Thursday, March 27, 2008

Cute pics...



Mo, Underdog, Sparrow and Freckle


Eating and Learning

For the last few weeks we have been feeding the puppies a slurry of wet puppy food mixed with some rice cereal. We click for each puppy as they start to eat the food. This will help them to start associating a click with the nice feeling of a full belly.

Last week I started adding a handful of dry food to the mixture. On Tuesday I decided to put out one bowl of dry food and one of wet. To my suprise the dry was the absolute favorite!

They are eating and drinking very well. It's amazing that such tiny bodies can make such huge messes! Molly has weened them to one or two nursings a day. We are seeing lots of playing and learning.

We have been working on sitting to say please. They absolutely love to be picked up and mob the gate when anyone enters their room. The boys and even Jenna and Benson are really good about waiting to pick the puppy that gives up the yipping and jumping and sits down. We will start working with them more individually this week.

Happy Easter!

We had a visit from our cousin's (my sister Jui) this weekend. The little girls had a ball playing with the puppies. We had cute bows and little baby blankets.

Mo, Underdog, Sparrow and Freckle

They had their first romp outside.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A whole new world.

The puppies have breached the whelping box. We were awakened at 5:45 AM Saturday morning to the sound of a crying pup who discovered that the big wide world was not so much to his liking. I laid in bed for a minute hoping my husband would run out of patience before I did. He just muttered "why do I think this is just the beginning?". We are newbies in the puppy whelping/raising world. We have a feeling we have a few fun things in store.

It's time to move the puppies out of the laundry room. Thankfully we have an unfinished room in the basement that is perfect. We used a couple of long lengths of plastic lattice (the holes are too big in just one) and we divided the room in half. We put a chair on either side so Molly can easily get in but the puppies can't get out. Then we cut the side down on the old whelping box so they can easily get in and out. They cried for about half an hour when we made the move. Once Molly joined them and opened the 'snack bar' they settled right down. They are busy learning to run around. It is, of course, adorable.

We are amazed at how the puppies are instinctively drawn to people. We haven't fed or otherwise treated the puppies with food but the minute they see or hear us coming they rush to the edge of the box. The kids are doing a great job of only picking up the pups who are not crying or are sitting. It's amazing how much they can learn at such a tender age. So far the puppies all love to be held and they will definitely be well socialized!

Growing up!


Little Guy--boy




Mo Hawk.--girl

Friday, March 14, 2008

Monday, March 10, 2008

Week three

Pups are now three weeks old. We've definitely entered the toddler stage. We have teeth erupting and lots of playing. This is an important stage for the puppies as they are learning how their teeth affect the world around them. They will learn from each other and from Molly how hard they can bite without causing damage. They are also discovering their voices. They sound like a bunch of gremlins/guinea pig combos with their little growls and squeaks.

The kids still interact with every puppy every day. The puppies love to be held right in the soft warm spot at the bottom of the neck. They aren't ready to leave the box area as they and Molly get really anxious if separated from the litter. The boys took them all out of the box yesterday and put them on the hard floor to see what would happen. Most of them cried. Some cried and stumbled around (Little Guy and Arrow and Freckle) one sprawled spread eagle and whined (Underdog). The other two, (Mo and Sparrow) cried and tried to find litter mates or kids to lay on. We put them all back on their nice soft pad where they quickly piled together.

The puppies are now eliminating without Molly's help. This is creating a tremendous amount of laundry. Interesting note--even at this tender age they are leaving their soft pad to pee elsewhere in the box. In a couple of weeks we will introduce the crate. Hopefully that will make their transition to new homes a bit easier.

Freckle gets a bath from Mom...

and then finds a warm spot to snuggle.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

All is well

I believe we are finally well around here. Hopefully we can keep it that way for a while! I just read a very interesting article from the New York post. It's written by a journalist who was assigned to study exotic animal training. She took the positive training ideas and applied them to her life. She has now written a book about the whole experience which I can't wait to read. I find myself absolutely fascinated by the intricate way we can change and shape behaviour of everything and every person we interact with. I first stumbled across Karen Pryor's book called "Don't shoot the dog" (which seemed prudent advice at the time--dealing with another dog, not Molly) years ago. I have been slow to really incorporate the principles into all aspects of my life but it has changed the way we parent and interact with each other for sure! Anyway, I hope some of you can be inspired, too.

Puppies are healthy and growing. They are starting to interact with each other a bit (more than just piling on top of each other). Rustin commented last night, "They look like dogs now!" Very cute.

Two of the little girls, "Mo" and "Sparrow" resting on their brother

Monday, March 3, 2008

Let there be sight!

Sleepy-eyed "Sparrow" poses for a picture

We have had a busy week around here. Illness still plagues us. Just as we finished the stomach flu we were hit with strep throat (yes, all five got it at once!). Our youngest was hit the hardest developing Scarlet Fever. I've been spending most of my time holding sick kids. I couldn't do it without my husband who is a huge help. Thankfully, we have great antibiotics and all will recover well. I may spend the rest of the week finishing laundry---sheets, blankets, pillows, puppy blankets, more pillows, clothes... You'll understand if I am slow to get these cute pictures uploaded. I also intend to tie some ribbons on each puppy so they can be more easily identified in pictures.

The puppies are growing like little weeds! They started opening their eyes on Saturday and they are making adorable attempts at walking. Very sweet. Molly is still a great mom and is taking care of their every need. I'll keep those great pictures coming. The puppy in this video the kids call "Arrow" because of the obvious markings on his neck. He's one of the two boys.