Wednesday, November 19, 2008

They're Getting Bigger! Weeks 2 through 5

Weeks 2 and 3 are an adventurous time for baby bullies. The eyes have opened, the ears finally open (for those that dont know, they are sealed shut at birth) and the first wobbly walks around the whelping box occur. You think you begin to see personalities emerge - who is bossy, who is laid back, etc., but time will tell if these "stick". I thought this "chorus line" below was particularly sweet. This is three of the girls on the right, facing the same way, and the brindle boy on the left.

The brindle boy, shown here to the left, likes to sleep on his back whether he is alone or cuddling with his siblings.

Pam and Jeff Rys came to see the puppies and Pam said she thought our little white boy showed similar expression to his grandfather. Below are 2 pictures of Willy, Hope's father. I Love his expression and if Pam is right, I will be thrilled!

Here to the right are some pics of 
Pam holding our larger boned white girl.

At the end of Week 3 we decided it was time to get the babies out of their "shower" whelping box and into a proper, larger whelping box. Marion likes to keep them in the draft-free shower for 3 weeks, after which they are better able to regulate their own body temperatures. Also, as you can see below, they were planning their escape from the shower, even though they had this tack box as a barrier. When we placed them in their new larger surroundings, there was some whimpering and quivering. They seemed a bit confused and nervous to me but it literally lasted maybe a minute or two at the most. They quickly settled in. We brought Hope in to let them nurse to settle them down. Here you can see BJ pulling Hope's bottom leg out from under her, so that the lower nipples are better exposed for easier access by the babies. In the following picture BJ is stroking her face, which for Hope, seems to mentally relax her and she then lets her milk down.

During their 3rd week, Marion wanted to give them goat's milk as a supplement to Hope's milk. Marion has a special technique. You warm the milk and place in a bottle. Hold puppy on lap and place fingers on either side of the mouth; not squeezing, just kind of holding their head still. Then squeeze the bottle with the other hand creating a flow of milk and direct the flow at the pup's mouth. Once they start to lap at it, make sure to direct the flow down onto the tongue, and not at the back of the throat, which can make them choke. Everyone asked me why Marion did this as opposed to just putting down a bowl for all of them. Two reasons: they stay cleaner And we can keep track of who is getting what and make sure that each belly is filled up good!

At 3 1/2 weeks it was time to have their first semi-solid meal. Marion feeds her dogs kibble. I feed my dogs raw. Marion indulged me and their first meal was finely minced raw beef and beef organ mixed with goat's milk. Below is a series of pictures showing the first meal. The tri bitch and large white bitch to the left were so piggy we had to pull them away! Look at them bracing their legs to practically climb in the bowl. First meal was a huge success and Marion decided to give them this once a day, at night, and they seemed to rest quite well with full tummies.

We might start feeding them Orijen food occasionally as I would want them to be at least familiar with a kibble-style food, as they might be fed this way in their new homes. I will certainly have the Raw Talk with all the owners, but we will see what happens with that. Here is some info on this food (that my Java eats sometimes). It is protein and veggies with no grain and while expensive, an interesting option to those interested in high quality dry food.

Freeman came to see the babies and here he is with one of the white girls. She was apparently hungry as she immediately started sucking on his finger, whereas she had never done that with anyone else. Or maybe he just smells and tastes good and thats why all the bullies behave so well for him in the ring!
He fell in love with the smaller boned white girl. Here is a side shot of her.
I cant wait to see how she matures. Her ears look tiny and she has quite the profile right now. She has the tiniest spot of color over her left eye. Cant really tell what color it is. It looks gray! And no it isnt dirt - I checked. maybe it will be a faint black smudge or a fawn smudge.

Thats it for now....stay tuned

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