Friday, January 26, 2007

Where is Gator?

We picked up a new comforter and it's just Gator's color. It's pretty good frenchie camoflauge, but he always gives himself away when he starts to snore. Can you find the frenchie?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Puppy Update
Category: Pets and Animals

Daisy's: Getting ready for work this morning, and the kids wanted to see the big world outside the pen. So I let them on the bed - it's their second time there. They had a blast, charging wrinkles in the bedspread, playing with the other dogs. I have to say we have the best dogs in the whole world. Isabelle has been playing nanny to Daisy's dogs and Petunia has been fiercely protecting Ellie's dogs when she's not in attendance, and helping her clean them up when necessary. Mariah has even thrown herself on her back in the task of playing gently with the puppies. Once the puppies got a good taste of the outside world, they decided they'd like to go there whenever they please and they tried to crawl out of the elevated whelping pen. One almost succeeded! They're young, but strong and determined. So I adjusted the pen and tonight they got moved to a different location, safer for them and more accessible for mom. They had a blast investigating their new surroundings. At first they barked, a little on the sassy side, then sniffed, ran, jumped, and played longer than I've ever seen them yet! Of course, then they were down for a good, hard nap.

Ellie's: Their eyes are open, but not their ears yet. Even though they've been handled and have been through the initial puppy stimulus exercises, they are still squirmy and a bit contrary. They are definitely opinionated, but we're working with them so they will settle comfortably. Now that the official whelping pen is vacated, they've been moved from the temporary location to it and they are enjoying the added space, but they're still inclined to spend most of their time in a puppy pile. Within a week, we'll be seeing a lot more activity out of this crew.

Ellie's pup's eyes are opening!

Ellie's Pups eyes are opening!
Category: Pets and Animals

Ellie's pups are just starting to open their eyes! Soon the first part of their puppy development exercises will come to an end and we'll be on to the next phase. The little black boy seems to be marching to the beat of a different drummer. He'll wake up in the middle of the night and demand attention while the others are sleeping peacefully. They're all pretty active and squirmy compared to most pug litters. I expect them to give me a run for my money when they get their legs under them!

Daisy's pups are getting more mobile. They've started peeking over the top of the whelping pen and love getting picked up and snuggled. They're starting to express their opinions and desires with little baby indignant barks, already searching for the people who will someday obey their every wish and command.

Most popular dogs in the US in 2006

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Most popular dogs in the US in 2006
Category: Pets and Animals

Per the AKC's registries, here are the most popular dogs in the US in 2006. Visit their website at for a longer list and more details!

2006 Rank Breed 2005 Rank
1 Retrievers (Labrador) 1
2 Yorkshire Terriers 3
3 German Shepherd Dogs 4
4 Retrievers (Golden) 2
5 Beagles 5
6 Dachshunds 6
7 Boxers 7
8 Poodles 8
9 Shih Tzu 9
10 Miniature Schnauzers 10
11 Chihuahuas 11
12 Bulldogs 13
13 Pugs 12
14 Pomeranians 14
15 Boston Terriers 17
16 Spaniels (Cocker) 15
17 Rottweilers 16
18 Maltese 19
19 Pointers (German Shorthaired) 20
20 Shetland Sheepdogs 18
21 Doberman Pinschers 21
22 Welsh Corgis (Pembroke) 23
23 Miniature Pinschers 22
24 Great Danes 24
25 Siberian Huskies 25
26 Spaniels (English Springer) 28
27 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels 31
28 Basset Hounds 27
29 Bichons Frises 26
30 Weimaraners 29

Congratulations Ellie Mae!

Congratulations Ellie Mae 1-9-07
Category: Pets and Animals

On the 3rd of January, Daisy's puppies went in for their first vet check (passed with flying colors) and their dew claw removal. They are growing SO FAST! They seem like they came out of the womb jumping and are ahead of schedule on every measure. Daisy is doing a wonderful job keeping up with them and making sure they stay plump and happy.

In the meantime, Ellie went in for her x-rays on the 9th. We wanted an evaluation to see if she would be able to deliver naturally and to find out how many puppies. She was so small, that can mean a smaller litter and larger puppies. The x-rays showed for, and the heads looked like they would pass through just fine. But in the back of my head I was wondering if they would grow too large by her due date on the 13th.

Well, Providence, always being well-prepared, made sure that the delivery went just fine. It started by rescheduling the delivery to the 9th, then bumping me out of work early for lunch, then by making the fast food drive thru line sooooo long that I decided I could certainly scrounge up something for lunch at home. Any delays that day would have certainly lost one of her puppies. As I got home for lunch, the dogs were more interested in the bedroom than going outside and there was blood on the living room floor. Ellie Mae had knocked out one of the sofa cushions and was hiding behind it.

When it finally hit me what was going on, I discovered she had been in the bedroom, had made a nest of the clean sheets and bed coverings I had laid out the day before to make the bed, and had delivered her first puppy there. It was still in the sac with the afterbirth intact, and 5 other dogs standing in a circle looking at it wondering what to do while Ellie Mae hid in the sofa cushions. The puppy was still warm, I went into action and got it breathing and Daisy took care of the rest. She was a wonderful surrogate to the newborn until it finally sunk into Ellie Mae what that blob really was. Then her maternal instincts kicked in and she took great care of it.

I called into work to let them know I'd be an hour late (how long can it take to deliver 4 puppies? And Tony was on his way home, so he'd be there with them). Two hours later, nothing, just occassional contractions, so we put a call into the vet. They suggested we stop by and pick up some oxytocin and try that, and if it didn't do the trick, to bring her in for a c-section. At exactly 3 hours after the first puppy, I went into the room with the oxytocin and needle, and she took one look at me and went into serious contractions for #2. Next time I'm going to show her an empty needle and save myself the trip. But it wasn't until I sat on the one clean corner of the bed for her to get into my lap and deliver that she felt safe enough to actually pop out #2. Number 3 was soon to follow and #4 not too much later. In fact, all together it took less time for her to deliver than it did for me to wash all the bedclothes and clean up the mess she left behind. For those of you courious enough to know, we actually have a waterproof mattress pad on the bed. You just never know what's going to happen around here, and I've found it's best to be prepared.

Ellie's pups went this morning for their vet check and dew claw removal. Again, thumbs up all the way around. They are thriving and Ellie is doing great. Maybe it's because there are only 4, but they have rarely required rescuing (from her sitting on them). The only real problem we're having is that Ellie Mae wants to find bones (nylabones, rawhides, etc.) and bring them back to the whelping pen where she gets so enthusiastic about chewing them that she will elbow her puppies unintentionally. So I've had to take them away from her or she's only allowed to chew on them outside of the pen.

In the meantime, Ellie is protective of Daisy's pups (gets nervous when I pick one up) and vice versa. The two moms both have whelping pens in my bedroom and they really look out for each others puppies. Out of the other dogs, Isabelle is making the best nanny, occassionally helping with cleaning duties, and just checking in on everything overall to ensure all is well. Izzy doesn't like Mariah getting close to the puppies, so she chases her and the others away if they get too close, an arrangement that seems very suitable to the mommas.

Puppy Udate

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Puppy Update
Category: Pets and Animals

Daisy's pups are growing like weeds. This morning was their first real "awareness" day where they are getting pretty good at wobbling around, they are recognizing littermates as something more than a source of warmth (started playing with each other this morning), and they were nosing around the boundaries of the bolster on their bed, wondering what was in the world beyond. Not to mention the fine art of eliminating on their own - time to set up half the whelping area as a puppy pad! Not all of their ears are opened yet, and we have introduced food to them, but Daisy is keeping them so well fed that they would rather sleep than eat the gourmet meal I prepared for them. She must be timing their meals just before I walk in the door from work!

Ellie's are quiet and reserved, but starting to sound off a little more. They are getting more mobile, but still spending their time eating or sleeping. Their slight stress stimulus exercises are generating lots of protests, but these will help them adjust to the world around them that much better. I am amazed at how well Ellie is doing with her pups. Of course, four is a much easier number to handle, anyway.

We have more pictures to share, but we've had problems with our internet at home for almost a week now. We've had phone lines replaced, technicians out, multiple calls in for help. It has degenerated to the point where now we need a new high speed modem and network card. But someday soon we hope to be able to get a decent update to the web page for you all!

The truth about Daisy's Delivery

Monday, January 08, 2007

The truth about Daisy's delivery
Category: Pets and Animals

You know, in reviewing the earlier post, saying that she had lovely puppies does nothing to paint a true picture of that day. So here's how it really went.

To work in the morning with the dog in tow, spent significant time unloading the car. Dad, who works in the same office, wanted to be sure that we had adequate facilities, so he hunted down a really big box and cut it down to size. After going from the office and moving the whole entourage to the kitchen, without getting any work at all done, it was close enough to lunchtime that it was best to just move her home to her whelping pen.

On the way home, she moved around in circles, pawed at the blanket under her and stood and groaned a few times. Me, with one hand on her, one on the steering wheel, and a heavy foot on the accelerator, seriously considered calling in a police escort.

At the home base, she pawed at the mats in the whelping pen, moaned a bit, and her water sac emerged. It hung there FOREVER. You really can't do much to help a water sac. And the homeopathic remedies that help ease delivery weren't with me because they had been on loan to another person and we kept missing each other trying to get them back. We worked and worked at getting that sac out. Finally it busted and another sac emerged. Where is the puppy? Why was there only about an inch of sac coming out and I couldn't see a puppy? She stayed like that for too long for comfort, again, making lots of noises and starting to really scare me. She looked miserable in her crate, so I thought maybe if she were beside me in bed, she'd do better. So I laid out blankets and let her out with me there. The little snot immediately jumped off the bed onto the floor and hunched like she was going to defacate. I grabbed a blanket and stuck it under her just in time to catch the first puppy. Then the little stinker RAN UNDER THE BED. Yeh, the queen sized bed in a twin-sized room with no space for me to maneuver it to get her out.

So she's under the bed grunting, I'm trying to get the first puppy to breathe. I get it breathing but it won't wail. Figuring that if it were to wail, she would come running, I kept stimulating it and holding it at the edge of the bed, but she wasn't taking the bait. Hearing some commotion under the bed, I put the puppy in the whelping pen and grabbed a flashlight. She had #2 under the bed and appeared to be somewhat stuck. Putting my back into it, I managed to move the bed 6 inches or so away from the wall and reached down behind to grab the puppy.

All this time, I've been calling her, bribing her, and even threatening her, but she won't come out from her sanctuary under the bed. I get puppy #2 breathing. Scared to death I wouldn't be able to reach puppy #3 under the bed, my adrenaline really kicked in and I hoisted the mattress off the bed and into the hall. Yeh, I know you're supposed to keep a level head and a calm attitude, but I have to admit some curses slid her way in those moments.

Of course, once I tilted the box springs up and she knew she didn't have a choice, she sauntered out as easy as you please like "what's all the excitement??" Once she got back into the whelping pen and started cleaning her babies, the rest of the delivery went just fine.

After all the puppies were safe and nursing, we both took a nap. After we woke, it was toward supper time. She had been shaking during delivery, but that was nothing new for her. However, after waking up from the nap, whenever she would stand up or walk, she would start shivering again.

A call to the on-call emergency vet was placed and he said it shouldn't be calcium - it was too early for that. But then again, he didn't know without examining her. I'm sure he thought I was being overly concerned, but he met me at his office around 7:30 pm that evening. I'm soooo thankful for his time and his expertise. He gave her the calcium shot at my request and also a few other shots and after that her shaking ceased and didn't come back - it was a calcium issue after all!

Now that she's back in good shape, I need either an alignment or a massage. Or maybe I'll treat myself to both ;) So why did it take me a week to write the real story? Finally am getting enough sleep at night to be able to write whole sentences ;)

On an interesting note, while doing tonight's puppy development exercises, one of the puppies has just opened its eyes! That's very early! They are happy, healthy and plump little cuties.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Storytime - Fabio

Fabio is a doll. He's one of those who is so cute that they turn out to be terrorists because whenever softies like me try to discipline them, they just turn on the charm and get away with murder.

Like most pugs, Fabio likes toys. He likes a variety and has fun when there is something new and different to play with. However, his absolute most favorite toys are from the dryer. We have one of those doors that opens down instead of to the side, and when I'm folding laundry, Fabio sneaks up, jumps onto the dryer door, sticks his head in, and usually grabs a sock and goes running. Nevermind that there is a whole pile of socks that have holes in them and have been relegated to the dog toy pile. No, those aren't good enough. Only socks fresh from the dryer are good enough to steal and laud over the others. And evidently he's on to something because the others will flock over and try to take it from him and the chase is on!

Congratulations Daisy!

Daisy had beautiful puppies on 12-29-06. There are 4 male, 2 female, 3 apricot fawn, and 3 regular fawn. They are healthy, plump, and delightfully wiggly! They have been to the vet and had their dew claws removed and passed their first vet check with flying colors! This picture was taken when Daisy finished delivering - it was a long afternoon for her!

Poison control center info for animals

This is cross-posted from the Yahoo group Wellpet by Kat Berard. If you haven't had a chance to visit her website, it's worth a trip!

It's the holiday season so please keep these numbers handy, and I hope
you don't need them! These groups can assist with cases involving dogs
and cats as well as other animals such as avians, small mammals, large
animals and exotic species. Both groups are also available to vets for
consultations and follow-up on cases.

Pet Poison Helpline, www.petpoisonhelpli
, 24 hours a day, 800-213-6680, $35 case fee. Also serving Canada (same toll free number).

ASPCA animal poison control CENTER,
http://www.aspca. org/site/ PageServer? pagename= pro_apcc, 24 hours a day,
888-4ANI-HELP (888-426-4435) , $55 case fee, but in some cases the
manufacturer of a product that was ingested or whatever will cover the

Happy holidays, y'all, from Texas! :-)

Kathleen A. Berard, Animal Communicator, Flower Essences Practitioner
and Holistic Care Consultant