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.

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