Wednesday, March 26, 2008

An awesome trained dog!

What a great example of what a trained dog can do - this one ought to be a service dog!

Click Here

Friday, March 21, 2008

And the Award Goes To:

The adult dog who best drinks out of a puppy feeding bottle is...

..... drum roll please


Jolene is the clearcut winner in getting puppy formula out of a puppy feeding bottle followed closely by Ellie Mae and somewhat loosely by Isabelle. Among those who could care less are Petunia, Daisy, Tiki, and Cooter.

However, they all seem to be interested in stealing the plastic bottle and chewing it down to a mangled mess somewhere between 2:30 am and 6:30 am.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What a difference two and a half weeks make!

Ellie and Isabelle have found their happy medium. Ellie has regained control of her babies and Isabelle is the faithful and much needed assistant. The girls are working together and even giving each other kisses while the puppies are feeding. It's nice to all be on the same page again!

Tiki's puppy is thriving, but she's so much more tiny than the boys! You can see her as the speck in the picture. But the boys are so fat and happy that the little girl can crawl circles around them right now! I had to get the boys out on the bed and make them do laps for their milk - lol. They'd head for the teat and I'd put them back on the other side of the bed. It was most unfair, to be sure, but they are walking much better and are more lively and rambunctious. In fact, I heard the first bark yesterday. Two of the boys were playing and one of them told the other what was what! Very bossy!

Daisy made me feel better tonight. She was sitting on the floor barking at an unknown threat. Then I figured it out - she barked at the featherduster!!! Hahahaha... she was just trying to make me not feel so stupid ;)

Monday, March 17, 2008

The featherduster and the coup

Ellie's boys are 3 weeks old now and they are so incredibly cute!!! But man are they fat. And I do mean FAT!! I knew that they'd be getting extra milk since there were only 3, but we've had to take the boys out and literally exercise them and make them work for their food to keep them moving around.

Well, the mystery of why they are so big has been solved. Isabelle was going through a false pregnancy and she would watch over the boys when Ellie went out to go potty or went to get a bite to eat. She faithfully sat by the whelping pen, staring adoringly at her charges and chasing away any other dogs who tried to sneak a sniff of the little fuzzies. But then watching turned to active participation. Before we knew it, Isabelle was jumping into the pen with the pups and feeding them EVEN MORE!! Holy cow, it's no wonder we can barely see their legs.

However, feeding the pups has kicked in Izzy's maternal drive. So after working with the three milk-bearing females yesterday to get one of them to permanently adopt Tiki's (with no success), I finally gave in and we're back to the bottle. I was tired and needed a good night's sleep. But at midnight, Izzy decided to stage a coup to take charge of Ellie's pups. I was wakened by growls and posturing. Amazingly, Izzy won and she stayed in the crate with the pups as Ellie slept by my head and stared longingly at the whelping pen with a big sigh. I told her to enjoy the break and I'd take care of it in the morning. After a few more skirmishes that night, Ellie managed to gain control of the whelping pen, but Izzy jumped in after her. There they were, two mommas and 3 babies, all squished into the pen. So I brought Izzy to work with me to give poor Ellie a break. Those crazy girls!

Between their skirmishes and the little one's feedings, I don't think I got much sleep last night. So this morning as I walked through the house with closed eyes, I walked by a chair with a big black feather duster in it and I patted its head, thinking it was a pug. The next step is the loony bin!


If you can start the day without caffeine,
If you can be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,
If you can eat the same food everyday and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when loved ones are too busy to give you time,
If you can overlook when people take things out on you,
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,
If you can face the world without lies and deceit,
If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can do all these things, ............ ...

Then you are probably the family dog.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Tiki Surpise!

We thought Tiki was experiencing a false pregnancy, but as it turns out she gave us a tiny little baby girl on Wednesday, March 12th. The puppy came out breech and as a result, took in some fluids in her passageway. It took a concentrated effort to remove the fluid and get her breathing properly and by the time we got her up on her feet and knew she was out of danger, her scent was different than Tiki expected. Tiki is still trying to figure out exactly where her puppy is. She will nurse this one if we sit with her, but she is not identifying with it. We have to bottle feed it to ensure she gets enough to eat. I wish I would have taken pictures when she first came out to show how small she was, but she is 4 days old here and has stamped her little pawprint on this world with great fervor. The first 24 hours, she would not open her mouth to nurse, so we had to force it open each time. Then she started accepting a bottle better. Now on day 4, she has learned that Momma's milk comes in 3 different scents and flavors (Isabelle has pitched in a couple of times with her false pregnancy milk), and rubber nipples come with several different human scents. And the source doesn't matter as long as there's a nipple within reach when she demands it!! You would think with three available nursing females we'd be in the clear, but that just isn't the case. None of them will feed her unless they're curled up on our lap getting pets and kisses while they nurse. Other than that, they ignore the little girl other than to chase away the other non-nursing females in the house. But we're making do and the little girl is thriving! She's a doll.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Sleepy little boys

Ellie's pups at 10 days old. They were passed out cold from just having eaten a nice, warm dinner courtesy of Miss Ellie. I barely got any reaction out of them!

The adults were playing and snorting in the background. Those noises aren't coming from the babies!! :)

Two have opened their eyes and the third one is halfway there. They seem very aware of their surroundings, where they want to be and what they want to do. But their little bodies aren't quite there yet. They're getting their legs up underneath them better. In another week they'll be walking, then look out world!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Jolene the ninja

Jolene doesn't like people to know, but she is a gifted and talented dog of many faces. Here, with a hidden camera, Jolene was caught in the act of being a ninja. Please don't let her know that it's on the web. She likes to use her super powers anonymously except when she's in the house. In this never-seen-before picture, you can see that she easily handled 4 trained attack dogs and came out without a scratch.

Can't we all just get along? The dog, cat and rat

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Three Little Boys

On Saturday, February 23, Ellie Mae surprised us with an early delivery of 3 beautiful baby boys. She was so large and producing so much milk, we were guessing that she had 6 in there, but we were wrong. They were a very nice size coming out and full of life and vigor. Getting the first one out was hard for her and we nearly called the vet, but then it came at 7:30, then another at 8:30, then the final one at 9:30 and then I stayed awake till 12:30 watching her... just in case.

The boys went to the vet at 3 days old and got their dew claws removed. That was almost a huge mistake because when I made the appointment for dew claw removal, they wrote down to also dock the tails!! ACK!! I double-checked when we got there and made them change it to dew claws only. It was a new girl at the counter, but it was too close a call to be comfortable! Momma and the boys received checkups from head to toe with positive feedback. They are snorty, snarfly and already think they're more mobile than they are, trying to crawl around and investigate before their eyes are even open!

Ellie's first litter didn't think much of being on their backs, no matter how much we worked with them. But this litter is different. From day 1, they have settled into my hands quite comfortably and don't mind being on their backs. Same father, same mother, makes you wonder why so different. The only thing I can figure is that Ellie is a more relaxed mother this time and knows that no harm will come to her babies in my care. I don't handle them much, just enough to check them from head to toe once a day to make sure all is well.

The little black boy is already showing some spunk and attitude. When I have him on his back, he will lift first one lip, then the other. In other words, he does a great Elvis impersonation. Cracks me up. Then he'll yawn and snuggle down and relax.

We do puppy development exercises with all of our litters and today I put them through the paces. Days 3-15 involve very light stimulation, not much time spent away from Mom, but enough to react to the stimuli to help stimulate brain and reflex action. Studies of these exercises have shown to increase critical thinking, increase ease of adjusting to situations, and other side benefits and was first put into play on an organized basis by the military when raising and training their dogs. Part of the process is to put the pup down on a wet washcloth for 3-5 seconds. Just enough time for the body to register an unpleasant sensation and move away from it. They are never left there long! I usually sit them at the edge of the washcloth so that when the cold registers, with one swoop they can be off of it themselves. So today, all 3 recognized the cold sensation very quickly and were off of that washcloth in a heartbeat. But the black pup, he scooted off and then wondered what that was and came back and put his head on the washcloth. I've never seen a pup do that before!! To be this curious this quickly?? Very interesting.

I also caught the darker fawn boy dreaming on day 2. He was trying to suckle, making sucking noises with his mouth and moving his paws back and forth. Too cute.

We're having a poll to give the boys temporary names that you can see on the right. please vote!

We're very busy these days and are spending all our spare time with the dogs and the puppies, but we'll try to keep you posted with news as it arrives!