Monday, November 30, 2009

Milestone-1 Week: Snoopy Dance

The puppies are doing quite well as we cross one week from their dramatic entrance to the world.

Psst! Hey, wake up boys. You are a week old today! Time to get up and celebrate.
We made it past a week, little brother. We deserve a pat on the back.

Maybe a little wrestling match?Nah, we can't see anything, so that's not much fun after the first pounce.

Or, how about a Conga Line to kick up our heels?
Oh, I know! What better way to celebrate than with a little puppy version of the Snoopy Dance.

Mr. Brindle, a bit more reserved and shy about his dancing skills, displays just a short bit of SnoopyDance.

His brother, Mr. Red, on the other hand, is destined to be "that guy" who wears the lampshade at the party! He makes no excuses for a wild and crazy Cardi version of the Snoopy Dance:

Seriously, though, the boys seem to be doing well, and they just keep gaining weight. I see little bits of personality emerging through their vocalizations (yes, the red dog is already 'barking'-big surprise!), and the way they respond to things. I can't wait to see what the 2nd week has in store for them, and I just hope they continue to grow and thrive.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

On Deck

I hope she can hang on for a few more days, at least! Breezy is due on Saturday, and I'd prefer not to have a repeat of last week's early delivery... poor Bree.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

5 Days In

And both boys have nearly doubled their weight. They are toddling around the box, and I'm glad to have them reach the stage where they can move themselves on and off the heating pad, so I don't worry so much about them getting chilled. Syd is still not eating on her own, but she's letting me feed her and she did take a bit of cottage cheese. Her "other mother" (Jacque) stopped by today, and Syd just wiggled herself in half, racing around the house, so excited. She was pretty sure Jacque was here to see HER, not the babies! My Aunt Kathy stopped by today also, and Syd acted like Kathy was her best friend, too. I'm not sure Syd has ever even met Kathy before! I guess Syd needed a little bit of the spotlight back on her. :-)
And so far, so good with the home-brewed puppy box. I'm really liking it, it's very easy to clean, I can anchor down bedding under the sides, and the rails are working well. And most of all, it fits well in the bedroom, and makes a cozy home for Syd and her baby boys. I guess I need to get the rails done on the other puppy box, as the clock is ticking for Breezy!

Can't Make This Up

This level of cute is just not something you can stage or make up! Enjoy photos from Friday. Click any photo to biggify.

Stretching out...

Sleeping hard...
Future members...

Synchronized Nursing...
Putting heads together...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Moving Day and Crossing 100!

The boys have crossed 100 hours, and I really, really hope that they are out of the woods. This morning they said goodbye to their dewclaws, and both handled it really well. Syd went along to have her incision checked out and to supervise. I know that things can happen in the blink of the eye, so I'm trying not to be over-confident, but I just really feel like these babies have to make it, and they are still gaining about an ounce a day.

Yesterday was moving day for Syd and the babies. I love, love, love the pool. It was a marvelous thing when I had to lean in and help with babies every 2 hours the first few days. I could scoot it around to get Syd where I could hold her head or reposition her. But Syd had a bad day yesterday, really restless and anxious, and I thought perhaps she would like the security of her box better than the pool. Turns out, she was just having a bad day, but it's all behind her now.

So the little family moved into the new puppy box. The boys are motoring around and moving on and off the SnuggleSafe and heating pad, and they seem to feel right at home. :-)

Breezy Update

With everything that has happened with Syd and her early delivery, and the two special, special babies to take care of, I have been trying to forget the fact that BREEZY is due to have puppies one week from today. She's been so good, and really has taken pregnancy in stride. She doesn't even act like she's pregnant, scrambling up the A-frame, dashing around the yard in the eternal hope of catching a squ*rrel.

Today she went for her Xray to see if we can see some babies. The verdict is "at least 4" and we saw some suspicious shadows, so Dr. B says he's going to guess 5 (but she's not lopsided) so maybe even 6. And he gave me reassurance that this was going to be OK. He also told me that he's expecting me to call me any time before, during, or after because he knows I'm really worried that something else might go wrong.

So far, Bree has gained 8 pounds, and has one week to go. Please don't look at her long nails, I haven't wanted to stress her out and dremel nails in the last couple of weeks!

I hear ya

Right there with you, Syd. I'm exhausted too, but it's all worth it!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

48 hours and counting

Another milestone, the boys have made it 48 hours and we are well into Day 3. Syd is annoying (to me) because she can't stand it when the puppies have to be in the warming box and she can't have them.

The boys have crossed 48 hours, and we're working on Day 3. They gained more than an ounce yesterday, and today they've kept going, gaining a little more than 3/4ounce each.

The best thing I noticed today when I was taking photos is that the little brindle boy has white fur coming in on his feet! They are approaching the "fully cooked" stage, I think. And the little brindle boy is also starting to get the faintest bit of coloring on his nose. The red boy has some white fur, too, but not quite down to his feet yet.
Brindle Boy:

Red Boy:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bedtime Story

This is a little bedtime story I heard Syd telling her boys last night ...

In a far-off land where it rains all the time, there were two boys. Most people have a preference, and prefer one "team" over the other.

First, there was Team Edward. Edward, the bronze-haired boy, a little brooding, sometimes sulky, and very opinionated.
And then, there's Team Jacob. Dark-haired, and starting off small, Jacob grew bigger and stronger each day, and was a very determined, easy-going fellow.
On the streets, people pick and choose, they are Team Edward, or Team Jacob. But both these boys had to grow up big and strong, and become a Team together.

Because, you see, there is another character in this story. She's the evil red-headed Victori- uh,er, Breezy. An enemy to all. (editor's note: this is Sydney's story, and she and Breezy are definitely estranged sisters)

The evil Victori- er, Breezy had to be stopped. She was heading this way, and bringing all her Newborns with her.
Team Edward and Team Jacob had to work together, to be sure that Victori- er, Breezy's Newborns did not invade their pool and take their toys. The Team stayed together and grew stronger, and they were able to defeat Vict- uh, Breezy, and she had to leave and take all her Newborns with her to another land far, far away. And Team Edward and Team Jacob lived happily ever after.
The End.
and momma needs some sleep!

24 Hours

The puppies have crossed 24 hours, and they seem to be doing well. Each has gained over an ounce from their birth weight (I'm so tired, I spelled that "wait" and had to go back and fix it- haa). So I'm hopeful that for now, they will continue to be OK. I'm seeing the slightest fuzz of fur on their toes and muzzles now. The red boy is a bit slow in the eating department, so I'm supplementing him a bit. Thankfully he took right to the bottle (I am now the proud owner of every brand of baby bottle Walmart carries in the baby section). The Playtex bottle worked like a charm, and everyone is happy! I just keep watching and waiting for some sign that the puppies are either out of the woods, or taking a bad turn. Right now, they are looking healthy.

I want to thank everyone for the thoughts and prayers for the boys and Syd, and for the puppies who were lost before they ever got started. Yesterday was tough for me, and the events were so quick it was surreal (until about the second time my alarm went off at the 2-hour increments). I'm so happy to have the two boys, and relieved that Sydney is OK. I also feel thiankful that if the other puppies were not able to make it, they didn't linger on and struggle.

Syd has taken to motherhood quite nicely, and I might even call her an over-achiever to the point where I have to tell her to knock it off on occasion. She'd really rather lay on my bed and have me deliver her puppies to her there for nursing, but we're going to have a talk about that one. Stay tuned for Sydney's bedtime story that she tells the two baby boys.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Early Delivery

Syd's puppies are here. Yes, they are here 5 days early. Like 58 days after ovulation. Syd's temp dropped last night, and this morning (sparing you the reason I took her to the vet) she had an emergency c-section. She was carrying six puppies (5 dogs, 1 bitch), but one was not alive from the start. Five were 'breathing' and we got three to cry. Two were trying hard to keep breathing, but they were just too early. In the end, by the time I left the vet, I have two boys, and I'm going to do my best to keep them going strong.

It was not a good morning when I was carrying Syd to the back for surgery, and Dr. Becker said, "We just have to hope for the best" when he's usually so optimistic and reassuring. After all was said and done, he thinks it's very lucky that two puppies are doing as well as these boys are.

Basically, in a nutshell, Dr. B says that one of the puppies was trying to abort, and in doing so, it detached all the pups (? it was really stressful, so I might have butchered that explanation).

Syd is doing OK, she's still very groggy, but she's let the boys nurse twice, and she did sniff one when I held it up to her. Her eyes got really wide, and I have no idea what she thinks it is, but she was not growling or trying to get away from it (yet!).

So keep these two baby boys in your thoughts and prayers, I don't think they are by any means out of the woods yet. Nothing like worst case scenario, damned if you get them out, damned if you don't for the first litter.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Light Bulb!

Pardon the dust (I'm still working on getting all the panels done and tile board is dusty), but finally I figured out an easy way to add rails to the pen. A light bulb moment. I have been trying to think of all kinds of ways to add rails, all in the spirit of staying with the "foldability" mission. I was really disappointed that at the last minute I was going to have to make a frame type contraption with PVC to set inside the pen. That seemed like a chore to put it together and take it apart. So, all of a sudden this morning, I tought of a solution so easy, I'm embarrassed I didn't think of it before. It's as easy as drilling a hole in the side panels of the tileboard pen. Duh. So first I did the two panels with the L-trim on it, and tested it out. The PVC fits... check!

Then I measured to set the perpendicular rail so that it fits just underneath the first. I will probably use a zip-tie and lash them together to prevent any potential puppy foot squeezing in between and getting pinched. Not likely, but still possible.
And, to finish the project, it was a simple matter of cutting the PVC pieces to fit through each end and pop a PVC cap on the end. The first photo has the end pulled out from the pen to show the cap. But measured to fit, the caps should fit snuggly on either end of the pen. Voila! Problem solved. It did add another $12 to the total price of making my inexpensive pen. But, $6 was an investment in this really fun drill bit to cut out the holes. So that doesn't really count, at least in my own mind!

Somehow, I have this naggins suspicion that neither of the girls will ever appreciate the effort to make their cozy little puppy pens...