A blog mainly about WHOODLES with some DOODLE stuff too!
A few thoughts and ravings about dogs, dog breeding and the people involved with both!
Plus some other things.
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HAPPY THANKSGIVING!                Nov. 24, 2016

Enough!        Oct. 31, 2013

The pups and Clooney have been apart for the last couple days. Cloo is still in the same room as they are, but I haven't let her in the pen with them and for the last two nights, she hasn't been out to play with them either. Neither the Six nor their mom has seemed upset about that. Until lights out last night. Then, a few minutes after it got pitch black and quiet, one of the pups started whining. At first, it was a little whimper, then it got louder and progressed to flat out howling. I gave it a little time, thinking the pup would realize it was getting nowhere and shut up. Didn't happen. Usually, a youngster that is still with its littermates will offer up some small protest about something and then relax when it sees no one else is joining in. Not this kid! I didn't turn the light on because I didn't want to encourage the "bad" behavior. And I can't tell you which one it was... although I have my suspicions. Eventually I fell asleep and I don't know if that was before or after the complainer did. I do know early this morning when I turned the light on so I could get up temporarily without tripping over something on the floor (a standard Poodle, for instance,) several pups woke up. And when I turned the light back off, one of them started whimpering and then whining again. Unfortunately for the puppy, I was back to sleep before it got to the howling stage so it just wasted its breath.

Big Mistake!        Oct. 28, 2013

Saturday night I fell asleep watching tv before I put the pups back in their pen. Since I wake up frequently during the night, I told myself I'd put them up the next time I woke. I told myself that every time I opened my eyes. And didn't do it. Normally, the Six play until 11 or 12, then go in their clean pen with food and water (and newspaper) and are set for many hours... 8 or 9, at least. That's not to say they sleep that whole time. They wake up, get something to munch on and something else to wash the munchies down and they play... quietly... with each other and their toys. But often, I'll wake and they are piled up or sprawled around the pen, depending on the weather, and not one of them even opens its eyes to see why the light has come on. But Saturday, they not only opened their eyes every time I got up, they figured it was time to rise and shine. Part of the problem, I think, was the dogs who sleep on the bed with me are all "trained" to get down whenever I get up. It's a rule I established many years ago to make it easier and faster for me to get out of bed since I don't have to worry about squishing one of them. When the pups are in their pen, they're safe. But when they were unexpectedly scattered all around the bed, the dogs jumping down landed on one or two which, to a pup, means time to play. For the adults, the meaning was "Why aren't these puppies in their own bed? Get away from me, kid, you're bothering me!" Everyone was annoyed and it took time for things to settle down. And by then, I was getting up again. As a result, everyone was out of sorts Sunday morning. The pups didn't argue about going in their pen... where they slept most of the day... but the adults all gave me unhappy stares for hours. And I was tired. So last night, as soon as the late news went off, the pups went back in the pen. And all was as it should be.

Word to the wise... don't just arbitrarlly change your dog's schedule. You'll be tired all the next day.

Pix of other dogs
Maggie and Cisco's first litter is about to turn 2. This is Chase.

And about 6 or 7 months ago, I sent a rescue to a lady in Texas. Here is Cupcake and her new best friend, Buddy.

Picks Going Well        Oct. 22, 2013

The boys are moving to Virginia and Georgia and two of the girls are moving to New York and British Columbia. The other two girls....

Meanwhile, in Alabama...
Bob and Lula have made the cover of "Hottest Hounds of Birmingham"

(lower left corner)

They have their own page

And when they're not doing book signings, they indulge in their favorite activity

8 Weeks... Time to Pick        Oct. 21, 2013

Pictures are done and are on three pages... one for the boys and one each for the red girls and the black girls. The families with first pick of each gender have the address so they can pick. Then the next two families will get the address. THEN the pages will be linked for a brief time... a week or two... so everyone can see.

Two females are available. Pass it on!

Eight weeks equals... Yesterday, Clooney played with the pups, and fed them, from 8 PM until about 11:30. Then I put the Six in the pen and Clooney said she didn't want to join them. Instead, she went out in the hall and went to sleep. She stayed out of the bedroom until about 10 this morning... didn't even come in to eat. The pups slept all night and when they got up, about 7 AM, they ate the puppy kibble, played for a bit and then went back to sleep. Apparently eight weeks is Clooney's limit and she can tell time very well. And also apparently, she taught the pups she was going to be out of there once they were 8 weeks old. She went in at 10 and kissed everybody, let them suck a moment, then wanted out. She stayed completely out of the room until 8 this evening when I let the pups out for their play. Then she kissed them, let them "nurse" and walked away again. As soon as I put them up, they ate kibble and went to sleep. Everyone seems perfectly happy with the new arrangement.

New Pix        Oct. 17, 2013

There are new individual photos on the puppy page. Yea!

The pups are getting so big... and active... I am going to have to move them soon to the pen in the tv/computer room. It is 10' by 8' and takes up half the room. The problem is going to be Clooney who is still spending most of her time in with them. She's not going to want to sleep in the bedroom with me and leave them "unprotected" at the other side of the house. I might (read that "maybe if I can't think of any other solution") move them to the big pen for during the day and bring them back to the bedroom at night. It's a lot of work moving six puppies twice a day. People think herding cats is tough...!

They have their first toys... other than each other, newspaper and their mom. They took my socks for chewing and pulling on and I let them have them. And when I went to Petsmart yesterday to get dog food, I bought them a soft, stuffing-less skunk whose head squeeks and a small rope with knots in it. They're having a good time and are sharing nicely.

AND they are sort of all going to the pot in one area. It is a very LARGE area, but there does seem to be a dividing line between it and the rest of the pen. This means they are starting to mature toward natural housebreaking. Lucky me!

Peace and Quiet        Oct. 14, 2013

I live in the trees toward the bottom of a ridge on a private "road" in the county. Normally the only sounds you hear out this way are the birds, the cows and an occasional car down on the regular, as in paved, road. But some miles away is a construction site where a shopping mall is being built at the junction of I-26 and I-81. To accommodate the needs of this new center for commerce, a natural gas pipeline has to be built. And it's going across the top of my ridge.

This entire area used to belong to one farm. Over the years... many years... bits and pieces were sold off. Members of the original family own much of my immediate neighborhood. It's not flat, so not good for "housing developments" and is too heavily treed and bushed for grazing or planting, although the deer are fine with it as are any number of marijuana growers, not to mention those semi-hermits among us, myself included, who'd rather not be involved in our neighbors' intimate lives.

There are seven "homesteads" on my single lane road, two at the top of the ridge, two about half way up, two toward the bottom and one below me. Three of those have been empty for at least 2 years. The road is not only unpaved, it is made of dirt and gravel and lots of junk brought in over time to fill in the ruts. And by ruts, I mean canyons deep enough to tear out the undercarriage of most cars. The hill is steep enough that even a small rain sends gallons of water racing down, making the ruts deeper and wider and very mushy.
Without going into the details of my own driveway, suffice it to say I don't go anywhere in even mildly bad weather... going is not the problem. Getting back home is.

It makes sense, in a lot of ways, to put the gas pipeline across the top of the ridge. Only a few families have had to move and traffic is not being disrupted by construction.


They haven't gotten very far into the construction... that's scheduled to start, in my area, in April 2014. However, in order to make the actual work easier to get done and to make it easier to check the actual pipeline from time to time, AND to make as much money off the land as possible before it is forever useless for anything else, the trees have to come down. So they are logging.

For the last few weeks, there has been the sound of buzz saws and heavy duty equipment and trucks filling the air. It is not relaxing. Plus, the trucks are using our "private" road ("private" is how the county has it designated) to get up and down. There isn't much damage left to do to the dirt and gravel and junk and the ruts aren't any problem for those vehicles, but it makes extreme caution an absolute necessity for those of us living on the trail... not that anyone was at all reckless to start with. The pont is, we moved out here because we "vant to be alone," to coin a phrase.

And maybe we are... at least until April. The saws stopped and the trucks came down Thursday evening and here it is half way through Tuesday and... nothing. With any luck, I'll be moved to Indiana before it starts up again.

Mom's Night Out        Oct. 13, 2013

Yesterday afternoon, when I finished taking puppy photos, I left the Six out loose in the bedroom. When I let them out of the pen, I starting taking pix right away instead of cleaning the pen first and I didn't want to put them back until they had fresh newspapers to mess up. Clooney was outside... she tends to get in the way if she is inside when I'm trying to get photos. It started raining, so I let her and Shadow (my standard Poodle stud/pal) in and put them in the bedroom. Shad is terrific with puppies and the older he gets, the more he seems to like them climbing on him and tugging on his hair.

Well, I forgot the pups were loose. Until hours later when I shut off the computer and the tv and went into the bedroom to go to bed. Shad was sprawled flat on his side, in the puppy pen, The pups were scattered around the room and Clooney met me at the gate, telling me she had to go out again before bed time. So I sent her, Shad and the three little guys who had been crated, outside and cleaned up the puppy pen. There were no puppy poopy piles anywhere in the room... Clooney may have cleaned up... and no wet spots, so they may have all gone back into the pen to make their deposits. Can't think of any other way the room would have been so... unsoiled. IF they made the trips back to the pen, they are early to recognise and control their potty-ing. Yea! There WERE bits and pieces of newspaper ALL over the room and in the hall and a tv remote I lost many months ago which probably got taken under the bed by one of the little dogs.

I cleaned the pen, rounded up the pups... getting to be more of a task now that they are aware of their surroundings and the facts of life (like once they are IN the pen, they have to stay there until I let them back out...) then let the adult dogs in. By the time they made it back to the bedroom, the Six had filled up at the food bowl and had formed their single layer pool of sleeping puppies in front of the pen gate. Clooney walked over, sniffed through the wire, then crossed the room and assumed her spot on the floor by the foot of my bed.

She stayed there all night. And I know because I get up, briefly, a number of times and she hadn't moved. At 6:30, she was sleeping in the back corner where the pen meets the wall, but didn't look up and ask to get in with the kids. At 9, the pups were awake and Clooney wanted in with them.

That's the first time she's slept away from them since they were born. Nobody seemed upset.

BUT after I put her and the bedroom crew outside for an hour, she came in and went straight to the gate and let me know she wanted in the pen. She's been there ever since. She hasn't asked, even once, to be let out. I'm not sure, but I think she feels guilty. She sure LOOKS it!

You ever have any doubts about how smart these Whoodle-dogs are, look at this photo of Cash, the Emy/Boon boy, with his kids

More Pix        Oct. 12,2013

There are new pictures, of varying quality, on the pups' page or at

Oops! Sorry....        Oct. 11, 2013

Today got away from me so I haven't taken pictures of the Six. I will get them tomorrow... some time tomorrow. They all say "Hey!"

Two Steps Forward, One Back        Oct. 9, 2013

Clooney's pups are 6-1/2 weeks old. And they still want their mama. They eat a lot of puppy food... and once a day, get adult food for treats... but they are still nursing every couple hours. Cloo still has a lot of milk, hasn't started drying up yet. Did I say the pups were 6-1/2 weeks old? Well, they are not unusual for pups that age.

Some people want to place their puppies at 6 weeks. I know, not a good idea, but they've "always done it that way...." Six weeks old pups will get enough nourishment, at least physically, from solid food to survive, but the nourishment they miss when weaned from their mom at that age isn't just physical.

Clooney's kids don't suckle for any long period of time any more. Getting food isn't what it's all about. They need her for other things. They need to know she is still there for them and she is still protecting them. They're bravely tackling the rest of the world, but they're still babies. And babies need their mothers.

Just as Clooney still needs the Six. She is no different than every one of my other mama dogs. When the pups leave at 12 weeks, Clooney will still be spending a lot of time with them. On her own.

Two Emy pups
Pictures of a couple "babies" from Emy...
Two year old Finn, sired by Boon

and one year old Murphy, sired by Sparky...

Have I Mentioned...?        Oct. 7, 2013

I HATE taking pictures of puppies. Taking them of big dogs isn't much better, but it is a little better. Puppies are impossible. Especially at this age... 6 weeks... when they are capable of quick movement, are interested in everything around them and do NOT listen to my voice, chirping, squeeking, yelling, etc. So what you see is what I got. Oh, and the flash is working only occasionally on the camera.... I started around 4 this afternoon and here it is at 10. Individual pix... one of each pup... none of them terrific... are on the puppy page on the website. You can click through on the link on the website or go directly.

Big Day        Oct. 6, 2013

The pups are getting wormed again this afternoon, when they are out for their second field trip in the bedroom. And before I put them back in the pen, I'm going to microchip them. FYI, microchips are aout the size of a grain of rice and are placed, by injection, under the skin in the area between the shoulder blades. For some reason, I have more puppies object to regular shots with a teeny tiny needle than to microchipping with that big hunking needle. Tomorrow, each will be assigned its stuffed animal and have some pictures taken. Whoppee!

Another Emy kid
This is Cash, a Boon son, who lives in southern California

Metal or Ceramic?        Oct. 4, 2013

Another milestone for the Six... waterbowl edition.
For the first 5-6 weeks, puppies put all their energy into getting things under control. They have to learn to focus their sight and hearing. They have to learn to get their feet under them and get up on their legs AND walk from one place to another. They figure out there is something interesting in their mom's food and water bowls. Once they have mastered all that, they learn to play. First they wrestle while lying down next to each other, then they practice the finer points of using their weight to knock over their sitting or standing opponent. They learn to pounce and they start grabbing a mouthful of another pup's hair (ears, tails, legs, etc work just as well) and shake. THEN there comes the time when objects catch their interest. Usually they start with the newspaper.

Moms have the habit of messing up the newspaper in the puppy pen. Five seconds after I've layered new bedding nice and flat... and clean... all over the pen, moms start rooting in it. They move sheets around and pile some up. Pups, apparently, like the rustling sound newspapers make as well as the fact they can grab an edge and pull a sheet across the full length of the pen with little effort (except when another puppy steps or sits on it, then all forward progress stops.) Eventually, I put toys... stuffed animals, balls, knotted rope... in with them and we move on to the next stage.

Early yesterday, I noticed one of those blasted reds (!) chewing on the lip of the metal water bowl. Now, for the last couple days, that bowl has taken some abuse. It's been moved, accidentally, all around the pen. At various times, I've seen EVERY pup with one or more feet in the water, also accidentally. I knew it was just a matter of time... a very short time... before one pup, probably a red, discovered the lip of the bowl was a good thing to get hold of and flip it. When I went to bed last night I was thinking the first thing I needed to do in the morning was to put a ceramic bowl in the pen.

Morning was too late. I was awaken by repeated clanking of metal against tile. And a thoroughly soaked area when the water bowl had been. The bowl was up-side-down at the other end of the pen with a pup sitting on top of it and two others trying to get their mouths around the lip. These were the three blacks, by the way.

There is now a nice, straight sided, flat edged ceramic bowl full of water sitting in the corner. It will be at least a week before they start standing in the water. Or not.

"Old" puppy pictures
First is Peri and Sparky's daughter, Esther

and then the Emy/Boon and Cotton/Sparky daughters, Penny and Coco

Their mom says they pose like this ALL the time.

Pups' Progress        Oct. 1, 2013

All six puppies continue to make progress, which is more than can be said for Congress. But that's another story.

And yes, I know there was a birthday yesterday... for the pups... they turned 5 weeks. They are living up to, and sometimes exceeding, my expectations, which, again, is more than can be said for Congress. But I digress. The Six are no longer in the "infant" stage and are well started as "toddlers." Every day sees an increase in independence from Mom and more awareness that there is life... LOTS of life... outside the puppy pen. They are so aware of things going out outside their safe area that they camp out by the gate, waiting for me to open it for their mom, hoping they can escape. Last night, for the first time, they slept by the gate... well five of them slept by the gate. One of the blackish ones slept with mom in the back of the pen. Don't ask me which one... the two girls are the exact same size and their brother is slightly larger, but they have to be all together for me to pick him out by eyeballing them.

Also yesterday, Clooney went outside around 4 and I didn't let her back in until about 7. When I put her out she had just fed the pups and there was a little food in the bowl. Just before I brough her back in, I filled up the now empty bowl and for the first time ever, all six kids crowded around and chowed down. They were so busy feeding their faces, they barely looked up when Clooney joined them. She sniffed bottoms, got a big drink of water and lay down on the other side of the pen. The puppies cleaned up the entire bowl of food and then wandered over and did some cursory nursing. It seemed more like an acknowledgement of her return than anything else. A few minutes later, all sever were sprawled out around the pen, sound asleep.

This morning, while Clooney was outside, I opened the gate and instead of stepping into the pen to work around the pups, let them tumble out and do a little exploring. Now, you have to understand that the behaviors I am seeing today and over the next couple weeks will be the behaviors I continue to see while the pups are here... but different pups will do them at different times. Just as their relative sizes will change again and again, they will go through the different maturing stages at various ages. And "ages" with pups means days and sometimes weeks rather than months and sometimes years with humans.

They were a little hesitant to move away from my feet... at first. A few moments later, they were across the room, under the bed, taking a gander at the inside of the huge (Great Dane size) crate in the corner. Most of them quickly learned how to get OUT of things they had just put themselves INTO
And once I got the clean newspaper down in the pen, they taught themselves all about "fence fighting." That's when a dog or two on one side of a barrier runs up and down the length of the barrier barking and growling at the dog or two on the other side. Since puppies do it instinctively, and without animosity, I think this is more a play behavior than an aggressive one... UNLESS the dogs on either side of the fence are not well socialized and think they are protecting their territory. The pups are too young to have territory but they enjoyed their fence fighting just the same.

When I sat down on the bed, a couple... reddish ones first... came over and within a minute or two were chewing on my shoes, especially the laces. (I go though a pair of sneakers with every litter... so be prepared.) Don't know what it is about showlaces, but every pup I've ever been around knows they are there just to be untied, pulled on and chewed up.

The reddish pups were replaced by the blackish ones... and yes, I often see them in those groups. Not that they don't all play together and sleep tumbled together, but they do separate regularly into the 3 lighter colored ones and the 3 darker ones. Anyway, one of the black girls didn't bother with my shoes but climbed on my leg, wanting to be picked up. The first time that has happened. So I held her against me and gave her a good rubbing, she turned so her belly was exposed and easier for me to get to. Then I did the same for the other two. I meant to say up above somewhere that initially one of the black pups stayed inside the pen much longer than the rest of the gang. I think it was the male, but he eventually wandered out and joined his littermates.

When I looked up from massaging the black pups, I saw all three of the red ones in the adult dog food. Two of the little boogers were chewing on kibble from the bowl that is on a shelf about 4 inches off the ground and the other one was standing on its hind legs, sneaking it out of the bowl in the holder that is 10 inches high. They stayed over there for some time, enjoying the big dog dog food... today it is chicken and rice formula and smells very different from the puppy food they're eating. When I put them back in the pen, I took a handful of the adult food and sprinkled it on the floor around their food bowl. A few minutes later, when I let Clooney back in, it was just about gone. Dogs ALWAYS seem to like food that is different from what they usually get and obviously, it starts at a very young age.

Late this week I will microchip everybody and the individual picture-taking will begin. Each pup will be assigned a specific stuffed animal that will be in its pictures so you... and I... will be able to tell which picture is of which pup. Picking will be in a couple weeks. Please remember what I've said about behaviors occuring at different times for each pup. This gang is pretty much identical as to size and attitude, which is normal. They do NOT have any particular personality traits or attitudes. Right now, their whole focus is growing up DOG. They have to learn to get along with each other and all the other dogs around here. They see ME as another really REALLY strange canine but I don't count for much except letting them in and out, keeping the food bowls filled and rubbing their bellies. Puppies don't develop into pets until they ARE pets. Once they move in with you, they will put their minds to learning how to get along with you.

Dogs are not born "Lassie"... or, I guess, "Eddie" is more current. They learn it from their humans.


Word to the Wise        Sep. 26, 2013

Fall is upon us and by what my dogs are telling me, not only is Winter close behind but it is going to be a rough one. Coats are coming in very heavy AND the consumption of dog food has almost doubled in the last couple weeks. Not good! After the cooler (and much rainier) than normal summer, I guess we have to expect an unusual winter as well. But I don't have to embrace it, even if Winter is my most favorite season of the year.

The Six
It was bound to happen... the pups have learned to bark at each other and to join in the community howls. Last week their barking was an occasional yip which seemed to surprise the yipper as much as the rest of the litter. Then they got control of their growling and learned to use it appropriately and seemed to forget about barking. But the last two days have been pretty noisy. The new will wear off soon and they will go back to being quiet... which seems to be their nature. Clooney is not a barker, even outside, and it looks like she's passed that on to the kids.

More "big" dog pix
Carrie sent me photos of her Maggie/Alex guy, Boru, playing in the lake with his best pal and roommate, Murphy

Wrong Again!        Sep. 24, 2013

I swear the pups get up in the middle of the night, sneak into the tv room and get on the computer so they can read the blog! This morning, first light, they were all running... that's right, I said running ... in the pen AND I saw two different pups JUMP on their mom!. Now, these weren't leaps through the air, all 4 (8) feet off the ground at the same time, but they WERE jumps... front ends up, legs outstretched, forceful bounces into Clooney. Even though this is her first experience with puppies, she seems less impressed with them than I do. Or maybe it's because it IS her first experience!

Meant to mention yesterday that the three reddish colored pups are all bigger than the three blackish ones. The largest in the litter is one of the red females. A male and female dark pup are tied for smallest. But there really isn't a lot of difference between the six. And it will change many times over the next 8 weeks... over the next year to year and a half, actually, since, like kids, they grow at different rates.

4 Weeks... and Whiny        Sep. 23, 2013

You know that stage... it's been too long for me to remember exactly when it is... when toddlers are too "mature" to need mom all the time but not mature enough to entertain themselves? Well, that's where the Six are right now. They are up on their feet and moving... walking... with ease and confidence and are wrestling while standing and sitting as well as lying down and they're eating a good bit of solid food while nursing whenever they want since Clooney is far from deserting them. But they're... bored. And don't mind letting the whole world know about it. They've discovered the gate to the outside world and the dogs that are around don't frighten them, but they still have a long long road to 12 weeks.

Birthday pix:

The boys:

The girls:

Inside Poop        Sep. 22, 2013

It's probably not a subject you want discussed in three consecutive posts, but speaking of poop...
the pups are all back to normal. Actually, not really normal. They are eating a fair amount of mama's kibble (which is puppy food) and that changes their feces from what they have when just eating mama's milk. Usually, before they get to solid food, I don't see what they are eliminating since moms clean their bottoms religiously. Sometimes, with longer haired pups and/or with first time (or sloppy dams,) the rears are not kept as clean as they should be. I've developed the habit of checking pups' bottoms at least once a day because matted hair can cause blockages which, if not cleaned up, will lead to scalding and even serious infections. Also, if mom's milk is not up to snuff... if there is something going on with HER... the pups can have diarrhea which will also mean sore butts. However, once pups start eating a good amount of solid food, it changes just about everything and not just their actual poop! Moms will often stop cleaning up after their pups which is when MY work really starts with each litter since newspapers have to be changed a couple times a day. At first, the pups will make their deposits anywhere. They just drop their buns and then get back to what they were doing as if nothing had happened. It doesn't bother them to walk through it, sit in it and sleep on it. It doesn't seem to bother moms either. What I see happening after 5-6 weeks is pups eating more and more solid food AND starting to decide where the best place for the bathroom is in the puppy pen. Then they ALL start using the same area. I have no idea how they work this out between them, but it is usually a unanimous decision. Number 1 and number 2 are in one small section of the pen wich leaves the rest for play, dining and snoozing. AND means I have to change newspapers in just one spot. After a week or so with a bathroom, I decrease the area I cover in newspaper and the pups paper train themselves. Easy peasy!

I Miss My Deer        Sep. 20, 2013

But first, the pups. Several had some mushy stool yesterday afternoon, most likely a reaction to their mom's digestive problem the day before, but this morning the newspaper is clean. So it looks like nothing major or frightening is going on.

A number of the babies are aware of me when I am in the pen and crowd around my feet... which is not safe for them or me! They like to be picked up and have their bellies rubbed. When I am outside the pen and lean over to pet one, it backs away quickly. They are not yet mentally mature enough to realize I'm the same belly rubber when they do not initiate the contact. That'll happen gradually over the next week or two.

The deer
As I report some time back, my small herd of deer disappeared into the woods for the late Winter/Spring and I haven't seen much of them. LAST year i got to see the fawns when they were quite young, but this year has been different. Yesterday I went outside, through the gate and got into my car for a trip into town. I took a moment or two to clean the windshiled, then started the car. To my surprise, a doe jumped away about 10-12 feet in front of me. She was in the woods and I hadn't seen her when I came outside. She bounded away... two leaps... then stopped and turned back to watch me drive off. She was alone and I'm thinking, still a youngster... maybe 2 years or even 3. No fawn with her. And the reason I know there wasn't a little one hidden close by is by now this year's babies are big enough to be eating grass and are no longer left hidden while mamas browse.

Over the weekend, I saw some of the girls and their kids as I drove in and out of the woods. The first was when I was coming up the "road" I live on and was a few feet from my driveway. The road is so bad, I have to pay close attention or risk damage to the car, so I didn't see the single doe standing in the road just past my drive. She was probably the matriarch of the whole herd and she had this year's fawn with her, standing right by her side. Already the spots are faded so it is pretty much the same coloring as Mama. They watched me without fright... I swear the deer know which cars go to which driveways... and when I stopped before turning into the drive so I could watch them, Mom finished crossing the road and went into the field to graze. It's nice to be accepted.

The next day, early evening, once again coming up the road, I saw two younger does and one fawn stop in the road to watch me approach. They were further away, maybe 100 feet up the hill. Again the fawn had lost most of its spots. After all of us had watched each other for a while, I drove on toward my drive and the three of them went on across the road, followed closely by a second fawn which had probably frozen in place at the edge of the road where I couldn't see it.

And a week or so ago, when I was leaving, there were two deer standing in the field when my neighbor used to have his garden. These were probably young bucks because they took off... went all the way across the field into the woods... when I approached. The males seem to be flighier than the females.

The difference between this year and the last few years... or why I think I'm not seeing the deer as often... is the lack of humans further up the hill. There are six homesteads on my road... me and the one somewhat across from me, which is empty, then half way up the hill one on each side of the road (the one on my side also empty) and two at the top, again one of them empty. Actually, not only is it empty, but it has been removed. There is a natural gas pipeline going in across the top of the ridge which is going to really disrupt the deer's peace and quiet starting in the spring and since the gas company is using our miserable road to get up and down, the deer will probably retreat much deeper into the woods.

Poor Clooney        Sep. 18, 2013

Bad day for Clooney yesterday. And for me because of it. The stress of three solid weeks of motherhood caught up with her in the form of a severe digestive upset. Unfortunately for me, I didn't catch the warning signs until I had a big BIG mess to clean up. Then it was an all day and into the night of "let dog out, let dog in" around here. By late afternoon, the times between in and back out had lengthened to several hours and she only got me up twice during the night, so I knew I didn't have to take her to the vet first thing this morning. One thing I found interesting is in the afternoon she stopped by the regular (adult) food bowl on her way back to the puppy pen and ate about a cup even though there was a full bowl of puppy food in the pen. She has not eaten any of the puppy food in at least 24 hours... I know because I filled it up yesterday morning and it is stil overflowing... but HAS stopped for adult food every time she is out of the pen. The puppy food is much much higher in both protein and fat content than the adult food. My pregnant and nursing moms are always on the "better quality" (if you believe what the dog food manufacturers proclaim) from about 6 weeks into the pregnancy until the pups are well weaned and moms are spending most of their time away from them. Six is a somewhat smaller litter that what most of my girls have, so it might be too much "quality" for Clooney. The pups are sort of eating it... one or two pieces of kibble at a time. They're also dropping pieces into the water bowl, making a soupy mess a couple times a day. I'm keeping a close eye on their bottoms... Clooney is not making THAT easy... to be sure they don't have a problem like their mom just did. Stools usually loosen up considerably when pups start eating solid food, but there's loose and then there's loose.

Another Week        Sep. 16, 2013

Three weeks old, can you believe it?! The pups have established themselves... without fuss... in their new home. (Once again proving I don't know everything.) I couldn't find a suitable box to use as a nest in the puppy pen, so I just put a folded sheet down in a corner and the Six decided it would work just fine. Convincing Clooney is another story as she seems to think there is something buried under it or it will be more comfortable in a big wad.

Here is how quiet and unintrusive the Six are... they have been on the floor in the pen for two whole days and THIS MORNING the rest of the dogs realized they were no longer in the second tier crate but down at eye... and nose... level. Even Cloo got a kick out of it when they all rushed over to get their first good look at the "newcomers."

The pups are starting to play. They cram the legs, ears, muzzles of other pups into their mouths. And they are wrestling... sort of. One will walk stagger up to another and try to bowl it over, but the pushy pup generally is the one who ends up flat on the ground after tripping on its own feet or underestimating how much control it has over its own head. They'll all get better at it soon. And once they figure out how to walk the full 8 feet across the pen without falling on their noses, they'll pick up the pace and start trotting.

Here are some birthday pix, starting with a nice one of Clooney and the whole gang

Same Ol' Same Ol'        Sep. 13, 2013

Nothing new to report... the pups have learned just about everything they needed to for the first few weeks of their lives. They are even rooting around and playing in Clooney's kibble which, just so you know, is a high quality puppy food. The size of the kibble is small enough for even little breed pups to get in their mouths comfortably and these guys are picking it up and sucking on it as well as scattering it all around for Clooney to clean up. They are also sticking their noses in the water bowl and maybe getting a taste or two before they wander off. Clooney is in that troubling (for her) stage where she's not needed 24 hours a day but doesn't want to be away for any length of time. Yesterday, she was pacing around in her crate so I took her out. Instead of hopping up on the bed to watch tv with me, she kept putting her paws up on the crate and sniffing around. Eventually all six pups were at the edge of the crate, following her from spot to spot. Nobody was making any noise, but all the activity kept distracting me, so I put Clooney back after 10 minutes or so. She lay down and the pups curled up next to her and didn't move for a couple hours. It's the most they've ever exercised!

A trip to the mountains
Nelson (from Maggie and Alex) went on his first vacation. His mom sent pictures of him in his new raincoat and enjoying the scenery.

The First Bark        Sep. 11, 2013

Right on schedule, if maybe a day or so early, I heard my first puppy bark this morning when I opened the crate door to let Clooney out for her first break. Puppy eyes open first and take a couple days to start functioning correctly and ears are right behind (no pun intended.) And the Six are all up on their feet and making some progress with staying there while they move from spot to spot. Not one of them is still crawling. In fact, they are getting around so well I intended to move them to the puppy pen this afternoon. But, alas, no pool. I use blow-up swimming pools to keep pups corralled when they are still learning to get around, mainly so they don't get lost away from everyone else in the big pen. They start climbing up on and falling out of the blown up sides when they are about 3-1/2 weeks old, but by then they can see well enough to find their way back to the others. Late this morning, I took my last new pool out of the plastic wrapper, blew it up and put it in the pen to air out. But when I came back about 45 minutes later, it was going flat. No one has any more... you know how it goes with these computer supplied stores... you buy winter stuff at the end of summer, Christmas stuff around Halloween, and summer stuff before Valentine's Day. And the stores are not resupplied when they run out. So tomorrow I'm going to try to find a big cardboard box for them. And I'll have to listen to them squawking about their new digs for 12 hours or so!

Two Weeks Old        Sep. 9, 2013

Fourteen days... some eyes are open, all are sitting (sort of) and a couple are actually getting up on their feet and trying to walk. (It amounts to a stagger and a fall on their faces, but they'll get it in the next couple days.) The darker male sleeps with his head and upper body in his mom's food bowl but is making no attempt to eat. I guess he likes the smell. The darkest girl likes to sleep behind her mom's back. It worried me because I thought she might find herself squished/smothered underneath but she has a habit of crawling out from under and up and over to the front when Clooney lies down too close. The other four haven't shown me any consistent behaviors, but other than picking them up and telling the male from his three sisters, I couldn't really tell them apart yet anyway.

Here's the 2 weeks birthday litter picture

The two boys

The two darker girls

Okay, those pix were taken AFTER the camera's flash started working... all on it's own... and this one was taken before.
The two "red" girls

There are more... different... shots on the website.

Moving Up        Sep. 7, 2013

The Six are gaining in strength AND coordination. They are sitting up... well, sort of. They are sprawled in a more upright position. And it is making them "tall enough" to sit under their mom when she is standing at her food bowl or just stretching her legs which puts their little mouths close enough to those nipples to grab hold. And they are really good suckers! Now whenever Clooney gets up, the pups hang on and are dragged with her. It's gotten so I have to detach pups from her before I pick her up to put her on the floor. They aren't able to stand yet... and since they aren't on any kind of surface that will give them purchase, that is still several days away. I've got the puppy pen all cleared out and ready for them to move in in about another week. Hard to believe they'll be two weeks old tomorrow night!

Clooney's Plans        Sep. 5, 2013

Apparently, Clooney thinks she is the mama of 6 geniuses. Either that or she's heard about how sore nipples get once puppies get teeth. Yesterday she started taking mouthfuls of her food and spreading them around the nest like she was encouraging... enticing... the pups to eat up. Of course, they are crawling through it and getting their meals in the old fashioned way. Once again, this is a behavior I've never seen in another bitch. Usually, the pups open their eyes, manage to get some sort of control over their limbs and start sticking their noses into Mom's bowl. This happens around 3 weeks of age although I've had some litters who didn't show any interest in solid food until they were around 5 weeks. Eleven days is a might young!

A couple older pups' pix
In response to my post about Clooney... and everyone else... not wanting their pups on bedding, I got this photo of 8 months old, Margo

And this is her brother, Nelson

All's Well        Sep. 3, 2013

The pups have gotten over their sluggishness although they are still quieter than before and they were pretty quiet already so it's close to not having 6 babies or ANY babies around at all. We had a HUGE thunderstorm during the night/early morning, practically non stop booming and rumbling for well over an hour and everyone but me and one of the really small rescues slept through it. I love thunderstorms, especially when there isn't much wind, and this one was off a bit instead of directly overhead... which was a good thing. As loud as it was from a distance, it would have been... thunderous... any closer. Clooney didn't even lift her head.

Judge Joe Brown and parvo
Yesterday afternoon, trying to avoid tennis and golf and baseball, etc., I caught an episode of Judge Joe Brown which was really informative and, for once, got it right. A lot of these televised court shows have judges who are sadly lacking in animal FACTS. Most don't call experts and go strictly by whatever veterinary "evidence" is presented by the litigants. Unfortunately, a lot of vets (like a lot of doctors and anyone else who has a vested interest) back their clients by, let's be nice and call it withholding information. This case involved a young couple who purchased a darling Bulldog/Mastiff cross pup and picked it up from the breeder the day after it turned 8 weeks. The breeder had given the litter the first parvo combo shot at 6 weeks. (This is common practice... both the breeder giving the shots and the 6 weeks. Until about two years ago, I gave shots at 6, 9 and 12 weeks.) The pup was fine the first two days after it got home, but started feeling bad the third day and was taken to the vet the fourth day. The vet's first diagnosis, based on the symptoms of lethargy, vomitting and yellowish diarrhea, was parvo. The first parvo test was negative, but the second, given 4-5 hours later, was positive for parvo. There was never any blood in the pup's stool and it responded well to treatment... which is mainly supportive (iv fluids and rest)... and went home a few days later. The bill was fairly high although I don't recall the amount. The couple believed the pup was sick when they bought it and was suing the breeder, under California law, for the vet bill, having to destroy all the new toys and bedding they had bought for the puppy, fumigating the house and extensive cleaning of the entire property as well as the return of half the pup's price. The breeder claimed the pup was healthy when they picked it up and none of the other pups in the litter had gotten sick... one left his care the same day as the puppy in question and the rest the day before. So Judge Joe called in an expert for his opinion, a vet who apparently makes his living testifying in court and from what he said, it sounds like he testifies for the COURT rather than for either side. (What a great idea!) He explained that the timing was really bad for deciding if the pup had been exposed to parvo at the breeder's house or at the new home since the incubation (non symptomatic) period for parvo is 2-4 days. He cited the original negative parvo test and the lack of blood in the feces and he felt the fact that none of the other pups ever had any smptoms pretty much established the pup was healthy when picked up. He also noted that if the vaccine used was of the normal "modified live" variety (which it was,) it will trigger a positive parvo test. The vet also spoke about the puppy's adjustment period in its new home and how that could cause the symptoms the puppy had. In the end, Judge Joe decided it was too close to place blame and found in favor of the breeder.

I am in totally agreement with the vet and the judge and not just because I'm a breeder. The fact is many vets are supercritical of pups that come from a breeder rather than from a shelter. (And around here at least, if you want a guaranteed SICK animal, get it from the shelter... like refugee camps, all sorts of disease abounds simply because of the situation.) A lot of vets don't keep up on the studies done about various diseases, even devastating ones like parvo, and continue practices from 10-20 years ago. Or even 5 years ago. Some time back, even drug manufacturers stated dogs do not need annual "boosters" for most diseases... including parvo... but most vets still want you in there once a year for shots. They SAY it's so they can check for other problems but in my experience, few ask any questions other than "How are you today?" Vets don't get any money from you if you don't come by the office for a visit.

As I said, about two years ago, maybe it was three, I changed my shot protocol at the suggestion of my vet after she told me about the resurgence of leptospirosis all over the country. Most breeders... and vets... had stopped giving the lepto vaccine because it caused so many reactions. The drug rep told my vet about their new and improved shot and said they had not had any reactions. By the time she told me about it, she had used it at her clinic (where there are 6 vets working non stop 5-1/2 days a week) for 6 months with no reactions. So I use it here. And I've had no reactions (knock on wood!)

The pups get their first shot, a "5-way" parvo combo, at 8 weeks and their second, the 5-way along WITH lepto, at 12 weeks. A third shot, another 5 way parvo combo and lepto, is given at 16 weeks by the pups' new vets. The only "problem" is a lepto booster has to be given every year, at least until the formula is improved again. For my non breeding dogs, I give JUST the lepto every year and the usual parvo combo every 2-3 years. The dogs in my breeding program... males as well as females... get all of them every year.

And before anyone asks about rabies shots, you have to check with your local authorities about the required frequency. Some places are every year, some every three after the initial booster. It is often a LOCAL ordinace rather than a county or state law.

Happy 1 Week B'day!        Sep. 2, 2013

So! One week old! And after a fairly uneventful week, I had an unsettling late afternoon, evening and night. The pups got quiet. Very, VERY quiet. Hours of quiet. Mom in with them, mom outside, mom standing on them... quiet. Even the other dogs were nervous about it. But every time I picked them up, even when I put them down close to but not touching each other, they just went back to sleep. This morning when I put them on the bed to take pictures, they woke up and let me know THEY KNEW they were not where they were supposed to be. What a relief! Screaming puppies. And as soon as I put them back in the crate, all's quiet again.

Guess they're more mature than I am!

The entire litter, a boy on either end, girls in between

The 2 males

The 4 females

The 3 darkest pups (1 male/2 females)

The 3 lightest pups (same make-up)

Almost a Week Old        Sep. 1, 2013

This next week for the pups is going to be just more of the same... eating, sleeping, moving around some to develop strength and coordination. Eyes are still closed as are ears. I'll do "birthday" pix tonight or tomorrow morning. Clooney is leaving them, willingly, for a half hour or more at a time... as long as she is out of earshot. However, when she is in the house, she still wants to be in the nest with them... although she has started moving to the other end of the crate to sleep by herself when the babies are fed and cleaned and asleep. She only stays there a few minutes then that old momma-guilt kicks in and she walks the few steps back to them even if they haven't moved or made a sound. She does sleep on her back a good bit and the pups have learned to crawl up her body to lie on her neck or shoulder. I know I've said it before, but it's worth repeating... Clooney has surprised me more than any dog in a long time with her natural mothering abilities and absolute willingness to be a mom. Until a few weeks ago, she was a real flake... 100 percent puppy in her attitude and energy level. I wonder if Nick Clooney ever shakes his head in amazement at son, George.