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View Slideshow Highlights From Each Week
Please Note This cam is not always going to look its best because of lighting
conditions, space limitations and just the nature of the subject.
It may be too dark to see, etc. Also, my wife may have simply
moved the camera out of her way! <grin> I will
do what I can to keep it trained on the subject while I'm on
puppy duty. Also, sometimes the whole system just freezes up
and I have to restart it. Please try to be patient and if you
see the time and date on the picture does not match up with
the current time and date, try back later. Thanks!!
Monday. February 25, 2008
Today was temperament testing day and a trip to the vet for a checkup. Everything went smooth and the puppies got a clean bill of health. Our good friend Pat White came to help with the temperament test. Thanks, Pat!!
Sunday. February 24, 2008
The last few days have been a blast. Much relief after that last post I made on Wednesday! The following day they were much better in the kitchen and we were able to start taking them out for potties as they are not seriously into chase mode now. We've been really lucky with the weather - even though there have been storms coming through just about every day for a week, there have been long breaks where they can go out and play in the back yard and burn off steam. For the past couple of mornings I've snuck past the pen in the living room and into the kitchen, propped open the back door and then quietly went back to the pen and threw it open with much flair and noise, then turned and ran! LOL! The cool thing is they chase me right out of the house, down the walkway and left down the length of the house and straight into the dog run, where I close the door behind them. This morning all four climbed right into the potty box out there and peed and two pooped. Success! It's quite a scene around here in the early hours if I'm leaving for work because I do NOT want to wake them up because they'll start howling and barking - best to let sleeping monsters lay. So I tiptoe around the house and have to remember to iron my shirt the night before because the ironing board is right next to their pen. I always feel like one of those monster movies where the hero is creeping through the den of some creature, or like the movie The Hedge where the racoon is sneaking through the bear's cave and inevitably you stumble over something, or kick something and then the gig is up, the monsters are awake and aware of you. <@@> With other litters but not this one it was practically impossible to get your lunch gathered up in the kitchen in the morning because the slightest tinkle of glass on metal or some such sound would get them going in a chorus of howls thinking you were fixing their food. Ugg! This group has not been bad about that, thank Heaven.
Our dear friend Maureen flew in from Calgary last night to help with the puppy testing. Because of the storm, she was 6 hours late getting here, much of it sitting on the plane. So as soon as we collected her at the San Fran airport, we whisked her away to her (and our) favorite Chinese food restaurant, "The Taiwan Restaurant" in Willow Glen. They don't have good Chinese up in Alberta so this is a must visit when Maureen is here, sometimes more than once! <grin> Maureen brought chocolate and not just any chocolate but Bernard Callebaut Chocolate!! Bless you Maureen!!!
Pam and Karen will be flying in on Thursday to pick up the two boys. It's going to be a busy weekend next week!
Oh and Terry's mom brought over a gift from our 8 year old nephew Nicholas. He decided to makes a clay sculpture of a Golden Retriever and it's very cute so thanks Nicholas!!
Wednesday. February 20, 2008
Spent most of the evening doing a new video and putting it together. Check it out at right. Last night was a mess! They are now spending the evenings in the kitchen. We pull the chairs out and Terry wraps the table legs in towels and gaffer tape to keep them from chewing them to death. We put a small potty box in there and there and by now they are usually pretty good about using it and this litter is no different. However they ARE puppies and they DO make mistakes and boy last night was a doozey. I fed them and ran them out to the dog run trying to get them used to pooping out there. The old "food in, poop out" adage is a good one and the two boys pooped right away. Couldn't' get the girls to go so brought everyone back in and hung out in there with them while I watched TV laying on floor. Around the time I had to go to bed, they stirred from a nap and of course wandered out into the middle of the floor and started piddling. Arg! That wouldn't be so bad but when you're trying to sop it up with the paper towel, they all come running and dance around in the puddle - "look grandpa, puppy tracks!!!" Yeah, very cute children. Go play on the freeway for five minutes while I clean this up. I went to bed but had to get up and let Dixie out after she woke me up with that "crossing her legs" look. We have to take the big dogs out through the front door when the pups are in the kitchen and as I passed by and looked in, there were two puddles and two piles. Great. Got Dixie back in, and jumped into the kitchen doing the "puddle and pile" dance in my bare feet, wide awake now. Got that all cleaned up and decided they were going to just have to go into their pen in the living room so in they went. I spent the next hour trying to get back to sleep while being serenaded by howling disenfranchised puppies - "we want our kitchen back!" Sometime later I got woken up and decided I better go check on them and found that someone had pooped in the poop box so I figured I better get in there and get it before Dixie jumped in and snagged a momma dog snack. That's so gross but it's what momma dogs do. I snagged the poop and headed to bathroom with my little tissue clad treasure and flushed it down the toilet. Came back into the living room and there's new poop in the box and yet ANOTHER one in the middle of the pen. What????? Where is all that stuff coming from???? LOL! Got woken up again around 1:00 in the morning when Terry got home (she works nights) so sheesh it was a LONG night! I know from experience it gets better but last night just about got the better of me. I love having them in the kitchen with us even though they are under foot a lot and you have to be SO carefully. It really makes a difference in their development giving them a chance to experience real life in a household, discover the dishwasher, the fridge and all those other sights and sounds of a busy kitchen.
Saturday. February 15, 2008
Last Saturday saw the beginning of the phase I call "Bite First, Ask Questions Later" as they each take terns learning how to use their teeth. Each takes turn being the shrieking victim and then the snarling aggressor. As the week progressed, they entered the "There Will Be Blood" phase. <grin> Not really that bad but they start to test their new skills on anyone that comes in range. They've actually been very good with me. Regardless, this is my favorite of their stages. They really are coming into their own now and so full of antics. We've been blessed with wonderful weather the last couple of weeks and they've been able to spend most afternoons out in the backyard and getting some fresh air and sun. Yesterday they had a particularly rambunctious playtime out there for over an hour. They are starting to get quite a stamina! At one point, a mocking bird starting singing while perched in the telephone wires above them. They all stopped playing and went running to the back of the pen in the direction of this new sound. It was VERY cute to see. Caught it all on the webcam so I'll post the video probably tomorrow. This evening I put up a "best of" video from that afternoon. Hope you enjoy! Time is growing short! A week from now our good friend Maureen will be arriving from Calgary for a short visit and to help us temperament test the litter. Then shortly after that, they will start leaving with their new owners. <sigh> Dixie has pretty much cut them off now and it's time tomorrow to take her off her food for 24 hours to start the process of drying her up. She is absolutely filled with milk right now since she's stopped nursing them.
Tuesday. February 5, 2008
Lots of changes today! The little hooligans got their first official romp outdoors now that it has dried up and the sun is shining. How nice is that?? We took advantage of them being out in and xpen outside to change over their living quarters in the living room. Out with the whelping box and in with an xpen enclosure that is about twice the size. Room for a potty box and still more room for them to move about. I always like this change because it allows me the room to get in there with the. I'm too big to fit in that whelping box! They are now on puppy formula as we begin the weaning process. I have to say, I'm really thrilled with Dixie's weight. It's always a battle to keep the weight on the mother even with only 4 puppies. What we did different this time was start her on double rations two weeks prior to whelping. We keep our girls fairly lean and starting the extra food at the time of whelping has always seen them fall behind in weight. You end up trying to feed them more and more and then they get loose stools and are miserable. Once she whelped we bumped it to the usual double size proportions 3 times a day and she managed it very well and Dixie you looook mauvulous!
Another exciting change today is the new webcam arrived. Yippee!!!! Really and truly, I only did it so you all wouldn't have to listen to me whine and cry all the time about the lousy Linksys replacement cam I had bought. This new one is marketed by 4XEM but it is actually made by the same folks as my old dead cam, Vivotek. I have to tell you, I looked and looked and there just is no other camera on the market that does all the things this one does. This particular model is not wireless however but there just weren't any wireless models available anywhere in the country. I'm begining to think they stopped producing it. I looked hard at several even more expensive models by Sony, Toshiba, Canon and Panasonic but none of those come with the extensive monitoring software that Vivotek/4XEM does so it would have been an additional expensive purchase for the software. So now we're' back to having excellent color, true 10x optical zoom and a host of other features I had grown fond of on my old webcam. For now it's tethered to a 100' ethernet cable (so I can run it outside when needed) but I'm working on a bridged wireless solution. Should have that in the bag in a few days.
Saturday. February 2, 2008
This morning everyone went to see the chiropractor vet, Dr. Margaret Holiday up in Oakland. The pictures are already up here. I meant to put a note up on the webcam but didn't have time so if you tuned in while we were gone, that's where we were. Oakland is about an hour drive from here and a great opportunity to give the puppies a new experience. It always cracks us up when they take that first long ride in a crate as they always seem to line up like loaves of bread and sleep. It's almost like they are "going to their happy place" pretending this isn't happening. But they were quite almost the whole trip. Dixie got adjusted and then Doc Holiday came out and adjusted all the puppies inside the van. She's always very happy to see our puppies and we love having her available to do it as she's very good. I posted more about adjusting babies and puppies during Spirit's litter last year. You can read more about it here.
Friday. February 1, 2008
It's been a long time since I've updated here. Lots has gone on. The puppies are up and walking around,eyes wide open and they are starting to really get distinguishable personalities. If it weren't for poop and teeth, this would be the beginning of the best part of raising a litter. However teeth hurt when they come out and they certainly hurt when they are embedded into your socked foot every time you go in to pick up the poop. <grin> Ah, that's just part of the game though. This weekend we will pull out the whelping box and they will get their new digs in the living room with much more area to explore. We'll start with the potty training to a potty box as well and soon they will get their first taste of something other than momma's milk. So lots of changes in store! It's also been a long time since I updated the videos. Last week, Terry's father informed us that there was a problem with one of the embedded videos to the right. If you watched the whelping video to the end, the related videos that popped up below the player included a naked guy sliding around on a soapy locker room shower floor on his stomach. Hmm! So I was scrambling trying to email YouTube to figure out how to get rid of it. They eventually got back to me with a suggestion and it worked great so we're back to adding videos now.
On a technical note, I'm happy to tell you I finally caved and ordered a "real" replacement for the broken webcam. I just couldn't take it any more - there were just too many shortcomings with the Linksys model I bought as a stopgap. It will soon be either relegated to backup position or sent to the Ebay scrap heap. Considering it's only been used for a week, I should get most of my money back if I decide to go that route. Anyway, I assure you that you will really appreciate the quality of the Vivotek webcam that should be in place early next week.
Friday. January 18, 2008
Well the new Linksys webcam arrived today. I'm NOT happy but it's all I can afford to spring for. The quality as you can see sucks compared to what the broken Vivotek offered. The zoom is a joke and it only offers 1 hour or 30 minute intervals for still shot uploads to the website. Acck! Luckily I have some other software that I was able to employ to do that heavy lifting so you are still getting 15 to 30 second refreshes. Hmm...I think I'll send the Vivotek in for repair. Don't waste your money on a Linksys WVC200. It says it's pan tilt zoom but they they don't tell you that the zoom part is just a digital 2x zoom. The Vivotek actually let you remotely zoom in on the subject just like a camcorder does. Great for keeping an eye on them from another room.
Ok so you didn't tune in here to read about webcams. <grin> You want to know how the puppies are doing. They are doing great. Eyes are starting to open. They are starting to do the "frankenstein walk" I really need to do a video of that and put it to the song "The Monster Mash" <grin> I won't be taking any flash pictures for a few days until their eyes open fully .
Saturday. January 12, 2008
I got the pictures I took this week up on the main litter page here.
Friday. January 11, 2008
Day four! Wow, time is flying. Last night Terry and I were taking temps and weighing everyone in. They are looking great. We decided to do the the "Pie Tin Test" while we were at it. I sure wish I had video taped it because it was a riot. One puppy literally jumped out of the pie tin as it reacted to the strange surface. We called that one a fluke and had the puppy do it again. <grin> Another one got half way out of the tin on to the warm fuzzy towel and just went to sleep which had us laughing too. There is no right or wrong to this, it just stimulates the problem solving part of their brains and also introduces a little stress from which they learn to cope. I talked about these exercises in the info on one of our earlier litters. Go here to read more about it and see some pictures of the puppies from the Spirit x Steeler litter being stimulated. You can also go here to read more about the group, Versatility In Poodles who came up with these exercises. Their pamphlet can be found here. Really good stuff and we've used this on all of our litters over the years.
Wed. January 9, 2008
Well they've gone through the first day and they are doing great. Dixie is being a great mom. Spirit doesn't understand why she can't get in there and help nurse! <grin> She came into season only a week after Dixie so she's going through her own false pregnancy right now and actually COULD nurse if given the chance. I'll try and take some more pictures tomorrow and some videos. I put the video together of the litter and it can be found to the right. I switched from Studio9 to Adobe Premier Elements. I like it a lot but some things that Studio9 does better with music tracks. It may just be a learning curve thing. One of the things I like about the new Adobe product is the direct to YouTube function. Very slick. All the videos will be up on Youtube from now on and as you can see, I'm using their great embeded player. Good stuff!
January 8, 2008
It's another boy! That's it, two girls two boys. Mr Purple was born at 6:10 and weighs in at 17 oz even. Whew! Ok so I'll be turning on the webcam in a little bit here. Now for some food and maybe a little sleep!!!! Dixie has GOT to be SO tired! We've been at this since early Monday morning with just a couple catnaps.
It's another Girl! Green Girl was born at 5:50 just ten minutes after Blue Boy. Yikes! 15.5 ounces just like her sister.
It's a Boy! Born at 5:25. Weighing 17.5 Oz. Mister "Blue Boy" came into the world as a breach baby and he was on his side has his little rear tootsies and tail popped out. It was a struggle to get him out because Dixie stopped pushing so hard once he got part way. Nice and healthy though!
Just started noticing some bloody discharge so there may puppy number two knocking on the door.
A girl!!!! Born at 3:32. Dixie started vibrating BIGtime at around 3:20 and first pup 12 minutes later. 15.5 Oz Pictures coming if I get time between pups. Our friend JoJo is here assisting so I'm free to do my geek thing. <grin>
Finally things are happening. Her water broke about 20 minutes ago and she's having a lot more contractions.
"A watched pot never boils" I HATE that saying! LOL! Terry stayed up until sometime after 8:00 this morning when she could call and leave a message with our vet, Pete Keesling. He had generously offered to come in during the middle of the night if needed for any emergency and had gotten a couple of techs to volunteer as well. So Terry is back to bed and I'm back on watch since 7 AM after a few hours sleep. While I was writing this Dixie went into furious digging in the box but she's still hasn't gone into the really heavy panting or shivering or frantic activity. Temp is still down in the lower 97 range. She has a TON of milk too. The rain from this current storm is almost upon us. The winds are really kicking up and I never put the generators away after Friday's outage just in case. Hope we won't need it!
Dixie's contractions are getting much closer together and a lot stronger. I've taken her out back to walk around a little a few times. Everyone else is still catching some sleep.
January 7, 2008
Still nothing. Looks like Dixie is going to keep to Coppertop tradition and have these pups in the wee hours of the morning. I went to bed a couple hours earlier this evening just to get a few winks under my belt. Now I'm up and everyone else is snoozing. As soon as I finish this and get a mug of coffee, I'll settle in with Dixie near the whelping box and keep an eye on her.
It's a waiting game. Dixie is panting a lot more but no sign of the panicky behavior you usually see soon before labor. No digging either. I don't think she went through that with her first litter though.
Nothing yet, just "hurry up and wait". Our good friend Pat White is here and she and Terry just took Dixie for a stroll around the block. At about 11:30 right after I posted the last entry, Dixie's temp had dropped again down to 97.1. With her first litter, she did that the day she whelped and she's also been having mild contractions.
Getting close!! Dixie's temp has been flirting with dropping for the past four days going down to the high 98's then back up to the high 99's and back down again - usually higher in the afternoon and evenings. Yesterday she dropped to the low 98's and stayed there. This morning her vulva is much enlarged and light contractions are felt. Labor could still be hours away but we're standing by ready.
December 31, 2007
We put up the whelping box yesterday. Thanks to Pat White for loaning us their excellent box again this year. Pat's husband Gary came up with a really cool way to join the corners using something similar to the hardware the IKEA uses. I'll have to take a picture of it when I tear it down and show it to you. Gee, too bad I didn't think of that yesterday! LOL!
Dixie goes in for her x-ray on Friday and we'll get a firm count on how may. The ultrasound showed four, possibly five. I'll post an update on Friday with the news.