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BLAZINGSTAR WILDFLOWER LITTER - FEBRUARY 26, 1009

After a rocky start and a nightmarish and stressful night at the vet clinic, we came home at 5am with Lupine and her 3 daughters. They were born via a c-section and there were several complications. Lupine was barely conscious when we got home, could not walk and was still on an IV drip. We are very very lucky that she survived as she lost an enormous amount of blood. Her three puppies are vigorous and thriving. Thank-you to Bruce and Aleisha for all of your hard work in the early hours of the morning.

Days 2 & 3

Lupine has perked up incredibly. She is eating small amounts and taking wonderful care of her puppies. The puppies all gained 1-3 oz in the first day, which is good. Lupine does not want to leave the pups and we practially have to drag her out of the whelping box a few times each day to go out and pee. She won't eat anywhere except in the box with her puppies. After the surgery, she is covered in dried blood, which we are trying to gradually brush out of her.

The 3 puppies are:

#1 liver female (clipped at the back of her neck), day 1 weight was 16oz

#2 liver female (clipped in the centre of her back), day 1 weight was 14oz. We think puppy 2 has a small cowlick/zipper on her face.

#3 liver female (clipped near the base of the tail) , day 1 weight was 13oz

They seem to be very content, quiet puppies, but that is not too surprising since they do not have to compete for food.

We can already see some differences in behaviour in the puppies. Puppy 1 likes to climb up on Lupine or anywhere else where she can get up high. She is very determined - while trying to get up on Lupine, she slides back down again, but gets right back up and keeps trying until she finally gets where she wants to be. Shades of her grandmother, Tally and her determined nature, perhaps. Puppies 2 and 3 like be under Lupine, with Puppy 3 preferring to be under Lupine's back legs and Puppy 2 wanting to be near Lupine's head, usually between her front legs. Lupine prefers it if they are all huddled together somewhere where she can see them all at once!  We are starting to think that Lupine is able to count to 3. She gets quite upset when she can only see where 2 of the puppies are and she starts to whine and search around for the 3rd puppy. We've never seen this in our larger litters, so I guess they can't count as high as 9!

 
Days 4 & 5

Everyone continues to do very well. The girls are gaining weight very quickly, which is not too surprising. Today they are already 28 oz (puppy 1), 25 oz (puppy 2) and 25 oz (puppy 3). Our vet was worried that the trauma from the surgery and blood loss would cause Lupine to stop producing milk, but that certainly does not seem to be a problem. We noticed on Saturday that her rear mammary glands were very hard, so we have had to milk those down a bit so that the puppies would use them. Everything seems to be back to normal today, which is a relief.

The biggest challenge is dealing with the MUD, as we have had several warm days and the piles of snow and ice have been melting rapidly. Everytime Lupine comes in from outside, she is wet and muddy, so we try to clean her up as much as possible before going back in with her puppies.

The never-ending chore of nail-cutting started today...

WEEK 2

Week 2 seems to have come around very quickly. The girls are gaining weight rapidly and all are now over 2.5lbs.

Today, Day 10, they are starting to walk. Note very coordinated walking, but definitely walking. Mostly their days are filled with sleeping, nursing and being washed by Lupine. They are very content and quiet puppies.

Loopy is doing very well and is now joining us on our afternoon walks again. She is such a great mother and spends a lot of time with her puppies. There really isn't very much for us to do..... (no doubt that will change soon....).

We have been able to turn down the heat a bit in the whelping room, as the puppies are now more capable of regulating their body temperature.

At the end of Week 2 there have been quite a few developments. Their eyes started to open on Tuesday and by Wednesday (Day 14) we can see their eyes quite clearly. They probably can't see us just yet, as it likely takes a few days before their brains can interpret this new sense. They are getting quite mobile and when Lupine enters the whelping box, they are all quickly up on their feet and dancing around in anticipation of food.

They are more responsive to us now too, snuggling up to us and seeking some interaction. Also, they are interacting with eachother in more ways than just lying on top of eachother. I caught one licking another puppy today, in true flat-coat fashion!

A less welcome development today is that they are peeing without any help from Lupine, which means we have to take over some of the cleaning duties now!

There have been several escapes from the whelping box which has prompted some carpentry and a raising of the door to the whelping box so that Lupine can still get in but the puppies cannot get out.

WEEK 2 Portraits:

WEEK 3

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This has been a week of big changes for the puppies. They seem to be able to see now and by the weekend they could obviously hear as well. They wake up when we go into the whelping room and they respond when they hear a dog bark.

Another development is peeing and pooping without Lupine's help. They make quite a good effort to walk away from their sleeping area to do this, so we have now added a pee pad to the whelping box. They are already pretty good at making their way to it when they need to, although quite often they get only their front feet on it and start to pee! Of course this means that our cleaning duties and laundry has increased significantly.

Now that the puppies are 2.5 weeks old, we are no longer sleeping in the whelping room, and it is quite luxurious to get a good night's sleep. Lupine came up and slept in our bedroom for the first part of the night and then went back to the whelping room to look after her puppies for the second half of the night.

The girls have started in interact with eachother and us much more this week. They are beginning to play with eachother and are using their mouths to grab eachother's tails, legs, etc. In true flat-coat style they are licking eachother and us.

DAY 21

It's hard to believe that the 3rd week is drawing to a close already!  The girls have been giving us clues that they are getting ready for eating solid food. They lick Lupine's mouth when she enters the whelping box, hoping that she will regurgitate for them (which no doubt she will soon....). When they grab our fingers we can feel their teeth just under the gums and just today we actually saw a couple of teeth poking through their gums. They bite at their beds, toys, our fingers and eachother's limbs. So today we ground up some turkey, mixed in some goatsmilk and offered them a small meal. They all thought this was terribly exciting and of course made a big mess. They managed to lick their "plates" clean and were looking for more.....

They also think they should be allowed out of the whelping box more often and have managed to escape on a few occasions. So we will be expanding their pen soon.

WEEK 4

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Week Four started with new digs. Lupine was encouraging the puppies to leave the whelping box, so we decided it was time for an expansion. Everyone seems very happy with the new arrangement, although it does mean more cleaning and more laundry for us!  Loopy can easily hop in and out of the pen and so far, the puppies cannot get out....

As their first meal was such a success, we are now feeding them twice a day, soon to go to three times a day. They are getting a slurry of ground turkey, goats milk yoghurt, and goats milk. They are getting very good at eating out of their little bowls. We say "pup pup pup pup puppy" when we bring them their food and they immediately wake up and come running when they hear it. Soon we will start using the whistle at meal time as well.

On Saturday night, we gave all of our adult dogs marrow bones. Lupine would not settle down with hers and kept wandering around and whining by the baby gate into the puppy room. So we let her into the puppy room, where she hopped into their pen with her bone and let all the puppies inspect it while she chewed on it. They sniffed at it and were interested, but soon decided that they would use the opportunity to nurse! The following morning, Lupine started regurgitating for her puppies... of course she waited until just after we had cleaned out their pen!  She definitely seems to agree that it's time for solid food, although she is also very happy to let them nurse, despite their teeth.

 

 

Weds March 25th

We've been very busy this week, so not much time for taking photos or updating the website. Liz has 3 big projects going to print in the next week, so please bear with us....! We are still able to find plenty of time for the puppies though.

They are getting very adventurous all of a sudden. We let them out of their pen in the spare bedroom and they motor down the wood floor in the hallway to the dining room and even turn into the bathroom to check that room out. They have yet to learn that it's where dogs get "BATHS"!  The other very cool development is that they are now picking things up and carrying them around like proper little retrievers. We have a small mouse toy that they particularly like to pick up and tote about. Must try to get a photo of that...... We have also introduced them to a duck wing and a grouse wing, both of which they are very excited about and all three puppies have carried them around (must try to photograph that too....).

Our other dogs have all seen the puppies now, in one way or another. Tally and Pipit have been allowed in the whelping room to look at them and both are very excited about the new additions to the pack. Pipit is especially infatuated with them and when she's in the house she sleeps by the gate to the puppy room, just waiting for a chance to see them again. Last night the puppies were busy exploring the spare bedroom and while I was focusing on one puppy, puppy 2 zoomed down the hallway and when I noticed where she was, she already making formal nose-to-nose introductions with Grandmother Tally, complete with furiously wagging tails on both ends! Soon they will move out of the whelping room and into our kitchen, where they will all get to know eachother even better.

WEEK 5

Another week of changes.... Saturday brought two new things: 1. Their first trip outside and 2. Move to a new pen in the kitchen. They seemed to think that "outside" was very interesting and they explored the prairie grasses, chewed on leaves and followed humans and Lupine around. They are also now getting a late night snack before we go to bed. This was instituted after 2 mornings where they woke up at 5:00 am and let the whole household know just how hungry they were.... now that they are getting a late night snack, they are quiet until 7:00 am, which is pretty good! They are still nursing quite a bit from Lupine and she still gets up to feed them in the middle of the night

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Our apologies for the lack of updating...... we are the "maximum cleaning stage" (or at least we hope we are!), plus our web site is now FULL, so we have to delete old stuff in order to add more - making updating a more complicated process....

A very quick recap of the latter half of Week 5:

Ate more real food.....spent more outside time...... entertained more visitors........progressed from going through the cat tunnel to dragging it around the house.........now colour coded (wearing collars during playtimes)........experienced their first snow........nails cut again...... had to get their haircuts redone.........prefer to pee and poop outside........had first chicken backs and necks (although they did not get much off of them)..........got even cuter......

WEEK 6

A Typical Day during Week 6:

1. Wake up, go downstairs - 3 puppies starring at us from the pen.... they start yelling. Andy takes big dogs out for a walk. Liz prepares breakfasts and feeds puppies. Puppies stop yelling. Feed big dogs. Let puppies out for a kitchen party while we prepare our own breakfasts. Clean out puppy pen. Put puppies back in pen. Fall asleep for a couple of hours (puppies, not us). Do puppy laundry.

2. Let puppies outside for "coffee break" - play outside, nurse from Lupine, play with Lupine. Clean out puppy pen if necessary

3. Lunchtime - feed puppies outside if weather is good enough. Let Lupine out to clean up and give the puppies their dessert. Let puppies play outside with Lupine. Clean puppy pen.

4. Walk Time - walk adult dogs. If weather is good, let puppies play outside. Feed puppies. Feed adult dogs. Feed us.

5. Let puppies out for a pre-bedtime kitchen party and snack. Clean out puppy pen. Tuck puppies in for the night.

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