Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Growing Up!

We couldn't believe how quickly the puppies are growing just since our last visit. Squeaks have become mini-barks, scooting about on their tummies has been replaced by a halting, stumbling walk, and they now sit on their tushes propped up by their front legs. It's just amazing to see how these little guys have changed and how they are gaining control of their bodies.

But one thing hasn't changed...they still sleep a lot. Unless Mama Cleo enters the pen and then EVERYONE instantly wakes up. Feeding time!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

2 weeks old

The pups weighed in at 30 oz (White girl) to 2 1/2 lbs (Blue boy and Green girl) - very similar to the 2-week weights of Cleo's first litter. The pups' walking abilities are improving by the day and they will soon be moving into a large double exercise pen/puppy pen. I will also be adding more environmental enrichment in the form of different types of bedding and soft toys. Much to the pups' delight, they had their first taste of canned dog food this AM, and eagerly inhaled the dab I offered. During the next few days, we will be feeding the pups approximately 1 tsp of canned food 3x daily to start getting their systems prepared for solid food. By end of the week, I expect the volume of canned food offered to increase, and then by 3 weeks of age, I plan to offer them soaked puppy kibble. The pups also received their first worming this AM - a safe, mild wormer that is very efficacious against roundworms which are often transmitted directly from the dam to the pups during pregnancy and lactation. And when I can catch them sleeping, I am attempted to get 9 sets of baby puppy toenails trimmed again. The last day of BioSensor early neurological stimulation exercises is Monday.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Eyes wide open

Well. . . maybe not wide open, but the pups are opening their eyes. Yellow girl was the first to see the world on Thursday 6/25. They are doing lots of wobbly walking and a little bit of barking, in addition to their puppy mewing. Also on Thursday, I removed the puppy pool and transitioned them into a small puppy pen. The hard flat surface is better for practicing walking and the pen offers Cleo more ventilation. The pool is great for keeping the pups warm, but now the pups are no longer so sensitive to cold. I am also very pleased that all pups have doubled their birth weights by 2 weeks of age, which is an important milestone. Poor Cleo is now supporting 18 lbs of puppies. Cleo's milk production is almost keeping up with this rapidly growing family, but we are still supplimenting with bottle feedings of goat milk. If a person steps into the pen, the pups now swarm us, just like they do Cleo. Having pups have such positive associations with people at such a young age is beneficial for future bonding.

Green and Pink girls

Cleo and 10-day old pups

Cleo and 12-day old pups - see how fast they growing, especially if you compare to their newborn pics.

You can NAME A PUP!

The puppy naming contest is up and running, and you have a chance to name one of Smoke's Pup Crew!   We are all so excited to see what creative names comes in as entries.  Remember: these puppies will eventually serve children and adults with disabilities so keep that in mind. Submit your name choice at www.tonystewartfoundation.org

The pups are starting to understand they have 4 legs, so motoring about the pen on 4 legs is just a couple days away. And, their eyes are opening.  And, they will get their first taste of solid food this week. The babies are growing up so quickly!  (OH - and if you notice a large German Shepherd in the pen with the puppies, don't worry. It isn't the big, bad wolf....it's only Auntie Tacara making a visit.)

Remember that if you tune into the camera and there's no picture or if the camera lens is covered, it means the pups are taking a temporary break from the limelight (or that the bedding is being changed, etc.).  These "breaks" typically are 15 to 30 minutes in length so be sure to check back.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

1 Week Old

Red girl sleeping

Purple girl sleeping on Cleo's back legs

Pink and Green girls sleeping together

The pups are all doing well, a bit small for their age, but gaining weight and vigorous. Weights currently range from 17 oz (White) to 26 oz (Blue). Quite a few of the pups are almost walking already. And the pups are getting their first toe nail trim today (trying to catch them when they are sleepy). Cleo is still not producing an adequate amount of milk, so the pups are getting bottle fed 3 times per day and loving it. Cleo is spending more and more time out of the puppy pen and is no longer too concerned if the other adult dogs in the household check out the pups. When Cleo does make an appearance, the pups instantly wake up and swarm her.

This morning, ICAN upgraded the camera for the puppy cam. Check it out at http://www.marestare.com/icandog.php

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Puppies with Tony Stewart (sorta)

Ok, so Tony Stewart hasn't actually seen the puppies in person yet, but the puppies have seen Tony -- at least in cardboard figure! When the cardboard figure was put into the tub, one little pup started crawling toward it right away (and really fast, too).

Take a look at these pups who obviously understand the racing concept of "drafting".

The pups put on quite a show last night when Tony Stewart Foundation
representatives paid them a visit. Here's a few photos of them that are sure to win your heart.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day 5

A contrast in colors - White girl (dark) and Red girl (light)

Purple girl on top

Blue boy

Cleo and the pups are all doing great. I have begun supplimenting the pups with a bottle since Cleo wasn't keeping up with this large family, and the pups weren't gaining weight at the rate they should be. All the pups have taken to goat milk in the bottle and are still eagerly nursing Cleo. Cleo's appetite is coming back and as her calorie intake increases, hopefully so to will her milk production. The pups have also already outgrown their newborn puppy collars (elastic hair bands). For the next week or two, I will identify them with nontoxic paint dabs on their rumps. Red/White is now Green, Pink/Purple is now Yellow, and Blue/Orange is now Black. BioSensor exercises will continue until the pups are 16 days old.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Movie clip of pups in action!

Here's a little movie clip of the pups and mama Cleo together. Yes, that loud squeaking is coming from the hungry pups. Translation: FEED ME!

For another movie clip of the pups, click here.

Day 3

Basket full of 2-day old pups

Creative sleeping - Purple girl and Red/White girl

Blue boy

This litter continues to be an incredibly precocious bunch. Some pups are wagging their tails when they nurse and are starting to push up from their hind legs in preparation for walking. They are very adept at the puppy commando crawl and diving in for a place at the milk bar. Their little umbilical cords fell off yesterday. This morning, I moved them into the large puppy pool since the pups were so mobile. Cleo is enjoying being able to stretch out. Tonight, I started BioSensor early neurological stimulation exercises. If curious, more information at http://www.breedingbetterdogs.com/articles/early_neurological_stimulation_en.html

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Newborn puppy pics

White girl

Purple girl

Blue/Orange boy on top

Pink girl

Purple girl and Blue/Orange boy

Happy Birthday

Proud Mama Cleo and all nine puppies

Cleo cleaning newborn pups, note pup on right is still wet

Newborn pups Pink, Purple and Blue - hanging out in the warming box, awaiting the birth of their littermates

Cleo kept us in suspense for this litter. She started having early signs of labor Thursday evening, and continued most of Friday and Saturday. Her official due dates were June 12 and 13. At 10 pm Saturday night, labor finally started, and at 11:23 pm, the first puppy made her appearance. Cleo continued to deliver the next 5 pups about every 30 minutes, and then started slowing down. The 9th and final pup finally arrived at 5:20 am June 14. We were getting worried that Cleo was getting too tired and/or the last pup was too big to deliver easily, so we got Cleo up and were going to take her outside to toilet and stretch. We didn't even make it down the front porch steps when she had a big contraction, and out popped the last girl who I caught on the fly into the towel I had brought just in case. Final count, 6 girls, 3 boys, all very good sized pups ranging in weight from 13 to 18 oz. Poor Cleo was carrying around 9 pounds of puppies!! Mom and pups are all doing well, the pups are vigorous nursers, and Cleo is producing lots of milk.
Birth order, times and weights
Pink female 6/13 11:23 pm 16 oz
Blue male 6/13 11:53 pm 18 oz
Purple female 6/14 12:28 am 16 oz
White female 6/14 1:04 am 13 oz - dark short coat
Red female 6/14 1:18 am 15 oz
Orange male 6/14 1:30 am 16 oz - lightest pup
Blue/orange male 6/14 3:10 am 16 oz
Pink/purple female 6/14 3:23 am 17 oz - dark pup
Red/white female 6/14 5:20 am 17 oz

Pups on the way

Mama Cleo - 8 weeks pregnant, 1 week to go

Sire Bodhi, looking handsome in his ICAN vest