Thursday 19 May 2011

Dogs on the rocks ...

The 'big' dogs have had a bit of a poor deal since the arrival of the Octopups, they're not getting out as much as they normally would.

Yesterday we had a visit to the vet for a check up so on the way home we called at a friend's farm, plugged the puppies in to the mains on a heat pad and all the dogs, except for Arctic Fox, went for a good walk.

Inevitably there were a couple of photo sessions during the walk - a very windy day with a very grey and menacing sky, perfect!

This rock is a favourite perch for the dogs ... so how do they get off?



Monday 16 May 2011

Invasion of the OctoPups ...

The OctoPups are now 11 days old, how time flies. The last week has been a bit of a blur, Arctic Fox has been poorly and there’s been a lot to do. She has been off her food, so preparation of lots of good, nutritious, tempting food to encourage her to eat has been called for. I can’t say that I would thank anyone for offering it me, but apart from one day, she has eaten well. A typical menu has been scrambled eggs with spinach, lightly poached liver, raw and the best minced steak, minced beef - sometimes raw, sometimes boiled - boiled chicken and fish poached in goat’s milk. Then there’s the porridge cooked in the liver and chicken juices, kibble soaked in the meat juices - she is completely refusing kibble, I guess why wouldn’t she with all the other goodies on offer? Then for pud ... natural, live yoghurt or a drink of goat’s milk.

This little OctoPup rather fancies a little of what her Mum's having
 I have become a surrogate Mum for a while. To take some of the pressure off Arctic Fox and to speed up her recovery I am bottle feeding the pups, just two meals a day, but that’s plenty for a novice. Have you ever tried to bottle feed a pup? It is not easy. 

Hungry girl
I had puppy feeding bottles, just in case, but obviously hoped that I’d never have to use them. Well, how anyone can raise healthy pups on the silly little bottles with equally silly little teats is beyond me. They spat out the narrow, pointy teats and completely refused to suck. I resorted to squirting a few drops of milk onto their tongue with a syringe ... that took forever. I have a cyber-friend who breeds so I rang her. She told me to get a baby bottle, we discussed flow rates (of which I now consider myself to be a bit of an expert!) ... this I did and hey presto the pups started to feed. Of course, feeding puppies with a bottle also requires you to ‘burp’ them too, just as you would a baby on your shoulder. Then the toileting ... they are only just becoming old enough to do this for themselves, so I had to do it for them!

Time for the weigh in
All this is taking it’s toll on me. I have had barely 10 hours sleep over the last 8 days so am walking around like a zombie (nothing new there, some might say), I have put on weight as whilst Arctic Fox has eaten very healthily, I’ve eaten any old junk ... if it take less than 2 minutes to prepare then that’s what I’ve had. I’m never entirely sure whether I’ve washed that morning and am also walking around with milk stains all down my shoulder and poo stains down my front. A lovely sight I am sure!

Meanwhile, the OctoPups are completely oblivious, a friend’s comment in an e-mail received this morning sums it up ...

“Pups of course have no idea what's going on, they just want milk and clearly have a very strong instinct for survival.”

That’s the OctoPups - fit, healthy puppies building up their strength for the many adventures that lie ahead.

Saturday 7 May 2011

Arrival of the OctoPups ...

A much anticipated arrival happened on the evening of 5th of May when Arctic Fox whelped her puppies.

She had a litter of a total of 8 fit and healthy puppies, all beautifully marked ... the OctoPups.

Arctic Fox did a tremendous job. To watch instincts kick in is truly amazing.

Wednesday 4 May 2011

Spring has sprung ...

... in South Lakeland 

It's a little while since I wrote my last blog. I'm very mindful of a busy time ahead when all things are going to change for a little while. What I hadn't realised is that I had put these photos into Draft mode, just sitting waiting for some words to be attached. So here goes!

The daffodils in South Lakeland in March were tremendous, as this little woodland glade shows.

The weather was so warm for so early in the year, lots of fun to be had with dogs and cameras. 

Arctic Fox quite enjoys hiding away beneath things ... trees, beds, any sort of things. I think she thinks she can't be seen here!

Womble Bum demonstrates that her agility skills have not been forgotten!

This lovely cluster of hedgerow daffodils is along one of South Lakeland's many green lanes ...


Ever to be the one at the head of the queue ... New Boy pushes a way through, ahead of his sister and daugher 

 The Fabulous Five are once again the Sensastional Six with a weekend visit from Cafe Latte Girl and New Boy's daughter, the search pup.

The search and rescue pup is a real character ... with looks to boot!

A typical South Lakes view

The sheep have been worked, the sun is still out, what else can we do? We can play at Skyline Collie Walking!

Full colour or black and white, a sensational pack ... the Collie Crew.