Four Day Old Puppies

Puppies are 4-days-old and growing every day!

As we are making our way through the first week of the puppies lives, I almost feel like celebrating… ALMOST! That first week is so criticial for the puppies; I feel like we are “watching them” constantly! And mom too!

First the puppies:

  • All are gaining weight each day; a very good sign!
  • All are very mobile moving all around the whelping box (and have no problem finding the “milk bar” when mom is in the box with them
  • And all survived having dew claws removed yesterday (day 3); sites look great today!

And then there is mom, Deja:

  • It is hot here, Deja is panting constantly (the “up side” of this is that the puppies are definitely NOT chilled!) We have the AC on for Deja but are making sure pups are not in any drafts. Regardless, I have now removed the heating pad in the whelping box… Pups are all spread out indicating they are definitely NOT cold!
  • Deja’s incision looks good; is healing well. We did pull out 4 staples that were “falling out” but the incision where these staples were has healed; is looking good.
  • Milk has “come in” as evidence by the puppies all gaining weight.
  • The “bad news” is Deja has Hot Spots on both thighs and her groin. More shaving for Deja, drying out of these areas, and treating the area w/ topical medication. Poor mama! We are keeping a very close eye on these areas!

New Families:

  • Thanks for all touching base with me!
  • I will be putting together “puppy packets” that I will send to everyone via email (in the next few weeks). This will give everyone a chance to read over info and get questions asked/answered long before puppies go to their new homes!
  • The “theme” for this litter’s registered names will be names that signify a journey (because it certainly has been a journey for us!) Preceding this name will be our kennel name, “Jema”. The “call name” for your puppy can be anything you want and what you will call your puppy/dog on a daily basis. An example of what I’m talking about will be one of the boy’s names: Jema’s Journey To The River; call name: “Fischer” (I hope I got that right, Terri?!) It is nice if you want to have the call name be part of the registered name but you do not have to do this. Coming up with names is a fun, family activity we usually play on long car rides or when anticipating puppy’s arrival.
  • As always, if you have any questions of me, please don’t hesitate to ask 🙂
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Green Boy & Black Boy
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How funny that they use each other as “obstacles”!
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Blue Boy
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Green Boy again (he just happened to be in camera range; no preferences, REALLY!)
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“Puppy Pile!” (A good place to have pups “hang out” while I change bedding)

 

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Hot Pink Girl (puppy nails getting clipped tonight!)
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A-L-M-O-S-T up and over and then, she fell asleep! 
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Deja is SUCH a good mommy! She is very good with the puppies! 

Jennifer

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First Day…

Deja’s Puppies: Day One

It’s amazing what sleep can do for a person! Thinking straight is a biggy! For the folks who realize I am cross-posting, please understand I just don’t want “puppies” to get buried in “other stuff”!  Literally and figuratively!!

So, we have 9 puppies: 5 girls and 4 boys! I couldn’t ask for a better break down of sexes! Mom and puppies are all doing well; pups are healthy and CHUNKY! Pups were marked with “vet wrap” at the vet clinic after being weighed; first thing coming home is to change their collars.

The boys:

  • Blue: 1 lb
  • Black: 1 lb 0.6 oz
  • Purple: 15 oz
  • Green: 15.2 oz

The girls:

  • Hot Pink: 1 lb 0.6 oz
  • Lime Green: 12.4 oz
  • Red: 14.8 oz
  • Yellow: 13.0 oz
  • Orange; 12.2 oz

Pups will be weighed every day for the first week then weekly thereafter. As an aside, I really like these new collars I bought for this litter. They are made out of parachute cord in bright, different colors. They expand as the puppies grow and include a matching set for when pups are much larger. I’ve tried several different ways of “marking” pups over the years and so far, I really like these new collars!

We sleep with mom and puppies for at least the first week to make sure there are no problems. It is easy for a puppy to get on the “back side” of mom and have problems finding their way back to the “milk bar”. That is where we come in… we “fly them” to the front side. Yeah, sleep is a valuable commodity around here with all the squeaks from the babies throughout the night! And for those not used to raising puppies, the “pig rails” on the side of the box protect puppies from being laid on. There is space under the rails that they fit under that mom does not. Even the best mom in the world can lose track of a wandering puppy!

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It took a while for Deja to wake up from anesthesia from her C-section. Poor girl wakes up groggy to 9 squeaky puppies! Before leaving the vet office, we made sure every puppy nursed from mom that does a few things. 1. It stimulates the maternal instinct in Deja and 2. each puppy receives colostrum from mom that boosts their immunity. Again, for those who may not know, puppies are not born with any immunity; they get it from mom first starting with that colostrum.

For folks “on my list”, I haven’t had a chance to go back to see who wanted what gender. And I need to make sure these puppies will be a right match for the lifestyle each person described in their questionnaire. Right now, my priority is Deja and the puppies; more info forthcoming as soon as mom and pups are taken care of!

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Deja is a good mom; her maternal instinct immediately recognizes her babies.
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Belly up to the milk bar; a common position for the next several weeks
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LOVE the pigment several of these pups were born with! 
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Orange Girl before burying her head look for a snack
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Yellow girl resting on Deja’s leg
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Hot Pink Girl
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When mom needs a break, pups are placed on a heating pad until she returns
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Lime Green Girl amongst her siblings
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I LOVE this shot to show a comparison in size! 
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Blue boy plowing his way through the pile! (Note: turquoise collar puppy has been changed.)
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LOVE the width of this puppy’s “back skull”! 
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Pups lie in all sorts of positions; definitely a “puppy pile”! 

I hope you’ve enjoyed the photos; there will be more 🙂 Off to take care of all of the dogs! I hope everyone has a Golden Day!

Jennifer

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They’re Here!

Long night for all but… Puppies are here!

LONG NIGHT for both Deja and I as she progressed through labor in preparation for puppies. Knowing this was a large litter, we had opted to do a C-Section today, 6/11; one day from her due date (6/12/18).

When Deja’s temp dropped significantly (97.1) last night at 8:30 p.m., we knew she was having puppies today anyways, with or without a C-Section! And when Deja started having early contractions at around 4-4:30 a.m., we knew puppies were coming!

Phone calls made and Deja’s CS was moved up to 7:00 a.m. (was scheduled at 11 a.m.). Unfortunately, I got stuck behind a train that then stopped; CS postponed until 7:30 because the main star was late (LOL!) when we finally arrived at my vet clinic.

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Newborn puppies in the incubator waiting to meet “mom”

Hectic time and too many to thank but… Deja and her NINE PUPPIES are all doing well. While I am disappointed she didn’t have 10 puppies as originally thought were saw on her x-ray, I AM GLAD we did the CS (because at home, I would be still waiting and worrying about a supposed 10th puppy!)

Deja is home, recovering nicely from her CS, and is bonding with pups. All are good sized (which may account for the miscount?) and doing well.

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Deja settling in with her new babies. All are healthy and doing well! 

More to come but I am going to go take a nap! My puppy sitter is keeping a close eye on Deja and the pups. I feel truly blessed with such a gorgeous litter of pups thanks to Mr. Journey and his wonderful owner, Shannon!

6 Days To Go!

Getting clean for upcoming puppies means… BATH TIME!

Six days to go before… PUPPIES!

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Puppy pen is set up and ready; supplies disinfected and waiting. Miss Deja had a bath over the weekend with disinfecting shampoo… WHEW! Special care was given to  her belly/nipple area to clean all the cracks and crevices. The last thing I need to do is shave her belly to make it easier for pups to find the “milk bar”.

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Deja’s ultrasound appointment is tomorrow, June 6th. We’ll get a “head count” (literally) to know how many puppies to expect on the big day! This will help in the throws of whelping to know whether she is done or not with delivering the puppies. (And if she acts like she is done but we know she still has undelivered puppies yet to go!)

It’s sort of funny… She doesn’t look overly big in these photos or when wet? In reality, she is HUGE!

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I think we all are ready for her big day!

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Two Weeks To Go…

Definitely a “puppy bump” going on here!

Well actually 2 weeks and 3 days! Miss Deja is definitely carrying more than a few puppies!

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Hubby was joking this morning about his new way to “exercise the dogs”. All he has to do is get up from his chair in the study and walk into the bedroom. Or the kitchen. And everyone gets up to follow him! LOL! Sitting at my desk now, I have a sea of gold surrounding me! Goldens definitely like to “hang out” with their people!

We are keeping a very close eye on Deja now (well, we keep a close eye on everyone, really). The “big day” is getting closer!

Health Clearances

2018 Health Testing Done For All The Dogs

Last weekend, we took ALL the dogs to a health clinic sponsored by a local dog club. This health clinic is put on every year and coordinated by a local dog person, Carolyn. Carolyn does a WONDERFUL job organizing it! She even forgives me for changing my last-minute registration which I am sure messes up her timing/organization of all the dogs that attend this clinic. (So sorry for having done that, Carolyn!)

Years ago, we piled all the dogs in our “dog van” that we used to go to dog shows when we didn’t take the RV. Knowing we weren’t going to use it much any longer, we sold the van a few years ago. This makes transporting the dogs to this health clinic a bit tricky!

Fortunately, my son agreed to help us “hold dogs” until it was their turn to be seen by the various specialists. In his car, he took one dog in a crate. I drove taking two crated dogs, and dear hubby drove also with crated dogs.

My changes? While Deja and Doodle were recently at my repro vet having blood drawn for progesterone levels, I had them add-on a heartworm test. Now that I know both of them are negative for heartworm, I can start the heartworm preventative I give throughout the summer. Deja and Doodle still needed their eyes tested though.

And then my very old, very sweet Cavalier had a problem with her anal glands. While not planned to do at this time, we went ahead and had her “senior wellness” done for the year. This included a heartworm test so now she no longer needed to go to the health clinic for this test. It also included a dental where my poor baby had yet another tooth pulled. While under anesthesia for her dental cleaning, we had the vet remove a few lumps and bumps. Cali will be back at the vet this Friday having those stitches removed.

Once we all arrived at the clinic held at a local vet office, all the dogs have their eyes dilated for their appointment with the veterinarian ophthalmologist. As they say, “the eyes are the windows to the soul”. Believe it or not, these eye exams can pick up other problems the dog may have. Last year at this health clinic, my beautiful grand-champion boy, Tazo, had retinal bleeds. He passed his eye certification but we were advised to have him seen by our vet sooner than later. At that vet appointment, Tazo was diagnosed to be in renal failure! We “lost” him four months later when his renal failure became apparent; they don’t do dialysis on dogs which is what he would have needed. It was so hard to believe he had such a serious health problem that was diagnosed from an eye exam!

As you can imagine, all the dogs stayed OUT of the sunlight for the rest of the day after having their eyes dilated. The eye forms filled out by the eye doc are then sent to OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) that adds my dogs to their registry of dogs with eye clearances. This is done every year with Golden Retrievers.

Golden Retrievers also need a heart clearance done by a veterinarian cardiologist. They need to be over a year of age for this health clearance. My sweet “puppy”, Pixel, turned one year last August! Time for her to have her heart checked! That form also filled out by the specialist is also sent off to OFA. Pixel still needs her hips and elbows x-rays to be done but they need to be over two for these permanent clearances. She will have them done this August.

And then there is “Beanie”, my little French Bulldog. Beanie had her eyes dilated and was seen by the ophthalmologist also. Having all the Goldens at this clinic was easy compared to having one French Bulldog! Beanie lunged and barked at every dog coming and going; I can’t begin to tell you how embarrassed I was! In true bulldog fashion, Beanie was “running the show”! Now Beanie has had a LOT of socialization so that wasn’t it. She just wanted to let everyone know she was there! OMGosh! It was hilarious! French Bulldogs also need hip x-rays and patella clearances. And hearts after a year. We’ll go back next year to get the rest of her health clearances when she is older. Fortunately, there were other Frenchies at this health clinic that acted just like Beanie; it MUST be a Frenchie thing?

2018 Health Clinic is now in the books. My forms are all scanned that my dogs were seen by the specialists and soon, I will receive the official forms from OFA that they were health tested this year. I am very grateful that this health clinic is put on annually so my dogs can get their health testing. Thank you, Carolyn!! And thank you to my son for helping “hold dogs” as well as helping to transport dogs to the clinic. While it IS a bit chaotic, to get all the dogs to the clinic, it is so important to do this health testing for each and every dog!

 

 

Well Bred Dogs

Breeding puppies to the conformation standard is more than just “pretty dogs”.

I saw this illustration today and knew I just needed to SHARE it! It so perfectly shows how “purebred” dogs can look so different from well-bred dogs!

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Ahhh… My very first golden looked like the dog in the lower left hand corner. We loved her dearly and she was a very sweet dog but… She just wasn’t “pretty”. Fortunately, she had a wonderful temperament and lived a long, happy life with us. This dog started my life-long love for this breed and helped convince me I wanted not just “pretty” dogs but also dogs that were health tested (long before they were ever bred!)

Health testing is major event here held every year at a local health clinic put on by the Cavaliers of The West breed club. Why do I go to this particular clinic? I just love how organized and competent the gal that organizes and works so diligently every year to provide this service for the dog community. Every year, ALL of my dogs have their eyes dilated and are seen by a veterinarian ophthalmologist. They say “the eyes are the windows to the soul”. They can also be the first indicators of other disease processes!

Dogs over a year of age are also “heart tested” by a veterinarian cardiologist. Genetic heart diseases such as “SAS” (sub-aortic stenosis) along with other heart anomalies can be ruled out.

Then, all the paperwork is sent to OFA (Orthopedic Foundation of American); the registration organization that provides online access to health clearances.

The other big health clearances done in Golden Retrievers are x-rays of hips and elbows. I usually have my regular vet, who is adept at positioning for these x-rays, do them. Again, that information is sent to OFA. For a permanent “clearance”, dogs must be over two years of age. Another registration organization for hips is PennHip. These x-rays measure slightly differently than OFA x-rays; I usually have these done also. You can’t get too much information regarding “hip health” when considering a future breeding.

Copies of these health clearances are always given to new puppy owners. I just believe in total transparency in puppies I’ve bred.

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Deja (8 weeks old): April 2014

Other factors to consider when considering breeding a litter of puppies: Temperament! I live with what I breed and “good temperament” is a hallmark trait for this breed! By following the pedigree of any litter, I can generally predict the temperament of each puppy. Other factors of good temperament is socialization of puppies. We work hard here providing a LOT of early puppy socialization and send home information to new owners on how to continue that socialization for the benefit of that puppy as it grows into adulthood.

Last but not least is Longevity! Sadly, “man’s best friend” is never with us long enough. But through genetic research of ancestors, hopefully they live a long life for this breed. This is a big goal for us in any litter also.

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Doodle (7 weeks old): December 2014

“Looks”, by this time, that is almost icing on the cake! But by breeding to the Golden Retriever standard and after being evaluated by judges through dog shows, our goal is always to produce the next conformationally correct dogs! Do all of our dogs end up in the show ring? No! But many could be shown! And many live in “pet homes” pampered and loved that attract attention and praise when walking down the street! They are “pretty”!

Lofty goals for any breeding/litter of puppies, huh? This is what we’ve done over our thirty years being involved in this breed. Generation after generation, staying true to the golden retriever standard, improving each generation as we continue our life-long love for this breed.

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Grand Champion Tazo: Gone but never forgotten! Blessed to have had this dog in my life!

 

JEnnifer & MArk ~ Jema Golden Retrievers

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Happy 6 month Birthday!

Rooster x Trevi pup out field training with his committed owners!

So happy to receive photos of Gaddy, a Rooster x Trevi puppy, who has been out field training! Now I imagine the water is still cold yet this pup is swimming away!

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Nice retrieve Gaddy! GOOD BOY! 

I give all the credit for this puppy’s abilities to his owners; their commitment in training will make this boy a great field dog!

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All Goldens have this ability but it takes perseverance and consistency in training to teach a dog (any animal) exactly what you want him or her to do. Kudos go to Gaddy’s owners!

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I would recognize this profile anywhere! THAT is “family”! 

Happy six-month birthday, Gaddy, and to all the puppies in this litter! You are growing up into such a beautiful boy! You make your daddy, Rooster, proud as well as all the dogs in your beautiful pedigree! HUGS to you!!

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JEnnifer & MArk ~ Jema Golden Retrievers

CH Jema’s Deja Brew, BPIS (x 2!)

CH Deja wins Top Conformation trophy for 2017! I am so proud to be not only her owner but also her breeder!

Dog names generally originate from a deep meaningful place no matter what a puppy’s future may hold. In my litters, I usually have a “theme” to help folks think of a registered name for their future puppy. The “call name”, of course, is whatever the person or family wishes to call their puppy/dog. In the dog show world, the call names usually include some part of the registered name. This is true with “Deja”. Her “call name” is in her registered name.

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Deja’s litter theme was “coffee”. All the pups from that litter have names that relate to coffee in one form or another. This is a repeat litter theme; one I did for Deja’s sire, Tazo (GCH CH Jema’s Mocha Kiss, BISS), many years ago although his litter included both coffee and tea. Hence Deja is a repeat of her sire or Deja Vu or… Deja Brew!

Deja, like her dad, Tazo, is a happy dog! She exudes confidence in everything she does. They both can be a bit “bouncy”; all that energy needs to go someplace! I remember showing her once and as I did a courtesy turn getting her lined up to do the down and back, she jumped almost six feet straight up in the air, landed and was ready to gait down the diagonal!  The funny thing about this is that I never felt her feet leave the ground! If it wasn’t for a friend who took a cell phone shot of her doing this, I would never have believed it!

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Almost ALL of my puppies have won Best in Specialty Sweepstakes or BISS! Deja did not being a bit slower to mature to be competitive in the ring. She did, however, take Best Puppy in Show not once but twice when she was young! Those memories will stay with me forever not only for the recognition of this puppy amongst many other puppies but also as a proud breeder moment!

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Deja finished her AKC Champion title with a professional handler. Finding (and winning) those bigger shows meant more travel than I could do at the time. But I believed in her and so did her handler. Deja won her second major fall of 2017 needing one single point to finish this title. Because I had not entered her in any shows after that major show, I had to wait two weeks after entering her in a local show where she won that last point needed. YEAH! Deja now sports the coveted “CH” before her name! Her sire, Tazo, would be so proud! And so would her paternal grandmother, Saga; a puppy I purchased so many years ago!

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On a lark (and because I was asked), I sent in Deja’s show record and points accumulated throughout her show career. Our dog club does an Awards Banquet every year where high-achieving dogs are recognized. I had not made plans to attend the Awards Banquet this year and in fact, completely forgot about it until a friend notified me that Deja had won “Top Conformation Bitch From The Classes”! I’m very grateful that my friend at the banquet accept this trophy on my behalf! WooHoo for Deja!!

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As my sweet girl lies here at my feet being the completely calm, well-mannered house dog she is, I remember her energy whenever anything is asked of her. I remember that enthusiasm whether being in the show ring or chasing a tennis ball in my backyard. Trophy or not, she is my perfect dog! I need only look at her for her to wag her tail ready for the next game we can play together!  And I look at her daughter, Pixel and think… It is almost time to have Pixel shown. She will be my next winning dog;  the fourth generation of Jema Golden Retrievers!