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!

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