Sunday, March 22, 2009

Off and away

I finally have gotten all the puppy stuff put away and the house cleaned up. So far, reports on the pupsters are encouraging and they all seem to be adjusting easily to life as an only puppy. Mama Hermione is currently vacationing with her family in Florida.

Rani is an ICAN girl. ICAN is the program that kindly provided stud service for this litter. Rani has been renamed Juliette by a Brownie troop who sponsored her with some of their Girl Scout cookie money. She has already attended a big ICAN fundraiser and is very much an assistance dog-in-training.

Yash is also with ICAN, currently living with a puppy starter who will foster him until he is old enough to go off to prison to be trained by an ICAN inmate handler.

Raja flew out to Colorado in the cabin, compliments of Frontier Airlines, to join up with a North Star Foundation puppy raising family. He has already been matched with a Colorado boy with special needs.
Dhruv, renamed Drew, is also with NorthStar, being puppy raised west of Indy. He has already attended his first St Patrick's day parade. Drew has been matched with a North Star client family in Indiana.

Ajay, renamed Notch, also flew out to Colorado, kindly escorted by a US Airways Pups in Flight volunteer, to join Canine Partners of the Rockies, the program from which his granddam Yuma came from. He will hopefully make a wonderful future service dog for someone with mobility challenges.

Aarushi is currently still looking for a pet home - she looks to be a bit too soft to enjoy life as a public access assistance dog. She is currently being fostered by my friend who is home during the day, so is getting off to a good start. UPDATE - Aarushi has found a wonderful pet home and has been rename Rosie.

Muskan, renamed Kumari "Mari", is being puppy started by a friend. This way, I will be able to let her grow up a bit more before deciding if she should be a working girl or breeding prospect. I wasn't going to keep a pup from this litter, but fell in love with this little red head girl.

Basanti, renamed Pearl, found a wonderful pet home. She was another pup who looked to be a bit too soft to enjoy life as an assistance dog.

THE END (for now)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Busy weekend

The pups had a very busy weekend. Despite it being in the 20's, the pups were very eager to outside, and vigorously played in the backyard, seemingly immune to the bitter cold. It was nice because they did some of their toileting outside, but at least once, they came back in looking like gold and brown retrievers, having discovered some mud to dig in. They entertained numerous visitors, and I was very pleased with how well they did with young children. Rani, the gate climber, is starting to look up and has discovered there is another level to explore and new ways to make mischief. This afternoon, I microchipped everyone. Despite this litter testing quite touch sensitive, they handled the microchip implantation with minimal fussing. Pups are currently eating over 12 cups of puppy kibble per day.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

7 weeks old

Aarushi and Raja

Pups are seven weeks old and loving life. It is getting to be more and more of a challenge to keep this gang clean, fed and entertained. They have hosted a number of visitors today. The first was my co-worker who helped me do some standardized puppy temperament testing. No major surprises, but I will use that data, plus my general impressions of the pups, to select what assistance dog programs or pet homes they seem best suited for.

Yash in bed with a toy
The white stuffed bear continues to be a hit
All tuckered out

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lots of playing around

Ajay and his new teddy bear, a gift from Hermione's family

The pups had their first experience with snow, a bit brisk, but I figured they could handle it. They started out tentatively, but then had a grand time running around with the big dogs. Currently, I have a sound effects CD playing for the pups, which I will continue to play at increasing volume during the next couple of weeks. I heard back from Hermione's family that Hermione is adjusting to life without puppies just fine - no big surprise. With the mobile milk bar gone, the pups are eating 9+ cups of kibble per day.

Aarushi & Yuma

Saturday, February 21, 2009

6 weeks old

Rani and Yuma

Yash, "king of the foot stool". The foot stool was removed from the puppy pen shortly after this pic since the pups were starting to take flying leaps off of it.

Dhruv and Aarushi in the pup hut. The hut also had to be removed from the pen since the pups were taking great joy in flattening it or hauling it off.

Crate "training" (Yash & Rani)

Pups are 6 weeks old and becoming a very active bunch. They are often awake and playing in the puppy pen and LOVE coming out. Earlier this week when it was warmer, they had a couple of outside adventures in the front yard. They handled the experience with confidence and curiosity - hoping for some decent weather next week. Hermione went home today, so the milk bar has officially closed. The pups still have adult dogs to interact with, and are eating and drinking well on their own. This litter is so different from previous litters in that human attention is more rewarding than food. All my other litters have taking eating very seriously. This litter wants attention first, and then will get around to leisurely eating - not a bad trait.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

5 week puppy pics

Seems like outgoing Ajay got in many of the pics. Enjoy!

Boxes are great fun

Aarushi & Raja wrestling

Yash and Ajay with another box toy

Ajay with flannel belt tug toy

Practicing Up

Dhruv with toy

Ajay, checking out the big dog toys

Ajay playing with the mobile in the puppy pen

Pup in hut

Tunnel fun

Fun & Games

The pups are 5 weeks old, very interactive, and totally adorable. Pups currently weigh 6 lbs 2 oz (Aarushi and Dhruv) to 7 lbs 6 oz (Ajay). That means that together, they weigh nearly as much as Hermione. They are starting to have playtime outside the puppy pen, and are loving it. I brought out lots of new toys, including a small play tunnel. The pups have been busy entertaining visitors this weekend, and demonstrated out social and clever they are. Busy girl Aarushi plucked keys out of someone's pocket and tried to run off with them - trying out some assistance dog skills already. The puppy pen is going to need to get closed up tonight since Rani has demonstrated that she is now able to scale the higher step-over gate. With the past litter, it was the mobile milk bar that motivated the pups to try to jump out. With this litter, it is human attention that is the most rewarding temptation. This afternoon, new visitors came over, and Rani easily popped over the gate to say "hi". I have started the process of weaning the pups. Hermione is naturally spending less time with the pups, and the pups are eating and drinking well on their own. Poor Hermione is getting her rations gradually reduced, and she will no longer have access to the puppy pen at night (not sure that she has been going in much anyway). This weekend, the pups received their first vaccination (intranasal Bordetella/kennel cough). Hopefully next week will be warm enough for their first trip outside.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

First solo adventure

Another busy puppy weekend. The pups hosted a number of visitors and loved all the extra human attention. They had their weekly nailtrim and 4-week worming. Rani turned out to be the little escape artist, and I needed to put up the higher step-over panel Saturday evening. Purple collar girl Shani from the previous litter was also the pup who first climbed over the gate, must be something about purple collars. After dinner, I took the pups individually into my bedroom for their first baby puppy training session. We did simple luring on a blanket with some canned food, had an introduction to the clicker, and then I let the pups explore a bit (laminate flooring and cats were two new experiences in my bedroom). Sessions were very short. Working with pups solo tends to really reveal their temperaments, and there were a few surprises from this session. Not surprising, Ajay, Aarushi, and Yash were the most confident pups. Dhruv and Rani explored, but were a bit more cautious. Muskan initially just wanted to hang out with me and cuddle, but once she moved away, she explored in a similar manner to Dhruv and Rani. Raja, who had seemed like an outgoing pup, explored but was whiny and showing some stress. The big surprise was seemingly calm, confident Basanti who was very tentative and had her tail down while exploring. Once back in the puppy pen, Basanti proceeded to haul a full sheet of newspaper from the litter box half way across the pen, thus she didn't seem too stressed out by the solo experience. As time allows, Nancy (midday caretaker) and I will continue these solo experiences, gradually increasing the time and number of new experiences.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

4 week old puppy pics


Raja taking nap

New toy

Feeding frenzy

Silly Rani on her back

More puppy wrestling

4 weeks old

Hermione and her big brood

Very full big tub full of 4-week old pups. I have since brought out a second tub for the next pen cleaning. The litter is now a 2 tub litter.

4 weeks old and growing up fast. The pups weighed in at 4 lbs 10 oz (Dhruv) to 5 lbs 14 oz (Yash). After a couple of days, the pups thought soaked puppy kibble wasn't too bad, and are currently enthusiastically eating 6 c per day, plus still nursing from Hermione. They are also starting to experiment with the water bowl - drinking from the bowl is an important milestone prior to weaning. They received their first real puppy collars (or in some cases cat collars) and look very cute. They are doing an admirable job of hitting the litter box, and keep their beds nice and clean. Such an easy litter. Yesterday, I bumped out the puppy pen to full size (approx 8 x 4 ft), and added a few more toys. The pups have also proven today that they can climb over the low step-over panel I have inserted in the ex-pen to allow the big dogs easy access. I will need to substitute the higher panel come Monday. The pups are totally delightful to watch play, and their little personalities are starting to emerge. Muskan is the calm cuddler. Aarushi is the sunny social girl, living up to her name. Dhruv is an outgoing, clever little boy. Ajay is the big, boisterous, vocal pup.
Assistance dog-in-training Faith checking out the pupsters
Auntie Tacara enjoying the full sized puppy pen. The one pup is hanging off her ear.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Life in the puppy pen

The pups are starting to nurse standing up - the only way there is room for everyone at the milk bar.

The pups love living in the puppy pen. They have been quite active and are enjoying their new toys. They also now get exposure to more household sounds. Ajay and Muskan actually went over to the litter box and toileted on their own - GOOD puppies! Hermione is enjoying her freedom. She can come and go from the the puppy pen and hang out with the other dogs in the main part of the house instead of being stuck back in the bedroom. Auntie Tacara likes having free access to the pups. Granddam Yuma is indifferent about the pups, UNLESS there is a person in the puppy pen. She is always one for human attention. I introduced the pups to soaked puppy kibble and they were less than impressed. They much prefer canned food and mama's milk. For breakfast this morning, the pups scarfed down a 1/2 can of Iams followed by a trip to the milk bar. If hungry, they will eat some soaked kibble from my hand or from a plate - Dhruv had quite a bit of kibble for lunch. I have also added a small water dish to the pen so they can start experimenting with drinking from a bowl - small because much more will get spilt than drunk.

Tacara watching Dhruv in the puppy pen

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Collection of 3 week old puppy pics

More puppy pics to share.

Aarushi sleeping on the pillow

Raja's turn on the pillow

Ajay sleeping on stuffed pig

Aarushi and Raja cuddling

Rani trying out the pet bed in the puppy pen

3 weeks old

Big tub full of 3 week old puppies

Three weeks old and lots happening. This morning, the pups moved into the puppy pen set up in my living room. Although initially a bit confused, I locked Hermione in there with them for a bit, and they settled right down. Tacara loves now having ready access to the pups. Basanti was the first to christen the litter box, and Ajay and Muskan soon followed (I picked the pups up and placed them in the litter box when they started wandering around). Yesterday, I noticed that the pups' baby teeth are starting to erupt - poor Hermione. Weights at 3 weeks range from 3 lbs 7 oz (Dhruv) to 4 lbs 2 oz (Yash and Ajay). Raja, Yash, Ajay and Basanti are little butter balls. Even as the small pup, Dhruv looks great and I have few concerns about his health. Doing the math, the pups together now weigh 50% of Hermione's weight.

Mama 'Mione and grandma Yuma (darker dog)