Ruby and Bogey Litter Diary
This was a long distance "love affair" for Ruby as Bogey resides in Colorado at Simerdown Labradors. I had admired Bogey's father's and grandfather's accomplishments (grandpa Spencer was the 25th Champion/ Master Hunter in the breed) years ago, so was thrilled to see such a handsome guy standing at stud, especially now that I have a nice match for the lines. I contacted his owner last summer, providing Ruby's "biography" along with my goals for the breeding and a little about my involvement in the breed. Fortunately, Ruby and I met her approval. ;) Once Ruby came into season (Merry Christmas!), her progesterone values were monitored closely to determine optimal breeding timing. The actual breedings took place via artificial insemination of chilled, shipped semen in Ellensburg, WA, on January 8 and 10, right about the time our winter weather finally decided to hit. All was good though, and almost immediately, I felt timing was a success based on her behavior, etc. Normally gestation for canines is 63 days, so I marked March 11, 2019, on my calendar as the "big day". As we got closer and the litter appeared to be on the large side, I decided I'd best be ready by the 8th "just in case" and went about clearing my Day Runner. Ruby had even better thoughts, however, requiring me to cancel my Thursday appointments, after she decided to go into labor in the wee hours of March 6! There was no real sleep for either of us that night, nor for the next 48 hrs. In typical Ruby fashion, she had to do it her way; it was a long drawn out whelp beginning at ~10pm Wednesday and not ending until ~4pm Thursday afternoon. Despite pups being born quite early (4 days is as early as I am comfy with), it was a successful whelp with 8 living, very nicely sized puppies who were quite eager to nurse. Though we lost the last 2 born, we celebrate the living 4 males and 4 females. They ranged in weight from 13.9 oz to a whopping 18.8 oz at birth!
Photos from March 7, 2019:
March 11, 2019: Today was supposed to be the due date, but instead, the pups are well on their way, having all gained between 7 and 9 oz already! It's been a busy week with daily weigh ins and probiotics, feeding mom 4x/ day... and dare I mention, there is laundry to do! Dew claws were removed last Friday, and the Early Neurological Stimulation (aka Super Puppy) program was started on Sunday once all the pups were 3 days old. I will do this thru 16 days.
March 13, 2019: Puppies are already 1 week old and growing so so fast!!! The other relatives (AKA big dogs) have had visiting rights for the past couple days now so all is well in the world.
March 18, 2019: We are 11 days old and already weigh between 2.33 and 2.85 lbs; our mom has the best "chocolate milk" out there apparently! Our eyes aren't open yet, but we can hear now. And we learned a few days ago that barking is FUN! We also are up on our legs more often, so watch out world once we can actually see where we are going!!! :) Mom is also able to spend a little time out of the box and is enjoying the sunshine and fresh air a few times a day. Oh, so the nanny-lady tried to take some photos the other night... but we weren't very cooperative... ;)
(Click on Ruby & Bogey's names to view their OFA pages)
No way, I don't want my mug shot taken!
March 21, 2019: We are TWO WEEKS OLD!!!! Yippee! The nanny-lady seems relieved for some reason. She actually turned off the supplemental heater near our box today but maybe that's 'cuz the house is warmer now that spring has sprung (finally!). Hey whatever.. we're happy. Mom is tending to us diligently and did we mention she has killer "chocolate" milk???? We all are averaging close to 3# already! Oh yea, drank some yummy stuff today the nanny lady called "dewormer". Our eyes aren't open yet but are probably getting close. And we heard Nanny run something she called a vacuum cleaner the other day as she said it was time... something about other dogs shedding? And we are wondering what's all the fuss about the MSU Spartans winning the Big 10 & now into March Madness? Hmmmm!!!! Guess we'll find out soon but she's trying hard not to yell much. Otherwise, in the meantime....we're just happy to chill out! Back at ya soon!
March 24, 2019: 17 days old and all have "peepers" now! Funny that one of the smallest girls opened her eyes first at day 15, and the last to come along today is the biggest boy! Weights range from 3.2 to 4.0# today and Ruby is still keeping up with demands just fine. What a gorgeous bunch of puppies...
March 29, 2019: The pups are now 3 weeks old (last one as of yesterday ~1030am!). My, have they grown! I started "potty training" a few days ago w/ newspapers off in one area and they are catching on. All of the puppies had their first Dremel (nail grinder) experience as well since it's my preferred method to keep nails short here. The bigger "cousins" have all been enjoying watching the puppies from the whelping box doorway and Pippin even got in on the action outside the box the other day while I took a little more time to clean it thoroughly. Seems it's getting quite difficult now to even change out a blanket with all of them underfoot!!! The puppies also got their first meal of gruel (ground puppy food mixed with Esbilac formula) today.
It's getting to be a tight squeeze at the bar!!!
Cousin Pippin cleans puppy rears as Ruby nurses
Pippin says hello to Miss White
Yum yum yum.... Even puppy faces taste good!
Down for the count now...
April 4, 2019: 4 weeks old! It's been a busy week with more toys, more potty training (they have a pellet tray in the box now), and a total of 3 "nanny meals" per day in addition to nursings. Puppies are weighing from 5.2 to 5.7 lbs already. Just a few more days and they will graduate to a new home (expen set-up) upstairs in the attached garage...
April 9, 2019: The puppies moved into their new "digs" today! They will be transitioning from a "potty tray" to a "potty pool" now but that should go fast. The pellets in the potty pool are animal bedding pellets readily available from most farm type stores. I'll keep using newspaper on top for a couple more days until they are fully transitioned. The crate proved to be a popular spot right after lunch was served so pups are well on their way to adjusting. Hopefully the winds will die down tomorrow so the pups can enjoy a little playtime outside.
April 13, 2019: The puppies experienced a lot of new things these past few days! They've been going outside to get some sunshine and fresh air, play with the big dogs, discover the yard, the garden and even attempting to scale the steps (I was sitting there so that didn't happen). Today their pen was expanded a bit and a dark tunnel was even added for fun. And because we could hear there was a group shooting down the road, they took their first car ride to the Pomona Gun Club (1 mile away) and got fussed over by a bunch of really nice kids and their parents. Once home and fed, they checked out their new tunnel and finally decided it was time for a siesta. I wish I could have joined them!
April 20, 2019: Another busy week!! The pups are now 6 weeks old and have had several visitors this past week. Weights range from 9 to 10.5 lbs. I've been trying to convince Ruby to stop nursing but the pups still get a drink at least 2x a day from her when out and about playing in the yard. They are also eating 4 meals of Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy per day. This week they've been exposed to the big field and bird wings. Tomorrow they will get to chase some live pigeons, and don't tell them but they are also going to get microchipped....
April 24, 2019: We're already going to be 7 weeks old tonight/ tomorrow!!! How time flies. As promised, the pups got to chase live pigeons the other day and had a lot of fun (no worries, the pigeons are just fine!) and are all microchipped now. They also got their DHPPv combo vaccine today so we'll be as ready as possible for our little trip to the eye doctor in a few days. They have so much more energy now, so average about 4 outdoor recesses per day. I'm trying to take these last 2 weeks off of work just to concentrate on the pups and some irrigation/ farm chores in between. It's a full time job at that!
April 29, 2019: Busy busy weekend! On Saturday, a few friends came over for a "puppy party". We did puppy evaluations and watched the pups on birds again. Great fun and always nice to hear what other people see who aren't around the pups 24/7. Yesterday the pups had their eyes checked by Dr. Collier at a friend's private eye clinic. All were perfect! The eyes that is... I could have done without all the hollering on the drive up to the clinic though. I had even let them run here first, and stopped by the gun club on our way. The ride home was quite peaceful as everyone was tuckered out by then. Tomorrow we have vet well checks and another round of evaluations here. The pups are taking turns coming into the family room individually at night to interact w/ the big dogs and yes, "watch" TV. One of them was very fascinated with a fighter jet on one of the shows last night! Must have thought it was a really fast bird!
May 7, 2019: Vet well checks and final evaluations went super and I've been hopping ever since sending puppies out to their new homes. I will be keeping Miss Purple right here, so stay tuned!
Look quick while it's still clean!!!
Celebrated the move with a big lunch.
Naughty puppy biting Great Auntie Kiku's tail!!!
Puppies enjoying grass for the first time with Mom and cousins Pippin & Honey
After they were worn out from playing with the big dogs, we took our first car ride. Mama Ruby was in the far right crate for moral support and also enjoyed some attention at the gun club.
Once home, they played in their slightly expanded pen and checked out the new tunnel. Here's a puppy proving they are doing pretty well w/ their potty pool too!
Miss Purple (calling her "Scarlet" for now)
Miss Pink (now living w/ one her Great Uncles!)