8 March 2015
It's been a week since the last pups left home. It was so hard to say goodbuy to them. I feel, I am the one who knows them best after eight intense weeks. But luckily I know that we have found some fantastic puppy buyers who will make sure that "our" pups develop into fantastic adult dogs.
This was the last entry in this puppy diary. From now on all entries will be posted under "Latest news".
The last couple of weeks
I guess its time for a new update. A lot has happened since the last update. Most of the communication regarding this litter has happened on Facebook – on our Wildmountain Toller group. The website has been a little neglected and that’s a shame.
On 15 February Vixen and I went training with the girls and the sissies. It was so nice to train again. Both Vixen and I enjoyed it. We worked primarily with ”the square”. Not all went well, but Vixen was attentive and very happy to be allowed to train again. I had invited the gang back to us after training. It cost me a bottle of port, some homemade buns and a layer cake. It was on OK price to pay because I enjoyed showing them the pups
In week 8 – the pups’ week 7 – Helle stopped by on Monday (she is a regular feature). She had brought her colleague Rikke who had brought her two kids. Rikke owns a lovely Toller bitch which is a trained rescue dog. The kids were so good at handling the pups. We do what we can to make the pups comfortable around children. Unfortunately, both Daisy and Vixen are somewhat uncomfortable around children. However, our effort is only one step; the owners have to make sure that the continue to expose the pups to children.
On Tuesday Helle and Kim stopped by – surprise, surprise
Wednesday Helle Hallundbæk brought her two dogs, Murphy and Spitfire, to see Vixen and the pups. Murphy is a totally lovable Golden “bear” and Spitfire is the most charming Border bitch. Both Vixen and the pups were happy to see them and they all spent some time running around in the garden.
On 21 February the pups were tested by Marlene Veiss-Pedersen. We were so looking forward to this. Marlene is very experienced but this was her first Toller pups. So I believe she was also a bit excited. The test took place in Leif’s photo studie as it had to be somewhere where the pups had never been. It was a very positive experience. Marlene was so skilled and respectful towards the puppies and it was very exciting for us as breeders to see the test. It was supposed to provide a basis for the distribution of the pups to the different families. We were excited to see if the distribution that we had been thinking about was similar to what the test indicated. It was more or less. Marlene’s overall description of the litter was as follows:
“The litter consists of 7 pups distributed on two bitches and 5 males. It is a very homogeneous litter where only small nuances separates the pups. All pups were healthy. The were well-fed and had clear eyes and their fur was fine. All pups were motorically strong and they were very curious. The were all very confident and trustful. They were happy and very social when contacted. All had a nice will to corporate. All in all a really nice litter where the breeders without any doubt have done a great job to ensure that all pups are well-imprinted and well-socialized. They have given the pups a very good foundation before the leave home”
After the test we went over the result and compared it to my notes on the buyers – and then the pups were distributed. I didn’t want to inform the puppy buyers until I had Marlene’s result in writing. I received it on Sunday and then the buyers were informed. Some received the pup they had fallen in love with. Others might not have imagined that this exact pup was going to be their pup. Nevertheless, I believe that they will all be very happy and satisfied with the pup we have chosen for them.
The pups’ last week with us started with the whole gang visiting Gitte’s workplace. Gitte works in a residential home for adults with a mental deficiency and physical functional defects. I was looking forward to this visit as I thought that it would be nice for the pups to experience persons that move differently and handles the pups differently. I had not imagined that I would be so filled with joy to be able to make these people this happy. It really was a highlight for a lot of them to have the pups visit them. And I believe there will be a lot of talk about it the next couple of weeks. The pups had a fantastic time. They were allowed to run free in the large living room. They ran as maniacs, they chewed the plants and they tried to kill the curtain strings. The residents were kissed and bitten and several of the pups were attacking the shoelaces of one of the residents. We also got to ride the elevator before we left. The pups were very tired when we came home.
Tuesday it was time to have the pups id marked / chipped. They coped very well. In the afternoon Helle came by – again again – together with Jeanette.. They had brought Troja the Toller and Merlot the Labrador with them. We drove to Haunstrup were the pups were allowed to go exploring. It was so nice to see how the pups wanted to explore.
Especially Ms. Red was very curious and went far and wide – on her own. She was a bit hesitant in the beginning and had to think about if she wanted to get out of the car. She decided to go out and then she went exploring. We had brought our starting gun to be able to test them on shots. Leif shot on a distance of 100, 75 and 50 meters. We noted that the pups weren’t deaf. They lifted their heads when the first two shots were fired but then continued to look for the treats we had scattered on the ground. When the last shot was fired most of the pups found that the treats were more interesting than the shot.
Thursday – the day before the day – it was time to see the vet for the health check. I had arranged that Gitte would meet me there as I thought it would be nice with some help – it was! All pups were let loose in the examination room. Lars the Vet had brought his 9-10 weeks old Staffordshire Bullterrier pup, Fika, with him in the clinic. The pups were allowed to greet her.
Then they were examined and vaccinated. All seven were just fine. The only remark was that two of the pups had a small umbilical hernia. One of them was actually so small that I hadn’t noticed it. You needed to have very sensitive fingers to find it.
Friday the 27 was the pups’ 8 weeks birthday and they were allowed to leave us. This was a day that I had dreaded - and also been looking forward to. Looking forward as the pups now are so ready to take on the world and experience things that will make them fantastic dogs. And dreaded as it is of course terrible difficult to say goodbuy to those small tuft of wool that we have spent so much time with the last eight weeks and that we feel that we know and understand better than anyone else.
Two of the pups were collected on Friday. One pup on Saturday and the remaining four pups on Sunday. We shed a lot of tears these three days.
The feedback from the new owners has been really positive. It seems that we have send some mentally robust puppies out into the world. They want to and have courage to explore their new environment. I have no doubt that they will be loved by their new families and this helps when we miss them.
When the last pup had left, we removed the puppy enclosure, cleaned and put our dining table into the dining room again. The we put the dogs in the car and went for a walk in the woods – in the rain.
Now it’s time to concentrate on the adult dogs. They have been somewhat neglected while the pups were here. And I need to continue my training of Vixen.
Before they left home, the pups visited Leif' photo studio in our basement. This is the result:
14 February 2015
The last pups have been named
Now the last three pups have been named. The other day Leif took some portraits of the pups standing and in profile (he had a lot of help from Helle who knows how to stack a pup – and from me luring them to stand still by means of tuna from a tube).
Miss Purple aka Wildmountain Tollers Clever Cookie
Miss Red aka Wildmountain Tollers Cookie Dough
Mr. Brown aka Wildmountain Tollers Fudge Brownie
Mr. Green aka Wildmountain Tollers Chew Chew
Mr. Yellow aka Wildmountain Tollers Cherry Garcia
Mr. Orange aka Wildmountain Tollers That's My Jam
Mr. Blue aka Wildmountain Tollers Chubby Hubby
13 February 2015
Birthday and children visiting us
Now the pups are six weeks and we have started count down to their leaving us. They enjoy their life in the puppy pen as well as the outdoor excursions.
Yesterday, Caddy came to visit the pups. He is an elderly dachshund owned by Eva. She had also brought her two children. The pups enjoyed that as Eva’s children are very good at being around pups and they were OK with the pups biting them in their toes.
The day before there was another visit by children. This time is was Christina’s two lovely kids. They were also very good to accept the pups’ quite rough way of playing.
12 February 2015
Outdoor life, dead animals and new toys
Time just flies and our whole world evolves around Vixen’s pups. I have started my “maternity leave” and it is so nice only to have to worry about the pups. Actually, I don’t understand if breeders are able to prepare a litter for their future life while at the same time working full time. Nevertheless, I am so happy that I have the possibility to spend 100% of my time on the pups these last three weeks with us.
It is so nice that the pups have moved to our dining room. We are able to follow them all the time – even when we are watching TV in the living room.
The latest weeks have been characterized by visits. We are lucky to have puppy buyers who want to follow the pups “live” and not only on web cam. The pups are fondled and cuddled and admired. Also friends who want to see the pups are stopping by. If they have children it is a must that they bring the children to see the pups. Unfortunately, Vixen has never really learned to be comfortable around children. We hope, that our pups will leave here with the knowledge that people comes in all sizes.
The pups have had their first trip into the garden. It is not the best time of year for outdoor life when you are a little pup. But if the weather is dry and you make sure that they are not outside too long, it is good for them with these outdoor excursions. The first visit to the garden was quite an experience. At first, they were a little uneasy with this weird green thing that they had to walk on. However, it didn’t take them long before they enjoyed the new surroundings. They were only outdoors for a short while as they started to get cold.
The first “external” dog has greeted the pups: Frida – a very nice, black Lab that our adult dogs know very well. The meeting took place in the garden. First we let Frida and Vixen meet, and then the pups joined them. They thought it was nice to meet another dog. They first checked Frida’s “underframe”. When they realized, however, that she didn’t have a milk bar attached to her belly their interest shifted to Frida’s head. Frida was not sure what to think about these small, curious pups, but she was very nice to them – just as we expected. The coming weeks we will have more nice dogs stopping by – of all sizes, shapes and colours.
Vixen still nurses the pups. Though, the real food is gradually taking over as main food source. I still soak their food and add some A38 (a kind of yoghurt).
Since the pups’ birth Vixen has had problems with her stomach. I have to get up at least once every night to let her out into the garden. She has been treated with different types of medicine – with no luck. Now she is on a diet and ZooLac and it has helped. She is no longer as thin as she was just after the birth. She still wants to clean the pups’ droppings – which doesn’t help her stomach get better. However, we are trying to make her understand that we will take care of the droppings now.
A while ago we added a new thing to the puppy pen: A puppy swing which I have borrowed from a friend. They liked that! It didn’t take long before the first pups had conquered the swing. The jump ON it, jump FROM it and sleep on it. I am so impressed with them that they seem to be so unimpressed with everything that we introduce them to. They also have a basket with plastic balls (just as at McDonalds). This is also a hit. Especially Cookie Dough loves to sleep in the basket with the balls.
Almost every day the pups listen to CDs with different sounds on. They contain the sounds of thunder storms, fireworks, children laughing and crying etc. Nothing makes them stop what they are doing.
This week we had the first escape from the puppy pen. The other evening I heard a bump behind me and suddenly Mr. Brown was on the wrong side of the fence. He looked somewhat surprised. I figured that it was a coincidence more than something thought-through and planned and didn’t do more about it. But…….at 3 a.m. when I was taking Vixen into the garden, Mr. Brown and Miss Puple met us in the hall. So now the fence is higher during the night and when we are not here.
The pups have been introduced to a pigeon and a fox tail. They were fairly unimpressed. None of them wanted to carry the fox tail but they were all sniffing the fox aroma. Also the pigeon was scrutinized and I later had to take feathers out of the mouth of some of the puppies.
2 February 2015
Moving, new experiences, more visits and aunties Nice and Just As Nice
It is hard not to be impressed by the speed of the development of the puppies. Less than a week ago I thought that they were very small and not able to do much. Now – a week later – they have grown so much both physically and mentally. But then again, a lot of development has to happen these first eight weeks while they live with the breeder.
On Friday we moved the puppies from the whelping room to our dining room which is connected to our living room. Initially, I wanted to put the whelping box in the new puppy enclosure to give them something known and safe. However, they occupied the new enclosure with with lofty serenety so we decided not to put it there. Instead, they have a dog basket lined with a wetbed and blankets. They use it – but they prefer to lie in layers behind the basket. Now we will give them a cage which we will cover with a blanket to make a den. I wonder if they would like that.
We have borrowed a plastic pipe from Helle and Kim. Leif put it in their new enclosure the first day. I thought that introducing the pipe would be a little too much new stuff in one day. But I was wrong. Mr. Brown didn’t have to think long before he disappeared into the pipe and Mr. Green was quick to follow. Now the take naps in the pipe. It is not fastened so it is rolling when they use it.
We replace the toys and blankets that the puppy buyers have provided us with to make it all smell of siblings and mum.
Vixen can jump into the enclosure when she wants to – and so can the aunties (but only when we are there – otherwise they are separated). Vixen is mostly with the pups when it is feeding time. As soon as she is in enclosure the jump on her like leaches in brackish water. However, she also enters to steal some of their toys – especially those that have a squeaky sound! Vixen has never outgrown toys and in the morning we find the toys that she has taken with her into our bedroom.
The aunties also like to be in the enclosure with the puppies. They too are attacked by the leeches when they enter. We can actually squeeze a little milk from Daisy’s teats and they both put up with the puppies latching themselves onto them. Yesterday, when I was sitting with the puppies, one of the pups had a ball biting Chili’s ear. At some point, Chili found it to be enough. She lifted her upper lip and growled a little. We held our breath. She is still more Auntie Harsh than Auntie Nice. However, the pup understood the message. He sat down, looked at auntie Chili and then asked her forgiveness. It was so nice to experience. There were more growling during the day and every time the pup reacted in textbook fashion. We are so happy about that as it is no secret that we have been somewhat nervous of the aunties reaction to this addition to the family.
The pups have started eating soaked puppy food. They like it. The first try, however, was not a success. They are still not sure what the water bowl is supposed to be used for. They have used for a lot of different things – from backstroke crawl to free diving but none of them have understood that they are supposed to drink the water.
The weekend has been filled up with visits. Helle and Kim have become a regular – and very nice - feature in our weekends. This time they had a lot of time and the two bitches were compares: “Which one will be the best fit for us?”. I have an idea about that but a lot can happen during the next 3-4 weeks so it will be exciting to see that the puppy test says. Saturday afternoon Anne-Marie stopped by. Keld was unable to come, but Anne-Marie couldn’t wait any more. On Sunday, Camilla and Brian came. They found it a bit difficult to leave the puppies and I am sure that the were late to the birthday they were supposed to attend.
It is impossible to not find a favorite among the puppies and it is hard not to compare them. Luckily, a lot will happen during a short time, so our opinion changes all the time.
I am also thinking about names when I look at them. The names have been decided but they have not been allocated to each pup – with the exception of the two with too much with. I had to register them with the Danish Kennel Club as being of a non-approved colour so I had to name them. The bitch with too much white is Wildmountain Tollers Cookie Dough while the male is Wildmountain Tollers Chubby Hubby. This means that the other bitch has also been named. Her name is Wildmountain Tollers Clever Cookie. And when I sat with the puppies yesterday and though about which pup should have which name it struck me that Wildmountain Tollres Fudge Brownie could be no other than Mr. Brown. So now I have to put the last four names to the last four pups.
This is my last week before my “maternity leave”. I am so looking forward to staying home with the pups all day. There are so many things we have to do these last three weeks. Several nice dogs are waiting to come visit the pups. Caddy, which is a very nice and tolerant Dachshund. Then there is Murphy – a big, goofy Golden Retriever. Also Frida is stopping by. She is a black sausage panther aka black Labrador. Friendly dogs with a lot of tolerance are welcome to visit the pups. We are also taking a few “road trips”. We are going to Gitte’s work to meet the mentally disabled grownups that she is working with. They are looking forward to the visit. We have children of all ages coming to our house and we will be going to Haunstrup so the pups can see where Mummy is spending a lot of time when she is not on maternity leave. We will also be going to “downtown Vildbjerg” for a short walk.
The aunties are being a bit neglected at the moment. Fortunately, Leif is taking them on regular walks to Haunstup. This Saturday Vixen was allowed to join them. This is the first time since the birth. We have been on short walks in the neighborhood but this time she was gone for about an hour. She enjoyed it but was happy to return to the pups. And they were the first to be greeted when she returned. I was second. All in all, she is very attentive towards the pups. They don’t have to say a lot before she is in their enclosure to check what is happening. She still cleans after the pups (and we save on the paper towels). But…..it does not help her stomach problems. At the moment, we give her Canicur tablets for the second time – this time topped up with ZooLac. She eats a lot and I supplement with Pemmikan. I realize that Pemmikan does no good for her stomach and I only give it to her in small quantities. The enormous amount of food and the stomach problems result in her having to go out 1-2 times each night. Of course, I am the one who wakes up when it’s time and I feel a little used. It will be so nice when my “maternity leave” starts next week and I can take a nap now and again.
26 January 2015
Visits, registration and the aunts show their true colours
The pups are now 3 weeks old and we have opened the door to the puppy buyers (and other people interested to see the pups). This first weekend five pairs of puppy buyers stopped by. It might seem a little intense. However, both Vixen's and the pups' cycle were respected.
We have been a little anxious to see how the aunts would react when the pups were big enough to roam around. We still remember how the reception of Vixen was far from friendly. For this reason the aunties have not been allowed to be in the same room with the pups when we're not there. To our big relief they have been very respectful towards Vixen when she gave them an icy glance - or in the beginning a deep growl - to tell them not to cross the boarder.
This weekend the pups were allowed to come outside the whelping box to explore the room they live in. The aunties also were in the room. Suddenly one of the pups goes to Daisy to check out if she would be able to contribute to the food supply. Daisy reacted very positively. She was very aware of Vixen's reaction. However, when Vixen didn't seem to mind, Daisy didn't mind.
The next day it was Chili's turn to close contact to the pups. Actually, a few of them chose to adhere closely to her tits. Chili was somewhat perplexed but put up with it. Of course, we removed them; no reason to carry it to the extreme. However, it tells us that Auntie Harsh and Auntie Even More Harsh could be a couple of nice aunts that could help Vixen play with and raise the kids.
I have now registrered the pups with the Danish Kennel Club. As it is a Ben & Jerry litter the pups have been named after different types of Ben & Jerry ice cream. The are all called Wildmountain Tollers (our kennel name) and the their Ben & Jerry name. The girls are Clever Cookie and Cookie Dough. The boys are Cherry Garcia, Chew Chew, Fudge Brownie, That's My Jam and Chubby Hubby.
I have now put a collar on the pups. They are very different and I have no problem telling them apart. But it is good for them to get used to wear a collar and others can now tell the apart. They respondend well to the collar even though they scratched themselves in the beginning. Pup no. 1 is now Mr. Brown, pup no. 2 is Mr. Yellow, pup no. 3 is Mr. Blue, pup no. 4 is Miss Red, pup no. 5 is Mr. Green, pup no. 6 is Miss Purple and pup no. 7 is Mr. Orange.
During this coming week the pup will relocate to our dining room where they will have plenty of room to have fun in. They will also become a closer part of the family with all that this involves in regard to noise, impressions etc.
14 January 2015
Visit at the vet, eyes open and another weight milestone
A few days after the birth we discovered that one of the pups had something in his fur – a scab. First I thought it might some dried goo from the afterbirth. After having tried to soften it with lukewarm water we could see that it was actually a sore of some kind. We then thought that Vixen might have been a little too rough when removing the pup’s “birthday clothes”. We decided to keep an eye on him to see if it would heel by itself. After some days when nothing had happened we decided to consult the vet. So we tucked the pup in a box with warm towels and drove to the vet. We had brought Vixen along. There was some waiting time but Vixen was so relaxed and just laid down. Only when another dog came into the waiting room she had to tell the other dog to keep its distance.
The vet checked out the little boy. She had to cut his fur to remove the crust of the wound. We could see three small infected sores. We have no idea what caused the sores. The vet was not worried and gave us some Fucidin to apply twice a day. Already the next day we could see some major improvements.
Yesterday, the first pup opened its eyes – it was the pup with the sores. This is such an amazing thing and marks a new phase. Today the next two pups wanted to have a look at the world surrounding them.
The first two pups reached 1 kg today. The next couple of days the rest will also reach 1 kg. Also, four of the pups tripled their weight - three of them on day 10 and one of them on day 11. I believe Vixen is feeding them double cream.
They also experienced having their nails cut for the first time. The were very cooperative. I wonder if it will stay that way!
11 January 2015
They grow and grow – and the aunties have been visiting
Oh, how nice. I have returned to my own bed after having been sleeping on an air mattress next to the whelping box since the pups were born. It has been so nice to sleep next to them but you really don’t get a lot of sleep when you are next to the puppies.
Chili and Daisy sleeps with us in the bedroom. Even if Vixen has started accepting them we do not want to risk anything – so they are never together when they are alone.
The first days Vixen growled very seriously of the aunties – even when they were behind a closed door. Maybe she got her message through because Chili and Daisy seem to have understood the message. And then this weekend they were allowed into the whelping room. They are not to come too near to the whelping box but they are allowed to stay in the room. Vixen lets them know it they come too close. She gives them a growl that is not to be misunderstood. And the aunties react exactly the way they are supposed to. They freeze, look away and when they think they have convinced Vixen that they are not a threat, they slowly back out of the room. We have no plans of letting them get access to the whelping room when we are not home!
A lot is happing in our Facebook group – Wildmountain Tollers. It is so nice that so many people want to follow Vixen’s first litter and want to comment on text and picture. Leif has been very busy taking pictures and he is good at finding nice themes. At the moment the theme is “”paws”. When the pups start to open their eyes he will be taking a lot of pictures of beautiful toller puppy eyes.
Tomorrow, Vixen and the pups will be alone for a longer period of time for the first time. LEGO needs me. I am a little nervous but Vixen is doing such a great job being a mother and I am sure that she will do fine being alone with the pups. It’s just me being overly worried.
9 January 2015
The first week has passed
Now the pups are one week old – and they just grow and grow nd change a lot.
I have had the pleasure of being able to spend this first week with them. My very nice boss allowed me to work from home all week so that I could keep an eye on Vixen and the pups. What a luxury!
The whelping box is in my office and the proud mom and her septuplets are lying right behind me. So it is easy for me to see and hear what is going on. I can hear the chewing and squeaking noises that they make – and the protests when the milk is coming too slowly or is running out.
Vixen is a fantastic mother. She has now started wanting to spend time with us. However, if she hears the smallest sound from the whelping box, she is off right away.
Now after the first week all of them except from one have doubled their weight. The remaining one – one to the girls – is only 10 grams from having doubled her weight.
2 January 2015
The puppies have arrived!
This Thursday – on day 58 of Vixen’s pregnacy – she showed signs of going into labour. I was not comfortable with her giving birth so early. However, there was nothing I could do about it except be there and help her.
I had made a bed on the floor of the whelping room, and Vixen and I were lying in my bed while she was panting, huffing and puffing. It was quite nice – until her water broke in my bed and my duvet, sheet, bed pad and air mattress.
I had agreed with Gitte that she should act as assisting midwife. She didn’t take a long time to drive from Herning to Vildbjerg when I texted her. When she arrived the first pup had been born (at 23.52). A perfect little girl that unfortunately was dead. There was nothing we could do to change that. She weighed 185 grams. Next pup came exactly at midnight. This time a boy of 270 grams. Then another boy of 290 grams that arrived at 2.25. At 3.45 the next boy arrived. He was 315 grams with too much white. At 3.50 a girl came into the world. She weighed 310 grams and also had too much white. Then at 4.15 another boy of 310 grams.
Then Vixen relaxed. I gave her some snack and water and lured her into the garden to relieve herself. We cleaned the whelping box and put in clean and dry wetbeds. Gitte went home, Leif went to work and I laid down to try to get a few hours sleep. I was next to the whelping box and enjoyed the sight and sound of the puppies. Sic puppies and five of them alive was not bad. And this was exactly the number the vet said when Vixen had her ultrasonic examination.
Suddenly I could see that Vixen started pushing again, and at 6.35 she gave birth to a nice little girl of 310 grams. I cleaned her, Vixen and the whelping box. Again I enjoyed the sight of the pups, when Vixen started pushing again and at 7.22 the last pup was born – a boy of 315 grams.
The result was 8 puppies – 7 alive. Two of them with too much withe and the rest with nice white markings.
Gitte was a fantastic assisting midwife. She was calm when I was too excited or nervous (which was most of the time). Helle Lund joined via Messenger. She was a great support and had the time to google a lot of things that we were unsure of.
The seven pups looked fine and so did Vixen. Nevertheless, I wanted the vet to stop by and have a look – especially when you think about that they were born a few days early. When he came he took a look at mother and children and gave them all a thumbs up.
Now it’s time to contact all the nice puppy buyers who want a Vixen/Frick pup. We haven’t pups for all and some might want to back out if they are offered one of the pups with too much white. However, I have no doubt that we will find some nice homes for them.