Thursday, June 30, 2011

Party of Five

I am trying to make sure everyone gets an equal amount of blog time but I haven't been keeping track so if there is a puppy I have missed on a regular basis let me know! I'm sure I feature one or two more than others but it's not deliberate - I hope I get everyone at least a few times.  With eyes opening and walking progressing everyday the cute factor has increased almost exponentially overnight. Mr Red had just had a meal and was kicking back on Leeloo's leg ...

Not to be outdone in the cool department Mr Blue stopped to pose for a moment before being blinded by the flash. On of his eyes is only half open so far and I think it gives him a rather rakish look. Then again everyone's eyes are still cloudy so they all look a little stoned!

Mr Black is not one to be outdone by his brother. While Blue is the lightest puppy, Mr Black is the darkest puppy. It's a battle of good vs evil ... or is that adorable vs heart-melting?

Miss Purple, who I have my eye on, is coming up aces in the Making-Me-Fall-In-Love Department. I mean, how can I not? I have a feeling she will be a lot like her Mommy.

Miss Orange is not to be outdone. She has her Daddy's fat head but I do hope she is in possession of a few more brain cells. Who are we kidding? She's a girl, of course she will!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bedknobs and Broomsticks

Two weeks now and all the puppies have their eyes at least partially open. There's maybe 4 who's eyes are completely open but the balance are still working on getting the outside corners unstuck. With the eyes opening comes a couple other fun things like ears opening and with that comes tiptoeing in and out of the room because when they hear noise they wake up and start to stumble around and bark for Leeloo to feed them. This weekend is door project weekend since the room they are in doesn't have a door - it was taken off when I first moved in because it had holes smashed in it - I never bothered to replace it because the room became my dining room.  With the puppies in it now it definitely needs a door for both sound and smell! In the middle of the floor Leeloo is being treated to a dog bed for feeding time - I do this not really to spoil her, which is a happy by-product, but so that I can plug in the smallest puppies to feed for a few minutes before they get elbowed out of the way by such toads as Mr Black and Mr Blue there. Any guesses why?

They are also walking, or at least making the effort to try and walk. It's nice to see things going tickety boo just like normal puppies. You always want to keep an eye out for anyone who's not developing at the same rate and ensure they're hitting their milestones.  Miss Purple is one of the last to have her eyes open but she is the smallest puppy so it's not really a surprise. Not that she uses them much right now, mostly it's the nose that tells here where the food is at. And what a darling little nose it is.

Deliberate efforts at barking and growling is becoming more of a norm, they are going to start exploring their environment and each other and spend less time worrying about filling their tummies. For now though there is a lot of this ... Mr Green and Miss Pink had a darling snuggle together.

Mr White suffered some confusion as to whether Leeloo's toes would produce any milk. Fotunately his eye sight will rapidly improve from today onward and this sort of embarrassing mistake can be forgotten. Until his gradutaion and his mom can pull out this humiliating photo to show his prom date.

After every meal there is a sudden and delightful plummet into a comatose state - occasionally they will wander away from the puppy pile to pee and then wander back but for the most part that is their primary activity. I always put a dog bed in the pen that is just large enough to hold all the puppies at once. If the bed is the same size as their puppy pile they are less likely to soil it since they naturally move away from the bed to relieve themselves. Of course, when you have uncooperative puppies like Blue, Orange and strange Mr Black there (what *is* he doing?) the bed is more of a suggestion I guess.

The idea is, if they oblige, as they age I'll make the bed larger and place it close to the door of the room in the puppy pen. I do this because when they wake up the first thing they want to do is pee and poop. If the bed is at the other end of the room, the puppies have to run through the poop and pee to come see me, but if the bed is closest to me when they wake, they move away to pee, then back to greet me. Trust me, this is a lesson learned the hardway, nothing is as much fun as being sprayed with a mix of puppy poop and pee all mashed together. Nothing. Maroon, Red, Pink and Green deomonstrate the correct use of the bed - ample space since 60% of them are bucking my carefully contrived system.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


The boys are no more excited to be woken from a nap to have their photos taken than the girls but they suffered the indignity with good grace. Then again, Mr Black didn't bother to stifle his yawns like a well mannered young man should.

Mr Blue of the glorious Rapunzel color tolerated my man-handling with a little more grace, and the original Mr Blue, his Daddy, came to see what all the fuss was about. It took him about 2 seconds to decide that the current Mr Blue was not only not worth his time, but surely not worth mine either. He just wants his Mommy back.

Mr Maroon was a little direct in how he felt about this interruption in his sleep schedule. He threw himself backwards in a fit of puppy rage and didn't want to hear about the millions(dozens?) of people who wanted to see his photo on the blog.

Mr White has had it rough so he settled right down for whatever torture I was prepared to offer. His Momma has been a little too diligent in her ministrations as regards his bottom so between my careful application of Polysporin and the utter indignity of it all he just said "Do what you will."

Mr Red and his darling white socks was just easy as pie to photograph. He's certainly a laid back sort of fellow and never makes a fuss. I should really have made him Mr White because I keep thinking that it's Mr White with the white feet but then have to correct myself because it's really Mr Red with the white feet.

Mr Green is showing off his completely gorgeous head and ears. He's certainly an eye catcher this one. He's got a slightly darker face and is certainly going to be a handsome sort of fellow when he grows up. I definitely want to keep an eye on him!

Monday, June 27, 2011

My Fair Lady

Ladies first. Cora was very tired when I took these photos, probably because I just woke her from a nap to man handle her and take some photos. Although it looks like she's yelling this is just a very big yawn. Cora continues to be one of the smallest puppies, only matched by her sister Orange who is small but mighty!

Speaking of, here she is. Also mid-yawn but she put up a good fight in my arms. They are not yet old enough to appreciate being cuddled, all they want really is to be eating or sleeping, I won't really be important until they start to get fed by me - then I turn into their whole world.

Miss Yellow is always easy to identify by her white booties, she was too sleepy to put up a fight and was one of the easier puppies to photograph. She is the biggest girl and has the head to prove it.

Miss Pink Princess, who is a long way toward being called Cinderella, is very fond of food. She's always got the round tummy of the well fed puppy and her short cobby little body makes me think of a little Ridgeback gnome. Her puffed out cheeks are so cute you want to pinch them!

Here's another of Pink giving me a little shove with her nose. She was also tired but instead of being sleepy and dopey (aren't those dwarves?) she was super irritated I had woken her up so she spent most of the photo session yawning and struggling to get away. I have to say it sure makes a girl feel adored.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Prince(s) of Tides

Now that eyes are opening and puppies are trying to walk we are slowly turning the tide toward utter mayhem. I'm still a week or two away from total chaos but I just know we are currently sitting in a slack tide, not here, not there ... just a momentary lull before the waves start crashing in. Mr Black had a quiet moment alone with me and his Mommy because he was yelling his head off and I couldn't hear myself think. Leeloo kept a close eye on him for sure.

And Mr White shared his own private moment with his Momma. Leeloo needs to cherish these moments, she doesn't realize they grow up so fast. Not fast enough as far as she's concerned and as for cherishing ... the comfort of the bed at night far outweighs the puppy pen.

I took a series of photos of me with each puppy so I'll post them separately with one blog for the girls and one for the boys otherwise it's a lot of puppy to take in all at once!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

What Lies Beaneath

Sleeping puppies are so sweet. They smell good, they sound adorable with their soft puppy breathing and their little twiches and whines and I am safe in the knowledge that a sleeping puppy is using all that Leeloo fuel to grow and get big and strong. Little do you realize that lurking beneath the surface of that darling exterior is an evil waiting to be released.

I speak of course of puppy poop.

Dams clean their puppies by licking their bottoms which stimulates their bowels and they just lick up the result, this is totally normal and very tidy. Halo was pretty crazy about puppy poop so I didn't have to worry about cleaning up after the puppies for a long time after they were born. If she could have she would have eaten their poop up until they left for their new homes. Happy thought right? 

When the puppies were born Leeloo was all over eating the placenta and sac and all that fun stuff that comes along with birth. Am I right moms? After they'd been here a few hours and had something to eat, their bowels automatically shifted what was in there to out here. Generally a bitch will just clean that right up. Leeloo, on the other hand, has different ideas about this particular aspect of being a mom. 

Ridgebacks are well known for not liking poop or pee anywhere near them. This makes them incredibly easy to house train and is a really handy habit. They actively avoid stepping near theirs or anyone else's and will invariably get this disgusted look on their face like "Oh ew, ya, someone poo-ed here" and tiptoe around it.
So here is Leeloo, all enamoured with her little brood and then these puppies start pooping out their very first poop. I'm not kidding, the expression on her face was exactly "Oh what the ...? It's pooping! Near me! Oh, poo ... no no ... no to poo." And she pulled her feet away from the offering and turned her nose pointedly in another direction.

So now we are at an impasse. Leeloo will clean up the puppy poop but only if she is actually in the act of stimpulating its bowels. If a puppy poops on its own, which they can do, Leeloo won't touch it. This isn't a tragedy really, it's just going to cause me way way more laundry than I anticipated. At least when they are 6 weeks old and on solid food I won't be telling her to STOP eating the puppy poop like I had to with Halo ... it was insane. I bet once the puppies are started on solid food she won't touch what they leave behind!

Trust Leeloo to throw me a curve ball. It's just another quirk of my funny Bubbalicious.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Ten days is a not a very long time to be alive but the puppies getting to ten days is always, for me, a turning point in their development. It's the time when I can relax a little more, go back to sleeping in my own bed, and Leeloo can take longer and longer breaks between feedings (by which I mean she can sleep on my bed without whining all night). It also means that from today forward eyes will start opening, walking will be attempted and they will turn into what most of society imagines when you say the word 'puppy'. But, since they are not quite there yet let us return to a time when they were just little sausages of downy fur with squashy faces and swimmy legs.

Miss Orange amused me the other day when she was nursing by using her foot to hold up the considerable bulk of the upper 'rack' so that she wasn't being smothered. It was probably accidental since puppies normally knead the milk bar and brace against the suction of eating but it was a cute action just the same. You can also see a little milk expressed from the nipple above from her pressure on it, that is how much milk Leeloo has ... it's just coming out on it's own.

And Miss Purple, all squished and cozy in her cocoon of siblings and Momma's body, appeared to be sucking on her 'thumb' in contentment. She was totally oblivious to the mad nursing going on around her and stayed fast asleep. Being the smallest puppy has it's advantages because you can fit into the smallest and warmest spaces.

And Mr Green, who I don't think has been featured much, is just an example of how lovely some of the colors are - the camera can't capture the exact shade but it's close enough. I am so excited to see how the light wheatons come out because at least half; Blue, Green, Maroon, Red, Orange and Pink, are a ridiculously accurate spun gold color - the kind of color you'd imagine Rapunzel's hair to be - but maybe don't tell the boys I compared them to a fairytale princess ...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thelma and Louise

You may wonder what Esme and The Boy think of the puppies. Well, Esme thinks they are fascinating and although Leeloo has let her sniff the puppies, almost, she keeps a very close eye on whether Esme has tried to sneak a puppy under her coat. Despite the close watch by Leeloo Esme continues to try and get a good look in once in a while. I hate to burst her bubble but in a few weeks Esme may wish she'd never laid eyes on them. When not inspecting puppies she is enjoying herself out on the paths through the woods with The Boy.

Now that the excitement and anxiety of the arrival of the puppies has passed Boy spends his time napping on the bed and worrying about how much time I am spending with the puppies. He doesn't think they're interesting, he doesn't want them to touch him, he doesn't want to sniff them, he wishes they were not here so he could have his Mommy back and his Leeloo to smell like Leeloo again. His only consolation is that we still go for walks and he gets to sleep touching me although those two things together barely compensate for the trouble the puppies have caused in his life.

So for now the two of them will just have to make the most of it and try to prepare for the day that the puppies do worse than just take up my time, they will turn into biting, chasing, barking, pooping hellions whose mission in life is to pull out as much of Esme's coat as possible and grab The Boys oh so tempting testicles. They'll both be wishing for days like today.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Super Size Me

Pretty soon I won't be able to 'store' the puppies in the warming box while I clean out their whelping pen, they are becoming much too large for such things. Not that they seem to mind, it only takes a moment or two before they are all fast asleep. They don't line up in tidy little rows like sardines but I guess whatever works. Leeloo gets very concerned and has a very hard stare at them in the box and is deeply suspicious of my intentions when I weigh them.

Miss Pink and her darling little nose copied Leeloo and used Mr Red as a pillow the other day. She is going to be one pretty girl that Pink!

Mr Red doesn't seem to mind the attention, one warm body duvet is as good as another and he certainly doesn't care who it is as long as his comforts are met. He's got those darling white paws I just want to kiss they are so cute!

Miss Orange and Purple are both still growing steadily but the same cannot be said for Mr Maroon who is not growing steadily, he is out of control! Nothing like a Big Brother to take care of you right?  This is not to say that he will be an unusually large dog though, Raimi, his dad, was not only not the biggest puppy in the litter even at 8 weeks, he was outweighed by at least one of his sisters. During puppyhood it's not easy to tell who will mature the largest because at this time their body is not telling them genetically how big to be, it's telling them what to do to survive. The bulk of their growing occurs between 7 weeks and 6 months and that is when their genetics will start to take over. And don't be fooled, Orange and Purple are not runts, they are just smaller than Maroon - in fact, true runts are not as common as you might think, usually the puppy considered the 'runt' is just smaller than the rest of the litter but there is no reason to think it will not be a normal sized adult.  Another myth dispelled.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Days of Our Lives

When you're a hard working momma all you want to do at the end of the day is put your head down and take a breather. And since you've been working hard fattening up your puppies so they are rolly polly little pillows well ... why not just use them as pillows? Miss Yellow ended up being the cushion of choice tonight and since she's the biggest of the 4 girls, and we know how troublesome those gals can be, you might as well take advantage when you can. 

All of the puppies have now at least doubled their birth weight, some even more so. Since that is the case I will stop weighing the boys as most of them are too large for the scale and I'm confident their weight no longer needs tracking. The girls, however, aren't gaining as fast as the boys so I'll continue to weigh them, even Miss Yellow despite her pillow-like appearance, as Orange and Purple are by far the smallest two and although Pink is small but mighty she will get weighed just to make sure she is still making headway. We are only a week in but at the same time ... can you believe it's been a week already? We spent what seemed like ages anticipating their arrival and before you know it they will be with their new families and halfway to grown up. The Sands of Time wait for no puppy.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Got Milk?

This time last week I was preparing for imminent puppy arrival. It would take less than 12 hours for Mr Blue to make an appearance. Since that day he hasn't wasted any time doubling his birth weight. No wonder too when Leeloo has so much milk he can get a moustache!

Little Miss Orange refuses to be shown up by her brother so she insisted on a milk 'stache too. No one told her a moustache on a girl was unattractive, she thinks this is the best look ever.

It's almost like a competition for them, who can eat the most the fastest. And really, why not? Survival of the fittest means you might fade away into nothing if you don't succeed. Good thing these guys have me looking out for them.

They hate being weighed but it means I know who's ahead, who's behind and who might need a little help. Not Mr Maroon that's for sure, the biggest and the fattest at healthy 2 pounds already.

Mr Black's name should just be changed to Mr Popular. By far he has garnered the most interest of all the puppies. Everyone wants a little bit of Mr Black. I think it was the Batman symbol and a reference a while back about how he reminded me of Raimi ... everyone loves Raimi. Well, people who aren't breeders do. And me of course! People are strongly drawn to Raimi's temperament and appearance but I bet there is more than one puppy in this litter who will take after him. That said ... isn't Mr Popular *adorable*?

And at last the bar flies. You know those guys who stay at the bar far too long and end up with their noses in their drinks, slumped sideways on the bar, half falling off their stool? That's this bunch. All four are fast asleep with their mouths still attached to the bottle. How do you know they're asleep when their eyes are sealed shut? The famous puppy twitches.  

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father of Invention

It's Father's Day and as such today we celebrate the fathers in our lives. I have the greatest Dad ever and that's a fact - I don't think I need to go into detail how awesome he is, just read some of the posts about him helping me build things! I have the comfort of knowing that no matter what happens he will make sure his little girl is okay to the best of his ability. Both my parents have gone out of their way in this last two years of my life to ensure that I have their support and guidance - sometimes their advice was taken and sometimes not! So thank you for all you do and everything you will do ... because we both know that last phone call for help with a renovation was not the last! And here's proof that I come by Dog Crazy honestly, a hijacked photo of my parents in the late 60's with their Pulis ... yes that was 40 years ago! Don't they look awesome?

And to Raimi, a first time father, it's a big responsibility being a Daddy and I'm sure if dogs could you'd be very proud of your new babies ... even though they take some of the attention from you for a little while.

One day maybe your daughter will grow up big and strong, but maybe not as big and strong as you since you are kind of a big guy! Happy Father's Day to the best two Dads I know!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Eat Your Heart Out

It's quite a warm day today so the puppies and Leeloo are all stretched out having a siesta and making occasional trips to the bar. Fortunately it's well stocked and I can tell this because the puppies are each gaining at least 3 ounces a day and a couple of them have gained 5 ounces in 24 hours. It's a marvel to see them change so drastically each day, I've had to change the ribbons on a couple of them more than once because they already outgrew them.

It's no surprise they have become so chubby so fast, they take eating very seriously. Once they get down to business and are in The Zone the sheer force of suction is quite impressive. Even Miss ORange, who is one of the smallest puppies, handles the matter of consumption with strict focus and determination. That pink tongue seals the vacuum and it's no holds barred until she is full or the well runs dry.

Mr. Black is one of the biggest puppies, next to his sister Miss Yellow, and although he is huge and a brute, he reminds me very strongly of Raimi. He will fall asleep in your hands very quickly, doesn't mind being held on his back, and seems to be a very relaxed sort of a fellow. It's strange how personalities, even at this young age, start to come out.

Then there are other priorties. It can easily be said that puppies this age, or any baby for that matter, does only one of two things for the first part of their lives. One is to eat as much and as often as possible - this is the other. And not only do they sleep, they sleep in a variety of positions that make my neck crick just looking at them. Mr Red has it about right.

Mr White and Miss Princess Pink (you can see her crown right between her shoulder blades there) are following the buddy system of sleeping. Make sure you always have someone to cuddle ... sort of a rule for life I think.