The Sisko puppies are one week old already. They are crawling around the whelping box on their bellies and I really don't know how long it will take them to hoist themselves up onto their feet because with those big, round bellies it will take quite a bit of muscle power! The last time we had only 3 puppies, I do believe I said the very same thing. So little competition at the milk bar means well-fed pups.
And this bunch are even heavier than the Taysikuu trio.
I'm calling it - LaVerne is definitely black & tan.
so I'm not absolutely, positively 100% certain that LaVerne is black & tan
and not wolf sable. At birth I said wolf sable. A day later, in daylight and
with a dry puppy, I'm saying not wolf sable. I reserve the right to change my
mind as time goes on, if that's ok with you.
One of the things I love about breeding dogs is watching family
traits get passed from generation to generation. Sometimes a trait will skip a
generation or even two, and then turn up when you least expect it. That goes
for good stuff like cute habits, cleverness or pretty eyes as well as the less
desirable stuff like, say, a long nose, a propensity to run off on walks or a
tendency towards noisiness. Not that our dogs have any of these rather
unfortunate problems.... just an example, y'know.
One thing that Ulla has apparently inherited from her mother, Emmi, along with a sweet temperament, is an inclination towards
whelping puppies early. Emmi's first litter, of which Ulla was one, took us
quite by surprise as I had not had puppies turn up 3 days early before. You can
read about that exciting event on the old blog. Her second litter came, as I recall, about a day early - not so
unusual. Ulla's puppies? Four days early. FOUR!
In my early days of breeding, I always worried about puppies
coming too early and suffering the various complications and problems that
often beset preemies. Wait a minute - who am I kidding? I still worry about that. In fact, as the time creeps
past the one-week-to-go milestone, I breathe an audible sigh of relief as I was
once given the advice that puppies can probably survive if they are born as
much as a week early.
You might think that Ulla's 4-days-early puppies are small, then,
for newborn Lappies. Think again. They are stonking great weights. Not
over-size or anything, but definitely not petite.
Ulla doesn't live here, but she does spend a lot of time at my
house. Nonetheless she was determined not to have these puppies until she could
find some privacy - after dark and after we were all long asleep. There had
been no digging, not much in the way of panting, and certainly no evidence of
contractions. She refused to settle in the whelping box. She told us in no
uncertain terms that she was not ready to give birth anytime soon. And so we
left her in the crate where she always sleeps when she visits. Four hours
later, at 2am, Jay woke me up because he heard a little yelp. Sure enough,
there was Ulla with her first puppy in the crate. She had done it all by
herself with barely a squeak. We hustled mama and baby upstairs into the
waiting whelping box and I settled down to wait for the next one. We were
expecting about four, according to the ultrasound scan.
It was quite a wait.
In fact, by 5 am I had given up hope and was resigning myself to
having only one puppy to raise and all the complications that brings. Then at 7
am she had 2 in 15 minutes and a fourth about a half hour later. Unfortunately
the last puppy was stillborn. He was born without his sac, so he didn't have
much of a chance. I am just grateful I have lost so few puppies over the years,
but it's still a sad event, although I do believe that you cannot argue with
In the end she had 3 strong and healthy girls. They are all wolf
sable like their dad and granny Emmi, I think. The jury is still out on number 2 who might be black and tan
like her mum. Things should be clearer in a day or two as the wolf sable coat
changes so dramatically and rapidly day-to-day.
Individual puppy photos to follow shortly.
After much deliberation and consultation with various Lappy
friends, I finally decided to give these puppies the litter name Sisko, as that
is Finnish for "sister" - appropriate for my only all-girl group
ever. As always, their new owners will get to choose their Finnish kennel
names, but I decided to give them baby names after the first ever girl group. I
know that the Supremes are traditionally given the credit for being the first
ever girl group, but actually it was the Andrews sisters, so these puppies will
be Patty, LaVerne and Maxene.
7 weeks and 8 weeks came eventually and with those milestones came 7 clear vet checks, 7 microchips, 7 clear eye tests, 7 wormers, 7 flea treatments and 6 sets of testicles present & correct. One by one they set off for their new homes - more or less quietly (not mentioning any names....)
The first one out the door was Lumi who set off in the wee hours of the morning to Berkshire with Tammy & James.
Hot on his heels went Joki to Somerset with Emma and Ben.
Next up, Valo off to Cheshire with Christie & Ryan and Miika to Oxfordshire with Claire & Andy - not forgetting Madi by Facetime from Turkey. They all came and went at the same time.
Then today, the final day, the last 3 went: first up, Henkka to Bath with Matt & Emma then Wilson to West Sussex with Vicki & Matt.
The first out the door this morning was Nukka who will be the 3rd Lapphund for the Wilsons in Somerset. Here she is leaving today followed by the shot of number 2, Minna, leaving 7 years ago with number 1, Taika.
What a serious-looking bunch of puppies these appear to be!
I assure you that when they are going all floppy from getting their bellies rubbed, and when they are chasing toys, and when they are running wagging towards you when you call them, they are anything but serious-looking.
The puppies are 7 weeks old, have had their microchips and clear vet checks and it's all systems go in this house. This weekend I will mainly be preparing puppy packs.