|Posted on June 15, 2016 at 7:10 PM||comments (8)|
“Behind the Scenes”
As the puppies grow, I don't manage to get the time in to post as much as I would like. Here is my latest posting:
Last night, I climbed into the pool to sit with my puppies. I’d changed the bedding and sat down right in the middle of the pool. Once there, I was surrounded by the pups, eagerly trying to “taste” my shirt, my arm, my shoes, and any part of me that was within easy reach of their mouths. I’d get patted with paws gently swatting towards me. I say “towards” because it looks as if they’re testing what it is they’re swatting before moving in.
When the pups swat at me with their rounded paws, it’s as if they were giving me a “high-five”. The slow motion of the movement they produce when doing so, causes their feet to flex, and toes to stretch as the paw returns to the floor—or, usually, I let their paws land into my open hand half way to the floor. Then, I rub the paw and let it down again. They appear to be perplexed by my action, as they stare at me a moment, then up goes the paw again. More often than not, they will approach me after that, ready to lick and chew whatever part of me is in close proximity.
Some of them, like Tulip, licked me a lot on my arm last night. Tria came up slowly, cautiously, as if unsure of whether to continue to come and investigate, or not. She, it appears so far, is a little aggressor. She likes to use her strong growl to try to subdue her siblings in play. She will chew on me and then lick me and chew some more. She is friendly, but really gets into her play-fighting mode with her litter-mates.
Sometimes, I approach Tria with my hand to pet the top of her head, as I do to the others all the time without difficulty. She would duck her head out of the way of my hand, then I'd pet her again the same way and she wouldn't duck. Then I'd leave her alone.
Later on, I tried again to pet the top of her head. She ducked. I petted her again, she didn’t resist, in fact, she let me pet her again the same way. I immediately rubbed her on her back, where she likes to be rubbed, and then left her alone for a while. I work on her that way when we play and then most of the time she ends up not even knowing I’d touched her on her head. She doesn’t mind so much anymore now. She will learn not to mind being touched anywhere over the next few weeks, as all of them will.
Amidst tails wagging in front of me, I can sit in the middle of the pool and I will become a mountain to be climbed by the little furry climbers. I allowed them to walk over my legs, and that was entertaining. They are anything but elegant as they attempt to overcome everything in their way. They actually just seem to fall over my legs as they stretch their short limbs as far as they can to overcome the mountain of leg before them. They hop, roll, stumble and topple over me as they learn to negotiate difficult objects in their paths.
I am amazed how they can lunge at one another and land where they intend, though usually in a small heap in front of their victim. That often puts them at a disadvantage, for now the one towards whom they had focused their energy has become the aggressor and shows no mercy in dealing with her attacker.
Tria has a very serious-sounding growl. At one time, she was approaching me, so I picked her up and held her on her back, with her head slightly elevated in my arms. While she paddled with her front paws, and licked my hand a little at first, she started to mouth my finger and then growled when I rubbed her belly. I looked at her eyes as she growled as fierce a growl as she could muster for such a small body. I had to laugh at her, because as mean as she sounded, and with such concentrated effort in trying to intimidate me that way, it was very difficult to take her seriously because of her size and appearance.Those little blue eyes captivated me.
Her growl lasted but a second or two, and then I spoke to her quietly, telling her that her growl was very vicious-sounding but not necessary, and quite ineffective. She licked my face then, grew quiet and grunted a little. With a limp body—the right way up now--I put her back into the pool where she could try to find a more suitable combatant.
Both Tria and Izzi are both very active, but Izzi is gentler in her methods than Tria. I watch Tria as she seems to go right into the crowd, possessed with a determination akin to a bulldozer, while Izzi will watch first, picking her path and carefully making her way towards the trajectory.
I think of Thor as the little guy who just wants to play when he feels like it, and when tired, will then settle down on his own, away from the noise and activity, so he can get a good nap in before the next refill of milk. He is careful, observant and extremely tolerant of his siblings and not too worried about what’s going on around him when it’s time to sleep.
Tulip has been stepped on, climbed over, chewed on and squished by her littermates while trying to sleep. When I watch her during those moments, she does not react much. She will stretch, yawn, and try to get back to sleep again. Come to think of it, all the others do the same thing.
As for Indi, she is much like Thor. Her gaze is very innocent-looking and full of curiousity, but she can still defend herself well from her siblings when she wants to. She knows when to walk away.
Despite the growls, the biting, the chewing and the stiff postures, I have come to notice more and more as I watch this little brood interact. I see that they calm down rather quickly and easily; that they react to my words with some kind of understanding as I tell them how good they are and how well they are growing. Somewhere, I know they understand what I am telling them. Their eyes tell me that there is a lot going on “behind the scenes”, and their behaviors prove it.
|Posted on June 12, 2016 at 11:10 PM||comments (0)|
The puppies are quickly becoming more active, more reliable in responding to me and looking at me when I approach the pool. I like how they react to my presence now, and often will come to me when I lean down to talk to them and play with them a while.
It is almost time to start taking them outside, and also to start getting ready for their weaning time, which will likely be after next week, if Bianka is consistent. She has already begun to decrease her feeding times, so much so that I have to tell her to go and feed her pups some of the time. The pups don’t seem to be affected too much by her lack of desire to nurse as often.
The last litter was weaned at 3.5 weeks of age because Anki decided that they were ready. The meat was a supplemental addition to the milk they were still getting from Anki, so they were not negatively affected by the change.
As they grow, they appear very large at this time for 3 week old pups, especially Tulip. Two of the puppies, Tria and Izzi, have some wavy hair on their necks. I suspect they will have a plush coat with some form of slight waviness mixed in, though not as short as Superman’s and not long like Anki’s. Their coats will be more dense, like thick velvet. Marco, their grandfather, had such a coat.
Tonight, I was playing with Tria, Thor and Tulip as they each came by to visit with me while I was leaning into their pool, attempting to get their attention on me. My right elbow was propped on the floor of the pool while I was playing with Tria. She was attacking my hand as I wiggled my fingers before her in an attempt to get her to come towards them. I don’t move too fast so she can “catch” the movement easily.
She looked at my hand, lifted her left foot and tried to swipe my hand with it, then lunged towards my hand and let out a little excited yelp as she “caught” my hand with her paws. I let her stand over my hand before she licked it, then changed her mind and decided to taste it with her teeth, too.
While that was going on, Thor sneaked into the area just in front of me, and under my head and neck where I was leaning into the pool. My arm was still lying across the floor, as I propped myself onto my elbow. Thor walked over and suddenly plopped his little body right between the wall of the pool and my arm and lowered his head to rest on my arm. There, he quietly went to sleep, letting out a little breath of satisfaction as he did so.
Tria had walked away, looking for just the right spot to lay her body down for a much-needed nap after such vigorous exercise with me and my hand. Tulip had been watching a little while we played, then couldn’t stay awake any longer and went to sleep where she was. Tulip almost managed to climb out of the pool today. She had her front paws on the lip of the pool. I stopped her and she didn’t try again. She was attempting to come closer to me.
This kind of activity is what makes all this effort worthwhile. When I see how responsive and alert these young animals are right now, the coming weeks will prove even more so. Their blue eyes will have changed to either a light-brown color—the females tend to get them more often-or the darker-colored eyes, which the males have a tendency towards acquiring.
Nevertheless, to whatever the eye color transforms, what really matters is what that mind can do, or wants to do. Discovering each puppy’s disposition is like a treasure hunt that never leaves me empty-handed. There is always more to discover, and ultimately, more to learn about these creatures from whom I have learned so much already.
As they now sleep, twitching happily and flexing their stubby little limbs and paws, or rolling from one side to the other, I wonder what kinds of dreams are theirs.
|Posted on June 11, 2016 at 10:30 PM||comments (0)|
”The Day After”
Last night all cooled off enough to be comfortable for the night. Tomorrow, the AC gets installed and the pups will be happier while they’re in the house. After that, they will be moved to the kennel and that will be their, and my, new sleeping area. That’s when their house-training lessons begin, too.
Watching and interacting with these puppies is extremely enjoyable. Day by day their personalities come to the surface, and prove that my efforts are very much worth it.
When Anki goes to feed her brood, I watch how the puppies navigate their way towards their mother. I see how each one pushes hard to get to “his/her” nipple and fights really hard to stay there. They lock on to the “milk bar” until sated.
Izzi and Tria take turns growling when playing. Yesterday, as I wiped Tria down with a cold cloth to help her cool down a little, she let out a long growl that made me laugh because it sounded mildly vicious, yet so puppy-like at the same time. She was holding very still while I wiped her off. Perhaps she didn’t like my wiping her coat the wrong way. She will learn to tolerate many things as she gets older—from me, and her siblings.
Tulip is no longer the heaviest of the bunch at 2.16 kilograms. Her big sister, Tria, has surpassed Tulip’s weight today at 2.17 kilograms. Tulip is still the largest of the pups, just not the heaviest. She is supremely friendly when I pick her up, at which point she licks my face immediately as she relaxes in my arms. She can be very lazy and just ignore the others who step all over and on top of her while she is asleep, too, but she is also very playful when wide awake.
I call Izzi, “busy Izzi” because she likes to be active by licking my face, or flexing her paws while I hold her, or just yawn and talk to me in little grunts. When I lay her back down in the pool, she will roll onto her back and paddle with her front legs, her mouth open as if she were smiling.
Indi is thoughtful and less active than Izzi, but not less friendly. She is more contemplative about what’s going on around her, and when she has assessed the situation, she will make her move. She does talk a lot and really likes to come visit me when I lean over and inside the pool to talk to the pups.
Indi and Tria fell asleep under my arms, preferring to be there than out and about, even though it was very warm for them there. Indi had been crying and felt uncomfortable in the heat before we had the AC connected. She and Tria snuggled into my curved arms and lay there, Tria with her head resting on my lower arm, while Indi lay with front legs propped up a little under the my neck, asleep. I did not move for a few moments, waiting for them to be completely asleep before moving my arms away. I knew they would not move if I slowly removed my arms from around and under them, but I had to wait to make sure they were fully asleep. It never takes long for that to happen once they go down.
As stated earlier, Thor is more thoughtful and likes to observe before making any decisions about what to do next, but when he decides, there is nothing to stop him. Sometimes, he will lunge forward with such great enthusiasm to get to his next “victim”, that he loses his balance and falls over instead! A clumsy lot they are, but super fun.
These puppies, like all my dogs, like to be spoken to and try to understand. There is no doubt in my mind that these pups are superior German Shepherd puppies and have the capacity to tolerate, acclimate, understand and improve on their abilities and lessons. Their sensitivity to those closest to them is unfailing.
As the weeks seem to fly by, and my puppies grow ever bigger and stronger and more fun to teach, I think about what each one will be like when mature. I know they will be much like their parents, but a lot of influence comes also from the new family. My puppies will have had an excellent start in life to be able to thrive in his/her new world with confidence, and ability.
Below, is a photo of Tulip; today's photo at 3 weeks of age:
|Posted on June 10, 2016 at 6:55 PM||comments (0)|
“Active and Fun”
As the day approaches, the sun rises out of the East and the pups are now getting a good start to their morning by suckling enthusiastically, the day is sure to become another warm one, one in which I must try to keep the puppies as comfortable as possible. The forecast said 91 degrees today. Well, that’s going to be a challenge for all of us.
Yesterday, the heat had pups panting and gave me the opportunity to wash each one down with a cold cloth. I’d also dipped my fingers into cold water and put that to their mouths, which they licked up eagerly, trying to figure out what that cool liquid was and liking its cool feeling around their lips and tongues.
I imagine they felt a little better. I dipped a couple of pups’ chins into the water, too. Izzi and Tulip didn’t know what to think, but as is expected, their noses got some into them and they sneezed it out again. When I put each puppy to sleep by wiping each pup’s paws, bellies and heads, they were once again content for the moment. This was a good training session, too, as later on, when they are not in the pool anymore and will be moved to the kennel where I will sleep with them, they will be getting their daily wipe-downs from head to tail. They then learn to be handled and touched everywhere without complaint.
Their walking ability is getting much better. As I watch them navigate their pool with more ease, though sometimes they do lose their balance and topple over. Right now, most of the pups, with the exception of Indi and Tria, have fallen off the nipples and lie strewn around their mother in a very disorganized fashion.
Tulip seems to be contemplating whether she should just let her body flop down and allow sleep to take over, or not. There, she just crumpled to the floor of the pool beside her big brother, Thor. She is out for a little while, until next time Bianka comes back to refill their tanks.
Tria has lost her grip on Anki’s nipple and lies with her head bobbing up and down on Anki’s side with every breath her mother takes. When they get full, there’s nothing to stop them from dozing off quickly, into a deep, twitch-filled sleep.
I held Izzi this morning, after she’d satisfied her tummy’s capacity and petted her lightly. Her head came down on my shoulder and she was out instantly. She didn’t move. Should I put her down again? I thought about it. This was good for her. I held her a few moments longer, and then she started to twitch. A soft whimper, a sleep-induced outburst that indicated she’d already gone into deep sleep mode and would likely not awaken by my putting her back down as she was, was emitted from her mouth. Then came the low, soft moan with each breath, to tell me she was now deeply involved in her dream. The spasmodic movements of her muscles clinched the decision to lay her back down in the pool. She stayed where I put her down and there she continued her twitching.
Thor has now taken a turn to top off his tank some more. His mouth is attached, but seems to be slowly losing its grip as he tires and seems to want to sleep right where he is. Tria has awakened and is now suckling alongside Thor, who has decided to keep suckling since Tria decided to join him for breakfast. Tria is half-heartedly suckling, apparently too tired to do much work at it. She fell asleep at the nipple and slowly rolled down onto Thor’s side, with her head stopping to rest on Thor’s torso-pillow.
What a sight it is: sleeping puppies and sleeping mother. A happy bunch they are. With three fans on them, and air moving around, and full bellies and nothing to worry about, they have it made…what a life.
Every day my face gets “washed” by Izzi, Indi, Tulip and Tria. Thor is not so much a licker of faces as the others. He is more of an observer. He watches me when I play with the others, coming over when he thinks he should intervene, and then stares at me from a little distance. He will look right at my head, and just stare at me, as if in deep consideration of his next move. Sometimes, he’ll join in the fun and happily chew on my fingers right along with his siblings. I can tell that he will be the one who will let the others go ahead and use all their energies to do something, while he will conserve and be patient to get what he wants without too much effort.
Thor came up to me as I was playing with Izzi a couple of days ago. I had been leaning over the pool, while Izzi lay on her back, paddling her front legs at me, flexing her feet and tasting my fingers lightly. Suddenly, there was Thor as I looked up. He was three inches from my head and staring at me with curious eyes. Just a moment ago, he was on the other side of the pool. He just sat on his haunches, as if in thinking about what I was doing with Izzi. I call him, “the observer”, as I often notice him just watching me.
As I document the pups’ developing personalities over time here, much will become evident to indicate each puppy’s disposition. Their personalities will shine as bright as their coats; their minds eager to learn new things and explore their new world, and make new friends. That’s what it’s all about for these little creatures, soon to be as big, or bigger, than their mother.
|Posted on June 9, 2016 at 7:25 PM||comments (0)|
With their moths wide open the pups are now attacking each other, tails wagging and then falling over from the effort they put into their little lunges for their litter-mates. It is funny to see them look so “vicious” and hear the little growls that only promote my own desire to join in the fun. What I do instead, is to video-record them so that I can later enjoy their antics anytime, and share them with others.
The pups are quieter at night, allowing me to have a little more sleep, being fed often by Bianka, who is the most attentive of mothers. She is persistent in her pursuit of cleanliness for her pups. As she watches vigilantly to make sure none of her pups’ bottoms get left behind, none escapes her acute sense of smell to tell her when her pups need to relieve themselves.
When she goes outside to do her business and take a break from her pups a while and go exploring and stretch her legs, her return is very business-like as she immediately goes to the pool and inspects from the outside first, the whole group for any abnormalities—and maybe she’s counting them, too?--then climbs into the pool to sniff each little head and body to make certain all is well. When she’s satisfied all is as it should be, she may lie down to feed her brood, or she may just climb out again to relax on the floor beside the pool. That, to the extreme shock of her pups, becomes very exciting when she has awakened them with one sniff from her nose on their bodies, only to exit the pool and leave them screaming with disappointment for not delivering their meals.
What then? Well, sometimes she goes back inside the pool, others she just ignores them and lies down to go to sleep. What a mother. So calm and cool about dismissing the “pained” screams from her troop, only to lie down and go to sleep amidst their cries for mercy on their empty bellies! She knows best, after all. I wonder often what goes through her mind when she pointedly dismisses the pups’ screams and stands looking in on them as they struggle to get her attention. None of the pups is thin, in fact, all have a little bit of a belly—except Thor, who seems to prefer being leaner, but not thin. She does feed her charges very well.
The daily weigh-in proves that the pups are eating well and increasing in weight every day. They are growing quickly. They are also becoming erudite little bundles early in their lives by being exposed to nothing but Baroque music from some very old musical masters such as Vivaldi, Bach, Corelli, Telemann, Handel and others, from the day they arrived here. Their sleep is saturated with notes written in a long-ago past.
By the time of this writing, all the pups have reached the point where they all weigh over four pounds. They are heavy and strong, shiny, soft, happy, thriving every day and showing me that what I am doing, is good for them.
|Posted on June 7, 2016 at 11:45 PM||comments (0)|
"Wagging Tails and More"
Today, I was licked by Tulip, and she managed to mouth my fingers while kicking me with her back legs. Thor walked over to me, looked me in the eyes as he stopped to contemplate whether he should keep coming closer or retreat. I'd been leaning over the pups' pool and talking to Izzi while she was happily rolling from one side to the other, as if she were enjoying biting my fingers with her soon-to-be-filled-with-teeth, mouth. I could feel her tiny teeth starting to poke my fingers slightly. Thor came over and licked my face. His eyes full of curiosity.
How funny it is that these little animals can become so quickly reactive to outside stimuli in such a short time. I say that because last night marked the day that I saw Tulip's tail wagging as she approached her brother and managed to put her mouth on his leg. He reciprocated, and it was very entertaining to watch these clumsy little furballs topple every now and then from too much effort or being bumped by a sibling.
While playing with Tria earlier, Indi came to inspect our efforts and I accidentally bumped the side of her face with my finger, and she fell over, off balance. She made it look as if she had done it on purpose, and lay there for a few seconds--pretending to have planned the whole thing.
Tulip made her rounds around the pool, slowly, and after several stops to take a break from the work. She ended up almost all the way around, on top of her mother's back end, where her comfort, warmth and sleep was secured for the moment.
Bianka takes great pains to "count" her pups and sniff each one when she enters the pool to inspect them. What a good mother she is.
Next week will bring more puppy antics to life, and a glimpse into each pup's deveoping personality. I can't wait.
Below, a display of puppies resting after a milk-meal:
|Posted on June 3, 2016 at 8:45 PM||comments (0)|
Every day the five pups get to get out of their pool enclosure to be carried around a little and become accustomed to handling and different areas of the house, while still in my arms. They all relax and even become limp as I carry them around, supporting their legs and big bellies. They grunt on ocassion and sometimes they whine, too, but that's not so often.
Tulip likes to "play", if that''s what I can call it. She will roll from one side to the other--in the pool enclosure--while I rub her belly and her back. Almost like a horse that is enjoying the scratching of his hide on a certain itchy spot, Tulip will mouth my arm, sleeve or finger, whatever is most conveniently located near her mouth as she gets rubbed.
Indi is finding it less unpleasant to be picked up as the days pass. Today, she relaxed in my hands as I carried her around, the other dogs curious about her, but watching me carefully as I walked around them with my little passenger. As she gets older, her feeling or discomfort regarding the initial handling will subside. She will come to look forward to being held.
Thor and Indi got some personal attention from Anki today as I took them out of the enclosure to lie on the floor and nurse alone. They liked that.
Izzi and Tria are becoming more playful, too, and lying on their backs while I rub their little bellies. They like that, and mouth my finger as they enjoy the tummy rub.
Last weekend, when I weighed the pups, Izzi was asleep when I picked her up and placed her onto the scale to weigh her. She didn't even move, so I took a photo of her unbothered sleep on the scale:
Tulip was also asleep when I weighed her not long ago, and she didn't even bother to change her postion after being placed onto the scale:
These puppies will be so nice to work with as they get older and more aware of their surroundings and more responsive to people. What fun I will have these next few weeks that I know will fly by more quickly than I might like.
|Posted on June 2, 2016 at 8:00 PM||comments (0)|
Puppies, Day 13
While the puppies grow day by day, I watch as they still struggle to get from one location to the next. I can’t help but laugh a little as they try so hard to move about their little world. Today marks the 13th day of their lives outside their mother’s womb.
When I look at them, I see more reaction to outside stimuli, especially from Tulip (white-collar female). Tulip appears to absorb any attention she is given, and reciprocates by licking my face, mouthing my fingers and moving her body in a way that suggests she is enjoying the rubbing of her belly and my voice close to her ears.
Thor (no-collar male) is gaining every day. He is strong as he makes his way where he decides he wants to go. Nothing will stop him. When I pick him up to talk to him and hold him, he decidedly melts into my hands, becoming a limp lump as soon as I lift him. He grunts softly , as if he were purring, like a cat.
Tria (pink collar) likes also to lick my face. She, too, becomes a “lump” in my hands as I hold her up and talk to her near my face. She immediately relaxes and sniffs my face, with intermittent licks.
Izzi (green collar) is much like her younger sibling, Tulip, sniffing me and licking my face when she’s close enough. She, too, is slightly more responsive to me, like her youngest sister, Tulip. She is quick on her “pushing” ability to get herself up off the floor and take one or two steps.
Indi (purple collar)is the only pup who reacts when being picked up by stiffening her body slightly and then after a moment, she apparently realizes it’s not so bad and relaxes in my hands. She is not as active in a playful sort of way like Tulip and Izzi seem to be, but she is just as quiet and accepting as the rest
Their steps become more fluent as they gain strength. They suckle with great enthusiasm and tend to fall asleep at the source of nourishment, having drunk their fill. They are entertaining little creatures, as they roll off Anki’s side after trying to climb up for whatever reason they had, then fall down, rolling off Anki's side--a funny scene--from lack of coordination and strength in their short limbs.
The sounds they emit during sleep are quite the vocal circus. From what I call, “chirrups”, a sudden succession of growling noises, to outright barks, monkey-like grunts, moaning while stretching…and then there’s just silence. The silent parts are far between, for these pups continually move about even as they sleep, their little bodies’ nervous systems developing every moment of the day into what will one day become part of one of the most sensitive, responsive and devoted family members.
Every night I get to fall asleep to my puppies’ vocal sounds. Sometimes they scream from being bothered by Anki’s attempts to keep her pups clean while they’re feasting, and I jump up to check on them, but most of the time I am listening to a lullaby consisting of soft moans coming from little bodies four feet from my bed.
Watching them grow and develop their own unique personalities in such a short time must be one of the most gratifying of “duties” in which to be engaged.
As for the pups’ mother, Anki is one of the most attentive and careful mothers I’ve seen, dog or human. Her good nature and pleasing attitude are the best things to which these pups could be exposed from the start.
|Posted on June 1, 2016 at 7:30 PM||comments (0)|
I begin this log at this time because the pups are at the cusp of when they start to exhibit their unique personalities. They are now twelve days old. Their eyes began to open with just thin, little slits, allowing me to see part of the shiny eye behind them. Oh what excitement that brought to mind, as I imagined what was still to come, now that the pups were starting to open their eyes!
They cannot yet see well, but they will become more aware of their surroundings over a short time, through use of ears and eyes. Each of those two senses is very limited for about a week more. But as each puppy matures, he/she will gain more and more input to be filed and stored in their superior little brains.
A couple of days ago, Thor (second pup born), the no-collar puppy and only male in the litter, started using his back legs to support his body. He was the first of the bunch to do so. Thor seemed to lift his body with some effort. Though he was supremely clumsy and toppled over sideways before he could even finish the first step, it was his focused effort for such a young animal that caught my attention. With his little body shaking slightly from lack of muscle strength, he tried to move forward again, carrying his belly rather than dragging it.
It is entertaining to see the pups try to walk, topple over sideways, then settle where they have fallen, as if they had been drained of all fuel to continue. It takes a lot of energy to move those awkward, over-stuffed sausage-like bodies over the pool’s flat, but massive surface.
Thor’s little sister, “Tria”(pink collar and third born), was not far behind him as she learned to be able to sit down and look much like an adult dog when doing so. She would sit down, and seem to calculate her next move, while gathering energy to lift herself up again from the sitting position and be on her way.
Indi, Tria’s little sister (purple collar and fourth puppy born), tried her skills at walking the next day. She was just as clumsy and fell over like a piece of lead in less than a second after trying to move her body over the floor of the pool. In a short time they will all be walking more or less normally and be like miniature bull-dozers. Nothing will stop their getting to the milk depot.
Izzy, the green-collar sister (first to be born) of the bunch, learned to sit, too, with very little effort, and I think they all discovered that it was quite nice to be able to sit and rest rather than lying down all the time. After all, they were already part of the way up; it’s all about saving energy. She followed with one more half-step before losing her strength and balance, only to fall on her side, just as the others had done.
Now, Tulip, the white-collar “tank”, is very strong, too, despite her having a disadvantage weight-wise to her older siblings—she was the last one of her siblings to arrive. As of today’s entry, she weighs 3.3 pounds, or 1.50 Kilograms. A hefty little puppy she is and very strong, too, but not strong enough to carry her belly off the floor for any longer than the others. Yet, she still perseveres in an effort to get herself where she wants to go. She might look like a beached walrus when she plops down on the floor, with her front legs pushed under her belly and towards the back. Resting after a vigorous work-out to attempt to navigate from one end of the pool to the other is no small feat. She gives up after one time of “walking” and resorts to dragging her big body over the floor of the pool most of the time. I don’t blame her. She does have to conserve her energy for growing.
While all the puppies have been handled from the very first day on a daily basis, their ability to calm themselves, or become calm very quickly, became apparent after just 3 days of handling them regularly. At first they would squirm and squiggle and whine as they were held in my hands. I kept on handling and talking to them every day, without fail. When family would visit, the pups were held for several minutes at a time, but they’d also fallen asleep in the arms of family members; it's all part of their education.
With grunts and moans, whimpers and whining, stretches and baby barks, the puppies gain strength and confidence with each passing day. They are destined to become the model citizens for which they were “designed”.
Please check often to read a little about my pups’ adventures with me as they get older and bigger.
|Posted on May 5, 2016 at 8:00 PM||comments (0)|
With the arrival of the expected litter on the 23rd (approximately) of May, Bianka is wider, and heavier as of this post. We are very excited about this litter, for this litter is the culmination of all our efforts to provide the healthiest, most intelligent, able puppies for your consideration as your next companion and four-legged family member. These pups are our thid-generation, raw-fed and unvaccinated pups. We feel these pups will be akin to Super-puppies, because of the superior health and intelligence built into them from very early on in their lives.
With two weeks left to wait for the puppies' arrival, there is much excitement in our househlold. The little grunt-like sounds emitted by puppies as they nurse, and try to get as much milk from their mother's teats before getting too tired to suck, are one of the most comforting sounds to hear. They are happy, well-nurished and satisfied when they are done. Then sleep takes over for a short time before they once again awaken to begin the cycle of eat-sleep-eat-sleep.
When hunger fills their minds with one goal, they fill up. After that, some will clumsily make their way towards another part of Bianka's body--sometimes it will be under her tail--where it is equally warm, or they just run out of energy to move, and fall asleep in mid-crawl. They will bunch up at times into little groups, then wake up, whimpering for more food and then in comes Bianka to refill their tummies once more.
When they know mother near, it is quite the scene to observe how these pups just "know" where their food and warmth are. As they stumble and crawl, many times over one another in the process, like little machines with only one goal in mind, they arrive at mother's nipples eager to begin the process of nursing all over again. This happens many times during the day, and because someone is always with the pups and mother during this critical period in their lives, we make video recordings and take numerous photos, because we can never have too many of these little creatures of whom we are exceedingly proud.
In about 12 days the pups' eyes will begin to open; just little slits, but nonetheless, open. They do not see very well, but when their eyes are fully open, the fun begins! Each puppy has his/her own personality, and this will be more apparent as they grow into the mighty little creatures they were destined to become.
The wading pool in which they all arrived at birth, will soon be insufficient to keep them happy, and definately not high enough to keep them from trying to climb out! They will then be moved to a large, wooden whelping box with plenty of space to move about and play while indoors. A cot is set up for me to sleep with them during this time, too. Their house-training will begin as soon as they are moved to this large box. Many times during the day, they will be taken outside, carried often, and introduced to the green grass, sunshine, and freedom to extend their limbs as much as they need; to breathe deeply and lick the morning dew off fresh, green foliage; to romp and play until sleep takes them away from this world and into the world of dreams. Their lungs will become stronger every day that they play outdoors and learn to use their muslcles, expend energy, test their littermates' tolerance for being "attacked", and enjoy their lives fully while they grow to become some of the finest German Shepherds in the world.
While raising our pups is not always fun or pleasant, as they are like little furry children and must learn how to live with bi-peds and tolerate certain things from us, it is extremely satisfying to see our pups grow mentally and physically during their short time with us. By the time they reach the tender age of about 9 weeks, they will have experienced enough to be able to handle being taken from their mother to begin a new life with a new family.
Their training never stops, even when they leave us to live a new life with their new families. For them, it becomes more a challenge than a difficulty. They accommodate, learn new things, and thrive. We are always available to our pups' new families for any questions or problems that may arise during these important weeks and months ahead while the puppy grows to maturity. We are there for the life of the puppy and because we mindfully select the families to which our pups will go, we ensure to the best of our abilities that our pups will be cared for in a manner that builds our pups' mental and physical attributes to full capacity.
By the time your pup is mature, which often isn't until about 2-3 years of age, he/she will be able to look forward to a long, healthy life with his/her family.