Sad News

Lynn Nieto with her boy Pan

Lynn Nieto, owner of Los Perritos Havanese, brought us some sad news yesterday. Her Havanese boy Pan, CH Los Perritos Wee Pantaloons, passed over the rainbow bridge. Pan is grandfather to both Maxi and our one-year-old, Marli. He is a champion in every sense of the word and has more pups carrying his gene pool than any other Havanese in the country. Lynn, with her huge knowledge bank and equally huge sense of humor,  has been a mentor to me.

I will never forget attending my first Havanese National Specialty in Chicago when I sat in a breeding seminar next to a small crate of puppies. They were sired by Pan and caused almost as much commotion as Dr. Huchinson, celebrated reproduction veterinarian, who gave the seminar!

Pan, may you rest in peace.

So Many Puppies–So Little Time

My days are filled with changing towels, changing newsprint (I use the clean newsprint that U-Haul sells as packing paper), feeding and bathing the grown-ups. I LOVE IT!

Daughter Jenny nursing one of our preemies

All the puppies are growing by leaps and bounds. I am still bottle feeding Maxi’s two little ones and Phoebe’s two smallest ones though they are not nearly the size of Maxi’s preemies. It just gives them an edge since they often lose out to the bigger pups at the teats.

Don’t you wonder what is going through his little mind?

Two of Maxi’s pups eyes have opened partially. They are the largest pup with the full white blaze and the littlest pup with the forked blaze. The rest should be open in the next day or so. Generally their ears open about the same time so the sensory input for these little guys is huge this week.

Maxi has pretty much got the hang of this part now.

Today was manicure day for Maxi’s pups. They are two weeks old now (can you believe it?) and by gently handling their paws and getting them used to the clip-clip-clip…this process will be much less traumatic for them as adults. I use a human baby nail scissors at this stage. Their nails are tiny and they are also very sharp so I know Maxi will be very grateful!

Just think. Next week I get to trim 64 paws! I better keep the whole morning open.

Phoebe’s pups at five days old…so much stronger than Maxi’s thanks to their later arrival.

How sweet are these babies?

Phoebe has Babies!

I have been a bit remiss and I apologize but we have been very busy. Wednesday morning I took Phoebe to my vet where they would keep a watchful eye on her while I participated in an event that took me out of the house for two days. Because we thought she was so late in her pregnancy I had actually decided Thursday morning to leave her at my vet until she had her puppies. But my dear daughter had a free afternoon and decided it would be in Phoebe’s best interest to bring her back to my house where she could deliver in the comfort of familiar surroundings. I called my vet to get her take on this and she said Phoebe was showing many signs of getting ready to whelp and would likely have her pups that afternoon or by Friday morning for sure but she saw no reason why we couldn’t bring her home. So, Jenny did and about twenty minutes after I got back to my house Phoebe delivered a beautiful black parti girl! 

After that, Phoebe proceeded to give us five more girls and two boys. Eight pups, healthy and hearty!

She is a mess in this photo but look at the smile on her face. We have a wonderful rainbow of colors…two brown and white, four black and white and two of the girls are pure white! Can’t wait to see how they turn out. We have never had a solid puppy so this will be something different.

Meanwhile, we are still bottle feeding the two preemies from Maxi’s litter but they are gaining very nicely. Aren’t they darling?

And, finally, a shot of Maxi’s wonderful litter…getting so big already.

Never Discount the First Week

While the puppies seem very tiny and preoccupied with eating and sleeping, a lot more is going on with them. Even at this very early age they are already bonding with their siblings, their mother and their humans. It is very important that the breeder spend a few moments with each puppy individually, stroking it, cuddling it and speaking to it in a low voice. Right now their eyes are still closed, as are their ears, so they cannot hear or see. But they can feel both the gentle, loving caresses they get from their humans and their mother…maybe not so gentle from their siblings! And, they cannot hear your voice but if you hold them close they can sense the vibrations of your voice.

This is, indeed, a very important time in their development. One not to be taken lightly.

Pups are growing well. I put the three small ones back on three bottle supplements a day. Fortunately not at night! They are just not getting their fair share at Maxi’s nipples, even though I try to give them the best ones as often as I can. I had started them on a product called Esbilac, sold in most pet stores. My vet gave me another brand and it is amazing how much more they like that one! As long as it is warm, they really suck it down!

Since I don’t have any new photos of the pups, I thought I’d post a few of their daddy, Carson.

Sometimes It’s OK to Fool Mother Nature

Maxi’s fuller teats are towards her rump.

I generally do not like to interfere with Mother Nature. But sometimes empathy gets the better of me. So, for instance, I do my darnedest to revive listless puppies. I warm them up, rub them vigorously with a terrycloth towel, and watch for any sign of life before giving up on them. If, even then, the puppy does not survive I force myself to believe it is for the best. Some pups just aren’t born healthy enough to have a happy life.

Now, for those little ones that do survive I, again, will intervene several times a day. That is, I put them on the better teats. Not all teats, as most nursing human mothers will tell you, are created equal. Some produce better than others.

Here you can see the size differential between the two preemies on bottom and their larger brothers!

And, since the larger pups will naturally gravitate to the fuller teats, I will gently move them over so the little ones can get their fill. This also provides strong stimulation for the smaller teats which will, in turn, produce more milk. It’s a win-win.

This little guy’s nose is still totally pink!

Chances our two littlest guys will never reach the size of the larger puppies. But given a little intervention, they will not only benefit from all the nutrients in Maxi’s milk but get their fair share!