Archive for January, 2007

Starting To Walk and Visitors Come Calling

The energy level in the whelping box has picked up considerably in the past two days. The pups are lurching around on all fours and starting to interact with each other more than just finding a sleepmate to cuddle. But cuddling is still their favorite activity right behind eating. They don’t seem to mind if they are on the bottom of the pile or on the top as long as they can snuggle.

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Barbara changed the collars to the velcro ones now that the puppies necks are large enough to fill them. Here are our three little girls: Miss Yellow, Pink, and Purple.
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Their eyes are open but they don’t yet react to most visual clues. Their hearing won’t be developed for another week, so they get around mostly now with their sense of smell.


The most exciting part of today was meeting some new clients/families who came to look the litter over. The excitement in the children’s eyes was priceless. So were the science questions from the young boy who wondered how the nipples worked. Like a straw in a glass of milk I think I told him. Hah! Our good friend and co-breeder, Donna Talbot also dropped by with her son Trystan. Each of us has a dog from the other’s litter.
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For those readers who came to visit and don’t see your picture here, not to worry. We will get everyone in cyberspace before this adventure finishes. More visitors and adventures tomorrow.

Week Two of Life Ends

At last some signs of growth and change in the whelping box. All the pups have been gaining weight with the two largest boys now over two pounds each. Here is Mr. Red on the scale, who still looks like an out of shape guinea pig.

But today a number of the pups started opening their eyes more than a squint. At the same time they seemed to get more strength in their legs and began to lurch along with their bellies off the ground for the first time. If you enlarge the thumbnail photo of the group, by clicking on it, and look closely at Mr. Red, you can see that his ear canal is starting to open as well. Miss Yellow had her eyes open tonight and gives you a golden paw hello.


Barb and I are just starting to socialize the pups by holding them one a time and have them listen to our idle chatter about each of our day’s events. As you can see in the photo of them in the white box, they are starting to get longer and fill up most of the space now.


I will be on call tomorrow and so no further posts until the weekend. There should be some great changes to share by that time. All the pups now have deposits as of late this evening. We are excited about the folks and families committed to one of our dogs and look forward to meeting everyone we don’t yet know. Stay tuned.

Day 12 of Emma’s Litter

We trimmed the nails of all the pups last night. Let’s see, five claws on each of the front paws, and four claws on each of the back paws, times nine puppies. That’s a lot of nail trimmings! Their eyes are just starting to open a little now, but not enough to see yet.

Sometimes they all try to nurse at once, but yesterday we found them nursing in shifts. Five sleeping and four nursing. Soon after though they were all piled together. Emma doesn’t seem to mind either way.

And every so often a puppy manages to get a little personal cuddle with mom…


NEWS FLASH: Sydney Waller, our mentor, friend, and breeder of goldens for ? almost thirty years now, has generously volunteered to come down from her estate on Naragansett Bay to do the temperment testing at seven weeks of age. Thus no pups will be assigned until after she has done her evaluations. People choosing pups will then have more to go on than just the color of the dog’s coat and collar. I know it’s hard waiting to make your choice, but this is really in everyone’s best interest, including the puppies. That way everyone knows what personality pup they are choosing, and makes unhappy owners and puppies much less likely. We have never had a pup returned (so far), and that is because we are very careful with the matching process.

Golden Retrievers or Water Buffaloes?

What an amazing weather weekend we just had. Ridiculously warm but immensely enjoyable none the less.

In our house, every morning about an hour after the big dogs have eaten, they gather together in the kitchen and look at me with anticipation.


They live in the moment, and are waiting to see if I say “walk” or “work”. If the answer is “walk”, the energy in the kitchen goes into warp drive and they can barely contain themselves until I can get them outside. We head for our usual route at the high school fields just after sunup.

Today, instead of plowing through January drifts of snow blown by the steady winds across the playing fields, they managed to find three or four large puddles left by the overnight rains. Never letting a chance to swim go past, they quickly soaked in the mud one after another.

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The good news is that if you stay outside long enough, the golden’s thick water repellant coat will dry itself, and the mud and dirt just drop off. Thank god or Barbara wouldn’t let us back in the house most days. So the dogs ran around some more and finished their exercise run content and worn out.

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A little towel drying in the garage at home and they are respectably clean again. Emma did great today, though not running as fast as the others, but able to clear her head after the nonstop demands of nursing. I am able to let them run free most mornings, because at this time of day we have the grounds to ourselves. Today, dogs seen: 0, wildlife encountered 0, People seen 1, (jogger).

Still, where is the snow? Goldens are four season dogs, and love the snow almost as much as water.

The Whelping Box World

All the pups are growing and gaining weight on day 10 here in Dogville. These first days kind of blur together because the pups only eat and sleep. Still without eyesight and hearing, they are very limited in what they spend their days doing. Basically just nesting with mom and cuddling each other when they are sated of their fill of milk.

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Riley and Solo continue to play mostly unawares of the life that is growing in the basement. Riley tried to sniff things out, but got an angry Emma in her face that quickly changed her mind this morning. Since there is only six month’s difference in age between Riley and Solo, they are constant companions in fun as well as mischief.

Our Lily, more traditionally colored, doesn’t waste much energy unless she has to. Nine years old and the Favorite Aunt, she has been around a good number of litters now, and really shines when the pups are big enough to play with outside.


The boys are bigger and heavier than the petite girls. Here is a photo of Mr. White, the biggest as of today, and Miss Purple, the smallest. Still when you watch her dig into the puppy pile to find a nipple, there is no doubt about her vitality and will.

Barb piles the pups into the “White Box” to keep them together when she cleans the whelping box every morning. At this point most of the pups’ coloring seems to be a light medium with one or two a shade darker and one or two a shade lighter.

Wait until you see how the box fills and overflows in the next three weeks until they totally outgrow that enclosure. More to come when there is something interesting to share. All the pups got excellent reports at their initial visit with Dr. Feldman.

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