Saturday, December 31, 2011

Moving Right Along

So far, 5 pups have been chosen and the 6th family is working on it.

The pups and I have worked out a plan for mornings... every night, just before I turn out the lights, I FILL up their food and water bowls and every morning they contain themselves until one of the big dogs sounds off. Even if I don't get up right away, the babies play quietly (for them) until I do. No more of that demanding squealing. Lucky for THEM!

They have not yet figured out that putting ALL the poop in one area of their pen means they have the rest of it to romp in without getting, well, poopy. I have to keep reminding myself they're JUST 8 weeks old.

A word of warning...
they LOVE electrical cords and ANYTHING on shelves or under things. I have to monitor them 100% when they are out of their pen. On the plus side, they've found a couple items I thought were lost.... But you might start now, puppy-proofing your homes.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


For the first time, everyone's final payment was here ON TIME and nary a one required my signature! What a great bunch of people these pups have picked!

The new pictures are on the website... two pages, one for girls and one for boys. The families with first pick of each have been notified to choose. The pictures of the pups will disappear from the website (temporarily) as they are selected. That way, when I let you know it is YOUR turn, only the available pups will show up.

One thing, once everyone has picked, the page will have JUST one shot of each pup so if there are pictures you want, get them NOW.

The pups were weighed today (AND got their first shots) and the weights are on the website, under each pup's picture. They have gained from just under 3 pounds to just over 4... in 2 weeks! The little blond girl is still the smallest but there is now a 4 way tie for largest. She and "Brown and White Dog" are the only ones not at 8 pounds.

Just as a point of reference, Emy (and Boon's) pups weighed from 5 pounds to 8.75 at 8 weeks BUT most were well under 8. (I need to check that to be sure, but it seems about right!)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Nothing New

Well, this is new...
most of the black pups have areas that are lightening up. So much for STAYING black! These two pictures show what happens over time. The first is at 2 months and the second is the same dog 2 years later.

New pictures of the pups tomorrow and then we'll pick.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Quick Reminder

In the midst of all the holiday celebration, I am asking that everyone remember Chompers, the Whoodle guy who is still lost in Pennsylvania. It's been 4 weeks and he has been spotted a number of times, but no one has a fix on his location. His family lives over 3 hours from where he got away and they make the trip every weekend to look for him to no avail. Please keep them and him in your thoughts and prayers.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

We are definitely NOT having a white Christmas around here. Which is fine with me. I wouldn't mind if it was a little cooler... our temps are in the high 40s and low 50s during the day. And it could be a little drier... but the rain is supposed to be over by tomorrow.

And just so you know, there are new individual pix on the website. Well, everyone is there except "reindeer." He's been hiding behind the chair where I cannot reach him since about 8:30 tonight. However, I'm about to dump food into the bowl and he just might make the mistake of thinking I've put the camera away for a few days! Too bad for him.

We're going to start this at the end of next week. I'll get one more set of individual photos before then. Here's how it is going to work...
the families with FIRST pick of males and FIRST pick of females will let me know their choices. Then I'll let the families with SECOND picks know the remaining pups so they can choose. Those with THIRD pick male and last female will be notified next. And so on. Some times this is all over within a couple days... but sometimes it takes longer (usually when there are two adults and two or more kids and everyone likes a different pup....)
After the picks are over, photos will be every 10 days to 2 weeks.

Oh, there are two males still available.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Doing Great

The gang is doing so well it is almost scary! Mornings are still a little trying for them... and me... but judging by their insistence this AM, it is more their wanting to bend me to their will than anything else. They were really obnoxiously loud and DEMANDING around 7. And I was equally obnoxiously ABSENT from their room! When I stuck my head in at 9, they were all smiles.

They are eating me out of house and home. All of them LOVE the Royal Canin. It is a very good (ie: high priced) puppy food. I started using it a number of years ago because it is so digestible it makes for good stools and FEWER of them than cheaper puppy chows do. It is not such a big deal with just one or two pups, but NINE make a lot of mess several times a day! And I'll never be able to figure out what it is about puppies and clean newspaper. First off, when I change the paper in the pen, it is like challenging them to see how quickly they can dirty it up. Then, if I'm "flying" a section in to cover a pile or two in an otherwise spotless pen, they all watch and attack the paper while it is still in the air! Just judging by that, this entire bunch is going to excel at frisbee!

Final payments due
I've just emailed a reminder that the pups are going to be 8 weeks on the 29th... which is when the final payment is due. Let me know if you don't remember how much that is.

I could be wrong, but Di seems to be getting a little belly on her. She is just 3 weeks "along" and maybe I just noticed after she'd eaten, but it is a good sign!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Individual Puppy Pix

As promised, there are individual pictures on the website (click the link there.) The pups are identified by the stuffed animal in the photo. These 3 are "Reindeer," "Pony" and "Brown and tan dog." Each pup's weight is by its pix. They range from 3-1/2 to just over 5 pounds.

And they have lived here all their lives. They are perfectly comfortable... although some still jump a bit when a herd of adults rush into the puppy room unexpectedly. I'd jump too!

They got up WAY too early for ME this morning. Kenny leaves for work around 6:30 each morning so that's what they're used to. My nose is out of joint if one of MY dogs wakes up before 9! They'll get it pretty soon 'cause they're smarties.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

They're Here!

Long trip, but they've handled it well. It took 8 of them between 5 and 20 minutes to start exploring. The ninth pup immediately found the food and water bowls and has camped out there ever since. I've gotten a few tentative kisses and lots of wagging tails when I talk to a specific pup. An hour and a half after arrival, they're all asleep... some in a pile, the rest scattered around (good sign.) I'm thinking they are a little bigger than Emy's pups at the same age, but will weigh them tomorrow... along with microchipping, nail clipping, another worming and (I hope ) some individual photos. Have to admit I'm pleased with them!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Three More Days

D-Day is Saturday. Kenny is planning to be here in the late afternoon/early evening with Maggie and Cisco's 9 kids. Right now, things are very peaceful and quiet around here... well, comparatively speaking. I'm ready, I think.

Animal Rescue
Lately, I've had time to watch some animal tv. I've really enjoyed "Pitbulls and Parolees" and the program has given me an entirely different take on the dogs. (The parolee part... not so much.) Some of the Pits captured/taken in by Villalobos are so extremely neglected and abused, I'm amazed at how readily... eagerly... they accept help from their rescuers. The woman who runs the program is VERY upfront about the aggression inherent in Pits toward other animals and I really appreciate that.

BUT I'm a little unhappy with the show about the humane society that investigates and rescues abused animals in the Houston area. In the last week or two, their investigators... and even their veterinarians... have made some statements and diagnoses that are WAY off.

One investigator came down hard on a family because one of their dogs had cherry eye. She threatened to confiscate the dog if it was not attended to (ie: surgically "fixed") immediately. Cherry eye is the inversion of the tear gland in one or both eyes. Ugly as it is... bright red and swollen... it is not painful for the dog and basically does no damage. A dog can live its entire life with and unaffected by cherry eye.

Another investigator, responding to a neighbor's complaint, found the 5 dogs in the home in good shape as far as weight, parasites, etc but two of them had coughs. She insisted they be cared for by a vet, again, immediately. The next week when she followed up, the dogs were still coughing. She threatened to seize them... as well as the other 3... if they were not treated in 5 days time. When she returned, the dogs were no longer coughing and she backed off the family. Here's the thing... the dogs had kennel cough. It sounds absolutely awful and is contagious to other dogs. However, it is caused by MANY different viruses and the available vaccine protects against maybe a third of those. (Think about why the human flu vaccine is changed every year.) SINCE kennel cough is viral, antibiotics can't cure it. It's like a cold in humans... you basically live through it and "treat" symptoms to make them less annoying. (If a vet gives an otherwise healthy dog antibiotics when it has kennel cough it is more to pacify its humans than to do anything for the animal.) KC disappears on its own in 10-21 days. Any humane society or rescue organization employee should know that. (Many toy breed dogs have "collapsed trachea" which causes them to cough, especially when stressed and perhaps, this particular investigator was thinking of that... even those these dogs were medium size, not toys.)

And then there's the weight issue. Now don't get me wrong, a lot of the dogs (and other animals) on the program are almost starved to death. BUT there is a huge area between that and a healthy dog that is thin or even underweight for its breed. Some dogs... again, like some people... just naturally carry less body fat than others, regardless of how much and what they are fed. And some breeds are ribby by design. Some of you have found that your thin puppies put on weight... sometimes too much weight... when they reach maturity. This is mainly because thin puppies are often overfed in an effort to fatten them up and when certain hormones kick in at physical maturity, they usually become less active but are now getting too much food even if the amount has not increased. The investigators on this particular program seem to think ANYTHING that isn't FAT is too thin. But they don't like FAT animals either. (In my opinion, free feeding is the best way to deal with... avoid... weight issues.)

Which brings us to mange. There are basically two kinds: sarcoptic (scabies or red mange) and demodectic. Sarcoptic mange is picked up from the environment and, of course, is contagious to other animals AND people. Demodex is an immune problem, sometimes thought to be hereditary. Scabies is easily cured with ivomectin, supported by medicated baths to help kill the mites and/or ease the itching. (It is often harder to get rid of it with humans and usually involves washing everything in the house and spraying what can't be washed.) The heartworm medication that is ivomectin based usually keeps sacoptic infection at bay. Demodex is NOT contagious to other animals or to humans. Mild demodex will often disappear on its own but just as often (and usually unnecessarily) is "treated" with baths (mostly to ease the itching although some vets will still use the chemical baths to kill surface mites) and support for the immune system and time. Generally, demodex occurs in pups and younger dogs and will not reoccur once the immune system has matured. HOWEVER, severe demodex often means the dog has to be put down. The mites look different for the two manges so the skin has to be scraped and looked at under a microscope to tell which is causing the problem. What bothers me is that the shelter personnel on this program, including the vets, are always so negative about a mange prognosis and so surprised when an affected dog shows improvement in a couple weeks. Why don't they KNOW these things?

Finally, for today anyway, nobody on this show wants to give anything time. Perhaps it is because it is on tv and the producers need an immediate diagnosis and prognosis. And they seldom do things the easy way... chemical shampoos are used on very young animals to kill fleas when a Capstar will do the same thing immediately. It is cheap and can be given several days in a row, giving time for a topical like Advantage to work. Malnourished pups are intubated or started on ivs instead of being given Nutrical (to elevate blood sugar and aid against hypoglycemia) and then given something like Hill's A/D (canned.) Yes, sometimes time is of the essence, but that is not always the case. Recently, there was a program where the vet was concerned that a mare who had foaled just an hour or so before didn't have enough milk for the baby. Duh! It's the same thing with dogs. Offspring sucking on Mom leads to milk coming in. The more it suckles, the more milk there is. Time.

To be fair, I think this team does a good job overall and I am appalled at the number of animals NEEDING help in that area. If people do not want to take care of their pets and livestock, they should stick to repairing cars or collecting stamps as a hobbies.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Good News

Penny is home from the hospital. I called about 7 last night to get an update and she answered the phone. Which both surprised and pleased me. I asked what they had decided was wrong with her and she said "Gall bladder." So, dumb me, I said "When are they going to take it out?" She told me they had removed it that morning. And sent her home 8 hours later! She was still fighting off the immediate effects of the anesthesia, for pete's sake. What is WITH health care in the US?! But I'm glad she's through the worse of it and on the road to recovery... even if she has to spend the next week living upstairs in bed!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Missing Dogs Updates

Elizabeth in PA reports that there has been only one sighting of Chompers in over a week. Again, it was at the tree farm so it seems that he is still hanging out in that area... or maybe, like Peri, he returned there because it seemed safe. Elizabeth is going back toward the end of this week and is planning to find her pup and bring him home. Good thoughts and prayers are requested and appreciated.

I spent much of the weekend going through newspaper and on line ads for pups for sale and found dogs, even those way out of the area where Cotton could possibly have wandered. I'm running a "puppy wanted" ad in the hopes someone just might have her babies for sale. A vet about 45 miles from me called Friday "about the lost dog flyer" and I was SURE they had found Cotton. But she just wanted to know if she should leave the flyer up on their bulletin board. Needless to say, it was a very depressing weekend.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

No Pix This Week

Sorry, folks, but Penny is in the hospital. She's been feeling sick... in bed type sick... for weeks. And Friday it got bad enough she was persuaded to go to the ER. She was admitted right away. So far, tests have not been conclusive for or against anything. I'm convinced it's her gall bladder. Since having mine removed and feeling 100% better fifteen minutes later, I'm sure the ills of the world would be eliminated if everyone had their gall bladder removed. Think about it... world peace!

Her husband is still planning to bring the pups to me next weekend, with or without Penny riding shotgun.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cold Enough for You?

I took this picture outside my front door. Gorgeous, eh? It's a wonder no power or phone lines went down! Luckily, the temperature has climbed above freezing. Now everything is soggy! Hope to get off the hill tomorrow or at least by Saturday. Not that I need anything, I'm just going stir crazy!

More puppies check in
Murphy and Zoe Teague are ready for Christmas. Both are Emy kids, different dads.

Look, mom, it's raining outside! Tucker and Seamus Perry, a Cotton son and an Emy son.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Rain, More Rain, Snow

So a couple days ago we were about 6 inches over in the rain department for the year. Didn't see last night's total, but if I judge by my road, aka the Rapids, we're close to doubling that today. It just has NOT stopped. I live on a hill which gets VERY steep right above me and the road is a combination of dirt and gravel. When the weather is like this, the gravel gets washed away and the dirt turns into mud, DEEPLY rutted mud. In an emergency, I can get DOWN, but coming back up is impossible. Thanks goodness, our local weather predicters are very good at their jobs and give enough advanced notice that I can get out and stock up on dogfood, newspaper, etc. To make things interesting, the temperature is dropping from the 40s to below freezing and the rain is turning into snow. Depending on which tv station I get my weather report from (none are actually local,) I'm going to get anywhere from a trace to 6 inches. The 3-6 inch forecast most likely is for elevations higher than where I am. And often, because of the configuration of the hills in the area, much of the really bad weather goes by on either side of me. I hate to tell you how many times I've gone out and been surprised at how bad things are just a couple miles away when I have nothing alarming going on at home. Like me, the dogs will be glad when the rain stops later today. They've had to run out, do their business and run back inside. The dogs miss the exercise they normally get but THEY don't seem to mind getting soaked. For me, there's nothing like the smell of wet dog(s) in the morning to get my juices flowing! And I don't mean that in a good way.

Christmas is coming...
Tucker is ready to take part in the festivities. Bring on the eggnog!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Peri's in the Dog House

Perhaps I have been a little too lenient with Ms Peri since she's gotten home, but those days are over. She has forgotten any boundaries she once had. I cannot put ANYTHING on top of the dresser next to my bed... it's all fair game for her. Long ago, I learned to pick up and stash anything I didn't want a pup putting teeth to. My house shoes ALWAYS go on top of the dresser when they're not on my feet. Peri has eaten them. My old dollar-store alarm clock gave up the ghost (after about 6-7 years... not bad for two bucks!) and I bought a new one... which set me back FIVE. It lasted one, count them, ONE day on the dresser. I have a small open bookcase on the other side of the room where I store myriad paperback books after I finish reading them. Now these are not books that I am adding to my permanent collection (like anything by Dick Francis,) but ones I'll eventually box up and truck over to the library. Peri started removing... and chewing on... all those she could easily get to on the bottom shelves. SO I threw out the ones that were too bad and removed to safety the ones she had just tossed around. As I always say, the trick to living with a dog is to be smarter than IT is. In this case, Peri has it all over me... I left the books on the higher shelves, perhaps forgetting that standing on her back legs was something she learned in the nest, and as soon as she was alone in the room, the rest of the books met the same fate as the previous ones. And last night, Peri was lying next to me on the bed while I was watching tv and reading the newspaper. She calmly reached over and started chewing on the paper IN MY HANDS! Well, the final straw happened this morning. It's raining, hard enough for all the dogs to sleep in. Which meant I slept in. At 11:45, the phone rang, waking me from a really pleasant dream which I can't remember clearly now... I think George Clooney was asking me a personal question (but he might have just needed to know the time)... anyway, I woke up, answered the phone and then rushed to start letting (forcing) dogs outside for a potty break. A few minutes later, I went back to the bedroom... and Peri had chewed up the phone! So she has now moved in with her mom, Di, and sister, Emy. Case closed!

TV story
On one of those faux news programs, I just saw a story that isn't so faux. It was about people stealing litters of puppies from breeders' homes. I personally know people that has happened to. It's on the list of why I allow no visitation. Case closed on that, too.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sad News

Maggie's smallest little girl died during the night. She was not doing well yesterday... sitting off by herself, not playing or eating, most of the day. She did not have an elevated temperature and she refused rice cereal and just plain milk when offered. Maggie ignored her which is a bad sign. Canine moms always seem to know when a puppy has a problem that cannot be fixed. If the pups are very young... under 2-1/2 weeks... moms will often shove the pup aside, away from the rest of the litter. Over the years, I have learned when that happens, there is NOTHING I, or a vet, can do to change the outcome. With pups a little bit older, moms will let them go off by themselves but they will force healthy or minorly ill pups to stay close. The cause of deaths like this is usually something like a liver shunt or heart problem and with a large litter, it is not unusual to lose a pup or two as they start getting more active and the malfunctioning organs cannot handle the increased exertion.

Just so everyone knows, the photos of the pups on the website are mislabeled. The FEMALE puppy who died is the little sleepy "guy." The blond pup with the white spot on the forehead that I claim is a girl, is not... which means the other pup in that photo is a boy as well. And the other blond pup with the.... Well, we'll get it straightened out once they get here and are microchipped.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Boon has "covered" Diamond five times as of this evening and today both of them seemed to be just going through the motions. Di's headache will probably be back tomorrow IF Boon shows any interest in her at all which is doubtful. Her ultrasound will be scheduled for the very end of December/first of January (4-5 weeks into gestation) and if positive, the reservation list will open immediately.

In The Netherlands

Two White Shepherds romping in the surf. The puppy (on the left) is just 5 months old. These two dogs belong to a forum friend of mine who also has Schapendoes (or Dutch Shepherd) which are shaggy and look amazingly like Whoodles. In Europe, the White Shepherd is a separate breed from the German Shepherd (just as the Biewer Terrier [pronounced Beaver] and the Yorkie are separate breeds.) Conny has raised and shown both breeds for a number of years. Her dogs are delicious!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Cisco's Kids Update

The pups are chowing down on puppy kibble. Penny was going to go through what many breeders consider "the normal weaning process" and had started feeding them rice pablum. Which they, of course, LOVED. They waded into the bowls, coating themselves... and the entire kitchen... in it. Baths for 10 puppies 4-5 times a day gets time consuming. I told her the easiest, cleanest and REALLY natural way to wean pups is to put a bowl of dry kibble in the puppy pen as soon as they start trying to stand and let the pups find it on their own. (I start feeding my moms puppy chow... for the additional protein and fat content... a number of weeks before they give birth. And there is always a bowl for them in the puppy pen so they don't have to go very far to eat when the pups are brand new.) I've had pups between 2 and 3 weeks sucking on the kibble and they are always chomping on it before they get teeth. They will eat more kibble and drink less mom's milk as they grow. And no baths are necessary.

This morning, Penny got up and came downstairs to find... all the pups having a field day in the living room. Maggie was sitting in the doorway between the two rooms, looking a little guilty (since she was the one who had opened the pen gate.)

And this afternoon, Penny realized she might have a racist dog. Maggie was lying in the nest with some of the pups, her back turned to and blocking the others from coming in. All the light colored ones were in the nest with her while all the black ones were on the outside looking in. (To be fair, I often see moms separate pups into groups and sometimes it is seemingly by color. Which some dog experts have claimed dogs can't see.)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Couple Things

Ms Sheana left this morning for her new home in California. Over the last two weeks, this little girl and I got close, something I try not to do when I'm not keeping a pup. But when I get down to just one... well, it's not easy to stay aloof! She was really brave at the airport. I did something with her I've never done before... I put her down on the ground and let her walk around. She never got more than 3 feet from me, but she explored in all directions. She was interested in the people standing in line and walking passed us, although the ones dragging suitcases on wheels were a little scary for her. I was really proud of her. Before I had to put her in the crate, she actually walked up to a lady who came up to the counter next to us. And she did the 12 hours in the crate with just a little protest. I don't think I mentioned before that the pups all learned to howl so they could take part in the daily sings around here. The only problem was... are you ready for this... she was put on an earlier than scheduled connecting flight out of Atlanta and the dummies in San Francisco didn't bother to read the airbill. So they didn't call her people to tell them she was there 3 hours before expected. Luckily, Francene called the airport to check on the scheduled flight and found out she was already there. So now Emy's pups are all gone.

Which brings me to Diamond
who is in standing heat and as of right now this minute has been bred twice by Boon. For a young, inexperienced stud, he does very well at maintaining his cool. Two days ago, Diamond had a headache and attacked him every time he even looked in her direction. However, the hormones have a way of changing a young lady's attitude toward a little lovin'. Since she is now receptive, I'll keep putting them together every evening until she tells me (and Boon) she's over it. So, if she "settles," the pups will be due at the very end of January... the same week Maggie's pups will be ready to go. Gonna be busy. Again.