Friday 22 June 2012

Breakfast at home with ...

... the Jubilee Puppies

Yesterday was the first day of solid (actually, very sloppy) food for the Jubilee Puppies. Puppy food soaked in warm water and goat's milk - lovely!

You will need the volume turned on for this.

Thursday 7 June 2012

Lunch with the Jubilee Puppies

I love puppy feeding time. It’s not the most exciting of spectator sports, I just enjoy the noise and watching the puppies scent their way to an unoccupied teat - one of the many pleasures of ‘puppy watching’. The last pup up to the milk bar usually has a little work ahead of it ... the easily accessible teats are taken first so late comers will need to burrow beneath their siblings and their mother.

Cafe Latte Girl doesn’t always like to give her babes an easy ride. Just as they think they’ve got themselves comfortable, she rolls onto her back and they all fall off ... however, some do manage to stay on and ride it out until she settles again.

Once each pup has had it’s fill they just let go of the teat and tumble into a heap, full and tired. There they fall fast asleep.

The Jubilee Puppies had a special afternoon visitor to their Puppy Palace today, Mr Smart Bear. He proved quite a hit with the girls who soon made themselves very comfortable.

After a good lunch, an entertaining visitor it’s quite fitting to have a well deserved nap ...

Sunday 3 June 2012

Arrival of the Jubilee Pups

Last night was busy! On day 60 of Cafe Latte Girl’s pregnancy, which happened to coincide with the start of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, she decided it was time to start whelping. I was spot on! She whelped day 60 with her first litter, had a feeling she’d be the same this time.

Cafe Latte Girl has a lovely, comfortable whelping box, I have a blow up mattress to sleep on beside it, I don’t leave my girl when whelping is imminent. It’s exhausting work for Mum, it’s also tiring for me - sleepless nights, change of eating habits and any routines just go to pot. The big dogs get little look in for a few days, but they’re cool, they cope very well.

CLG, despite her lovely whelping box, took rather a shine to my bed ... it took some persuasion that she’d be better whelping in her box where she had room to move around as she needed.

Contractions started late evening, but she had quite a while and a bit of hard work to put in before her first pup arrived, not long before midnight. Whelping continued into the early hours of Sunday morning.

As soon as the first puppy is born the ‘watching’ begins. Puppy watching is work, it can take a great deal of time up during the course of the puppy’s development, but it is absolutely vital in order to determine the temperament and characteristics of each pup.

It always amazes me how quickly a new born pup will head towards the milk bar, this is what nose work is all about. It doesn’t take long for the pups to realise that the easiest milk comes from the back teats, there’s sometimes a bit of a scrum to get there with a large litter!

So, the puppies are finally all here. Five girls and one boy. Cafe Latte Girl was large, much bigger than with her first litter. I was sure there would be seven or eight pups, others thought 10 or 11. As it turns out it was just the six, maybe the way she was carrying them this time, or more fluid, who knows. The pups are all fit and healthy, as is their lovely Mum, although she’s very, very tired.

After eating six placenta’s, food isn’t high on CLG’s wish list, but fluids are vital ... she’s a lot of milk to produce. After mum is refreshed and the puppies are fed, it’s time for CLG to have a nap and enjoy her babies ...

Saturday 2 June 2012

The Waiting Game ...

It seems to have been a long time coming, this Jubilee weekend. Much for us to look forward to ... none of which to do with the Jubilee!

We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Cafe Latte Girl and New Boy’s puppies. It isn’t the greatest of timing, having a projected whelping on the Golden Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend, but I can’t change the forces of nature. As a result though, I have taken the big decision to upsticks and leave home for the whelping. Living on the edge of a small town isn’t the ideal location for such an event when such a big National event is taking place at the same time. Noise. I don’t like noise, I get quite stressed by it ... CLG is fine, but she wouldn’t be fine if I was stressed. So we have moved to a friend’s place. Much quieter with few neighbours. Much better for me, therefore much better for CLG and the rest of The Sensational Six. We will return home after the weekend, when everything has quietened down ... excellent experience for the pups - an early vehicle outing.

There was confirmation of a pregnancy back in May.

By end of May the Mum to be had definitely filled out.

CLG has been wormed on a daily basis since day 40 of her pregnancy. In the last two weeks her daily food ration has been gradually increased, mainly increasing the levels of proteins, with the aim of raising feeding volume by something like 50% by the day of whelping. 

Her temperature has been monitored twice daily for the last week ... I’ve been waiting for a drop below 37ºC. This is a good indicator that whelping will occur within 12-24 hours. Not fool-proof granted and the method doesn’t work for everyone, but certainly in my line of dogs it’s a pretty good indicator. So, the waiting game begins.

At 3.30am CLGs temperature dropped to 36.7ºC. Food last night was refused. There’s been some ‘nesting’ activity going on in her very lovely whelping box ... she’s made a right mess in there!

She, nor I, have slept well for some nights.

She has eaten two small meals today, she’s been for a walk to check on her sheep and she’s been wanting to play football. Whelping doesn’t seem to be too high in her list of priorities.

So, when will Cafe Latte Girl deliver her puppies? You’ll just have to be patient and wait and see, just like me ...