Saturday, December 24, 2011

Week Three Update

Isabelle is still holding strong.  As part of her master plan, she has been begging for double the meat, then eating part of it in her pen and when I walk away, burying the other part of it in creative places.  No wonder she won't let other dogs in the room.  I didn't notice the special spot in the bottom of the wardrobe till the other dogs gave it away.  And today she had the nerve to drag the meat out of the pen and onto the sofa and try to bury it in the laundry basket of fresh clothes I brought upstairs right in front of me.  What is this child thinking??  As I said, it takes a special kind of love....

I told you all that around the 3 week point, we were prepping to go ahead and start the initial weaning process, by introducing ground food to the pups to see how they'll take to it.  When I woke up this morning, I was stirring and as I rolled over and opened my eyes, Isabelle was intensely staring at me from her whelping pen with 7 voraciously feeding, lip-smacking puppies at her teats and she asked me, "So, is it 3 weeks yet?"  I laughed and said, yes, it's 3 weeks.  I promise we'll make some puppy food today.  Was going to make it earlier in the week, but I haven't gotten my grinder back yet from our neighbors. 

I bet you're ready to hear about the pups!  Well, let's see... they've had their nails trimmed for the second time now.  They're all getting their legs underneath them better and are much quicker/more mobile.  They are eliminating easily now and are starting to congregate on one end of the whelping pen to sleep and the other end to eliminate.  Amazing at how naturally this and peeing on towels on the floor comes to pug puppies.  Their ears are open, so when Isabelle jumps anywhere near the pen, you see little heads bobbing up and down in anticipation of their momma coming to see them.  The one little guy last week, Asher, kept waiting and waiting and waiting for Isabelle to jump in the pen and when she didn't, he stretched his chin up and gave a respectable "woo-woo" of frustration.  I told you all.. don't mess with his food.  I was so proud of the little guy for this landmark behavior! 

Gable is the only one that I have a concern about right now.  He is smaller than the others, and I think the situation is purely his stature is going to be smaller, but I have been pulling him out for individual feedings with Isabelle just to be sure.  If a pup falls behind, and they are not as strong as the others, then it's a Catch-22, not being strong enough to get to the milk to get stronger.  So you always have to keep your eye out for those so they don't lose out at the milk bar. 

Pictures?  Why yes, I have pictures here somewhere....

See them chowing on Isabelle's meat??  Or trying, anyway.  Kind of hard to do without teeth!  That's Gable on the north side of the meat.

Wow, that recessive fawn gene sure shows up with the flash of the camera! The difference is not that obvious in natural light!

Well, guess it's time for me to get away from the camera and the babies and go make them some food!  Thanks for sharing my pups with me.  From our little family to yours, we hope you have a very blessed and happy Merry Christmas!  May your days be touched by the special kind of love that Christmas brings :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Week Two Update

Are they really two weeks old??  Wow, didn't that go fast?  I've been trying to savor every moment, and this litter seems to be progressing more quickly than any other.  Maybe it's because I know it's my last litter of cuddly, snuggly pugs for a long, long time. 

#4 Rocky - Tried to crawl away from the huddle just now and got too close to the edge of the bed!  No worries, though - I saw him coming a mile away.  He is actually starting to get his legs under him just a little.  That little bit of loft gives him even more speed - going to have to watch out for this guy!  Dew claw removal looks great.  Rocky is on the far left of the huddle picture above and here are a couple more pictures of him.  Many pups are born with white markings that fill in as they get older.  Some will be gone by the time they are 12 weeks old, some will close in between now and 24 months old, depending on the dog.  And occasionally you'll have a dog who carries the white marking forward through adulthood, although usually smaller than when it was a puppy.

#5 Mohawk - His cute little head is silky soft, and he's still a snuggler.  Especially when his belly is full.  Which is all the time.  His dew claw removal looks good. 

I love that we can still see his little line from this angle.

#2 Gable - Dew claw removal feels like a success here, too.  His double-black coat with no white marking is just so pure and beautiful.  Must be why he reminds me of a swatch of styled black hair on a classic silver screen man. 

#7 Bella - Definitely a recessive fawn gene in there, from the looks of her fur.  Dew claws seem to be holding, but a tiny bit of concern about the right one.

#6 Mystery - little mystery aired her differences with me when I put her on her back to take a picture.  They all did, but even though I know she can't see yet, I'll swear she glared at me!  She's showing a little bit of spunk and confidence - can't wait to see how she will continue to develop!

#1 Reba - recessive fawn gene showing through a little.  Her white patch is changing so that hers and Mystery's markings look almost identical!  In fact, I got them mixed up at first, mostly because Mystery's personality seemed a little stronger than Reba's when I just took the pictures.  But knowing that #6 was the darker black is how I got them all straightened out again.  You might notice that the yarn system lasted less than 24 hours - lol. 

See - doesn't she look like Mystery?

And that's not Isabelle - the curious adult face is old man, Cooter, who managed to get on the bed without Isabelle chasing him off. 

#3 Asher - His and Rocky's markings are starting to look a lot alike, too.  In fact, I've gotten them confused a couple of times, till one of them starts wondering off, then I know which one it is :)  Asher is showing his all-boy side these days.  Eat, pee, sleep, and don't interrupt the routine!  They all take their food seriously, but boys show more attititude regarding their food - cracks me up.  They can sometimes remind me of a grumpy old man.

Well, when I went through them this time, all their dew claw removals felt pretty good, but I could swear there was one puppy that didn't take well.  Or maybe that was a dream.  When you wake up a few times during the night, dreams and reality can get a bit hazy :)  So next time they're all moving around, I'm going to feel them all one more time.  At the moment, t hough, they are sleeping peacefully!

Thanks for sharing another day with the babies! 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Guess whose eyes are opening?

Time is moving by way too fast.  The little babies have doubled in size, they're all eating like pigs, and now their little eyes are starting to open.  I remember a cute story about a veterinarian who had her first baby and the first words out of her mouth upon seeing the bundle of joy was, "Oh!  Her eyes are open already!"  There is something so incredible about nature's built-in protection for the animals, this being one of them.  Now just because their eyes are opening, they won't actually register what they're seeing for a bit.  Gradually, they adjust and start to acknowledge things around them.  Eventually they start focusing farther away, and when they realize there is a whole wide world out there, it's such a cute time in their lives!

So last night, I woke up to find a pup who had gone up and over the bumber on the crate mat and got stuck between it and the crate bin in the little corner there.  And he landed on his nose and cried for momma.  Twice.  And don't worry - it's fixed now so that no one else can do that.  But guess who it was?  Both times it was Rocky.  I guess we do have an adventurer in the group after all.  With the first time, I scooped him up and put him with the rest of the pups.  The second time, I brought him over and put him on the pillow by my head.  He nuzzled his way along my head and settled in by my ear and made little "I was stuck and I was sad" sounds.  He still had some leftover whimpers and sniffles.  So we snuggled till he was all comfy and cozy and till he glowed again with puppy warmth and love, then tucked him back into the pack.

Isabelle's eating pace has slowed down just a tiny bit.  I'm wondering if maybe her jaws just got sore from all the chewing.  Speaking of sore, she was stalking me as I slept this morning and as soon as she saw the first twitch of a muscle move as I awoke, she ran over and put her head under my hand and wanted her morning massage.  So I worked her over up and down either side of the spine as we normally do, then she let me know that she'd like more attention paid to the tops of her arms and shoulder area.  Evidently propping herself up to provide more teat exposure is making her a little sore there.  So she moved to where I could massage those muscles a little better, and she melted like butter. 

Oh, and I have some fun news!  It appears that little Mohawk has his own fan club!  I'll have to remember to get some new snapshots so you all can see how he looks in the face now.  And some good news - I believe he has already scooped up a home!  That's right, the cutie patootie has already weasled his way into someone's heart :)  In fact, it looks like we have 3 of the 7 potentially placed at this point. 

Tomorrow is chore day, with a list a mile long.  I guess I should be glad they're growing fast since all I manage to do is sit around and look at them, neglecting other things I need to do.  I probably have a pretty good pug head tilt myself - lol.  But one thing I have to do tomorrow is stock up on more goodies.  Time to go ahead and make a concoction of several different meats, organs and their bones ground up to use as a base for supplements for Isabelle as well as the first stage of weaning for the pups.  It can be kept in portioned sizes in the freezer till I'm ready for it, but Isabelle is ready for something easier to eat right now, and I can't blame her!!  I'll also make sure she gets some cottage cheese and yogurt.  If I can swing it, I'll make some liver treats, too!  


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cancer in Our Pet Population - Dr. Patricia Jordan

This article is written by Dr. Patricia Jordan for the Dog Naturally Magazine.  If you enjoyed this and you want to see more informative and incredible articles/information, please consider a subscription to their magazine.  You can also "like" Dogs Naturally Magazine on Facebook. 

Here is the link to the original article.

I'm only copying and pasting this here because it is such an extraordinarily written article and I'm afraid that like some really important things on the internet, it might disappear at some time and it would be nice to have access to this info in the future.


Cancer in our Pet Population

by Patricia Jordan on December 15, 2011
Post image for Cancer in our Pet Population

…why is cancer on the rise?

In l999, the WHO named the veterinary vaccine adjuvant a grade 3 out of 4 carcinogen, with 4 being the most carcinogenic. The adjuvant identified is aluminum hydroxide, a component of most of the currently used veterinary vaccines.

Adjuvants are not the only way to trans-mutate a body’s genome. Environmental poisons and toxins, viral oncogenes, proteins, drugs, nutritional deficiencies, hormones or mimickers and disruptors of hormones, geophysical forces, ultraviolet radiation and electromagnetic forces can all cause genetic mutation. Protecting one’s DNA from transmutation is a current topic of health interest. Reversing damage done to the DNA an ongoing source of research funding.

Vaccine Induced Tumor

What the research tells us, is that in animals, vaccine adjuvants, in this case aluminum hydroxide, stimulate an inflammatory reaction and therefore create oxidative stress that results in a mutation of the p53 suppressor gene. The p53 suppressor gene is supposed to help the body stop malignancies by suppressing tumor growth. When p53 is doing its correct job, it is a nuclear transcription regulator. The integrity of the genome is guarded by many policemen. However in this case, the result is a loss in translation, so to speak. When a mutation of p53 occurs, malignant tumors results.

Cancers are found in not only in vaccine injection sites, but in other areas of the body not directly the vicinity of the injection site. Documented cases of lymphoma have resulted in patients developing vaccine injection site fibrosarcomas. For more information on cancer and vaccines, read here.

Vaccination is lacking in any scientific evidence for long term safety. In fact, research is starting to show that vaccines produce chronic disease as a trade off for the missing acute disease. The yearly administration of combination vaccines given by veterinary practices all over the world has burdened pet owners with a medical procedure that is not evidence based. In fact, revaccination was the unscientific, unresearched and unwarranted musings of a roundtable discussion among veterinarian members of the AVMA. We have no information what, if any, role the pharmaceutical companies manufacturing the vaccines may have played in those “musings”.  Lacking any scientific validation, the veterinary medical institutions of our great nation essentially turned veterinary doctors into vaccine pushers.

Many practices still revaccination at yearly or triennial intervals even now, despite recommendations to not vaccinate needlessly coming from the AVMA, AAHA and the AAFP. Without informed consent and without full disclosure to pet owners, veterinary medical doctors continue to burden pet owners with vaccination reminders and their pets with immune assault.

Furthermore, there is no excuse for vets who vaccinate pets exhibiting symptoms of illness – including allergies, joint disease, irritable bowel symptoms, etc. This practice is in direct violation of the FDA regulations.
Another Tumor at a Vaccine Site

Vaccines have been repeatedly associated with auto antibodies and autoimmune disease, the degenerative diseases, the endocrine diseases, neurotoxicity and seizures, allergies, asthma and the continued evidence of cancer.

Vaccinations, and the resulting chronic diseases it creates, are big business for veterinary clinics. Pharmaceutical companies also benefit; cancer treatment is big business. Cancer diagnosis means expensive drugs, possibly surgery and chemotherapy if treated via conventional medicine.

An important paper was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, “The Contribution of Cytotoxic Chemotherapy in 5 year Survival in Adult Malignancies”. The objective of the paper was to accurately quantify and assess the benefit of chemotherapy in the treatment of adults with the most common malignant cancers. All three of the authors are oncologists. The meticulous study determined that in Australia, chemotherapy protocols were 2.3% effective and in the United States, they were found to be 2.1% effective.

Chemotherapy is cell poisoning, but isn’t that already accomplished with the injection of the vaccine? The treatment for this disease is often worse that the disease itself. A study took place among the pet owning clients of cancer victims, the “quantity” of time left for the cancer patient was not as important as the “quality”. Chemotherapy gives you neither.

The treatment of cancer is not likely to be found in conventional medicine. The multilevel, multifactorial causation made complex by the medical industrial complex will not provide the answer. Conventional wisdom will not allow conventional medicine to find an answer to cancer because it would not be profitable to do so. As said by Albert Einstein “We can’t solve problems with the same thinking that created the problems”. Of course, we have to get the medical community to see the problem first. Getting everyone to see that the emperor is not wearing any clothes is a feat in itself. Getting veterinarians to stop a practice that feeds their wallet is another thing altogether.
Dr. Phillip Kass, at the Discussion for the Feline Injection Site Sarcoma Task Force, presented these words of wisdom from Sir Austin Bradford Hill from the l965 Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine:

“Finally in passing from association to causation I believe in “real life” we shall have to consider what flows from that decision. On scientific grounds we should no such thing but in another more practical sense we may surely ask what is involved in our decision. All scientific work is incomplete, whether it is observational or experimental. All scientific work is liable to be upset or modified by advancing knowledge. That does not confer on us a freedom to ignore the knowledge we already have or to postpone the action that it appears to demand at a given time”

Dr. Phillip Kass continues with: “you can’t always wait to have irrefutable scientific evidence before you have to take some sort of action, the vaccine associated sarcoma is a real phenomena and the cost of waiting and doing nothing is much greater than the cost of acting now.”

Well, that is the medical profession of whom I am not brethren. The veterinary profession can and needs to make the decision in this vaccine debacle. To ignore this issue is to commit malpractice. If a member of the profession does not understand this, he should be reminded of the veterinary Hippocratic Oath upon most of our profession was sworn into the profession:

Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge. I will practice my profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics. I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

One Week Update

Well, a week and a couple of days, but close enough.  The puppies are still hunkered down, dealing with survival skills.  They are all very talented at eating and sleeping right now. 

#1 Little Reba hasn't really run her chops since her first 24 hours, but she still strikes me as a strong female who will be able to stand on her own.

#2 Gable is super sweet.  All of the black pups have a bit of a white patch except #2 and #7 and it's like they're twins - they look a lot alike and they both have meltingly sweet personalities. 

#3 Asher is taking it all in.  He gets a bit grumpy when you pick him up.  He likes his warm little area he's made and don't disturb his peace and quiet!!  And especially don't pick him up with cold hands!!

#4 Rocky cracks me up every day.  Tony looked at him and said, wow, look at the head on that one!  And as he picked up Rocky, he came up swinging.  I didn't even have to see the mark to know which one he had in his hands.  So funny!  But he has finally started settling into my hands when I'm holding him (which is part of his exercises, but the turning point was when he let me comfort him after doing his dew claws).

#5 Mowhawk is just too darned cute.  He is going to be your typical pug boy.  Love, love, love oh, and show me the food.  He will be very easily trained with treats - lol.  Can't wait to see what happens with the hair/markings/wrinkles on his forehead.

#6 Mystery - this one surprises me.  I expected her to show me something of herself by now, but she's playing it low key, just biding her time.  She is really concentrating on being a puppy, and taking one day at a time.  The mystery is still a mystery!

#7 Bella - talked about her with #2, but the other funny thing about Bella is that she always finds herself at the bottom of the puppy piles.  When I move the litter to change bedding or for whatever reason, she is almost always the last puppy I pick up, and has been protected by her position in relation to the rest of the puppy pack/pile.  She's adorably sweet and cuddly!  And quiet - she might be my favorite - lol.

Isabelle is hanging in there tough.  She's attentive, keeps them very clean and warm and taken care of.  She is starting to rotate them in shifts.  Mostly they eat together, but she is starting to divide them into groups of 3 and 4.  They have to get just a little more mobile before she actually succeeds, but I give her props for trying.  Isabelle rocks! 

She is letting out her inner diva, though.  The other morning as I was getting ready for work, she sat in her whelping pen and started bossing.  She wanted the bedding in the pen changed, she thanked me for the strip of venison that was longer than she was, and she was happy that there was kibble available, but she made me promise to bring her some chicken with bone at lunchtime to keep up her calcium.  Not that I wasn't handling it all, anyway, it was just the WAY she started telling me what needed to be done that cracked me up. 

Even when she's out of her pen, she isn't very far from her pups.  Here is Isabelle keeping vigil while her pups sleep.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Dew Claws, Puppy Exercises and Helping Isabelle

Isabelle's hyper-vigilance is starting to calm down a little.  And I think she's second-guessing her refusal of nanny help from anyone else because cleaning up after 7 puppies is a lot of work!  So I've been stepping in and helping with the eliminatory duties to take some of the burden off of her.  I'm gearing up for an early weaning with this group, although as with everything else, we take things one day at a time and re-evaluate as appropriate.

The pups are like one big lump of squiggly fur.  They are the least spread-out group I've seen.  Usually I have one or two that constantly seem to wander off or get caught in folds of blankets, or are where they shouldn't be.  But this group just seems happy and content to be where Momma puts them!  Little Mohawk sure does stand out in the crowd, though.  What a cutie patootie.  He is growing faster than the others, and his fur is so.... so something, maybe plush is the word I'm looking for.  He just looks like a little ewok and his facial expressions are so funny!

And in continuing with their development, their dew claws have been removed.  The general guideline is that they should be removed between days 2-5.  Prior to two days old, some believe that the blood will not coagulate properly (although I have met breeders who remove dew claws on delivery day without a bleeding issue), and before 5 days old when their nervous system is more fully developed, and therefore feel more pain.  We used to have the vet do the dew claws, but it's funny how life leads you in different directions.  A combination of events happened - the vet tech who wrote me down for dew claws and tail docking and I had to save the tails in the nick of time, then the vet tripling his prices and on the same litter, half the dew claws grew back.  So I started researching how to do it myself.  This BOOK was instrumental with it's instructional video, and networking with other breeders has really been very beneficial.  And through the process, I've learned a lot of tolerance.  I remember  how mad I was at the vet when half the dew claws grew back.  Well, now that I've done many litters myself, I have found that toy dogs are very difficult.  Everything is so small and it's sometimes difficult to know that you've gotten the whole thing.  So I understand that when you're rushed, and dealing with tiny bones, that it's not as easy as you'd think!  But doing them at home still has huge advantagse!  First of all, they aren't exposed to potential illnesses at the vet's office.  Secondly, instead of being handed a bag of screaming puppies and having to deal with a very upset mother dog, each puppy can be handled one at a time and at their own pace.  When I did their dew claws, they were held, cuddled, relaxed, dew claws removed, then snuggled again and given reiki until they were totally relaxed and ready to go back into the whelping pen.  One at a time, no rush, as much love and care as possible, and even though it took 1.5 hours instead of 15 min at the vet, it was worth it.  Isabelle didn't even get upset!

For those of you wondering why remove the dew claws, I will freely admit that if I didn't think it was necessary, there was no way I'd do it.  It's one of the most difficult things to do and I really have to work up  my nerve for the process.  There are several situations where I feel that dew claw removal is necessary/acceptable, but the main reason for pugs is their eyes.  The brachycephalics, with their facial structure and protruding eyes, are very susceptible to eye damage and scratches.  A pug simply trying to wipe something off its face could scratch their eye with a dew claw.  So the removal of one more environmental hazard to their eyes is very important. 


To give the pups every advantage and to help give them the best start in life, all litters go through their puppy development exercises.  The first phase is the Military Super Dog Exercises which have the benefits of:
  1. Improved cardio vascular performance (heart rate)
  2. Stronger heart beats
  3. Stronger adrenal glands
  4. More tolerance to stress and
  5. Greater resistance to disease.
These exercises last from day 3 through 16, which usually is right about when their eyes open.  I have to laugh at the name of the exercises in conjuction with pugs.  It's not like they're going to be military super dogs.  But if I know of something that will strengthen their bodies and make them stronger and more resistant to disease, how can I say no?  And if they happen to get commissioned to the military because they are the coolest pugs ever, well, I won't stand in their way :)

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Reindeer Names?

My friend, Mary, asked about reindeer names!  What an adorable idea!  So I had to try it on for size.

Aren't they cute?  The problem is that I have to sing the song every time to remember all the reindeer names, so I'd have to not only sing the song, but then figure out which one was in my hands to call them that, so I guess we'll stick with Plan A and go based on personality ;)  But thanks for the idea, Mary!  It sure was fun!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Seizures in Dogs, the 5 Most Important Remedies

Dr. Andrew Jones is a fascinating vet who works diligently to educate pet owners on medical issues, health, nutrition, and holistic remedies.  He has formulated his own health supplement, has a site with video tutorials on topics including first aid emergency treatments for dogs and cats.  Check out his newsletter and website for more information.

He has written this article describing the most common causes of seizure activity in dogs, as well as some important remedies to know and have ready.  I found his pressure point to help control seizure activity to be especially interesting!

The one thing he didn't mention in his article, which I found very surprising, is mercury.  Have you heard the term "mad as a hatter?"  That came from the era when they made felted tall hats, and they used mercury in the process.  The workers, as the mercury invaded their system, would eventually go crazy and end up in asylums - mad as a hatter.  Mercury is one if the few items that can cross the protective blood/brain barrier which safeguards your brain. 

Unfortunately, the videos have been removed from the internet, but when researching the flu vaccine in the year that the bird flu was all a big hype, I ran across a 4-part series by a neurosurgeon talking about how brain plaque is really mercury buildup in the brain.  And how vaccinations for children have increased so drastically that where we used to graduate high school with an average of 12 vaccinations in our lifetime, in some systems they are averaging 64 vaccinations up through graduating high school and the neuro fields are seeing increases in people in their young 20's with failing memories and what appears to be alzheimers.  Not to mention the link between vaccinations and alzheimers.

Personally, we had one pug with seizure activity, but she was also given 3 shots before she was 10 weeks old by a well-meaning breeder who thought puppies had to have 3 shots and had no idea of the ideology behind the concept.  If we knew then what we know now, we would never have let this happen. 

So what can we do to help prevent vaccination-based seizure activity in our dogs?  First, learn and understand the role of vaccines in our lives.  Adopt a minimum-vaccination protocol.  And find a product that detoxes the body to pull that mercury back out of the system.

And here is a shameless plug for my absolutely favorite detox product - Waiora Natural Cell Defense.  Although I disagree with the laws regarding rabies vaccinations, we do follow the legal requirements, which means that when I pump in a vaccine that is good for up to 750# into one of my toy dogs because the law won't allow it to be prorated for size, then I have to find a good way to pull the crap back out.  So we detox with NCD after each and every vaccination and I truly believe it makes a huge difference in their overall health!  (Essiac Tea is my second favorite detoxer :)

Oh, and for those of you who made it through this dry commentary on one of my soapbox issues, here is your reward.  A little bit of cuteness. 

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

A Spitfire has Emerged! And a Lesson on Early Puppyhood

#4 is now being called Rocky instead of Rambo.  It's not so much that he's an adventurer, it's that he comes up swinging.  Yesterday, he honed in on a teat and was crawling full force toward his goal.  The problem was, Isabelle was propped up on one front leg as she sniffed over the pups by her belly, seeing if anyone needed a cleaning, and she was getting ready to lay back down.  Seeing a squish about to happen, I swept in and scooped him up when he was THIS close to the nipple.  He started kicking and yelling at me.  Ever been chewed out by a 2-day old puppy?  He was not very pleasant.  And to make matters worse, he was just so warm and snuggly, that I didn't want to let him go right away.  I tried to give him reiki, but he was on a mission, I had just interrupted him, and he didn't want any part of snuggling.  SHOW ME THE MILK!  And it seems that every time in the last 24 hours that I've picked up a pup on the verge of trouble, guess who it has been - that's right.... #4.

It's really interesting to see these black puppies side by side at this age because you can tell that there are 3 double blacks and 3 recessive fawns, with the sheen of their coats being slightly different - you can see it in the group pics posted the first day. 

Now for the biology/nutrition lesson.  Lots of people reading this will already know, but for the non-breeders out there, the miracle of birth and early puppyhood is fascinating.  When the puppies are born, each one has it's birthing sac and an afterbirth.  The umbilical cord is attached to the afterbirth.  Some mothers will clean the puppies first, others will eat the afterbirth, then follow the cord up and bite it off, and then take care of the puppy on the other end of it. It gets tricky because the puppy needs to get out of that sac, and have its airway cleaned within a certain amount of time or you could lose it.  I will proudly say that Isabelle did an excellent job processing the pups and she might have even been able to handle most of them on her own, but not wanting to risk it, I did help her with the pups.  In the wild, when the mother eats the afterbirth, it gives her enough nutrition and moisture to last her for several days.  This natural provider allows her to remain with her pups through the first critical stages and keep them fed, safe and warm to where she doesn't have to go forage for food.  Because the afterbirths looked healthy, I did allow Isabelle to eat as many as she wanted (she ate them all, God love her).  As a result, she wasn't interested in outside food for at least a day.  She did take some fresh water, and she has both water and Blue Buffalo kibble by her bedside.  And I bring her fresh meat once a day, as well. 

Puppies are born with their eyes and ears closed.  And the mother emits a certain pheromone that keeps everyone calm and in a state of bliss.  In fact, this is what they have harnessed for DAP, a product that they sell to keep dogs calm while the owners are away, especially those with serious separation anxiety.  The mother licks the puppies clean, keeping the pen spotless so that there are no smells to attract predators.  They are the equivalent of human babies that have just been bathed and powdered and have that cuddly smell, without the fear of being burped up on - lol.  It's no wonder that I can't seem to tear myself away from their bedside, soaking up all that good-feeling mojo.  As the puppies mature, they will open their eyes first, but they don't really see well.  And that's all for now till we reach the next stage!

Excerpts from Schultz's paper on vaccinations

Minimum Duration of Immunity for Canine Vaccines:

Distemper- 7 years by challenge/15 years by serology
Parvovirus – 7 years by challenge/ 7 years by serology
Adenovirus – 7 years by challenge/ 9 years by serology
Canine rabies – 3 years by challenge/ 7 years by serology

Dr. Schultz concludes: “Vaccines for diseases like distemper and canine parvovirus, once administered to adult animals, provide lifetime immunity.” “Are we vaccinating too much?” JAVMA, No. 4, August 15, 1995, pg. 421.

To read an article by Dogs Naturally Magazine with even more excerpts and good info, check it out HERE.

And to give legislators the proof they need to extend the rabies vaccinations to 7 years, donate to the Rabies Challenge Fund - my #1 charity at this time!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Meet the Litter!

With this many puppies, and most of them looking alike from the topside, I can see we're going to have to do some identifying, which we haven't had to do for a long time.  So to make life easier, I'm trying to think up puppy names for them which we'll use in the house on a temporary basis till they get their forever homes and names.  So with that in mind, here is my first go at some names (unless I get something better down the road).

In order of birth:

#1 - Reba  (brown yarn)
Reba came out of the hatch mouthing and didn't stop till morning.  She settled in, finally, but I sense a strong personality, a soul who knows what it wants and isn't afraid to tell you all about it!  But she's not a difficult personality, just able to communicate :)

#2 - Gable   (green yarn)

Gable is a studly, handsome young man, who will someday amaze and charm the opposite sex.  He reminds me of an old, classic movie star.  I was shooting for James Dean or Dean Martin when my friend said what about Clark Gable?  So Gable it is!

#3 - Asher    (blue yarn)
He's a sweet male, but he's very quiet right at the moment.  He hasn't really reached out with his spirit yet to give me a glimpse into who he is.  He's just busy being a puppy right now, getting the basics of life covered, and when he's ready.  But for now, I like this name a friend suggested - Asher - means blesssed.  And who doesn't want to feel a little blessed in life?

#4 - Rambo  (red yarn)
This little guy reminds me of Sylvester Stallone - compact, strong, with a force behind the facade, and an air of confidence.  Or is that cockiness??  I might go with Rocky instead of Rambo - haven't totally decided yet. 

#5  Mohawk   (no yarn required)
When I broke open the birthing sac of this little guy and his head popped out, I had to ask, is that a cowlick?  All the hair from both sides was pushed up into the center and it actually was enough that it kind of folded over, like the guy's hairdos in the 50's..  It's already starting to disappear, and I wish I had taken more pics when he was born, but hey... had my hands full. 

#6 Mystery  (invisible yarn - it's a mystery!)

Before they were born, as I held my hand on Isabelle's belly one night, I actually got a sense from one of the puppies.  I've never had a "communication" with an unborn pup like this before, but I knew that there was a puppy in there, and it felt like it was the 3rd one up on one side, and buddy, she wanted out.  She has been waiting for this incarnation, she's ready and raring to go, and she couldn't wait to get out and surprise me.  So the stage has been set.  I am not 100% sure if this is the one who sent me the message, but so far, she's definitely the frontrunner.  And whenever she touches me, she settles right in, like she has no other place in the world to be.  I half thought about naming her Pandora, but anyone who knows pugs knows that could be sentencing myself to a whole lot of orneriness!

#7  Bella   (peach yarn)
Bella wasn't sure she wanted to be born.  In fact, she was so unsure, that while her brothers and sisters all popped out like clockwork, one after the other, we actually thought we were done at #6.  So Isabelle and I settled in for a nap and slept for 2 hours, and then when the pups cried for their feeding, out popped #7.  Guess she thought she'd stay for a spell, after all!  For her first 24 hours, she was very hesitant, though.  So I looked for a shy, sweet name for her.  I ran a couple through  my mind, but they just didn't fit.  So I asked a friend for help and she said Bella.  But that's too close to Isabelle!  Can't help it - she wants Bella.  So Bella it is!  Then later, I realized that by having a name close to her mom's name, it'll help her feel close to her, more linked in a way, to help ger her up and running for this life she has ahead of her.  She's already feeling stronger, both physically and emotionally.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Isabelle's Litter!

Well, we've come full circle here at Briarwood Pups. Everyone says "how can you place the babies?" Well, it's not easy, but I'll tell you what's harder - placing the adults who have lived and slept with you for years. Any good breeding program has to be willing to place at least enough adults to allow space for new, younger dogs to be able to carry the lines forward, but I find that hard to do. And since our house only has so much space, I've decided to discontinue breeding pugs. Maybe in the future, as mine get older and pass away, 3-5 years down the road, I might reconsider having one litter out of a younger pup, but as far as being able to average a litter a year, we won't be able to do that anymore.

With that decision, we thought that Jolene's litter born in August would be our last because only she and Isabelle remained intact and Isabelle couldn't have any more babies. And what a shame, I kept thinking to myself, that we couldn't have an Isabelle pup to keep and have for the future since most of our remaining pugs are all around the same age and statistically, will probably pass close together. But with family histories, and Isabelle's previously unsuccessful matings, we knew that we were just out of luck as far as getting a pup from her was concerned. So when she came into her last cycle and didn't have any bleeding, we were totally surprised with a hook being our only indicator that she was in heat. But, I didn't even bother to write down the date since I "knew" she couldn't have puppies.

Well, as Gomer would say, Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!! Isabelle became not only pregnant, but as huge as the Hindenberg. I could see the puppies kicking her ribs, as though if she didn't let them out soon, they'd just dig their way out the side and be done! And their little heads were bumping on her ribs and she begged me not to put my hand on their stomach to feel them because it only encouraged the little devils.

When the day came, Isabelle spent the preceeding 24 hours destroying anything fabric in my bedroom. She opened up my wardrobe and completely pulled everything out of one side and made a nest in there for herself, and she left the rest of the room in shambles. I was up all night with her, trying to put things back only for her to sneak them back out and around again. And we were up till 4am when I finally dozed off into a deep enough sleep that I managed a few hours before going to work the next day. So she stayed with relatives all day, being watched like a hawk for any signs of contractions. The following night, she began labor and delivered 7 puppies between 11:30 pm and 7:30 am on December 3, 2011. And they are beautiful. They are strong, healthy, gorgeous, and full of life and love. I feel so blessed to have this precious gift.

So Isabelle, thank you for this gift to bring this stage of our lives to a close. Girl, you sure know how to go out in style!

We invite you to join us in this journey, in the lives and adventures of this litter over the next two months with all the ins and outs that breeding can have, and join us in sending love to these little ones so that their lives will get off to a great start to help them in finding and fulfilling their destinies!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Beer as a Wormer

This is from another board I'm on (in response to a dog who is heartworm positive and so advanced that it is danger of dying from the treatment) and I requested permission to re-post and it was granted:

This will kill heart worms without endangering the dogs as what the beer does is is make the worms sterile. It's seen as food by the worms so they don't put out the poison to try and stop the dog from eating anything more that 'bothers the worms', plus the die off of the worms is slow so there's not toxic overload there. This was studied in Japan.

The tests were done with several types of beers and the Guinness Draught is the one that works. This is because 1) the special ancient type of hops they have there and 2) the really good water. It's the hops that sterilize the worms. This special hops is only in the Draught Black Label beer imported directly from Ireland. I originally purchased Guinness Stout but when I got home I read where it comes from Canada and they don't have the special breed of hops. Only the Ireland Import does.

The dosage is 1 ounce of beer to 25 pounds of weight. Normally people let the bottle sit with the lid off to get rid of the carbonation (so the dog doesn't get gas). It's ok to let it go completely flat, and if you don't use up the whole bottle in one setting you just cap it and put it in the fridge. The hops never 'go bad' and so it will work until you empty the bottle.

So you give 1 ounce of Guinness Draught to 25 pounds of weight every 2 weeks. Just pour it over their food if they won't lap it up (some will, some won't) After 3 months you can have the dog tested to see if there are any filarie left (baby worms). If so, continue for another 3 months and test again. When all the baby worms are dead then you switch over to dosing once a month.

This kills all worms except whip worms.

I hope her dog can last long enough to utilize this treatment. Very simple, very cheap and it works. There are a couple ladies on a pet list I'm on who foster dogs. They have had dogs tested to have heart worms, put them on this beer method, and then the dogs are tested and--no heart worms. All the foster parents in their groups use this now.


Further posts discussed how hops is toxic to dogs, but it turns out that it's misinformation - the hops dregs from making the beer is toxic to dogs, but not the portion of hops that remains in the beer. They researched this heavily because they are in Florida and in rescue and many dogs were coming through as heartworm positive. The amount of alcohol needed to kill the worms is not harmful to the liver, and the treatment has been extraordinarily successful in their rescue program.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

To Those Who Feed Stray Cats

There is a lot of resentment from people who don't like to attract stray cats, who are upset at the odor of feral tomcat sprays, who don't like the moaning of strays in heat. All of those are valid concerns, but let's look at it from another angle.

I work with animals and have been a part of helping in many , many situations where dogs get away from their owners. When you see a stray dog, there are many possible reasons including:

- an electronic fence collar whose batteries went dead

- someone travelling to a dog show and a beloved show dog getting away from them

- someone moving across country and staying with relatives when one of their children opens the door and the dog gets loose

- a meter man opening a yard gate and neglecting to latch it back correctly

- a trucker's companion animal getting spooked at a rest stop

There are many, many reasons why dogs get away from their owners, owners who are desperately searching for them. Even when chipped and tagged properly, dogs can become scared or suspiscious enough that they will not allow someonen to catch them. In almost every lost dog case, the thing that has kept them alive until their owners can be reunited with them is the availability of cat food being left outside.

So before you judge someone in haste, or allow resentment to build in your heart because you may not like cats, just step back and consider how many lives have been saved by someone's good heart. Take time to see the goodness, the love these people have in their hearts, and how they are trying to make the world a better place. Perhaps then we can work together from a place of understanding and appreciation and find win-win solutions.

I used to be neutral on the matter, but while helping yet another lost dog try to find its way home, I have to say a huge thank you to those who feed cats :)

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Flea Prevention Step #1

We have done our best to care for our dogs and family as holistically as possible. The past two years have been horrible for fleas, though, and last year we caved and one month out of the season we resorted to Frontline (which didn't seem to help) and spraying the yard with chemicals (which did give us the respite we needed to be able to recuperate).

This year, we are being more proactive in the prevention of a flea problem in hopes that we are able to find that magical combination.

The first thing we did was to get some barrier plants established. See the full post on plants that help with this.

So far we have planted some bee balm, artemisia and two kinds of mint. I'll be adding more bee balm, marigolds, and more mint next time I make it to the greenhouse, as well as perenial mums.

We don't have carpet, so the next thing I did was treat the sofas, also part of spring cleaning. I vaccuumed them, spritzed them with vinegar, washed cushion covers where possible, and then when all was dry, sprinkled a mixture of borax/diatomaceous earth/table salt onto the sofa base under the cushions. If you have a flea problem, you can sprinkle the whole sofa with this, wait a few hours or overnight, then vaccuum. Since it's not an issue yet, I'm just leaving this dust under the cushions as a preventive measure and the borax offers up a fresh, clean scent.

Next step will be to give everyone a bath at the same time, ensuring that we don't have any fleas to start with, then spray with an essential oil that will repel them. You can find a recipe here. Or I might use a product I just read about this morning which sounds amazing - Triple Sure. And now I finally understand why peppermint oil is so often used in natural sprays, and why peppermint itself (and all mints) is high on the list of plants to have in your yard as a barrier.

And while the animals are being bathed, their bedding will also be washed, which happens frequently in our house anyway, but this time we'll be adding a new trick. Once the fresh bedding is placed in the crate, it will be sprinkled with salt. The salt will dehydrate the fleas and not be bothersome to the pets. I am so excited about this simple solution that I can't wait to see if it works!

And then there is the lawn... not sure what I'm going to do about it this year. I found a recipe for mouthwash/dishwashing liquid/tobacco juice and I made that and sprayed it on the front yard, but haven't made my way to the back yet. In the meantime, found out that the tobacco juice is harsh, indiscriminant (killing beneficial insects, as well), and possibly harmful to the dogs since nicotine is a neurotoxin. So I'm still researching that solution before I spray it anywhere else. I can honestly say I haven't seen any bugs or even ants on the front porch since spraying, though. Also read that a coat of lime in the grass will control a large percentage of fleas.

So we'll be doing whatever we can this year to not have to resort to harsh and harmful chemicals. The dogs literally hate Frontline, so even if I have to go back to baths every week, we won't be using that anymore.

Feel free to share what has worked for your family!

And some of my favorite pages