Puppy Eyes Start to Open

Plump puppies are happy puppies.

Plump puppies are happy puppies.

The puppies are GROWING! They are getting bigger and fluffier every day. Their eyes began opening two days ago and now they are nearly all the way open on all of them. And as a result they can see who they are bumping into and I am beginning to see the beginnings of playing!! One of the games is to bark so loud that they knock themselves over – a very fun game as they will do it again and again. (Remember, the ears open shortly after the eyes so that is likely why – they are trying out their new voices and startling themselves at the same time). Another game is “bite your brother” which two will do at the same time to each other with their little 2 week old puppy growls up full volume! And the last game is “wag the tail” (no surprise there, it must be genetic!) which I have seen most of them doing today for the first time. I swear, these 8 are way cuter than the other litters I’ve had (I suspect I will say this again with the next litter).

December 2, 2008 • Tags: , , , , • Posted in: nutrition, pups • No Comments

Learning the ropes

Annie’s tail bandage is holding, so the chronic happy tail is no longer bloodying up the walls of my basement. The one from the vet dropped off almost immediately, but mine has held for two whole days!!

Annie continues to be a joy, learning many commands. So far she sits on command, drops her Kong (!) to the word “drop,” knows her name and comes when called. The only problem is that she doesn’t seem to really understand the whole entire concept of not eliminating in the house. But she is learning. She clearly knows when I am NOT happy with her, and slinks around with her happy tail way down between her legs and goes and hides in her crate. All this just because I said in an old lady shaming sort of voice, “OH Annie! What have you Done??” when she pooped near the door while I wasn’t watching.

December 2, 2008 • Tags: , , , • Posted in: Annie • No Comments

Chronic Happy Tail

Since Annie has been with us, the tip of her tail has been a topic of conversation. When she wags, it whips around and smarts quite a lot when hit by it. As she has grown more comfortable in our home, she wags more and more to the point where the tip of her tail bleeds. Upon closer examination, it seemed as though a piece of bone was exposed, which we thought was why it hurt so to be whacked by it. Odd, though, that it didn’t seem to phase Annie a bit when she smacked it on a wall or similar object. She never seemed to lick it, or show any signs of protectiveness of her tail. So we began to think perhaps the wound caused nerve damage?

Kristin called the vet to have her examined. When she returned she said Annie suffered from “chronic happy tail“, to which we all laughed. But in fact, that is exactly what the vet wrote on Annie’s chart! Seems that she had developed a callus that needed to be trimmed and bandaged to heal properly. So that’s where we are – our foster dog has chronic happy tail.

November 30, 2008 • Tags: , , , • Posted in: Annie • 1 Comment

Good Books and What They Don’t Say

I love my books. I have used two to help me understand what things to expect as I work with my foster mamas. Neither of these books are the definitive, must-have reads that some of my books are to me. But they are sound books with good advice and they are books I happened to have around or were able to find on a quick run to the bookstore. They are:

Breeding a Litter, by Beth J. Finder Harris

However, there are some things that they don’t tell you in books:

• Mama dogs have loose stools, like soft serve ice cream (sorry, sort of gross) especially if you’re feeding them a rich diet. Expect this and don’t assume there is anything wrong unless it is clear that the mama is lethargic or unwell, or if the poop stinks to the high heavens of if there is blood in the stool. All of these are signs of illness (likely parasites) and need to be addressed by the vet. A good rule of thumb is to get a stool sample tested by the vet right when the mama arrives and another a few weeks later. Don’t assume a clear sample is really clear. Some of these parasites take awhile to show up. And don’t assume that you can’t catch what the mama has. Many parasites are transmittable to humans. Something I learned all too well over the summer when I caught giardia from Sweetie. The treatment was effective and I’m fine now but the medication was so strong it literally took me months to feel normal in my gut again.

November 24, 2008 • Tags: , , , • Posted in: Annie, Bella, Lollie, pups, Sweetie • No Comments