Thursday, 29 June 2017

welcome to the lintu litter

Happy mama with her 7 babies
Emmi has done it again - produced a litter of beautiful, strong & healthy puppies with very little fuss or fanfare.  Well, I say no fuss, but there was the matter of the 2 full days of stage 1 labour, during which time we scarcely dared take our eyes off her for a moment, looking out for contractions or some other clue that we were progressing to stage 2.  Last time her puppies came a few days early and the stage 1 lasted hardly any time at all.  In fact, so surprised did she take us that she almost had her puppies in the car on the way to me.  It just goes to show that birthing events can be vastly different, even with the same bitch. 

But after an interminable period of panting, digging and clear discomfort, at about 9am, a day earlier than expected, Emmi scuttled outside for a last poo then settled down to her contractions.  Which lasted all of 10 minutes before the first puppy arrived!  In fact, I was at work when I got the call from Jay that contractions had started.  Before I had even made it to my car, the first one was arriving.  And, oh boy, did they come thick and fast after that.  A new record was set for quickest birth - between puppies 4 & 5 only 3 minutes.

Props to Jay for presiding over the delivery of a puppy all on his ownsome for the first time.  Perhaps next time I can nip to the pub for the event and leave him to it.  No?

So here are the Lintu puppies.  Lintu is Finnish for "bird", chosen because the sire of these puppies is Finnish & Norwegian Champion Shacal Tiltaltti, and Tiltaltti is Finnish for "chiffchaff".  These puppies have all therefore been given bird baby names too.

Puppy 1 - WOODY (woodpecker)

Time of Birth:  9:15am

Sex:  Male

Weight:  355g

Colour:  Brown tri (or possibly brown wolf sable)

Puppy 2 - ROBIN

Time of Birth:  9:50am

Sex:  Female

Weight:  320g

Colour:  Brown tri

Puppy 3 - RAVEN

Time of Birth:  10:10am

Sex:  Male

Weight:  354g

Colour:  Black wolf sable

Puppy 4 - ROOK

Time of Birth:  10:21am

Sex:  Male

Weight:  268g

Colour:  Black (possibly wolf sable)

Puppy 5 - BUZZ (buzzard)

Time of Birth:  10:24am

Sex:  Male

Weight:  270g

Colour:  Cream

Puppy 6 - PUFFIN

Time of Birth:  12:13pm

Sex:  Male

Weight:  330g

Colour:  Brown wolf sable

Puppy 7 - MERLIN

Time of Birth:  13:05pm

Sex:  Male

Weight:  375g

Colour:  Wolf sable - with markings just like daddy

Yes that's right, for the second time, Emmi managed to produce an entire litter of 7 puppies with only one girl present.  She likes her boys, clearly.  And who can blame her, when she does them so well?

Thanks to Jane & Mark not only for lending me their sweet Emmi-pie, but also for coming up with the great names.  Puppies are a family affair after all.

For those of you who are wondering why I can't tell whether some puppies are solid tricolour or wolf sable, it's actually not always easy to spot at birth.  It will get more obvious over the next few days.  Hopefully.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

happy birthday

L-R: Taika, Taito, Karhu, Koda, Diesel, Torvi, Keksi

Ten years ago today – a very special day, as it was the day that Neka gave birth to our very first litter of puppies.  Stoic as she was, and inexperienced as I was, I didn’t see the signs that they were on their way and so I left her snoozing on the sofa when I made the 20-minute round trip to pick up Jay from the park & ride on his way home from work.  When we got back she had gutted the sofa cushions, leaving chunks of foam all over the floor.  Ah, that would be the "nesting" that I had read about, then.

Pretty soon I noticed she was grunting, and a quick phone call to a more experienced friend confirmed that this was certainly contractions, so we retired to the whelping box in the back room. 

I cannot now remember how long I had to wait for the first puppy to arrive, nor how long it all took for the 7 to arrive.  I do have notes filed away of the event, but sadly there was no blog in those days, so when an old computer died without a backup a few years ago I lost most of my photos of this litter (back up your computers, people!).   

But I have a few.

I was hoping to have a reunion for this milestone birthday, but with one of the gang in Scotland awaiting the imminent arrival of a new human baby brother or sister, and a family member of another out of the country at the moment, it was never going to happen.

These dogs are a great bunch of characters – good-natured, friendly & easy-going, occasionally lazy & stubborn, blessed with excellent health & good looks.  Very happy 10th birthday to the oldies, and many happy returns, in birth order, as always:

6 weeks & 9 years (Photo: Helen Golden)

6 weeks & 9 years (Photo: Kate Wilson)

10 weeks & 10 years (Photos: Wendy & Scott Gilmour)

6 weeks and 10 years (Photo: Melinda Groves)

6 weeks & 10 years (Photo: Mark Treasure)

6 weeks & 10 years (Photo: Daniel Spencer)

9 weeks & 9 years with Steve (Photo: Steve Giles)
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention all the special families who have loved and cared for these fabulous dogs for the past 9 years and 10 months:  the Goldens, Wilsons, Gilmours, Groveses, McCarthys, Spencer-McGinleys and Gileses – with special mention of Steve Giles who loved Torvi so much and who sadly died earlier this year.  Thank you everyone for 10 great years.