Mesa is doing a great job with the pups, but some days 14 can be a bit much. Today we decided to assist with the bathing. The puppies are pottying on their own and when we have them separated in two groups Mesa can’t get to some for clean up maintenance. So, Hannah, Stephanie and I bathed the whole brood. They were very good and only a couple fussed a little when they were getting their clean Velcro collars put on.
Below was the reaction by nearly every single puppy.
Well, Mesa’s impatient brood had her in a pickle last night. We had to put a little taller entrance into the pen due to the puppies pig piling and making a near breech. This made it a bit awkward for Mesa to get in and situated without stepping on her puppies. She was just too slow and they mobbed her, poor girl couldn’t figure out how to get situated.
“Katherine Johnson” was struggling with her bottle feeding when the nipple got plugged from the yogurt in the formula. We had been planning on introducing the litter to the bowl later in the day, but this was a good first opportunity for us. With Hannah’s assistance, Katherine caught on quickly.
We were encouraged by several more experienced breeders to use The Leerburg puppy formula https://leerburg.com/bottlefeeding.htm over The Puppy Culture recipe. We have been blessed to find a local goat farm that we are bartering our homegrown pastured raised broiler chickens for raw goat milk. We use whole milk yogurt, raw egg yolks, Karo Syrup and the raw goat milk, the puppies love it! I’ve been wanting the stainless puppy feeding pans, but I felt they were quite large for such young pups. Providentially, I was at Menard’s the other night while the girls were in town for youth group and I found these smaller feeding pans; https://www.menards.com/main/pet-wildlife/pet-food-bowls-food-storage-mats/van-ness-slow-feeder-stainless-pet-dish/sssf1/p-1567060215626-c-8330.htm The two smaller pans cost less than one large one and have the rubber rim to help hold it in place. Honestly, the stainless is plenty heavy and should last for a long time to come….,with care; not if we run them over with the tractor! We use the regular Leerburg stainless dog bowls, but tractor abuse is not covered under warranty.
We were so successful with Katherine we decided to give the whole litter a chance during outside time.
Well, what a successful mess! We were glad to feed them outside, but as much as I had hoped with the smaller bowls the puppies still were a sticky milk covered mess. So, a bedding switch while the puppies were out, then a sponge bath before they were settled.
The weather has been absolutely delightful. Very cool nights with warm sunny afternoons. So, after a busy, fun filled weekend and a exhausting day trip, I needed some grounding time. What better opportunity to take twelve busy sweet bumpkins for their first exposure to the great outdoors.
Quickly, we found the stress a bit much, and helped the pups back to the familiarity of the blanket. All this could not be done without the help of the girls! Hannah and Stephanie were off screen and Cat is a wonderful assistant.
Well, then the hard part came, for a good 45 minutes we talked and cuddled puppies in the sunshine. Cedar came by a couple of times and tried to mother the puppies, but Mesa has no tolerance for her right now. After her banishment she begrudgingly gave Mesa the safety bubble she demands and we all settled in for some deep relaxation. Even Sarah and Cara were able to join us when they got home from work for the day.
On Friday, 9/11/2020, Ravine gave birth to her second litter of puppies. She started at 6:43A.M. and kept going slow and steady until 8:11 P.M. when her 13th pup was born. Copying Mesa with 10 females and 3 males. One of her smaller female pups was born with meconium staining, and must have aspirated some. She did well until midway through the night when she started fading. So, we have 9 females and 3 males for an even dozen. All the pups and Ravine are doing very well, gaining weight, and she is being an excellent mom so far.
We chose “The Faces of America” as a hopeful reminder of what makes the United States “us”. Our nation is truly a melting pot to rejoice. People of every kingdom, tribe, and nation coming together with all the their diversity of gifts, talents, and work ethic, all to better each of our life’s circumstances. This is who we are, fallen people who sin and stand upright. One nation under God with liberty and justice for ALL. May we all love our neighbor’s as ourselves.
I sit here contemplating what to say and where to begin. My first thought is prayer and thanksgiving. We have been very blessed to have such a beautiful litter. Although our trials are real, there is so much going on in our country and the world as a whole. Before I begin I want to pray for all of those affected by the massive fires in the west. The devastation and loss is inconceivable as I sit in my safe home untouched by the horrors. May hearts turn toward the Lord. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God. Psalm20:7
This post is going to be incomplete today. Our computer crashed and is presently at the repair shop. Apparently, the hard drive passed inspection, but something is not allowing the computer to access it. Our prayer is that tomorrow the troubles are reparable and we will get to enjoy the 1,000’s of photos of our family and farm from the last seven years. Additionally, there will be no individual pictures, names and biographies of each pup as promised.
As promised we are chronicling our Puppy Culture journey. Considering the number of pups, their birth weight’s, the supplementation and the days of stress as we awaited Mesa’s milk to come, we have postponed ENS Early Neurological Stimulation. The pups all had successful nail trims today which should provide Mesa a little more comfort while nursing. The puppies should have doubled their birth weight by today, none have quite made it. We will continue to weigh daily as a part of Puppy Culture and to make sure no one falls behind.
We wait another day, expectantly wondering when the blessed event will occur. Ravine skipped breakfast this morning, fried eggs in bacon grease, I thought it was a good sign her confinement would soon end…,nope, not today. Have a good night and feel free to remember a safe delivery plea in your prayers.
Enjoy the video and pictures below. If you listen carefully you will hear Stephanie call one of the puppies by name. When the pups are seven days old we will reveal our theme for this litter and the name assigned to each pup. Of course, we do not require people to keep these names, but it personalizes each pup for the time they are with us.
Sorry for the squirmy pictures, but I’ve been receiving a lot of pressure to post individual pictures. We want to remind people that we don’t sell puppies strictly by looks in a picture. Our most important objective is to match puppy and owner, weighing temperament/drive first then the decorations; size, color, tail length. We do everything we can to match these qualities to prospective owners and try wherever possible to give a choice of several puppies. We want our puppy families happy for the entire life of their future dog.
Starting at 1:00 a.m. on Saturday September 3, 2020 Mesa gave birth to her first puppy. By 8:00 a.m. she was the slightly overwhelmed mama of 13 puppies. Until the last two puppies, the total was 10 to 1 in favor of the girls. One little girl was half the size of her average litter mate. As expected one fourth of the pups were tri-colored and the others are all sable and white.
Early on it was quite apparent our tiny warrior was going to need a little extra help. She was vigorous, but without putting part of the litter in a warming box alongside, she could not get to the milk bar. Little Miss Mighty had a great suck reflex and was determined to make it in this world. We wanted to help her along and began supplementing her with some stored colostrum we had for emergencies in the freezer. She quickly learned to suck on a colostrum filled makeup sponge. Before noon of her second day, she was doing great and had regained her lost birth weight. Just after I left working near the puppies, Mesa came to me in the kitchen. I followed her back to the puppies in the next room and immediately saw that our special little girl was no longer with us. We all felt grieved, but are trusting that God’s will is best.
Saturday was very physically challenging. Much of the family had gone up to meet our older sons, daughter-in-law and grandchildren for a canoe trip on the Wisconsin river. Cat and I kept rotating puppies, trying to help Mesa relax and encouraging puppies to eat the stored colostrum while waiting for Mesa’s milk to come in. Friends came alongside to bring needed supplies and help with the puppies care. It became apparent by evening that we had to make formula with the raw goat milk and begin bottle feeding. A few of the puppies were becoming dehydrated. Bottle feeding was time consuming as we tried to learn together. Some puppies were more cooperative than others and actually began gobbling their formula.
By 11 p.m. Cat, her friends and I had the puppies settled in, and off to bed they went. By the time I finished the last cleanup I only had an hour before I had to begin again. Since my proficiency lacked; by the time I fed the last pup, took Mesa out for a potty break, cleaned up the bottles and supplies, it was time to start all over. Finally, I thought I was going to get back to bed when the weather became threatening. Thankfully, Cat climbed out of bed and we scrambled to care for the rest of the animals on the farm. Lo and behold, by the time we finished it was time to bottle feed, again! After some success, off to bed I finally went for a short nap.
Church time was spent feeding puppies while streaming our service. By this time more puppies were refusing the bottle. Thank you Lord, Mesa’s milk was truly in. Cat and her friends went to town and not terribly later, the family was back at home. Life suddenly was calm. The puppies were full and Mesa felt settled with her people back.
We have not supplemented at all today, hoping Mesa establishes a good milk supply. Our early evening weighing of the pups showed gains for all. A couple of the smaller ones need a few of their more aggressive siblings to take a break so, they’re resting in a basket under the heat lamp.