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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Y Litter update

Since opening their eyes each day I sit in the whelping box to say hello to the puppies. This morning they clearly demonstrated that they recognized me and were excited to see me.  They investigated my bare feet, legs and clothes with great enthusiasm.  Pooka2 was happy to give over and leave them in the care of someone else for a while so she jumped out and lay down beside the whelping box.  In fact, she quietly lay beside the whelping box while all the relatives (all the other dogs) came into the room to welcome the little ones into the pack.  I guess it was time--another milestone--they are part of the Chaparral Pack now! Until now Pooka2 has made sure everyone kept their distance and the other dogs were greeted with a low growl if they dared to enter into her den.

Pictured below is Grandpa Pierre who even boldly stepped into the whelping box to give them all a good sniff and let them crawl all over his feet while Grandpa Teddy licked and licked their faces as they strained up to look at him.  It was heartwarming to see the curiosty of the adult dogs finally sated after weeks of waiting in the wings; "Welcome little ones, you're part of us now".



Eureka also came in to see what was going on but being a Mom herself I don't think her intentions were as welcoming.  I think she would have just preferred to steal them away to her own lair :-))))

Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Z" Puppies - 1 week old

Our little Z puppies' main activity is still catching their  zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...s  They are gaining weight, complaining when their mother is not at their side feeding them or complaining when they have filled their bellies too much.  They are very content with their life......................who wouldn't be?

"Y" Puppies 2 weeks old--eyes open!

The pups are starting to get a bit more active--can't you tell?  Their eyes have opened so their world is also opening up a little more as another sense kicks in.  They cannot see clearly but that will develop with age, as will their ability to hear.  They are also starting to stand up on their legs learning to walk and explore their surroundings.  One can hardly imagine them leaping and bounding as adult dogs in another year, or even joining us on our hikes in another 6 weeks!  

At this time I lean into or sit inside the whelping box with them and let them get to know me better.  I take up a lot of room so it isn't difficult for them to stumble into me and I can see their curiosity aroused at this new smell.  They test out my fingers to see if I might serve any useful purpose such as a their Mother's Dairy Bar.  But, as hard as they try, they can't suck a drop of milk out of my fingers so they eventually give up or some just fall asleep with the comfort of suckling, like a baby's soother.  

Until now their whole world has been centered around their mother for eating, sleeping and warmth.  We have respected this with only a minimum of handling; once to weigh them and a few times to move them while I change their mats on  laundry day (there are a lot of laundry days around here! :-))).  Unlike many breeders, I do not believe in excess handling, at this earliest of ages as it is clearly apparent from the reaction of the puppy that it is a huge stress for the puppy to be picked up, held in the air or placed on unfamiliar ground.   There is a time for everything and a newborn has enough to contend with for the first couple of weeks without me interfering.  The puppies show me when they are ready for the next adventures in their lives.  Soon enough they will quickly recognize me as part of their world and will be interacting with me with contentment.  They will know me and fall asleep in my hand or in my lap.  

This is such a fun time!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

New Arrivals - PBGV 'U' Litter

BIRTH DAY -- January 22
Our dear girl, Sissie, presented us with a beautiful litter of 3 males and 2 females this morning.  She has been drooling watching Pooka2's and Eureka's pups and now she has her own little pack to look after.  This is her first litter and she is just amazing.  She's calm, attentive, protective and as proud as can be!  It is always a worry for me with first-time mothers but her instincts are strong and Sissie needs no guidance from any of us.  The pups are also strong and very beauitful.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Winter Hike

Our daily walks often take us into the fields.  We'll spend the first 30 minutes walking down our country road and then we'll turn into a forest trail which takes us into the fields and forest to give the dogs a good run.  In the winter it is much easier when the snowmobiles have beaten down the trails for me but the dogs don't care whether or not they are on the trails or running in the bush. 

There is always the chance of spotting deer, rabbits, wild turkeys or even a fox or two but the Pyr Sheps keep their eye on me and are continually checking back with me as we meander through the countryside.  When the hounds join us then it becomes a hunting party as they are all about the rabbits--which in what they are all about.  So the hounds only join us for the road exercise, or at specific times of year when hunting is allowed.

Monday, January 17, 2011

New Arrivals - PyrShep Z Litter

BIRTH  DAY -- January 16th

Not long after we moved Pooka2 and her pups out of the whelping room Eureka decided she's waited long enough and took up residence to give birth to her puppies.  She produced two fawn male puppies at 5:00 pm on January 16th.   Almost black at birth, as they dried off  you can make out the fawn colour under the black overlay.  Surprisingly, this changes as they age and by the time they are a year old they will be fawn like their mother and father.  One boy is slightly bigger than the other.  The smaller of the two has real crochet hook in his tail and enormous double-dewclaws -- there is no problem telling these two fellas apart.  Eureka, a very experienced mother is in her element with puppies at her side.  By nature Eureka is a very demur girl and I think she loves all huge responsibility that comes with looking after the pups.  They all love to have a job to do and she does hers exquisitely!  BRAVO, Eureka!!

Y Litter 1 week old

Aren't they adorable!
How time flies.  Already one week old and growing like little weeds.  Pooka2 & pups were moved to their new digs yesterday .  They came out of the "delivery room" to take up residence in the "puppy room".  It is a small room off our kitchen where there is a little more activity for the puppies to experience more smells and sounds as they grow.  Their eyes are not yet open.  Pooka2 is still a very attentive mother but she now is comfortable leaving the pups for an hour to go for hikes and walks with us. This morning she abandoned them to have a little lay down in bed with me in her usual spot.  Either that or more likely she was getting me up to feed her!  She's very hungry these days.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Socialization begins

You can look, but you can't touch.  Pooka2 has her puppies in my computer room so when I move about the house all the dogs follow me.  She is very tolerant of her audience and the hounds are memorized, as we all are.  If they come any closer she gives a firm warning and they respect her.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Puppies 5 days old

I am often asked how I tell them apart?  Sometimes it is very easy and other times it is only the tiniest little differences that sets one apart from the other.  Right from birth I make notes.  They are numbered according to the time they are born.  Then the easiest is the colour (fawn, brindle, black, merle), then of course the sex, male or female.  Any colour markings such as the common white snips on the chest and/or feet are noted.  Also the breed possesses dewclaws on their back legs so I note if they have single, double or no dewclaws.   It takes me a couple of weeks to become really familiar with each puppy and by the time they are a month old I can tell from a glance who is who.  Eventually, as I get to know their personalities a little better their names change from #1, #2, #3 & #4 Puppy to proper names.

Our first born is a male fawn puppy who has a little white snip on his nose and single dewclaws on both back legs.

Second to come along is another male puppy.  He is a fawn with a slight black overlay with one single-dewclaw and one double-dewclaw.

Third to be born is a little fawn female with single-dewclaws on both back legs.

The fourth puppy to be born is a fawn female with a double-dewclaw on her left leg and a single-dewclaw on her right hind leg.

All the puppies are quiet and content.  Pooka2 is a very calm mother.

New Arrivals - PyrSheps Y Litter

IRTH DAY-- January 9th
After patiently waiting her "turn" our little Pooka2 finally has her own puppies to care for.  Pooka2 has yearned for puppies as she watched and tried to foster all the other litters she has come into contact with.  She was apparently anxious for their arrival as they were born 7 days earlier than expected.  Pooka2 herself was also born 5 days earlier than I had expected so I guess it runs in the family.

There are two males and two females, all fawns--of course Pooka2 wouldn't produce anything but a "perfect" pairing :-)))   She is quite pleased with herself

The sire is our own Can & Am Ch. Bellocq du Pic d'Arrouyette and I was thrilled the puppies inherited his rich red fawn colour.

I was away from home when the pups started to arrive but Pooka2 proved quite capable.  Two puppies were born with my husband's supervision and then when I arrived home with my grandchildren they were able to watch the last two be born.  The eldest, my granddaughter, had LOTS of questions after that experience!!