A Very Good Day!

Puppies are all up and walking about…reasonably steady for the age!  Then with the start of play time comes the feeling of hungry.


On Tuesday, I tried to show them some food but no, not good enough and not the same as mother makes. So we play some more…




and more…






and then some more…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand a little more….







Finally on Thursday, we tried a dish of food again. What do you know…It was a very popular hit with everyone! MMMM….mmmm, GOOD!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA




Describing the Hobbit Habits of Fancy….

Fancy is putting up with a lot of inconvenience!  Some people might wonder why I already talk about getting the puppies onto some form of food other that poor Fancy nursing her (now) huge and rapidly growing puppies.


I offer this evidence of her patience and her Hobbit Habits:

The heat lamp went off on the 16th day of age as they are now big enough to be warm on their own. Fancy the Hobbit is eating for 10 now, as well as her own nutritional needs. That means she is drinking about 2 gallons of water per day and eating 12 cups of highly nutritious very expensive dog food in four meals per day.

Fancy has adopted a Hobbit’s schedule where she goes outside, then comes in to find that I have set out her 8’ish breakfast, her elevenses, her four o’clock tea, or then her supper. There’s even the bedtime snack at 10 pm. After a meal and a good drink of water, Fancy attempts to lay down with the puppies but you can see her problem. They all pile up so fast, there’s no clear spot for her. After a little time, they are willing to move a bit and she then can cuddle with them.

Due to her Hobbit’s Habit of many meals, she is maintaining good weight and a glossy coat despite the nutritional strain. Today I set out a soaked meal of puppy food and weaning gravy but they weren’t too interested in it. That means that Fancy is keeping them full. Consider, 10 puppies x 2 pounds = 20 pounds of puppies to nurse and that number gets heavier every day–soon, they will be too big for her to support. Fancy only weighs about 45 pounds!  I will keep putting down the food until they finally give it a try.




Two Weeks Old….Eyes Are Open!

The weather for three days has been thawing the ice and snow. I’ve been working hard to clear the run-off and the iceberg that formed at the front door. I’ve dug, shoveled, and even power washed to take advantage of this narrow window of opportunity as tonight, we are plunged 20 degrees down past freezing again!

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Yet, the puppies appear exhausted by MY hard labor…

Here’s a sweet little guy showing how he can now look back at you!

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But it is so-o-o-o-o-o hard to keep your eyes open when you’ve had a hard day of nursing from Mom and growing all those joints and muscles and organs and then more skin to cover it all and bigger feet to carry it all, and then start all over again!

I can tell you, it’s pretty exhausting!

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I feel sleepy just telling you about it all….<yawn>……I think I’ll take another nap now.

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Remember when we all could fit in a cardboard box and have room left over around the edges? Well, we tried that again but it took two boxes and there wasn’t a whole lot of room left over. Yes, this is the same size box as last week!

For some reason though,we wanted to be 6 in one box and 4 in the other no matter how many times we were rebalanced to be 5 and 5…..Already showing terrier stubbornness?

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One of us has heard about “thinking outside the box” but it doesn’t seem all that nice out there…..so what’s the big deal? Inside, outside, it’s all nap time.

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We’ve also been told that there will be playtime added to our days….We’ll have to get back to you on that. So far, the new job of looking and hearing is enough to learn for a little bit because we are all still growing and growing and ….

…<YAWN> Have to work on better coordination and walking and….well, later, it’s time for a nice nap now….Seneca Airedales 02202014.4

Now for the quiet work….

Eat, sleep, and grow! These next days will be quiet ones as the puppies and Fancy have settled into a quiet routine of eating, sleeping and growing. As far as plot development goes, it’s boring stuff.

Seneca Airedales


Today, Fancy had her first bath since the whelping. While she was drying, the puppies passed the tails and dewclaws phase with exceptional care and ease. As all puppies, they are still blind and deaf with eyes and ears sealed shut. As they sleep, they constantly twitch and move while their nervous system develops along with bigger bodies. They have been gaining about 2 ounces every 24 hours; that’s a 15-20% weight gain daily! In just 5 days they will have doubled in size.

To while away our quiet days, I will endeavor to put together a photographic pedigree over the next few days if I can get this platform to do it. Also, just to keep you up to date, here is a pic of the 10 just about filling the box to the edges….almost!

Off to an excellent start!

The first two days have been a blur for me. Every time I hear them it results in my running back to check. I should wear a pedometer! Fortunately, it’s a small house. Here’s the whole family, taken within 24 hours of the last birth:


On Thursday night, I checked on them too many times to count. At 3 am, I had Fancy go outside for a quick potty break as it had been over 7 hours since her last. Sometimes she just sits outside the door waiting for me to let her go back to her puppies. It’s just like the three year old child who says he doesn’t have to go. Sure enough, I let her back in and I lie down, but fifteen minutes later she’s nudging her gate and wanting to go back out. I let her out with a sleepy wisecrack, “Forgot something, did we?” While she was out, I changed a few soiled newspapers and took the second photo below….entitled: Sleeping Puppy Landscape, 3:15 am




I would have loved to see MC Escher do a drawing of intertwined puppies!

I noted on Friday morning most of the puppies had lost up to an ounce from their birth weight. Some of this is the normal drying and elimination of fluids from birth. But part of this is that Fancy is producing colostrum, a thick sticky yellow milk that provides whole antibody cells to the puppies for immunization.

These cells are huge on the cellular landscape and far larger that what can pass through the walls of the digestion tract. It would be like attempting to pull a semi-truck into your garage! Yet this is vitally important to the puppies’ survival as their immune system is not yet functional and cannot protect them from the bacteria that exist on every surface, even on their mother’s coat. And, NO, I cannot run Fancy through a sterilizer.

So, if the antibody cells are too large to pass how does it help the puppies? Big finish….just for 36 hours after birth, the walls of the puppies’ intestines are able to pass these large semi-truck deliveries whole, thereby passing the immunity directly into the bloodstream and protecting them until 8-10 weeks old. Old enough for their own immune systems to take over and manufacture active immunity from their vaccinations and exposure to the environment. After 36 hours, that ability disappears and they are eating just for nourishment, not for immunity.

The colostrum is so thick the puppies work and work to nurse and get only small amounts for their efforts, resulting in weight loss the first 24 hours. You can see why I micro-manage to be sure all are doing the best that they can. This is a critical period when a newborn may not get enough to maintain the energy to nurse. As the newborn become hypoglycemic, in effect, starving to death, they descend into sleep, conserving their remaining energy but losing out on more opportunities to nurse.


It’s a vicious cycle that can spiral down into death. A hypoglycemic sleeping puppy looks much like a contented sleeping puppy, therefore, routinely I stir them up and put them back to nursing. Remember, as newborns they have little fat reserves to draw upon for energy.

Happy news! By Friday afternoon, Fancy’s “milk had come in” meaning that she switched over from colostrum to the more freely flowing whiter milk. I immediately noticed the puppies settling down and growing fatter, fuller stomachs while nursing more easily. 

Isn’t nature amazing!?!

On Friday night, I only needed to check on everyone two or three times and just a cursory glance to see all was well. I finally caught up on my sleep.

Puppies Arrive!

By 4 p.m. I knew that I wouldn’t have to wait until dark. Preparations had been made and now I went through everything again: Hand towels laid out, scale with fresh batteries, ribbons, paper and pen for recording, assorted supplies. I didn’t have much time between puppies as they were arriving, and being weighed, examined, and recorded for the next two hours.

4:45 Pink (f) weighed in at 9.75 oz

4:50 Blue (m) weighed in at 12.25 oz

5:45 Yellow (f) weighed in at 9.25 oz

5:55 Orange (m) weighed in at 12.00 oz

6:00 Green (m) weighed in at 9.00 oz

7:25 Red (f) weighed in at 12.00 oz

Whew! Fancy and I both took a short break here. She needed to go outside, briefly in the very cold weather. I was vigilant on the chance that she could abruptly go in to labor in the snow and produce a puppy in immediate danger of freezing to death. Yes, this could happen! We returned safely indoors. I was able to take care of the OTHER pets in my care, getting all fed quickly and well exercised. Then….

7:45 Gold (f) weighed in at 10.50 oz

Another break while I realized I was getting tired. She had not eaten all Tuesday which is normal as their body prepares for the effort of parturition. That previous night, Fancy had been restless, scratching up her bedding and generally unsettled. I was up frequently checking on her Tuesday night. I sleep within 10 steps of the nursery, so I hear everything. Due to my long years of experience, I knew that it wasn’t *quite* time yet that night. Still, I didn’t sleep soundly, nor for any great length of time when I did doze off, so it was catching up to me by Wednesday night. I was yawning but then….

9:40 Purple (f) weighed in at 12.50 oz

Knowing that she was not yet done, I waited…..and waited…..<yawn>and waited….now it’s Thursday…. 

1:15 am Sky Blue (f) weighed in at 10.50 oz

Yeah! Nine is great. I went to bed and, of course, frequently arose to re-position nursing puppies and check on them. Yes, I admit to being a micro-manager. I remember checking at 2:30 and 4 and then, with my husband Paul getting up for work, at 6. I wanted to get in just another 30 minutes…..


6: 30 Silver (m) weighed in at 12.25 oz and appeared magically as though to say “Ta-da”!

OK, I guess it’s 10! If you’ve been keeping score, we are micro-managing 4 boys – 6 girls.

That day, I logged a lot of miles as I work from home at the front and frequently ran to the back to check on Fancy and her babies. We are doing very well. But I’m so-o-o-o-o-o tired. Gotta go now–I hear them squeaking.

Ms. Zeppelin aka Fancy

I have SO much to catch up. Yesterday morning, Fancy was having trouble negotiating the corners of doorways as she could not seem allow enough room for her ginormous belly, have to back up and swing wider around the turns. I shouldn’t laugh, really I shouldn’t but <giggle, snicker> it was hard not to. scherl-airship-graf-zeppelin-1929

In honor of her maneuverability problems, she has earned the moniker, Ms Zeppelin. Light on her feet yet ponderous in her passage from one room to the next, it seemed appropriate.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  As the day continued,  I knew that this would  be the BIG day of the  puppies’ arrival. We  hung out for the whole  day together.  Frequently, she would  lie on her back  exposing acres of  tummy. By late  afternoon, events finally began to occur!

You’ll have to wait, as I mentioned, I have a LOT to catch up on! More info posting soon….

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