Monday, June 28, 2010

Puppy Update

  The remaining puppy is doing well and growing, growing, growing!  He weighs over 2 pounds!  He wiggles so on the scale, it's hard to get an exact weight.  I found if I roll him onto his back and make him hold still for a couple of seconds, the weight is fairly accurate.  It looks like his eyes might just about be starting to open.  He can stand up and will take a few shaky steps.  For the last few days, he's made some barking and growling sounds!  Sadie still likes her little guy but is not so quick to come when he calls--that's when he starts to barks!  Sometimes, though, Sadie acts like she's ready for something new.  She's back to being a picky eater.  I have to entice her with canned food in her dry kibble to get her to eat.  On Friday, she looked at her bowl of dry food, looked at me and sighed, then walked to the box, looked at the puppy and sighed.  She doesn't want to socialize with her buddies in the kennel but is very interested in the utility work that is happening on our road.  Hmmmm,  I wonder if there is a canine version of a neighborhood book club or a mother's day out that she might enjoy????
Here's some pictures of the big boy at eleven days old:

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Stick to the Play Book!

  So, the week has not gone according to plan.  Sadie was supposed to have the puppies this past Monday, not the previous Friday, the delivery was supposed to go smoothly and we would have had 4 healthy, fat puppies now, not just a healthy, fat singleton that is complaining loudly as I write this.  (if he doesn't eat every half hour, he apparently thinks he will never eat again).
  We were confident though, that the end of the week would go according to plan.  Dixie would finish her championship on Thursday and there was a good chance Jewel would pick up a major either Friday or Saturday.  The Fates/Collie gods must really be having a good laugh at our expense!  When I was bathing Dixie on Sunday, something didn't look quite right with her eye.  By Monday morning, when Ellen went to feed her, Dixie's eye was swollen and weeping.  It looked like she had been stung, but off to the vet to make sure she hadn't scratched it in some way.  It was a race against time, hoping the medicine would bring down the swelling before her show on Thursday.  By Thursday, her eye was much better, but not enough to go into the ring, pushing the hope for her championship to the next day and eliminating one of Jewel's chances for a major.  Late Thursday afternoon, Ellen noticed Dixie was scratching, in fact scratching so badly she had taken hair off the inside of her back legs (this is in addition to blowing coat!)  Dixie has fleas!  All my efforts to treat those pests naturally have been for naught and my insurance order of flea medicine didn't arrive in time before she left for the shows.  In Friday's show, Dixie finished third in a class of three.  Ellen said Jewel showed great and it sounded like she enjoyed being in the ring but there was no Winners ribbon or major points for her.
  So now, we hope that next week-end will bring us the results we want.  Maybe I should give Dixie and Jewel a copy of the play book for them to study ahead of time????

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Loss

  Just as I thought we had turned a corner, that I could start to relax and that all was well, we lost one of the puppies. He slipped away early Wednesday morning, of no apparent trauma or obvious cause.  He had been steadily gaining weight and while I said he was more mellow than his brother, he was active enough that I didn't anticipate this.  The remaining pup is very vigorous (thank heavens!), very vocal in expressing his needs and dislikes.  He really doesn't appreciate me waking him constantly to make sure he is still strong and healthy or weighing him every few hours!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Smooth Sailing Now

  Just as I thought Sadie would never settle down and I would be obligated to a month of sleeping in only 2 hour increments, everything turned around!  Sadie coughed up a nasty hair ball on Sunday afternoon, was calmer that night and by Monday morning was back to her sweet self.  I took the precaution of keeping her in a crate when I needed to do an errand, then heavily supervised her when she was with the puppies.  She had stopped picking them up by their various body parts, attempting to move them, but was still scratching up the rug in the whelping box, often covering the little guys.  By late afternoon, I removed the gate from the box, giving Sadie the freedom to move in and out as she wished.  Last night, she was sleeping in front of the box entrance, this morning, she started sleeping in her crate again.  She's had a frozen treat left over from our club's event this past Saturday and a good brushing to remove all that hair that is just now coming loose, instead of before whelping as it should have!  Sadie once again wants to hassle Bootsie, the cat, as she goes in and out of the house and relishes her meals.
  The good digital scale I ordered has just arrived and as soon as I find some batteries, I'll get an accurate weight on the puppies.  I'm anxious to see how much weight they've gained since Friday!

Sunday, June 20, 2010


  The last thing I said to Sadie on Thursday night was, "have your babies tomorrow if you must, but not on Saturday, I'd rather you didn't on Sunday, but Monday would be great"!  I went to bed, confident that nothing was going to happen--after all, she ate a huge dinner (finally found the right menu!), her temperature was normal and her tummy hair was firmly in place.  Both David and I thought puppies were not a possibility until Monday, at the very earliest....boy, were we wrong!  Sometime between 3:30 a.m.--when David peeked in before going to work--and my getting up at 6:00, Sadie had gone into labor, delivered four puppies and cleaned everything up!  She started barking when she heard me moving around and I hurried to her room, thinking the  remote possibility she might be starting labor but expecting she must really need to potty.  What a shock when I opened the door--two puppies in the crate, very vigorous, one puppy lifeless on the cold floor, another puppy barely moving behind the crate.  I quickly gathered up all the puppies, hoping that I could help all four.  I got the heat lamp on, towels to rub the puppies, newspapers on the whelping box floor but unfortunately, only the two pups from the crate survived.  I then sat with Sadie in the whelping box, hoping another puppy or two might appear.  We were at the vets by 9:00 for an x-ray to show that the two pups would be it.  The good news was that each was in terrific weight, one 10 oz, one 9 oz.
  The rest of the day was spent getting Sadie adjusted to her new status.  She is a terrific mama!  At least, until David got home about 7:00, when she began to get anxious and started picking the puppies up, trying to move them out of the box.  She settled back down after David went to bed, so we thought she wasn't comfortable with extra noise, however slight.  I spent Friday night on the sofa bed, checking on the new family every couple of hours.  In the morning, as the activity in the house increased, Sadie became more anxious, even frantic, which made her temperature start to spike.  I quickly got her to the vet and after a thorough exam, we decided to play it safe and Sadie was put on an antibiotic and a mild sedative.  What a difference!  We don't trust her to not accidently hurt the puppies, so she's in a crate for periods when we can't monitor her with her boys.  She's quite accepting of this, but when she's with the pups, she's the wonderful mom we had expected.  The pups are nursing well and now weigh about a pound each.  We're giving her longer and longer periods of time alone with the pups (always with one ear open to some squeaks) and she does well, as long as the house is quiet.  I made the mistake this afternoon of letting our son and daughter in law sneak a peek at the new babies, then spent the next couple of hours "apologizing" to Sadie.  I expect by Tuesday that all will be well.
  Here are some pictures from the last couple of days:

A few hours old

  Sadie and her sons

Two days old

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

And So It Begins....

  Sweet Sadie is not so sweet anymore!  Fat and grumpy, she's not adjusting to impending motherhood or perhaps she's just impatient with late pregnancy.  She no  longer likes any food we give her for more than one meal.  We're tempting her with various puppy foods, chicken broth, hand feeding and when all else fails, expensive dog cookies.  Tonight she did something funny--took her cookies into a crate and tried to hoard them inside the mat!  I could hear her tummy rumbling and finally Sadie relented and ate her cookies.  All the while, her full food bowl is sitting nearby. 
  Sadie now refuses to go into her special kennel yard but I think she doesn't like to be alone anymore.  She's in the nursery now, probably sleeping, and we'll indulge her every whim until  the puppies arrive.  Tomorrow I will finish cleaning her room, give her a bath and hope that Sadie won't have the puppies at least until Monday. Saturday, we're hosting an ice cream social at our house for the Northern Virginia Collie Club and I'm not planning on a whelping puppy demo to go with the rest of the events!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Puppies? Puppies! Puppies!!!!

  Sadie had her x-ray this morning and  four puppies were definitely in view!  There is probably a fifth and I'm hoping she rounds it up to an even six.  Sadie as gained ten pound since last August, which makes me wonder if the count could be even higher, that the pups were so well lined up in the x-ray that they were not discernible.
  We have one to two weeks before the mystery is solved.  Sadie is not giving us clues if she will deliver on her first due date or last so we will be prepared for the babies starting June 21--and keep a careful watch on Sadie at all times.  She's become a picky eater, doesn't care much for the puppy food we started her on.  I added chicken broth to tempt her appetite but that only worked for a couple of days.  I tried a different brand of food this morning, adding the broth for good measure, and she seemed more interested.
  Sadie's fur is coming off her belly and her coat is rather loose in general.  I'll do some trimming as delivery time nears, but in the meantime, I'm sure she'll enjoy a daily brushing!