It's only Tuesday and the puppies have been through three evaluations already this week with another tomorrow!
I already wrote about the temperament test on Sunday. Monday was their first structural evaluation by an AKC judge whom I respect a lot for her knowledge of canine structure and movement. Our friend, Linda, who also has a very good eye joined us. What I thought would be just an hour or two turned into 4+! It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot! I asked for brutal honesty. Overall, the evaluations were very positive especially related to movement - which is what Dalmatians are all about functionally. Of course, these little busy bees are not leash trained, but they followed me around the pool offering a great view of them coming and going as well as side gait. All have good extension and carry themselves well. Hooray! Each puppy has some things that could be better, but overall, they are a very consistent litter with no major faults. The judge felt all of them could be AKC Champions. They are not all going to homes interested in showing, but it is nice to know that they are structurally sound for an active life no matter what they do!
Today was their visit to the veterinarian for wellness exams, first vaccinations, microchips and DNA blood draws for the OFA DNA Repository. (That's used by scientists conducting genetic research into various diseases and disorders. Having full litters can be especially helpful to studies if one of the puppies becomes affected by some condition.) This involved another car ride. Once again, there was much carrying on for a few minutes, but everyone eventually settled down. The noise really only came from two trouble makers - Jo Jo and Rita. All the puppies were pronounced healthy with good bites (meaning they have all their teeth and they are aligned properly in a nice scissor bite) and both boys have their boy parts! Shew. Sometimes the testicles don't drop and that's a problem. Yesterday, none of us could find Jo Jo's, but today, they magically appeared.
I must interrupt my dialog to say - OMG - THEY ARE WOUND TIGHT TONIGHT! They have 537 things in their pen to play with, but I have had to shut my laptop at least 8 times in less than 30 minutes to stop them from - tearing up the pee pads under the grass mat, tearing up their sleeping mat, removing things from the table top, and to clean up an entire glass of lemonade that they removed from the table top! Imagine that! I may never get this finished!
Ok - they have settled for the moment....Where was I? Oh yes - the vet visit. They gained a substantial amount of weight since Saturday. Maxwell is at 12 lbs 10 oz and Jo Jo is 12 lbs even. Lizzy (the piggy) is now larger than Sadie by an ounce. They weighed in at 11 lbs 13 oz and 11 lbs 12 oz. Even pretty petite Rita jumped to 9 lbs 2 oz. (Have I mentioned that they are eating better than they did for weeks?) Dr. Boillat checks each puppy's eyes, ears, mouth, heart and lung sounds, elbows, patellas, and all other key joints. Then they got their shots. No fuss for those. He put yummy nutricalc on the table, and they were too busy lapping that up to even notice the needle prick. After that came the microchips. That's a BIG needle, but everyone took that pretty well too. (Well Sadie and Jo Jo were not all that happy about it.) Finally was the blood draw. Drawing 3-5cc's of blood from a little puppy isn't the easiest thing to do, but Rita, Lizzy and Maxwell got through it with just one needle stick. Sadie was not having it, so they had to try both sides of her neck a couple times and her leg. Jo Jo took three tries. Well, we can't all be brave! No one was traumatized though, and now they are there in the database in the event they can help advance genetic research in the future. Dr. Boillat asked me to give his compliments to Rhani on producing such a healthy and pretty litter of pups! Congrats to Dewey too!
Tomorrow evening a Dalmatian breeder friend will evaluate them. Then on Thursday and Friday, we will make decisions. All the families getting a puppy will be wonderful homes so we can't really make a bad decision. Just want to make the best ones! Wish us luck!
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 saved them off as pdf's and was reviewing them last night. It was a good refresher on all kinds of things and brought back lots of good memories. Looking forward to Imagine memories too!