Thursday, April 18, 2013
Sunday, January 2, 2011
I had all sorts of words and thoughts dancing through my head today that I wanted to put down here as my first post of the new year, but they all disappeared as soon as my head hit the pillow for my "after-dinner snooze". I should have written them down as they came to me. LOL
Last year, 2010, was one of learning, of patience, of love and of procrastination.
The learning part was having to learn how to care for 5 newborn pups, and fast! Researching how to make formulas, what to do in emergencies, and all manner of things involved with raising puppies. The pups will be a year old on the 24th of this month, are happy and healthy so something must have gone right. :)
The patience. Now, who would not learn patience when caring after all those puppies? The feedings, the burping, the peri-massages to help with elimination, then as they got older, the chasing after, the poop and pee patrols, the breaking up of sibling rivalry episodes. Did I learn patience, or was I just too tired to fight? LOL
Procrastination. Yep, that became a big part of 2010 for me. I put off everything, and I do mean everything, to devote my time to those puppies. Painting? I was too tired to lift a paintbrush. Housework? Only the bare essentials were done as I was busy chasing after puppies and playing with them. Shopping? Nope, can't leave the babies for that long. Fishing? No time and can't leave puppies. Visiting friends? I got out 4 times times this year (twice to Brenda's and twice for lunch with Pat). I was terrible with putting things off! And the puppies were a great excuse. ;)
But now it is the second day of 2011, and the pups, although still quite dependant on me, they are also almost a year old and need me to be around them less to increase their independance. So, this will be a year of more "me" time. I'm not going to make promises like I will paint at least a picture a month, or I will get the house cleaned from top to bottom, or I will post in my blog weekly. I know that I won't stick to that so why even say it? LOL
Instead I will say that I will spend some time doing things for me and will post whatever I create this year as I finish it. Of course, I will also be spending time with my furry gang, but I also plan on spending some quiet time with hubby out on the lake with a fishing rod in my hand, visiting with friends and getting back into my photography. If I have to hire a dog-sitter for a few hours a week to do so, then that is what I'll do. :)
So, that is my first post of the new year. It should prove to be a very interesting and busy year, both personally and professionally, methinks. There will be many changes at work, starting with the move to the new library in the new Municipal Complex, and many changes at home, starting with my loosening of the apron strings with the doggies. 2010 flew by for me and I do think that before I can blink, 2012 will be upon us. Time travels so fast the older I get. So, I will try and accomplish a few things on my "to do" list during 2011, but no promises! LOL
A very Happy New Year to all!
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
The Puppies Are Three Weeks Old!
Grind up a whole bunch of dry puppy food ahead of time.
- 1/3 cup of hot puppy formula (I zap it in the microwave on high for one minute)
- 1/2 cup of ground dry puppy food
- Hot water
Add the ground dry puppy food to the hot puppy formula and mix it well.
Let mixture stand a few minutes until the puppy food has expanded and absorbed all of the formula
Mix in the hot water a little at a time until the mixture resembles baby cereal.
When the puppy mush is cool enough, let the puppies at it!
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
We had managed to get her to lie down and allow all the pups to suckle for a few minutes to get some of those antibodies (see previous note), but we had to monitor them real close! Sheba (the mom) babied the three pups and pretty well ignored the other 4.
We think that Sheba was accidentaly laying on the pups and smothered them as there was no blood or broken skin on the wee ones, and these two were favourites of hers.
When Zeus and Pan were gone, Sheba put all of her energy into Apollo, completely ignoring the others and pushing them away if they came close to her. She would growl at them and put their head into her mouth and make them cry. Mark and I quickly removed the 4 pups and made a bed for them in the dresser drawer.
They are quite happy in there with their hot water bottle and snuggling up to each other.
On Saturday, Mark decided to see what Sheba would do if he let her see one of the pups. She sniffed, and then started licking the pup and he voided and pooped. So, after that, each time we feed a babe, Sheba comes over and does her puppy grooming.
Sunday night, I was sitting on the bed feeding Damia with Sheba lying beside me. After Sheba cleaned her off, Damia wiggled toward her, and Sheba opened her legs to let Damia suckle. It only lasted about 10 second, but it's a start. We only allow her to be with the 4 pups under strict supervision and so far, she has only allowed two of her 4 "orphaned" pups to suckle for a few seconds.
Her favourite, Apollo, is a different story all together. She has him sleeping with her in her cave (the closet). She allows him to eat whenever he wants (methinks he is overfed) and is super protective over him. Apollo is twice the size of the other 4, and can barely move! The other pups are starting to try and lift their bellies off the ground and walk on 4 legs (it's funny to watch them lift their rear ends up, take a step and topple forward, then get up and try again). Apollo is too big and is still wiggling himself around. Hopefully, once the pups are started on their puppy mush, Apollo will do better weight-wise. ;)
The one drawback to all of this personal attention that the 4 pups are getting, is that I am falling in love with them. How can one not when you hold them in your arms and cuddle them while feeding? I am especially drawn to Damia for some reason. She loves cuddles and snuggles into me with contented sighs after being fed and burped. I know I can't keep any of the pups and it will be so hard to let them go when it is time. :(
Ahh well, such is life. Hopefully the pups will remember their "human mom" when they are older and will stop for a cuddle if we pass on the street. :)
Meanwhile, photos of the puppies' first week have been added to the puppy album. Puppies are a week old! If you don't already have a Facebook account, you may need to sign up to view the photos.
We could not figure out why someone would have let this little treasure go. She is polite, quiet and loves attention and cuddles. We think that we solved that mystery.
Jan 7, 2010
Well, I think we have discovered the reason that our little stray, Sheba, was abandoned. (Insert foul language here aimed at her previous owner). Her belly and teats are getting bigger and she's started to eat like a wee piglet. If she is pregnant and not a false pregnancy, we figure she is about 7 weeks along, probabley a wee bit more. Time will tell. At 8 weeks, we should be able to feel movement of the pups.
Jan 10, 2010
How do I tell Sheba that she is to start sleeping in a box in preparation for her pups arriving? I showed her the box and she looked at it, looked at me and said "Are you crazy? why should I sleep in that when there is a nice soft bed?"
Jan 14, 2010
Sheba will probably deliver within the next few days. Her box is cozy and comfy. She lay in it for about 10 - 15 minutes tonight, and hopefully will have her pups in it. I'm excited, but worried too. Will she care for them or will I have to be a surrogate mommy? Stay tuned for Adventures in Puppy Birthing.
Jan 15, 2010
Baby bottle and nipple: check. Dental floss: check. Scissors (sharp): check. Betadine: check. Cotton swabs: check. Stethoscope: check. Towels (hanging over the heater): check. Just need a few cans of evaported milk and some corn syrup to prepare formula for any pups that mom won't feed.
Jan 25, 2010
Adventures in Puppy Land Well, it is finally over. Sheba has delivered 7 healthy pups; 5 males and 2 females. She did very well during the deliveries, but as this is her first litter (so we suspect), she was quite unsure as to what to do at first.
When Zeus arrived at 5:56 a.m. (frist born) Sheba cut the cord too long,licked him a wee bit and then was unsure what to do next. I took the pup when she left him and tied and cut the cord, cleaned him up, rubbed him to get him warm and then introduced him to his mom. She was quite good and let him suckle.
Next came Apollo at 7:24 a.m. I thought that there was a bit too much time between the two pups, and I understood why when Apollo came out halfway, butt first. After a tense minute, out he came fully. Sheba seemed to know what to do this time, removing the sack, cutting the cord, cleaning him and then allowing him to nurse.
Pan followed at 8:05 a.m, and by now, Sheba was a pro, delivering and cleaning up. When she finished cleaning him, she sat up and looked at me as if to say "Take him away now". I took him and placed him in the box with his brothers.
Next came the first female, Damia, at 8:36 a.m. , followed by two males, Hyperion at 9:09 a.m and Helios at 10:58 a.m.
Finally, the last pup, the female Alcyone, was born at 12:47 p.m.
Sheba did not allow the last 5 pups to nurse, instead growling at them when we tried to introduce the pups to her teats. She was probably sore and too tired.
Mark went and prepared the formula for the pups. If you ever need a good puppy formula, here it is:
- 8 oz. evaporated milk
- 8 oz. water
- 1beaten yolk. Do NOT use the whites as they are not good for the pup
- 1 tbsp. corn syrup.
Mix well and make sure that the milk is warm before feeding.
Each pup ate well. :)
After a few hours of letting Sheba rest, we decided to try again. Mark went to the store to get some tasty treats for Sheba (bribery) and while he was gone, I cleared out the closet for her, as it seemed that she might want a "cave". (Thanks for the idea, Judy!) She did and immediately went inside and lay down.
When Mark got back from the store, he put on a pair of leather gloves, in case Sheba snapped at him, and we got down to business. Mark spoke gently to Sheba while petting her. When she was calm, I placed a puppy in front of her.
Sheba gave a wee growl, but Mark continued to pet her and speak with her and introduced the pup to Sheba's teat. When the pup was latched on, Mark gave Sheba a treat.
We continued this way until all 7 pups had latched on and were suckling. Finally, Sheba understood that she has to nurse her babies.
When she thought that a pup had had enough, she would nudge it off the teat and away from her. There were about 4 pups still hanging on when Sheba decided she had had enough and stood up and walked out of her "cave". Of course the pups dropped off onto the floor, but were not hurt. :)
Since Sheba was still not snuggling with the pups to keep them warm, I got a hot water bottle for them and Mark put a wee heater in the room for them. The pups quietened down after they were warm. :)
All was well for most of the night, until about 4:00 a.m. when I was awakened by crying puppies. Sheba was lying down near them, but not feeding or mothering them. She looked at me quite worredly, so I again gave her the pups and she washed and fed each one, but only a little bit each, then she left them alone again.
I then took Sheba outside and she was a good girl, doing both her businesses, then coming in and running upstairs to check on her babies as soon as we came inside. :)
It will take a while, methinks. Sheba is young to be a mother, so we will continue to suppliment the puppies with bottle feedings, give them snuggles and keep them warm. As time goes on, she will be more motherly, I am sure. :)
Lady is doing very well during all of this. She is worried when she hears the pups crying and goes and stands at the gate to the room where mother and pups are, and looks in to make sure everything is okay. Maybe when the pups are a few weeks old, we'll introduce her to them and see how she is with them. :)
Well, that is about it for the first visit to Puppy Land. I'm sure that I'll have many tales to tell as the pups grow and become more active. Meanwhile, enjoy the photos that I uploaded of the puppies' first day. :)
Oh, before I forget, all the pups are named after Greek Gods and Goddesses. :)
In order of birth:
Zeus - God of Sky, Weather, Thunder and Lightning and Cloud Gatherer. God of Home and Hearth, and of hospitality to strangers.
Apollo - God of Music
Pan - God of Goatherds and Shepherds
Damia - Goddess of Growth in Nature
Hyperion- God of Light
Helios - God of the Sun
Alcyone - Goddess of the Sea, the Moon, Calm and Tranquility
Sheba's 7 puppies born on January 24, 2010
Some scenes (birth scenes) may be upsetting to some people.
Puppies Photo Album
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
We knew that he was very sick 2 1/2 years ago when he was diagnosed with cancer and had liver problems, but the vet said to just keep him comfortable and happy for the next few months.
We brought Lady home that Spring and those few months that Bear had left turned into a few years, as Lady kept Bear's spirits up and was always mothering him and teasing him to get him moving.
But, like humans, doggies get old and tired.
For the past two weeks, Bear had been very sick. He started of having accidents in the house, and then he stopped eating, but would still drink copious amounts of water each day. He lost about 40 pounds during that time.
He was still able to go outside for air and his business, but was very slow and his back legs started to give out on him and he often stumbled.
On Friday, we tried a soft food on him and he gobbled up a whole bowl of it. Then he vomited it all up.
Friday night, he kept vomiting up all the water that he was drinking.
On Saturday morning, I took him outside, and then had to help him up the step and into the house afterwards as he was not able to life his back legs to climb the step. He continued to vomit all of Saturday, and could not go outside that night as he could barely walk. He also refused to eat all day.
We did not expect Bear to make it through the night, and knew it was only a matter of time. I spent all night sitting with him, petting and brushing him.. Bear loved to have his coat brushed. As soon as I took the brush down from its peg on the wall, Bear would come over to me and sit nice, waiting for me to brush his thick coat. Saturday night, he just lay there, his tail giving an occasional weak wag.
Sunday morning, he refused to go out for his business, and refused to drink any water. I spent Sunday bedside him, taking cold wet cloths and dribbling water into his mouth to keep his tongue and lips moist. When Mark got home from work, I told him that it would no be long until Bear was gone.
Mark got in the car and went to town and purchased a beautiful Birch wood casket for Bear.
At 8:25 Sunday night, Bear took his last breath in and crossed over.
We wrapped Bear his blanket and let Lady come and say goodbye to her best friend, then we laid him in his casket. We put in a few treats, a teddy bear to cuddle and a stick to chase and fetch in the Rainbow Fields, then we carried his casket out to the porch to lie in state while we prepared his mausoleum.
On Monday, Mark and I went out and dug the ground and prepared it to receive the first layer of cement.
On Tuesday, we poured the base, then lay Bear's casket on top, so that he would face the lake that he loved so much. We build a frame around the casket and poured the cement for the walls, and in the spring, I shall decorate the mausoleum and plant rose bushes around it and put up a bird feeder beside him, as Bear loved to sit and watch the little birds eating and playing.
Bear was a gentle giant. He never once in all his 11 years nipped at, or got mad at anyone or anything. He would bark occasionally to scare away the ravens that tried to go after the small birds. He was protective over children and animals that were smaller than him, and he was loved by all that came in contact with him.
Bear was not just a pet. He was a part of our family and will forever be loved and remembered for the gentle and loving soul that he was.
Sleep well, dear friend. You were loved.
October 31, 1996 - October 14, 2007