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?

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.

We’re Back!

Back to the blog I started a few years back with an earlier litter. I had transplanted it to my website that I create with my iWeb program on my MacBook. Unfortunately Apple decided it didn’t want to be in the website hosting business anymore and the blog portion of my site won’t work. There are more than one ways to skin a cat, right?

Anyway, my Havanese dog, Maxi, whelped her first litter of puppies five days early on July 3. Ten boys! Four of the pups were premature. Oddly, dogs can conceive puppies on several different days during their heat cycle as long as their eggs are still viable. Once released, the eggs remain fertile for up to 48 hours. However, not all eggs are necessarily released at the same time. So puppies conceived with the first eggs could easily be several days older than the ones conceived with eggs released a few days later.

This was likely the case in Maxi’s breeding. Her puppies’ birth weights ranged from 80 grams to 180! Quite a disparity. Four were under 90 grams which is definitely on the preemie side of the coin and dangerously underweight. We lost two, sadly. But I consider the other two to be my miracle babies.

To complicate things further the first puppy was born totally lifeless. Maxi was not interested in removing the sack or cutting the cord so I did both then went to work trying to revive him. 45 minutes later after warming his very cool body and rubbing him as vigorously as I dared with a soft terrycloth towel, he let out two cries! I knew we were on our way! Meanwhile Maxi delivered three more puppies. We both had our hands full. I am happy to report that that first puppy is not only thriving but is the largest in the litter!

Introducing Rudolph

Puppies are eight weeks old and ready to go to their forever homes. I will feature one a day with a little photo essay so you can get an idea of their personalities. Here is Rudolph, a beautiful Black Irish Pied with a very laid back personality. He will snuggle with whoever is the closest, is curious and loves to investigate. You will also notice in a couple of these photos that Rudolph is developing a very nice topline and his bite is perfect! Like all his siblings, Rudy is trained to potty on paper and on the potty park that you see in some of these photos.

Maxi and the Dog Show

I signed Maxi up for all four days of the AKC dog show in Novi, Michigan.  Might as well jump in with both feet. She is 9 months, 1 week now so she was in the puppy class–9 and under 12 months. Given that it is her 2nd show and my 4th I think we’re doing pretty good. Phoebe’s coat did not muster up to the silky ones you need to win so we gave up showing her early on.

Maxi took Winners Reserve both Thursday and Friday beating some proven point-getters so I was very proud of her (and me!).  Today not so good. There is a different judge each day and for some reason the judge today freaked Maxi out–and, truly, he was the friendliest! So, she came away with a second in the reserve category. C’est le vie.

As you may all be aware, dog shows in general are a real trip. I bet most readers have seen them on TV but you don’t get the ‘Full monty’ until you are immersed in one.  I’ll try to remember to get photos tomorrow. There are actually two worlds at dog shows. There are the died-in-the-doghair folks with the vans that range in size from 8 feet to 20. Dog shows are their life (note I did not say livelihood)–socially and recreationally. Some are breeders, some are not…but they mostly show because they love their dogs.

Then there are the professional handlers. Dog shows are their livelihood. Yes, they love dogs–wouldn’t be in it, I am sure, unless they did.

Both groups take these shows seriously. Like everything else, some take it more seriously than others. And, it goes without saying, shows can get very political. In my minimal experience I have already encountered it. Thank goodness I am at a point in my life where I take very little seriously. Life is simply getting too short.

Meanwhile I did my part in supporting the vendors–spent $60 on coat conditioner and finishing spray. Havanese with long coats need TONS of conditioning. At least once a week and now I am learning they should have it more often than that if you want a seriously silky coat. This is probably where I went wrong with Phoebe.

It has been an enjoyable three days and I am looking forward to tomorrow. Politics aside, I have met a  truly great bunch of people.

Gotta stop now and play with the puppies. Oh darn!