Nature Surprises, Company at the Fields, and Rocky Trains..

The puppies will be two weeks old tomorrow and all are well. Riley’s breast infection has resolved, and she is feeling well also. Barb and I are pleased to report that there are no new crises unfolding here, and that is a blessing in itself for a change.

Of the six puppies, one male has always been very little in comparison to his sibs. Mr. Black is his name by his collar. We have been giving him private time with his mom to get extra feeding time.

Because of the size difference, Mr. Black often gets pushed off the nipples by the much larger puppies.

When compared side by side, the difference was somewhat alarming to us even though all the pups have been pretty much gaining weight day by day.

Last night Barb and I were discussing this again, and I had a thought to check the weights of our prior litters at this two week mark. Amazingly the weights of all the prior pups were in the range of Mr. Black and not the larger ones. Good heavens, that means we have some very large puppies growing here. The other five are each a pound plus heavier than the average puppy at this time of life. We are doing nothing different. They feed when they want off Riley and I don’t think she has supersized milk flowing. So.. the answer must be in Riley’s genetics. She has always been a plus sized dog. Our breeder co owners have nicely said a number of times that she was probably being overfed and a little heavier than she should be. We exercise the dogs all the same and they get the same ration of food. We have always thought she was just big boned, and we may now have the evidence to prove that by her offspring. Especially since our last three litters have used champion Mulder as the father. We have no idea if this will translate into bigger dogs when adults, but I would have to guess they will probably follow in their mother’s path. In fact, look closely at the rolls of skin on the leg of this larger pup.

There is plenty of extra skin to allow the pup to grow to its adulthood size. So here we have been fretting since birth over this “growth restricted” Mr. Black, and instead it turns out his sibs are just goliaths!! Another surprise by mother nature to add to our breeding experiences.

As far as “The List” goes, there has been no change. We have been giving this family who might be away for spring vacation until tomorrow to respond to our inquiries. If there is no reply, then we will move on to find a home for the last two pups. I appreciate the fact that our friends, neighbors, and patients have been extremely nice and not hammered us with the thoughts about their place in line. As you can see, we treat everyone fairly, even folks we do not know. As I was telling someone this week, the unpredictability of this business has given me a better appreciation for farmers and fishermen who do not know until the last part of their season, if their hard work and invested time and money will result in a return that allows them to survive to try again the next year. We will survive despite the financial loss this litter has been for us, but in planning out our future efforts, I am starting to think about a change to a “non profit foundation” for our Golden Retriever work.

The pups are just starting to open their eye slits, but they still cannot hear. By the end of this coming week, they should be more aware of their outside world, and the whelping box will start to become a hub of activity. Right now we have no visitors as their mom is very protective, and there is not much interaction with a puppy that only eats, squeaks, and does its business in the space of a foot or two in the box.

Theresa was over to get her puppy fix, and Kristen our daughter came home for the night from Boston.

The puppies get into some very funny contortions while nursing.

They also have the cutest sleeping poses.

It was a beautiful day today, and the dogs and I got to share our walk with our daughter, Kristen.

The sun was bright, the grass a healthy green, and the air delightful. A stick made everyone playful.

Of course, I am sure you can all guess who came up with the stick..

(Answer at the bottom of this post)*

Riley just was happy to be out of the whelping box and watched the goings on from the sidelines.

Rocky’s training for his sojourn in Italy continues. First there are the daily martial arts classes to be sure he can hold his own in those wild dog parks over there..

With his golden boy looks, I am sure those dark haired Italian beauties will be giving him plenty of attention.

Next he is learning to read and write. In my office today he was right in my face perusing my charts and paperwork. After all, Florence used to be the center of literature and culture civilizations ago.

Of course, we are still working on his other bad habits. There I was today  getting another garden bed doubly fenced in to keep him out, when I looked over and found him inside the fencing, digging up my weedblock.

I see more of his backside than his face as he always has his nose investigating one thing or another.

I was cleaning the ivy away from the pool wiring and he started digging next to me. Before I could interrupt him, he had his treasure, an old tennis ball and low voltage light fixture.. Sheesh.

All this energy after running a few miles on the soccer fields. His older  housemates are all pooped, I wonder where his energy comes from?

Is this because he is still a puppy, or a male which we have never had, or a little of both? Finally two hours later he stretched out on the kitchen floor.

All in all a very nice weekend here. To top it off, I get to move back into our bedroom tonight, and let Riley deal with the puppy squeaks on her own from now on.

*(Answer: Rocky)