Archive for January, 2010

WE HAS MOVED!

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

After finally beating Wordpress into submission with the help of Educhalk.org, my blog has at last moved to its new home at alkemi.org/blog.  I will leave this one up for now, but it will eventually go away, and will no longer be updated.

Nice People Are Nice

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

So, the dog world is very, very small.  Sometimes this can be bad, but sometimes this can be spectacularly good!  It turns out that the Kate who’s in my Wednesday night agility class with GoGo the adorable Cardigan, is Kate from Hagaren Cardigans (who I know of via Joanna’s blog).  And Kate, as it turns out, likes making things…things like whelping boxes and puppy playpens!  Which!  I!  Need!  Nina’s puppies are growing so fast I think they will need a bigger box sooner than I was expecting, and Kate offered to build one for them!  So thanks A TON Kate!  We will repay the favor someday.

Day 5

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010
Day 5

Day 5

Littlest girl Wee broke 300 grams today!  With a bullet!  She is 330 grams as of this morning!

Day 5

Day 5

Biggest boy Immelmann is a whopping 427 grams!  Triangle boy and throat stripe boy also broke 400 at 400 and 413 grams respectively.  White stripe boy Jack was 387.  White chest girl was 388 and white throat girl was 377.

Day 5

Day 5

They are getting quite cuddly when you pick them up, although they are always on the lookout for possible food.

Day 5

Day 5

The Classic “Roadkill” Position

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Almost all Vallhunds will sleep in the “roadkill” (or “dead bug”) position at least sometimes.  Nina has decided that nursing her babies in this position allows for the greatest possible combination of comfort (hers) and access (theirs).  Thanks to Jim for the pictures.

Nursing: Roadkill Style

Nursing: Roadkill Style

Raise The Roof!

Raise The Roof! (or "woof")

Day 4

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010
Day 4

Day 4

Everybody grew nicely.  Smallest boy from yesterday got his game eating face on and is now second-biggest (after Immelmann, of course, who is gigantic, I suspect he may not be a Vallhund at all, but rather a bear cub who snuck in, he was 387 grams this morning – he’s just a big puppy, he actually gains slower than some of the others (he gains about 8.7% a day, which is still very good and ahead of schedule to double by one week of age), which is just as well otherwise we’d need a bigger boat whelping box.  Littlest girl Wee is closing in on the big 300 (grams), she’s at 293 today.

Day 4

Day 4

Day 2 of ritual abuse early neurological stimulation went well, and last night we started taking two puppies at a time (one for Jim and one for me) out into the family room with us while we watched TV (they didn’t watch, since their eyes are still closed, and since they’ve missed the whole first three seasons of Heroes anyway, we didn’t want to have to explain the whole thing to them).  This should help them a) get used to all kinds of human noises (like TV, natch), and b) learn that being away from their siblings and mum is okay.

At the milk bar, day 4

At the milk bar, day 4

Healthy puppies have what’s called “activated sleep”, which means they twitch and sometimes squeak while they’re sleeping (which they do 90% of the time, the remaining 10% is spent eating, not a bad life!).  It’s amusing to watch (which I do, a lot, because they’re just so darned cute!).  Activated sleep is a very cool thing: it helps them build their muscles while they sleep (I wish I could do that instead of going to the gym…).  You can see them getting a little bit more coordinated every day.  Nina wants to be near them, but she doesn’t feel like she has to be in the box with them 100% of the time now (I don’t blame her, when she’s in there they’re swarming all over her), and she will come out into the family room for a while now (the puppy room is right off the family room, so she can still hear, see and smell them).  She does a good job of toileting them, although she doesn’t always eat their poop (can’t say I blame her), they have started almost posturing to poop if she’s not helping them, they stand up with their back legs (they can stand on the back or the front now, but not at the same time).

We Are Breaking News

Monday, January 18th, 2010

…on my work’s website anyway.

Nina scrapes the puppies off herself when she climbs out of the whelping box (they have VERY strong suction power, you could probably climb up the side of a building using nursing puppies strapped to your hands and feet), they always complain, she always turns around and checks that they’re OK.  At this age their tongues and mouths are disproportionately large  – you can tell that their main job right now is eating so they can grow, weird how they will turn from these snub-nosed little grublets into pointy-nosed Vallhunds.

SuperDog…

Monday, January 18th, 2010

AKA Early Neurological Stimulation started today.  Today is day 3, and you do the exercises from day 3-16.  It was interesting how they all responded a bit differently, some just accepted it, others complained and then relaxed, others complained the whole time.  It’s very quick (each exercise is only done for 3-5 seconds once a day).  Everyone is back in the whelping box nursing now.  I will be interested to see if their reactions change tomorrow.

Day 3

Day 3

Today is first nail trim day!  They already have little sharp hooks on their claws, and we don’t want poor Nina getting scratched, nor do we want them scratching each other, so we will trim claws today.

Everybody grew nicely, they are visibly bigger, and they are all ahead of where they need to be to double their weights by 8-11 days of age (I was told there would be no math, but according to Jim, they need to average out to around 6% gain a day to do this, and they are all doing so).  The slow gainer from yesterday (long tailed boy who only gained 4.9% yesterday) got extra feeding time yesterday and had gained over 13% by today.  They are all over 300 grams now except the Wee girl, who is gaining well and was 264 grams today (up from 245 yesterday), she’s just littler than her siblings, but is active and sassy and feels like a bean bag when you pick her up, as she should (newborn puppies should feel heavy for their size, kind of like a bean bag).

Nina has one nipple that seems to be inverted, so nobody is nursing from it.  I will keep an eye on it to make sure she doesn’t get a problem there, since there is milk in that mammary gland that isn’t getting expressed.  She is happy and doing very well, eating up a storm, wrestling and playing with Rakki when she isn’t mothering the puppies.

Meet The Grublets!

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

Here they are:

Puppy #1 (AKA “Jack”, since he has a white stripe on his chest), is a long tailed male:

Puppy #1

Puppy #1

Puppy #2 (AKA “Wee”, since she is the smallest) is a natural bobtailed female:

Puppy #2

Puppy #2

Puppy #3 (AKA “Immelmann“, since he was born upside-down) is a natural bobtailed male (he is also the biggest):

Puppy #3

Puppy #3

Puppy #4 is a long-tailed girl (she has more white on her back feet and a bigger white patch on her chest than her sister, puppy #6):

Puppy #4

Puppy #4

Puppy #5 is a long-tailed male, he has a white stripe on his throat and has white toes on his right front foot:

Puppy #5

Puppy #5

Puppy #6 is a long-tailed female, she has a bit of white on her throat and white toes on her back feet:

Puppy #6

Puppy #6

Puppy #7 (AKA “Triangle”, since he has a white triangle on his chest) is a long tailed male:

Puppy #7

Puppy #7

Day 2

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

It’s amazing how Nina has figured out what to do and how to organize herself.  She has this way of lying down when she wants to feed them that makes it easy for them to find the milk bar (I don’t mean just lying on her side, she curls around the puppy pile as she’s starting to lie down to encourage them).  She must be able to tell them apart by smell, because if she comes upon one she’s already helped to urinate and defecate, she just gives him or her a quick lick and moves on to the ones she hasn’t toileted yet.  She is a bit concerned still about ones that climb behind her (like the one I’m calling “Shackleton” in my head, who is always off exploring and trying to climb up the sheer ice cliffs of Antarctica soft folded towels in the corners).  It’s amazing how they all already have their own personality, even though they’re just little grublets: one is very cuddly and is always wedged up under Nina’s chin when she’s not eating, the afore-mentioned Shackleton, there’s one girl I call “Breaker” in my head who is always surfing over her siblings (she never goes around or under, only over the top).

Day 1

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

So far, so good.  Everyone has gained, although the littlest one hasn’t gained as much as the others, I will make sure she gets some extra feeding time today.

Nina and puppy - January 16, 2010

Nina and a puppy - January 16, 2010

Nina actually ran and PLAYED with Rakki outside for a minute today, she hasn’t been able to run and play for a while, and she missed it, obviously.  She told me last night in no uncertain terms that she was too hot in the whelping box, so I switched the heat source from a heat lamp to a SnuggleSafe pad, and now she is more comfortable.  The puppycam will be broadcasting periodically throughout the day.

Nina and puppies - January 16, 2010

Nina and puppies - January 16, 2010