Tag Archives: breeding program

34 Days

8 Jun

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May 22nd – Week Three:

This week the doodles are getting much stronger.  They are starting to walk around much better, although they still look like drunks stumbling around the whelping box.  They put their front paws waaaaaay out in front of them and then lean into their steps hard.  It really is like watching a toddler learning to walk.  They do a LOT of sleeping.  The only time they get up is really to eat or go to the bathroom, still assisted by mum.  But, midway through week three there is a big change!  One morning we wake up and head to the box and there are a few little peepers trying to focus on us!  Puppies don’t just open their eyes all of a sudden, its gradual.  The corners near the nose open first and you can see filmy little eyes and subtle blinking.  After about a day or so, their eyes are fully open but they still can’t focus on things.  They can follow light, so when one of us walks by, they follow us.  By the end of the week, we find that they are staring at us – they are very, very observant.  Oh, and teeth!  They are most definitely getting in their teeth.  At first, it was just swollen gums towards the back, but sure enough their sharp little puppy teeth are now out in full force.  They are chewing on each other constantly.

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Week Four

Last week, the doodles were only awake for feedings.  They would literally narc out about 5 minutes after they were done eating – sometimes not even that long!  This week, they are staying up for longer and longer periods of time.  About three times a day, we take them out of the whelping box and have structured play time.  “Structured” is really just putting a blanket down in the middle of the floor and letting them explore.  So far, the dominant ones seem to be the big yellow boy (obviously, he is a beast!), the big black girl, and the fluffiest black boy.  The dogs love to bark at each other and at us and at inanimate objects.  Mostly at inanimate objects.  They are really starting to romp with one another, getting bouncier by the day!  Towards the end of week four, we gave them a taste of some canned puppy food.  Boy, did they go crazy.  A little too crazy.

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They are still nursing with Hallie, but we start to soak some hard puppy food in warm water and let it sit until its nice and gummy.  Since their teeth are in enough to handle harder food, we let them go at it twice a day.  They are still weary of water.  They walk up to the water dish and stick their whole noses in, then they sneeze and gag.  I feel horrible because I know exactly how awful it feels to get water up your nose, but its so cute to watch them learning.

They also had their first baths this week!  Since no one wants to hang out with 8 stinker-doodles, we did baths in the kitchen sink.  That way, I was able to set up a drying station on the counter and we could get through everyone quickly.  They didn’t love it….but they didn’t hate it either!  Man, did their curls come out like crazy.  They looked like little poof balls when they were done.

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Week Five:

Hallie is only nursing about once a day, mostly just to relieve herself of milk.  Her body doesn’t understand the weaning process and is still producing milk for eight.  The pups are doing great with the solidish food.  Two of the little girls have all ready been placed with their forever homes and we have another family coming over tonight to pick their puppy.  Two of them all ready have names, “Ally” and “Lucy” (below with the black/white collar).  The pups have finally outgrown the whelping box.  They are able to climb out and often do when Hallie walks by.  Even though they are on solid food, when they get a whiff of mum, they go absolutely crazy.  Now, they are penned in the kitchen and we have started paper training.  They are doing pretty good!  During playtime, its kind of squat-where-you-are and we have to move/remind them to “go on the paper” about a hundred times.  In the mornings, when we venture downstairs, the majority of the mess IS on the paper.  Score.  Their hair is getting shaggier and shaggier by the day and the best part?  NO SHEDDING!  We’ve been checking every day and there is no hair or fur coming off these babies.

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Sixteen Days

21 May

It has been sixteen days since 10 little labradoodles appeared in my living room.

I haven’t really talked too much about whelping here because…well just because.  But, it seems like you guys really love seeing pictures of the doodle-brains so I will try to a few updates.  I will try to write one every two weeks for the 8-10 weeks before they go to their forever homes.

May 5:

The day of the Pittsburgh Marathon, Cinco de Mayo, and the doodles birthday!  It was the day we hoped and thought the doodles would come.  (Dogs have a fairly typical gestation period – around 60 days.  Based on our calculations, she would have been 60 days on Monday.)  We knew that Hallie was in labor based on a few things:  she was digging around in the bedding of the whelping box, she was panting off and on, and she was having visible contractions (her skin was twitching).  The first doodle didn’t actually appear in the living room, but in the bedroom closet, around 4 a.m.  Long story.  We were elated to find out that he had white tipped paws and a white bow tie coloring.  In 45 minutes, she had 4 more all-black puppies.  Everybody was doing latching well and doing great, including mum!  Around 7 p.m. that night, she pushed out the afterbirth and we were please with our 8 puppies.  Then, about an hour later another puppy started crowning.  Not good.  We went into triage mode at that point because he had been in there for about an hour with no amniotic fluids.  He about gave us a heart attack because he was so lethargic at first, but he ended up being fine.  The following day, a giant puppy was still born.  We are pretty sure that she was so big she got stuck.

Despite losing a puppy, Hallie was a rockstar.  I kept joking that she was a Scientologist because she delivered those puppies so quietly, with such ease that she didn’t even make a peep.  She is a natural.  (This is significant because Liberty, our lab, is not a natural.  In fact, I think she would prefer waterboarding to whelping.)

May 12 – Week One:

Hallie is still rocking the motherhood role.  Everybody seems to be adjusting fine except for one.  He’s looking malnourished, not putting on weight.  Although he does latch on and seems to eat until he falls asleep, we are worried that he’s not getting enough.  His brothers and sisters have doubled their birth weight, yet he is half their size.  We are putting sugar syrup on his tongue hoping to give him more energy to nurse.  His temperature is low.  So, we keep him either under a heat lamp or on a heating pad set to low to try and raise his temp.  We begin dropper feeding him using powdered Esbilac Goat Milk Formula reconstituted with sugar water.  He seems to perk up for a few days, putting on just a few ounces of weight.

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May 19 – Week Two:

On Saturday, May 18th at 4:00 a.m. the very first labradoodle,with the little white tipped feet and the white bow tie, passes away in Christina’s hands.  He just didn’t have any fight left in him.  There was nothing more that we could provide him.  “Parti Boy,” as we affectionately referred to him, was the first puppy that we had ever had fade.  Fading puppy syndrome is the diagnosis given to a puppy that fails to thrive.  A full-term preemie who never develops the strength to live without intervention.  We are both devastated to lose him, Christina moreso because she is the one who got up with him through the night to patiently nurse him.  She is so nurturing and has such a big heart, she took his loss pretty hard.  Hallie hasn’t really been affected  by his absence and neither have the other doodles, which is a good thing.

 

And now, 8 healthy and growing labradoodles continue on their first and best adventure.

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