Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Preparing Puppies for New Homes!

Hi Everyone,

I've been very busy with puppies and trying to get everything ready for them to go home to all of you.  I have received the emails from each of you sharing your plans for when you want to pick up, and it looks like pretty much everybody is planning to pick up on Saturday or Sunday.

As you prepare to bring your new puppy home, you will need to start assembling supplies.  The most important item you will need to purchase will be a wire crate.  I recommend a Medium-sized crate with dimensions approximately 30” x 19” x 21” with a wire divider that allows you to make a small space in the crate for while puppy is little and widen the amount of space in the crate as puppy gets bigger.  I really like the MidWest iCrate, which can be found at most local pet stores and is perfect for crating a beagle from puppyhood to adulthood.

As for a few other essential items, I will get you started by sending each puppy home with a nylon collar and leash (pink for girls, blue for boys), 1-2 toys (squeaky and rope toys), and a T-shirt or blanket that has the scent of mom and littermates.  All puppies will receive enough Purina ONE puppy chow to last for a week and I will send instructions for feeding and for transitioning to a new diet, should you decide you would like to switch to another puppy food.  Puppies will also have paperwork accompanying them, including a print-out of their pedigree, their AKC registration form, and their health record, which will document any exams, treatments, and vaccinations the puppies received while they were with us. 

The Big Day: Bringing Puppy Home
The day you finally get to bring your puppy home is an exciting one – you’ve probably been eagerly making plans for the big day and running those plans over and over again in your mind.  Just keep in mind that your new puppy is totally unaware of all the great things you have in store for him or her and will be easily overwhelmed by all of the new sights, sounds, and sensations he or she is about to experience.  Hopefully the following information will help make the transition from our kennel to your home as easy as possible.

The Car Ride
When you come to pick up your puppy, you should make sure at least two people come along for the ride – one person to drive and another person to hold the puppy.  This will make sure to keep the driver from being distracted and allow the passenger to concentrate on the needs of the puppy during the ride home.   If you are going to be traveling a relatively short distance, this will be the one time when you will hold the puppy for the entire car ride to help keep him or her feel safe and secure.  If you are going to be driving a distance of over an hour, you may want to consider bringing a carrier along and having the puppy stay in the carrier during the drive.  Either way, make sure to bring at least two towels – one for wrapping the puppy up in or lining the carrier, and another as a spare, in case the puppy has an accident.  You might want to also bring a plastic bag to put soiled towels in and baby wipes to aid in clean-up.

For a short drive, the puppy is unlikely to have an accident if he or she is allowed to use the bathroom before getting into the car.  For a longer drive, the puppy obviously is more likely to have an accident.  This time only, in the event of puppy’s first trip, resist the urge to stop off at a rest stop to allow the puppy to relieve him or herself.  You don’t want to potentially expose the puppy to infectious diseases at a time when he or she is both under stress and does not have full immunity.  If puppy has an accident, merely change out the soiled towel and provide him or her with a fresh one.  Potty training can start once you get him or her home.

Bathroom accidents aren’t the only mess your puppy is likely to make in the car.  It is not uncommon for puppies to get sick to their stomachs when they travel in the car due to the unfamiliarity of everything, not to mention the overwhelming sounds, vibrations and other sensations.  To help make the trip a little easier on puppy stomachs, we will withhold a puppy’s food in the hours prior to the car ride home and you can feed puppy once he or she gets home.

Finally Home!
To start things off on the right foot with your new puppy, you should plan to set aside plenty of devoted time to spend with him or her,  Once you get home with your puppy, take him or her directly to the area you have selected as the designated potty area.  Once he or she uses the bathroom (probably just urine), praise puppy and bring him or her inside your home.   Initially, you will want puppy to get limited access to the house.  (Allow him or her to get acclimated to an area before expanding access little by little over a period of days.)  Introduce puppy to the crate.  The crate should be placed in a location where the family spends most of their time and should be covered with a blanket (except for the opening) to make it cave-like.  Place the t-shirt or blanket with his or her mom’s and littermates’ scents inside, along with a toy or two.  Let puppy explore the crate, but don’t lock the door behind him or her.  You can also offer a few kibbles of food or some treats in the crate to begin to form a positive association.  Now you are off to the right start!  Please refer to other resources to get more details on proper crate training.  (I will send pdf copies of some of my favorite articles to each of you in the very near future.)

**If you noticed an email from this blog with no message, this was because when I post video with no written content, the video is not automatically included in the email.  Please find the video on the blog entry marked Saturday, October 15th.
Blue Boy - "Quill"
Dark Green Boy
Lime Green Boy - "Darby J"
Purple Girl
White Girl - "Lucy"
Yellow Girl - "Daisy"
Pink Girl

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Puppies Can't Stay Still!

Bruce Meets the Kids

Hi Everyone,

I think you've all been wondering what happened to me this past week and to be honest, I've been wondering myself.  Certainly it hasn't been my week, as to top things off, I got a nasty stomach bug that knocked the wind out of my sails like no else.  Today was the first time since Monday afternoon that my stomach felt normal but my energy was still drained and I slept nearly all day today.  I'm finally feeling pretty good now and I figured it was high time that I shared more pictures and news with all of you.

Since I've been ill, I haven't been out to see the puppies as much as I'd like, so Dave has made up for me by squeezing all the puppies (as he calls it!) for me.  The puppies LOVE Dave and they squeal and clamber all over each other, competing to be picked up and held by him.  It has been hard to be away from the puppies and every time I see them, I am amazed by how much bigger, smarter, more playful, and just plain speedier they keep getting!  They've been getting so speedy, in fact, that it has been harder and harder to capture pictures and video of them.  I'm doing my best for all of you, since I know you can't visit to come see them as often as you would all like. 

When it comes to taking pictures, Lime Green Boy is probably the hardest to capture without having the picture be blurry, while Blue Boy seems to stay front and center as usual.  Yellow Girl and White Girl are also somewhat easier to capture, as they seem to always be close to me.  Pink Girl and Purple Girl are usually tangled up in some sort of ruckus, which makes them harder to get, while Dark Green Boy continues his wandering ways - he loves to explore!  Despite always being off on his own private adventure while free, once confined, he jumps up over and over again, begging to be held, then snuggles in for my hugs and kisses, reciprocating by giving me plenty of kisses back!

I've tried to select out some of my favorite individual pictures from this past week to share with all of you here on the blog and will try to get pictures uploaded to Picassa before too long here.  I've also got videos to upload to YouTube, so hopefully you'll have plenty of puppy media to get your fix from shortly.  I appreciate you all bearing with my lack of communication over the past week as I've tried to get through my illness.  Take care and I'll be in touch soon!

Blue Boy - wouldn't want to miss a picture opp!
Blue Boy
Dark Green Boy - running off to explore again!
Dark Green Boy
Lime Green Boy - catch me if you can!
Lime Green Boy
Pink Girl - thinking about jumping!
Pink Girl
Purple Girl - look at that pose!
Purple Girl
White Girl - isn't she pretty?

White Girl

Yellow Girl - what'cha doin'?
Yellow Girl

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Latest Puppy Update

Hi Everyone,

So much for getting this posted on Thursday night!  I worked on updating our website for Westside Beagles and literally fell asleep at the computer on Thursday night.  Then, Friday was a 10 hour day for me at work with this darn cold, so I fell asleep crashed on the couch immediately after visiting puppies and eating dinner Friday night.  Finally, Saturday I spent most of the day out in the kennels and wrapped up my evening in Urgent Care getting a gash on my knee stitched up.  I appreciate everyone's patience with me, as I'm sure you are all eager for news, updates, and pictures of your future puppies!

As I mentioned previously, we moved puppies out to the property Thursday of last week.  Dave and I worried about the overnight temperatures, so we ended up bringing Summer and the puppies home overnight and then returned them to the kennels during the day.  All seemed to go well and the puppies did great in the kennels during the day, but the stress of transporting everyone back and forth daily ended up giving Summer diarrhea.  We finally rigged up things in the kennel to our satisfaction by extending the tarps we had hung up to protect against the wind, by placing a wind-flap on the entrance to the indoor nest box, and by double-checking that the hardcover heating pads were all warming sufficiently.

As it turns out that I was probably over worrying about the temperatures, because puppies seemed totally fine after staying in the kennels overnight.  On Monday, we had the first of our visitors to see the puppies - Valerie, Keith, and their three girls came out after work and homework in the evening to spend some quality time with everyone.  I took plenty of pictures as the puppies ran around in the grass and the sun like nobody's business, then crashed in the dog crate I put out with a rug in it.  Summer seemed totally unfazed by the puppies' wandering until a neighbor's dog came over to visit, and then she went crazy.  Uncle Blackie (Summer's brother and one of our indoor dogs) came to the rescue, immediately defending Summer and the puppies and chasing off the neighbor dog.  I was so proud of him!

Yesterday, on Saturday, MaryAnn and her daughter came out to visit from Shelby County, Kentucky.  It was a little on the chilly side, so we mostly stayed inside our barn/garage (I'm never sure what to call it because its a little of both!) with the space heater running.  They fell in love with each puppy as they picked one up at a time, making me laugh because Dave always teases me about saying "I like this one - Oh, I love this one, too!" every time I pick a puppy up.  I had hoped to get pictures of MaryAnn and her daughter with the puppies, as I had done when Valerie & Keith's family came out, but unfortunately I forgot my camera!  

With the puppies being out in the kennels, I don't take pictures 24-7, which means I don't have as many to share.  However, the plan for today is to go back out on this beautiful day, to let puppies run around in the sun again, and to take plenty of pictures to capture their fifth week of life.  It is so hard to believe they are already so old, which means I have to give them extra hugs and kisses because soon many of you will be taking over those responsibilities.  It will be hard to let the puppies go, but I am so pleased with the wonderful families we've selected to raise our babies! 

Blue Boy - he is always such a clown!

Green Boy - easily entertained and constantly exploring.

Lime Green Boy - off on his own, snoozing - for now!

Pink girl - still the crybaby who fights going to sleep.

Purple girl - outgoing and playful, and now exhausted!

White girl - look at those beautiful eyes!

Yellow girl - loves giving plenty of kisses and jumps up to be held.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

More video of puppies playing!

Hi Everyone,

I was hoping to post sooner, but I've caught a cold and have been feeling under the weather. Puppies continue to do great and I plan to post more updates and pictures later on today. Until then, here is some more video to whet your appetite...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New Design and New Videos

Hi Everyone, I'm sorry if you received emails with no links. I have updated the blog, given it a new design, and posted two more videos. Check them out when you get a chance! -Barb

Playing Puppies

Hungry Puppies

Monday, September 19, 2011

I've said it once and I'll say it again... these puppies are sooo stinkin' cute!

Hi Everyone,

I finally sorted through my ten zillion pictures of puppies to try to select a few to share with all of you.  I keep being compelled to take picture after picture, all the while explaining to Dave that I can't help myself - the puppies are just too stinkin' cute! 

Not only are the puppies beautiful, but they continue to grow and change in leaps and bounds daily.  They seem to be ahead of schedule as compared to our previous puppies, frequently doing things several days to a week in advance of our expectations.  For example, this past Thursday, when the puppies turned 3 weeks old, I found Purple girl and Dark green boy sticking their heads in Summer's food bowl and gumming on hard kibble!  Partly to deter them and partly to see what would happen, I soaked some puppy chow in water, mushed it up, and put it down on the ground.  Next thing I knew, all of the puppies are clamoring over one another to get to the food.  Normally we don't start offering softened puppy chow made into a gruel until our puppies are 4 weeks old - and even then, it usually takes the puppies a little bit to figure out how to eat the gruel.  Not these puppies - they went to town!

So in case you were wondering, the puppies are still indoors with us.  With the temperature dropping a little lower at night than we were expecting, we decided to keep them inside just a little bit longer, as puppies start to become much better at regulating their body temperatures beyond 3 weeks of age.  We plan to test out our hard cover heating pads to make sure they are working properly so we can make sure the puppies stay warm enough at night and will wait until Thursday to get them set up in the kennel.  This will give them a couple of days to get acclimated to the kennel before those of you who wish to visit come out to meet them.  If you would like to pay a visit, please make sure to give me a call so we can set up a time for you to come out.

Well everyone, it is starting to get late and I still need to post pictures to this blog entry as well, so I'm going to sign off here.  As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns and I will continue to stay in touch!  Enjoy the pictures!


Puppy Dreams...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

Eyes are open and puppies are on the move!

So stinkin' cute!!!

Hi everyone,

I was hoping to get another post up this weekend, but it ended up being a busy one!  Puppies are still indoors right now, but we are getting things ready to move them outside next weekend.  While it will be sad not to have them around 24/7, I know they are going to love the set-up in the kennels.

The puppies opened their eyes last Thursday, just as they turned 2 weeks old.  Since then, they have begun tearing around all over the place and I've put down non-slip foam flooring because they were crying every time they hit the linoleum.  Apparently they didn't like being slowed down by slippery flooring!

Aside from cruising around the kitchen, the puppies are also starting to wrestle with each other.  They bite each others' tails and I heard one of the puppies growl at another one for the first time the other day!  Without teeth, the puppy bites are pretty ineffectual, but I was shocked to find bruising on some of their bellies.  Turns out that when mom isn't nearby for a meal, they use each other as pacifiers and have been giving each other hickies!  Too bad they don't make binkies for puppies, huh?

Well guys, I'm beat and I'm sure you are all getting anxious to see pictures.  I didn't update Picassa, but I including several pictures in this blog post.  I also video taped the puppies and just need to figure out how to post the video on the blog so you can check the puppies out in action.  If all else fails and I can't post the video here, I'll post a link to YouTube and upload the video there.  Enjoy the pics!

All my best,

Hugs or wrestling?  Blue boy on the bottom with Purple (formerly orange) girl on top.
Blue boy gets cozy with White girl
Dark green boy stretches awake.
Enough sleep - let's get moving!
Blue boy snuggles with Lime green boy
Look at that sweet face!
Pink girl with...surprise...Blue boy!
Pink girl is bound to be a belly rub girl!
Purple (formerly orange) girl snoozes.
Nap time all around.
Dark green boy and White girl
White girl is the littlest puppy.
More puppy bellies!  White girl, Lime green boy, & Pink girl.
Yellow girl and Pink girl.

Yellow girl is the biggest girl.
White girl and Pink girl - all that walking around wore them out!
Blue boy...again.  He's always mugging for the camera!