Greta has found a forever home!! I don’t have many details but I do know that she has found a home where there are children to play with and people home a lot. She loves it and they love her. So, a happy ending for her. She deserves it!
Last weekend we had a mini reunion of Greta’s pups – 4 of the 5 were in attendance at the Petco puppy playtime I host. The interesting thing was, after the initial happy tail wagging greetings, the four of them fought like madmen!! We literally spent the entire hour pulling little bully puppies off of their sisters and brother. And it wasn’t like there was one who was trouble. It seemed like all of them have learned to “play” that way. I gave it some serious thought and came to the conclusion that their time in my puppy room confined their movements, and Greta’s young age caused her to react like a peer rather than a parent, so they had no choice and weren’t discouraged from acting out their urges to practice social dominance.
Most of my litters have been in the summer where the group spends the majority of the time outside, in a big fenced space with trees and rocks to hide in. They can romp and run if they want, or wrestle, or just get away from the group. But stuck inside in one room, with a mama who not only allowed the fighting but participated in it created a little group of monsters!! The funny thing was, they reacted with submission to puppies not of their group. And one little dog helped the group realize there were other ways to play. She taught them that running and chasing was a game worth participating in. So it seems, Greta’s group has some learning to do – they need to learn other methods of interacting and playing that don’t involve fighting and wrestling.
The puppies are really growing. In just the last two days they have begun to play. Prior to this, their days included eating and sleeping. That was it except for an occasional crawl around to get comfortable. Now after eating they spend about 10 minutes wrestling and playing with each other. There are also a lot of tail wags. Dogs wag their tails as a social cue, now that they are interacting it makes sense that this behavior is beginning to surface.
I’ve also begun to introduce food to them, first formula and now moistened kibble. They have the hang of the formula, but they cry and basically freak out when the kibble is in the bowl. I think I’ve mentioned how overly vocal (and dramatic) this group is, so any change, anything new, they really react to. Just imagine how they’ll be the first time I take them outside!
Here are some more pictures of the puppies around 2.5 weeks. They are starting to sit up and walk around more frequently and more steadily. And look at how big they’ve gotten! It’s crazy.
So, the puppies are two weeks old yesterday. They are huge. I know I haven’t had pups in the house for a year but I don’t remember them being so big so young. And these little ones are already trying to walk! It is so cute to see them wobbling around, bumping their noses on the ground as they toddle about. All of them have their eyes opened to little slits, which is why there are no photos today – the room is too dark to take pictures without using the flash, and the flash isn’t safe for their newly opened eyes. There will be more photos soon though!
On Saturday, I noticed one of the females was sounding really stuffy and coughing. Then by Sunday night all of them had it, but not Greta. By Monday, it seemed one of them was getting better and today, two of them seem to have fought it off. I’ll keep watching them closely but so far it seems they are shaking this on their own, with Greta’s help. I sure would like to avoid of repeat of what happened with Willow‘s pups! She and her 8 pups all had a severe case of kennel cough when the pups were only 3 days old. I had to bring the entire litter into the vet’s office. Once we got home, Willow refused to nurse them. Totally rejected them, didn’t clean them or care for them. It was awful and scary for me. I ended up, I’m sort of embarrassed to say, literally restraining her about 4 times a day to let her pups nurse. It was stressful for both of us but finally, after three days of that her mothering instincts kicked back in and she finished off her duties properly. Never again will I do that though. If a vet needs to see a litter of pups under 5 weeks of age again, I’d make sure they did a house call.
Anyway, it seems that we are out of that particular woods. I’ll keep you posted. Pictures soon, and some video of their wobbly attempts at walking.
And anyone out there have any suggestions for names? One of Chloe’s puppies adoptive moms (Karen with Jackson) suggested the following names: Elsa, Trina, Amelia and Delia for the females and Fritz for the male. I like the October themed German names to go with Greta.
Greta‘s pups are getting so big. It’s been over a week since they were born and small enough to hold in the palm of my hands. Now they overflow, wriggling and squirming their way out. Just a day ago I noticed a lot of squeaking and practice barking. I wondered to myself what was up and realized that their ears were starting to open. To test this I gently but clearly tapped on the side of their whelping pen (the green wading pool you see in the pictures) and sure enough, they all startled! So cool to see their bodies right on target developmentally.
Greta has been sick but is finally getting better. I counted and she was having a loose, runny, large volume poop every two hours! You know what fun that is? I can’t even begin to tell you. The vet thinks her whipworm or hookworm infections may not have cleared with the first round of Panacur so we are doing a second three day dose. She also included a general antibiotic just in case in was something bacterial. It seems to have done the trick as she pooped three times today, just like a normal dog. Hopefully we’ll be out of that particular woods soon.
I feel so bad for Greta. Until the foster mamas are given a clean bill of health I have to keep them quarantined, which basically means she spends the majority of the day and night by herself (with her pups of course) in a room. She does get frequent short potty walks (and is keeping her room clean!) and at least two long walks (45 minutes) each day, but still, she is bored and wants to hang out with me and the other dogs. Poor girl. Hopefully soon she’ll be able to get out and about more.
As you see from the pictures, the puppies mostly sleep. Lately I have been catching them sleeping on their backs with their little mouths open! So cute. They are clearly feeling safe and happy. When they are hungry and hear and smell Greta, they “walk” (more like a seal like of waddle thing than a really doggy walk) around their whelping pen crying their heads off, “looking” for her. Their eyes are still closed so mostly they snuffle around, bumping into one another. eventually they give up and just huddle together in a lump. Very cute.
Well, another cycle begins! On Monday night around 9:30 I was sure that Greta was going to have her pups…she hadn’t eaten since noon, was peeing frequently and hiding out in her crate. I sat with her and watched the pups wriggling around under her skin. I could see bodies pass by, a head graze the surface, then a leg. It was intense and it seemed clear that they were readying themselves for action. But Greta, after grunting and looking at her back end with a startled look on a few occasions fell into a deep, deep sleep. I left after watching the scene for an hour, convinced there would be puppies by morning.
However, when I left for work at 8am, no one had arrived. I figured she’d wait until tonight, as most of the mama’s we’ve had deliver in the evenings. Was I surprised when I got home in the afternoon to find 6 dogs where originally there had been one! There are two white ones with black markings (a male and a female), one white one with brown markings, one solid brown one who looks like Greta, and one almost dark gray one, all females. Five in all and only one male. They are strong and healthy – no ribs showing at all! This is by far the healthiest litter we’ve had, and it further supports my belief that Greta was an owner surrender. Makes me sad, as she was clearly loved and cared for. She is the sweetest, friendliest and most easy going dog we’ve had. I have really grown attached to her and am a bit sad to have to share her now with her puppies.
Dogs change when they have their litters to care for – they become more serious, and far less “needy” of my attention. Where just a day ago Greta tried everything in her power to get me to pet her and pay attention to her, happily wagging her tail anytime I was in her line of vision, now she just looks at me with a calm gaze, suggesting that my presence, while benign, is slightly annoying. I actually feel out of place around her! She has it all together and my attempts to help feel clumsy and unnecessary. It really felt good to see her reaction when I opened a can of wet food. She didn’t need the wet food, I just opened it to see that look again – her joy at my abilities to provide her with something she wanted. I know that this will change, as she gets tired of her role, she’ll want to be a dog again, but for now, I feel left out.
Tonight is the second night of our new mama’s (Honey?) time with us, and she is settling in. She is so young – clearly a puppy still herself. She is so happy, lots of wags and excitement each time she sees us. And she has a surprising amount of energy given her “condition” and her very malnourished state. If she didn’t have whipworms and hookworms she’d be out with my other dogs, romping in the big yard by now. But we need to get her cleaned up inside first (and get rid of her fleas) before letting her interact with my dogs.
She is a funny looking dog! I hope to get some photos that really capture how she looks in 3 dimensions. It’s strange but she looks different from different angles. Sometimes she looks just like a hound, a coon hound or such but then you see her short legs. Tonight she reminded me of our dog, Brandy, who died this spring. Brandy had a similar look to her face, in the eyes and the ears, but normal length legs. This mama looks like she’s been cut off at the knees. I said that to her tonight, “Mama, who took your legs? Someone stole your legs and left you with these little stumps!” But she is unaware of her unusual look, and just radiates love and happiness. I love that about those foster dogs – how adaptable and agreeable they are.
Last night and again tonight I laid my hand on her side and felt the little puppies moving around. They are strong – kicking and squirming. It won’t be long now and we’ll have a whole bunch of little ones running around. Wonder what they will look like?
Spring is here and the pups got to play in the BIG kids yard with my dogs, Hermes and Bella and our friend Abby (who is Willow‘s daughter). They had a blast and were tearing around for nearly an hour.