As it is written, so shall they sing - As always, Lark marches to her own drummer. After making me watch her do nuttin' all day yesterday (10/5/12) she finally decided to begin true labor at 11:30PM. All seemed to be going well, she had strong, regular contractions and, finally, a sac appeared...then another little sac...and that was it. She broke the sacs and spent the next hour and a half making no progress. Then another little sac appeared and she broke that one, too...still, no puppy. I decided to do a vaginal exam and could feel a hind leg and tail but not in the birth canal and, of course, no longer in a sac (which she'd broken and drained.) So, off we went to VESC (Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Care) hospital in Richmond. We were met with a well trained, competant team of caring vets/techs/assistants who had Lark into surgery within a 1/2 hr. I knew she was in good hands. Not too very long later, one of the techs brought me a puppy to play with and I joined her and another tech as we worked to keep the puppies awake and 'singing'. I expected black/tan puppies as both parents are black/tan so was not surprised to see a boy and girl with that pattern. The tan pattern will become more obvious as they grow and grow coat. They should be very striking with tan points, cheeks and eyebrows. The other boy was a pleasant surprise...very flashy parti! I was hoping for a Irish pied like Jefe so was very pleased to have this boy who is essentially an Irish pied with bonus white splashes. Genetically he's black/tan but he's white where almost all the tan would be so less obvious.
We left for home around 5AM with the puppies in a styrofoam cooler warmed with 'rice socks'...socks filled with rice and warmed in the microwave. When we got home Lark went into the whelping box and, despite being in pain and dopy from surgery, she accepted her puppies who were very eager to nurse. A little while later I had Star give them a supplemental feeding to hold them until Lark's milk was fully in. After another dose of pain meds, Lark was feeling better and drinking some water. Finally she was ready to eat and wolfed down almost a 1/2 lb of Darwin's Natural Selection, then drank a lot of water. Then went back to cleaning her puppies.
The intention was to name these babies after famous singing stars...Mick is, of course named for Mick Jagger and I hope he'll grow into a spectacular showboy with swagger and moves like Jagger hence the tentative name, Elfin Y Not Move Like Jagger (the Y being a reference to the unique Y chromosome the boys have inherited from their sire.) Patsy is named for Patsy Cline. Travie may be a bit more esoteric. He's named after Travie McCoy...maybe not super famous but he's a rapper who sings I Wanna Be A Billionaire with Bruno Mars and I love the song and think Travie is very cool. When I looked at the photos and saw the amazing smile on that puppy's face, I just had to name him Travie. They certainly got the hang of making a dramatic entrance...sigh...here are Lark's SongStars...
What a huge difference a week makes. Last week at this time, poor Lark was recovering from a C-section and three little puppies were trying to adjust to life outside the womb. Lark has bounced back with amazing speed...actually, she never missed a beat. She's been putting away a pound of organic raw food daily, feeding and caring for the puppies with devotion and care, while still taking the time to sound the alarm and let me know if the other dogs are peeking through the gate at HER babies. The babies are growing and thriving. Travie and Patsy look like twins...and FAT!! While Mick is less fat he's no where near skinny like Jagger...grin. All three are hearty eaters and they just have the cutest faces/expressions.
The little songsters, like Star's Stars, have been very good about their super puppy exercises and getting their nails done. Dewclaws were removed last Tues with a minimum of fuss. In fact, I did it without any help...first time I've done that and it was a piece of cake. So, all in all, it's been a peaceful week in Elfinland. Nancy's been coming by daily while I'm at work to be sure that everyone is doing fine. By next update, they'll have opened their eyes and be looking out their window on the world! Here are the Song Stars...
The songsters are growing and getting fat. Their eyes are open and they are more aware of their surroundings now. They really sing the blues when Lark isn't in the box when they get hungry (and they get hungry a LOT.) Lark and Star have begun to investigate each other's babies. Star sneaks over to Lark's when Lark is busy checking out the stars. We're done with the super puppy exercises and will be getting into interactive socialization now. The markings on Travie & Patsy are getting more evident. In the photo you can see Travie's eyebrows and cheek patches pretty clearly. Patsy is darker but I expect more color development as she grows.
Next week we'll be switching places as the Stars will be moving out to the kitchen and beginning expen orientation so the Songsters will move to the whelping room for another week or two. If all goes well, we will try to integrate the two litters as we did last year with Lark & Karma's puppies...the commune!
It's tough being the baby brothers and sister. No matter what we do, the 'superstars' have been there, done that already! This week, while the stars have moved into their new digs and gotten to eat solid food and been outside in the fresh air, all we've done is eat, and sleep, and eat, and sleep...but, we do it VERY well! Actually, we did have a little excitement when we got to visit our star cousins in the 'big house'...being only three, we have had more to eat so, compared to them, we are pretty plump! We did, just today, get a rearrangement of our digs...now WE have a bed and bathroom and we are using the piddle pad already! And Auntie Star comes to visit us and Mama Lark is actually getting into sharing us nicely so, soon we'll move in with the stars and it'll be one big happy family! When we are not eating or sleeping, we are taking notice of the world around us...so many sounds...vacuum, washing machine, dryer, dogs barking, cows mooing...we like life in the country! Check us out...we are getting cuter by the minute!
Four weeks is the magic time when puppies get to pass another milestone...and greet the great outdoors. We had a lovely day for the Song Stars to make their outdoor debut. Sunshine, relatively mild weather and lots of visitors to play with. And the Song Stars did not disappoint as they raised their heads in song...ok, maybe it did sound like whining but it's a start! This week they have been spending a little time each day visiting their cousins and getting introduced to the kitchen digs and the Potty Park. Today Travie pooped outside...goooooooooo, Travie! They also got their first foot trim where the hair on the bottoms of their feet is trimmed back so they get better traction and stay cleaner. They are doing very well using the potty side of the playpen. The whelping box is gone and they have the whole pen with bed and bath.
Personalities are starting to blossom. They now greet me with wagging tails and kisses and offered paws. Patsy takes after her mother...very alert and actually barks occasionally when she is startled. She is the first one to speak her mind. Travie is a little socialite...first to greet visitors. Mick is the little peacock...yeah, I'm beautiful, you bet...go ahead, worship me.
Speaking of that...did you know that we now have our own facebook page?? You can go like us there, too! Even more pictures there!
Apologies for the lack of update for week six but we all went to the HSDAA National Specialty last week, leaving on Wed and not returning til Sun evening...took all 8 pups (Lark's, too) and my 6 dogs so there was no time to breathe let alone turn on a computer or get photos. Updates will resume this week on Thurs with Week 7. Pups are getting cuter every day and showing increasingly outgoing personalities...they traveled great, and adapted to hotel living with good humor! We were all glad to get home, though!
Last week we took a road trip and saw the world. Today the world came to see us! It was standing room only in Elfinland as we had FIVE families come to visit today and most of them were here at the same time so we were finally outnumbered by humans. Everyone was very nice and we got lots of petting, patting, hugging and we even got to chew on a few fingers and shoes. No one stepped on us and no one dropped us so it was a very good day. We were pretty good about our baths on Tues...maybe not quite as good as the Stars but hey, we're 9 days younger so we're entitled to be a wee bit less mature, right?
As you know, we moved in with the Stars a couple of weeks ago. Someone needs to talk to them cause they are bullies...picking on the little kids. We are learning to be tough, though...and Patsy really has a talent for singing. She can be loud and she can yodel (or howl) with the best of them. We are doing very well with getting on the PottyParks...no one has missed with poo for the longest time now and only a wee bit of wee wee misses. Course we were so excited with all the company today that we oopsed three times! We've been going out every day now, even when it's frosty in the morning, but only for a short time when it's really cold...we run and run to keep warm til breakfast is ready. Doc says we are very, very good little puppies...lovable and adorable...and she's so right!
In some ways we are running with the 'big' dogs but, in others, we are definitely the babies of the family. We're keeping up with the Stars in weight but we're not so 'mature' yet, being 9 days younger. We're going to have our Puppy Aptitude Test this coming Saturday as we just weren't ready to do it early. We got another bath today and we practiced stacking for our soaped evals which will also be on Saturday. We got to watch the Stars get theirs so we have a pretty good idea what to expect and we just hope a big hole opens in the ground so we don't hafta do it. Sniff. Did we mention we sing now? We warm up as our baths are almost finished and really break into song for the hair dryer...Arooooooooooo!!! We did sit pretty for our portraits, though...too worn out to protest further.
We have learned to stand up for ourselves, though...we're ruff and tuff and we don't let the Stars beat us up any more! We're also very sweet and give kisses to perfect strangers...we had more visitors today...nice people who cooed at us and petted us and didn't give us another bath! Three cheers for the late shift!
We are also doing interesting color changes. Travie's formerly black head is growing in gold and his black face is turning tan and his dark stockings are going rich warm gold/cream like Lark, his dam. Patsy's stockings are also lightening up as is her face and it's not so easy now to tell her from Travie with a quick glance. Mick's still black and white...but belton is likely to happen soon (black freckles developing in the white areas.)
One week in the life of a puppy can make a big difference as we develop and change SO fast.We're doing our best to keep up with the Stars and improving our motor and social skills. And, we're doing something they can NOT do! We are changing colors. And we got new names...keeper names!
Mick - is now "Brody" Elfin Moves Like Jagger
Travie - is now "Cole" Elfin Wanna Be A Billionaire
Patsy - is now Skye Elfin Skylark Waiting to be Kissed
Cole and Skye are now almost the same color so sometimes there needs to be a penis check to see who is who. They are growing gold/tan roots throughout their coats now, not just on their heads so the black/tan may end up gold with black or, like Lark, they may always be changing hair color. Lark sometimes grows out bands of red/mahogany, then back to black. We're really looking forward to seeing how they turn out. Brody is belton and is growing more black spots in his white so he, too, will be an ever changing palette of pattern.
We're been busy, busy, finishing puppy handbooks and blankies and looking forward to enjoying these last weeks with these sweet babies!
The Silk Trio
Encore, Encore - Week Nine...
I know, I know...where're the pictures? It's been so busy here, we've been 'doing' rather than recording. Brody & Cole's families came to visit this weekend and the boys were very happy to see their people. They had a road trip yesterday, to Cardinal, intending to get vaccinated, BAER tested, Microchipped and examined. We ran out of time but managed to get the exam done. They'll go back this week to finish up the rest. Cole & Skye will be leaving this coming weekend. Brody is going to stay one more week to keep Altair company. Having the puppies leave gradually over a period of time is really much easier than having them all disappear at once, especially when one is staying so that puppy doesn't have to go cold turkey. We feel so very fortunate to have found wonderful homes for these babies and only regret that we did not have enough puppies for all those waiting.