Friday, 29 August 2008

raccoon & the outdoor pen

It was so nice to see Kate & Jerome with kiddies Isabelle & Jamie yesterday - even if they did only come to have puppy cuddles! Nonetheless I got to have puppy cuddles of my own with Taika and got this sweet photo of her looking beautifully trim after her recent diet. I'm considering asking Kate to put me on the same one...

Those of us with Lapphunds have heard them called many things - husky, chow, fox, wolf, bear, etc, etc - but when a child called Taika a raccoon, it was a new one on me. However, looking at her pretty mask, you can perhaps see the resemblance.

And here's a treat for you all, just in case I get caught up in the weekend and don't get around to posting. Here is the pups' first foray into the garden yesterday morning. The one careening around in a demented fashion in the background is Boots. Of course. In the beginning of the video, the one sitting in the middle of the pen calmly watching everyone else going mad is Big A. Also of course. Watch him closely and he'll wave at you. The one sitting front & centre towards the end of the video having a moan at me direct to camera is Suck Monster.

4 weeks old - weights

Poll Result

The shock result from the latest poll is that one of the girls beat all the boys in the weigh-in today! You were all pretty sure it would be Suck Monster, and I guess that was fair enough based on the rate of his growth the previous week. I thought it would be Big A because just from looking into the pen, he trundles around like the giant of the pack. Some bright spark guessed it would be Cross - and you were right!

In fact, Suck Monster did make it to the 2 kg point this week, but Cross is heavier by 10 grams, so she wins.

Here are the numbers (birth weight in parentheses):

Big Arrow (366) 1945 - gain 475
Suck Monster (360) 2003 - gain 427
Chew (320) 1781 - gain 362
Right Paw (365) 1847 - gain 385

Spot (285) 1757 - gain 409
Boots (297) 1806 - gain 413
Cross (347) 2013 - gain 501
Flash (300) 1853 - gain 456
LMP (?) 1607 - gain 375

And here are the diagrams:

Thursday, 28 August 2008

the bitches - 4 weeks

Here are the photos for week 4 - face shots and "show stand" poses. I had forgotten how difficult it is to get these without having expert handling skill available! (I don't suppose you fancy a trip to Devon for a photo op, Toni?) I will attempt to improve on some of these photos as the day progresses and will replace them as and when (if!) I get something better.

By the next weekly update I should have made my final decisions on which puppy is going where and so they will all have their proper names. In the meantime, I give you...






the dogs - 4 weeks

Here are the boys. See the post with the pics of the bitches for the usual caveat regarding poor photography! Next week I should have my better camera up and running.

Big A

Suck Monster


Right Paw

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

turtle & eggs

Today's pic, as promised. The puppies had their first plate of scrambled egg today & it went down BIG TIME. I don't think I've had 6 or more of them all clamouring for the same plate at the same time before.

And one little video because I couldn't resist. Here you can see the little darlings enjoying their new palatial pad and, er, having a proper hissy tiff between Boots and butter-wouldn't-melt Spot that I had to abruptly cease filming to break up! At least Boots gets her just desserts for playing rough and gets stuck on her back like a turtle.

Apologies for the poor lighting - I was standing facing the window when I should not have been.

extension success

I set up the extension to the indoor pen this morning and how I wish I had taken a video when we put the pups back in. They loved it! So much space for exercising now. They spent a mad hour running around, jumping on each other, practicing their circuits.

Those of you who don't already have a Lapphund in occupation won't know about the demented moments all FLs have from time to time - and usually daily for the first year or so. Known as circuits or, sometimes, the Wall of Death, it involves the dog zooming around the largest available space in the quickest time possible. With our dogs it was a circuit or figure 8 around the garden then in through the door to do once round the living room, including the wall above the sofa. Of course.

Apologies I have no photo yet to share. I'm sure an opportunity will present itself sometime thoughout the day so I hope to have one for you later.

Tomorrow is week 4 updates and the result of the poll. There's still a few hours left to vote!

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

games in the pen

The puppies have settled in to the downstairs pen and seem to be growing right before my eyes now. In fact, I think I'll be adding the pen extension today to double the size. They are taking all the household noises as they come and haven't been too worried by the washing machine spinning or the Dyson zooming around their perimeter.

When they're not sleeping or eating, they're too busy playing to worry about any random bangs or crashes. They're interacting with each other, us and their toys a great deal now. When I come downstairs in the morning, I call them and they all run, yapping, to the side of the pen looking up, waiting for breakfast.

Breakfast today was last night's leftover puppy biscuit mush and another plate of porridge. The biscuit went down very well and no one turned up their nose or seemed to have any trouble eating it. I will gradually lessen the time I soak it for until they are able to happily crunch up the bits.

On Thursday they will be 4 weeks old and that means lots of new things. New portraits, of course, and visits from strangers & patiently waiting families. It also means I need to start making up my mind about which puppy will stay here with mum & dad and which ones will go where. Placing the puppies in the right homes is a job I take very seriously and I try so hard to make sure the personality fits the family.

Of course, some puppies' personalities change when they move into their new home and get their paws under the table, don't they Koda? Koda was a quiet little mouse when he lived here with us and when he went to his family his cheeky, adventurous character really developed! A little bit of work and he's now reverted to his good-boy status and is a real delight.

The magic 1-month-old milestone also means that I'm hoping the pups will start spending some of their time in the garden. Fingers crossed for good weather - or at least better than it's been for the last 2 months or so. Now need to find some time to get the grass cut good and short in preparation.

For your entertainment today, a little video of games in the pen.

Monday, 25 August 2008

the big move

It's been quite a busy weekend here for the Devon Nine. I started to feel sorry for Neka having to run up and down the stairs everytime a pup made a squeak and even sorrier for myself having to do the same. So over the weekend I planned the big relocation.

On Saturday I scrubbed the puppy pen and down came the pups, two-by-two with Neka trailing after me & Jay as we carefully carried them from the cardboard box that they called home for the first 3.5 weeks of their lives and placed them into their new pen. They settled right in and were very interested to meet Keskiyo & Annie & took everything completely in their stride without a hint of fear or shyness.

Here are a couple of photos of them snoozing in their new digs.

L-R: Suck Monster, Flash, Big A

A selection of puppies! Flash is clearly yet another one of this litter who takes after her dad, resting her top lip on the bar to show off her tiny brand new teeth.

The weaning is going very well. They now polish off 2 large platefuls of porridge at every meal and tonight I'll try them with their first taste of puppy kibble soaked in warm milk until it's mushy. I'll report back how we get on!

Saturday, 23 August 2008

pups on the rampage

What, didn't you believe me when I called them noisy horrors? See below for the proof and witness LMP (I think it is) attempting to break out.

And after that, have a look top right for the new poll. It's the race to reach the 2 kilo milestone.

Friday, 22 August 2008

3 weeks old - weights

It was lovely to see Emma, Andrew & Matilda today with Taito, the "Spot" from the last litter. He's a lovely 14-month-old boy now - handsome, super coat, so sweet natured and cuddly. We had a great walk and Taito even got a little game out of Annie.

Here's how he looks today. See the family resemblance? Never did a boy look so much like his mum!

As for the puppies, the noisy little horrors, here are their weights at 3 weeks with birth weight in parentheses and gain on previous week added:

Big Arrow (366) 1470 - gain 317
Suck Monster (360) 1576 - gain 422
Chew (320) 1419 - gain 414
Right Paw (365) 1462 - gain 366

Spot (285) 1348 - gain 395
Boots (297) 1393 - gain 384
Cross (347) 1512 - gain 358
Flash (300) 1397 - gain 357
LMP (?) 1232 - gain 317

And the pictures:

Thursday, 21 August 2008

the bitches - 3 weeks

And here are the girls.






the dogs - 3 weeks

Here are the 3-week-old photos. Thanks to Jay for stepping in and holding the little squirmers on all the best pics. The ropier ones are me struggling through by myself.

Big A

Suck Monster


Right Paw

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

escape attempt

Quick photo of Boots making her bid for freedom this afternoon while her brothers look on in envy. And, no, she didn't make it. Yet.

I wonder who she was standing on in order to get her nose over the edge...?


We're in danger of one or two pups making their rather premature exit from the box! Predictably, Big A was the first to rear up on his hind legs to scrabble at the edge trying either to climb out or be picked up. He was quickly followed by Right Paw who sat back to watch for a minute then decided that was a GREAT idea. So far, they're just too small. But that won't last.

They spend a lot more time playing now - mainly taking swipes at each other, barking and chewing each other's faces. They also gaze into your face when you speak to them and if you put your face close to theirs, they lick your nose. Wonder who they get that habit from...? (In case you don't know, it sometimes seems that Keskiyo can reach your face with his tongue from the other side of the room.)

Yesterday as they sucked porridge from my fingers I could feel the first hints of little canine teeth starting to poke through. Well, that would explain the face chewing, I guess.

Stand by for week 3 photos tomorrow (already!?)

In the meantime, here's a shot of Suck Monster after he licked his side of the plate clean this morning long after everyone else had given up.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

puppy stretches

Little video of the pups during a rare quiet moment today. I just love the bellies & little toes - not to mention the noises they make in their sleep.

Monday, 18 August 2008

puppy squash

Quick note before the RSPCA come knocking...

Two people have pointed out that the box I am keeping the puppies in is very small (see pics below)! I should have specified that this is the box I pop (some of) them into after they have their porridge so that I can get out the dirty bed and paper and replace it with clean & dry. They have full bellies and pile themselves up in the little box for a quick snooze before moving back into the big box.

It's interesting that this little box is twice the size of the original little box - and now we need another new one twice as big again. That's how fast they're growing.

But rest assured, they haven't spent more than 5 minutes all squished together like that. And, actually, they choose to sleep in a pile.

hard work

Sorry if you were waiting all day yesterday for a post that didn't come. I'm getting more tired and the puppy care is getting a bit more complicated.

Porridge 4 times a day to coincide with Neka's 4 meals. Make sure everyone gets their fair share. Follow with shallow bowl of water to encourage them to drink. Not quite as interesting as the porridge yet, though.

As they grow they are making more of a mess too. They and the mat get covered in food when they're eating. Neka still cleans up all the poos (phew for that!) but they are weeing freely with no help from mum, so clean newspaper has to go down everytime they wake up. Big shout out to Jo and her neighbours for the very welcome steady supply of newspaper. I don't know how we would manage without them because it would take me 5 years to gather enough newspaper singlehandedly.

I don't think I'm the only one finding it tougher. Neka has decided she has had enough of being sequestered with the pups 24/7 so she now opens the door and comes downstairs to find the rest of the family whenever she feels like it. She's such a social thing, I can't say that I blame her for getting bored and lonely. She's still a great mum, though, and quickly scampers back to the box at the first squawk.

She rarely lies down to feed them now and that's also no surprise, as they descend on her like little vampires everytime she gets in the box. So she usually nurses sitting up or, occasionally, standing up with the puppies hanging off! She used to do that with the last litter when they were about 4 weeks old and had teeth but at the moment it seems a bit soon for her to expect the poor little mites to reach when she's standing. They're still so little - well, relatively so, anyway.

I do wonder if she'll ever get her girlish figure back this time!

Today's photos - box of puppies anyone?

Saturday, 16 August 2008

eating puppies

... or perhaps I should say puppies eating!

Couple of quick videos for you today as you didn't get a photo yesterday. The first shows three clever little mites licking from the porridge plate. Turn the volume up on your computer to hear the little lapping & chewing noises.

I can't believe they are so advanced already! I give them a plate of porridge 3 times a day and, at any one time, I can usually get 4 or more licking from the plate with greater or lesser success. They are all slowly getting the hang of it. Flash is best at it, but the video just shows the last hardcore eaters as I was too busy trying to get them to eat to be fooling about with the camera. I think it's Flash, BigA and, maybe LMP.

The second video features Boots & Chew & shows a hint of what happens after they have given up on the porridge - licking it from each other and learning to play. It gets especially engaging when they are licking/chewing each other's faces - but this lot were too sleepy for such shenanigans today.


Thursday, 14 August 2008

2 weeks old - weights

Puppies weights at 2 weeks with birth weight in parentheses:

Big Arrow (366) 1153
Suck Monster (360) 1154
Chew (320) 1005
Right Paw (365) 1096

Spot (285) 953
Boots (297) 1009
Cross (347) 1154
Flash (300) 1040
LMP (?) 915

And, of course, the diagrams!

poll result

So, who was first to open their eyes?

I notice there was a late rush of votes for the boys at the end. I suspect this is because I confessed that one dog & one bitch both opened their eyes on the same day and you, canny readers, decided to play the odds, no?

I thought Flash would be first. For a couple of days before anyone else, she was turning her face towards the light as if responding to light & shadow. However, in the end, her eyes opened in the second wave.

The first two puppies to open their eyes were Big A and LMP. However, we have to declare Big A the winner, as his were wide open straight away whereas LMP took a while to get hers going.

Well done you clever things. I'll be thinking up a new poll... suggestions on a postcard please.

the dogs - 2 weeks

And here are the boys. Same sepia warning applies as for the girls!

Big A:

Suck Monster:


Right Paw:

the bitches - 2 weeks

Here come the 2-week portraits. For some reason, my camera has chosen to record many of them with a weird sepia tint rather than use the flash. Never mind, I'm sure the puppies were grateful for the lack of flash.

Weight updates to come tomorrow.