadly, their flight got delayed to 5PM. I offered to come get them, but Harrison assured me they were fine and Cal was being a really good boy. Ultimately they got home and all is well! He's doing great and going to the Macy's parade tomorrow! I'm having Dave record it because I figure if a TV camera spots this cute puppy, he will be on TV! I'm so happy that Harrison and Jordan found us! I think Cal is going to have a great life with them!
Tuesday was "relatively" quiet. No visitors! By the way - before any puppies left our home, they had met 47 different people (some multiple times) including a variety of ages. There are two puppies left at our house now. In some ways it is quieter, but NOT MUCH! My "to do" lists still remain largely undone. For puppies, 8 - 16 weeks is a critically important development period. One thing I've always tried to do is to take puppies in that age range somewhere different every day. So Tuesday, I found a couple collars that would work and took Goldy and Albert for their first leash walks in the neighborhood. Their resistance to being collared and leashed was minimal and soon gave way to their curiosity about the great outdoors!
I still try to add something new to the puppy's environment everyday. Today I tossed in an empty Jose Cuervo Margarita jug. Albert and Goldy liked it so much that they drug it into their den! Do you think I should be concerned?
After that, their first adventure was a trip to the salon. My friend Salina works there and texted me yesterday to ask if I could bring the puppies in while I got my nails done. Two of her kids - Jade and Lucas - wanted to come while I was there to play with puppies! Well, of course, I would do that! The puppies, the kids and pretty much everyone at the salon enjoyed the visit! On the way to my car, Goldy nabbed "something" in the parking lot. After much effort to remove it from her needle teeth and surprisingly determined jaws, she swallowed nearly almost all of it. What we did extract was some kind of sticky substance - probably not chewing gum - but we weren't sure. (Sugar free gum is toxic to dogs!). So I called our vet to ask how much peroxide to give an 8 week old puppy to get her to throw up. They recommended against that, so off to their office we went to safely induce vomiting. I still have no idea what she ate, but she is fine now!
Day by Day!
Walter and Peggy visited on Wednesday. It was so great to catch up with them and I really value their opinion of puppies. They have a great eye and strong knowledge of structure. It was almost a full week early to evaluate as 8 weeks is the optimum time, but Walter - just like Janice on Monday and subsequently by Meg and Carola - evaluated all the puppies to have good front assemblies balanced with their rears, nice heads, dark eyes, good top lines, good feet, good bone. They all have all the parts - well made - that make them capable of performing their heritage purpose - coaching - endurance trotting. Combined with their confident, fearless, outgoing temperaments, any of them should do great in any performance sport they get the opportunity to do. Thanks to Walter and Peggy for taking the time to visit and for the wonderful bag full of toys! The puppies are still getting to all of them!
Friday afternoon, Meg arrived. We had a great visit and were able to take more photos of the puppies on the table. I share the stacked photos from all these evaluations because you can see how much puppies can change during this period of their lives! Of course, they also are getting more comfortable with the table and being handled in this manner which helps them relax. As already mentioned, Meg was in agreement that this is a structurally, this is a really sound litter. Thank you, Meg, for making the trip down from Chicago to look at the puppies and for helping me get an "almost" complete set of photos when the puppies are almost 8 weeks old!
On to Saturday! Meg was very kind to help with morning chores including Rhani's subQ fluids after I poked her badly to get them started. :( Some of our neighbors really wanted to see the puppies to say "good-bye" to the ones leaving soon. They've been such great socializers, how could I say "no"??? Margot came over with her daughter in law and 2 grand daughters - Charlotte and Reagan. While they were there having fun with the puppies, I noticed Carola's flight was arriving a half hour early! So I had to leave to pick her up at the airport.
Stephen also wanted to stop by around noon. So Carola got to meet Stephen and the puppies got to have a big party in the yard! This gave Carola a good look at the puppies moving and gave the puppies a good sense of adventure!
After the fun, Carola picked her puppy.
Yadi it is! His new name is "Link" - Juju N Onsengeltje the Link Between. I spent some time alone with him last night telling him what a good boy he is and how much I will miss him. Then this morning, he and Carola boarded a plane bright and early and were off to his new home in New Brunswick! He was a good traveler and is already friends with Carola's Parsons and meeting the other Dals there.
The remaining three seemed much quieter with Yadi/Link gone, but they still had a great time on the patio Sunday afternoon and later in the kitchen when Valerie, Amelia and Campbell stopped by! I leave you with some fun photos and videos...
Until next time - Every Day is a Gift!
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 need to blog more often. Too many fun and cute things have happened in the past 3 days! New experiences, more visitors, challenges, and FUN! I think I won't write a lot. Let's just let the photos and videos tell the story! We will start with a few photos!
On Wednesday, I broke out the ball pit (and other fun stuff). I remember with Jo Jo's litter, only one puppy jumped right in. It took the others a day or two. Not these guys! Everyone dove right in and had a blast! It was hard to narrow it down to just these videos!
We had more visitors! Thanks to Anna, Ellie and Henry, Margot and Dave, Cindy, Stephen and Kat, Ralph, and, by Zoom - Jordan and Harrison for visiting! Not counting Jordan and Harrison, the puppies have met 27 different people (besides Dave and me) since they turned 3 weeks old! They have loved them all!
We continue to be really cute sleepers!
This litter has been unusual from the get go. Maybe that is why it's so hard to believe the puppies are already six weeks old. Here are their six week "mug" shots!
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We had not weighed the puppies in a couple weeks. But we did yesterday. Guess what? They are still growing! Goldy and Yadi weighed 9 lbs, Waino was 8 1/2 lbs and Albert is 8 lbs! They are getting harder to transport from floor to floor two at a time!
I ran out of milk replacer on Sunday. They eat their puppy kibble floated in water now. I don't even soak it anymore. Tomorrow I will start mixing the last of the puppy food with an all life stages food. About 4 days from now they will have transitioned totally to all life stages. Sadly, my favorite of those, Purina Proplan Turkey and Barley, seems to be permanently out of stock everywhere, so I am going with the Lamb and Rice. Lamb is another lower purine meat and this carries the same protein level as the Turkey and Barley. We shall see how it goes. I feed Jo Jo Sensitive Skin and Stomach Turkey and Oatmeal, but it is not an all life stages variety. I've gone on in past blogs about why I don't feed puppy food past about six weeks. They really don't need all those extra calories and in some cases, it can actually be harmful to their development. So I switch them off puppy food before they leave my house.
While we are on the subject of eating, today they dined in the kitchen out of ceramic dog bowls. The new surroundings and containers did not slow them down for a second! They've now eaten in 4 different locations and from 6 different types of dishes. Linda asked why I do that. It helps build their confidence and make them good lifelong travelers!
Yesterday was a rare "no visitor" day so we did nails again and the puppies had to just be entertained by Dave and me on the patio. They actually had a pretty good time entertaining themselves which entertained us! Surprisingly, ALL the puppies love water buffalo horns! These are great (when you can find good thick ones), but not all dogs like them. Some actually fear them I guess because of the way they smell to the dogs. They played with their new big ball, their funny crab toy gifted to them by our friend, Donna D, were raucous in the tunnel, and explored the teeter! Lots of videos to share!
I love November days that are sunny and reach 70 degrees! So do puppies! That extra hour of sleep did me a world of good too!
We had multiple sets of visitors. Late morning, our neighbors, Linda and Larry, came to visit. They are such nice people, and the puppies loved them and being on the patio! Late afternoon, Stephen and Cindy from across the street came to entertain the puppies. And entertain they did! Stephen is such a dog whisperer. He uses anything in the environment to challenge and stimulate puppies, from making a sling from his shirt to raise and lower them, to putting them in his stocking cap, to piling leaves on them and making funny sounds to perk their ears. I wish he had time to visit every day!
The puppies had many new experiences today! This morning, I finally took the time to hang a mirror in their area. I also added a storage container for climbing, a new latex lamb toy that grunts and suspended a plush giraffe from the fencing. As always, they immediately zeroed in on all the new things in their area and explored them to the max. We went to the patio and the puppies had their first playtime outside after dark (thanks to the time change.). This evening when I took them dinner. Waino was perched on top of the storage container pretty as a picture. I was irritated that I didn't have my phone with me to take a picture. Later I discovered he was peeing on the top of it! He is a piece of work!
I had some "time" for the first time in weeks this afternoon, so I decided to go the the Dollar Tree (now the $1.25 Tree) to see what interesting things I could find. That place never disappoints. For $18 and change I brought home 8 items to add to the puppy environment (and containers to catch Rhani pee for three days before her next follow-up appt. on Friday). One of the items was a black basketball which I put in the patio/screened porch selection of toys. I also added a funny latex alligator to that collection today.
With the afternoon visit, we had enough daylight left to take the puppies into the yard and introduce them to stairs! There were some face plants but overall they did great and had a fantastic time running around in the grass. They are pretty much fearless. Some things will make them pause or go the opposite direction, but they inevitably turn back and/or keep going!
On top of all this, Rhani had a great day, and actually ate a little breakfast and a full dinner from her bowl! (The balance of her food for the day was from my pocket which has been the only way she would eat since she got ill. Deep sigh!). Jo Jo continues to be a very good boy with all the visitors. He never barks at them. He just erupts in wiggles and tail wags in his crate when he sees them coming down the stairs to visit the puppies. Baili handles them all well too. Rhani barks her head off in a menacing way until I let her out to say hello. Then she's all wiggles and hugs.
Dave and I topped off the day with a "shore dinner" of Wall Eye Dave caught in Canada in August and roasted potatoes. DELICIOUS!
I have a lot of favorite video clips and photos from today! You can skip or enjoy!
Until next time....Every Day Is A Gift!
The puppies have had lots more visitors since the last post! And they've loved them all! On Thursday, we had a mini Mosby/Elsevier reunion when my friends from work visited. Pat brought her 7 and 10 year old grand kids, Mae and Louie, and Lynn brought her mom, Karen. The puppies couldn't decide who to visit with first and next! They also got their first "taste" of long hair!
Leah came to meet the puppies on Friday, and today we had multiple visits! This morning, Kara came by and JoJo's brother, Maxwell's people - Mike and Campbell did too! This afternoon, Nancy and Lyle came from Rolla to meet the puppies. They are looking for a puppy to train as a therapy dog to work with children. I think there might be a candidate or two in this litter that would do a great job at that!
I continue to introduce new toys and objects to the puppies every day. They always identify whatever is different and almost immediately inspect it. They continue to be brave and curious about all sounds, smells and things they encounter! I love the way they all will look directly into your eyes. Even when they are being particularly feisty, it is easy to grab their attention, and they look you in the eye and calm down in seconds. Hoping for great temperaments all around with this bunch!
I've been so busy with trying to take care of the puppies, take care of Rhani (who is doing miraculously well - especially considering that less than 2 weeks ago we thought she was a goner), and give Baili and Jo Jo some attention, that I've spent almost no time looking for homes for these babies. If you know of anyone interested, please send them my way! I am hoping to have them temperament tested but my gut tells me they would all excel in performance events, two are therapy dog candidates, and at least two may be show quality. All would be wonderful companions!
I have lots of cute videos from the past few days and photos! It's hard to pick which ones to post! I will start with some videos!
I leave you for today with some random cute photos of these cuties! Until next time...Every Day Is A Gift!
We've had more visitors. Cindy and Stephen entertained the puppies last night, and Margot and Dave visited today. In the past 2 weeks, they've met 10 people. More visitors are "scheduled" for at least the next 4 days.
Some new things from the past couple days....We drink from a bucket. No table top items are safe! No shoe is safe! And play has entered the WWF dimension!
They play hard for about an hour and then crash hard. Here are some cute puppy sleeping pics.
Until next time.....Sweet dreams.
The puppies are changing so fast! Their latest feat is that they have learned to spin around and run! Sorry no great videos but trust me, it's hysterical! (The last video below does have Waino making the move.)
We've had visitors since I last posted. Valerie visited Friday. The puppies were introduced to the screened porch on the main floor. Photos below are of them piling on Valerie (they love people) after fearless exploration. Oh the excitement of the new venue! So much room to run; birds' eye views of the back yard; electric cords to remove from their sharp little teeth; chair rungs to climb over and crawl under; many glass doors in which to admire their reflections; and on and on and on! On Sunday, Alex and Brittany visited. Thanks for the great skunk toy! The puppies discovered it today and especially liked chewing the tag I failed to remove! (See next to last video below.) I had to check Alex's pockets when he left to make sure he didn't take Goldy with him! Today, they met their first little girl when my friend, Sherri, brought her 5 year old granddaughter, Emerson, to visit. Emerson was a perfect introduction to children for the puppies. She didn't even mind when she (nor I) noticed the puppy pee puddle she sat in!
The puppies are now eating three meals a day. Each consists of 2 cups of puppy kibble soaked in water with a cup of thin milk replacer gruel. They are CLEAN platers! I am gradually reducing the amount of water that I soak the food in and have heard them crunching the few kibbles from the top of the container that don't get soaked with their sharp little puppy teeth. Once the last can of powdered milk replacer is gone in the next few days, they will get kibble floated in water. The exciting news for them is that they have now "dined" in their room, on the patio and on the screened porch. Four more places to dine in the next 2 weeks! I better get creative quickly! They also have eaten from three different containers - pie pans since we started; a couple days ago I switched them to two plastic dog bowls; this afternoon, I forgot to bring their bowls up to clean them, so they had dinner tonight in 4 sort of melmac bowls. (Does anyone remember these? Years ago they came in Purina Dog Chow bags. We have bowls, plates and glasses! All are hideously ugly, but they sure are durable!). They did a pretty good job of sticking to their own bowl. I was shocked! They are very good eaters. No kibbles left behind! And I need to come up with 4 more containers in the next 2 weeks.
I've been introducing new things to them each day. The tunnel on the patio, new (and suspended) toys to their indoor room, and different toys for the screened porch. They always immediately find whatever is new in their environment whether I introduced it or not!
I did their nails again today. All but Goldy were calm about that. Goldy surprised me because she is usually very happy to be in your lap no matter what position or what you are doing to her. She still gave me puppy kisses when we were done though1
I leave you today with random photos and videos of cuteness!
Every Day Really Is A Gift!
Until next time....
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!