|PLOG - Baergli Puppy Blog - E litter - Sennenhof Rigi Kulm x Bekka vom Oberholzer Forst|
Welcome to our "PLOG" (aka Puppy Blog) for the Baergli "E" litter, born July 18. Here, you will be able to follow along in the puppies' development, watch them grow and develop. Note that the most current date will appear at the top.
One of the hardest things about breeding, or just having dogs for that matter, is knowing when to let go. Today we had to say good-bye to little Blossom, our pink puppy. She developed a severe gastric bacterial infection which she had been battling for 10 days. She had shown some improvement last weekend, was eating better and playing along with everyone else, and then she started deteriorating again mid-week. The vet suspected that she had developed some kind of intestinal blockage. She spent a very bad night, was uncomfortable and in pain; this morning we rushed her down to the vet. After much testing, the decision was made to let her go. The autopsy showed that her small intestine had folded into itself (a bit like a sock) over 30 cm! Poor little tyke, no wonder she was in such pain.
Yesterday the pups all went down to the vet for their health checks, vaccinations and microchipping. We loaded three crates into the van, put the puppies in, loaded up all the paraphernalia needed to go anywhere with puppies (extra mats, towels, paper towels, wet ones, garbage bags, poop bags and water) - our friend Jane was with us to provide extra hands. And then the van wouldn't start!!!!! We tried to boost it, but our booster cables were not working. So we unloaded everything, loaded one crate into the Soul and two crates into Jane's big truck, and finally off we went.
I am pleased to say that they all (except Blossom, of course) passed with flying colours. Everyone had a great time, including the vet and the technicians! The pups check out the whole examining room, from cupboards to baseboards to chairs and casters. Tansy and Rainbow were the first to discover the "sproingy" door stop! At first they approached it carefully, then play bowed, and then lay there swatting it with their paws or noses to make it sproing. Of course, then everyone else had to check it out. They were real troopers with the injections, hardly a peep. We brought a mat so that they could use it as a litter box. Everyone was very impressed that they all (on the most part) went there to do their business. In between vaccines and microchipping, they had a snooze, then woke up with batteries recharged.
Yesterday morning, and again today, the pups got to play with Bekka in the back yard. At first, they were all trying to nurse, but she told them to get off in no uncertain terms! When she growled at them, the suddenly all sat back and looked at her as if to say "Oh, we'd better not do that again." Below are two videos of Bekka playing with the pups.
Labour Day is over, followed by provincial elections here in Quebec. And today the pups went out into the "bigger" back yard. Until now, we have been carrying them outside into the large pen. Yesterday, Guy put up a fence barrier so that they cannot get near to or under the actual yard fence. This morning, we carried the pups out and they discovered a larger world, filled with leaves and rocks and dirt and the dogwood shrub. It had rained yesterday and everything was still damp. Well ... they were out in the dirt, happy as little clams. We had to towel them all off before bringing them back inside. This afternoon, we set up the final barriers on the deck and then let them out on their own steam ... hooray, no more carrying pups! They are getting too heavy! The videos below show the trek from the puppy room, through the hall, down the ramp and then their antics in the yard.
OK, I guess that a blog is not really worthwhile if you only update it every week. Since we opened the nursery to visitors, there has been a steady stream, which the puppies just love!! They are very people-oriented and love to be cuddled and held. And, of course, if the visitors have interesting shoelaces, zippers, tabs, velcro, toes, t-shirts and the such, so much the better! One puppy decided that Nève's diaper was also very interesting!! It was almost a Coppertone moment.
Heat permitting, the puppies are going outside every day. They are still in the large enclosure, but by the weekend should have the run of the whole backyard. They play hard for half an hour, and then flake out. Their favorite spot to sleep is right next to the water bucket - I guess it's cooler there. They are discovering all sorts of tastes and sounds. When the cardinals sing, they all stop to listen.
In the indoor pen, they now have the water cooler in and have gotten very used to using the litter box ... when someone is not sleeping in it!!! They are really playing with each other now, tugging toys and generally being their rowdy little selves, as all puppies are. The biggest of the pups are now over 11 lbs, and "Little Stuff" (aka Tansy) is catching up by leaps and bounds. All in all, a very cute and entertaining litter!
With greatest apologies, I am finally getting back to the puppy blog. It's been very busy, both taking care of puppies and doing "real work." By the time we finish up the day, it's time to go to sleep, as we have have early starts every morning.
We have lots of photos that we will start posting, but here's something to get started with. The puppies turn 5 weeks old tomorrow, and today we FINALLY got some face pictures! So here they are ... the lighting wasn't the best. We were outside but under the sun shelter and the sun kept going in and out, so it doesn't do all the pups justice (they are definitely NOT yellowish as it appears in some pix, that's just lighting and reflection from the grass). We will try and get better photos in the next few days.
Puppy families started visiting this past weekend and the pups have been their friendly little selves, crawling all over everyone and eating everything in sight... toes, heels, socks, ankles, pant legs, t-shirts, buttons, zippers, tabs, chins, ears, hair .... yum!!
Lots of changes for the pups. They now have the whole pen to play in, the whelping box got taken down last Friday. They are eating almost solid kibble and drinking water from the "water cooler". The litter box went up yesterday, but we are still unsure of the concept. Poohs somehow seem to find their way in, but somehow pees can't be held in. On Sunday, they went outside for the first time. We set up an x-pen on the deck and took them all out. They then had their pedicures, followed by individual introductions to the lawn. It was quite funny to watch them. The grass was a bit high (it got mowed later on) and they were walking lifting up their hind legs because the grass was tickling! Later in the day, they went outside again.
On Monday, we got the two sun shelters set up and the large pen and today they all went out onto the lawn. After lots of investigation, taste-tests, checking that the guy wires were nice and tight, having a nosh with mom, playing with toys and generally having a great time, they all settled down in the shade for a nap. Happy little campers! Than back inside and another long nap!
Now that the puppies' teeth are coming out, it's time to start weaning them off mom. So ... drum roll, please ... today we had our first "real" food!!! Well, actually, it was a lot of puppy formula mixed with a bit of mushed kibble. And the puppies lapped it up all by themselves. As they say, a picture, or in this case a video or two, is worth a thousand words!
At first, they have no idea what to do, but they catch on quick. For some reason, they LOVE to go after the edge of the plate, but eventually learn that what's on the inside is a lot better than cold porcelain. They come out of the first feedings absolutely covered. Their siblings and mom then help to clean them up.
Enjoy the videos!! The first 4 videos are of the same puppy, and the other two of a different one.
Between yesterday and today, the puppies have now woken up completely! Eyes wide open and they can certainly hear! Yesterday, I was weighing the pups and the big dogs barked. All the pups suddenly raised their heads as if to say "huh?". Then one of them started walking around giving little "grrruffs" and "grrrs". The one that I had on the scale almost threw herself off when she heard the barking.
And ... their little teeth are starting to come out. A few days ago, you could feel the tooth buds if you rubbed a finger in their mouths. Now you can actually see little white teeth ready to erupt.
This morning around 6:00, the "grruffing" started again! The pups are now sleeping less and interacting a lot more. I got some cute videos of them playing today. The other funny thing they do is when they are trying to get comfortable to go to sleep. Most of them like to go under the pig rails (although they won't fit there much longer!!). It is fun to watch them move around to find the right spot. I just watched one puppy do a beautiful backup for about 2-3 feet, under the pig rail, on its belly, cranking all the while.
Busy weekend, starting with nail clipping...4 nails per paw x 4 paws x 10 puppies! You do the math!!! The pups are starting to get quite active, their awake time is increasing and they are interacting more and more. They are also becoming more vocal, but they still can't really hear. As I am writing this, there is one pup moving around the whelping box "cranking" because it can't find the perfect spot to sleep! By the end of the week, they should be starting on mushy food mixed with puppy formula. That'll be good for some fun pictures.
Well folks, today the puppies went from being little sleeping pot roasts to being mini-mini-Berners. Today their eyes were open enough that they recognized each other and are starting to interact (not really play yet, but that won't be long). On top of that, we heard the first puppy barks! The pups still can't hear - their ears are still pretty closed, although that should change by the end of the weekend. When I heard the barks, I grabbed my iPad to go and video it, but by the time I got there, the pup had gone to sleep. Maybe I'll have better luck tomorrow. However, I did manage to get lots of photos and several videos.
From now on, the pups will get a lot more interesting as they progress from eating-sleeping machines to Berner babies. You will notice that they are starting more and more to go under the pig rails. Now that their eyes are open, they will go under the pig rails to sleep, as it is darker. I also saw a couple of them trying to climb up onto the pig rail or prop their heads on it. And these pups are very smart ... we had one try to lift and balance itself on the whelping box gate to get out to mom!!!
(Sorry about the radio in the background!!! We leave it on during the day so that the pups
will get used to all sorts of sounds. Wait until they hear the vacuum cleaner!!!!)
Tomorrow will make it two weeks since the pups were born (... and only 6 weeks until they leave for their new homes!) It is amazing to watch the speed at which they develop. Their eyes are all open now, but they are still not really "seeing" things, probably just shapes and light. They still can't hear, but they are very sensitive to the vibration of someone walking in the whelping box, and they immediately start to swarm around. It is very difficult to weigh puppies when you have to watch where you put your feet!
Here are a couple more videos to watch. In the first one, Bekka has gone into the box to feed the pups, and they are all swarming around trying to find her. In the second one, the pups are feeding. If you compare that with some of the very early pictures of them feeding, you will get a good idea of how much they have grown.
Kyle, thanks for your email! I hope that you enjoy these videos too!
Today we saw eye glints in all the puppies. They are so cute when their eyes start to open - all bleary and dazed. It will take a few days after they are completely open before they actually start to see and recognize each other and their surroundings. Today was clean-up day - first the whelping box. We put the pups into baskets - not one, but two - five pups per basket. Hard to believe that we had them all in one basket 10 short days ago! Then puppies and mom all had their nails trimmed; the puppies nails grow very fast and scratch Bekka's belly when they are feeding, so we need to keep them quite short.
Overnight, Dahlia lost her ribbon. Two other girls (Rainbow and Jasmine) already had their ribbons off. Rainbow is easy to pick out as she has the least amount of white on her tail. However, Jasmine and Dahlia are so similar, including in weight, that it took us ages to determine which was which (based on our notes)! We also took individual pictures of the pups and will post those once we can figure out who's who.
In the meantime, here is a short video (.MOV / 5 MB) and a few pictures of yawning (or laughing) puppies to enjoy. As you watch the video, listen for the little puppy "grrrrs" towards the end.
It is now 10 days since the pups were born, and they are growing in leaps and bounds. They have become incredible active, especially when mom's around. They get up on their little legs and move around like drunken sailors - step, step, fall, get up and go again. We saw the very first eye glints yesterday, and we should see a lot more by the end of the weekend.
The pups body temperatures are now starting to regulate themselves. Instead of always being huddled together, we often find them spread out in the whelping box. When they are a bit warm, they roll over and sleep on their backs, baring it all, cute little pink tummies and foot pads. Oddly enough, yesterday we found them all huddled together in one corner under the pig-rail.
For those of you unfamiliar with that term, the pig-rail is the "shelf" that you see in the pictures, located part way up the whelping box. It acts to protect the pups from getting squished in between mom and the whelping box sides. As the puppies eyes start to open more and more, they also go there to have their naps, as it is darker. Puppies have their own "spots" under the pig-rail and will push each other out of the way if another puppy has its spot.
Well, the puppies are already one week old, and it is amazing to see all the changes in them. First, they now look like little dogs rather than pink-faced piggies. But they are definitely piggies ... they eat and eat and eat! Well, there is sleep in there too. They are very strong and quite active. Of course, that's the life of a puppy. Eat, sleep, pee, poop and, once their eyes are open, explore. It couldn't get any better than that.
Right now, the puppies are like gumbies, you pick one up and it flops in your hand. But if you disturbed its sleep or feeding, you have a very squirmy (and very strong) little being in your hands. And they can sure move!
Every day around noon, the pups get the daily weigh-in. This allows us to track their growth and make sure that they are getting enough milk. There is a lot of competition for teats; although Bekka has ten functional ones, every puppy has its favorite and it is NOT the ones under the front pits.
Hope you are not getting too tired of pictures of sleeping or feeding puppies ... can't be helped. In another week or so, they will be much more interesting.
We did not get a chance to add to the PLOG yesterday - what with puppies, big dogs, house stuff, etc., it was bedtime before we knew it. The puppies are now 6 days old ... incredible how times flies. They have become very active, in spite of the fact that they still can't see nor hear. Hopefully we will start to see the first eye glints by the weekend. When they are full and sleepy, they make these lovely little contented grunts; when they are excited about smelling mom coming into the whelping box, or they get lost in some corner, they can certainly use their voices!
On Sunday, they got their nails clipped for the first time - incredible how long they were for 4-day old pups. At least now, they won't be scratching Bekka as much. They took it all very well, hardly a peep out of them. It also gave us the opportunity to look at them more closely and to see if we could find any unique distinguishing characteristics to tell them apart. This litter is so uniform in size and markings, that it is very difficult. So far, only two puppies have had their ribbons removed - Oliver has more white on one from paw and less on the other, which makes it easy to tell him from Indigo (once you have determined that it's one of the boys!); Rainbow's tail tip is smaller than the others, so that makes it easy to pick her out.
Earlier this evening, one of the puppies was fast asleep but making little noises that sounded like growling - grrr, grr-grr-grr. It must have been a good dream! It get's even better when the pups suddenly hears themselves bark; it surprises them to to end and you can almost see them looking around as if to say "where did that come from"?
Here are some pictures from Sunday and today to enjoy ...
Today was a big day for the pups - they took a trip to the vet to have their dewclaws removed. In three days, they have gotten large enough that they only just fit in the basket! They had a lovely ride down, not a peep to be heard. And they were little troopers at the vet's. After which, mom gave them a nice snack in the back of the van before we headed off home. Now, all we are hearing are little contented "songs" coming from the puppy room. Bekka is being a great mom, keeping them well-fed and spotlessly clean.
Here is a video of the puppies nursing. It is an .mov (haven't been able to convert it yet), so you will need the most recent version of QuickTime to view it. It is a free download from Apple and can be used on both Macs and PCs. Below are some more photos. At this stage, the pups are eating or sleeping ... but that won't last for long!!
Here is a short video of the pups. Turn up your sound so that you can hear their little noises.
For PC users: Puppies July 20.wmv (8 MB);
For Mac/iPad, etc users: Puppies July 20.mov (3 MB)
The puppies are very strong and vigorous, crawling all over the whelping box. Occasionally one will crawl away from the pack, at which point there is very loud complaining until it is reunited with its littermates. I still find it incredible that these babies make such use of their noses, as both eyes and ears are still closed and won't open for another 10-15 days. And yet, no matter where they are in the whelping box, they can always find mom and the "milk bar." They are all showing active sleep - twitching away and developing their neuro-muscular systems.
Below are some pictures to enjoy. Click to enlarge, then use your browser's "back" button to return to this page.
Puppies were born today...10 of them...8 girls and 2 boys! All lovely, well-marked, very uniform in look and size, although only time will tell how they will develop. They weighed in from 1 lb 1 oz to 1 lb 4 oz, with most of them right in between.
We have never had a litter with so many girls and so few boys; usually it's been the opposite.
Bekka took to being a mom again like a duck to water. She did not forget anything, and she is being very conscientious in being with her babies, and keeping them spotlessly clean.
As with all our previous litters, we have given the puppies their "plant" nursery names based on ribbon colours - Blossom (pink), Oliver (green), Iris (purple), Dahlia (red), Indigo (navy), Tansy (yellow), Delphi (for Delphinium - light blue), Daisy (white) and Jasmine (cream). The only one who did not get a plant name is Rainbow, who sports the multicolour ribbon. For now, we will keep the ribbons, but as we learn to tell them apart, the ribbons will disappear.
The "E" babies were born on Wednesday, July 18 - 8 girls and 2 boys!
Welcome to Blossom, Oliver, Iris, Dahlia, Indigo, Tansy, Delphi, Rainbow, Daisy and Jasmine!
Our "E" litter PLOG (puppy blog) is now up and running. Check back often for daily news updates.
Sennenhof Rigi Kulm Bekka vom Oberholzer Forst,CD
(photo by: K. Kennedy)
View the pedigree of the "E" litter
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