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

Saturday, November 8, 2008

What The Heck Was That?

Hope lives in my home with Beckett and she is Queen of the universe around here. If she wants to eat her food And his food, that is what she does, with no protest from Beckett. If she wants the toy he is playing with, then she will walk right over and take it. I always make a point of telling people that the reason why we have a peaceful household with two intact bull terriers moving through the house together is because Beckett is a gentleman. Or a wimp, depending on how you look at it. And, Hope has a bit of an attitude. She is very much about herself.

It is because of this personality that Marion was concerned that Hope might not be a natural mother... That Hope might not like the babies or want to take care of them. Well, she certainly came through the whelping wonderfully and for the first few days she was a bit of a "helicopter" mom, hovering over them and whimpering a bit. Her vocalizations seemed to either be saying "I don't know what to do" or "why are they making noises? What the heck are they?". After Day 3 she settled into a routine but by the end of the first week she was OK about nursing them, but the moment they were done, she wanted out of the whelping box. She has been caring, but pretty hands off and has taken to searching out her "Me" time. This has largely involved spending time outside in this balmy weather in a side yard in an igloo lined with hay where she lounges away from the tiny, teat sucking critters.

Now to get to the point of this post. Apparently this morning Hope was in the whelping box and one of the puppies growled at her and Marion said she leapt straight up and ran out of the room with her tail between her legs! So much for mothering instinct LOL. When they turn 3 weeks next Wednesday we will be moving them to a larger, proper whelping box arrangement. Their eyes are all open and they are beginning to walk around, so Hope will learn quickly what its like to have physically and vocally demanding puppies at her feet!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Legacy Babies at 2 Weeks of Age

Hope and Grimi's babies are 2 weeks old and they are extremely fat and happy. Hope must have rich milk because they are not constant feeders, but obviously what they get is filling them up quite well. Hope is raw fed and I like to think her excellent diet has something to do with the vigor these puppies display. 

This first series of pics is our brindle boy, whom I am calling Little Buddy for now, because he is just that. His eyes are still closed yet he hears and smells me and comes right over. I birthed him and I think he imprinted on me! He is so fat that David thought we should name him Jimmy Dean (like the sausage). 

Here is the only other male in the litter. At first we thought he was white with a tri-color ear. Now we are thinking it is red-smut, which would be great for our breeding program, if he turns out to be of that caliber. He is still not as bright white as his sisters as his meconium stains are still fading. Even with all of his Momma's licking, he is still not bright white!

Below is Rose, or as she will be registered, Legacy Lucky Rose of Winsor. She started out as the "large tri girl" although she and her tri-colored sister are the same size already. She has lovely markings.

This is Winsor's Glorious Legacy, whom we call Glo. She is the biggest boned of the bunch. Maybe we should name her Big Boned Gal. She is such a chunker! It will be interesting to see if this holds true as she develops. BJ thought we should name them all after sausages, like Bratwurst! Hey, its food and somewhere down the line I should have a food-themed litter:). 

Below is the other tri-colored girl. She has a white splash on her back to distinguish her from her sister. She also looks to have a great head and back. 

And finally, our other solid white girl, who while not as big boned as her sister, is showing other virtues of her own. Marion is interested in seeing how her head develops. She has a lot of length, which in Marion's experience, often allows quite a bit of turn to develop.

The pups largely cooperated and weren't too wiggly during their photo shoot. These sandals to the left are the flower patterned shoes that Marion was wearing during the whelping that inspired "Rose's" name.

I leave you with two adorable chunky butts - Glo and Little Buddy.