Saturday, December 19, 2009

Update on me and my dogs

You would think it would be easier to not breed a dog, but it isn’t. Raina is on a break right now, but is also in heat. I realized it was happening a couple of weeks ago when Gus started using his “hey baby” tail wag. If you saw that wag you would know exactly what I mean. The “boys” Gus and Moose have been barking their desire for a week and a half. I am not sleeping well.

Raina has reached her fertile days during the heat cycle. When they get to that point the females are aggressive about seeking a male. I can’t let her out without supervision even in the fenced yard. Yesterday Raina was humping my new 11-week old puppy. Today while Raina was at the groomer, the puppy was being humped by Gus. Now that Raina is home, Reggie who is an elderly, spayed female is humping Raina. This drive to procreate seems almost desperate. I am glad I am not a dog.

Beanie Baby is my new Yorkie puppy. She is a character. She sticks to my ankles like she is fastened there with Velcro. I originally tried to have her sleep in the puppy room but she screeched all night. I tried it for 4 nights. On the 5th night I put her in the crate next to Gus hoping the company would calm her. She screamed even louder! Now she sleeps in a dog bed on the floor of my bedroom, quietly and all night. I got one good night of sleep then Gus started howling his desire to mate. Oh well, my life would be very boring if it weren’t for these dogs.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Raina's September 2009 puppies

I should have done something for the new puppies. I plead floods since a lot of the area around me was devastated by flooding. I was very lucky and there is only a small amount of damage to my driveway from flooding. It’s amazing to see how high the water got. I applied to FEMA to see if they will help with the repair. It rained last night and more of the driveway washed away. I have my fingers crossed.

The pups are so fat and healthy. I just love picking them up. None of them has a nickname yet since all they do is sleep and eat. Only one of them has fallen out of the bed, but I think that was really Raina’s fault. They were nursing and she jumped up to come after me. The last puppy still attached held on until it was free of the bed. I don’t remember which it was or a nickname may come out of that incident.

I scared myself the Saturday after the pups were born. I weighed them to check their progress and it appeared that they had all lost weight! I almost called the vet right then. I did some checking on the Internet and of course everything said to get them to the vet immediately. I just kept thinking that there wasn’t anything wrong. They were eating. Raina was nursing them on demand. Their behavior was appropriate. Later in the day it suddenly occurred to me that they had been wrapped in wash cloths when I weighed them the day they were born. I didn’t use wash cloths on Saturday. DUH! By the way there are 2 boys and 1 girl. Green and blue are boys and the yellow is the female. This time there aren't any big differences in size. They have been about the same size since birth.

The next milestone will be their opening their eyes. It should be happening any day now. The female has been exercising her front legs already. Serious walking work won’t start until they are 3 weeks old. They do remind me of human babies. It’s just that things happen at a more accelerated rate. I begin offering softened puppy food at 4 weeks because that is when you can feel their teeth about to come in. Raina will probably keep nursing them regularly until 6 weeks and then sporadically until the age of 9 weeks. By then I have them eating dry puppy food, but why not get milk when they can? It is instinctive for the mother to offer milk even though the puppies have teeth. I knew Raina was pregnant when she was only 3 weeks along. There was still some of Wookie’s last litter of puppies here. They were about 11 weeks old but Raina’s still let them try to nurse and she washed their faces and bottoms as if they were her puppies. I wish I would have the video camera that day because the pups were almost as big as Raina. She had to stand and they would lie on their backs. It was a shame she didn’t even have milk at that point.

Friday, September 4, 2009

John Stamoose

The first time I saw Moose he was orange in color from the Georgia clay. His hair was one big mat. My daughter-in-law and I had gone to see a female Maltese and they said they had a male they would let us adopt as well. After one look at him, there was no question he was coming home with us.

Moose is healthy now and a dirty white. He is very good about being brushed as long as it doesn’t pull. The dog has the worst overbite I have ever seen on a dog. “He could eat corn through a picket fence”. It doesn’t affect his eating, but he does have a different method.

We did get the pair of dogs to breed. After trying twice we decided that Miss Squirrel was infertile and set about finding her a wonderful home. She is now pampered and really loving life. Moose misses her a little. He spends a lot of the day outside and Squirrel was usually with him. Wookie plays very well with Moose, but she is in heat right now and on a puppy break.

I love to play with Moose. He is a little shy, but very enthusiastic. He loves to tussle after a toy. Fetch is not his strong suit. The other day I carried him around like a baby for a long time. He seemed so happy and not tense at all. You can tell Moose is in his crate when you are in the basement. He bounces around in that crate so much that he moves it. If there weren’t other crates in the room, I think he would make a full circuit. He just does not seem to get tired. I try to keep newspaper in front of his crate. I think Moose lets go of a little urine when he is excited. There always seems to be a spray pattern of pee in front of his crate. I think we should called him Tigger. He is bouncy, trouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun. And he is most certainly the only one.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Busy thoughts on a rainy day

It’s raining today and I think it is the first rain that Bear has experienced. He is standing at the door watching Gus go out in the wet. Bear had his trip outside earlier and I don’t think he is ready to get wet again. I guess all of the dogs want to stay in out of the rain. Moose and Reggie are in the dog room. Wookie is in the puppy room and the others are loose with me. Gus and Moose are barking at each other and I may go mad before the day is over. I was going to scrub the floors today. I guess that plan is shot. Maybe the rain will be a good excuse for me to read today. I need to get into the room with Wookie. She took her morning dump and it is very fragrant.

Last night I could feel Raina’s puppies. They are just undefined, quiet bumps in her belly right now. They are due September 18. By then they will be a squirming mass. I love to feel the little heads and feet as they exercise their legs. Raina will get a rest after this litter. She is a good mother and deserves this break. She will turn 4 next March. I am considering retiring her from breeding by her 5th birthday. I just can’t imagine how anyone can have a dog produce puppies 2 or 3 times a year for years. I guess to them the dog is simply an asset and the puppies are inventory. Raina is my baby. She will be with me her entire life. When I retire her, she will be spayed and still sleep in my bed. Her babies are so precious to me. I am with Raina through her labor and delivery. I stand by to help if necessary. I take notes and record the times of the births. I try to weigh the puppies on my postage scale. It’s a little difficult with them still being wet and slippery. I fret over them being able to nurse and making sure they are warm. I put little colored neckbands on them so I can tell them apart. Yorkie puppies all look alike! The puppies grow so fast at first that I have to check the neckbands daily to see if they are too small and need to be replaced. I don’t leave the house for 2 weeks when I have a new litter of puppies. They cannot maintain their own body temperature until then. If there are trips to the vet during that time, mother and puppies all go. The Yorkies are easier to carry than a Shih Tzu mother and litter. I worry about the babies and can’t sleep well. I wake when a baby falls out of the bed and the mother needs help getting it back in. The washing machine runs 2 to 3 times a day with puppy beds and towels. I did this much laundry when my own son was a baby.

A woman on Twitter treated me as if I were some sort of criminal and blocked me. I don’t care that she blocked me that is her prerogative. I was upset by the way that she characterized me. I do not run a puppymill. I have rescued dogs like Squirrel and Moose. Squirrel never did get pregnant. She did not go to a shelter or get dumped out of the car somewhere. She has a new home with a family member who will love her and dote on her. I am careful about the people who buy puppies. I really want someone who has had dogs or has dogs now. That way I know they how to treat a pet. If this is their first dog, I want them doing research and asking tons of questions. We placed a Cocker Spaniel with a family that had never had a dog. The mother sat here for 2 ½ hours asking questions and taking notes. I know this dog is safe and well loved.

Maybe the rain is affecting my shunt and making me introspective. Time to get busy, I still have to clean up after Wookie.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Cutest Dog Competition

This is one of Raina's Twitter pals. She is a beautiful Maltese and we want her to win!
Vote for my DogSponsored by All American Pet Brands makers of premium dog food.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Flirtacious Miss Raina

It is Yorkie mating time at my house and I am so sick of it. Females are not receptive to mating when they first come into heat. Once they are ready they signal the males and all hell breaks loose. At least they haven’t mated on my bed this time. Males are ready to mate all of the time, but especially now. Gus displays his frustration by letting out this constant shrill bark. I feel like my hearing is suffering. Moose is also in “lust” right now and is barking. At least his voice is lower than Gus’, but he howls too. After a day of Gus’ “yarking” at Raina and Moose scratching at the back door, I put them to bed and retire to my room. I take Raina with me, but the boys still vocalize their yearning. Sometimes they decide to compete with each other and bark ferociously at each other from the safety of their crates. It’s hard to believe that those two used to play together. Since the first stirring of testosterone in their systems, they have to be kept apart or someone’s ass is going to get kicked. I am just too soft-hearted to let them injure each other.

Raina does not help things either. She will play coy and fetching with Moose just as quickly as she will with Gus. Monogamy does not exist among dogs. I had to pin Moose to the floor with my grabber tool the other day. I forgot Raina was not gated into the living room and let Moose in to be fed. As soon as I saw them sniffing each other, I went after Moose. Fortunately he is a little skinny dog and the grabber fit around his neck long enough for me to grab him with my hands and put him in his crate. He may have had nightmares about that grabber coming at him.

At least I know that all of this will mean little Yorkie babies coming in September. Raina is acting pregnant already. Two weeks ago if Wookie’s puppies were loose, Raina didn’t want anything to do with them. She would nip at them and growl. A few days ago that all changed. Now she washes them like they were her puppies and even lets them attempt to nurse. It’s a good thing it doesn’t bother Wookie. She is done nursing them anyway. I saw her on the couch staying out of their reach a little while ago. I don’t blame her, those little teeth are sharp.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Miss Wookiee-licious

Her name was not Wookie originally, it was Ewok. Her face looks exactly like the little Ewok that finds Princess Leia. It was a perfect name, but she would not answer to it. She likes Wookie. We have noticed that some dogs prefer names with a long E sound at the end. Maybe it is pleasing to the canine ear.

Wookie was just a baby when she arrived in my home. I didn’t get to know her then. She was my daughter-in-law’s dog. Wookie even worked as a demo dog at PetSmart for a while. Some of the folks there still remember her and ask about her when I go into the store.

I really got to know Wookie when she was pregnant with her first litter. I moved her into my bedroom with me. She decided that also meant that she slept on the bed. It was OK with me but she is a bed hog. She would wake me during the night and tell me it was play time. Maybe on her schedule it was but it wasn’t on mine.

I was a little worried about Wookie becoming a mother. Truthfully I did not think she was the brightest dog. That’s fine; sometimes a so-called dumb dog is the best pet. If you have read “Marley & Me” then you know what I mean. Wookie fooled me. She just likes being outside, so I just had not gotten to know her. She was and is the best mother. She has also turned out to be the best companion. She asks to sit in my lap rather than just appearing there like Gus. She is not demanding of attention but enjoys every moment of it that she gets. The only thing she and I disagree about is grooming. It is hard to brush a dog that is chewing on the hand holding the brush! So periodically she gets very extreme haircuts. Her topknot is very unruly. I try to keep it banded so that it does not fall in her eyes, but she rubs her head on things to remove the band.

Wookie’s favorite thing is eating. If we didn’t control her diet, she would look like a blimp. She also has a fondness for eating dog droppings. Yuck! Sometimes she and I race to clean up. Unless the dog that left the droppings behind has parasites, it isn’t harmful. Some dogs just have a taste for poop. She is also one of my best cleaners of accidental food spills. She has to compete with Reggie for those.