The “Name Game”

Naming Puppies Is Always Fun! (Vid uploaded of pups nursing)

Most breeders do “theme litters”. These themes are a way to identify individual litters with the actual theme being representative of a time or event significant to each litter. Think of it almost as surnames for your puppies. Some breeders to “alphabet themes”; they have the (a) litter then the (b) litter and so on. Personally, I think that is BORING and totally lacks creativity! Each puppy’s registered name represents the given theme although what you call your puppy (his/her “call name”) is totally up to each individual owner. The theme is used in puppy’s registered name that goes to AKC and will be on your registration certification for your puppy.

For those that have owned registered dogs before, this may sound familiar. For those that weren’t given a theme or due to some other circumstance, let me know if you have any questions.

Deja’s puppies are going to be themed around the word “last”. This will be her last litter. It is a bittersweet time; Deja has produced beautiful puppies but soon, it will be her turn to be an “always by my side” type of dog without her worrying about taking care of “puppies”.

Some examples of names are below but folks are certainly welcomed to come up with their own names too. Anything that goes along with the theme. I have personally killed many long hours driving from dog show to dog show playing the “name game”, LOL! It is a fun thing to do while waiting for puppies.

Each puppy will have our kennel name first: “Jema” (signifying where puppy came from). Here are some examples to give you an idea what I’m talking about.

  • Jema’s Last Dance
  • Jema’s Last Minute
  • Jema’s Last Resort
  • Jema’s Lasting Impression
  • Jema’s Last Stand
  • Jema’s Last Man Standing
  • Jema’s Home At Last
  • Jema’s Everlasting Dream
  • Jema’s Last Train To Paris
  • Jema’s Good to the Last Drop; call name “Maxwell) … This has been used before in our coffee theme. AKC will not allow it to be used again.
  • Jema’s Last of the Mohicans… This also has already been used in the past. His call name is “Hawkeye” and is a Champion dog with TONS of agility titles. He is now retired at 12 years old living his best life.

In Vee’s litter (due tomorrow!), her theme for her litter will be “Ice”. The sire for Vee’s litter is my beloved boy, (Grand Champion/Champion) GCH Tazo; now deceased. We used his frozen semen for this litter, hence the “ice” reference. Timing of breeding, when using frozen semen, is critical! Once thawed, the “collection” has an eight-hour viability window. I have done “frozen litters” in the past; there is about a 50/50 chance the girl will even get pregnant! This is another reason I bred both girls. I wasn’t as sure Vee WOULD get pregnant!

Examples of “ice” registered names:

  • Jema’s Ice Castle
  • Jema’s Fire and Ice
  • Jema’s Ice Ice Baby (already taken)
  • Jema’s Ice Princess
  • Jema’s Twice as Nice (can use words that have “ice” in them)!
  • Jema’s Alice in Wonderland
  • Jema’s Dealer’s Choice
  • Jema’s Roll The Dice
  • Jema’s Spice It Up
  • Jema’s Slice Of Life
  • Jema’s A Night In Venice
  • Jema’s Ice Breaker

Update on puppies, themselves… All are “filling out”; their bodies now match their heads. Think of it like in human newborns. Heads are always the biggest presenting part; bodies generally less big. Until they start eating and get “chubby”… we have chubby puppies now! Dew claw sites are look really good; all healing nicely. Most of the umbilicus’ have fallen off (they are tied off from the placenta shortly after birth. In a natural delivery, mom’s usually do this with their back teeth. They “grind” those cords to prevent bleeding. Standing by and “helping”, some breeders use dental floss to tie off cords. We use sterile surgical suture material because… we have it!

Pups are still “squeaking”. All move incredibly well and are able to “find mom”. We have several getting up on their rears legs; pups will be “walking” soon! And not a coincindence in the timing of these pups (warmer weather) means less chance of puppies becoming “chilled”. Rarely do I find any of them on the heating pad even in Deja’s absence. What I want to see (and what I’m seeing) is pups sprawled out (signals they are NOT cold!) The downside of them sprawling out is… I want them to give Deja enough space to lie down without one getting behind her (that is when you hear the biggest squeaks; pups have to crawl around the mountain!) Because there IS a chance Deja might not see a pup and accidentally lie on one (would NOT be good!), we have “pig rails” in her whelping box. Even if Deja (any mom) lies down, she can only lie down as close as the pig rails. There is room under those rails for pup to slide under so as to avoid actually being laid upon.

Next milestone for puppies is in approximately 5 days when eyes start to open followed closely with ears opening afterwards. Then, pups “voices” will change. They will be able to hear themselves and littermates and squeaks will turn into little barks. They will go from being little potato blobs to real dogs!

P.S. Today is “Vee Day”! I’ve lined up “help”to watch Deja’s puppies and keep an eye on Deja for anything she might need. Prayers and Happy Thoughts appreciated for Vee and her pups-to-be! I’ve no idea how many pups to expect (we did not choose to expose her to radiation otherwise known as an x-ray to get a “count”. There wasn’t a medical reason to do this so… We didn’t do it!) I will say that Vee is fascinated by Deja’s puppies and feels the need to TRY to get in with them every chance she has! Her maternal instincts have kicked in! Vee will be “set up” next to Deja so that we can keep an eye on both mom’s and puppies. Deja’s feelings about Vee’s interest in her puppies… Deja KNOWS Vee is not a threat so is not bothered by Vee’s interest. As I predicted would happen, I can see “co-parenting” happening should we choose to let that happen? It is nice to even have this as an option! (And hence the different marked puppy collars!!)

Deja’s Puppies Have Arrived!

Long day but all are doing well!

What a day (or last few days)!

Bottom line… Deja had seven puppies (4 girls/3 boys). Puppies and Mama are do great…So far so good!

Hanging out together shortly after birth


Blue Boy: 11.4 oz

Green Boy: 12.6 oz

Orange Boy: 10.0 oz

Pink Girl: 14.2 oz

Red Girl 11.8 oz

Purple Girl: 12.6 oz

Yellow Girl: 14.6 oz

As many of you know, Deja was scheduled for a C-section. I had her due date as 4/24 realizing there is a 24 hour window on each side (so due date would be 4/23-4/25). There was a small possibility her due date might have been today, 4/23 (so that 3-day window would have been 3/22-3/24). To make sure her due date wasn’t actually today, she had her progesterone level tested yesterday early morning and her C-section would have possibly been done yesterday. Both her progesterone level and the much less scientific approach of taking her temp proved her due date was NOT today so doing a C-section yesterday was out of the question. I know this probably sounds confusing but… the very last thing to develop in puppies are their lungs (and the ability to breathe on their own). Taking even a day too soon could cause problems with puppies not being able to breathe hence not being able to sustain life.

Vigorous puppies all vying for a space at the milk bar!

So… we went home to repeat yesterday… today! The big difference, Deja’s temperature this morning was 96.8! That is a huge temperature drop signifying her drop in progesterone… Means puppies within the next 24 hours (or so). And yes, her progesterone level done at 0800 definitely indicated she was going into early stages of labor! Pups were ready to be born!

Now it would be terrible to put Deja through labor and then also the surgery of a C-section! Sometimes, that can’t be avoided but like I thought, her due date WAS 4/24 (63 days post ovulation!) While my hunch was correct, I am very happy my reproductive vet MADE SURE and based that C-section on those progesterone levels!

Helping Deja clean little “red girl” so she doesn’t upset the others at the milk bar.

My vet is fantastic! Her philosophy with her C-sections is “8 minutes from the moment of anesthesia to getting those pups out”! Why is this important? Anesthesia given to Deja passes through the placenta’s and will also sedate puppies. When anesthesia given at the last possible moment, Deja is comfortable for her surgery and those pups are out before becoming sedated. I tell ya… this is the first C-section I’ve ever had done where pups were NOT sedated! They revived quickly with hearty crying (a really good sign in newborn pups!) Pups were cared for (umbilicus cords tied off, dried off, suctioned)… all done simaltaneously while Deja was sewn up and given a chance to wake up. Before we left the vet clinic, all pups had a chance to get that first milk rich in colostrum. Then, back home with Momma, still a bit groggy, while pups rode home on a heating pad in our “warming box”.

Deja is awake now and has cleaned all of her new babies. My other dogs have all reacted to the puppy squeaks wondering WHAT is in with Deja?? The other dogs are separated with Deja giving mom and pups plenty of privacy so Deja can focus on her new babies. Weights and collars put on once we got home and are used to monitor weight gain/health of each individual puppy.

Yellow girl is quite content!

Call it a “hunch” but I had a LOT of reasons to do this C-section with Deja. One of my biggest concerns was in “losing” puppy/puppies during whelping. As it turns out, Deja has several very large, fluid-filled cycsts on the OUTSIDE of her uterus. It was difficult getting that last puppy out around these cysts as they enveloped this puppy. My vet ended up having to make Deja’s incision just a bit longer/bigger to get this puppy out. This, no doubt, was the reason we “lost” a couple of puppies from her last litter? It is highly unlikely this particular puppy would have survived a natural delivery! (The plan for Deja will be to have these cysts surgically removed once Deja’s hormones return to normal sometime at the end of August of this year.) I am so grateful we did the C-section not only to save that last puppy but to also get a direct view of Deja’s reproductve system so that she might be treated for this problem in the near future!

Welcome to the world precious babies!!