Thursday, 19 April 2012

pups at home II

I'm simultaneously irritated by and grateful for Facebook.  While I love how I can easily keep in touch with friends and random contacts now, it is irksome to be so addicted that I simply must check in regularly in case I've missed something important.  And even when I give in to that irrational urge I still seem to miss half of what's going on.

By far, the best part about Facebook is getting regular updates and photos of the puppies.  This is true for the "puppies" who are from earlier litters, too, and are now 3 or 4 years old.  And I'm not above stealing said photos for my blog.  Obviously. 

Of this bunch, some were sent to me and some were shamelessly nicked from Facebook because they are just too cute to resist.

Emmi looking tiny in the bluebells.

With new big brother Miika and mum Jane.

Tiia in her new home.  She's an excellent match for the carpet, don't you think?

And with her new big sister, Marja, who is from Keksi's first litter.  Marja wanted a playmate - I don't think she was banking on one quite as bossy as she got.

 Kimi putting Andy's new camera to good use with his serious face...

... and his smiley face.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Tuuli on the table

In the general clear-up after the puppies left, the grooming table was leaving the house en route to its regular home in the garage.  Before it departed, I quickly set it up and popped Tuuli up there for her first proper brushing.  She has had occasional gentle introductions to the brush while dozing on the sofa, but had never yet been on the table or had an all-over brush and combing.  Her fur is starting to grow now, and it's about 1.5-2 inches long all over, so brushing her is not exactly onerous yet.

As you can see, she was perfectly content up on the table with no sign of nerves at all.  In fact, I would go so far as to say she actually enjoyed it.  When the time came to do her belly, she was most accommodating, which is more than can be said for the other dogs in this house normally.

When she was finished I noticed Neka queuing up for her turn.  Before I had the opportunity to lift her onto the table, though, Keksiyo quickly hopped up via the sofa.  Dogs love the pampering and one-on-one time that goes with grooming and squabble over who gets to go first.

As you can see, Keksiyo is looking pretty raggedy at the moment, as he's coming to the end of a major moult.  He needed serious grooming, so after quickly grabbing this snap, we moved the table outdoors so that I could brush an entire dog-sized pile of fur out of him.  It doesn't seem possible, but today I could easily brush that much out again.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

pups at home I

So you might think that once the puppies are off into the world I forget all about them.  No, I don't think you would really think that, would you.  I spend the first week (ish) worrying about them and how they are getting on in their new homes.  Are they sleeping?  Are they eating? Are they destroying all the soft furnishings?

These questions are not from concern for the puppies' welfare so much as their new owners.  I know I've picked the puppies' homes well, so I have no doubt they'll be loved & cared for.  I just worry that they are behaving themselves.  As much as an 8-week-old puppy can behave himself, that is. 

The only concern I have for the welfare of the puppies is whether everything I've tried to drum into the new owners has sunk in past the excitement of having the adorable puppy finally home.  Will they be strict with the routine?  Will they teach him to be quiet?  Will they get the housetraining cracked?  Will they continue with the full-on socialisation?

So when I get regular updates and photos, I'm happy.

Mikko at his new home looking like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth.

And crashed out on the sofa having a snooze after wearing himself out.  Is there anything cuter than puppy toes?

Miia has decided to be helpful in the garden.  Just wait til she discovers her own paws are more efficient than a trowel...

Checking the pots to see if there's anything tasty about.

Kiittaa getting to know her new big sister, Dotsie.

Looks like they're going to be getting on brilliantly.

Monday, 16 April 2012

pups fly the nest II

As last week wore on, the remaining puppies headed off for their new homes one by one until the last one left yesterday.  We now have the job of putting away the puppy paraphernalia and getting back to normal (sad - boohoo) and concentrating on all the training and socialising that Tuuli needs (happy - hurrah!).

Farewell puppies, have a fabulous life with your new families!

Emmi off to Somerset with the Treasures.  Stand by for cuter-than-cute pics of her with her new big brother Miika.

Tiia heading for Cornwall with the Gregorys.  She's already in charge with her new big sister (and actual half-sister) Marja.

Kimi was the last to leave with Louise & Andy.  He'll be living in Oxfordshire near his mum & half brother Kuura.

Friday, 13 April 2012

chew chew

Puppies chew.  And bite.  But mainly chew.  This is a difficult stage for people to survive with their new puppies - especially the young human members of the family.  They don't know how to avoid getting bitten, and those tiny teeth are like razors.  But bite and chew the little dogs must - they are learning about how to (and how not to) use their mouths, they are strengthening their jaws (a necessary activity for a dog), and they are growing new teeth, so they need something hard to chew on to relieve the pressure and pain.

Razor teeth?  These puppies?

Or these?


I always advise people to have lots of different kinds of toys.  First of all, have a few soft stuffed toys lying around - when an over-enthusiastic puppy clamps teeth on a young (or older) hand, a soft toy stuffed into the puppy's mouth accomplishes two different useful things: stops the child getting bitten while at the same time it teaches the puppy what he is allowed to chew on without hurting him the way it would if a hard toy was jammed in there.

Then there are the actual chew toys - harder items for serious chewing.  Have lots of different ones and swap them daily so that the puppy doesn't get bored with them.  There are literally hundreds - possibly thousands - of different products on the market for this purpose.  Some of them provide food as well as a good chew, like tripe sticks, bull's pizzle or stuffed Kongs.  They don't last long.  Others are food-like and although longer lasting, will also disappear relatively rapidly without actually providing much in the way of food, like rawhide, pig's ears or hooves (hollow ones with no stuffing)*.  Then there are the tough chews that have no food value.  The benefit is that they last longer, the drawback is that the dog is less enamoured of non-food items.  Some examples are Nylabones or hard rubber or plastic toys like empty Kongs.

One long-lasting non-food item that is more satisfying than the rest are antlers, which most dogs seem to be very keen on in spite of the fact that they have no food value.  While they were here, all the puppies enjoyed the antlers and would steal them from each other as a great prize.  Then Tuuli would jump in and take them away altogether.  Very popular, antlers.  As with all things, I hear that there are good quality antlers and poor quality ones that splinter when chewed.  Buy Stagbar antlers direct from Pure Dog for top quality.  I've never had a problem with them.  Lappies need size large or bigger.  Yes, they pretty expensive as far as dog chews go, but believe me they will last and last.  I still have the stub of one that is more than a year old. 

The best thing to give your dog to chew, in my opinion, is a fresh raw bone from the butcher.  They last a long time, always hold some fascination for the dog, and provide hours of entertainment and exercise.  Yes, that's right, I said exercise.  Enthusiastic chewing is very good exercise for your dog.
*  I don't give my dogs rawhide because they are greedy, they love it, they don't take their time with it, and they are in danger of choking on it.  Rawhide softens when chewed rather than breaking off in little bits that are easily swallowed.  Therefore it poses a real choking hazard.  If you have a dog who will take his time, then you might be ok with rawhide. 
*  Supervise your dog carefully with all new chews.  Hooves in particular can be brittle and splinter into dangerous shards.  Once it has been chewed a bit, then it is likely to be safe.

And what is all this chewing in aid of?  In addition to jaw strengthening and exercise, there is the little matter of growing teeth.  Tuuli is losing hers faster than she is growing new ones at the moment.

Gummy puppy with tiny adult teeth at the front, one puppy canine in the top and very little else.

These are the only ones we managed to find.  The rest were swallowed or went up in the hoover.  Or Maija's coat.

One thing I have recommended to people for their teething puppies is frozen carrots.  The bigger the carrot the better.  Very soothing and satisfying for the puppy without much in the way of food value, as it just comes out the other end.  As it thaws, just stick it back in the freezer.

This didn't work with greedy Tuuli, however, who somehow managed to devour a frozen carrot as big as she was.  End of that idea. Maija as a young puppy, on the other hand, enjoyed many hours with frozen carrots.

So what is not a good chew?  The big-name, big-marketed so-called chew toys produced by the McDonalds of dog food.  These are NOT chew toys.  They are treats with a lot of calorific and fat value (without being actually nutritious food, that is).  They are Big Macs.  Or worse - they are McRibs!  They are treats.  Not daily chews and not toys.  Special occasion stuff only.  Included in this list is all the stuff sold not only in pet shops but also in supermarkets.  Dentastix, Jumbones, Bakers Dental sticks, Bonio-type hard biscuits, strangely coloured things (as well as no food value, these will have the added "benefit" of pumping your dog full of hyperactivity-inducing additives, preservatives and chemicals.  Yum yum.) 

Bones are best.  Antlers & bones.  And a few other things for added interest.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

pups fly the nest I

One by one the puppies are leaving.  As always, the time went by so very quickly.  It's difficult to say goodbye to them, although it really is time now.  They are in need of one-on-one training at this age and the noise level is getting a bit out of hand in this house as the puppies are yelling when they're hungry, yelling when they're tired and yelling to go outside to do their business.  Time to go to their new homes for sure.  And it's wonderful that they are going to make some new families so happy.  But I still shed a tear or two with each puppy.  Here are the departures of the first 3.

Mikko was the first out the door and very quickly settled into life with the Davieses in South Wales.  He was a complete angel when he lived here.  I simply do not believe that he has morphed into a tasmanian devil, as Sue reports.  Well, maybe.

Then it was Miia's turn, setting off for Berkshire to make life interesting for the MacDonalds.  Apparently she hasn't put a paw wrong.  Yet.

She was followed by Kiittaa who I hear didn't drool a bit on her way home to Hertfordshire with the Birkses.  She's now busy making friends with her new big sister Dotsie and keeping them all awake at night.  Oh dear.  I'm sure she'll grow out of that little habit.  Eventually. 

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

beating car sickness

On Saturday the puppies all piled into the back of the car with granny Neka and we made our way across Dartmoor to the vet ophthalmologist to have the puppies' eyes tested.  The tests were all fine (phew!) and so we wended our way the 50 minutes back along the twisty, winding moor road home.

There were many crunchy puppies at the end of it all.

While Neka did a great job of calming the young nerves during their first long drive and was very acommodating when it came to hoovering up any vomit, she didn't bother to clean off the puppies.  It's difficult to ascertain, but I suspect that they were all sick at least once.  And it turns out that Kiittaa (Hopea) is a bit of a drooler too.  Not in the same league as Minna was, but the evidence was there.

So I had the task of cleaning them all off when we got back.  Mind you, I could have saved myself a job because they have got soaked just out in the garden plenty of times since. 

There's no way to combat the sickness these puppies experience during this journey.  The little car visits I undertake during their socialising activities don't really prepare them for a long drive in the back of the car with no one to hold them still.  In older puppies, though, there is a tried and true method to cure the problem.

I always advise new owners to carry their puppies home on their laps rather than in a crate in the back.  There are 2 reasons for this.  One - having the reassuring presence of a human helps calm any travel nerves that can worry a puppy and encourage sickness.  And two - holding the puppy on your lap creates a physical barrier to the puppy getting tossed around too much during the car's movement.  Ok, 3 reasons: it's much easier to clean up the vomit so you don't have to live with it all the way home.

Luckily, you don't have to live with puppy car sickness forever.  The cure, as with so many other puppy ailments and socialising regimes, is to expose the puppy little and often.  So the prescription is many, many short and pleasant car journeys.  Many.  Minna, who still drools during car trips, was temporarily cured when she came to stay with us last year.  There were 2 or 3 10-minute drives everyday as I went back and forth to work.  I dragged her with me everywhere I went just to expose her to lots of short car journeys that she just doesn't get at home.  (Clearly her family are not the slaves to diesel that I am...)  I had an ulterior motive, of course - that drive to Scotland.  And it worked, there was not a drool in sight the entire trip to Glasgow and back.  Until she returned home, that is.  Oh well.

But it does prove the cure.

Here in Devon, the puppies have been preparing to leave home on their big adventures.  Pics tomorrow.  In the meantime, they have been having fun with Neka.

And they have been having fun with Tuuli.

And, in between rain and/or hail showers, they have been having fun in the garden too.

Monday, 9 April 2012

7 weeks portraits

Tiia (Brown Wolf)

Kiittaa (Hopea)

 Miia (Toes)

Emmi (Little Ilo)

Kimi (Claw)


 Mikko (Brownie)

Friday, 6 April 2012

Keksi goes home

Remember a while ago I gave a plug to a fashion blog featuring Karhu & Wendy?  Right now, before you do another thing, go out and buy a copy of this month's Look magazine.  Well, you can wait until after you've read my blog, obviously.  And, ok, maybe not if you're a guy.  And perhaps it can wait until tomorrow, if it must.  But as soon as you get your copy (it's the one with Alesha Dixon on the cover), turn to page 64 to see none other than Karhu & Wendy! 

Here's a sliver of a peak:

Looking somewhat less than model-perfect these days is Karhu's sister, Keksi.  Her fur is falling out in truly alarming amounts and she's skinny beyond recognition.  It's all normal stuff for this period after the puppies have been weaned and she'll get even worse before she gets better.  A couple of weeks of good walks will get her muscle tone back in business, and by the time the puppies are 6 months old, she will be looking her normal shiny, healthy self with a brand new coat.

In the meantime, here's how she looked today before going off back home to Daniel, Jim, Ismo & Kuura:

Everyone was glad to see her:

Tuuli will miss Keksi for sure, but I don't think the puppies have noticed she's gone.  They're just waiting patiently for their sardine-improved dinner.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

culture for puppies

I am taking photos of the puppies these days, but I just have no time to sort them out. So, then, another video. So it's not all bad news.

As requested, here are the puppies enjoying a bit of Chopin.  Perhaps "enjoying" isn't quite the right word.  But they are singing along, right?

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

fun in the pen

Tuuli is now 5 months old and just as skinny and bald as ever a 5-month-old Lappy has been.  It's an ugly-duckling age for a Lapphund, but they always grow out of it and into the beautiful swans that they are destined to be.  Luckily.

Here she is having another little game with the puppies.  It's quite endearing how gentle she is with them.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

bright on black

Thank you so much to Alexandra McNicol who came down and stuffed her camera's memory card to the max with puppy photos.  For those of you not on Facebook, I daresay more of these will appear from time to time, so you won't miss out.

No puppy weight updates today - they were weighed, but only for computing the required wormer dosage.  That's right, it's the dreaded worming time again, made only slightly more bearable by the addition of hand-fed tuna.  Got to watch your fingers with these little crocodiles, though.

Here are a few of my favorite images from Alexandra's shoot, and the puppy's new names (subject to KC aproval, that is).

(Brown Wolf)



 (Little Ilo)