Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I had a strange dream where I was in a walking in the city wearing a red vest . . .

Sometimes I sits & thinks, and sometimes I just sits.

Do I see a C*T????

Girls rule, boys drool.

If I could get down from here, I'd bite your foot.

Kiss me, you fool!

Forget pictures. I need a nap.

Ain't I cuuuute???

Pupdate

It's been a while since I've been able to post...I think all readers will understand that life in PuppyLand is a bit rushed these days. But I thought you would like to meet the M puppies, now that they are all named and starting to show their personalities! The names were chosen in honor of various people, locations, or streets in Greenville. With the limitations of this blog format, I think I'll have to make each of the eight photos into a different post. Stand by!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bad Monday

I'm grieved to report that despite best efforts from me and from Dr. Malphrus, we lost Handy's Pink-Collar girl this morning. Besides being sad and depressing, this is very serious bad news for DFA. We need girls. These are rough times for our program.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

SHE of the Ms

Since we have only one little girl among the M pups, a pink gingham ribbon collar seemed appropriate. :-) Her name is "Mercedes," in honor of Mercedes Bartow, who played a significant role in getting DFA adopted as Leadership Greenville Class 35's project for this year. I hereby give a disclaimer on any comments about Little Mercedes....that may or may not accurately reflect her namesake! However, Little Mercedes has definite opinions on all issues and does not care much for being restrained. Her overall philosphy of life is illustrated in the photo below: UP WITH ME, DOWN WITH BROTHERS! This picture does not show perspective very well, but the pillow is propped against the wall, and Mercedes cannot be content with any resting place except at the very top, brothers be darned, and she'll be happy to climb on their heads for a boost. In this photo she's perched (and sleeping soundly) about six inches above the rest of the gang. Don't worry about her falling. She's quite aware of where the edge is, and her reverse-gear seems to work just fine. This is going to be one very interesting little girl. I have to wonder if big-sister Imme has already been sending her Doggie-O-grams on attitude.


Back to the Ms

The M pups registered a complaint tonight that they don't feel they are getting their just share of air time. So I figured you all would like to see a fresh shot of that crew. As you can see, they have grown just a bit in the last week or so. I'm going to try to get some video of their hilarious attempts to walk. Eyes are open almost all the way now and these kids are getting terribly cute!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Glimpses of Puppies!

This video clip is a little less than four minutes of newborn N pups. :-)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

First glimpse

More photos later, but this one at least shows eight little black blobs. :-)

It's amazing how big Jazzy's babies suddenly look!


Waaaahhhh!!!!!

I'm very sad to report that the 10th and final puppy was a girl, but was stillborn. All the best efforts, including much puppy CPR, could not keep her with us.

But we have three girls and five boys seeming to be healthy and thriving at this point. If everybody makes it through the first 48 hours okay, all will probably be well.

Surprise!

#9 is a girl! Way to go, Handy!

I'm not yet convinced there isn't another one lurking in there--suspicious bulge on flank. Have certainly been wrong before, but I hope it's another girl. :-)

Maybe the last?

At about 9:10 a.m. number eight, a male, was born.
This may be the last one. A little more time will tell.

YAY!!!!!

Number seven is another little girl, born about 8:55 a.m.

Puppy number six

At 6:25 a.m. the sixth puppy, a male, made his appearance into the world.

Another boy!

Puppy #5, another boy, arrived about 5:50 am. Big surprise....he's black! :-)

We'd really like the rest to be girls, okay?????

Lost one

Puppy #4 was stillborn around 3:45 am. :-(

Third arrival

2:30 a.m. #3 is a boy.

Babies arriving!

#1 is a little girl (well Julie says it's a BIG little girl!) Arrived 1:45 a.m.
#2 is a fine little boy.
This is Julie's Mom standing in for Julie.

Ta-Da....

Okay, here we go. Real labor. Let's hope things go better for Handy than they did for Jazzy.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Tedious

For a while tonight I thought I might be hearing voices in my head....then I realized it was just ME....reading Far Side cartoons to myself from memory. It's strange what prolonged sleep deprivation will do to the mind. Handy is (once again) resting comfortably, doing nothing remarkable. I, on the other hand, am thinking about settling in for my 12th straight night in the big chair. Oh wait, except for the one night after Jazzy's C-section that I spent cat-napping on the floor beside the puppy box. Either way, matresses and pillows are distant memories. These kids better be some super-star service dogs or I'm sending them back.

Good news

Handy has declined supper. (Okay, well, she took about three nibbles and quit.) So that's a pretty good indicator that the time is very near. She is managing to look extremely pitiful and is playing the momma scene for all it's worth. So far efforts to arrange her whelping bed properly has resulted in pretty much shredding up two old sheets, a big towel, and various smaller pieces of flannel. Some dogs are content to "dig" and redistribute. Handy must stand on each piece, grab it with her teeth, and rip upward. Over and over and over. It surely must be more fun to do than to watch or she'd have long since quit.

Not much progress yet

Handy is definitely uncomfortable and thinking about having some pups. But I have not yet seen any actual contractions. By the calendar, it almost has to be tonight. Dogs rarely go "over" by very much. Stay tuned....

Maybe

Handy may be thinking about letting us get a glimpse of the N pups. Don't anybody hold breath just yet; my track record for 2008 whelping predictions isn't all that great. But I believe I see early labor signs....

Monday morning

No "N" puppies yet. Despite restlessness, Handy slept quite well last night. The humans, of course, did not. Maybe the pups wanted to wait until business hours? Hmm. I wonder if that means they'll be good working dogs? :-)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

An older puppy

Okay, so this isn't a tiny newborn, but he's still a DFA puppy! This is "Logan," from the "L" litter, born on July 3rd. He's pictured here at our veterinarian's office, North Greenville Animal Hospital. Logan is currently staying with volunteer puppy raisers Ed & Lee McLaughlin in Simpsonville. He is one wicked cute little guy, and terribly sweet.

Standby

I'm thinking we may see some "N" puppies tonight. If you're an insomniac or a late-night worker, you might want to check in. :-)

Hope I didn't just jinx the time-table by guessing!

In case you're wondering....

I'm not forgetting to post any news. We're still waiting!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Finally!

Handy's temperature is dropping! 99.4 this morning, so our wait to see the N puppies should be almost over. Yay!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Handy update

Handy's temp is still where it was last night. Slightly down, but not where it would be to indicate The Moment. So it probably will not be today or tonight. Of course, now that I've said those words, just let me run one errand somewhere for 15 minutes and there will be puppies everywhere.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Batter up!

Just because it's been so dull and boring around here lately (!) I'm happy to announce that DFA's next litter is due sometime before the weekend. Is that a promise? NO! But it does seem likely. "Handy," pictured below at the BMW Charity Pro-Am last May, is carrying 7 or 8 pups, and is technically due on Thursday. But believe me....nobody tells these dogs when to "do!" Handy's temperature is already slightly dropped. If it is down more by tomorrow morning, I'll start watching for signs of labor. This will be a first litter for Handy. Both she and the sire of the litter, Jethro, have sires that belonged to Guiding Eyes for the Blind, therefore probably several of the pups from the N litter will be traveling to New York later this fall in order to get a chance at being Guide Dogs. I'll do my best to provide updates as often as possible!

Growing

How did it get to be Tuesday evening? I spent most of today believing it was Monday. Oh well. The schedule has been a bit complex around here lately. The puppies eat and sleep and eat and sleep--and make messes! All eight are gaining weight and seem to be thriving. Little bits & pieces of personality are becoming more evident. When there's a little more time, I'll try to start giving some examples.

Jazzy is recuperating as well as could be expected so far, but it's easy to see this has been tough on her.


As for the question about dirty puppy towels....yes, if you win, you can have as big of a bag as you can carry away. Maybe even if you don't win. :-)

You may be able to see by this photo how much the babies have grown in just three days.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday evening Pupdate




I thought you'd like to see more pictures in the previous post, which are far more interesting than most comments I could add. There are a few observations to share, however. Yellow Boy so far takes first place as headstrong little temper-tantrum-thrower. Yeowee, what an attitude. Green Boys--solid Green and Green Stripe--must think Green means GO. They like to move places. It's hard to think something so little can slither around and cover so much territory so fast. Sherry calls Green "Travelin' Man." I think we might call Green Stripe "Man About Town." Anybody want to bet on which one makes the first jailbreak from the whelping box and how many days old? Winner of this contests gets a free (large) bag of dirty puppy towels. Blue Boy and Red Polka-Dot-Boy are, so far, absolute relaxed little sweethearts. We'll talk about the girl more a bit later.






Puppy Pix







Dinner at the Doggie Cafe Buffet!























Patient
Jazzy





















A mother's work is never done.





















The Quiet Ones (at least so far....)
















Now we are eight

Sadly, I have to report that PawPrint Collar boy did not live through the night. Such things are terribly difficult and the worst part of dealing with these litters, but all that's possible is to do the best we can.

I'll be posting more photos later today.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

M&Ms

Well, a $1,300 emergency vet bill was a pretty hard blow for DFA, but we're awfully glad that Jazzy is okay, as are at least most of the babies. We lost two boys and have eight boys remaining....plus ONE girl. That's a tough dose of medicine, too, as what we really needed from this particular litter was a whole bunch of girls. But let's all hope our one and only little female is a super-star. We're still pretty concerned about little "PawPrint Collar Boy," who had a rough time of it earlier in the day. He's doing somewhat better now, but we're continuing to watch him closely.

Jazzy was in intermittent labor for almost 15 hours. As it gradually grew stronger and she became more and more tired without producing any pups, we knew all was not well. Dr. Ann Malphrus has overseen the medical care of our dogs for over a decade and we've learned to trust her judgment completely. About 10am, she began making arrangements for surgery, which is no small undertaking when you have that many puppies...each needing immediate attention and care when s/he emerges.

No doubt there are lots more details I could provide tonight, but everybody is settled, and the humans around here are ready for some catnaps, at least. We'll be sleeping with one eye open and watching the doggie scene. Jazzy is comfortable, including a Memory Foam pillow, if you can stand it. :-), and holding down soft foods. She wants much more, but we're going easy. Nausea on fresh incisions, inside and out, is not a good plan. Within a day or two she can have every calorie she can hold.

I'll finish for tonight by adding a photo of Alyssa's favorite pup, Orange-Polka-Dot Collar Boy. We'll take more photos tomorrow.

M puppies!




Hello everybody - meet the "M" pups. You can see most of them in this photo, at least. Jazzy is home, awake, and starting to take care of the puppies. She is exhausted and will take a while to recuperate. (Probably the humans, too...)


I'll do an update later tonight on the details of what happened & how, also some additional photos. Thanks to everyone for the kind thoughts.

Julie

More on Goldfish

Thanks, George, for the thought-provoking essay on the merits of goldfish. You've about got me convinced. I'll admit that being up with almost no sleep for three nights running may be coloring my logic just a bit. Jazzy is still in periodic labor, contractions evident. No puppies yet. Most of the current project is fighting dehydration. At the moment she gets 6 laps of water/pedialyte mix every 15 minutes. No more. Left to her own devices she will drink approximately three quarts at once, wait long enough to get back in the middle of her whelping bed, and do projectile vomiting of all three quarts. Wash bedding, dry, repeat. Hey George, I'd add one more important factor to the list of Goldfish benefits: they are flushable. Though I wouldn't want to bet against the idea that Jazzy may be thinking the same thing about me right now. Neither of us is enjoying this much.

Julie

Friday, October 10, 2008

Some Progress

Okay, gang, we're having real, live contractions in Easley. How long until puppies? I refuse to speculate. I may never make any predictions again.


Friday morning

For those wondering what's going on....not to worry. So am I. This is the first time I've ever had a whelping progress like this, or perhaps I should say 'not progress.' Not much has changed since the last post. Jazzy still exhibits signs of starting labor, but hasn't moved ahead yet. Dr. Malphrus tells me to be patient, that Jazzy is still within a normal time range. So here I sit, watching a whole lot of nothing new, and trying to be at least a little bit productive at the same time. I can't say I'm exactly 'being patient," as I'm not sure there's much choice involved! I'll post updates as there are any. I'm thinking I may be ready to bag the dogs and get some goldfish.

Julie

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Propane Preferences

Jazzy is having some mild contractions now and then. Nothing serious yet. Most of her thoughts are focused on methods of escaping out the back door. For reasons known only to her, she's decided that the tiny area behind the propane tank would be most suitable for her puppies. At any opportunity, she tries strenuously to get to The Chosen Spot, and is quite disgusted with me when I insist she come back inside. She's been pampered for weeks, of course, but this is one time she's not getting her own way!

Details will follow as available.

Puppies Tonight

Jazzy is in the early stages of labor. Stay tuned for updates! :-)

Jazzy waits . . .

I thought you all might like to see what Jazzy looks like right now. She is very uncomfortable!

Puppy Weary

Jazzy's temperature is dead-on average this morning. She looks like puppies could start falling out her navel at any moment. The people at Camp Julie are extremely tired! Are we having fun yet? :-)

Julie

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Technical failure or brain failure?

Well, Day 4 of waiting arrived. There has been much head-scratching and contemplation at Camp Julie. Dogs simply do not wait this long after a temperature drop to have their pups. I've been confused, frustrated, worried, all kinds of fun things. Finally this evening, the little man at the controls of my brain stepped out front and smacked me in the face to get my attention. "Hey, idiot!," he yelled. "Change the battery in the digital thermometer!" I did. Jazzy's temperature is now showing as 2/10ths of a point below normal. Is it going up or down? Of course, I cannot know. Ask me again in the morning. This scenario is undoubtedly part of the reason nobody ever suggested I attend veterinary school. Why a digital thermometer? Well, in the interests of generic readership, we won't go there. The short version is this: I absolutely dare you to try taking a dog's temp 4-5 times a day with a 3-minute thermometer when said dog cannot stand up for three full minutes.

From the outside, puppies appear to be having a grand old time. Spread over an area approximately the span of a beach ball, the kicks and thumps and thrashing look like rugby practice. Poor Jazzy. She definitely does not appear to be having a grand old time. But she sure is hungry. Unfortunately she can eat about five bites at a time, as the puppies are taking up all the available room.

Hopefully I'll have more details to share in the morning!

Julie & Jazzy (who can't figure out why everybody is constantly staring at her)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Cleo disappointment

The bad news of today is that somewhere along the path of 9 weeks gestation, Cleo has lost her babies. Signs of pregnancy had been tapering off, but today's visit with our veterinarian confirmed what we suspected: no babies. So we will have an N litter, as expected, which will be a first-time litter from Handy and Jethro. But sadly, no O puppies this month. We're very disappointed; this is a pretty big blow for DFA, but life goes on.

On the M scene, Jazzy appears to be giving some serious thought to actual labor. I can't say I've seen anything definite yet, but some big maybes as she's bitten at her flanks a few times, and wants to sleep but has trouble getting comfortable. By the calendar, it really should be today. I'll update when anything happens!

Julie

More Waiting

Jazzy is busily rearranging her bed, rather compulsively. So, though I don't see actual labor just yet, we're getting closer!

Julie

Monday, October 6, 2008

Waiting

10:00 pm Tuesday and we're waiting on Jazzy. She's pacing a little and very interested in re-arranging her bed, but no signs of actual labor yet.

I just love waiting!

Julie

Standing room only!


Here's a sneak preview of the "M" litter, compliments of Dr. Ann Malphrus. We can see at least 10 puppies in this xray, and probably a few more than that. Jazzy's temperature has already dropped, so we're expecting puppies any moment. This litter is a third-time repeat breeding, the last of which were the "I" pups that gave DFA the service dog, "Imme," who has been featured this last year in both the Greenville News and the Greenville Journal.

At this point, everything is ready--especially Jazzy, who looks ready to explode. So now we wait.
Suggestions on "M" names are welcome. For a $500 donation to DFA you can choose a name you like. :-)

Tomorrow Cleo will get her xray and we'll find out if there's anything really in there, or if she's just scamming us with another false pregnancy! Stay tuned for updates. Puppy births and new photos will be posted here as close to real-time as possible.

Julie