Quick vid of the bears stirring from their sleep. Turn the sound off, I'm afraid the TV was a bit loud (quiz show, very important for raising clever puppies, ha!). All have nice plump tummies and do love a good scoff. Fiia is the perfect Mum as all my girls have been, I may not have many puppies but as a result the ones I have get lots of attention and milk;-) Rupert is a bit of a loner, always apart from the others and sound asleep - but he's the biggest piggie bear.
Photo of Fiia taken at Crufts 2013 ©Metro Newspaper. This image was syndicated around the world after the show.
It was with some considerable sadness that I learnt last week that Fiia wasn't in whelp.
She was to be scanned whilst on a long holiday with Peppi, whilst her humans were lying on a beach somewhere rather lovely. At the time of going to stay, she hadn't been exhibiting much in the way of symptoms - it was too soon to tell.... The people looking after her had been told that she had been mated, but that it shouldn't affect them or their care of her. Sam the Scan was given the address and details so that she could scan her and was asked to text me the results. I always use Sam as she is very good at counting the whelps (puppies).
If any of you have ever experienced the disappointment of discovering that your bitch isn't actually pregnant after all, you will understand how completely crushing it is. I had pretty much cleared my diary for the summer and had some really excited people waiting for a puppy. I received the text 'no puppies in her' whilst I was walking and afterwards I just plodded around Hankley Common, feeling really dejected. When I got home I began to email everyone to tell them the bad news and I had a drink, a big one. My next litter was already fully booked - there wasn't much I could do to ease their disappointment and some had been waiting since last year :-(
Ellie, Fiia's owner had already told me that both Peppi and Fiia had gained weight whilst on their 'holiday' and that the people with whom they were staying couldn't believe the news, as they'd felt sure she was pregnant as some days she hadn't wanted to walk and had been acting strangely. Yesterday Ellie noticed that Fiia's nipples were enlarged, in fact they had grown significantly since Monday when she first noticed it. She started to wonder what we had both wondered all along but honestly didn't think could be possible ......... She rang the girls' 'holiday home' and asked which bitch had they thought was pregnant? The response ......... PEPPI !!! I text Sam - 'what colour was the Lapphund you scanned?' - the answer....... BROWN !!! Now don't go asking me quite how this complete farce came about, but suffice to say that it had been Peppi exhibiting strange behaviour that had made them think it was her that had been mated *sigh*. It does beggar belief that the wrong bitch was scanned, but there you go, she was. Next we had to rule out a phantom pregnancy - so today Fiia was scanned at the vets who confirmed that yes, she is definitely in whelp, but the pups are now too big to be able to count.
There were several things I realised I wouldn't be able to do if Fiia was in whelp, such as my sponsored parachute jump for Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice and working at The National Funeral Exhibition, where my Company A Giving Tribute are exhibiting. The only silver lining to Fiia not being pregnant after all had been that I would now be able to do all these things. Once I had adjusted my mind to the situation, I had cracked on and organised them and was starting to get excited about the jump and the exhibition instead. Now I'm back to square one and I need to get my head back into puppy mode and cancel the jump and make other arrangements for my stand. Hey ho, it's an wonderful problem to have! Salo is going to be a Daddy after all! The puppies are expected in around two week's time :-D
Always a nerve wracking time. Firstly there's the journey - pups are usually sick. Once, one of my pups (mentioning no names Impi) completely covered herself in poo. Then there's the actual test itself and I always hold my breath until the lovely Jeff Yellowley at Rosemount Vets in West Byfleet tells me all is fine.
Today was even more nerve wracking as Salo was having his eyes tested too. They don't routinely check puppies in Finland, so this was his first eye exam. Talk about being on the edge of my seat!
The first lot of good news was that despite being armed with a kitchen roll, towels, wet wipes and hand wash - not one puppy was sick - in fact I don't think there was even so much as a tiddle. Little darlings. Not so sweet when two of them squawked in the vets for so long and so loudly, that Jeff emerged from his consulting room with four inches of cotton wool hanging out of each ear!!! One puppy hardly made any noise at all and one was totally mute - next week the new owners will be able to work out which one was which ;-)
Peppi came along for the ride and sat next to the crate on the back seat which reassured the pups that all was well. I think she's going to need counselling when these puppies leave, she loves them so much. Hopefully being reunited with her daughter Fiia back at her house will make the transition much easier.
I digress. The second piece of good news, make that fantastic news, was that Salo also passed his eye test. Yay!!! Just hip score to go now. My girls all have below average scores so I'm not nearly so concerned about his hips as I was about his eyes.
It might have taken up the whole of my morning (and Rory's who kindly came along to help me) but it was well worth it to know that I'm waving these lovely little guys off with clear eye certificates :-D
The pups at four weeks, are the heaviest litter I have ever bred, they are all close to 2.5kg in weight - that's the sort of weight you would expect from a 5 week pup. Take a look at the Litter 2012 page to see how much they've grown. Tomorrow I shall take their 4 week photos & update their individual pages.
Tonight we let them run around the bedroom floor, shame I didn't have my I-phone handy to record it as it was hilarious. Their characters are shining out - a couple started exploring straight away and a couple were a little more reserved, tentatively exploring. Within minutes they were charging everywhere, running at us for cuddles and playing with each other. We love them so much. They seem the most affectionate litter so far - is it because they are all boys?....
Now that they've tasted the delights of freedom, they will be trying even harder to escape from the box. They need to be moved downstairs so that they have more room to play - another job for tomorrow.
Visitors start to arrive this week which the puppies will love. They will also get to meet our other dogs, supervised of course. Here is a little video taken yesterday.
On Sunday January 6th, I took Salo and Sisko to Ashford & Faversham C.S Show held in Maidstone Kent as they had Lappy classes scheduled. The judge was Roz Reynolds (Skianou) and Salo did me proud by winning Best Puppy in Breed and going on to win Puppy Group 2. He was a bit naughty though, having his nose glued to the ground practically the whole time! This is common behaviour when there has been lots of dogs (and a previous breed exhibitor had been bled onto the ground following a bite from her dog!) but this was the first time that Salo had played me up in the ring, tut tut ;-) This was his last puppy class except for Crufts on 10th March when he will compete in the Special Puppy Dog Class. Sisko came third out of five in Open, so it was a good day and lovely to catch up with fellow owners/exhibitors.
The pups have changed so much this past week. They are now little dogs who love cuddles and rush up to the side of the box to greet us! They are tucking into real food, are growing teeth, play with toys and bark! Cute doesn't even begin to describe it.
Peppi's owners came for supper one evening to have long awaited cuddles with Peppi and to meet her brood. It was a wonderful evening and very emotional for all concerned (in a good way!) Peppi was very proud to show her pups off and to be reunited with her daughter Fiia from her last litter. Thankfully she was happy to wave them off and return to her babies.
Please check out the following pages which have been updated - Litters 2012 which shows weaning photos and a couple of new videos and the pups individual pages. During the course of the week I have also uploaded new videos to YouTube - check out the TabanyaRuu Channel.
Website updated with puppy worming shots & lovely photos of them at 12 days old taken by my Dad - see puppies individual pages. If you want to see their 2 week weights, click on Litter 2012. I have also added new photos to Puzzle's page and Salo's page.
The puppies pages will be updated later today with recent photos and weights, but in the meantime, here's a photo of Carelle with her favourite puppy and a short video of them after their lunch.
On December 20th, Peppi's four boys arrived - three brown tan and white, one black tan and white, all excellent weights. I had to take Peppi to the emergency vet at midnight as her contractions did not seem to be having much effect and the water bag was presenting but not coming out! Thankfully after an x-ray that confirmed that there was no obstruction and a blood test to check Peppi's calcium levels, a shot of oxytocin was administered which gave her contractions some added impetus. This is the first time I have ever had to seek veterinary advice for a bitch in labour, not something I wish to repeat in a hurry! It was with huge relief that Rascal was delivered by Peppi at the vets and his three brothers later at home. Peppi was amazing, taking care of everything - another first, I didn't have to do a thing other than watch!
Here are some photos of the pups on day four - all of them weigh over half a kilo. There are more photos and videos on the Litter 2012 page. During the course of the next week I shall add each puppy's individual pages.