33 Days Old!

December 12th, 2020

So many things have happened! They have started eating kibble (Royal Canin Mini Starter Mother & Babydog). I like this kibble because the kibbles are tiny so they can actually eat them comfortably, and it’s designed for this stage of weaning. I have started feeding them before Alice goes in to nurse them, and the last two nights she’s only gone in to them once or twice overnight. They are eating like maniacs! I will start clicker training this weekend. Once they are a bit bigger they will start eating what Alice eats, but while they are really interested in her food when they’ve seen it, the pieces are big enough that it makes me nervous about them chewing it safely and they didn’t want it ground up.

I’ve given them little teething sticks for a new texture to chew on. And OMG are they ever bitey! They’ve had visitors this week and will have more this weekend. It’s tough socializing during COVID but we’re making it happen.

They are so sociable and interactive. They come out for a “bomble” around in the house several times a day. The older dogs are being excellent with them and grandma Zhora is playing with them a ton!

We’ve been playing different sounds while they eat, including agility trial videos. And they’re in the living room so they can see and hear the TV.

FOUR WEEKS OLD!

December 7th, 2020

This will be a bit of a photo/video dump but a lot has happened!

Their personalities are starting to emerge. They had more visitors and bombled over to see them enthusiastically.

They’ve been spending time loose (supervised) in the living room and they’re in the big pen all day now where they can see and hear TV (they are already starting to watch things moving on the screen).

They can escape from the whelping box so we have to put the panel into the door which means Alice wakes me up several times a night to go in with them to feed them. They are eating three meals of puppy mousse a day but only eating some of it at this point. They were very interested in Alice’s kibble so I will offer them some puppy kibble this week (Alice’s kibbles are too large for them right now and they didn’t like them ground up). They all have real teeth now and are chewing all kinds of different textures.

They have a big bed in the pen now so they can stretch out more.

I LOVE the fact that when one of them got a little scared of Nina being too excited to play, she bounced right back! Bounce back is one of the most important traits in a dog IMO!

They spend more and more time with the big dogs now, and are learning how to interact and “speak dog” well. They know how to invite and accept play, they bite and wrestle and play bitey face. They are ridiculously cute.

Look at how they react to the noise Caroline is making!

24 Days Old – TEETH

December 3rd, 2020

We thought we felt teeth yesterday….we were right. Poor Alice!

Video from Jim today. They ate three meals today, and we’ll gradually start increasing how much they get at each meal. Today they ate half a can of puppy mousse three times.

23 Days Old!

December 2nd, 2020

So they ate breakfast of solid food with gusto this morning! They will get a dinner tonight and then tomorrow (assuming all goes well) they will get three meals. They love the Royal Canin Puppy Starter Mousse, which is designed for exactly this period.

There was an escape this morning when I put them in the big pen to eat some breakfast and then left the door open to let Alice in to clean up:

They are taking turns coming out of the box and meeting the rest of their family, Alice doesn’t seem worried about it and maybe she’s even glad for the help with poop patrol!:

22 Days Old

December 1st, 2020

The puppies celebrated being three weeks and one day old with THREE exciting events!

They had their first visit in the Big House that Jim finished putting together today, it’s in our living room so right in the middle of everything. At 6×8 it’s a huge space for them right now.

Then they had their first visitors. Chris and Nichole have had two Alkemi puppies and have been social distancing carefully so we were excited to have them come and be the first not-us puppy visitors. Alice was happy to have a good back scritch while she stopped by to provide refreshments!

And third they tasted their first REAL FOOD! I was thrilled and relieved that they all took to eating like Vallhunds usually do. Alice and her siblings were indifferent to food for a while, which made clicker training etc. quite difficult to get started with. These guys ate with gusto, especially Yellow girl Charlie! They ate some Royal Canin Puppy Starter Mousse which is designed specifically to be a puppy’s first solid food. Even so, I will follow up with another dose of BeneBac Plus probiotic.

20 Days Old!

November 29th, 2020

I cannot BELIEVE they are almost three weeks old already! This morning just as I was waking up I managed to catch a puppy barking and then howling for room service.

I’ve changed the pen around a bit more, I put the whelping box liner on top of the underbedding to see if it would give them better traction, then I flipped it over to the rubbery side. It’s better traction AND a different surface to walk on so that right there is enrichment!

I’ve also added a bed and will be rotating toys in and out of the box. We’ll be building the big house this week since I think these guys are going to be making The Great Escape any day now! I am purposefully not commenting about specific puppies here because they change so much and I don’t want anyone falling in love just yet!

Alice is standing up to nurse them more and more

Next week I will offer them solid food for the first time! Fingers crossed that they take to it more quckly than the litter Alice was born in did (they were holdouts for a long time, which made starting clicker training difficult!).

Day 19 Enrichment

November 28th, 2020

Now that their eyes are open and they are moving with real purpose, enrichment starts in earnest! We did Early Neurological Stimulation from days 3-16, we cuddle and handle them individually several times a day, but now the real fun starts!

In addition to the toy and new surface they encountered, I decided to give them a brief visit in the living room this morning, so I set up an x pen and some hospital pads and brought them out to watch some Formula 1! We will do this sort of thing regularly now. They got very well sniffed by Grandma Zhora, Auntie Tish and Great Grandma Nina! Zhora wanted to get in with them so badly but not yet! Alice kept a close eye but wasn’t worried.

Day 19

November 28th, 2020

All of a sudden they are puppies! Blue boy Echo BARKED last night. They wag their tails with purpose, they toddle over to see you, they SWARM Alice when she comes into the box.

Today I gave them a toy to experience (they tried to nurse on it). I won’t leave toys in there for long periods, just put one in for a bit now and then to give them something new. I’ve also added different things for them to walk on, hospital pads and an upside down bathmat.

While Puppy Culture can be a bit intimidating (especially if you work!), I’ve found that even just doing “most” of it makes a positive difference, and I am going to do as much of it as I possibly can!

They are starting to use a specific corner of the box as their potty area and while some are more motivated than others, I added a litterbox yesterday. Today I changed it from a cardboard box lined with a pee pad and dog litter to a sheet pan lined with a pee pad and dog litter. This has lower sides so hopefully it will be more inviting for them!

They are bigger and stronger now and they drain Alice very quickly compared to even a couple of days ago. It’s amazing how much they change from day to day right now!

Day 18

November 27th, 2020

They are starting to toddle better and better now. What an enormous jump in ability we’ve seen since their eyes opened Monday! They’ve gone from being furry potatoes to actual puppies!

17 Days Old Happy Thanksgiving!

November 26th, 2020

I am thankful for many things. I am thankful to have an amazing husband who puts up with my crazy dog obsession. I am thankful for my oldest friend still being with us despite horrific loss and serious health challenges. I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for my wonderful dogs. I am thankful for my job and my amazing work family. I am thankful for Renee the awesome repro vet tech without whose help this litter wouldn’t be here. I am also thankful for my repro vet Dr Gray and everyone at Alliance Animal Hospital whose support and knowledge is invaluable. I am thankful for the plethora of truly amazing prospective homes for these puppies, I wish I had ten more puppies to go around!

Today the big dogs celebrated with a real walk. Alice was happy to pay the price of an undercarriage bath.

The puppies celebrated by going OUTSIDE! It’s relatively mild out but still I took them out in their warming box all together. They made big sniffs and saw and smelled something different! They are starting to become interested in each others’ faces now that their eyes are open, and I actually saw the first bit of bitey face just now! They sort of waddle over to you when you are in the whelping box now, and then try to nurse on your arms and chin. They’re starting to toddle, Red girl Alfa and Blue boy Echo are the best at it so far but everyone has been up on all four feet and walked a couple of steps. We’re getting close to putting the litter pan in with them, that should happen in the next couple of days once they’re toddling well.

Their average weight is 809 grams today! And they LOOK huge. They’re starting to swarm Alice when she goes in to feed them.

I love taking them outside for the first time. Last time I did it in the first week but it was really chilly then this time around. It’s so neat to see their little world expand a bit!