Saturday, July 30, 2011

Seeing is Tiring

Three puppies have opened their eyes now.  They have become much more confident about adventuring around the whelping bed, first crawling, then hauling themselves up onto their tottery little legs, then collapsing back again into sleep wherever they end up. Yesterday, I watched the little lightbulb switch on over a little chocolate boy's head when he discovered that he could actually "see" Mom with his eyes, instead of just having to rely on his nose to track down his dinner.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

First Look!

This little chocolate boy was the first to open his eyes! They can't see very well yet, but we are making sure that human faces are among the first things the puppies see.

Their ears are opening up too, making our normal household noises, which they can already sense, a little bit louder.

Early Neurological Stimulation

We use a program originally developed by the U.S. Military to improve the performance of dogs, called the "Bio Sensor" method, which later became known to the public as the "Super Dog" Program.  Based on years of research, the military learned that early neurological stimulation exercises could have important and lasting effects on dogs including:

Improved cardio vascular performance (heart rate)
Stronger heart beats,
Stronger adrenal glands,
More tolerance to stress
Greater resistance to disease

In tests of learning, stimulated pups were found to be more active and were more exploratory than their non-stimulated littermates, over which they were dominant in competitive situations.

The "Bio Sensor" program utilizes six exercises, which last only from 3-to-5 seconds, once a day from the age of 3 days until 16 days which include: 

1. Tactile stimulation - holding the pup the handler gently stimulates (tickles) the pup between the toes on any one foot

Lola is helping out with the exercises

2. Head held erect -  the pup is held perpendicular to the ground, (straight up), so that its head is directly above its tail.

3. Head pointed down - holding the pup firmly with both hands the head is reversed and is pointed downward.

4. Supine position - holding the pup so that its back is resting in the palm of both hands with its muzzle facing the ceiling. The pup while on its back is allowed to sleep or struggle.

5. Thermal stimulation - placing the pup on a damp towel that has been cooled in a refrigerator.

We welcome your comments if you have any questions or observations about this program.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Reason to Smile...

-- Only 5 Days old and have doubled my birth-weight!
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Monday, July 25, 2011

Puppy Fat

The puppies went to their veterinarian yesterday for a check-up and were pronounced "big, fat, and happy."  We weigh each puppy daily and they have all more than doubled their birth-weights by a substantial margin, thanks to Lily and her diligent feeding schedule. She always seems astonished when we present her with heaps of doggie delectables in her puppy kibble--egg yolks, canned puppy food, chicken breast, yogurt, and a few bites of leftover steak for lunch!   With the rate these puppies are growing, Lily consumes an astonishing amount of protein and fat in her diet, as well as abundant fresh water.

(Click on the photos for larger views.)
Good Moms all know how to multi-task.

Trying to get traction to wedge herself in


Lily keeps a close watch over her pups sleeping off their recent meal, but  from outside the whelping box.  The last thing she wants to do is awaken them and have them clamoring for milk again so soon... (It was likely their moms who coined the phrase "Let sleeping dogs lie.") 

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday Morning Sunbath

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The "Puppy Pile" huddle together waiting for the sun to get a little higher.

Gotta catch those rays...

...but even early in the morning Lily prefers the cool tile under the hutch.

Lola is SO proud!

Mommy's Boy
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Friday, July 22, 2011

Baby Faces

Lola's two chocolate boys at one-day old. (It has taken that long to peel Lola off of them as she just LOVES her babies.  We have to hand-deliver the water and food bowls to the whelping box, as she won't leave them to go 3 feet across the room).

Hard to tell these little boys apart...

Unfortunately, Lily (with her poor math skills) was extremely suspicious that all-of-a-sudden Lola just appears with two puppies out of the blue, and where can she have possibly gotten them from but one place?!  So now Lily sits fixated outside the door of Lola's room trying to figure out how to get them "back."

Lily's puppies are happy snoozing in the sunny breakfast nook

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lola Momdoodle

Lola delivered her first of the two expected puppies this morning at 7:15 AM--a robust little chocolate boy, who right away pushed himself up onto his chubby little legs and wiggled a bee-line to mom's milk. 

Lola has been very interested in Lily's litter all week, and Lily has gradually become used to Lola hanging around gazing adoringly at her puppies, although I would not leave them unattended together, as hormones can wreak havoc with even the most easy-going girls.  

At about 4:00 this morning, I turned on the lights to check on Lola as I could hear how restless she was from my bed on the sofa in the adjoining room.  Nothing yet, but I decided to clear the decks for action and move some of my whelping supplies to one of the three different areas that Lola seemed to have selected for whelping.  When I walked back into "Lily's room,"  Lola was in Lily's whelping box busily cleaning up the babies while Lily (nonplussed) nursed them!    

I shooed Lola out of the box so that I could escort Lily outside, and returned to find Lola actually nursing Lily's puppies.  "None of that!," I exclaimed and picked her up forcibly to remove her, locking her out of Lily's room.  (Can't think that a "double-shot of colustrum" can be bad...I wonder if it diversifies their immunities, getting it from two different mothers?)  

(Still waiting for the second puppy four hours later. )

-- Oops, spoke too's another chocolate boy!  Lola is enjoying her big bowl of vanilla ice cream.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Puppies Doing What They Do Best...

Their little tails all start to wag in unison when the milk turns on...
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Monday, July 18, 2011

Sleep, Eat, Sleep, Eat, Poop...

Lily continues to refine her natural mothering skills. While she is not that happy about leaving her babies even for a few minutes, we have managed to convince her to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine and a little ball play with her special basketball.  She is nursing them so much that the pups have fat round roly-poly bellies and it is natural that they spend a lot of time sleeping it off!

(Don't forget to click on the photos to see large, higher resolution views.)

She wishes she had stronger math skills so that she can be sure they are all there when she comes to tuck them in!

Hungry Hungry Hippo takes a nap

Lily has caught on extremely well  to even the most unsavory aspects of motherhood!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Birth Announcement: Vives les Puppies!

Golden Gate Lily whelped her "Bastille Day" litter of five little beauties--three boys and two girls--between 4:00 and 7:00 PM yesterday, July 14th.  (Our profound gratitude to lovely Lily for the non-wee hours timing of this endeavor--but it's probably only because it's her first litter and she didn't know any better!)

Lily took care of the whole whelping herself, with very little human intervention, enjoying two bowls of vanilla ice cream between puppies. (OK, I was sitting on my hands the whole time),

The puppies are gorgeous little chunky-monkeys in chocolate and apricot/cream and have been nursing busily all night. Lily is already exhibiting excellent mothering instincts, helping them eat, keeping them warm, and cleaning up after them. She is very uncomfortable leaving them, making rare dashes outside to do her business, after a thorough securing-of-the-perimeter to ensure none of the other dogs even get a peep at her babies.

There are two choco-boys, one choc girl, one apricot-cream girl and one apricot/cream boy.