Monday, 2 February 2009

Birthday Girls…

Today is the birthday of my Jazz & Katie and the rest of the litter. They are 5 today… Goodness how time flies! It seems like only last week that Jade produced 6 beautiful puppies. 4 boys and two girls.

Jade had an easy pregnancy but for the first time, I had her scanned to see how many puppies she might be having. I was told there were at least 7 and possibly 8 in there! So after the 6th pup was born with no sign of another coming, I gave her a little run around the garden, hopefully, to get her started again.

Nothing happened as she settled down to feed the babies. I rang my vet asking him if he could pop out and check her for me. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

He arrived shortly afterwards and told me there weren’t any more puppies waiting to be born. I knew this really but had worried unnecessarily because of the scan.

This was the third Border Collie litter I had bred. Previously, I had bred several German Shepherd litters, so I did have experience. I would never waste the money again for a scan as it cost me, not only the cost of the scan, but the cost of calling my vet out too. If I remember rightly, it was the weekend when prices are always higher!

They were a lovely litter, as the first litter had been. I always enjoy rearing puppies. I never leave them. Jade gave birth in the whelping box erected in what we call the PC room. I used our put-you-up bed beside the box. If I had gone and slept in my bedroom, Jade would have followed me in there when I went to bed! It’s her normal sleeping place.

All went well as I was able to sit at my desktop and get on the internet and keep a close eye on things.

Once I start feeding, Jade looks at me and says: ‘You can look after them now!’ She was so good though. I’d feed them and get them drinking goats milk, but Jade would give them an extra feed when I asked her to. She also tried to do all the cleaning up!

By the time they were eating solid food, I was able to start playing with them. I always keep lots of assorted toys around, all with different textures, for them to get used to. It wasn’t long before I was able to play gentle tuggies with them. They all learnt their names and would come when called.

By this time, I had transferred them into the conservatory which had a wooden floor and two doors that opened out to the patio. The weather was quite mild so they began to use outside to do their business.

I also took them out in the car twice, down to our friends house. They had close relatives to my dogs. Also, as they didn’t run their dogs on common land, on the second visit the pups were allowed out into their garden to explore.

The reason I take my puppies out in my car is to get them used to travelling to help when they go off to their new homes. I also had to visit the Animal Health Trust near Newmarket to have their eyes and hearing tested at 6 weeks, before they left home.

As it turned out, we had a long day down at the AHT, so I was glad they were happy in the car. It seemed that everyone in the area had a litter to be screened!

Eventually, most left home between 7 and 8 weeks. They were all going to experienced BC handlers, so I was happy. But it didn’t stop me crying my eyes out as they left home!

I kept Jazz from the litter, so I still had one, which helped. Our friends had Katie. They lived a half an hours journey away and they visited us a couple of times a week, or we drove down to them.

Charlie, the red and white boy, had picked his owner… Angela. We call her the Vicar of Dibley as she is a vicar and doesn’t live far away.

Having said that, as I write this, she is about to move up to Scotland to do her vicaring in a new parish up there. So I won’t see Charlie much when she leaves at the end of this month. Charlie has found his one love… He does Flyball and loves it.

One of the other puppies was Whizz – Whizzie Wizard – who went to a working home. I am very proud of Whizz. He won his way through all the Obedience classes right through to Class C and has now won that class and has a qualifier. One more and he can work Championship C, the very top class. A win in Champ C means he can go to Crufts and compete in the Championships. I am very proud of Whizz and his lovely owner.

My friend’s wife died three years ago, which is why I have Katie back home with me. She was her baby. Katie is here to stay now. I love her so much. She’s settled in as if she had never left home in the first place. But then, she was here most weeks anyway!

I haven’t seen the other two boys… Pity really. I would to. But they live a long way away.  

Happy Birthday to all my babies… I love you and miss you all.


Penny said...

That was a lovely post, Jane. I could read about your dogs all day.

Pat said...

Jane I loved this. We get so attached don't we? I know I do too. My friend has a Minature Schnauzer (as you know I lost both of mine in 2007) and she is getting ready to breed her and she told me she was going to give me the pick of the litter!!! I really want another Schnauzer but I'm a little afraid I might be looking for the two I lost??? Any suggestions? Take care, Pat