Saturday, August 21, 2010

Puppies?? OH, YEAH!!!!!

  Jewel had her ultrasound this morning.  We were sure she is pregnant (or else the best false pregnancy in dog history!) but anxious to get an idea of how many puppies are in that every growing tummy.  I read in one of my books of a breeder that uses a tape measure to get an idea of how many puppies were in a litter.  I've meant to try this before, but would forget to find the tape measure until a few weeks after the breeding. For Jewel, though, I got the tape measure and measured her within the first week of being bred to Evan.  She's to be measured right at the last rib and each inch increase equals one puppy.  Her starting measurement was 22 inches.  By yesterday, it was 28 inches and we still have 3 weeks before her due date!  I didn't say anything about this experiment to my vet until Dr. Robbins was counting puppies on the ultrasound screen.  The first puppy showed up the instant he touched the scanner to Jewel's tummy.  And such sweet words to hear, "oh yeah, she is pregnant".  From there, we just saw one heartbeat after  Dr. Robbins wanted to re-count, but the puppies started to really begin moving and rolling.  He was looking for the heartbeats and I was watching the shapes dart in and up, in and out of view on the screen.  Finally, he pronounced it would be a litter of seven, plus or minus.  He guessed we could go as high as nine, definitely six.  I explained the tape measure experiment, which he found very intriguing and wants me to let him know Jewel's final measurement.  A high tech machine versus a tape measure--we'll see which is more accurate!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

First Public Outings

  Jackson has made his first public debuts!  He's been to the vet, then two fun outings. A week ago, he made his first trip to Casanel Winery where he was a big hit with all De Souza's, of course!  (actually, everybody he encountered) It was his first experience with a leash and collar, but after just a couple of minutes, he acted like it was no big deal and walked like an experienced pup!  Our club had a private wine tasting and spent the afternoon enjoying wine, and relaxing with our dogs.  Jackson acted as if he's been to club events many a time.  He enjoyed meeting people and the other dogs.  He pestered poor Dylan for a bit, but Dylan, being the good sport he is, tolerated it for as long as he could, then just slipped away from Jackson.
  The other day, we took Jackson along for dinner at Lowry's Crab Shack.  Again, he was perfectly behaved, had a great time and got lots of attention.  Other than trying to play with stray crab part and a cigarette butt, he was content to play with his toys and watch the activity around him.  One person thought he was a huskie puppy (?????) but everyone thought he was beautiful.  We do, too!
  Here he is at Casanel:

Taste Testers

 Our club, The Northern Virginia Collie Club, is going to have a booth at the Virginia Scottish Games as part of the Dogs of Scotland.  There will be special events for Sunday and I'm wondering if Jackson is old enough to participate in the "Terrier Wannabe" races.  The club is hoping we can raise some money by having a raffle and selling treats.  I've been going through some dog cookbooks, picking out recipes.  I'm thinking about making pretzels, biscotti and different cookies.  I think my first three days of retirement will be spent baking!  The first recipe I tested from the Three Dog Bakery Cookbook was Blue Blue Berry Berry Buns Buns.  Our dogs loved them!  I took some to share with the club's dogs at our taste testing at Casanel Winery, but they didn't seem to enjoy them as much.  Our dogs don't get lots of special treats so they might not be good barometers for testing recipes!
  Sasha definitely thinks I'm spending too much time on this project.  I need to find a cat treat cookbook to appease her hurt feelings (and to get back my dog cookbooks):