Dairy for the Pokémon litter
The Pokémon litter has been packed and forwarded to their new families and this diary ends here
25 January 2017
Then it became time to say "farewell" to the Poké-kids. As usual it was difficult. We now, that we have found amazing families to our puppies. And we know that we are not able to satisfy the craving for challenges of six 8 week old puppies. So everything is as it should be. However, it is difficult to let go of puppies that you have helped into this world and that you have spent so much time with.
Miss White and Miss Red were the first ones to go. They were picked up on Thursday. The rest were picked up on Friday. Every farewell was tearfu. Fortunately, they have all been very good at sending us updates either via mail or via the Facebook group.
The new families of the puppies:
Miss White aka Wildmountain Tollers Bellsprout has moved with Gerda and Ib to Karise. Her name is now Ayla and when she is a grown-nt dog, she will be hunting with Ib.
Miss Green aka Wildmountain Tollers Jigglypuff is now called Fiona. She left to live with Gitte and Tom in Birkerød. She will have a big sister, the 4,5 year old Toller Lucy. Fiona will be tracking with mum and dad has plans on taking her hunting when she is old enough.
Mr. Blue aka Wildmountain Tollers Pikachu has moved to Skjern to live with Birgitte and Erling. His name is now Shappa. He will be enjoyin himself in DcH in Skjern where he will be an obedience dog. However, wer do plan to persuade him and Erling to try out some field trail training.
Miss Red Wildmountain Tollers Mew has moved in with Camilla and Morten in Hammel. She is now Alba and if she behaves, she will be allowed to go hunting with Morten when is is old enough.
Miss Yellow aka Wildmountain Tollers Eevee is now living with Caroline and Morten in Solbjerg. She is now called Tessa, and when is becomes a big and obedient girl she will be dad's hunting dog.
Mr Orange aka Wildmountain Tollers Charmander has gone to Struer where he has found a home with Birgit and Henrik. He is now called Zenta. He will spend his days with Henrik in his car dealership where he will learn to greet the customers. However, Henrik has promised us that he will do some field trail training with Zenta.
20 January 2017
The last weeks
The last week with the pups has been hectic. There are som many things that we would like to put in their backpack before they leave. However, you just have to realize that it is not impossible to do everything.
One of the things we didn't do this time was having different dogs come and visit. Due to outbreaks of Parvovirus several places in Denmark we were hesitant to invite our friends' dogs to come visit the pups. Almost all the dogs we know are "competition dogs" and travels all over Denmark. It would be a disaster if one of them brought the virus to our home. Neither we nor the dog's owner would be able to cope with that. So one of the puppy buyers's tasks is to introduce the pups for strange dogs. Well, they would have to anyhow as the dogs we would introduce the to are not enough.
On 13 January, the gang and Vixen were invited to visit Gitte's workplace. Gitte works in a residential home for adults with a mental deficiency and physical functional defects. We went there with the Ben & Jerry pups and it was a huge success - both for the pups, the clients and us. Therefore, we were looking forward to this visit. And again, it was a success and I believe that the clients will talk about this for a long, long time. The pups were very tired when we godt back home.
Pictures from the visit at Gitte's workplace:
Despite of the weather not being great (quite wet) we managed to go to the woods several times with the pups. And they were also in the garden quite a few times. During one of the visits in the woods we fired shots - and they reacted as we had hoped.
They have also been introduced to several different types of game. I was lucky to get hold on two recently killed geese. They were put in the puppy pen. They have also met pigeons, crows, rabbits - and even a fox. I have never had the chance to lay my hands on a fox and I was quite surprised how it stinks. I had to ventilate the car when I got home.
Before I let the pups meet Reynard the Fox, I wanted to see if I could persuade Vixen to retrieve him. Even though I used all my persuasive powers, I didn't manage to get her to do it. Several times she opened her mouth to grasp him but then backed out. Daisy was persuaded to sniff him, while Chili didn't even want to go near him. The pups, however, went straight to him to have a sniff and a taste.
16 January 2017
Puppy test and information meeting
On 14 January the pups were tested by Marlene Veiss-Pedersen. She also tested the Ben & Jerry litter and we really like her and her approach to the pups.
It is always exciting to see what the tests says about the pups. You might be surprised even though you think you know the pups very well. Again we were surprised :-)
All in all it was a very nice litter, and Marlene had the following to say about the litter as a whole:
"The litter consists of 6 puppies. All puppies seems to be healthy and well. They were well-nourished, had clear eyes and their fur was clean and nice.
It is a very homogeneous litter where only nuances separates them. All the pups were very curious. They were confident and trusting. In general, they were happy and very social when they were approached.
All pups have very a nice working capacity and willingness to co-operate.
All in all, it is a very nice litter where the breeders without doubt have done a great job to ensure that all pups are well-imprinted and well-socialized. They have received a very nice foundation before they leave home".
After the test we had lunch and talked about which pups would fit which puppy buyer. Later I send a mail to the puppy buyers to let them know which pup would be theirs. I am always a little nervous doing this. Even if the puppy buyers know that we choose the pup, it can be difficult not to fall in love with one or two of them. Fortunately, they all seemed to be happy and pleased with our choice.
The next day we had invited them to an informatin meeting to have a talk about how to start training the pup. Helle and Kim also particiated. I had persuaded Helle to give an introduction to clicker training, contact exercises and impulse control. We had a very nice meeting. Of course, there was cake that one of the puppy buyers, Gitte, had made. The puppy buyers were very positive about the meeting, so I guess we will do this in the future.
Pictures from 27 December to 17 January:
14 January 2017
Unfortunately, we haven't been very good at doing "stacking" pictures and portraits with this litter. However, we did it one time. They were not very co-operative and both Leif and I broke a sweat. We need the help of Helle who is really good a stacking them to make them look their best.
Miss Red - Wildmountain Tollers Mew
Miss Green - Wildmountain Tollers Jigglypuff
Mr Blue - Wildmountain Tollers Pikachu
Mr Orange - Wildmountain Tollers Charmander
Miss Yellow - Wildmountain Tollers Eevee
Miss White - Wildmountain Tollers Bellsprout
2 January 2017
Now we entered the new year and it happened in a quiet and calm manner.
We took all nine dogs to Haunstrup during the day to have them burn off some energy. This was the first time the puppies were outside the premises. We chose to drive to the "gorge" as we seldom meet anyone there. The drive went well. There were only a tiny bit of whining - primarely from one of the pups. When I think back on how noisy the Ben & Jerry litter were the first drives, I am positively surprised.
When we took the out of the car, the needed some time to get used to the big world. A few of them took refuge under the car but we succeeded in persuading them to join us. The three old dogs ran like maniacs. So did the puppies also; however with their tiny legs they weren't that fast :-)
It was a short trip, but I guess the puppies thought it was a long trip. We had them try different kinds of bases: Gravel, grass, sand and a pillow of leafs. They had a great time sniffing and investigating.
After half an hour the puppies were put back into the car and we went home. Leif stayed in Haunstrup to take a longer walk with the older dogs. However, he had to drive home as Vixen kept returning to the area at the cars as this was where she last saw the puppies.
Back home the puppies had a good sleep. They were almost unconsious. While they slept, we had time to prepare dinner for New Year's Eve.
Kristian had invited two of his friends to have dinner with us and we had invited Martin and his two Labradors, Frida and Chinook. We don't have that much Space as the puppies live in our dining room but we managed to find room for all.
There wasn't a lot of fireworks during the evening. But around midnight it changes. All dogs - adults and pups - were totally unaffected. It is nice to have dogs that aren't scared or stressed due to fireworks.
30 December 2016
Again we have been lucky to find some really diligent and interested puppy buyers for the puppies. We have lots of visits and our Facebook group is used a lot. It is so nice.
I am sure that they are all wondering which puppy will be part of their familly. So do I :-) It is impossible not to look at each puppy and think about which puppy buyer would be the best match. I think I know where the two boyss will be placed. I am not so sure about the girls, though. But......it might change whene result of the puppy test. It will be just as exciting for us as for the puppy buyers.
We are still contacted by a lot of potential puppy buyers for the next litter.
Derudover så får vi stadig mange henvendelser fra potentielle hvalpekøbere til kommende kuld. Det er jo også dejligt, men hvis man vælger at skulle have en hvalp fra os, så skal man væbne sig med tålmodighed. Vi er jo ikke storproducenter af tollerhvalpe, og næste kuld er først planlagt til 2018. Vii er altid klar til en snak med folk, der overvejer at få en toller, og vi viser gerne vores egne hunde frem - også selv om man ikke kan vente på vores næste kuld.
27 December 2016
Registration of the Pokémons
The Pokémons have now been registered with the Danish Kennel Club. If you do it online, you can wait until they are 5 weeks old. If not, you will have to do it bedore they are three weeks old. About one hour later I recieved a receipt from Helle Nielsen from the registration department of the Kennel Club that the pups were now registered. And indeed, I could find them on Hundeweb.
To be able to register the pups, you will have to have chosen names for them. As I have already informed, the two boy will be named Pikachu and Charmander while the girls will be named Eevee, Mew, Bellsprout and Jigglypuff. I don't have to decide which pup gets which name until they are chipped - with the exception of Miss White, which is registrered as "non-approved colour". So her name is nos Wildmountain Tollers Bellesprout. I have registrered her as "non-approved colour" because of the two white spots in her neck and on her shoulder. They are not that visible, but in my opinion the rules are very clear: If the dog has white in places where it is disqualifing under the breed standard, it has to be registered as "Non-approved colour". We also call it "mismarks".
Some years ago, one of the breeding restrictions for the Toller was a "good" (I believe) on a dog show. I you show a Toller with white in disqualifing places, it will be disqualified. So it was never a problem that breeders didn't register the puppies correctly. However, now that there are no longer a show requirement to have a Toller approved for breeding, it has become "The Wild West" and breeders register the pups at their own convenience. When Tollers with too much white are registered as "Red with white markings" the road is paved for it to be part of the breeding program. And suddenly, we will not be able to control the spreeding of mismarks.
The rules when you register a pup is, that you should register it according to how it looks at the time of the registration. As Miss White has two white markings in places where it would be disqualifying, it is quite simple in my mind: She has to be registered as "Non-approved colour". The good thing is, that if the white markings disappear - which is not unlikely - her future owners will be able to show her and have a judge verify that her colour is correct. And they will be able to register her as correctly marked and she can be used in the breeding program if they want that. So - in my opinion there is no reason to start guessing at the time of the registration if the mismarks will disappear or not. If
Unfortunately, there are breeders who believe that it is for them to decide if mismarks disappear and they will register the pup as red with white markings. Recently, I learned about an extreme case where a breeder who never registers mismarked dogs as mismarked, has a male with a lot of show titles despite a large (5 cm) white spot in its neck. She makes no secret of it that she dyes the spot on a regular basis so that it has almost the same colour as the rest of the dog. This dog has fathered more than one litter abroad. In my view, this is totally unacceptable. Futhermore, the fact that this is a violation of The Danish Kennel Club's show regulations which states: "Dogs, that have been treated with remedies that has changed structure, colour and/or shape of fur, skin and/or nose, can not be shown....." is another matter altogether.
Pictures from 20 December to 26 December
27 December 2016
Finally - maternity leave
Finally, it is time for Christmas holidays and the "maternity leave". Now, I will stay home until the pups will be leaving on 19 January. It will be so nice.
The pups have adopted their new area without any problems. They goof around and are investigating all the new things we introduced them to. We gave them a plastic pibe they can walk through and none of them held back. Leif has made a swing for them - and they just climb on it with great confidence. It is so nice to see that they embrace it all.
We have talked about that this might be the most calm litter with very little noise. They can certainly growl and bark at each other and scream if one puts it teeths into one of the others. But other than that, they don't make a lot of noise. I wonder if it continues like this.
With this litter I also use the recall whistle, when I feed them. They already react to the whistle. They have a healthy appetite and enjoys the food that I serve and the food their mother serves. The healthy appetite relects on the weight. The are all gaining well.
Our newly acquired steam cleaner has shown to be a good investment. It cleans quickly and easily and its nice to not use any chemicals.
I spent quite a lot of time in the puppy pen. There is nothing better than lying on the floor and in seconds six curious puppies are coming to check you out. It is both relaxing and blissful.
All puppy buyes have been to see the puppies. I have no doubt that we have found some fantastic new owners of the Pokémons - people that can activate them the right way and love them as much as we do. Four of the puppies will stay in Jutland while two will move to Sealand. We have had quite a bit of interested buyers from Germany and Norway. However, we have chosen not to sell to people in contries that don't allow import of puppies before they have had their rabies vaccination. Selling to these countries would mean that we have to keep the puppies until they are 15 weeks. They have to be 12 weeks to have the rabies vaccination and then they have to wait another 21 days to make sure the vaccination works. This is an undesirable rule which too many European contries have adopted. Denmark still allows the import of puppes without rabies vaccination. The same applies for Finland and Austria (and possible a few other European contries). To my understanding, this rule was introduced to limit the illegal import of puppies from East European countries. However, I doubt that the illegal import will stop. In stead this affects negatively the serious puppy buyers and breeders who want to introduce new blood to the breed. I sincerely hope that there are people or organisations that are working to change this rule.
Pictures from 12 to 19 December:
19 December 2016
They puppies have now moved to the big puppy pen in our dining room. We moved them Friday evening. They were very cool about it and seemed pretty satisfied to have more room to move around in. We hought we would have to put them in the whelping box during the night if they found they had too much room and were unable to find each other. However, they did well during the night.
We introduce them to new toys every day. Vixen is very happy that we have found the teddy bears. She loves them. In the beginning, I had her give them to me. However, she just walk aound carrying them, so I have decided to let her hav them. As long as she doesn't stress or starts to tear them apart, she is allowed to have them. On Sunday morning, when I wanted to clean the puppy pen, she had all the pups join her in the dog basket, so that I could wash the floor. During it all sit sat with a teddy in her mouth.
On Friday they had their first real meal. Our other litters have not been that interested in food. It has usually taken a few days to convince them that soaked dog food is a good alternative to mother's milk. However, the Pokémons didn't need to be convinced. They started eating with a healthy appetite.
On Stturday, June and Odd visited us. They had brought Foxy and Charlie. However, Vixen is still not OK with Daisy and Daisy getting close to the puppies, so we didn't want to stress her by letting Foxy and Charlie bein in the living room. So they stayed in the basement. They didn't really like that, but they put up with it.
On Saturday, some of the puppy buyers also visited. Fortunately, they liked what the so I don't think they will back out :-)
Now I only have to work a few days. Then it is time for a combined Christmas holiday / maternity leave. I look forward to have more time for the puppies.
The pups are now two weeks old and we opened for visitors this weekend. Some of the puppy buyers took advantage of this. The rest will visit during the coming week or next weekend.
A lot has happened since the last update. After 1½ week sleeping on an air matress next to the whelping box, I have returned to our bedroom. It is very nice to be back in my own bed.
We have added a weight chart to the website here, so that it is possible for you to follow their weight progress. I weigh them every day. I like to keep an eye on their weight as it gives me the opportunity to interfere quickly if one or more don't gain weight as expected. It is quite normal that they weith gain vary. Some days they don't gain that much and then the next day they gain a lot.
I have cut their nails a few times. They grow like weeds and the get really sharp. This affects Vixen when they suckle her. And there is no reason that it should become unpleasant for Vixen to feed the pups.
Their eyes have opened since the last update. At first, they were only small slits, but now thay have opened completely. However, they don't see that well yet. But it gives them a whole different expression and it causes them to start exploring the world. We think that they also are able to hear. The growl and bark a little and sometimes they react to our voices.
I have been working fulltime lately. We have a webcam installed so that we can follow the pups. And all puppy buyers have also access to the webcam. While we are at work, the two older dogs are downstairs while Vixen and her pups are upstairs. The staircase is "no man's land".
The two older dogs are now allowed to approach the whelping box. Some times they are even allowed to take a look inside. However, if Vixen is nursing the pups, they are told to stay away. We let Vixen control when she is ready to let the older dogs get in close contact with the pups. It is nice to see how the old dogs respect Vixen.
All pups have trippled their weight. Miss White is still the smallest, but she gains weight every day and she follows her weight curve.
I spend quite some time in the whelping box every day. The pups benefit from being handled and it is so nice to sit with them - even if they sleep. I have started to watch "The Crown" on Netflix and I ususally sit in the whelping box watching an episode or two while the pups take turns to sleepin my lab or my arm. So nice :-)
Leif takes millions of photos and he takes pride in publishing a lot of them every day in our Facebook group (Wildmountain Tollers). Now Facebook provides the opportunity to make live videos - and we use that a lot. We have to accept that Facebook is the no. 1 media. Nevertheless, we also use our website so I try to make a weekly update.
The puppy buyers were chosen a few days after the birth of the pups. With six pups we unfortunately had to disappoint some of the potential buyers. We believe that we have chosen some very good puppy buyers who can give the pups a really nice and meaningful life. It seems that the four girls will be hunting dogs. I look forward to follow them.
We are still approached by people who want to buy a pup from us. Luckily, some of them are satisfied with waiting for the next litter while others go to other breeders. It is a good idea to be in contact with more than one breeder. You might have to wait a long time for a Toller pup if you put you are only in contact with one breeder.
1 December 2016
The Pokémons are now one week old. Nothing much is going on except for them eating and sleepoing - and growing! Five of the pups har doubled their weight within the first week. The ony one lagging behind is Miss White. However, she follows her weight curve so nothing to worry about.
The pups were born and lived the first couple of days in an inflatable paddling pool. This is the "new blace" amongst breedes in Denmark. And it give a lot of sense to suse a paddling pool. As the sides are soft, the bitch is not able to squeeze the pups agains the sides. However, we had to realize that it didn't work for us. Vixen scratches a lot and after having "lost" a pup in the blankets because of her scratching - or the got lost into the blankets while shuffleing around. So the paddling pool was replaces with Helles whelping box. This is a box witot a floor. You place it on a mattress the same size as the whelping box. On top of the mattress you put a blanket bigger than the mattress. The box then rests on the blanket and it is impossible to rip loose the blanket no matter how hard you try. Then my nerves settled. However, Helle's box had no sticks to protect the pups from the bitch lying on them. Helle encouraged us to mount the box with the sticks, but we (read: Leif) concluded that we might as well remove the floor of our own whelping box as this has the sticks already mounted. So now I am totally relaxed :-)
I still sleep next to the whelping box. I don't get a lot of sleep as a lot happens during the night. Vixen has to go out to relieve herself (her stomach is affected by eating all the afterbirths), the pups squek and whines, and I sleep lightly. Leif takes over during the weekends so that I can get a bit of sleep. Fortunately, I have a very nice boss that finds it OK that I work from home the first week. My work space at home is right nextto the whelping box and it is so nice.
Kristian and I have found the names for the pups. The two males will be named Wildmountain Tollers (WT) Pikachu and WT Charmander. The girls will be names WE Eevee, WT Jigglypuff, WT Bellsprout and WT Mew.
The Pokémon litter - one week old:
26 November 2016
May we present: The Pokémon litter - 1 day old
26 November 2016
Six beautiful puppies
Finally, they arrived safe and sound. What a nice ending on a week of too much drama to my liking.
Wednesday 23 November potential puppiers visited ud. About 15 minutes after they left, Vixen started the first steps of the birth. As is normal during this, she was panting and re-arranging the whelping box. She also had to go pee a lot of times. I spend the night on a air mattres next to the whelping. However, I didn't get much sleep due to Vixen's panting and re-arranging.
Thursday morning she was still restless. She refused to eat. I was lying next to the whelping box. Vixen was cleaning herself. Suddenly, she lifts her head - and has a puppy in the mouth. This was the puppy that we knew would be dead and it wasn't a nice sight. I am convinxed that she didn't have any contractions; it has probably been pushed out by the others. It was not big; so it couldn't have been a big problem to push it out. It was 8.30 when it was born.
Then a few hours went by. At 10.30 her water broke and at 10.45 the first puppy entered this world. A girl of 310 gram. Vixen was a bit restless and carried the pup around in her mouth. I let her do what she felt like doing, and she rapidly relaxed again.
Again waiting time but at 12.38 another girl was born. She weighed 352 gram.
At 13.05 the first boy was born. A nice one of 354 gram.
At 14.06 another boy was born. He weighed 336 gram and was the first pup without any white in the face.
At 15.42 a girl was born. She weighed 264 gram.
When Vixen was scanned on Friday we saw five puppies + the dead pup. So I wasn't sure if there were any more. However, considering her restlessness I thought there might be one more. And there was because at 16.12 the last pup was born. This was also a girl of 252 gram.
It had been a long night and a long day but it was worth it. Six beautiful and healthy puppies.
Ute, who owns Gunner - the pups father - received frequent updates during the birth. She was just as excited as we were if Vixen would do deliver healthy babies. Also Helle and Gitte were following the birth from the sidelines.
This time I was l alone during the delivery. Vixen's first litter was born not so long ago and I felt comfortable being on my own. It was a very nice experience to be close to Vixen during the delivery.
Now a couple of days have passed and the pups are thriving. Vixen takes really good care of them. This is the first time that we have a second litter of one of our bitches and I believe that Vixen is even more able to manage it this time.
Our website will be updated frequently with the development of the puppies and we will post a lot of pictures. However, most pictures and updates can be found on our Facebook Group "Wildmountain Tollers". So if you want to be spammed with puppy pictures and you are not a member of our Facebook group - then hurry up and become a member :-)
23 November 2016
It has been some very dramatic days, but fortunately everything is OK Again.
It started on Thursday morning where I discovered some dark green and thick discharge coming from Vixen. It was day 54 in her pregnancy so it would be too soon for the pups to be born. I contacted the local vet - primarely because they are so close to me. She checked Vixen and could see that her cervix was somewhat opened. Her temperature was 37 point something that I have forgotten. She scanned Vixen and could see one pup move around. But that was all that her scanner was able to detect. When she wanted me to confirm that she should save the mum if it came to that, I was very sorry. However, she chose to send me to a vet in Hinnerup who is a reproduction specialist. As she is the vet who measured Vixen's progesterone level before the mating and who scanned Vixen to confirm pregnancy, I have driven the 1½ hour drive many times. However, this trip was longer than any of the others. Many thoughts go through you mind on such a drive. I was convinced that I would return with Vixen and no puppies. Either she woud give birth to them and they would die, or she would have to have a C-section to get a litter of dead pups out.
When I arrived, the took a blood samle to measure her progesterone level. It was 5.8. Then they scanned her. The vet could see that he pup to be born first, was dead. The others that she could see, were alive. She gave Vixen a shot of antibiotics to kill a possible infection. We agreed that I should return the next morning to check if the progesterone level had dropped and the agree on the next step. I was more positive and hopeful when I drove home.
The next morning I returned to the vet. She measured Vixen's progesterone level and it had dropped to 5.2. Damn it! A scanning showed that the pus were doing fine (except for the dead one). There were no signs of stress or of the placenta loosen (and then the vet found one more pup that were hidden behind the ribs). As the pups seemed to thrive, the vet decided to help Vixen carry the pups until they would surviv being born. Therefore, she was prescribed progesterone every day until and including Tuesday. She got another shot of antibiotics and she gave me a course of antibiotics so that I could treat her at home. This time I was even more positive on my way home. Now I dared belive that the pups had a chance.
The weekend was guiet. Vixen was her old self - happy, calm and hungry! On Monday and Tuesday, I went to work. We had installed webcams to be able to check up on the dogs. Nothing happened. Vixn went from one bed to another to have a nap.
On Monday, the vet called me to check on Vixen. She was optimistic. However, she reminded me that as the first pup was dead, it could end in a C-section.
On Tuesday evening she had her last progesterone pill and then all we could do was wait for the progesterne level to fall. According to the vet, it would normally take 1-1½ days, but it might take longer. So now I just need to be patient.
16 November 2016
Second herpes vaccination
Off to the vet to give Vixen her second herpes vaccination. The vet gave me something for her "soft" stomach and we had a talk about the upcoming birth. She was also weighed - 20.2 kg. So she has gained 3.75 kg.
11 November 2016
2 weeks left
Vixen has been weighed and measured again. This time the weight gain was a modest 0.45 kg. However, her waistline is increasing and she now measures 60 cm compared to 56,5 cm last week. In total, she has gaind 3.6 kg and increased her waistline by 10,5 cm.
During this week more puppy buyers have visited ud and more are to come during the weekend. We have also received a lot of mails from people who might be interested in a puppy. It is quite a privilege to feel this much interest in this litter.
This weeked will be used to convert my office to a delivery room. I need to tidy up and clean it. I have been finding the things I need for the birth and afterwards. The first week at least, I sleep with the puppies on an air mattress. When we had the Ben & Jerry litter I woke up every morning on an air mattress that has lost half of the air during the night. Not that comfortable. So now I have bought a de luxe edition which hopefully keep the air and gives me the opportunity to get some hours sleep every night.
Vixen and I have joined the current fad within puppy births: An inflatable paddling pool. Vixen will give birth to the puppies in this pool and they will stay there for the first 2-2½ weeks. Why so? Well, the soft sides prevents the mother from squeeze the puppies. Furthermore, it is inexpensive so when the puppies move to a bigger enclosure, I can dispose of it and prevent bacterias from this litter being spread to the next litter. I do have the ordinary whelping box in reserve it the pool doesn't work out.
Vixen has had an upset stomach the last week. I have treated it with Zoolac the last 5 days but it hasn't helped. Now, the vet has given her Pro-Kolin which she needs to take for three days. Hopefully, this will help.
Next week we will go see the vet at Frijsenborg Dyreklinik to have the last of the two herpes vaccinations. And I will be able to talk to the vet about some of the things regarding the birth.
Otherwise, the days are passes quietly. Vixen is very hungry and very focuses on food - her own food, the other dogs' food and our food. Her exercise is mostly walks. It is dark when I get home from work and it is difficult to do anything but walks. All three dogs have gotten luminous collars. They have different colours and I almost feel Christmassy when I take them for a walk. Vixen also spends a lot of time relaxing; preferably in the couch with us so that we can cuddle her big stomach.
7 November 2016
On Sunday we had three groups of puppy buyers visiting us. It was a very nice day where we learned more about the people who have contacted us to buy a puppy – and hopefully they learned more about the breed, Vixen and us.
I am so grateful of the many people who are interested in this litter. When I consider a breeding, I do worry if it is possible to find puppy buyers. But again, it seems that it won’t be a problem to find new homes for them. And you have to be grateful for that. We still have some potential buyers we need to see and we are looking forward to meeting them. I would prefer to be able to contact the new owners a few days after the birth of the puppies. They will then have the possibility to follow the puppies right from the start. The only negative thing is that there probably won’t be enough puppies for everyone and it is always hard to tell people that they are not getting a puppy from this litter.
On Fridays, I try to get to the vet before closing time to weigh Vixen. Today, she weighed 19.6 kg. So she has gained 1.2 kg since last Friday – and 3.15 kg in total. I also measured her waistline. This is also expanding and had increased y 3.5 cm since last week and 7 cm in total.
Otherwise, she doesn’t “act” pregnant. She eats well and has not suffered from loss of appetite. She is a bit more hungry, though, and thus more focused on food. And she is still very eager to be close to us and to cuddle. She has always liked to cuddle but even more so now. And that’s just nice as I love to cuddle with the dogs.
28 October 2016
Status - day 35
Vixen is a little more than half-way in her pregnancy and she is slowly growing bigger. She has gained 1.95 kg and her waist has grown by 3.5 cm.
She is very focused on food - more so than normally. And she is even more cuddly and contact seeking than normally. She even forces Kristian to cuddle her.
Her belly is growing - not much though, and the teats have become longer.
21 October 2016
Vixen has had an ultrasound - and she is pregnant :-)
I did consider whether or not to do the ultrasound. If she is pregnant, we will find out eventually. But......I am so curious and so are the puppy buyers. So we went to vet Susanne Elvstrøm who also did the ultrasound the last time.
While we were waiting a young couple came out of one of the rooms. They were clearly sad and the girl was crying. They had just said goodbye to their dog - a German Shepard. Something like this touches me so much. Maybe because we have two old dogs, Chili and Daisy. And we can't be sure to have them in our lives for a long time. In one of the other rooms they were doing a C-section - so both ends of the life circle was being represented on that day.
When we arrived, I weighed Vixen. She had gained one kilo since we had the first progesterone measuring. So if she wasn't pregnant, she would have to go on a diet :-)
Well, Vixen was put in the "cradle" and Susanne started scanning her. It took a long time before something appeared. But when we saw the first emboyo, more appeared. Also two empty "sacks" - where there were no embroyos. Something had possibly been wrong with these embroyos and nature got rid of them. As vet Susanne said, "someone" is "proof-reading" and if something is wrong, it is removed.
One of the embryos was smaller than the others. However, heart activity could be found with this as with the rest. But it is impossible to say if the small embryo will survive to be born. Time will show.
On my way back from the vet I was thinking about the embryos that had been reabsorbed. Had Vixen started to reabsorb all the embryos? I couldn't let go of this thought so I called the vet to hear her opinion. She was not worried and repeated that this was nature's way of getting rid of embryos that were not viable. It could also be caused by the progesterone level dropping. However, she didn't think this was the case here as the whole litter would then be lost. But, if I was worried we could measure the progesterone level. If it was low, something could be done about it. Right now, I am not that worried. Of course, I will monitor Vixen's pregnancy and decide if it is relevant to make another ultrasound at a later date.
28 September 2016
This time Vixen’s season went a bit faster than the last time she had a litter and she was ready to be mated sooner during her season. I am very happy that I went to have her progesterone checked at the vet. Had I thought that her season would be as last time, we would probably have mated her too late. So when vet Kathrine said “go”, we packed the car and drove the 1,100 km to Augsburg in Germany to let Vixen have a romantic date with Gunner.
We had two good matings. When we arrived to Augsburg, we checked-in at the hotel and took Vixen for a few long walk (she had been in the car the whole day). After a quick dinner, we went to Ute’s and Joachim’s place. We let the two lovebirds out into the garden. I went out into the lawn to wait for them. I expected that they would fool around or a while before they would get busy. But no – the hardly said “Hello” before Gunner was locked on to Vixen. It happened just outside the terrace door at Joachim’s feet. He was on his cell phone and had to continue his conversation inside :-) Meanwhile we were there to support the dogs during the long act. They were locked for 22 minutes.
As it didn’t take as long as we expected, the night was still young. We had arranged with Doris and Thomas (Lech-Toller Nest) that we could stop by to say hello and to see Bella’s (Vixen’s dam) and Harvey’s one-week old pups. Oh dear, they were cute.
After a good night’s sleep, we drove back to Ute the next morning for another mating and some breakfast. This time the love couple used 5 minutes to fool around before they got busy. Again they were locked for 22 minutes.
After breakfast, we went for a with the dogs. We were somewhat impressed with Gunner. Of course, he was still very interested in Vixen but he was so obedient toward Ute’s “No”. So the dogs had no problem sitting next to each other while Leif and Ute took some pictures of them.
Then we drove back to Denmark again. We arrived late and the old dogs were happy to see Vixen. And Vixen demonstrated to them, what she had experienced with Gunner :-) All three girls are in season and they mate each other all the time :-)
No we can only wait for Vixen to hopefully start showing signs that she is pregnant. If she is, the pups should be born around 26 November.
27 September 2016
As a breeder you discover that there is a lot of waiting time.
First you wait for the bitch to go into season. Then you wait for her to be ready to be mated. When the mating is done, you wait to see signs that she is pregnant. Then – when you think that you can see the signs – you wait until she is so far that the vet can verify the pregnancy. Then you wait for the delivery of the pups. When this is over, you wait for the pups to be able to see and become more active. Then you wait for them to become old enough that you can seriously imprint on them. Then they suddenly become so old that it is hard work to satisfy their zest for life and then you wait for them to be old enough to leave home. When they have left home, you wait for a message from the puppy buyers that the trip to the new home went well. Then, when some time has passed, you wait for positive results of the various health checks. And then it all starts over……..