Wednesday, 29 December 2010


I managed to get a very short video this morning showing the gang in all their rampaging glory. You get a bit of running around, a bit of face chewing & punching, some growling & barking, perhaps a yawn or two, a little whine & howl, some scratching & wagging.

Oh, and Budgie having a go at climbing out of the box. She wasn't the first to try, though. This is the sign that it will soon be time to move downstairs.

This little frenzy is the morning ritual prior to breakfast & a morning of mainly napping.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

3 weeks weights

I've been so distracted with work over the last couple of days that I almost forgot it was the puppies' 3-week birthday. Almost. So they actually had a chance to eat themselves a few extra grams before they were weighed.

3 weeks old

While I've been busy with work for a few days, the puppies have been busy growing teeth. Yes! Little teeth - already. I've tried and tried to get a photo, but as yet no luck. You'll just have to take if from me when I tell you they are mighty cute indeed.

In between times, I've been doing mean and horrible things to the puppies as well. Said horrible things include trimming their claws and worming them. Claw trimming I don't mind so much, and the puppies don't mind so much either. Their biggest complaint about it is they have to sit still. And one or two might have ticklish toes too, of course.

But the worming. Oh, the worming! Full report later.

In the meantime, here are the puppies at the ripe old age of 3 weeks.


I sense a yawn coming on.

Tough to get full-frontal shots and profile. Tough to get either one, in fact!

Bad smell? No, just another yawn on the way



Funny little glance to camera

Looking rather stately

Gangsta puppy - just needs a little hoodie

Monday, 27 December 2010


Once the puppies start to hear they start to make noise. In addition to the little grunts they make when they're wrestling over a prized spot on the milk bar, they start to bark, squeak, squeal, howl (amusingly) and - funniest of all - growl. They test their volume, too, and they frequently give each other and themselves a bit of a start with an unexpectedly shrill screech.

And once they start to see, the whole big world opens up to them and all the really cute stuff starts. When I say "whole big world", I mean the portion of the big world contained within the walls of their whelping box. At this stage, anyway.

They gaze up at you as you peer into the box, they wag at you (I know!), they gaze up at their mum (and chew her ears, and take swipes at her nose) and of course, they can see each other. This is when the playing starts. It usually kicks off with a bit of mutual face-chewing.

At this age they do a lot of sleeping, so after about 5 minutes or so of playing, they all look for somewhere comfy to have a snooze.

"I bag the corner!"
Kicker doesn't look impressed.

And, on a different note, he looks so much like Inko did at the same age! Same little comma eyebrows.

"You lie on him & I'll lie on you."

In the meantime, other puppies just sleep through it all.

"Who woke me?"

Sunday, 26 December 2010

little video

Here's another one of the little 20-second porridge videos to keep you going until such time as I get my audiovisual stuff sorted out.


Having failed abysmally in the puppy video department this time around, I've dug out the old, poor-quality vid recorder and am charging the battery as I write this. In the meantime, I have managed to upload a 30-second clip that Jay filmed during chow-time yesterday. Better than nothing, I figure.

And if that video doesn't work (like it didn't when I tried it earlier), then click this link and go see the puppies' sire Elias playing in the snow with Keskiyo's gorgeous half-brother Armas. Who says male Lappies can't get along with each other. Sweet, sweet boys.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

soup's up

I didn't intend to start weaning the puppies over Christmas. With everything else happening, I didn't need the additional chore of 4 times a day plates of puppy porridge. Not to mention all the additional cleaning that goes with that.

But needs must, as they say. (Why do they say that, exactly? And who are 'they', anyway? Are 'they' the same 'they' who say "Mustn't grumble"? Because if that's the case, then this is officially the last time I use the phrase. Either of those phrases.)

The honeymoon is well and truly over and the novelty has most emphatically worn off the puppies, as far as Keksi is concerned. Which makes for noteworthy timing, actually, as our interest in the puppies is waxing at least as quickly as Keksi's is waning. They are just starting to get interesting now, which is just as well since now is when the work really begins.

Keksi is well aware of how much fun she's missing out on when the other dogs go out for their walks each day, even though we have improved our sneaking out technique somewhat. She also wants to hang out downstairs with the rest of the family instead of being relegated to upstairs with the cats and puppies. We have agreed on a compromise: she is allowed to be on the stairs where she is officially not part of the downstairs, going-out-for-walks-in-the-snow pack, yet she can still see what's going on and get her ears scratched from time to time when we pass.

Last night she was falling asleep as we were having festive Bellinis with the neighbours. No, not drunk. Really.

To make sure she gives the puppies a full measure of quality time, though, I still stay in the room with her for a while a few times each day. Otherwise she just hops in, tops them up to a minimum level, gives their bottoms a quick scrub then it's straight out again. If she's got some company, she's more than happy to stay in the box. And of course that gives me a chance to have some puppy time too.

But with Keksi more than happy to ignore her brood a bit more now, and with them getting so big and active, they're getting hungry. So yesterday I broke out the puppy porridge. This is a great product - as soon as the puppies smell it they wake up and make for the plate. It's truly remarkable how quickly they learn to lap it up.

Well aware that I spoiled you yesterday with some initial porridge photos, I just had to grab a couple more this morning. At each meal it seems that some puppies are more interested than others; they take turns really sticking into the porridge. This morning it was Junior, Kicker & Kuusi.

Friday, 24 December 2010

2 weeks weights

By the time the puppies are 2 weeks old I stop worrying and start working. They are getting mobile, they can see and hear, they can wee by themselves and make for the newspaper to do their business. They can even poo by themselves now, although mum does still take care of that job, thankfully. The puppies are turning into little dogs instead of tiny vulnerable things.

And, of course, by the time they are 2 weeks old, they are getting big. Some of them are too big to hold in one hand anymore if they have a mind to do a bit of squirming. And they are usually getting to the squirming stage by now too, so 2 handed lifts are the order of the day.

You can see their relative sizes when they are gathered around for a snack at the milk bar.

After all, mum is still best as far as they puppies are concerned. And although they are learning to eat solid food now, they consume very little before Keksi hops in to clean up the spills while the puppies top up.

So to the weekly weight report - here are the puppies' relative weights by number and also by picture - click the images for a bigger version that's easier to read. Or maybe that's just me.

And because I find these things fascinating in a nerdy sort of way, I also run a comparison of average weight per litter. Does this information hold any intrinsic value? Well, actually, no. It means pretty much nothing, but I find it interesting. I did say nerd.

And, so you can see the comparative average weight of each litter except the first one whose numbers I unfortunately lost in the great hard drive explosion of 2008. And at that time I could only weigh them up to 1 kilo anyway. These days I have better postage scales that go a little over 2 kilos. Handy!

Does it mean anything that the last litter, the Tuisku puppies, were on average heavier than the other? Well, it does mean something – it means that Usko (who was known as Dino for his dinosaur-like proportions as an infant) was more or less twice as big as any other puppy I've ever had. And his weight skewed the results a tad. But that's all it means, really.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

eyes poll result & food

I guess you think you're clever getting it right that "someone else" would be the puppy who opened their eyes first. So, well done for getting it right!

However, I'm guessing that you all thought it was going to be Honey. I thought it was going to be Marilyn because she was the one who was making blinking motions even with her eyes closed. That's why I included her in the group listed on the poll. In the end we were all fooled, though, because it was Kicker. He was followed later that day by Kuusi and Vee and by the next day everyone had pretty much caught up.

While I've got 5 minutes, I'm also going to do a quick weight update, and try to load a little video. I'm struggling with the new camera, I don't mind telling ya. I took a few videos, but again they were high-def and taking about 4 days to upload. This one is lower quality and shorter, but pretty cute, in spite of the fact that it's slightly out of focus. Must try harder!

Nope, it would not upload. Urggghhh.

In the video I tried to post you would have had a hint of how much they have developed. Now that they can see and hear, they are making more noise and starting to play. And they are getting pretty mobile - and pretty clever too - they make straight for the newspaper to have a wee. However, as soon as at least one paw hits paper, away they go, so it's usually their front paws that make it to the paper while the back end wees onto the vet bed. It's the thought that counts, though, right? Especially at this time of year.

The next instalment will be a report on the first attempt at real food! That's always a hoot. Truly not to be missed. Since I was unable to provide the promised videos lately, here are a couple of quick photos to whet your appetite (and theirs).

The very 1st plate of puppy porridge is a surprisingly big hit with everyone

Marilyn & Vee keep going when everyone else has given up

It's hard work learning to eat real food - Junior & Honey falling asleep licking it off each other's faces

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

2 weeks old

Two weeks old, and the puppies have already reached several milestones in their lives. For starters, they survived their first week when lots of puppies don't. I have been lucky thus far never to have had a puppy die, but it does happen.

They've all opened their eyes and they are starting to hear as well. Their noses have always been fully functioning - they have never wasted any time finding the milk bar, even when newly born!

They've even started walking, barking and growling. I keep trying to get these things on video and I'll post one attempt with the weight update later. In the meantime, the moment you've all been waiting for and visiting the blog for - the 2-week-old photos.

Looking a bit grumpy because I
woke him up for the photo call.

Making an excellent
attempt at sitting up all by herself.

Also a bit sleepy and with a damp face after his breakfast.

Looking more than a little like the Andrex puppy

The baby polar bear

A very photogenic boy - I had several good shots of him to choose from

Developing markings more like Budgie everyday. Good thing there are other ways to distinguish them from each other.

Monday, 20 December 2010

it's all in the details

Finnish Lapphunds are beautiful in their details

Lappy bottoms! 2 of Taika's puppies gett
ing wet

Keskiyo's snow nose

Kesa showing off her brand-new teeth

Tiny toes & noses - Honey, Marilyn, Kuusi, Vee & Junior

And in close-up

Tomorrow the puppies will be 2 weeks old already and there will be photo updates and, of course, the poll result. Oh, the suspense!