Sunday, November 30, 2008

Misters Lime and Red - Fresh Pictures & Update

Just for fun, here are some pictures of Mr. Lime and Mr. Red taken this weekend. They're now 10 weeks old (can't imagine where those ten weeks went!), and they had their 10-week vet visit with Dr. Wagner on Friday.

Mr. Red is good to go (got his shots and such, looks great, weighs 17+ pounds), and he can be placed with a family any time now (we still haven't found placements for either pup yet -- and only one tentative nibble). Mr. Lime is still having some mild GI sensitivities (he's back on Prescription Diet) and loss of appetite, and is still underweight at 15 pounds, so we can't release him yet anyway. And Dr. Wagner wanted to hold off on Lime's immunizations until he rebounds a bit more.

In any case, gorgeous , smart, snuggly Mr. Red is ready for a new forever home now. And Mr. Lime should be soon enough.

So here they are, looking every bit the puppies they should be!

Don't they look great?!

'Til next time,

Where'd Puppy Tuc Go? (aka: Life Goes On)

I've been through enough crises in life to realize time stops for no one. Sickness, death, injury, job loss, dreaded diagnosis, hospitalization, pain, rejection, relational severance, financial devastation, lost dreams -- you name it, it doesn't matter: when we deal with these things, life plods determinedly on.

Between canines and humans, I feel like we've been in perpetual crisis here for way too long now. The reality is, though we've often felt suspended in our crises bubbles over the past year -- on "pause" if you will -- the mantel clock still chimes and the Earth continues to spin, and we wake up after each crisis feeling a little more left behind.

That's a bit how I felt this weekend when I spent some time with the big canine kids, including little Tucmeister (who, btw, isn't so little anymore). Where'd my big puppies go?

Here's Tuc with Kenya and Pinot. Can you tell who's who in this picture (Pinot's a no-brainer - hehe, even I can't miss that, but what about Tuc and Kenya)?

Tuc is on the right; Kenya is on left. I can tell mostly because of body and tail density -- Kenya has a denser body and true otter tail -- and because I can barely see Tuc's green collar on the right. But I had a hard time figuring it out at first.

Here's Tuc with Kenya while both focus on DH:

And here's the whole gang (farthest back is Kenya, then in the middle l to r it's Tuc, Ridge, and Pinot, and in front is Elsie):

Granted, Tuc still acts like a puppy (I still hide my shoes, and he still raids the pantry if we're not looking). During training his attention isn't quite the same as that of the older dogs (he gets severe bouts of cantous-keepous-buttous-onthe-groundous). He is still a puppy after all. But he's not a little puppy anymore.

When did that happen? He's only six months old! Where'd my little Tuc go?

For that matter, where did my little Pinot go (she's 15 months old now)?

Ah, but despite time's relentless progression, some things never change.

Tuc still loves challenging Pinot in retrieving races (and he's starting to catch her -- but I think sometimes she lets him):

The Herd still loves Daddy Don (that's visiting Baxter in the center, Tuc and Pinot on this side, Kenya and Ridge on the far side, Elsie left):

And they all mind him still (even Baxter, way off to the right with Elsie):

Seven-year-old Ridge is still our Super-Affectionate-Eager-to-Please-Neurotic-Old-Man-Nudge (and sire extraordinaire):

Puppies (even little squirts like Mr. Red) still intimidate Baxter (remember 110-pound Baxter running away from last year's Mr. Blue, now Copper who lives in AZ, when Copper was a whopping six weeks old?):

Pinot, our sweet, gentle, soft-mouthed, focused, speed-queen, is still fastest of the bunch:

Elsie still loves to play like she's a little girl (two litters later)...

and she still loves to lean (ohboyohboyohboyohboy, a butt and back rub!)....

and she still hogs our laps and sofa (we have got to get a bigger couch):

Gorgeous, wiggly-butt, all-has-something-in-her-mouth Kenya still rules the roost when it comes to Tuc and Pinot. She may be an adopted littermate to them, but she's still a littler higher up the food chain. Speaking of food...she's getting a little too chunky for her own good. Me thinketh she'll be goingeth on a dieteth soon. :o) Here's Kenya (profiled) taking the retrieving dummy away from Tuck (facing us on left):

Yes, some things do remain the same, and that's a good thing. We all need constancy in our lives.

But somehow I feel like I've lost the last three months (even the last year) and that time is forever gone.

Guess I'll just have to make the most of the time I have now and from here on, eh?

'Til next time,

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Down to Five

We're down to just FIVE pups here with us now, and all five are now doing well enough to stay in the kennel room. That means I finally have my kitchen back again!!!! Yay!

Mr. Yellow (orange collar) and Miss Pink stay together in one pen (right, below). Mr. Black, Mr. Red, and Mr. Lime are staying together next to the them (on left):

And they're all starting to look and act wonderful and healthy, just like puppies should.

Mr. Yellow (orange collar), is about two days ahead of the other four in his feeding regimen, so he's chunking up again. :o) You can see the difference here.

But in just another 24 hours, the remaining four will start chunking up, too: they're all on straight puppy food now (no more Prescription Diet), and once they're on puppy food, they seem to start rounding out nicely.

Mr. Yellow (orange collar) will be leaving us today (he's going to be called "Rigby" I think).

Mr. Black and Miss Pink will be leaving us tomorrow. Miss Pink's new name is "Koda" and Mr. Black's new name is "Remmi."

So after tomorrow we'll just have Red and Lime (to whom -- both pups -- we've become quite attached).

We've offered Blue's family their choice of Red or Lime, but have yet to hear back from them. And once we know what they want to do, we'll know what we need to do by way of looking for additional homes.

It's finally starting to get a little saner. Yellow and the rest of the gang are on different feeding schedules, but once Yellow leaves this evening, I'll have only one feeding schedule left to deal with.

And no more making meatballs! I've become quite the expert, you know. ;o)

I will say, I'm tired. It didn't help that I had to have an unexpected root canal done yesterday (2.5 hours in the dentist's chair -- but we have great dentists who work hard to make everything pain free!).

But it's a good kind of tired. You know: the kind after you've accomplished something or put in a hard day's work, knowing the effort was worthwhile.

It's just so good to know these pups are making full recoveries and going on to lead happy, healthy, fulfilling, enriching lives with their new humans.

They've already enriched our lives so; I can only imagine what they'll bring to their families in the months and years to come.


'Til next time,

Sunday, November 23, 2008

We're Hungry!

The Fabulous Four (formerly the Three Musketeers plus Lime) are feeling JUST fine.

Here they are as of this morning when they hear the electric can opener (announcing their soon-to-arrive-Prescription Diet meal).

Oh, and my apologies for the lighting (the kitchen pen sits beneath our south-facing bay window, and it was really sunny this morning). I even had to "brighten" these pictures to see the pups well, and now Miss Pink's collar looks orange (but it really is Miss Pink).

Left to right: Red, Lime, Black, Pink

Left to right: Red, Lime, Black, Pink:

Left to Right: Red, Black, Pink, and Lime (who moved down to the end for a better view):

And Red (sitting and howling), Black, Pink, and Lime:

All of them bark, howl, whine, and yip to be fed (oh, music to my ears), which means ALL are doing just fabulously.

In fact, we started sprinkling regular puppy food on this crew's meals this morning, and they're taking to it quite well.

Oh joy! We really are going to get out of this awful virus experience with eight healthy pups! I'm just amazed.

Yes, feeding times have become incredible noisy (and it kills my head when I have a migraine, like I did yesterday -- ewww it was nasty), but after nearly losing these pups, I'm incredibly thankful for the noise.

It really is music to my ears.

'Til next time,

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Update on the Remaining Pups

Mr. White (aka Bones) and Mr Yellow (with the orange collar) are starting to "plump up" again. They're just looking and feeling so much stronger.

As of this morning, they're at about a quarter of a can of Prescription Diet and and a third of a cup of regular dry puppy food (Purina Pro Plan for Puppies, large breed formula) four times daily. Eventually over the rest of the day and tomorrow morning, we'll eliminate the Prescription Diet food all together, and get them to about a 1/2 C of dry food four times daily (or 2/3 C three times daily). And once there for 36 hours with healthy poos, they can go home (maybe even by Monday night -- Tuesday at latest). :o)

Here they are (White in back and Yellow in front) sharing their crate with the Pull-My-Leg horse toy:

And here they are side-by-side (White on left; Yellow on right). Mr. White (Bones) is trying to pull the fleece rug in with them, too:

They're just looking so much healthier. It's amazing what a difference a few days makes.

Same goes for the last four to come home (Pink, Black, Red, and Lime). What a difference already! We kept the Three Musketeers apart from Mr. Lime last evening because Mr. Lime had a little tummy upset yesterday afternoon:

But they're back to two-to-a-pen this morning, since Mr. Lime is acting like a full-fledged, happy-go-lucky, energetic puppy this morning (yay!).

Here are Red and Black this morning:

And here are Pink and Lime this morning:

And here's Mr. Lime giving Aunt Jeanie (DTS) kisses (he's BACK to being our puppy again - yay!):

These four pups are now eating 1/4 can of Prescription Diet each about six times daily. Then we'll move them to a 1/3 C, then a 1/2 C over fewer feedings, and then we'll start adding some dry food and reducing Prescription Diet and see how it goes. If all goes well, Black and Pink might even be able to go home on Wednesday evening (Friday at latest).

After they all go to their new homes over the next few days, we'll still have Lime and Red. Now that Lime appears to be recovering fully, we'll be offering Blue's family the choice of Red or Lime (Lime is much like Blue in many respects, particularly appearance, though Red is just wonderful, too, and seems much like Blue in temperament) or of waiting for one of Kenya's pups next fall (they've already declined our refunding their deposit, which we offered when we called them about Blue). We'll see. But we want to give them first choice before we do anything else about placing Lime or Red with other families.

So that's where we stand (much to our relief): all are back on the solid road of recovery.

'Til next time,

Friday, November 21, 2008

Joy of Joys! Mr. Lime is Barking! :o)

Last night, when I went to bed, I honestly thought Mr. Lime was on his way out again. :o(

But, joy-oh-joys, this morning he's starting to act like a puppy again (finally!).
  • He actually ate breakfast -- ravenously (a first since he came home)!
  • He took a couple big drinks all by himself (another first since coming home)!
  • He passed a full-sized, normal looking tootsie roll poo (yay!) overnight (another first -- he was just passing solid teeny, skinny little droplets yesterday, and that was only twice).
  • He did a full-fledged piddle (as in, he created a whole puddle all by himself)!
  • His tail is UP and wagging (maybe a tad bit slower than the rest, but it's clearly wagging).
  • He's bright-eyed and interested in what's happening in the kitchen (instead of curled up in a ball not even lifting his head like he was yesterday).
Ohboyohboyohboyohboy. Mr. Lime may have finally turned the corner to regular puppyhood!

Here he is, up and about this morning (this is the first we've seen anything even close to this kind of behavior from him since he came home from the veterinary hospital):

Maybe Mr. Lime just needed another day to get his system working again. Maybe he just needed more sleep. Maybe he's just a slow mover (intestinally speaking). I don't know what he needed, but whatever it was, it appears he may just be fine after all.

What a roller coaster.

I think today is going to be a better day after all.


'Til next time,

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Puppy Update: White (Bones) and Yellow

Mr. Yellow (in the orange collar), who will be called "Rigby," and Mr. White (aka Bones) who will be called "Titan," are both doing very, very well, and we fully expect they'll be able to go home with their forever families either Monday or Tuesday (NOTE to Rigby's and Titan's families: we'll be calling you over the weekend).

Here's are Yellow (l) and White (r) in their pen turning to romp after Elsie, who's at the other end.

Both are still incredibly sweet and snuggly, something I was afraid the pups would lose after their awful time of late, but I needn't have worried (the little cuddle bears). And both are romping and playing and eating and doing all the things puppies are supposed to do. They just still look underweight, but we're working on that (slowly).

Here's Mr. White (Bones, aka "Titan") mugging for the camera (handsome boy!):

Here's Mr. Yellow, the sleepy boy:

And here's Mr. White (aka Bones) nudging Momma Elsie:

Yes, we can still see a little rib definition in these two, but they're looking so much better than when they came home Sunday evening (they've been home four days now). They're doing so well, in fact, that we've started transitioning them to their regular food.

And they're as playful (and as snuggly) as ever.

I think they'll miss having Sky and Green in the pen next to them, but we'll make sure the other pups get in there soon enough. Here are the four of them checking out something interesting (who knows what). Green and Sky are farthest away on the other side of the pen wall; Yellow and White (Bones) are on this side of the pen wall:

So all is well when it comes to these two little guys. They're recovering nicely and are still as sweet as ever.

And in just three or four days, they'll be going home for good with their new owners.


But it's still bittersweet.

'Til next time,

Puppy Update: Mr. Lime and the Three Musketeers

Three of the four pups who came home Tuesday are doing fabulously (Miss Pink, Mr. Black, and Mr. Red - top to bottom above -- aka, the Three Musketeers): they're acting like imps (shredding their piddle papers and overturning their water bowls); they're devouring their food; they're barking/whining for attention, wiggling and wagging their tails, humping and barking at each other, romping and playing with each other, and being every bit the happy-go-lucky (albeit, constantly hungry) puppies they should be.

Remember, these guys have only been home from the veterinary hospital for two days (since Tuesday night). And we couldn't be more pleased with their progress. They're now up to a little more than two meatballs every two hours eight times daily.

We're still concerned about Mr. Lime (I'm downright worried; DH is concerned). We're keeping him in a pen by himself adjacent to the Three Musketeers because he just doesn't have the energy to play with the other pups, he barely picks at his food, and he's not drinking much. At least he's peeing and pooing (but only teeny poos and not much pee).

I'll talk to Dr. Wagner again tomorrow about Lime and see where we stand. We just don't know what to think. We assumed (based on the other pups) he'd be acting more puppy-ish by now. But he's not.

Mr. Lime and Mr. Red no longer have homes/families waiting for them (both buyers changed their minds and decided they couldn't take on puppies at this time, one before Parvo and the other after). I don't think we'll have trouble finding a good home for Mr. Red (he's gorgeous, and he's a sweet, smart, athletic boy), but no one has expressed interest yet. And Mr. Lime, if it turns out there's a problem and no one wants him, will always be loved and treasured here (he can find his forever family with us).

I'm still hoping he'll make a full recovery though.

Anyway, here's this gang of four, all as of this afternoon.

Mr. Lime:

The Three Musketeers: Miss Pink (l), Mr. Black (c), and Mr. Red (r):

The Three Musketeers again, from the other side of the kitchen. Their little eyes and heads follow me wherever I go -- kinda like one of those trick paintings! Since this is the reverse side of the other pictures, it's Mr. Red (l and front), Mr. Black (center) and Miss Pink (top):

Yes, they're a little skinny, but they're making great progress! And we're hoping the Three Musketeers will be able to go to their forever homes the day before Thanksgiving (that's the optimistic estimate -- at the latest it should be by a week from now).

Keeping rooting for Mr. Lime. I'm starting to doubt that he's really going to make it.

Thanks bunches,