NN Litter Diary
Whelped 12/19/17: 3 black & tan males, 3 black or bicolor males, two black and tan females & 1 black or bicolor female

pedigree

background

fourteen-day-old photos

to twenty-four-day-old photos

As I update the diary I put the new entries at the top; for previous entries please scroll down.

30 Days Old (1/16) It’s -14 this morning. Ugh! I soaked a cup of puppy kibble in hot water to soften it. Must begin supplementing the raw meat diet even though they’ll have to stay inside longer than usual. GloryToo needs some relief from nursing. Probably a lot more sacks of newspapers will greet the garbage men next Monday. Oh, well!

They ate some of the soaked kibble at breakfast but not all – of course GloryToo cleaned it up. Now to see how poops go; if they ate enough that she won’t clean them up any longer.
I gave her time to clean up the bowls and then went in to clean the room. No poops so far but then they haven’t yet had time to digest breakfast. Once I changed newspapers, I sat down to visit. Miss Pink and Mr. White immediately climbed into my lap, Miss Pink from the front where it’s lower, Mr. White trying determinedly until he made it over my thighs. Both gave sighs of relief and settled down to enjoy themselves. They had a little peace until Miss Yellow climbed in and squished Mr. White, who gave up and climbed out, then settled alongside of me. For a bit he sat in front and gave me some great eye contact, then he lay down beside me and rested his chin on my leg. Mr. Brown and Mr. Red came over to cuddle alongside me and get petted. Mr. Blue stayed on the fleece pad nearby but gave me prolonged eye contact. The others either nursed or slept. The cuddlers were not pleased when I finally said I had to go, giving great sighing protests. These are really sweet puppies.

They ate more of the cup of soaked kibble in their afternoon feeding, and still more at the evening feeding. Thankfully GloryToo is still cleaning up poops.

They were wild tonight when I cleaned the room, biting my ankles, pant leg, sleeve, hands. I had a therapy dog visit and then a meeting, which took up all afternoon, and totally forgot to bring them out to play until late. I think they must have been telling me I goofed. I sat down on the clean floor and we had a long cuddle session as I apologized and told them they were having company tomorrow and would get all the playtime they wanted.

29 Days Old (1/15) The weekly garbage pickup was the morning and I wondered what the guys thought as they pulled in and saw 8 lawn/leaf sacks lined up with the usual cans – all soiled newspapers. Yep, I’m filling at least one a day, and the last couple of days have needed more than just one. Seems like all I do is change newspapers in the puppy room!
I began putting kibble on the bottom the bowl when I put the meat cubes out to that. That way the thawing meat will moisten the kibble and make it more attractive to the pups. I hate to stat feeding it while the pups are still in the puppy room, but we’re in the middle of another cold spell which makes it impossible to move the pups outside.

When I went in to clean the room this morning, the puppies were crashed on the little fleece pad by the gate. They got up and moved away from it to potty – but some moved all the way into the middle of the whelping bed and pottied on the big fleece pad. Grrr…… That is not what I’m trying to teach them. I decided to begin doubling up the big fleece pad in the whelping bed to help them start getting the idea to go off the bed to potty on newspapers. And I didn’t replace the sheet covering the papers on the ramp, so that their sleeping areas and potty areas will become more obvious. They had been tugging on it anyway and it was halfway across the room. They can move well enough now that they won’t need help with traction on the incline. They really need to move outside!

As I knelt changing papers in the bed, Mr. Green came and loved on me but didn’t bite. However, Miss Pink and Miss Yellow decided to grab my pant legs and shake them, in the process not caring that they also got my leg, so when they wouldn’t quit, they got an impulse control lesson too. Those little teeth are very sharp and these pups already have some really good jaw pressure. Ouch!!!

This afternoon I again carried them into the living room and adjourned to my computer. Mr. Red happened to be one of the first pair I carried in. Each time I headed down the hall for another pair, he followed. I thought at first he was just following GloryToo, but on the third trip she stopped in the kitchen and he kept right on following me to the puppy room.

The mob of pups located me and then headed off to explore. First to come back and hang out for a bit were the three girls – Miss Pine, Miss Yellow and Miss Purple. Then they wandered off and Mr. Red, Mr. Gray and Mr. Blue came, joined later by Mr. Brown. Eventually all of them found a nice place to stretch out and relax, Mr. Brown being the only one complaining. He soon quit, and for a while puppies came and went, until finally all found a comfy place to hang out with me. Mr. Blue was the cuddliest, lying against my foot for the longest time, and giving me eye contact each time I looked down at him. He, too, finally moved off a short distance where he could spread totally out and nap. Overall, the pups verbalized incredibly less today than they did yesterday. They have already become comfortable in the new area.

After 45 minutes I snuck back to the puppy room and cleaned it, then began carrying pups back to it. When I put the first pair in the room I turned around to find that Miss Pink and Mr. White had quietly followed me nearly all the way back. I put them in the room and headed back for another pair, and this time Miss Yellow and Mr. Red followed. That left only Mr. Gray to go get, and he was happily sacked out on the dog cushion.

They were pretty quiet when I cleaned the room last thing tonight.

28 Days Old (1/14) Opening the gate to the puppy yard so the dogs could tramp down the snow was a bad idea – when I went out to do poop detail there were four poops there, and it’s hard to get into that yard with my walker. As it is, I’m having quite the adventure each day to pick up poop. The wheeled walker is helpless in snow so I use one without wheels, drag the shovel on the left side and hold the two-gallon poop bucket and spatula in the right hand. With 10 dogs, it takes forever to do poop detail in the snow because I can’t just pick up poop, each poop is attached to ice. So the bucket fills frequently then I hurple up front to dump it in the garbage can and then back to wherever I’m picking up poop. It normally takes an hour, less on snow days since poops are hidden, more on thaw days when the previously missed ones are visible. So I closed the gate to the puppy yard and texted a friend who had come earlier to shovel passages around the house where the dogs and I walk. She and her daughters will come Wednesday and move most of the snow off the area around the puppy house so the pups have a relatively snow-free area to begin exploring. Once they’re comfortable being outside they can jump and push through the snow as they wish, but to begin with I want it easy to learn to go out the doggie door, through the transition area and outside to play and explore (and hopefully potty). I’ll also have my friends shovel around the gates so that I don’t have to fight to open them to get in and pick up poop or rescue lost pups.

I actually have two puppy pens with heated houses, doggie doors and transition areas. Both insulated puppy houses have a doggie door into what I call a transition area, an enclosed area with an opening to the outdoors at the far end. This way the pups can explore a little bit without getting out into the weather and/or the bright sunlight, which hurts their eyes at this age. I tie up the flap on the doggie door just enough that they can easily go in and out, which they begin to do gradually. Once they’ve learned that, I untie it to keep from losing so much heat.
The “young puppy” pen is normally for the pups when they first move outside because the transition area (like a tunnel, so they don’t go directly out into the weather) from the puppy house to their yard seems to be more logical for them to learn to go in and out at will. In the other puppy pen, the entrance isn’t quite as logical to them for some reason, so they usually don’t move there until they understand how to find shelter and food. The “young puppy” yard is just outside my bedroom window so in case the puppies get lost or scared, I hear them and can quickly go check that all is well. It is closer also to my perimeter fence, and one time during a severe drought a coon managed to climb over both fences in an effort to get to the puppy food inside the house. That’s when I built the other puppy pen. Now the puppies stay in the “young” puppy pen/house area only as long as their mother is with them during the night. When they get old enough (around 5 weeks) that GloryToo has the choice to go in and out (and I leave food in the puppy house at night), I move them to the “big puppy” pen. I can no longer hear them cry, but no varmint is going to get through 5 fences.

Unfortunately with the snow and my bum knee, this litter will go right into the “big puppy” pen because it’s closer to the back door and water faucet, and the front yard gate where all the garbage goes out for pickup. No way will my knee (and having to use a walker) handle carrying water buckets, lawn/leaf bags full of soiled newspapers to the front, soiled blankets to the house to be washed, clean newspapers and blankets from house to puppy house all the way to the “baby puppy” house and yard. For at least a week, the pups will be out only during the day – an hour or two at first, then longer as they acclimate, then back into the whelping room, and I’ll be checking them frequently when they’re outside. I also have a heavy layer of straw in the transition area to insulate them from the cold ground.

This afternoon I brought all the pups into the living room, gave them a chance to explore as they wished, and went around the corner to my computer. After wandering around the living room and kitchen, several found me in my office, which is a tiny room next to the kitchen but open to the living room, originally designed to be a dining room. Miss Purple, Mr. Green, Mr. Gray and Mr. White found me as I typed quietly. Miss Purple heard my voice and found me. Miss Purple, Mr. Gray and Mr. Green crashed beside me as I worked on the computer. Mr. Red found GloryToo on the rug on the other side of my chair and nursed contentedly, then fell asleep when GloryToo got up as I got up to check on the others. Mr. White complained and complained but the others just lay down and crashed. The others had headed to Mercy’s crate in the living room and crashed in a heap beside it. It took forever, but Mr. White finally settled down and slept. He was the last to be quiet, 30 minutes after I put them in the living room. I left them to sleep for a while and then quietly got up, cleaned the room, then carried them back to recover from their adventure.

When I cleaned the room tonight, Mr. Green was biting at my ankle and the back of my leg very hard, crunching down as hard as he could, so when he wouldn’t quit I gave him a “no bite!” lesson. When they won’t respond to my removing them from my body and placing them elsewhere a couple of times, but persist in biting hard, I will put my hand over the top of their muzzle and press with thumb and forefinger on either side of their muzzle, pushing the lips against the teeth where the nerves are, so that it hurts, saying at the same time “No bite!” I’ll release the pressure and, if they quit biting, quietly say “Good no bite.” If they reattach, I repeat, pushing harder until they say “Ouch!” Generally that does it, but Mr. Green persisted, so I pressed REALLY hard on those nerves above the teeth and he finally yelled, detached, and wandered off. After he settled down and reflected on his sins, I reached over and gave him a little quiet attention to make sure he understood the lesson – biting is not acceptable but when you make the right decision you’ll always be rewarded. This is the first of many lessons on impulse control these pups will get before they leave her, because babies always go with the drives rather than think first but have to learn that they CAN choose not to just go with the drive to chase and possess but to control it when it’s inappropriate. As soon as I can have toys in with them (anything small enough for them would be destroyed by GloryToo right now), I will substitute a toy for my body part and then praise them for focusing on the toy, a proper way to go with the drives. You don’t want to kill drives – these after all are working dogs – but to channel them into the proper use, and that work begins now and will continue probably until they’re a year old, which is when pups finally become “civilized.”

27 Days Old (1/13) The morning didn’t start off very well. I put GloryToo’s breakfast in for her as soon as I got up, but when I went back to clean the puppy room she hadn’t eaten it. She looked depressed and didn’t want to come out of the whelping bed. I took her temperature, and it was normal, 101.6, but one always worries about pyometra or mastitis. I called my vet as soon as they opened and they had me bring her right in. I gave the puppies their breakfast before we left. The vet agreed her temperature was normal, no sign of pyometra or mastitis, and felt she had perhaps eaten something that was upsetting her stomach. We decided to dose her with Pepto-Bismol and keep a close eye on her.

She still didn’t want her raw meat breakfast so I put it in the big puppy bowl so the puppies would hopefully not put a lot of pressure on her for milk while she wasn’t feeling well. Mr. Blue and Mr. Brown headed right over, though it had only been 45 minutes since their breakfast. When I checked about an hour later, GloryToo looked a little perkier. The meat was gone, but whether she ate any or not was impossible to tell.

My company left at noon and I immediately checked on GloryToo and puppies and cleaned the room. I noticed Miss Pink in the corner working on kibble. That’s the first interest I’ve seen. Mr. Blue headed out of the bed and down the ramp at a run, the first I’ve seen.

The pups were supposed to have a visitor this afternoon, but she cancelled because the roads were icy. Tina from Montana is getting one of these pups and had planned to come play with them, but she’ll try later in the week if the weather cooperates. This will be a busy week for them since another person who’s getting one of them comes in Thursday for a couple of days with them, followed Saturday by a couple who also will be taking one of them home. Both of these are from Colorado.

GloryToo looked a little livelier. I gave her another dose of Pepto-Bismol and left her quiet for an hour. I caught one of the other dogs with a wing off a dead bird – I wonder if GloryToo found one or caught one in the snow yesterday on one of her times out of the puppy area. That might be what is causing her tummy upset. I then offered her the raw meat lunch and she ate it. Hurrah!!!!
It had finally quit snowing so I needed to pick up poop, and I let GloryToo and Quasi out to carry their balls around and enjoy themselves while I worked. I wanted to watch GloryToo and get a better idea of how she was feeling. She still wasn’t up to normal but was obviously better.

When I checked on her at 5:30, she was much livelier; in fact, when Miss Pink went over to eat kibble, GloryToo jumped up, went to the bowl, shoved Miss Pink aside and lay down and ate some. Miss Pink, totally unconcerned, wandered off and then went back to the bowl after GloryToo left it. I was very glad to see GloryToo eating, since she ate no kibble at all last night, very unusual.
As I changed papers, I noticed one pup intensely watching me. I finally got done and went over to check to see if it was Mr. Blue. It was. Nearly every time I notice intense attention, it’s Mr. Blue.
After I put down a clean sheet, I lay down in the whelping box with my legs stretching on the ramp, and let pups visit if they pleased. Mr. Brown chewed happily on one of my slippers. Miss Pink came and deliberately cleaned my ear, then snuggled beside me so I could pet her. Mr. Red and Mr. White came and lay close so I could pet them, with Mr. White giving me a long session of kisses on my cheek. Mr. Brown climbed on my stomach (with a little help for me) and stretched to visit with me for a bit before he got down. Miss Purple had been busy playing but managed to come cuddle a tiny bit before I got up.

They’re starting to grab the edge of the newspaper sections and tug. And of course the edges of the sheet, too. It’s really time for them to move outside so they have more room to explore and things to play with. I’m going to start the heater in the puppy house and let it run for a couple of days to thoroughly warm the floor as well as the room. I think I’ll open the gate so the big dogs can wander around in the yard and press down the snow for the pups.

I weighed and wormed the pups this evening. They weighed between 6# 0 ounces (Miss Purple) and 7# 6 ounces (Mr. Green). Mr. Gray weighed 6# 6 ounces, Miss Pink weighed 6# 8 ounces, and Mr. Blue and Mr. Brown weighed 6# 12 ounces. Mr. White weighed 7# 0 ounces, while Miss Yellow and Mr. Red weighed 7# 2 ounces. They would not hold still on the scale, so I had to swing each pup back and forth in the air a few times in order to make them just dizzy enough to hold still long enough for the scale to settle on a weight.
I worm the pups every 10 – 14 days from the time they’re three weeks old until they leave. All puppies are born with roundworms; it’s the nature of the parasite. Encysted worms are activated by the pregnancy hormones and migrate through the placenta into the developing puppies. When a dog finishes the rapid growth stage, around nine months of age, the worms encyst and become dormant. Until that time, puppies are vulnerable. It’s impossible to keep the yard where the baby puppies are totally clean of poop, and they aren’t developed or experienced enough to notice a poop and avoid it, plus puppies explore their world by mouth, so they are very prone to ingest roundworm eggs in the soil or other parts of the environment and are impossible to keep worm-free. Living quarters of individual puppies are much more easily kept clean, plus they’re rapidly learning to poop when taken outside and the owners can pick up the poop immediately, so they need not be wormed as frequently. Regular wormings throughout young puppyhood (I recommend monthly until they’re about nine months old) keep the worm population minimal and unable to harm the pup, but it’s impossible to totally eliminate the roundworms. Of course, if you live in an area where heartworm is a danger, the monthly heartworm preventative dose also kills worms. You start the pup on heartworm preventative just as it turns four months old. Heartgard kills roundworms, but I prefer to use Iverhart because it also kills tapeworms and hookworms. Hookworms aren’t normally much of a problem in our area but tapeworm shows up occasionally. If your pup is ever exposed to fleas, tapeworm is a danger since they’re its carrier. We normally don’t have a lot of flea problems in Wyoming, though after an unusually mild winter we may see more.

As I got ready to leave the room, Mr. Brown raced up to me and gave a big bark like he was going to attack me. It was hilarious!!!!!

When I fed the pups their last meal tonight, GloryToo followed me, practically begging for it, so I thawed out another pound of the raw meat for her. That makes 4 meals today for the pups and 3 for her, since she refused her breakfast. And means her tummy is back to normal, thank goodness.

When I opened the door to the puppy room and called, the pups came racing and yelling for their supper. After they ate, I put GloryToo back in with them, left them alone a bit, then went back in to clean the room. They were already ready to crash and didn’t do much visiting. I pretty much had to move limp bodies from one place to the other in order to change papers and put down new fleece and sheet. Mr. Blue watched me for a bit, Miss Pink followed me around lazily, and that was about all the activity. We were all glad to go to bed.

26 Days (1/12) Today was crazy, the morning spent getting ready for company, the afternoon and early evening involved with them. I didn’t have much chance to sit and observe the pups and they were not pleased. When I changed the room, they’d climb on the back of my legs and weave through my arms, disappointed I wouldn’t sit down to visit. Miss Purple at one point was chewing on my leg just above the ankle. I could sure feel those teeth!

I had forgotten I only had one large puppy bowl. The first feeding I put all the meat in it, but it’s not quite large enough for nine big pups to fit and a couple were complaining as I left. So I began using one of the smaller as well, and that worked much better, though they still seem to want to get in it to eat.

Miss Pink fell into the water bowl as she tried to run, so I changed to a larger diameter, higher metal bowl.

25 Days (1/11) I got mobbed first thing this morning when I went in to change the sheet and floor papers. This morning it was Miss Yellow who was most persistent and following me around. When I finished, I lay down and let them cuddle. Miss Pink, Mr. Blue and Miss Yellow eagerly responded to the invitation, Miss Yellow contentedly chewing on my ear while the other two visited face to face. They were joined by Mr. White and Miss Purple. About that time GloryToo lay down close, and most of the others headed to nurse, including Mr. Green who crawled over my arm to get to her. Mr. Gray was crashed in the bed and slept through all the excitement – remember I don’t change the bed papers and fleece until I do the whole room after they’ve had breakfast.

I got yesterday’s photos edited early this morning. I’m not totally pleased with them. It’s been a long time since I had a littler as dark as these are and getting the light settings is quite difficult. I used several different settings and two different lenses. I got usable ones but not great ones. It seemed like every time I changed my position to photograph, the light reflecting off their black coats and iridescent collars needed a different setting. I had put down a taupe blanket and a cream blanket and only a few photos actually show their colors truly. Guess at least I’ll need to use colored blankets next time for better contrast. I’m also going to head down to our photography place and see if they have any suggestions.

When I went in to do that, I evidently was moving fast enough for Mr. Gray. He wanted that bed changed and new fleece down and he let me know it by barking at me until I got finished. Then he happily headed into the bed. GloryToo left the pups she was nursing to go into the bed, too, which made Mr. Gray extremely happy. The others followed, except for Miss Purple, who followed me around as I changed sheet and newspapers.

I decided to put GloryToo’s bowl of kibble (Holistic Select Large Breed Puppy) in the main part of the room instead of where only GloryToo can go. The way these pups are eating, they need to start crunching with their teeth, all of which are now erupted.

Tomorrow I’m going to start using the big puppy bowls, which have a wider diameter and higher lips. After the midday and evening feedings, when I went in to clean the room, the floor looked like they had played in the meat instead of eating–footprints all over the sheet.

Last thing tonight, when I went in to clean the entire room, the pups were pretty well in sleep mode. They greeted me but did no prolonged interaction, except for Mr. Brown who worked at chewing my ankle as I knelt, changing papers. I refilled the kibble bowl, but doubt the pups had noticed it yet. I have it out of the way so they won’t walk through it.

24 Days (1/10/18) I went in first thing this morning to change the sheet and papers on the floor and was greeted enthusiastically by the entire family. Naturally that meant I had an awful time cleaning, but I finally got it done, despite Miss Pink twice grabbing my pant leg and giving a tentative shake. They’re much steadier on their feet so I think by tomorrow I can take the sheets and towels off the level part of the floor, just leaving one for traction on the ramp. That makes it much easier to quickly change soiled papers, since I won’t have to continually lift puppies off parts of the sheet in order to pick it up.

When I went in later, after their breakfast, to clean the entire room, Mr. Blue and Mr. Red tried tugging on my pant legs while Miss Pink managed to grab my sleeve and tug a couple of different times as I bent over trying to spread the sheet over the clean newspapers. Meanwhile, Mr. Gray thought it great fun to grab the edge of the sheet.

After they ate lunch, I went in to trim toenails. Boy, is it much harder to do once they’re aware! Mr. Brown was the worst, followed by Mr. Blue, both of them thrashing and yelling. Miss Pink was the best, hardly moving on my lap as I did hers. Mr. Green happened to be the first one I did and he seemed not to be bothered by the process, for he sat and watched me do most of the others just like he was watching a TV show or something.

I then got really ambitious and decided to take them into the living room for the first time. I laid down a couple of old blankets and carried them – two at a time because they’re now pretty heavy – putting them on the blanket and going back for more. Mr. Green and Mr. White were the first two I carried in and they immediately began exploring, Mr. White quietly and Mr. Green loudly. When I came in with the next two they were both visiting with the dog in the closest crate. By the time I made the last trip, Mr. White had stretched out and was relaxing, but Mr. Green was wandering around yelling. The others sat pretty much where I put them down, some looking around, some yelling. GloryToo soon came in and stretched out to nurse the pups and several went over to her. Not Mr. Green! I finally picked him up and put him with her, where he settled down. Most of them must have been worn out by the nail trimming, because they soon crashed. I tried to get photos of everyone. I did manage to catch Miss Yellow and Miss Purple mouth wrestling so that was fun.

When all had crashed, I left them there and quietly went to change the sheet and papers in the puppy room. Gosh, is it ever easy to do without “help!” Then I carried them to the room and put them in a line on the small felt rug by the door. No one moved, though I heard a few sleepy groans.

They cleaned up all three meals again today. When I went in last thing to clean the entire room, they visited briefly and then crashed, except for Mr. Blue, who followed me around as I changed papers until I finally picked him up, held him and talked to him for a bit. Then he consented to crash, too. All was peaceful.

23 Days (1/9/18) When I cleaned the entire room this morning, I had help nearly the entire time. Mr. Gray, Mr. Brown, Mr. Blue, Miss Yellow and Mr. Green stayed with me the entire time. The other four quickly tired of visiting and headed to nap in the bed as soon as I had changed it, but these five kept draping themselves over my leg or sat in front of me watching me. I kept having to move them off the papers so I could pick up the soiled ones, then I kept having to set them off the stack of clean papers so I could take some and spread them out to cover the floor. Then it was time to spread out the sheet, and they kept walking under it as I tried to lay it down. Mr. Green especially thought it was fun to try to catch the sheet as I attempted to lift it up enough to get him out from under it. By the time I finished that, I had worn them all out. Two just crashed on the sheet, two moved to the little fleece pad by the gate and the last one sprawled half in the bed and half on the sheet. All was quiet as I turned off the light and tiptoed out.

I let GloryToo go in the car while I went to an appointments so they were on their own for over an hour, perhaps one reason they ate all of the midday meal.

They ate nearly of the meat at all three meals today, leaving hardly any for GloryToo, so I had to thaw more out for a late supper for her. When I put down the bowls at the third feeding the whole group got up and headed for the meat. They’re definitely getting the idea! This is about the time I begin adding a little soaked kibble to the meat, but since they can’t move outside yet – and moms quit cleaning up after them once kibble is introduced – they’ll stay on straight meat another week.

A while later, when I tried to change the sheet after the last feeding I was mobbed by puppies and finally gave up and sat down so they could snuggle. That time Miss Purple was the most persistent in possessing my lap. She spent a lot of time chewing on my finger. Mr. Blue also had a go at one of my fingers. They are already exerting some pretty good jaw pressure. The others draped themselves over my lets or snuggled against my back (Miss Pink and Mr. Red). I had a hard time tearing myself away.

Tonight when I cleaned the entire room I got mobbed again. Mr. Green got my lap this time and the rest draped over my legs, except for Miss Pink and Miss Purple who were on the small fleece pad wrestling and play-growling.

22 Days (1/8/18) Ears are open! They can now learn and will be eager to explore their new world, and their personalities will begin to emerge. And boy are they trying out their voices now that they can hear. Barks, hoots, trills, chuckles, what a noisy bunch they are.

I keep forgetting to mention that three days ago I felt the first teeth. So far they haven’t realized what they can do with them and are still giving kisses, but watch out when they start using them.

Today I noticed some real attempts to wrestle and play with each other. So fun to watch! They’re also exploring me, mouthing my fingers in a totally different way than in the beginning, which was strictly the nursing instinct as they blindly hoped that finger was mom’s nipple.

I’m now going in first thing and changing the sheet and newspapers on the floor as soon as their greetings and associated potties are done. Later, when it’s GloryToo’s time to be out, I’ll feed them, and after that clean the whole room including the bed. Doing it this way keeps the room smelling much better since most of their pees are on the floor. After their second and third meals I’ll change the sheet/newspapers again, then last thing at night, after they’ve played with me and each other, pottied, and are beginning to crash, I change the entire room and bed. All I seem to be doing right now is cleaning and washing…

After the other big dogs had rotated out of their crates, played and had their meat breakfasts, I let GloryToo out and put the puppies’ breakfast down. They were crashed, so I woke them and made sure they were close to the bowls. At their midday meal they were pretty active so I just called them (fun to see tails wagging as they hear me crooning puppy, puppy, puppy) as I put down the food bowls. At supper they were again crashed – even though they can’t really see outside and know whether it’s day and night, they do shut down as it gets dark outside, and this time of year it gets dark so early here.

Cleaning the room each time takes forever. They climb on me as I kneel to change papers, sit on the rugs I’m trying to remove so I have to keep lifting them off and trying to get the rug before another body gets on it (a hopeless battle), and as I walk around follow me and watch my slippers. Especially at night, everyone has to have a little loving and cuddling but they are finally satisfied and move off to sleep. Tonight Miss Yellow sat in front of me and gave me extended eye contact, even with other pups jostling her. She didn’t want to get into my lap, as Mr. Green, Miss Pink and Mr. White did, but wanted to look me in the eyes. That’s so exciting to see! Amazing what happens when the neurological system is finally all hooked up. Now I should begin to see what they’ll really be like as far as personality. Drives will start coming in a little later. Right now they’re seriously beginning to explore their world, which is exciting to see, because they seem to change by the hour as they interact with things they didn’t notice before. When people come to visit, we’ll carry them into the living room so they have more room and begin offering toys. If it were summer, I’d begin putting them outside in the puppy house/yard during the day, but that has to wait – we’re supposed to get more snow tomorrow.

21 Days (1/7/18) I checked ears first thing this morning but they’re not yet open, though the parts of the ear are more sharply defined as if they are ready to “crack” open. It’s almost magical how they change when neurologically their bodies are mature – I can hardly wait.

They ate really well at all three meals today. If the pups are awake when I go in with the food, so that they see me come in, they are heading towards me and looking for the bowls. Some immediately head for them – Mr. Gray consistently, but most of the others will at one meal or the other. At the morning meal I made sure all were awake and lifted the outlying pups to the immediate area of the bowls. At the other two feedings I just call them excitedly, but if one is way off, I let it be. The ones who are awake are quite verbal in greeting me with little trills and almost-barks.

When I go in to pick up the bowls and bring back their mother, they’re like an anthill, all over the place, vocalizing excitedly as they head for either me or GloryToo. It’s really hard to change their bedding at these times because, even though GloryToo lies down in the bed to nurse them, they don’t nurse that long (having tummies full of meat) and I usually am not finished changing newspapers before they come barreling out. They don’t enjoy sliding around on the newspapers – and I often have to change some AGAIN as they pee once more. All I seem to do is pick up puppies and move them away for the area I’m trying to clean, and of course they head right back to visit and get in the way. Eventually I’m able to get the floor covered with clean newspapers and the sheet down to cover them. I quit using blankets, even though they give better traction, since the pups were saying they were too warm. The sheets, though slicker, are cooler and they really like that. I’m not seeing them panting any more so all is well. All at these daytime sessions seem to be equally social. Some seem more persistent at seeking attention one time, and the next time are the first to head for a sleeping spot, so I don’t notice any one pup being super interested in interaction all the time. Evenings are more peaceful and I’m able to observe the pups better.

I weighed the pups tonight. Mr. Gray remains the smallest, at 4# 8 ounces and Mr. Red and Miss Yellow remain the largest, at 5# 7 ounces. In between are Mr. Brown and Miss Pink at 4# 10 ounces, Miss Purple at 4# 14 ounces, Mr. Blue at 5# 2 ounces, Mr. Green at 5# 3 ounces and Mr. White at 5# 4 ounces. These weights are significantly higher than those of the last litter at the same age. The MM pups at 21 days ranged from 3# 8 ounces to 4# 10 ounces, and there were only 6 of them. The NN litter is eating significantly more meat than the MM’s were at this age, and I’m sure having to feed GloryToo a lot more than I usually do. I went back and checked the diary from GloryToo’s first litter, the LL litter which also contained 9 puppies. I didn’t weigh those pups on day 21, but on day 25 they weighed between 4# 10 ounces and 5# 7 ounces, not significantly larger than these pups. So these pups won’t necessarily be larger at maturity; they could very well slow down and regain the same growth curve as the MM’s.

No wonder that I’m constantly changing newspapers and bedding in their room – every time I go in, in fact – because they’re peeing like crazy. GloryToo, of course, does her best to keep the room clean, but she can’t catch all the urine. I only have 2 big fleece pads for the whelping bed so I just change them twice each day, but I’m changing the sheets and smaller cloths that cover the angled areas of the room each time I go in, wake puppies, and they get done peeing.

When I cleaned the room last thing tonight I checked ears, but they still aren’t open, though a couple looked like they were starting. Hopefully by morning.

After I finished cleaning, I sat down for a cuddle session. These are very sweet puppies and love to cuddle. Mr. White climbed into my lap for some real cuddling. Mr. Green tried but couldn’t quite make it with Mr. White taking up so much space, so I lifted him up. Then came Mr. Blue, but three pups are just too big to fit and they soon said they were too warm. All three got down and Mr. White sprawled beside me, flat on his back, and enjoyed quite a tummy rub. I could tell he was enjoying it by the way he moved one way and another as I touched him. Mr. Brown came and lay beside my other side so I gave him one, too, while he stretched and moved contentedly. Miss Pink sprawled over my leg, and the others came to visit, wagging their tails wildly, as they finished nursing. It was by that time 10 p.m. and they were ready to crash for the night, so I turned off the light and headed to my own bed.

20 Days (1/6) Amazingly, the pups really cleaned up their first breakfast, close to half I’d guess. For the last several days, even though I know they can’t hear yet, I’ve been giving my high-pitched “Puppy, Puppy, Puppy” call as I enter the room with the meat. Too much of a habit, I guess, though who knows what vibrations they may pick up. I’m not getting any response yet other than if any happen to be awake and facing my way so as to see movement as I enter, but when the ears open I’ll see a definite one.

I opened up the rest of the room for them this morning, with a lot of help. Miss Yellow, Mr. Blue and Mr. White did not want to stay in the bed and nurse on GloryToo. Mr. Brown kept sprawling on my stack of clean newspapers, making it very difficult to get each one. I kept putting them back but they’d head right out. A couple of the others headed into the new area and settled on a corner place where I just can’t get a rug over the papers. It’s closer to the doggie door and must be cooler. It took forever but I got the entire room cleaned and re-covered. I put a 2′ x 4′ piece of the fleece bedding by the door to help hold newspapers/sheets steady as GloryToo jumps in and out over the puppy barrier. The pups tend to hang out with GloryToo by the door, often nursing there, so they’ll be happy to have a piece of their thick bed there now. I took out the little heater, turned off the light and left them in peace.

GloryToo has been telling me she’s SO BORED with no ball, the cold weather and puppies, so I let her go in the car when I had a meeting at church this afternoon. She was thrilled. When we left, I put down the puppies’ midday meat meal and made sure they knew it was there, so if they got hungry they had an option. When we got home, they had eaten a moderate amount. The family was glad to be reunited.

They just ate moderately again at tonight’s meal. When I changed bedding, the pups were restless and noisy, not settling to nurse GloryToo on the fleece after I changed the bed but wandering around and verbalizing. They continue to act warm, so just in case GloryToo has a temperature I decided I’d better take it. I usually don’t ever worry about any complications (such as pyometra) since they get their daily blowout ball sessions that also encourage them to eliminate as well as help the uterus contract to get rid of any leftover fluids, but since my bad knee is prohibiting ball sessions, I’m watching her closely. Her temp was 101.7 so very normal, but I think I’ll take it at least daily just to be sure all is well. I have a sheet over the gate (which replaced the door to the room so that it could have air in winter when the window is closed); I’m going to move it aside a bit to give a little more air in the room in case the daytime temperatures I need in the house since I’m less active with my knee are making the room a little too warm for them.

They are using the entire room; I seldom found any in the bed when I checked them several times today. Now if I can get them to leave the fleece and go potty on the newspapers, we’d really be accomplishing things. The washing machine is going constantly.

19 Days (1/5) When GloryToo came out for her morning cuddle session, I put meat down for the pups (that would be GloryToo’s second breakfast, about 1# of cubes of the raw meat diet; she gets her first meat breakfast when I get up in the morning and start rotating the dogs who’ve been crated all night.) She has kibble available all the time. Since she has a private potty area, her cuddle time is after my dogs who were crated overnight have had a chance to potty and play. The pups didn’t eat a lot, probably because she had been lying with them all night and they had had plenty of chances to nurse. So I decided to offer meat each time GloryToo rotated out during the day, so instead of just feeding her each of her five raw meat meals at certain times, I put it in the puppy bowls and set it down for the pups while she was out of the room – and she got to finish what was left.

The pups ate very well at the midday offering at the evening feeding, after which I changed newspapers and covers. I didn’t offer them GloryToo’s last meal, when I went to bed, since they were crashed and also so she had plenty of meat to help her nurse them all night. I think this schedule will work pretty well.

They’re barking now as I enter the room, something I find so funny since their ears are still closed and they can’t hear.

Each time I clean their room several pups will visit with me, and they seem to be taking turns. Tonight it was Miss Yellow and Mr. Blue who kept coming to “help” me change newspapers on the ramp. Mr. Green kept coming down but he was fussy, wandering around instead of wanting to cuddle. When I got the cloths down he immediately headed for a little space where the table leg keeps the whelping bed from sitting against the wall. I have a board blocking them from getting back in that little space, but it’s behind the table leg and leaves a niche just the size for a puppy to curl up in. I often find a puppy there when I check on them. They seemed to feel the room was a little warm -a couple were panting a little – so he may have been wanting that spot that’s probably a little cooler because air from the doggie door opening can flow behind the whelping bed. It was about time for the thermostat to kick down into night mode so I wasn’t worried about them feeling warm, but it did inspire me to check a couple to see if their ears are open – the sign that all neurological systems are hooked up and they can now regulate their temperature and don’t need the room kept so warm. They weren’t, but the panting is new and usually signals the ability to warm or cool themselves at will, so I’ll probably open up the whole room tomorrow rather than wait for Sunday, the day when usually all systems are go. I did turn down the little heater a notch as I left.

18 Days (1/4) This morning when I went in, seven were on the floor and two were on the bed (Mr. Blue and Miss Pink). The ones on the floor awoke when I turned on the light and stepped in and moved towards me, tails wagging. GloryToo moved into “her” area to eat the breakfast I had just brought her. The pups were so obviously wanting to visit that I sat down, then lay down and let them tumble all over me. This morning the champion cuddlers were Mr. Red, Mr. White and Miss Yellow (Miss Pink was one of the ones asleep in the bed). Everybody enjoyed the petting and cuddled close. Mr. White sprawled out on his back and enjoyed an extended tummy rug, even when Miss Yellow walked over him to try to get closer to me. When GloryToo came back onto the area they noticed her immediately and began trying to get her to let them nurse. She was too busy checking everyone to see who needed cleaning, so three of them began trying to nurse as she stood. They aren’t quite big enough for that but they sure tried! In the process she awoke the two sleepers and they came to visit me, with Miss Pink finally getting her cuddle session. Eventually GloryToo settled down to let them nurse so I left.

They’re now giving hoots and trills and beginning barks–so funny!!!!

After GloryToo had her morning session away from the pups, I took meat in for Mr. Gray and Mr. Brown. Mr. Brown wasn’t that interested, but Mr. Gray sure was! In fact, the others woke up and gathered around, lifting their heads and sniffing, so I offered bites to several. They were interested enough that I got out the puppy bowls, two low-sided bowls which have a raised center so the pups can investigate food without crawling in it, put GloryToo’s second raw meat breakfast in them, and put them on the floor for the pups. Just this once, since we’re a little early offering food, I made sure all the pups were awake and lifted them so they were looking into the bowls. Mr. Gray dove right in. Mr. Red, Miss Yellow and Miss Purple began licking the cubes. I left them in peace to investigate if they so desired for about 15 minutes and then put GloryToo in to finish the meat and clean up both puppies and cloths. I then did the morning bedding/newspaper change. I’ll start offering them meat twice a day. Yesterday I put a water bowl where they can get to it, with sides low enough they can find the water but high enough they won’t fall in as they learn to drink. They’ll need water once they begin eating.
When it was time for GloryToo’s afternoon break from the pups, I put all of her next meal (a pound of the raw meat cubes) in the two puppy bowls, woke all the puppies and made sure they were close to the bowls, and left them to eat as they wished. And they ate a lot, I’d guess at least half, the rest ending up pressed down into the bowl after they had licked and sucked until content!

Several years ago I read a book by a guy who trains Navy Seal dogs and also breeds working dogs. He talked about always making the puppies search for their food rather than setting it right in front of them each time. With my next litter, the HH litter, I tried doing that instead of putting some of the raw meat into each pup’s mouth as I used to do. Those pups all showed great desire to use their noses on the temperament test, so I decided to continue the practice. They start eating on their own a few days later with this method, so the moms don’t get relief as soon as before, but I think it encourages them from the very beginning to make an effort and be proactive, rather than passively accepting being fed.

When I cleaned their room tonight Mr. Blue and Mr. Brown were the most persistent in seeking attention. In fact, they made it extremely hard to change the papers and cloths on the ramp as they kept leaving the bed where I had put everyone to nurse after I cleaned it. I’d lift them back into the bed and maybe get one bit of paper down before they were sliding down to visit again. Once I got that first section done, where the ramp is steepest, things got a little calmer. They were able to arrest their movement on their own and just hang out with me rather than act like they were sledding.

When I finished, I lay down again to visit. Mr. Blue was very happy and spent a lot of time with me, even giving quite a few kisses and then investigating my hair. The others came, visited and went back to nurse, but he seemed to be really enjoying my company. The others seemed more interested in attempting to play with each other.

17 Days (1/3) This morning I enlarged their living area. I put up a 12″ high board from the corner of the whelping box to the end of the room towards the gate. That defines a nice open space for the pups to begin to explore; they can’t get lost by turning a corner.

Miss Yellow was quite interested in all the goings on as I positioned the second board on the one side and then the 12″ high board. She came to the corner of the bed, twisted her body and laid her head on top of the 12: board so she could watch my contortions as I screwed everything securely. I gave her a couple of pats as I worked. When I finished, she moved away. Mr. Brown and Mr. White walked down the ramp and onto the floor and sprawled out, seeming to enjoy the coolness. I then pulled out the soiled fleece pad (the puppies seem to enjoy the “ride” down the ramp they get each morning as I move out the pad), put Mr. White on it, and began changing the papers. I got GloryToo onto her bed in the cordoned off area and put Mr. Brown and Mr. Gray on her to nurse as I worked. Miss Pink again sought me out and draped her head over the back of my leg, so I petted her some, too. Once I got clean newspapers in the whelping bed, I put down the clean fleece pad and lifted the puppies onto it so I could begin putting down newspapers in their new area. Mr. Blue and Mr. White weren’t willing to wait but manfully tried to walk up and down the slick ramp. I kept putting them on the fleece and they’d promptly head back down, naturally not using the traction from the newspaper that I’d gotten down but heading for the bare wood. I finally got the first section done and quickly put down a rug that covered half the ramp. They must have been enjoying the challenge because as soon as they had traction on the ramp, they went back into the bed and crashed. That at least allowed me to finish the floor in peace.

When I finished, I put Mr. Brown and Mr. Gray in with the others. I noticed that several pups had moved to the edge of the fleece and were asleep with their heads over onto the ramp. They looked like they were already enjoying their more-than-double new space.

Once they’re comfortable negotiating the slight incline that the wall of the whelping box makes to the floor, they’ll be ready for the entire room. They still can’t regulate their heat so I want to be sure their enlarged area is warm enough. I put the little heater just on the other side of the big board at the corner of the whelping bed. Thankfully we’re having a heat wave – first morning it’s been above zero when I got up! I won’t open up the entire room until Sunday, the almost magical 21st day when all their systems are hooked up and they can regulate their body temperature, hear and begin learning big time. I won’t have to worry about them getting chilled in the part of the room where GloryToo’s doggie door is, and they’ll be savvy enough when they get into the larger area to able to negotiate back around the corner of the whelping bed to go back inside. I put down newspapers and, over them, some old sheets that give nice traction.

Once they begin moving out of the whelping bed into the room, the cleaning begins!!! I swear the puppies choose to pee or poop so that they mess up a part of four different newspapers where they join! And pick the spot that will soil at least two of the blankets on top of the papers to give them traction for walking. Now I have two wash loads of puppy things twice daily! The washing machine will go practically non-stop until they’re old enough to move outdoors to the puppy house and puppy yard.

Today I checked frequently to make sure the heater was keeping the enlarged area warm but not heating the room too much. The pups won’t be able to regulate their body temperature until at least Sunday so on these first few days in a larger area I’m monitoring the room frequently. I checked on them after about 30 minutes and Mr. Gray and Mr. Brown were asleep in the new area while the rest were still in the whelping bed. I wondered if their being out had anything to do with the fact that the heavy cloth there was the same kind that I’ve fed them their meat meals on. The next check showed all of the pups stretched out in the new area, obviously totally content. On checks the rest of the day, I never found any back in the whelping bed, and GloryToo was stretched out there nursing them a time or two, so all was well.

They see movement and notice each other, and today I saw a lot more attempts to play.

When I changed bedding tonight, I changed the whelping bed first since they were all on the floor. Miss Pink and Mr. White draped themselves over the back of my legs as I did so. Then I put everyone into the now-clean bed and changed the papers and cloths on the ramp and floor. I had to work really fast to change the first area, on the ramp, before puppies began coming out of the bed to “help.” They were pretty sleepy and just said hello before sprawling out and were obviously glad when I left and turned out the light.

16 Days (1/2) When I went in to give the two pups their raw meat breakfast, they were way back in the bed so I opened the big ramp to get to them. Mr. Brown was closest so I started with him, sitting on GloryToo’s dog bed. The other pups noticed me and began moving around in the bed and giving pretty credible barks. Several examined each other as if trying to figure out what the other was, exploring the whole different view of the world that comes with eyes opening. Of course they won’t see clearly for several more weeks, now only seeing shades and masses, but they’re definitely more interested in each other. I even saw several very short but decided interactions between a couple of pups, touching noses, mouthing each other and grabbing a bit of loose skin. A couple moved to the edge of the pad and draped their heads over the edge onto the ramp. I think by tomorrow they’re going to want more room, so I’ll block off the area immediately in front of the bed, put down the ramp and cover everything with newspapers and blankets for traction.

I put Mr. Brown in the bed and took Mr. Gray. As I was offering him tiny bites on my finger, Mr. Gray decided to come back to me. That entailed going down the ramp, which of course was slick with no papers or blankets on it. He calmly worked his way down to me and then climbed onto my foot. I picked him up and settled him in my lap and alternated offering meat to each pup. They didn’t eat a lot and were soon satisfied. I then put them back in the bed, closed it up and let GloryToo back into the room.

Later I went back and changed the bedding. As usual, I pulled out the soiled fleece pad with the puppies on it until it rested on the floor, then knelt to change newspapers and put in the clean fleece pad. This was the first time I had an audience – several of the pups lay there watching me. Mr. White looked me right in the eye and barked. When I reached to pet him he gave a definite and continued tail wag – the first I’ve seen in this litter. Then the puppies began moving about, walking quite well with their bodies off the ground. Mr. Blue came to me and draped his head over my leg as I worked. Mr. Red tried to climb the ramp back into the bed. I was able to dissuade him until I got the clean fleece pad put down, but only because GloryToo came over to the pups. All of them immediately caught the movement, locked in on her with raised heads, and began getting up to walk to her. Several let her know that they wanted her to settle so they could nurse. It was funny. Anyway, I put all in the bed with her and closed it.

This evening I fed the boys after GloryToo had been out of the room for her hour break. They were much more interested. They are learning to take a tiny bit instead of try to suck. I’ll present a bit of meat on the end of my finger and, if they don’t take it on their own, gently lift it inside their mouth. They are chewing and swallowing well. None of the other pups paid any attention to me; all were sleeping. It’s so interesting how they are already conscious of day and night. I put the boys back in the bed and closed it, let GloryToo in, and left them to nurse a bit before I returned to do the last neurological stimulation exercises and clean the bed.

When I went back to clean the room, several pups were lying by the low side with their heads draped across the board. They’re telling me they need more room, so in the morning I’ll open up part of the room, put down the side to form a ramp, put down papers and blankets for traction over it and the floor, and let them begin exploring. I don’t want to do it tonight as from my bedroom I can’t hear if a pup gets lost and stressed. In the daytime I can check frequently.
Several of the pups turned their heads to make eye contact as I did the tactical stimulation. All the pups again watched me with great interest as I held them in the supine position, relaxed and trusting in my hands. Of course, they may not be watching me exactly, but rather noticing the ceiling light, but they’re sure aware. They are so cute with those big blue eyes!!!!

Mr. White and Mr. Red gained 5 ounces, making them tied for largest at 4 pounds 3 ounces. Mr. Brown and Mr. Gray gained 4 ounces. Miss Pink, Miss Purple and Mr. Blue gained 3 ounces, while Mr. Green and Miss Yellow gained an ounce. Two other pups hit the 4 pound mark – Mr. Blue & Miss Yellow.

I pulled out the soiled bedding so I could change the bed and all the pups woke up. As soon as the pad quit moving, several began walking around – and they were walking quite well, nicely upright and much steadier than a day ago. Miss Pink found me and cuddled with her head on the back of my leg as I changed newspapers in the bed. This is when it’s hardest to tear myself away from them – they’re still sweet and cuddly and quiet, and it’s fun looking for the beginning interactions with me and with each other.

Neurological Stimulation Day 14, Pups 16 days old

1. Tactical stimulation
Relaxed: ALL

2. Head held erect
Relaxed: Blue, Green, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow
Squirmed: Brown, Gray
Verbalized: Brown

3. Head pointed down
Relaxed: Blue, White
Struggled Mildly: Gray
Struggled Vigorously: Purple
Squirmed: Brown, Green, Pink, Red, Yellow
Verbalized: Brown, Green

4. Supine position
Relaxed: Blue, Gray, Pink, Red, White, Yellow
Struggled Mildly: Brown
Squirmed: Green, Purple
Verbalized: Brown, Green, Purple

5. Thermal stimulation
Relaxed: Blue, Gray, Pink, White, Yellow
Squirmed: Green, Purple, Red
Verbalized: Green
Moved off towel: Brown, White, Yellow

15 Days (1/1) I thawed out extra cubes of the raw meat diet and, after GloryToo had had her session hanging out with me this morning, took some into the whelping room. I sat down, put Mr. Gray in my lap, and offered him a small bit. He was immediately interested. They always begin by trying to suck in the meat as they do milk, so I gently opened his mouth and put a bit in it. He immediately swallowed that and looked for more. By the third bite he was reaching for it with his mouth open. I fed him until he lost interest, put him down and picked up Mr. Brown. He was interested, but not as much as Mr. Gray and soon told me he was done. By that time Mr. Gray had been trying to climb u into my lap so I again picked him up and offered him more meat, which he eagerly reached for, taking bites off my finger for quite some time. I always watch closely to be sure they are swallowing, but he was doing just fine. When he was content, I put him down and offered some to Mr. Green, who had lost weight last night. He wasn’t very interested, but Mr. Gray was again trying to get to the meat so I put Mr. Green down, picked up Mr. Gray, and let him have more. This time he was definitely reaching forward, mouth open, taking a bite and chewing before swallowing. He didn’t take a lot this time, which was fine. I don’t want them to eat too much at the beginning. Miss Yellow meanwhile had been swiveling her head back and forth, catching the scent of the meat and trying to find it. I lifted her into my lap and offered her some. She took a little but wasn’t that interested, so I put her down – but she had at least been rewarded for using her nose. I then let GloryToo into the room to clean everyone (and the cloth I had had over my lap) while I left to go wash my hands. When I returned, I changed the bedding, making sure Mr. Gray and Mr. Brown got a good nursing. Once everyone begins eating I’ll have a bowl of water in the whelping bed for them, but it’s too early yet.

Tonight while GloryToo was having her rest time outside the puppy room, I again offered Mr. Gray and Mr. Brown some raw meat. Mr. Gray was much more interested than his brother. Neither ate as much as they had this morning, but then GloryToo hadn’t been away from them for an hour. I had gone to friends’ for New Year’s dinner so our schedule was slightly off. I delayed doing neurological stimulation exercises and changing the bed until after GloryToo had been back in with them for a while.

When I opened the bed to change bedding, Mr. Blue was sleeping on his back, all sprawled out, the picture of bliss. Of course I had to rub his tummy and he stretched and looked like he smiled.

Today I noticed several almost sitting like real dogs! They still scrunch down a little but having their eyes open helps balance immensely and probably in a day or two they’ll sit nice and straight.

All the pups maintained eye contact during the supine position; in fact, if I hadn’t known their ears were not yet open I would have thought they were listening to me count 1001, 1002, 1003, 1004, 1005 as I timed the exercise.

Mr. Blue had gained a whopping 7 ounces tonight, followed by four who gained five ounces: Miss Pink, Mr. Green, Mr. Brown (yes!!) and Miss Yellow. Guess I can quit worrying about Mr. Green’s weight loss the day before. Mr. Gray and Mr. Red gained 4 ounces, Miss Purple gained one, and Mr. White stayed the same. All are over 3 pounds now, ranging from 3# 4 ounces (Mr. Brown & Mr. Gray) to 3# 15 ounces (Miss Yellow).

Neurological Stimulation Day 13, Pups 15 days old

1. Tactical stimulation
Relaxed: ALL

2. Head held erect
Relaxed: Blue, Brown, Gray, Green, Pink, Purple, White, Yellow
Squirmed: Red

3. Head pointed down
Relaxed: Blue, Green, Yellow
Squirmed: Brown, Gray, Pink, Purple, Red, White
Verbalized: Gray, Pink, Purple, Red, White

4. Supine position
Relaxed: Blue, Brown, Gray, Green, Red, White, Yellow
Struggled Vigorously: Purple
Squirmed: Pink
Verbalized: Pink; Purple yelled

5. Thermal stimulation
Relaxed: Blue, Brown, Gray, Green, Purple, Red, Yellow
Squirmed: White
Moved off towel: Blue, Green, Pink, Purple, White

14 Days (12/31) After I changed bedding this morning, I trimmed toenails as I put each pup back in the whelping bed. Most were sleepy enough that they didn’t resist much – Miss Yellow slept through the entire trimming – but Miss Purple yelled and thrashed and cried on while I did her front feet, though she relaxed as I finished with the back ones.
The puppies are now looking at me when I pick them up. They seem to be trying to figure out their world. Of course, they can only see vague shapes and the contrast between light and dark at the moment, but their world has vastly enlarged. I closed the window curtain, so they won’t have to deal with much intense light. Their eyes are blue and bothered by light; they won’t be comfortable in bright areas until their eyes turn brown, usually at 5 weeks or so. They search for darker places.

It’s time now to take down the pig rail, since they can see, are mobile and are big enough that GloryToo won’t lie on top of them or, if she does, strong enough to yell and move out from under her. Amazing how much room removing that 4″ rail on all four sides of the box gives them!

I took photos this afternoon. I placed a sheet, covered by a quilt, on the floor of the whelping room to provide them traction as well as a new tactile and odor experience. They definitely checked out the quilt! I took one out at a time for photos. They weren’t too happy with the camera flashes but took the experience in their stride, first sniffing, then walking, though often times doing more circling than moving in a certain direction. The pups showed varying responses. Some did their best to walk around, though their bellies were barely above the rug. Others just complained. At this age, don’t give any significance to who sleeps and who shows ambition; it just depends on what part of their eat/sleep pattern they happen to be when I get the camera out. Once their neurological system is all hooked up (hopefully next Sunday), then I’ll start looking for patterns that may give an indication of who will have a lot of working drive and who might be more easy-going.

Their faces are growing. I love their little Roman noses! They’re really noticeable from a side view. Their ears are growing in preparation for opening on the 21st day. They’re losing the “teacup handle look” and beginning to fold over. They won’t begin standing up like real German Shepherd ears until they’re at least 5 weeks old.
GloryToo kept sneaking onto the “photography quilt” as I changed puppies, which goofed things up because then they started sniffing, looking for her and didn’t pose well. I ended up doing a group photo so she could enjoy the quilt, too.

The black and tans are born very dark and lighten up as they get older, with the tan (barely visible on their undersides and feet) advancing to replace a lot of the black. You should be able to see differences in the amount of tan between the two-day-old photos and the ones I took today. Note, also, how much thicker their coats are now. By the time they can regulate their body temperature, on day 21, they’ll be even fuzzier.

As usual, I weighed each pup after doing its neurological stimulation exercises. I was surprised when Mr. Green was 2 ounces lighter than last night. I reweighed him but it remained the same. Guess I’ll be doing the daily weighings a couple more days to be sure he continues to gain. I put him on to nurse with the two smallest ones as I changed the bedding and he nursed normally and strongly. Sometimes, if they thrash around a lot on the scale, I don’t get accurate weights, but he had only gained an ounce each the two previous days so he’ll bear watching. I was tickled to see that Mr. Gray gained 4 ounces, which put him at the 3 pound mark. Mr. Brown also gained three ounces, ending up at 2# 15 ounces. Tomorrow they should all be over 3 pounds! Miss Purple also gained 3 ounces. Mr. White gained 6 ounces, while Mr. Blue, Miss Yellow and Mr. Red gained two. Miss Pink stayed the same.

Neurological Stimulation Day 12, Pups 14 days old

1. Tactical stimulation
Relaxed: ALL

2. Head held erect
Relaxed: Blue, Gray, Green, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow
Squirmed: Brown

3. Head pointed down
Relaxed: Yellow
Squirmed: Blue, Brown, Gray, Green, Pink, Purple, Red, White
Verbalized: Green, Pink, Purple, White

4. Supine position
Relaxed: Blue, Green, Pink, Yellow
Struggled Vigorously: Brown
Squirmed: Gray, Purple, Red, White
Verbalized: Purple yelled

5. Thermal stimulation
Relaxed: Green, Red
Squirmed: Blue, Brown, Gray, Pink, Purple, White, Yellow
Moved off towel: Blue, Purple

13 Days (12/30) They’re beginning to get up on their legs in a primitive walk when they want to move a distance, rather than a crawl. Are they strong! And difficult to get a weight on as they thrash around, several of them yelling at the restraint. Hopefully one more day weighing each day and giving extra nursing sessions and then I’ll just weigh them weekly.

Miss Yellow gained 6 ounces and Mr. White gained 5. Miss Pink, Mr. Blue, Mr. Brown, Miss Purple and Mr. Gray all gained 4 ounces. Mr. Red gained 3 ounces and Mr. Green gained one. All but Mr. Brown and Mr. Gray are now over 3 pounds.

We’re having bitter cold temperatures and snow, so I’m monitoring temperature in the puppy room frequently.  They don’t need to be kept as warm as they did the first week, but cold air comes in through GloryToo’s doggie door out to her private potty area and over the top of the gate at the room’s entrance, which happens to be close to the doggie door out of the house.  The miserable weather also means no one coming to visit – usually by this time all my training friends have come to enjoy the babies.

When I did the neurological stimulation exercises tonight I noticed that all looked at me through their 3/4 open eyes, mostly during the tactile stimulation and supine position. Mr. Blue, Miss Pink and Miss Yellow got up nearly totally onto to their feet and moved off the towel.

Neurological Stimulation Day 11, Pups 13 days old

1. Tactical stimulation
Relaxed: ALL
Squirmed: Gray (mildly)

2. Head held erect
Relaxed: Blue, Brown, Gray, Red, White, Yellow
Struggled Vigorously: Green
Squirmed: Pink, Purple
Verbalized: Green yelled

3. Head pointed down
Relaxed: Blue, White, Yellow
Struggled Vigorously: Green, Pink, Purple
Squirmed: Brown, Gray, Red
Verbalized: Green, Pink & Purple yelled

4. Supine position
Relaxed: Blue, Red, White, Yellow
Struggled Vigorously: Brown, Green, Pink, Purple
Verbalized: Brown, Gray, Pink; Green & Purple yelled

5. Thermal stimulation
Relaxed: Blue, Gray, White, Yellow
Squirmed: Brown, Gray, Pink, Purple, Red
Verbalized: Purple, Gray yelled
Moved off towel: Blue, Pink, Yellow

12 Days (12/29) Everyone’s eyes are at least half open. I noticed today for the first time that when I pick them up they are sniffing me quite intensely – and a couple even gave me kisses. They’re also often lying more like real dogs do, on their chests rather than flat on their sides.

My good friend, Laurie, came this afternoon to see the pups. GloryToo was thrilled with the company. Laurie is in our training group and is also my partner tester/observer for Alliance of Therapy Dogs, so my dogs see her often. GloryToo made sure Laurie gave her hugs and kisses as well as the pups.

I’m continuing to weigh pups daily to monitor growth on Mr. Gray and Mr. Brown. Miss Purple gained 6 ounces, Mr. Brown gained 3 ounces and Miss Pink & Mr. Red gained an ounce. Mr. Blue, Mr. Green, Miss Yellow, Mr. White and Mr. Gray gained 4 ounces. Six are now at least 3 pounds: Miss Pink, Mr. Blue, Mr. Green, Miss Yellow, Mr. White and Mr. Red. Miss Purple is close at 2# 12 ounces, while Mr. Brown and Mr. Gray are 2# 8 ounces.

When I did the Neurological Stimulation this afternoon, I noticed that the pups are responding to the tickle of the Q tip (tactile stimulation) by curling their toes down and then stretching them out as they brought the foot up.

Neurological Stimulation Day 10, Pups 12 days old

1. Tactical stimulation
Relaxed: ALL

2. Head held erect
Relaxed: Brown, Gray, Purple, Red, White, Yellow
Squirmed: Blue, Green, Pink
Verbalized: Pink yelled

3. Head pointed down
Relaxed: Yellow
Squirmed: Blue, Brown, Gray, Green, Pink, Purple, Red, White
Verbalized: Blue, Purple; Gray & Red yelled

4. Supine position
Relaxed: Yellow
Squirmed: Blue, Brown, Gray, Green, Pink, Purple, Red, White
Verbalized: Green yelled

5. Thermal stimulation
Squirmed: ALL
Verbalized: Green Yelled
Moved off towel: Purple

11 Days (12/28) Eyes are beginning to open! This morning most were mere slits that just admit a little light, but tonight the openings were large enough that I could see the shine of the eyes. As soon as they’re open, I’ll take more photos. It will be hard to take them, because the pups will be much more active plus they won’t like the flash at all, but I’ll see what I can do. They’re much stronger the last couple of days, pushing themselves up on their forelegs and trying to figure out how to manage the back ones and begin walking.

GloryToo is beginning to spend more and more time away from the pups. Every time I checked them today she was lying on her bed in the whelping room.

A friend, Joey, stopped by and I let her see the pups. GloryToo has been saying she’s bored so I figured she’d be fine with the visit even though she doesn’t know Joey. Between my bad knee and all the snow (the walker is totally useless in the snow so all I’m doing outside is filling bird feeders and waterers), and (also because of the knee as I have to be very careful not to twist it) I haven’t been doing any nosework hides like I usually do when the weather is too bad for their ball sessions the knee, all the dogs are a little antsy. At least, when it’s not too cold, the others can go in the car when I go to town, a couple each trip), but GloryToo can’t do that. Anyway, she greeted Joey with great glee. I had waited to change the bedding until Joey arrived so that she could visit with the pups on the old fleece pad that I dragged out onto the floor while I changed papers and put in the new fleece. GloryToo made sure she got as much attention as the pups!

Mr. Green gained a whopping 7 ounces, while Miss Pink & Mr. Red gained 6. Mr. Blue & Mr. White gained four ounces, Mr. Gray gained 2 ounces, and Mr. Brown gained 1. Miss Purple and Miss Yellow stayed the same. We have our first three-pounder – Mr. Red!

Neurological Stimulation Day 9, Pups 11 days old

1. Tactical stimulation
Slept or Went to Sleep: Blue, Red
Relaxed: Brown, Green, Pink, Purple, White, Yellow
Struggled Mildly: Gray

2. Head held erect
Slept or Went to Sleep: Green
Relaxed: Blue, Brown, Gray, Red, White, Yellow
Squirmed: Pink, Purple
Verbalized: Pink

3. Head pointed down
Relaxed: Yellow
Struggled Vigorously: Pink
Squirmed: Blue, Brown, Gray, Green, Purple, Red, White
Verbalized: Blue, White; Pink yelled

4. Supine position
Slept or Went to Sleep: White
Relaxed: Blue, Green, Yellow
Struggled Mildly: Gray
Struggled Vigorously: Brown, Purple
Squirmed: Pink, Red
Verbalized: Brown, Gray, Pink; Purple & Red yelled

5. Thermal stimulation
Relaxed: Brown, Yellow
Squirmed: Blue, Gray, Green, Pink, Purple, Red, White
Verbalized: Blue, Purple, Red

10 Days (12/27) I love to see their ears at this age, which were flat against their skull at birth, now sticking out like handles on a sugar bowl. Their eyelids are becoming defined but so far none are beginning to open.

It’s becoming difficult to weigh the pups as they thrash or move around so strongly that the scale jiggles. Mr. Red gained 6 ounces, Miss Yellow gained 5. Mr. Blue, Mr. Green and Mr. Brown gained 4 ounces; Miss Purple gained 3. Mr. Gray gained 2 ounces; Mr. White gained 1; and Miss Pink stayed the same. Mr. Brown and Mr. Gray are gaining well now and I’ll give extra nursing sessions probably one more day.

Neurological Stimulation Day 8, Pups 10 days old

1. Tactical stimulation
Relaxed: Blue, Gray, Pink, Purple, Yellow
Struggled Vigorously: Green
Squirmed: Brown, Red, White

2. Head held erect
Relaxed: Blue, Gray, Green, Pink, Purple, White, Yellow
Struggled Vigorously: Red
Squirmed: Brown
Verbalized: Red yelled

3. Head pointed down
Relaxed: Green
Squirmed: Blue, Brown, Gray, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow
Verbalized: Brown, Gray, Pink; Purple, Red and White yelled

4. Supine position
Relaxed: Blue, Gray
Struggled Mildly: Brown
Struggled Vigorously: Purple, Red, White
Squirmed: Green, Pink, Yellow
Verbalized: Gray, Pink, Yellow; Purple, Red & White yelled

5. Thermal stimulation
Relaxed: Brown, Green
Squirmed: Blue, Gray, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow
Verbalized: Pink; Purple & Red yelled

9 Days (12/26) A really peaceful day for the pups, which was illustrated by their responses to the neurological stimulation. They pretty much said, “Do whatever you like; just don’t disturb me.”

They’re beginning to pee and poop on their own, rather than needing GloryToo to lick them to stimulate them to eliminate. I’m going to start changing the fleece pad (and underlying newspapers) twice a day so that the bed stays nice and clean and smells clean.

I continue to give Mr. Brown and Mr. Gray two to three private nursing sessions a day. Mr. White gained a whopping 7 ounces – I weighed him twice to be sure – and now is larger than Mr. Red, who tonight is third largest, behind Mr. White and Miss Yellow. Miss Pink and Miss Yellow gained 4 ounces, Mr. Brown gained 3 ounces, Miss Purple gained 2 ounces, Mr. Green, Mr. Gray ad Mr. Red gained 1 ounce, and Mr. Blue stayed the same. All have now doubled their birth rate AND are at least two pounds. You expect them to double their birth weight in 7 – 10 days so they’re right on schedule.

Neurological Stimulation Day 7, Pups 9 days old

1. Tactical stimulation
Relaxed: Blue, Brown, Gray, Green, Purple, White, Yellow
Struggled Vigorously: Pink
Squirmed: Red

2. Head held erect
Slept or Went to Sleep: Blue
Relaxed: Brown, Gray, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow
Squirmed: Green

3. Head pointed down
Relaxed: Blue
Squirmed: Brown, Gray, Green, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow
Verbalized: Pink, Red; Brown & Green yelled

4. Supine position
Slept or Went to Sleep: Blue
Relaxed: Pink, Red
Struggled Vigorously: Green
Squirmed: Brown, Gray, Purple, Yellow
Verbalized: Purple, Red; Brown & Green yelled

5. Thermal stimulation
Squirmed: ALL
Verbalized: Brown, Green

8 Days (12/25) The big pups are so fat they have rolls on their necks!!!! Miss Pink, Mr. Blue and Mr. White have now doubled their weight. Miss Purple gained 5 ounces; Mr. Blue and Mr. Red gained four ounces; Miss Pink, Mr. Green, Mr. White, Mr. Gray and Mr. Yellow gained 3 ounces; and Mr. Brown gained 1 ounce. Once they’re past the critical first week, I usually weigh them only every two or three days, but I’ll continue weighing daily until I no longer need to give Mr. Gray and Mr. Brown special nursing sessions.

I always use the weight chart from the previous litter, changing dates and weights each day as I enter this litter’s. It helps me compare growth rates between this litter and the one before. This litter, even with three extra pups, is growing at almost exactly the same rate as Spirit’s litter. GloryToo is doing a great job. Of course she’s getting four big raw meat meals a day plus I keep her bowl of kibble full.

She now understands the special nursing sessions and no longer keeps trying to get up and check on the other pups. In fact, she has decided she enjoys the peaceful sessions and has turned them into cuddle sessions, leaning against me while I pet her. I took a book in with me each time today and read as the pups nursed. Also wore my watch and timed the session – at one of them it took 20 minutes before both pups were content. The others were shorter, but then they had been nursing when I went into the room and several of the big ones were a ways away, asleep, so they were taking advantage of less competition.

Tonight there were a couple who yelled their displeasure during the neurological exercises – Mr. White yelled on three and Mr. Brown yelled on one. Several others muttered as usual but those two were mad!

As I cleaned the bed, I saw Mr. Blue roll completely over. And then Miss Purple stretched out on her back in the Irresistible Pose, so of course I had to stop what I was doing and rub her little tummy. She stretched and yawned – so cute!

Neurological Stimulation Day 6, Pups 8 days old

1. Tactical stimulation
Slept or Went to Sleep: Blue
Relaxed: Purple, Red, Yellow
Struggled Vigorously: White
Squirmed: Brown, Gray, Green, Pink

2. Head held erect
Slept or Went to Sleep: Gray
Relaxed: Blue, Purple, Red, Yellow
Struggled Vigorously: White
Squirmed: Brown, Green, Pink
Verbalized: Brown; White yelled

3. Head pointed down
Relaxed: Red, Yellow
Struggled Vigorously: White
Squirmed: Blue, Brown, Gray, Green, Pink, Purple
Verbalized: Pink; Brown & White yelled

4. Supine position
Slept or Went to Sleep: Yellow
Struggled Vigorously: Brown, Green
Squirmed: Blue, Gray, Pink, Purple, Red, White
Verbalized: Brown, Green, Pink, Purple; White yelled

5. Thermal stimulation
Struggled then settled: Brown
Squirmed: Blue, Gray, Green, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow
Verbalized: Brown, Green, Pink, Red, White

7 Days (12/24) Mr. Red still had his collar on this morning. Amazing. He must like that big rickrack.
GloryToo was eager today to spend time out of the whelping room. The first time this morning she lasted about 5 minutes, while this afternoon she took the entire hour and enjoyed stretching out on my bed as I read and rested my knee.

After each time she had been away from the pups, I got her to lie down on the cushion (which was supposed to be for me to sit on but which she has appropriated) and put the smallest pups (Mr. Gray and Mr. Brown) on her to nurse, adding the other two smaller pups, Mr. Green and Miss Purple, after a while so that they also got a head start on food. The cushion cover didn’t give the pups enough traction so I have put a cloth over “my” cushion so that they can push with their hind feet as they nurse vigorously.

All nine have survived the critical first week. Hurrah!

I put the three smallest pups on GloryToo for an extra nursing while I changed the bed. She has finally accepted the “lie still on the cushion and let the smallest ones nurse” and needed to enforcement from me to lie still as they did, so I decided to trim toenails. These guys are vigorous, happy and fat – and very squirmy as I try to trim their nails. Between that and my bifocals making me slow to focus and cut in between squirms, it took a while. The only one content to lie in my lap and sleep while I did her nails was Miss Yellow. The others all got their first lesson in restraint and protested, but GloryToo only lifted her head, checked that I had them, and put it down to doze so she didn’t disturb the nursing pups.

Tonight I again weighed the pups before I changed the bedding. Mr. Green gained 4 ounces. Mr. Brown and Mr. Gray gained 3 ounces–those extra nursing sessions are working! Miss Pink, Miss Yellow, Miss Purple & Mr. Blue gained 2 ounces. Mr. Red gained one ounce while Mr. White stayed the same. Mr. Green and Miss Yellow have doubled their birth weights!!!

Neurological Stimulation Day 5, Pups 7 days old

1. Tactical stimulation
Slept or Went to Sleep: Gray
Relaxed: Blue, Green
Struggled Vigorously: Red
Squirmed: Brown, Pink, Purple, White, Yellow
Verbalized: Red

2. Head held erect
Relaxed: Blue, Gray, Red, White
Struggled Mildly: Yellow
Struggled Vigorously: Brown
Squirmed: Green, Pink, Purple
Verbalized: Green, Purple, Yellow

3. Head pointed down
Relaxed: Brown, White
Struggled Vigorously: Purple
Squirmed: Green, Pink, Purple
Verbalized: Green, Purple, Yellow

4. Supine position
Relaxed: Red
Struggled Vigorously: Blue, Green
Squirmed: Brown, Gray, Pink, Purple, White, Yellow
Verbalized: ALL, with Purple yelling

5. Thermal stimulation
Squirmed: ALL
Verbalized: Purple, Red

6 Days (12/23) GloryToo obviously considers that the pups are doing fine, as she’s beginning to spend a little time out of the room socializing with me and just hanging out. This morning she actually stayed out for 30 minutes before before she walked down the hall and asked to go back to her family. This is possible because the pups are now more efficient nursers and get their fill much more quickly, then fall asleep so that she can leave them after all have had a chance to nurse. She’s eating well, four large meals a day consisting of a raw meat diet, with kibble available all the time.

Denise came this afternoon to do poop detail for me. We then adjourned to the whelping room so she could again see the pups. GloryToo obviously told her she was beginning to get bored and was glad she came. We sat on the floor and held puppies and visited. Once Denise had seen Mr. Gray and Mr. Brown, I convinced GloryToo to lie beside us and let them have a private nursing session. I gave Mr. Green next to Denise and, when she was done enjoying him, put him on GloryToo as well, since he’s third smallest.
After she visited with each of the larger ones, we put them back in the whelping bed so they didn’t disturb the three happily nursing ones. While Denise was holding and laughing over Mr. Red, more friends arrived to shovel snow for me. GloryToo knows Brenda, who is also in our training groups, as well as her two younger daughters, Billie and Grace. She doesn’t know the third daughter, Annie, but had no trouble with them joining us. We all sat on the floor and everyone held a pup for a while. I put the three smaller ones in the bed since they had already had enough excitement, but there were plenty of others to go around. When they had their puppy fix, Denise left for home while Brenda and the girls had me show them where to shovel pathways around the house and out to the puppy pens. We’re expecting more snow so we need to keep the way to the puppy areas open for the three weeks before the puppies move outside.

The pups are more active, and stronger too, which was obvious as I picked them up to put them on the scale to weigh. They’re thrashing around, which makes it hard to get an accurate weight. Are they ever forceful at their nursing! They place a foot on either side of the teat and push hard while at the same time pull back and push in with their head to get the milk flowing as fast as possible. The gulps as they swallow are quite audible. Then as they begin to get full, all the activity calms and they just drink contentedly. When I weighed them, Miss Pink and Miss Yellow had gained four ounces; Mr. Blue, Mr. Brown, Mr. White & Mr. Red had gained 3 ounces; Mr. Green had gained 2 ounces; and Mr. Gray and Miss Purple had stayed the same. After I cleaned the bed, I put the larger pups in it and left the two smallest, Mr. Blown and Mr. Gray, on the old fleece for about 15 minutes with GloryToo for an extra nursing session. I don’t want them getting pushed away by the larger pups.

Mr. Red’s rickrack collar is still in place.  Hurrah!

Neurological Stimulation Day 4, Pups 6 days old

1. Tactical stimulation
Relaxed: Blue, Brown, Green, Pink, Red, Yellow
Struggled then settled: Gray, Purple
Squirmed: White
Verbalized: White

2. Head held erect
Relaxed: Blue, Brown, Green, Pink, Red, Yellow
Struggled Vigorously: Purple, White
Squirmed: Gray, Purple
Verbalized: Purple, White

3. Head pointed down
Relaxed: Blue, Gray, Green
Struggled Vigorously: Purple
Squirmed: Brown, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow
Verbalized: Purple, Red, White

4. Supine position
Relaxed: Blue, Yellow
Struggled Mildly: Purple
Struggled Vigorously: Gray, Red
Struggled then settled: White
Squirmed: Brown, Green, Pink
Verbalized: Pink, Purple, Red

5. Thermal stimulation
Squirmed: ALL
Verbalized: Purple

***

Prep

12/11 The puppies have dropped from high in the rib cage to the abdomen area – her lower sides are much larger while there almost seems to be a space up higher. The puppies are just too large to remain up under the ribs any longer. She sways when she walks. She has lots of mammary development, getting ready to lactate, and when she moves she clicks as her udder sways back and forth. Those are signs that we’re moving towards delivery. She is HUGE. And she’s very miserable. Looking at her, I worried that we’ll make it until the 15th, which is when we scheduled the x-ray to see how many pups she has so I know for sure that we get all of them safely into the world.

12/12 This morning I began taking GloryToo’s temperature twice daily, a week before her due date. Usually their temperature begins to drop as they get close to delivery, so I take it each morning as soon as we awake, before she stirs around any, and in the evening just before bedtime, when she’s been resting quietly. Usually, the week before they whelp, they’ll range back and forth between just over 100 degrees to tantalizingly close to 99. When the temperature drops below 99 and stays there, they’ll generally whelp within 12 – 24 hours. GloryToo of course had to be different. Her temperature stayed relatively high the whole time. This morning her temperature was 101.0.
She’s still eating kibble, though less and less, so I’ve upped the amount of the raw meat diet. All of mine get a little of the raw meat diet first thing in the morning, then a “lunch” of kibble when we’ve finished all the individual ball sessions (noon – 1 depending on how long it takes to do the sessions), and kibble for supper about 6:30. I also began adding some raw beef liver to her lunch. I always save hearts and liver anyone gives me just for the near-to-whelping moms because organ meat helps induce milk production. Even if they begin refusing the raw beef cubes, they will gladly eat the heart or liver.
Her temperature at bedtime was 100.7.

12/13 Morning temperature was 100.2.  I began to really watch her as her behavior started to change. She is restless and is staying close to me as I wander around the house and will get on the bed while I am reading and get me to rub her tummy, placing herself so that she can lean her head back and look into my eyes with her own and make sure I know how miserable she was.
Whenever I have to be gone, I am now leaving her in the whelping room where I have the whelping box under an old table to create a “den” for the new puppies. The whelping bed is full of shredded newspaper so she can “nest” to her heart’s content. The “pig rails” are up around the sides. For the first couple of weeks they give the fragile, blind pups a place to squeeze into in case mom lies upon them without realizing it. I have a doggie door going to a small private yard where she can potty if she needs to. All is ready.
She’ll pee in her little maternity yard but is very reluctant to poop, so every time I get home I let her into the big yard. While she’s outside I watch her, because mommas-to-be can quickly find a hole and disappear, nature’s instinct to find a safe place to whelp. Often they’ll go from dog house to dog house, slip in, rearrange the straw, then come out and head to the next one. GloryToo hasn’t started nesting yet but I’m still keeping her in sight.
Her crate is right by my bed so I can hear if she becomes restless during the night. I won’t get much sleep from now until the pups arrive because any little noise brings me fully awake.
Her temperature at bedtime was 100.4.

12/14 Morning temperature was 100.9. Her temperature at bedtime was 101.2.

12/15 Morning temperature was 100.7.
We x-rayed her later in the afternoon. German Shepherds are so thick that ultrasounds are of little value other than to confirm pregnancy; that’s why I do an x-ray. The x-rays must be done in the very last week of pregnancy, because the skeletons don’t calcify until then and would not show on x-rays any earlier. I always x-ray them just before their due date to get an idea of how many puppies to expect–so I know whether she is done, or just taking a break, when she shows no signs of another pup coming. Sure don’t want one left inside because she just got too tired. We saw 10 puppies – a lot more than the 4 we saw on the ultrasound at 4 weeks in whelp. She has gained well over 20#. No wonder she’s so miserable! She normally weights 75# so that’s a significant increase.
I began cutting more newspapers into strips in preparation for whelping. The strips absorb fluids as each pup is born and are easy to grab in handfuls to remove before placing more dry papers in the box.
Her temperature at bedtime was 100.4.

12/16 A quiet night last night, though she was definitely more restless. Her temperature first thing this morning was 100.5.
My knee had really been hurting so on December 1st the ortho doctor did an MRI, which showed edema in the marrow of the femur. The doctor ordered me to stay of my leg for six weeks and use a walker, threatening a knee replacement if the next MRI doesn’t show it’s healed. It hurts bad enough that I’m doing as little as possible and trying to intersperse any activity with sessions of sitting on the bed, reading. Very hard to get anything done. And I have this litter coming! One thing I had to eliminate was the dogs’ morning ball sessions, which worries me because GloryToo needs to stay in good shape and also to move enough to eliminate properly since she spends the rest of the day reclining. There’s nothing I can do about it other than hope that her muscles stay in good tone for whelping.
At bedtime her temperature was 100.3.

Whelping (12/17) I didn’t get to take her temperature first thing upon awakening as usual because she said she needed to go potty. So I let her out and watched her until she came in. I planned to let her snuggle on the bed with me for a bit and then take her temperature, but I noticed a green-black discharge, which indicates a puppy in distress and often the beginning of labor. We quickly adjourned to the whelping room, where I got my sleeping bag and mattress out and settled on the whelping room floor to observe her, reading a book so as to appear relaxed so she would relax and let me see what was going on. She was restless for a while but eventually she quit pacing and settled in the whelping bed, which I still had under the table so she had a secluded place to rest. Then she lay down on the dog bed in the room, and after a while I took her temperature, which was 99.5. She remained calm for a while and then asked to go out, heading to her crate, so we adjourned to the bedroom. I then offered her her raw meat breakfast and she quickly gulped it down, a good sign that whelping wasn’t imminent. She also ate her raw meat and liver lunch. She wasn’t relaxed, though, wanting to keep eye contact as she rested in her crate or, when she was out, lying on the bed with me while I rubbed her swollen belly. I saw no more puppy-in-distress discharge.
The day passed quietly but, just as I was going to change clothes to go to 5:00 Sunday evening Mass, she became agitated. We moved to the whelping room and within five minutes she went into labor and about 5 minutes later delivered a puppy. Miss Pink was born at 4:43 and weighed 18 ounces. At birth she showed no other hairs than black so she’s either going to be solid black or a bicolor. Her half-sister Lovely, from GloryToo’s first litter, didn’t show any brown hairs until she was 3 days old and ended up a bicolor, so I will wait a few days to declare color definitely on any of these pups who are solid black at first.
For whelping, I pull the whelping bed out into the middle of the room so that I can access all of it, have plenty of light and put out a small heater to warm the area so the pups don’t chill when they’re wet from just being born. They usually average 16 ounces, though with such a large litter I expected them to be a little smaller. Miss Pink kept trying to nurse, although it seemed like every time she found and attached to a nipple, GloryToo would move or else lick her and dislodge her, GloryToo being quite agitated. I began to be worried that she might get discouraged and give up. That can happen with newborns. I usually wait to weigh a newborn and put on its collar until GloryToo is busy with a new arrival and not too worried about me handling the pup, so in the photos the new ones are usually “naked” as well as wet. I didn’t get a lot of birth photos as GloryToo continued to be quite restless, moving when I moved to try to get photos.
A very dark male followed at 6:02. Mr. Blue weighed 16 ounces and joined in the attempts at nursing without much success. Finally, after his birth, GloryToo quieted down and stretched out to let them nurse. Both quickly got to work, intent on making up for lost time. He was followed at 6:20 by another very dark sixteen ounce male, Mr. Green.
GloryToo, thank goodness, now took a short break to rest with her three pups so I could go potty, check on the big dogs and take a deep breath. The next pup was born at 7:55, an obviously black and tan male with white on the toes of three feet, which indicates he has the fading pigment gene so won’t be super dark. He weighed 16 ounces and I put a brown collar on him. I decided to try the Velcro puppy collars this time since, with my knee, I thought it might be difficult to kneel while sewing rickrack collars. They have some “extra” colors – and I was able to order actual collars to use later, ones that match all 12 colors of the Velcro collars. Brown is one of the new colors.
It is perfectly normal for bitches to take up to two hours between pups. I’ll sit by the whelping bed and read a book, frequently checking mom as she peacefully nurses her pups. GloryToo, though, wasn’t following the normal plan. I wasn’t seeing any contractions. Instead, she’d stand up and circle, circle, circle, tail cocked up like they do when a puppy is coming, then lie back down to care for the pups just as I had moved them onto the heating pad in the corner of the box to keep them warm and safe from being stepped on. This worried me as that puppy in the birth canal could suffocate if it didn’t come out relatively soon after detaching from the uterus. Meanwhile, I was busy trying to keep her off the heating pad as she’d dive for her pups and try to get to them in the corner, ending up on top of them with pups squalling, making her agitated again. This is definitely not normal whelping behavior.
Eventually, at 8:51, she had a male, but I could immediately tell he was in trouble. Some of the puppy-in-distress fluid came out, too, which made me think he was the cause of the earlier discharge. He was gasping like they do when they’re dying, poor guy. She got him cleaned up and he continued to breathe, gasping less as time went on, but he wasn’t moving his body at all and I knew he wouldn’t make it thought I massaged and stimulated him and put him on the heating pad. He was also thin and dehydrated – I could lift up loose skin along his back – so I’m thinking he was crowded out by the other pups and his placenta tore during whelping. He died after a few minutes. I always hate it when this happens, but life is fragile and so far all these pups are much larger than usual for a large litter. There’s only so much room inside mom, and sometimes a pup doesn’t get what he needs.
GloryToo had another pups at 9:13, a lighter, obviously black and tan, female who weighed 17 ounces and upon whom I put a purple collar. She then had another female, a very dark one also weighing 17 ounces, at 10:00. I put a yellow collar on her.
GloryToo then settled down to nurse her pups and relax for a while. It’s normal for them to wait up to two hours between pups. When, at midnight, she showed no signs of resuming labor, fearing her uterus might be too tired to deliver the last three pups, I gave her a shot of oxytocin, a hormone that will induce contractions. She promptly went into labor, and at 12:09 delivered a very dark male weighing 17 ounces, upon whom I put a white collar. Then she delivered another male, a 16 ounce black and tan, upon whom I put a gray collar.
Then she settled down with her family, convinced she was done. I, however, knew there should be one more. I gave her the two-hour break, then a oxytocin shot, followed 30 minutes later by another shot. No response at all. By this time it was 3:30 a.m. I called the on-call vet and woke her up. She said she’d meet me at the clinic in 20 minutes. While the car heated up, I located a box and lined it with towels. I put the heating pad inside, piled in the eight living puppies, put another towel over them and carried them to the car. I loaded GloryToo in the car and then went back for my walker. When I got to the clinic, Dr. Karen had looked at the x-ray that Dr. Cindy took on Friday and agreed that there were 10 pups. We then put GloryToo on the x-ray table – difficult as she didn’t want to leave her puppies, who were on the counter with the heating pad plugged in to keep the box warm. Yep, there was still a pup in there. He was way down in the abdomen, not making any effort to try to move to the birth canal. In fact, he seemed to be all stretched out as if enjoying having the uterus to himself after all the others left and quit crowding him!
We put a blanket down in an exam room and put the pups on it (on the heating pad), so GloryToo could care for them. Smart little buggers – they already can locate the heating pad and head for it when they’re done nursing. Dr. Karen gave GloryToo a calcium shot and waited to see if it would start labor (if their calcium level gets low they often quit contracting). Nothing. After about 15 minutes she gave GloryToo another oxytocin shot and waited another 15 minutes or so. Again nothing. Since GloryToo was not responding, she said we’d have to do a c-section and called a tech in to help with surgery. It took Kandy a good 20 minutes to get up, dressed and to the clinic, while GloryToo rested peacefully, nursing the pups. As soon as they knocked GloryToo out, I took the puppies home, cleaned up the whelping bed (took out the shredded newspapers used while whelping, scrubbed the whelping bed, let it dry, put down pages of newspaper then an absorbent fleece bedding that will wick moisture away from the pups plus give them good traction, put the pups in, pushed the bed under the table to create the draft-free, private den for them, made sure they were warm and comfortable and dozed a little while I waited for vet to call that GloryToo was awake and ready to go home. It was just about 6 a.m. when I took the box with the heating pad back to the clinic. The vet and tech loaded the puppy into box and carried it to the car and loaded GloryToo into car so I didn’t have to fight my way in and out with the walker, which is not good on snow. It was 6 a.m. when I headed home, carried the box in and put the twenty-ounce very dark pup in with his littermates while GloryToo followed. I put a red collar on him, rolled out my cushion and sleeping bag and crashed beside the whelping bed. I didn’t get much sleep, though, because the puppies were restless and complaining. I kept turning on the flashlight and check to be sure GloryToo hadn’t laid on anyone, and if the pup was a distance away from her I’d put it back against a nipple, and wearily try to get back to sleep. All seemed okay, so I finally decided she wasn’t letting down her milk because of the anesthesia still in her system. FINALLY, after close to two hours, she must have let it down because it was like someone flipped a switch – suddenly all the pups were quiet and, thankfully, I was able to nap lightly.
About 10 a.m. it was obvious that all was well so I left my sleeping bag and headed to my bed for a decent nap. I haven’t pulled an all-nighter for years and years and can definitely tell that I’ve aged in the meanwhile. I was dead. And my knee was really hurting after all the up and down, up and down and trips to the vet. But we have 9 vigorous pups and GloryToo is fine, so it’s worth it. Given the size of the pups – none less than 16 ounces, I’m amazed that it went as well as it did. That’s a lot of pushing for a mother.

1 Day (12/18) I left the family alone the rest of the day, letting all of them rest and recover from the stress of being born, just going in frequently to check that no pup was lost or cold. I have to frequently monitor the little heater in the bed. It’s very hard to get it adjusted so they’re warm enough but not too warm – and mom isn’t too hot. The pups have figured out how to find mom when she changes position so all was quiet each time I checked.
It’s not unusual to lose pups at birth or in the week after birth, when things that go wrong in development come to light after the pup is no longer nourished through the placenta but is breathing and eliminating. keep close watch over them during that first critical week, weighing them each day to be sure that they are nursing properly and getting enough milk to grow.
Each night I pull their fleece bedding out on the floor and let them nurse while I change newspapers and put in new bedding. That way I can check that all are nursing well. I often put just the smallest pups, or the ones gaining least, on the mom and observe them nursing as I change papers and bedding. They may just be smaller boned and will grow to be smaller adults, but I’ll give them extra attention just in case they should be the same size as the others but were crowed in the uterus and didn’t get enough nutrients and now are not able to compete for teats with the larger ones. The whelping bed has a hinged side that I let down to form a ramp when I change bedding. Once the pups begin moving around, I keep it down so they have an easy way out into the room and back to the bed as I begin helping them to learn to potty away from “home”.
The moms often lie down on the “old” pad and nurse the pups as I work, although generally what happens is that they wander around and wake all the puppies, who squirm and try to move towards her and roll off the pad onto the linoleum floor. All of this makes them mad. I eventually return all of them to the pad but I believe that a little stress from early in life makes for a stronger, more resilient adult dog, so I don’t hurry to rescue them.
I have noticed the moms in my female line – GloryToo is 5th generation of that line starting with Glory (Roche Juane’s Triumph of Celhaus; the current GloryToo is named after her great-great-grandmother) – don’t rush to rescue them either. They’re there, they’re watching, they check on the pups, but they allow them to exercise their lungs and feet a bit. The very first mom in that line, the original Glory, was fascinating to watch. She would lie to the side of the whelping box and make them find her. As they matured, she’d go to the edge of the whelping room and make them track her across the newspaper-covered floor. When they moved outside, she’d make them work even harder. When she returned to the puppy yard, she’d go to them and touch them, check on them wake them up, the go lie down and watch them acting like a disturbed ant bed, yelling their displeasure before finally putting their noses to the ground and searching for her. First to come got the best teats (the back ones produce more milk more easily/faster than the front teats); latecomers might not get their fill but they’d sure be faster off the mark the next time. She taught me a lot and since then I’ve never interfered with the moms as they begin teaching, from the first week, the pups to be go getters.
After I changed the bedding, I weighed the pups as I put them back into the bed. Miss Pink, Mr. Blue & Miss Yellow had each gained two ounces. The others still weighed the same as at birth. Sometimes they’ll drop an ounce or two after the stress of birth–and my old baby scale will give varied weights depending upon just where the pup is on the “lid” or whether it’s moving around a lot and causing me to guess. As long as they’re quiet and close to mom, I don’t worry. When they’re warm and happy, they’ll coo a bit under their breath. I love to hear that cooing because it tells me all is well with the world. If one is keening weakly or is way away from the others, I get worried and sit down to give it a nursing session alone, so I can tell if it just got a little chilled from getting away from GloryToo or if there’s something wrong. Sometimes the mothers know there’s something wrong with one and push it away, but these pups are doing great.

This year I began doing the early neurological stimulation on my litters I was pleased to see that the introduction mentioned my practice of stressing them a little each night as I change their bed:

Man for centuries has tried various methods to improve performance. Some of the
Methods have stood the test of time, others have not. Those who first conducted research
on this topic believed that the period of early age was a most important time for stimulation
because of its rapid growth and development. Today, we know that early life is a time when
the physical immaturity of an organism is susceptible and responsive to a restricted but
important class of stimuli. Because of its importance many studies have focused their efforts
on the first few months of life.
Newborn pups are uniquely different from adults in several respects. When born,
their eyes are closed and their digestive system has a limited capacity requiring periodic
stimulation by their dam who routinely licks them in order to promote digestion. At this age
they are only able to smell, suck, and crawl. Body temperature is maintained by snuggling
close to their mother or by crawling into piles with other littermates. During these first few
weeks of immobility, researchers noted that these immature and under-developed canines
are sensitive to a restricted class of stimuli which includes thermal and tactile stimulation,
motion and locomotion.
Other mammals such as mice and rats are also born with limitations, and they also
have been found to demonstrate a similar sensitivity to the effects of early stimulation.
Studies show that removing them from their nest for three minutes each day during the first
five to ten days of life causes body temperatures to fall below normal. This mild form of
stress is sufficient to stimulate hormonal, adrenal and pituitary systems. When tested later
as adults, these same animals were better able to withstand stress than littermates who were
not exposed to the same early stress exercises. As adults, they responded to stress in “a
graded” fashion, while their non-stressed littermates responded in an “all or nothing way.”
Data involving laboratory mice and rats also shows that stress in small amounts
can produce adults who respond maximally.
from “Early Neurological Stimulation, Introduction” by Dr. Carmen L. Battaglia

2 Days (12/19) I checked the pups frequently throughout the day. All was peaceful. GloryToo is keeping everyone happy. What a good mom!!! Of course I expect that since one of the things that I love about my female line is that they’re excellent mothers.
The puppies had their first visitor this afternoon. One of my friends in our nosework training group, Denise, stopped by to do poop detail since it’s very hard for me to do it with the walker. Since GloryToo knows her from training, I let her take a peek at the pups. GloryToo greeted Denise enthusiastically and let me pick up the pups to show her. As we looked at each one, I checked for any brown hairs appearing around the anus or on the inner legs. Mr. Brown, Miss Purple, Miss Yellow, Mr. Red and Mr. Gray are definitely black and tans. The others still look solid black.
Tonight I took individual photos (on the clean fleece pad) before I changed bedding and weighed the pups. Mr. White gained 4 ounces! Mr. Green and Mr. Brown each gained three ounces. Mr. Blue & Miss Pink gained two ounces, while Miss Yellow and Mr. Gray gained one ounce.
I began putting a bowl of kibble in the whelping room to help encourage GloryToo to eat more than just the raw meat diet. I was pleased that, as I was cleaning the whelping bed, she went to the bowl and ate nearly all of the 2 cups I’d put in it.

I’m going to do the neurological stimulations in the evening just before I change the bedding, mainly to give Mr. Red a little time to catch up and be closer to three days old when I do the first one tomorrow.
Here’s what the stimulations involve:

Methods of Stimulation

The U.S. Military in their canine program developed a method that still serves as a
guide to what works. In an effort to improve the performance of dogs used for military
purposes, a program called “Bio Sensor” was developed. Later, it 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. Their
studies confirmed that there are specific time periods early in life when neurological
stimulation has optimum results. The first period involves a window of time that begins at
the third day of life and lasts until the sixteenth day. It is believed that because this interval
of time is a period of rapid neurological growth and development, and therefore is of great
importance to the individual.
The “Bio Sensor” program was also concerned with early neurological stimulation
in order to give the dog a superior advantage. Its development utilized six exercises which
were designed to stimulate the neurological system. Each workout involved handling puppies
once each day. The workouts required handling them one at a time while performing a series
of five exercises. Listed in order of preference, the handler starts with one pup and stimulates
it using each of the five exercises. The handler completes the series from beginning to end
before starting with the next pup. The handling of each pup once per day involves the
following exercises:

1. Tactical stimulation (between toes)
Holding the pup in one hand, the handler gently stimulates (tickles) the pup between
the toes on any one foot using a Q-tip. It is not necessary to see that the pup is feeling
the tickle. Time of stimulation 3 – 5 seconds.

2. Head held erect
Using both hands, the pup is held perpendicular to the ground, (straight up), so that
its head is directly above its tail. This is an upwards position. Time of stimulation
3 – 5 seconds.

3. Head pointed down
Holding the pup firmly with both hands the head is reversed and is pointed downward
so that it is pointing towards the ground. Time of stimulation 3 – 5 seconds

4. Supine position
Hold 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. Time of stimulation 3-5
seconds.

5. Thermal stimulation
Use a damp towel that has been cooled in a refrigerator for at least five minutes. Place
the pup on the towel, feet down. Do not restrain it from moving. Time of stimulation
3-5 seconds.

These five exercises will produce neurological stimulations, none of which naturally occur
during this early period of life. Experience shows that sometimes pups will resist these exercises,
others will appear unconcerned. In either case a caution is offered to those who plan to use them.

These exercises impact the neurological system by kicking it into action earlier than would
be normally expected, the result being an increased capacity that later will help to make
the difference in its performance. Those who play with their pups and routinely handle them
should continue to do so because the neurological exercises are not substitutions for routine
handling, play socialization or bonding.

Benefits of Stimulation
Five benefits have been observed in canines that were exposed to the Bio Sensor stimulation
exercises. The benefits noted were:

1. Improved cardio vascular performance (heart rate)
2. Stronger heart beats,
3. Stronger adrenal glands,
4. More tolerance to stress, and
5. 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.
Secondary effects were also noted regarding test performance. In simple problem solving tests
using detours in a maze, the non-stimulated pups became extremely aroused, whined a great
deal, and made many errors. Their stimulated littermates were less disturbed or upset by test
conditions and when comparisons were made, the stimulated littermates were more calm in
the test environment, made fewer errors and gave only an occasional distress sound when stressed.
from “Early Neurological Stimulation, Methods of Stimulation” by Dr. Carmen L. Battaglia

3 Days (12/20) The pups were happy and cooing when I checked on them first thing this morning.
I did the first day’s stimulation tests this evening. It will be interesting to see if any pups consistently respond to a test in the same way.

Neurological Stimulation Day 1, Pups 3 days old
1. Tactical stimulation
Relaxed: Gray, Pink, Purple
Struggled Mildly: White, Red
Struggled then settled: Brown
Squirmed: Blue, Purple, Red

2. Head held erect
Relaxed: Gray, Purple, Yellow
Struggled Vigorously: Brown
Struggled then settled: Pink, White
Squirmed: Blue, Green, Red
Verbalized: Brown

3. Head pointed down
Struggled Mildly: Brown
Struggled Vigorously: Blue
Squirmed: Gray, Green, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow
Verbalized: Blue, Brown, Gray, Pink

4. Supine position
Slept or Went to Sleep: Purple
Relaxed: Blue, Purple
Struggled Vigorously: Brown, Red
Struggled then settled: Blue
Squirmed: Gray, Green, Pink, White, Yellow
Verbalized: Brown, Gray, Pink, Red, Yellow

5. Thermal stimulation
Squirmed: ALL
Verbalized: Brown, Gray, Pink
Moved off towel: Red

Puppies continue to thrive. Mr. Blue & Mr. Green gained 4 ounces, while Mr. White and Miss Yellow gained three. Mr. Gray and Miss Pink gained an ounce, while Mr. Brown, Mr. Red and Miss Purple stayed the same. I gave Mr. Gray and Mr. Brown some private nursing time to be sure they’re getting enough milk. They nursed strongly, seeming to enjoy the lack of competition.

4 Days (12/21) When I checked the pups first thing this morning, Mr. Red’s collar was off AGAIN. I guess I’m going to have to use a Rickrack collar on him. Hope he doesn’t turn out to be a Houdini.
GloryToo stayed out with me for a little while this morning before returning to her pups. That’s a good sign that all is well, as is the fact that every time I check on them they are quiet, some sleeping while others nurse.

Neurological Stimulation Day 2, Pups 4 days old
1. Tactical stimulation
Relaxed: Blue, Brown, Green, Pink
Struggled Vigorously: Purple, Red
Struggled then settled: White
Squirmed: Gray, Yellow

2. Head held erect
Relaxed: Blue, Red, Brown, Green, Red, Yellow
Struggled then settled: White
Squirmed: Gray, Pink, Purple

3. Head pointed down
Relaxed: Blue
Struggled Vigorously: White
Squirmed: Brown, Gray, Green, Pink, Purple, Red, Yellow
Verbalized: Green, Pink, White

4. Supine position
Relaxed: White
Struggled Vigorously: Pink, Red
Squirmed: Blue, Brown, Gray, Green, Purple, Yellow
Verbalized: Blue, Pink, Purple, Red

5. Thermal stimulation
Squirmed: ALL
Verbalized: Blue, Gray, Purple

Miss Pink, Mr. Green, Mr. Brown, Miss Purple, Miss Yellow, Mr. White & Mr. Gray gained 1 ounce, Mr. Blue stayed the same but Mr. Red gained a whopper 6 ounces. I weighed him again after I weighed all the others but it wasn’t a mistake. I put a Rickrack collar on him although at the moment it’s easy to see which one he is as he’s so big.
The bed has to be kept pretty warm for the babies since they cannot regulate their own temperature. I have to make sure the heater for the whelping bed doesn’t make it too hot for GloryToo, so I’m checking the room frequently, monitoring temperature, turning on the heater for a little bit to make sure the pups are warm enough, then turning it down so GloryToo doesn’t overheat.

5 Days (12/22) Mr. Red still had his collar on this morning. Hurrah!
That lasted until I checked them at 6. He was wearing it around his middle like a belt. I have no idea how he managed to get both legs and his shoulders through it, but he did. I had to cut it off. I tied another, wider piece of rickrack around. We’ll see if that works.
All my training friends are laughing about this and commenting that he sounds like a chip off the old block. They are finding this five-day-old pup equally enthralling. They love Cantor and wait impatiently for the next installment of his antics. One of them, Laurie, said Cantor (and possibly Houdini Chubs as I’m calling Mr. Red) reminds her of the movie Turner and Hooch. We’ve decided to get together and watch the movie together with Cantor (and by then possibly Houdini Chubs) in mind. Meanwhile, Cantor’s papers from the Alliance of Therapy Dogs came in today’s mail. He’s now officially a therapy dog!
The pups already need their nails trimmed. My knee is less painful as I get down on the floor to care for them, so tomorrow I’ll see if I can trim puppy nails.
The pups are much more efficient nursers, nursing strongly, starting to stand up on their legs and push with the hind legs to get a better grip on a nipple and to pull and push to stimulate the milk to flow, then gulping audibly as they drink. Tonight when I weighed them Miss Purple had gained 4 ounces, Miss Pink had gained three ounces and Mr. Red stayed the same. Mr. Green & Mr. Brown had gained two ounces, and Mr. Blue, Mr. Yellow, Mr. White and Mr. Gray had gained four ounces.

Neurological Stimulation Day 3, Pups 5 days old
1. Tactical stimulation
Slept or Went to Sleep: Blue, Green
Relaxed: Brown, Gray, Purple, Red, White, Yellow
Squirmed: Pink

2. Head held erect
Slept or Went to Sleep: Gray, White
Relaxed: Blue, Red, Brown, Green, Pink, Purple, Yellow

3. Head pointed down
Slept or Went to Sleep: Green
Relaxed: Blue, Brown, Gray, Pink, White, Yellow
Squirmed: Purple, Red
Verbalized: Red

4. Supine position
Slept or Went to Sleep: Gray
Relaxed: Yellow
Struggled Vigorously: Blue
Squirmed: Brown, Green, Pink, Purple, White
Verbalized: Pink, Purple, White

5. Thermal stimulation
Relaxed: Blue
Squirmed: Brown, Gray, Green, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow
Verbalized: Purple, Red

Celhaus German Shepherds

4817 Big Horn Ave
Sheridan, WY  82801
celhaus@fiberpipe.net
gsdlover@celhaus.com
307-674-4800 evenings

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