Friday, November 28, 2008

Finally! More Pictures...

Double click on the Slideshow at the right to open up the most recent puppy pics!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Too Cute!

Hi All! I'm afraid to say I don't have any pics to post today, but I did want to update you on how everyone is doing. Dave was sick this weekend, but thank goodness, I didn't have to work at the vet's or at the zoo, so I was able to take care of everyone. It even got warm enough that I could finally hose out the kennels - and boy did they need it!

DeeDee is still doing great with the pups and is trying her best to keep the nest box clean, but with puppies who are increasingly mobile and eating like crazy, she's begining to lose the race! One thing that is also beginning to change is that DeeDee is spending less and less time in the box with the puppies. While this weekend that had more to do with the San Juan rabbits I just picked up that are in cages in the barn, the main reason she's spending less time with the pups is little puppy teeth! The pups are teething right now and think Mom is a great chew toy, so she isn't letting them nurse any more than they have to!

The puppies are so enjoyable to watch right now. They are so cute and chubby and active! When they see me, they rush the front of the box to visit, then cry because they want out - we still have a board up to prevent them from wandering out of their safe place. They've begun to wrestle with each other clumsily and bite at each other, but they are still little enough that the wrestling matches last all of about 5 minutes. Then they collapse in a big puppy pile and go to sleep!

Today I clipped little puppy nails (aka "daggers"), which should help Mom's belly from becoming too raw as little paws knead at her. I checked everyone's bites, which look perfect, then just hugged and kissed on each of the puppies one by one. While beagle puppies in general are always cute, I have to say, I think this litter of pups may be the best looking litter yet! I can't wait for them to get bigger and see how their conformation develops!

Well all, as usual, its getting late. I will try to remember my camera in the next day or two. (I just kept forgetting it with the busy weekend.) I'll get picks for all to see as soon as I can! Take care everyone!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Individual Puppy Pics

Hi Everyone! As promised, here are the latest puppy pictures. All of the puppies are color-coded by their collars and will keep these collars so that you can keep track of them as they grow. Everyone is doing great, even little Green boy. All the puppies have chubby round bellies, big noggins, and little ears right now! They're cute, but goofy looking right now! They have opened their eyes and their ears and have begun exploring more now that they can tell where they are going. (Ok, well sorta - their sight still isn't the best!)

White girl (Racing stripe girl, Miss Piggy) - Already full of personality, she never misses a meal! She thinks she is the queen and lounges about the nest box belly up most of the time.

Pink girl - Wiggly, wiggly, and more wiggly!

Purple girl (formerly wore an Orange collar) - Easily contented, she doesn't fuss much...that is, except when she's happily nursing. That's when she starts her happy little cries, which can be a bit confusing to Mom!

Green boy - still the smallest, but not by much! His problem has always been that he wants to check everything out - which means he's always last to dinner!

Red boy (formerly wore a dark green collar) - this guy can move! He's a bit wobbly, but he's already trying to walk and does a pretty good job of it too!

Blue boy - today I'm calling him grumpy! He wasn't happy about his photo shoot and cried for mom til she started to get annoyed with me! Aaah, the price of cuteness!

Yellow boy - last but not least! He nearly fooled us into thinking DeeDee was only having 6 puppies, but better late than never! He's the "baby", but came out bigger than any of the rest of the puppies! This guy was a tough one to photograph because he just kept coming straight towards me. His eyes work just fine!

Friday, November 7, 2008

New Pics Available Through Picasa Slideshow

To see the most recent puppy pics, double click on the slideshow on the right side of the blog. Remember, you can always go back to view older pictures by go to Picasa through the slideshow, then selecting my public albums. The pictures in Picasa are full-size so that you can order them or print them out yourself.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Puppies are growing quickly!

Hi Everyone - Everything continues to be busy on our end of the line this fall, especially with rapidly growing puppies! After a slow start, even the little Green boy is starting to gain quickly. He is now dealing with a bit of diarrhea, which often happens after a change in feeding habits, but having made it past 1 week, I think this little guy will do just fine. All of the puppies are little chubs right now - big round bellies and fat heads (with little ears)! Even though all of the puppies have their eyes closed and can not yet hear, we can already start to see little personalities emerging. Some puppies are more laid back than others, while others are more demanding! We just got new little velcro collars to help with ID'ing the puppies, so we'll start calling the puppies by collar names until each of you selects and names your puppy. I haven't had the chance to take my camera out to the property for pics this week, but will do so tonight, as I'm sure you are all anxious to see more of these little cuties.

In the meantime, beginning next week, I will start asking for deposits to confirm that you are serious about selecting a puppy. Deposits will be $150 and will go towards the total purchase price of the puppies. If you end up not choosing a puppy from this litter, your deposit may be used to go towards selection of a pup from our next litter in the spring/summer and you will be placed at the beginning of the waiting list. More info to follow...

Friday, October 31, 2008

DeeDee's Puppies Are Here!!!

Dam: Ms. Daytona DGO

Sire: FC Willie's Little Boss Man

Hi Everyone! This is the first of my posts to update everyone on what is going on with DeeDee and her newborn puppies. Puppies were born on Tuesday beginning at 1:15am. Based on the X-rays, we were expecting 6 puppies, although the vet thought there might be a seventh, but was leaning toward 6. Somewhat surprising of a number, considering she had had a C-section with her last litter due to the last puppy being too big and getting stuck. Normally, litter sizes are reduced for future litters after a C-section. Considering DeeDee's last litter was 11, which is huge, I guess 6-7 IS a reduction, but still! It is still a relatively large litter on average! DeeDee's delivery went very smoothly with little to no assistance needed. This was her 3rd (and most likely last) litter, and the pups just popped on out with little effort. At 8am, after 6 puppies were born, DeeDee seemed to relax, stop having contractions, and get sleepy. I cleaned up the dirty bedding and got her set up. Puppies were all either nursing or napping, so Dave traded out with me so that I could still go into work for the day. Then at noon, I got a call. Dave went to go move the puppies into their nest box (from the cot I had been sleeping on in the barn and which DeeDee insisted on sleeping on and delivering her puppies on!). He moved 2 puppies into the box, then 2 more, then went to move the last ones and counted...3! He looked back in the box, looked back to the cot, and sure enough, there were now 7 puppies! Sometime between 11am and 12pm, DeeDee delivered one more! Guess the vet was right after all! The breakdown is 4 boys, 3 girls, and all of them are tri-color. They have a lot of white with big black spots, taking after their dad.

All of the puppies are doing well. One little male is being observed carefully, as he has lost a little bit of birth weight. Not unusual, but since the other puppies have all gained, we are taking this as a cue to be watchful. I'm occasionally giving him with subcutaeous (under the skin) fluids to provide him with some extra hydration and am making sure that he gets place in the best nursing spots. If need be, we'll begin supplemental feedings with puppy formula. However, since he is nursing strongly, I doubt we'll need to. Nonetheless, we continue to monitor all of the puppies' weights on a daily basis (using a little kitchen scale), as weight loss is often one of the first signs that a puppy is not thriving.

So I've taken the first puppy pics and placed them in the slideshow to the right. If you double click on the slide show, it will open up the photo album. The pictures are full-size, and you are welcome to save and/or print any pictures you want. I will continue to add album pictures as the puppies grow.

It is getting very late, and I'm already pretty sleep-deprived, so I'm going to get going here. I'll be in touch with everyone shortly to confirm reservations for puppies and explain the process for picking. To check your spot on the waiting list, please go to our website and click on the "Puppies for Sale" page. Talk to you all soon!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I haven't forgotten everyone!

Hi Everyone! Just wanted to let you know that I haven't forgotten about all of you now that you have your puppies. Last week was one of my busiest work weeks ever, and with a lot of deadlines looming, the beagle correspondence suffered. I have not yet scanned all of the contracts to PDF, so expect me to do that in the next day or two! In addition, I hope to follow up individually with everyone. :D

So as an update, all of the puppies who were headed to new homes have made it and are settling in! I have no doubt that each and every pup will be well loved. It's just weird to be down to the two girls, Nina and Rose, who actually have a new play buddy. Dave's dad Larry picked up a puppy from his nephew in East Enterprise, IN (near Rising Sun)... turns out he wanted a puppy of his own. Ths new puppy is approximately the same age as our pups and Larry has named her Della. She was a little uncertain about the new environment, but she and Rose in particular are now best of friends!

Just in case you all were curious, all of the puppies now have their new names:

John & Syliva chose Louie (Blue Boy);

John & Monica (actually, the boys) chose Narrow (Green Boy);

Dave & kids chose Rudi (White Girl);

...and finally...

Wendy & Todd in Columbus chose Luca (Red/Yellow Boy).

For some of the last pictures I took while the puppies were all together, please take a look at the new slide show. Remember you can still look back on old slide shows by double-clicking on the slideshow.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Puppy Selections

Hi Everyone! On Sunday, John, Monica, and their two boys came out to visit the puppies. In addition, my sister-in-law Julie, her husband Kevin, and their little girl Alyssa stopped by to visit puppies as well. I've added the newest pics of everyone with the puppies to my slideshow.

After a lot of back and forth between Green boy and White girl, now wearing a turquoise collar, John, Monica, and the boys have come to a family decision to bring Green boy home. They will be naming Green boy "Narrow" - a name that the boys picked out before the puppies were even born!

The two puppies that remain are Yellow boy (in the red collar) and White girl (in the turquoise collar). I know...I I've changed up the collars on everyone! I usually try to keep them the same as they move from their first collars (hospital bands) to their adjustable velcro collars to their final puppy collar. However, this time around, it seems like none of the collar selections that I bought matched up for continuity! Oh well...! So Dave, to identify White girl in the picures, look for the turquoise blue collar, and when I have a bit more time, I'll try to email you with some of her pictures since you can't always see the collars in the pictures. Dan, I'm still waiting to hear back from you and will call you if I don't get an email soon, but I'm thinking that Yellow boy might be a very good fit for you.

So for now, 4 of the 6 puppies have their new names:
Blue boy has been named Louie by John & Sylvia.
Pink girl has been named Rose by me & Dave.
Green boy has been named Narrow by Grant & Jude, John & Monica's boys.
Purple girl has been named Nina (for the common Dog Violet, Viola canina) by me & Dave.

Less than one week left for me and my puppies... :( but :) for all of you!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Puppies' First Vet Visit

Yesterday the puppies came to work at the vet's office and got their first physical. All of the puppies were healthy, met the physical milestones for their age, and passed their first orthopaedic exam. The only findings that the veterinarian noted were an overbite in White girl, which we had already noticed, and a little bump under the eye of Yellow boy (now wearing a Red collar), which he thinks was probably the result of overlyzealous puppy play! With verification that all the puppies were healthy, I went ahead and gave the puppies their first shot yesterday - the standard first vaccine abbreviated DA2PP which offers combined protection against Distemper, Adenovirus/Hepatitis, Parvovirus, & Parainfluenza. This shot will need to be repeated in another 3-4 weeks by your veterinarian, then 1-2 more times to offer full protection.

So FYI, here's a little tutorial on Puppy Immunology 101 to help you understand more about vaccinations:

In case you've ever wondered, there are very good reasons why puppies must get their vaccinations in a series of 3-4 injections. Puppies receive their first line of protection from antibodies made by Mom - antibodies she made, of course, in response to her own past vaccinations and any previous disease exposures. Mom's antibodies, when passed to the puppies, serve a very important function - they protect the puppies from disease while their own immune systems are too immature to make antibodies on their own. So what exactly do the antibodies do? In a simplified manner, you could say that antibodies bind, or "grab onto" viruses and bacteria, quickly labeling them as invaders so that white blood cells can find, attack, and destroy them before they have the chance to cause disease.

Puppies typically acquire these "maternal" antibodies during the first day or two that they nurse from Mom - thus the reason why you always hear about the benefits of "colostrum", or the antibody-rich "first milk". Over time, the levels of protective antibodies from Mom begin to drop off in the puppies' systems, offering them less and less protection. At the same time, their own immune systems begin to mature and grow in their ability to make antibodies on their own.

So what do vaccines do? Vaccines are typically composed of dead virus & bacteria and/or viruses that have been genetically modified so that they can't reproduce (thus, can't cause disease). The immune system still recognizes these harmless microbes as potentially dangerous foreign invaders and will produce antibodies to protect the body in case it ever encounters them again.

Understanding the function of antibodies and vaccines will allow us to understand the time schedule we use to vaccinate puppies.

If vaccines are given too young, two things will happen:
1) If a puppy has received Mom's antibodies from the colostrum, the maternal antibodies will quickly have the harmless bacteria and/or viruses disposed of by the puppy's system, or,
2) If a puppy did not receive colostrum, the vaccine has no effect because the puppy can't yet make its own antibodies.
Either way, the vaccine is wasted and has no effect on improving the puppy's immune system.

Remember, as a puppy gets older, the antibodies from Mom begin to drop off in number, offering less and less protection. However, at this time, the puppy's immune system is beginning to ramp up. How quickly Mom's antibodies go away and the puppy's immune system gets going varies from puppy to puppy. But by starting vaccines at 6 weeks old, we try to expose the puppies to their first vaccination at a time when we expect Mom's antibody levels, or "titers", to be dropping off in the puppy's bloodstream, while at the same time, the puppy is beginning to be able to make antibodies on its own. When receiving this first vaccination, any remaining antibodies left over from Mom may neutralize some of the effects of the vaccination, but with limited amounts of antibody left, not all of the bacteria & viruses can be found and flagged by the maternal antibodies. Therefore, there is still be some bacteria and/or viruses left for the puppy's immune system to find and make antibodies against - but it won't be a lot, and the puppy's immune system may still not be all that great at making antibody. So we wait and vaccinate the puppy again about 3-4 weeks later. By this point, there should be even less maternal antibody remaining and at the same time, the puppy's immune system can make antibody more efficiently. We continue vaccinating the puppy until the time when all maternal antibody should be gone and the puppy's immune system has nearly reached its peak performance, typically around 16 weeks of age. At this point, we can feel confident that a puppy is fully protected against the disease we have vaccinated against.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

FINALLY! A New Blog Post!

Pink Girl - Westside Roses are Red, aka "Rose"

Hi everyone, and sorry for not getting any new posts up lately. The past 2 weeks have been hectic, especially since I traveled most of last week for work. San Antonio the first half of the week, a day back at home, then off to Ft. Lauderdale for two days. The trips went well, but I was anxious to get back and visit with the puppies... I went straight to my in-laws from the airport when I got back last Friday so that I could pay my puppies a visit! We were able to move the puppies to the outdoor set-up at Larry & Joyce's 2 weeks ago today, since Cincinnati finally had a break in the weather - we had several days in a row where the temperature was in the low to mid 80's after having maxed out in the 90s the entire week before. It worked out great for acclimating the puppies to outdoor weather. While I miss having the puppies in the house to watch and mush on, I was finally able to start going to bed earlier than 1:30am or later every night. That last week when they were going on 5 weeks, I felt like all I did was mop the floor, make puppy gruel, and clean up little piles and puddles of puppy mess! See, there's a reason why beagle puppies are just so darn cute!!!

When I made it over to Joyce & Larry's after Ft. Lauderdale, I couldn't believe how much the puppies had changed in the several days since I had last seen them! I opened the door to their kennel, and was rushed by little puppies and when I sat down on the ground, they all just had to clamor into my lap at the same time! Once they had a little lovin', then it was off to the yard to run around in the grass and in the flower beds, chewing on sticks and destroying Joyce's hastas. After a good round of boisterous play, then suddenly, as though a timer had gone off, all of the puppies crashed. The grass was littered with the bodies of little puppies who slept as though they'd been drugged! Well, all except for Yellow boy (now wearing a red collar), who would struggle as though he just couldn't get comfortable, then snake through the grass, still laying on his side, eyes closed, pushing off with his hind feet as he tried to find just the right spot! Those little puppies are so enjoyable right now that it makes me sad to think that I have just another week and a half with all of them!

One of the last tasks for me to do for the puppies is to take them for their first vet's visit. They'll be going to get their checkup this Saturday and when everything checks out, they will get their first puppy shot. As for other preventive health details, everyone has now received 3 wormings. At their 9-10 week vet appointment, you will want to have the vet check their stool to verify that everyone is worm-free.

So moving on to some of the details for puppy homecomings...

Dave & I selected Pink girl and Purple (formerly Orange) girl.
John & Sylvia came out to visit the other night and have selected Blue boy (after some tough back and forth over him & Green boy).
John & Monica have just recently returned from vacation and will most likely come out to visit again before they make their decision. After their last visit, they were leaning towards Green boy, but John was also in love with White girl.
Dan will be up after John & Monica select, then Dave & his family will have the final pick. Dan & Dave, let me know if you would like to come down to visit...

Well everybody, its going on 11:40pm and I'd like to try to make it to bed before midnight for once! Please enjoy the update slide show and keep in touch.

Oh, and if anyone would like to order a new puppy kit, let me know and tell me what you'd like to see included. Once I know what you'd like, I can get back with you about pricing information and you can tell me if you'd like me to go ahead with the order. As an FYI, all puppies will go home with their collars, a matching lead, paperwork, vaccination & health care records, a weeks worth of puppy chow (Purina ONE) and, of course, a plush chew toy.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Puppies are so active!

Hi everyone. Here's my weekly update on Rogue and her puppies...

The puppies are doing great! They are still in my kitchen for the time being, but the diarrhea has finally resolved and the puppies are growing in leaps and bounds. Their eyes are completely open, as are their ears, and I can feel their baby teeth starting to pop through. With these gains, the puppies have become very active and curious. I did have the entryway to the crate blocked off, but the puppies could see mom outside of the box and were launching themselves over the barrier so they could get to her and try to nurse while she was "on break". However, once puppies got out, they couldn't get back in, so the barrier is down and puppies have now decided they like life outside of the crate! They occasionally crawl back in, but for the most part, they want to be outside. This means Dave and I have to be very careful when entering the kitchen because you never know where a puppy has decided to take a nap!

I can't believe how big and active these puppies are. They are further along at going on 3 weeks than any other puppies we've had. They are already walking around on all fours, already wrestle and bite at each other, and have even started eating some gruel (ground up puppy chow soaked in water then made soupy with milk formula)! They seem about a week ahead of schedule to us. We don't usually start offering gruel until 4 weeks old, but they are such vigorous feeders that they are quickly draining mom and still left wanting more! Since they are so young, we just have to make sure we make the gruel very liquid so that they get enough hydration. It is so much fun to see the puppies eating - they get so excited over the food that they even climb right into the dish of food! They are still too little to use the feeder bowl with the raised center to keep them from doing this, so for the time being, food diving it is!

I've added tons of new photos to my slideshow, including feeding pics, so enjoy!

Mom is now doing great with letting us handle the puppies and remove them from her immediate vicinity. Therefore, beginning next weekend, visitors are welcome. We'll let you know where puppies will be, but we are hoping to move them back to Dave's parents' next weekend. Til the next post....

Monday, July 7, 2008

Eyes have started opening!

Everyone is doing well, and the diarrhea issues seem to be resolving. White girl was hit the hardest by the diarrhea and is much smaller than her brothers and sisters now. Nonetheless, all the puppies are getting so big, its hard to believe they aren't quite yet 2 weeks old! Usually we wait until at least 2 weeks of age to give puppies their first wormer, but I gave wormer 2 days early just to be on the safe side and to make sure that the diarrhea issues aren't due to a heavy roundworm load.

I'm including individual pics of all the puppies in my post today so that you can all begin to start thinking about which puppies you are the most interested in.
Blue boy - Birth weight 10¼ ounces, Today's weight 26 ounces!
Pink Girl - Birth weight 10 ounces, Today's weight 24 ounces!
Green boy - Birth weight 10 ounces, Today's weight 23 ounces!
Orange girl - Birth weight 9½ ounces, Today's weight 23¼ ounces!
Yellow boy - Birth weight 10¾ ounces, Today's weight 27½ ounces!
White girl - Birth weight 10¼ ounces, Today's weight 18½ ounces.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Latest Update

Hi everyone,

Wanted to let you know that I haven't forgotten about all of you who are waiting to hear more news about the puppies. I have been so busy with animals this week that I am exhausted! Dave is out of town for his brother's wedding, so I have been caring for dogs at the property, newborns, hop-a-long Blackie, & Nika, my indoor doggie. This in addition to my other responsibilities! Then, to add to things, one of my cats who has had some allergy problems manifested by "acne" on her chin had one of her pimples abcess and started running a fever today! 103.5! So back to the vet for another animal! Too bad I don't get frequent flier miles!!!

Mom and puppies overall are doing well. I'm currently dealing with some diarrhea issues in the puppies, which is keeping me busy. I went over to my inlaws (who are also out of town for the wedding) to check on puppies yesterday to find that all the puppies were covered in their own stool - yuck! Apparently mom, who is been very devoted to the puppies, is lacking in one respect - she is not very fastidious about keeping the nestbox clean, which is very unusual! Closer inspection of the puppies and the bedding revealed that while several of the pups had diarrhea, one girl in particular had a very bad case (her stool was green with bile bc everything was going straight through her). She was limp and dehydrated, which could easily result in death for such a little one without quick intervention. I promtly gave her some Pedialyte for the time being, cleaned up all the puppies, loaded them into my car, then headed off to the vet's office & the grocery to pick up necessary supplies.

Having run my errands with everyone loaded up in my car, I finally made it back home. I set up Mom & puppies in my condo (which is getting to be quite a full house!), placed them in my kitchen and blocked access to the rest of the condo by setting up baby gates, which splits the condo into zones. . . the bedroom & office for cats, the kitchen for Rogue and the pups, & the living room / dining room for Blackie & Nika!

All set up, I started subcutaeous fluids on the dehydrated little girl (white collar) and gave her children's Immodium. I followed up with more fluids at intervals through the night. (Who needs sleep, right?) She has since perked up quite a bit and her diarrhea is somewhat improved, but she still requires close monitoring and fluids.

So what is causing this diarrhea bout? Often puppies can get diarrhea just from overeating, and Rogue certainly makes sure they get plenty to eat! There could be other causes, but I suspect that this is the reason for the diarrhea. However, I'll be keeping a close eye on them, continuing to offer Immodium as needed, and will follow up with the vet if this doesn't clear up shortly! Besides, I'm doing laundry like no other right now, trying to keep them in fresh clean bedding, so I sure hope this clears up soon, for both my sake and theirs (poor little puppy hinies :( )

So as you can see from another one of my lengthy blogs, I have had my hands full, and that hasn't left me much time to deal with some of the logistical things for all of you, such as following up on reservations and so on. I haven't forgotten you all, so hang in there! I will try to follow up with all of you individually by Monday evening. Til then, wish me luck!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Update on Beagle Puppies

Hi everybody! I finally had a chance to get on the computer and post some more photos for all to see. Sorry it took me a few days, but what a crazy week this has been! I feel like I've been living at the vet's office!

In addition to going for more than 24 hours without sleep and going through a stressful puppy delivery, yesterday I was at the vet's office from 9am until 9pm, working in the morning, then staying afterwards so that I could assist the veterinarian with a long and experimental surgery on on of our male beagles in an attempt to save his leg from amputation About 2 weeks ago, he and two of our other males were running around the yard out at the property when a doe crossed their path. Deer have a very strong smell and the beagles began to excitedly chase her. Apparently she must have had fawns bedded down near by, because when I heard the dogs barking and looked out from the kennels I was cleaning, I could see that she was standing her ground, kicking and chasing them. When I called the dogs off, they came running single file, the first two at full speed, but lagging behind (with the doe still chasing and trying to headbutt him) was our male Blackie, running 3-legged - his left hind leg held up with his foot dangling limply. X-rays showed that he had completely dislocated his ankle and once it was put back into place, it was obvious that the ligaments had all been torn. Our vet said that the kind of injury he had is almost never seen - the doe must have actually stepped directly on his ankle to have caused the kind of damage that was done! My husband and I took Blackie home, his leg splinted, to try to figure out what we wanted to do. After much discussion with the vet, we decided to have him see what he could do surgically. So on Saturday, the vet stayed after hours and he and I did an experimental surgery involving placement of a bone graft and pins in his ankle plus to try to fuse the joint in an attempt to save his leg. Only time will tell if this will work, but in the meantime, after assisting with a difficult labor for Rogue and a very long surgery on Blackie, I'm beat and I haven't done much else other than take care of dogs and sleep!

Ok, so after that tangent about Blackie, I'll get back to Rogue and the puppies, since that's the real reason you're reading this blog!

...At first, after getting mom and the puppies home, we were a little concerned because Rogue was refusing to eat, despite offering about every food the pet store offered. But then, on Friday she resumed eating again. I have since read that this is not uncommon in the first few days after whelping, but we've never had a dog do this before!

Despite our worries, the lack of food didn't seem to hurt Rogue's ability to provide for the puppies and they have been doing great. They continue to grow very quickly, have nice round puppy bellies, and for the most part are quiet. This is a very good sign that mom is doing her job. It's kind of like with babies - if their diaper is clean, their belly is full, and they are comfortable, they usually aren't crying. Well same holds true with puppies - if they're not happy, they whine and cry, sounding similar to the baby Mandrake roots when they get uprooted in the Harry Potter movie! Right now mom still has to lick puppy bottoms to stimulate them to use the bathroom, she has plenty of milk to go around, and Dave and I are keeping the nestbox clean and warm. About the only time the puppies make noise is when mom shifts and lays on them ("Mo-omm! What are you doing! I'm under here!"), when I pick them up to weigh them ("Hey, I was comfortable here!"), when one of them pushes another off of their choice nursing spot, or when they have little puppy dreams (then they will grumble with little bitty growls in their sleep, their legs and ears twitching). They are so cute, and sweet, and just beautiful!

So that I can share more pictures with you all and so that you can see how cute the puppies are, I've figured out how to do a slideshow of my most recent pictures. You can find the slideshow in the panel on the right. I'll continue to update this as I get more pictures and you can let me know if you prefer the slideshow by adding a comment to the blog. As you look through the pictures it may help to know who's who by looking at the puppy collars. So in birth order:

1) Blue = male puppy #1
2) Pink = female puppy #1
3) Green = male puppy #2
4) Orange = female puppy #2
5) Yellow = male puppy #3
6) White = female puppy #3

We will keep the puppies wearing the same color collars as they grow older so that you can identify each puppy in the pictures.

Finally, as you look through the pictues, if you haven't already let me know, I need you to confirm to me that you would like to continue to be on the waiting list for these puppies. I have a family (Dave D.) who is interested in a puppy, but did not get back to me in time to make the cut for this waiting list. They will be alternates in case you decide, either now or later, that one of the puppies in this litter is not meant for you. If you still wish to reserve a puppy from this litter, as previously discussed we will need to receive your deposit of $150. If you are further back on the list and you pay the deposit, you will have the opportunity to defer selection of a puppy from this litter and to be placed at the front of our next waiting list should the remaining puppy/s not be what you are looking for. I will contact each of you within the next few days to confirm your decision and to arrange for payment (John & Sylvia not included, since you're already taken care of.)

***One thing that I would like to let everyone know (and I believe that I've already told everyone), is that Dave & I were planning to keep a puppy from this litter, which will be a female. In addition, Dave has been asking me if we can keep one more female from this litter. We have heard back from the first family on the waiting list that they will be unable to take a puppy at this time. Because of this, and because it does not displace anyone else from their position on the list, I have agreed that we can keep one more puppy, which will also be a female. Therefore, there will only be one female and three males available. Please keep this in mind in making your decision about reserving a puppy if you have a strong sex preference.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

First Puppy Pics

Here they are - the first pics:

As you can see, Mom is doing a great job taking care of the puppies. I'm amazed at how well she's doing, as it was a very long night for her!
I was on my way to work yesterday when my mother-in-law called and told me that Rogue was making a racket and was all worked up. I turned around, headed for home, changed clothes, then headed over to my in-laws. (We moved her over there when she was about due so that we could keep a closer eye on her since we haven't built our home yet out at the property.) This being Rogue's first pregnancy, I think she wasn't sure what was going on and was a little scared. She had started having her first contractions. I ended up sitting with her all day yesterday because she started barking and crying if I left her side even for a few minutes.
Around 4pm yesterday, she began squatting as though she needed to urinate. Then the first sac began to show. Rogue didn't know quite what to make of this and kept trying to lick it away. At 4:25pm, the sac broke, but no good contractions kicked in and no puppy appeared. I tried a few techniques to try to stimulate her to pick up her contractions, but they didn't work. After waiting an hour, with little-to-no contractions and a puppy I couldn't reach still lined up and waiting to arrive, I packed my whelping supplies up and we headed for the vet's office. Things just weren't normal and I wasn't willing to chance things.
At the office, the veterinarian examined Rogue. She was fully dialated, but he said he couldn't feel the puppy in the birth canal. I started worrying that we were going to lose the first puppy because of the amount of time that had passed - with every minute, the likelihood that the puppy would suffocate or drown increased. We hooked Rogue up to an IV, gave her some calcium to prime her muscles, waited half an hour, then administered Oxytocin to initiate contractions. Then we waited some more. Finally, around 8:30pm, she began to have some solid contractions. But she couldn't pass the first pup on her own - although it cleared her pelvic girdle just fine, she was too tight. Poor Rogue had to have an episiotomy, and the vet pulled out the first puppy to discover that despite the amount of time that had passed, he had made it out alive!
After successfully delivering the first puppy, I went about setting up the office breakroom as Rogue's new whelping area. She managed to deliver the next pup, a little girl, on her own about an hour later. We figured that everything would go smoothly from there on out, so the vet and the office staff headed for home, and I settled in for the night to wait out the rest of the puppies.
Unfortunately for both me and Rogue, things didn't go as smoothly was we had hoped and she didn't have an easy time of it. She was unable to pass any of the rest of the puppies on her own - I think she was just too tired and the pups were rather large for beagle pups. I spent all night and morning sitting up with her making sure that I helped each puppy out when it became clear that she wasn't able to do much on her own - and some of the pups had a very tight squeeze to get out despite the episiotomy! Finally, at 7am this morning, Rogue delivered her very last puppy - a little girl - right before the staff began coming back in for the day. When the vet came in, he stitched her up and Rogue was a champ getting through it. Throughout everything she had been through, she was patient, well-behaved, and didn't hold anything against me or anyone else.
I packed up Rogue and the puppies and headed back over to my in-laws where I proceded to get mom and pups situated and settled in. I got a little bit of laundry started, and then I was on my way home. Rogue was so caught up with her new little ones that she barely noticed when I left. Then a message on this blog for everyone...then...sleep! I crashed on the couch with two beagles laying on top of me and didn't budge until 6:30pm this evening...checked in on puppies again, took some pics...posted this blog...and now its time to sleep again! Until the next post...

Puppies are here!

After a very long afternoon, night, and morning puppies are here safe and healthy! Mom is tired but doing great. I'm exhausted, sore, and think my joints will never feel the same again. Since I've been awake since 7:30am yesterday and its now 11:30am on Tuesday, I'm going to eat some lunch then crash for awhile. Pics on the way soon...3 girls & 3 boys, all beautiful tri-color pups! Stay tuned!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

No puppies yet...

No puppies yet, but Rogue is definitely close! Her belly looks like it is almost touching the ground now! She also seems anxious and overly affectionate. The watch continues...keep watching and I'll let you know when puppies arrive!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Looks like six puppies are on their way!

We took Rogue for x-rays yesterday. It was absolutely amazing to see all the little skeletons stretched out acrosss Rogue's belly! There very clearly were 6 puppies showing up on the x-rays. And not a one of those puppies was curled up all nice and, they really were all stretched out and taking up plenty of space! It was funny to see, especially since I could easily feel little puppies moving around like bumper cars in Rogue's belly and knew those puppies were wide awake when we took the x-rays! Six puppies is a nice, manageable number of puppies and works out perfectly with the number of you that have asked to be placed on the waiting list. Now just cross your fingers and say a little prayer that all goes smoothly! I expect that it will since the x-rays did not show any big noggin puppies that could potentially clog up the works! Still, wish us luck!

Monday, June 16, 2008

In the home stretch!

Well, it's getting awfully close! Rogue is doing great, her belly is very large, and she has already dropped milk! She will be going to the vet on Wednesday so that I can get an approximation of how many puppies to expect and how big they look. I suspect that she will be having the puppies this upcoming weekend, although her official due date is June 25th. I'll keep everyone updated. Enjoy the pics!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Monday, June 2, 2008

A whole lot more than a baby bump!

Wow! What a difference a week makes! I don't think there is any question that Rogue is pregnant now! Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera along with me this past weekend, so I don't have any pics to share.

So when I went out to the property on Saturday (my first time all week, since Dave takes care of the kennels on weekdays), I was amazed to see how fat Rogue looked. Then, then on Sunday, she looked even bigger! Dave says she looked bigger yet again today. It's crazy to think she can change that much overnight!

Considering that our experience tell us that pregnant dogs usually gain the most in their last week, I think that Rogue is likely to have quite a large litter. I would imagine that she will have at least 6-8 pups, if not more. We'll just have to see, but I've gotten pretty good at predicting the number of pups based on how soon the dams show, how they carry, and how big they get. Not an exact science... but you start to get good at reading the signs.

As for appetite, Rogue has begun eating well again. She still isn't eating much more than her normal portions, but this may be due in part to the fact that she is eating a high quality food with lots of animal source protein. And of course, she still doesn't pass up a biscuit!

Hopefully I can get a camera out to the property sometime during the week so I can let all of you see what she looks like. It's really entertaining to see!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Just a little bit of a belly...

While we were out at the property today, John, Monica, & their two boys came out to visit. Rogue particularly took to John, while the 9 month old puppies Potter, Luna, & Lily couldn't quite decide whether to play with the boys or chew on their rawhides.
Rogue continues to be a picky eater, which is unusual for her but not unusual during the first part of a pregnancy. We've been offering her all sorts of food to encourage her to eat, but she mainly just picks at her food eating little bits at a time. Despite this, she'll still take all the dog biscuits she can get and loves her raw hides!
I finally seem to have found a food that she seems to like better than the others - Bill Jac, which of course is one of the most expenisve foods at Petsmart! Oh well... as long as she eats it! The Bill Jac food is high in animal protein, which is important for growing puppies, so at least she's eating food that's good for her.
Despite Rogue's poor appetite, she still seems to have just a bit of a belly starting, so keep on keeping your fingers crossed! You can be the judge...

Baby bump?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Still waiting to see...

So the wait continues...but the signs are good, as Rogue is not eating very well. This often may happen early on in pregnancy to females. It is commonly believed to be associated with "morning sickness" which will pass later as the pregnancy progresses. So how and when do we know for sure that Rogue is pregnant?

The options for determining pregnancy in dogs are as follows:
  1. Wait for all of the obvious signs, such as weight gain & lactation. However, some dogs may go through false pregnancies where they show abdominal distension and even produce milk! This is definitely not the most reliable way to tell!
  2. After ~22 days post-breeding, blood may be drawn to run an early pregnancy test for the hormone relaxin. This is a negative or positive test, and does not give us any additional information about the puppies.
  3. At ~25 to 28 days post-breeding, ultrasound can be used to detect fetal heartbeats. It may be difficult to tell exactly how many hearts are beating, but this method can still be used to help estimate litter size.
  4. At ~21 to 31 days post-breeding, abdominal palpation may be used to try to feel the walnut-sized fetuses. Ideal timing is to palpate at approximately 28 days. This requires skill & experience and is not the best way to estimate the number of puppies present.
  5. At ~45-48 days post-breeding, puppy skeletons have begun to calcify and can begin to be picked up on x-ray. This can be used to help estimate the number and size of puppies. As for any safety concerns, x-rays are commonly done in this later stage of pregancy and are considered to be relatively safe. Early pregnancy is when x-rays pose the most significant risk to unborn puppies.

We haven't yet decided what method we will used to confirm Rogue's pregnancy. We typically wait to do x-rays because this allows us to estimate the number and size of the puppies. This information helps us to make critical decisions during the labor.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Rogue is in Virginia

So I got it wrong... I thought the stud dog owner said West Virginia, but it turns out that he said "Western" Virginia, near Kentucky. Aaagghh! An easy mistake though! :) Dave drove part way and met up with Blake's owner Danny in Barbourville, KY at Tommy Bay's place. (I had to work.) Tommy is the owner of FC Goersch's Red Bull, the sire of DeeDee's first litter (5/06). Danny had brought Blake along so that Dave could check him out. Dave thought that Blake was a very nice looking dog, and with reports that Blake is producing smaller pups who are placing well in field trials, we are excited about the potential for some great running pups who have Mom & Dad's good looks & great personalities. Keep your fingers crossed!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Taking Rogue to meet FC Willie's Bad Boy Blake on Wednesday!

This is my first blog entry to update everyone on our anticipated litter out of Westside Rip Roarin' Rogue. We'll be taking Rogue to West Virginia on Wednesday to be bred to Blake, a handsome tri-color male who has produced some excellent beagle pups with good conformation and running ability. Rogue will stay over until Sunday so that she can be bred 2 or 3 times. Then the wait begins! Check back in here and we'll let you know how things are going and hopefully share some pics of Rogue's first journey into motherhood. Til then!