Counting Puppies

Counting to “7” and Counting to “6”

It’s Monday afternoon and I haven’t accomplished a thing! I know I’m probably being paranoid but I’m jumpy when I hear squeaking and I’m worried when I don’t hear squeaking! I’m definitely getting my steps in by getting up and down “just checking” (and counting puppies) to make sure all are alright. The saddest thing… Only needing to count to “6” when checking Vee’s puppies.

Yeah, THIS will get my heart racing… Couldn’t find this puppy? He is under the “pig rails”! I suspect he got warm and just rolled off that fleece heating pad?!

I’ve now removed the fleece pads that pups originally had. Too many were crawling UNDER these pads and I’m just afraid mom’s won’t know they are there when they go to lie down? Better safe than sorry! (My heating pads do have fleece coverings on them. Mom’s avoid the heating pads; they are NOT cold!) Pups can often be found on the heating pads though and/or are placed on the pads when mom’s are out to potty or eating. Pups just don’t have “fat” (or hair) to keep them overly warm. It will take another week or so for them to be able regulate their own body temperature.

What’s better than a heating pad? Mom, of course!

Both Deja and Vee enjoy their breaks away from puppies. But not for long or else they start to get “antsy”! They both still remain incredibly interested in the other’s puppies? Because Vee is the new mom, I let her in with Deja’s puppies (Deja was there and didn’t mind). She smelled each puppy and seemed satisfied they weren’t “her puppies” yet, she still stops and watches them every time she walks past… Just to make sure! I don’t want to do anything to make Vee nervous or upset so haven’t let Deja in to “nose around” Vee’s puppies but she too “checks out” Vee’s puppies before settling in with her own (I swear they both are counting puppies too?!)

Pups spend a LOT of time eating!

Pups are all growing; all can “walk” in both litters although since their eyes are still not opened, they DO look like little drunks! I want to see each pup “use their rear” at this age. I want them to be able to push themselves up and although they don’t always bear weight very long, they are “pushing off” with their rear legs. This is really important! There is a problem that can occur in some puppies who don’t use their rear legs. These puppies are called “swimmers”; they paddle with their fronts and don’t motivate with their rear legs/hips at all. If they lie too long on just their stomachs, they can actually change the shape of their rib cage causing “flattening” that then can decrease lung capacity. None of these pups have this, thank goodness!

As you can see by that buried puppy (probably blue boy?), “pigment” is coming in on pads (and noses).

I once had one puppy who was a “swimmer”. Most vets will suggest euthanizing these pups; the rehab is lengthy with no guarantees it will work. I did do the rehab on my “swimmer” puppy and long story short… that puppy, now dog, is climbing 14er’s with his very grateful owner. By 8 weeks, that puppy was “normal” but it was a very intensive 6 weeks of physical therapy/rehab to get him that way. It is just something I now look for developmentally in pups at this age.

Not cold (they would be huddled together if they were); GOOD! But no where for mom to sit/lie down! This is NOT GOOD… pups put back into a “puppy pile”. Oh and that is blue boy up on all fours “walking”!

As many of you know, I also have “little dogs”. Compared to the Goldens, do they even count as “1” dog? My furry “little’s” are Havanese; each weigh about 8 pounds each! They, too, are wondering WHAT those squeaks are? Because they pose no threat to puppies, Deja had no problems letting my girl, Juju, in to check them out. Deja is an experienced momma with a rock-solid temperament! Still, I wouldn’t let any dog mess with puppies unsupervised although if the pups were in a different location, my kitty would check out puppies (has in the past). Kitty wants that heating pad, of course!

Soon, puppies will be as big as Juju!

That’s the latest up to now. Back to checking on puppies!

Vee’s Puppies

Puppies are doing well but… still keeping close tabs on everyone!

Vee’s puppies arrived on 4/29; 4 boys and 3 girls. I promise to write more soon but… am juggling taking care of mom’s and pups. Waiting for Vee’s milk to come in/drop but all pups are doing well.

Vee wasn’t too sure WHAT HAPPENED and Deja wanted to “take over” Vee’s pups! Both girls are now settled with their pups… WHEW!

And Deja’s little orange boy… hit one pound today! He’s catching up to his littermates! ❤

Coming home from vet office. Pups riding on heating pad.
Vee’s puppies have the paw print collars
Vee wondering “where did these things come from??”
It didn’t take long for her to feel “motherly” 🙂
Pups “hang out” on heating pad when Vee is not in with them. She is very proud of her babies today!
Vee “curls” around her babies. I am sure her incision is still sore?

Puppies are gaining weight!

Monitoring puppies and mama IS a full time job!

Deja’s milk IS coming in by evidence of puppies beginning to gain weight. I am again “sold” on the prenatal vitamins Deja received before delivery and now flipped to “new momma” vitamins. This makes me so incredibly happy although our smallest puppy IS getting “special attention”. We “help” this smallest puppy get the best nipple (the ones closest to the rear of Deja do have the biggest milk supply). The goal for all puppies is a steady, consistent gain of weight. We strive to avoid “runts” in every litter due to human intervention and assistance.

Stats: (Birth Weight–4/26/21)

  • Blue boy: 11.4 oz– 13.4 oz
  • Green Boy: 12.6 oz–14.4 oz
  • Orange Boy: 10.0 oz–10.4 oz
  • Pink Girl: 14.2 oz–15.6 oz
  • Red Girl: 11.8 oz–13.2 oz
  • Yellow Girl: 14.6 oz–1 lb!!
  • Purple Girl: 12.6 oz–14.2 oz
All are good litte eaters!

As you can see, Orange Boy is our “special project”. While not a huge disparity in weights, our goal is to “catch him up” to his littermates long before eight weeks of age. Of interest, he WAS the smallest puppy at birth by a little over an ounce.

Deja “checking in” on her babies. Yellow girl has her head on the heating pad; the others are apparently warm enough.

I’m again very grateful that hubby is sleeping with the puppies every night. There was less crying out/squeaks last night with pups being a bit more aware where mom was (so they didn’t wander too far away from her.) Deja is an experienced mom who keeps close tabs on puppies and is probably less worried about puppy’s squeaks then we are?

Deja is a really good mommy!

Meanwhile, you always “think” you are ready and then things seem to occur to me later. Today we adjusted whelping boxes slighly in preparation for Vee’s puppies later this week. This adjustment will allow us to keep close(r) tabs on BOTH litters at the same time. My “dog room” is what enable me/us to have two litters at nearly the same time. That and the help of my family which I whole-heartedly admit are a huge help!

Puppies hanging out in a small dog bed with Deja attentively watching! Time to clean/change the bedding.

Tonight, we will remove dew claws. IF a breeder is going to remove them, it has to be done between 3-5 days of age. Most breeders end up having their vets do this. Again, I am fortunate for family aka “hubby’s” help. There is some debate regarding whether to remove dew claws or not? Having one of my dogs rip their dew claw (not my breeding) during our recent blizzard (and having everything closed the day afterwards so no vet care available)… I gotta say, “I hate dew claws!” Fortunately, we were able to patch up the dog and she left that vet wrap alone so she didn’t cause further injury to her ankle/leg! She’s fine now but this could have been avoided had her breeder had those dew claws removed when they were 3-5 days of age, sigh!

Everyone back “home” again. Deja watching me remove the old bedding listening for any “squeaks”. No, Deja, I didn’t take any of your babies!

My “dog room” is like an “over-size” utility room off my kitchen. I also have an oversized sink in this room. It IS where I thaw my Thanksgiving turkey every year, LOL! It has it’s own heating and cooling system (I will turn on the AC for the dogs during our hot days of summer long before I turn on the AC for the rest of the house.) We have severa “runs” in this room; the runs each have doggy doors that lead out to 40′ covered runs. Most of the time, the dogs have free access to the rest of the house but during special times, like now, I can separate dogs. The dogs on the far left run have their own fenced “doggy yard”. The “inside dogs” have yet another doggy door to access our fenced backyard. I remember “way back when” as my carpenter was making specialty adjustments to our home soon after we bought it, he predicted I would have raccoons come THROUGH those doggy doors? Has never happened (I’ve never seen a raccoon in our yard!) but my barn kitty uses it all the time. While kitty DOES prefer to be “out and about”, he also comes inside for food, water, cat trees to nap on, and for easier for me, vet care! It is my “kennel system” that allows me to have an intact boy separated from my girls when need be. Or puppies outside safely (the outdoor runs are covered so NOTHING can jump in or out! Or fly over/in! This room IS the reason I bought our house previously built by, yep, another dog person! (I KNEW this when we first looked at the house! I know what “I” was looking for in a home and later, I found out who built the house. I know the family… they show and occasionnally breed Irish Setters and Daschunds.)

Not a flattering photo of Vee but you can see how the momma’s will be carefully watched and cared for along with their puppies. Vee is, no doubt, eyeing “treats” I store nearby but definitely OUT of doggy reach!

I feel like we have a pretty good handle so far (knock on wood!) Vee has a few more days to go before her pups are born. Today (because I like to be prepared), I ordered the puppies deworming meds as well as puppy food we will eventually wean puppies on later. Deworming puppies is done prophylactically; we will do at 2, 4, 6 weeks of age (and new owners will get copies of what we’ve done to give to their vets so vets know pups were treated.) It’s all part of making sure pups are as healthy as possible and get the best start in life starting with our care first.

I hate to end on a “bad note” but Deja does have some hardened areas along her mammary chain. She does have a history of mastitis; these hardened areas could be “scar tissue” from past infection? Or they could be the start of mastitis now with her milk coming in? We’ve started alternating warm and cold compresses to hopefully alleviate “full blown mastitis” that would require antibiotics to treat. Again, through human interaction, we are making sure pups nurse above and below that hardened area to “keep things flowing” correctly. So far, the hardened area is not worsening and it actually appears to be resolving somewhat. Whew! I don’t know how anyone could have puppies in an “outbuilding” or “not monitored closely”? I know that sometimes happens and sometimes pups and momma are “fine”. Fortunately, that is not how breeders I know “raise puppies”!

Pretty, pretty puppies

Yes, We Are Having Puppies!

Planning, cleaning, monitoring… Getting ready for the big day!

Quick update… yes, both girls ARE pregnant! Deja is scheduled for a progesterone blood test, x-ray (to count skulls and spines to get a puppy count) and a C-section (4/22 or 4/23). I will start taking her temp twice per day starting a week prior to her due date (that will also monitor her progesterone and that drop).

Deja and her puppy belly! Doing what she does most these days… resting and growing puppies!

Progesterone is the hormone that maintains pregnancy. Just before (within a 24 hour window usually), progesterone levels drop signifying impending labor. That drop in progesterone causes the girls temperature to drop by a full degree… a sure sign of impending labor. Another way to monitor that progesterone level is a simple blood test. We want to make absolutely sure her progesterone levels drop, and puppies are “ready” to be born, before they do that C-section.

Vee is about a week behind Deja and also pregnant. She, will have that pre-whelp x-ray to count skulls and spines (to know how many puppies to expect). She is scheduled for her C-section on 4/30; her actual due date.

Vee is also spending a lot of time “growing puppies”.

Meanwhile both girls are ravenously hungry! When they aren’t sleeping, that is. They are getting moderate exercise but separate from my more rowdy dogs. It is just an added precaution but neither need to be darting and diving for say a tennis ball! And as those puppies grow… Many more potty breaks for both provided these days!

I’m still waiting for my collars to arrive. They said they’ve shipped but this certainly is NOT Amazon which we’ve become so used to in regards to fast shipping. Fortunately, I do have “plan B” if they don’t arrive in time.

This weekend is pullout and clean/bleach “puppy stuff”! I will feel good being “ready” with things set up; I just hate leaving anything to the last minute! That is IF the weather cooperates?

I WILL try my hardest to keep folks updated but please know, my first priority will be mom’s and puppies health. That first few days (actually first week) is so critical in monitoring mom’s and puppies health for any problems. Just as soon as I’m sure all are doing well, we get to go through the entire process again with Vee. This is the hardest part/time, in my experience. Then, the next “hard time” starts again at around 4-5 weeks when we start transitioning puppies onto solid food.

Lastly, and really sort of silly are “technical difficulties”! As we’ve all experienced, just when you’ve learned a new program/software, they change it with “new and improved” functions! What used to be easily done now takes longer to figure out how something new works! I guess this is “good” as it keeps our brains thinking/working but yeah… frustrating to figure out how new improvements work too!

Keeping fingers crossed for a safe whelping and healthy puppies! And as I write this, just thought of yet another question for my vet… pain management post C-section? What does she recommend for mom’s surgical pain that won’t cross over into milk and sedate puppies? Hmmm??? I guess we cross that road when we get to it. I’ve already been told that due to Covid and mandates, only one person will be allowed “to help”, sigh! I will help the techs “revive” puppies; hubby will be waiting to help wherever he is allowed? It would just about kill me to NOT be with my momma’s and babies in real time! Maybe by some miracle, our Covid mandates will be lifted in the next few weeks? One can certainly hope!!

Happy First Birthday Puppy Vee

Happy Birthday, Vee (and to all of her littermates too!)

Time seems to have a mind of it’s own; I can hardly believe it is almost JULY!

With all the talk about upcoming puppies (and puppies sired by Rooster who is a very proud daddy), I neglected to wish Puppy Vee, and all of her littermates, a happy first birthday (6/11/19).

Sweet, beautiful Vee (the puppy I kept from the CH Journey x CH Deja litter)

Vee celebrated her birthday on Saturday, 6/15/19, by attending her first Health Clinic. We attend this specific health clinic every year where ALL of the dogs get their annual health testing. Am very pleased that again this year, all of my dogs passed their eye tests for breed specific congenital/genetic eye diseases. Yeah!!

Not only did Vee pass her eye exam but she also passed her cardiology exam too. “Puppies” need to be over a year of age for this test to count for their permanent health clearance so four days after her first birthday, Vee now has both her eye and heart health clearance! Super yeah!!

Puppy Vee: She has beautiful, effortless movement! (And she is a joy to live with too!) 

Thanks goes to the organizer of this health clinic. She does an amazing job keeping everyone organized both in scheduling the vets for this clinic and the dogs/owners attending this health clinic. Again this year, the vets, from CSU, volunteer their time to do their specific exams. They are very much greatly appreciated. I specifically appreciate the continuity of care having the same vets do their exams who have seen my dogs in previous years. Health testing is the cornerstone of any breeding program because that is really the goal… to breed healthy dogs first and foremost!

As an aside, Vee’s litter brother, Trek, who now lives in California ALSO passed both his eye and heart clearance! I am SO HAPPY for brother Trek, and his owner, also!!

Puppy Vee

Growing up but she still does things I would rather she not!

Puppy Vee is growing up (she’s now 9 months old!) Where does the time go?


Vee is a very sweet puppy and although still young and “busy”, she is a constant companion throughout most of my day.

NOT to say she doesn’t have her moments! Chewing my new door mat was NOT especially appreciated but… bad me for not supervising her, sigh! In HER MIND, that new rug was a new “toy” to chew and explore (and chew she did!)

IMG_9986 2.jpeg

Beyond a doubt, puppies are “busy”! Full of joy and curiousity, they can wreak havoc if not supervised. Still, at the end of the day when I’m petting her and she looks at me with those soft brown eyes, I know… I can always buy another rug!