The pups are now 3 weeks and 2 days old. I wonder where the time has gone.
Frankie (left) and Flash have a scrap!
After Felix getting an infection last Sunday, Pepsi refused to feed the pups again on Thurs and Fri and I entered into a bit of a battle with her. I didn’t like the idea of having to hand rear all 7 so I kept trying to persuade her. She did feed them reluctantly but it was a constant negotiation with her.
On Thurs night Pepsi was sick and on Friday she was definitely not well so I had to take her to the vet. She seemed delighted to be leaving the pups behind when I got out her collar and lead! She was diagnosed with an infection (possibly the same one Felix had) so the vet gave her an anti-sickness injection and an antibiotic injection and 6 days of tablets for her to take.
Thankfully, the anti-sickness injection did the trick and she began eating again, which is so important for producing milk at this stage.
She spent the weekend feeling sorry for herself and we continued to negotiate over how many times a day she should feed the pups. I realise with Pepsi that she very much knows her own mind and does what she wants. It’s really hard to persuade her to do something that she doesn’t want to do.
Pepsi says: “Can we go and do something I want to do now please?”
Life with Gracie as a mum was always so much easier because she was much more compliant. I’m learning to have a lot more patience with Pepsi but it has been hard because I’m the one left stressing when the pups are squealing for food and Pepsi just ignores them!
As a result of the pups being hungry, I’ve continued to have sleepless nights into week 3. Normally by the end of week 2, I start to get more rest. Instead, I’ve been getting up and trying to persuade Pepsi to feed her hungry pups!
The good news is that they have now started their solid food so Pepsi is leaving it to me even more!
On Sunday the pups were exactly 3 weeks old and in honour of this, they took it in turns to try and escape from the whelping box! Fizz (the first born girl) was the most determined although she is also the smallest so she had a slight disadvantage. Anyway, Freda was the first one out. Soon afterwards, they all found their way out. It involved a lot of squealing and climbing for several hours so I think this is good for the pups as they build their back leg muscles up. I certainly noticed today that they are much more confident running about.
Once the pups can climb out of the box, I remove it and we now have them enclosed in the kitchen within 6 puppy fence panels. One of them has a door on it so we can let Pepsi in and out.
The pups are finally getting used to solid food and they all ate really well today.
They are starting to develop their personalities. Fizz is a feisty little girl (first born one often is!) so we’ve nicknamed her Fizzy Pop. Freda is nicknamed Freda the Squealer as she seems to be the most vocal. Felix is the sleepy boy. He’s last to wake up and first to fall asleep. I dont’ know if that was the antibiotics and being unwell but he is still the biggest so he has not missed out on milk!
I’ve lost my heart to Frankie. He’s a sweet little boy who eats well. I always like the good eaters because it makes my life easier!
Frankie, 3 weeks old
Folly and Faith are sweet little girls who also eat well.
We keep telling Flash that he is the saviour of the universe (80’s song for those who don’t know!) so every time I say Hello Flash, Paul and I burst into song! Yes, we certainly do seem to lose our sanity as we lose our sleep!
the pups have been wormed for the last 3 days so that has been another thing to do. Of course it’s a simple job but there are 7 pups to do and I have to make sure I keep track of who I’ve done. On Saturday, I managed to get a pass out of the house and went out for the evening. Paul was horrified to see the list of things he had to do! I’ve now created a list because I have to remember to do so many things throughout the day.
Here is the current timetable:
08:00 – feed Pepsi, feed pups, give Pepsi antibiotics (tablets) and probiotics (paste), clean out puppy pen, mop floor, dry floor, replace newspapers, wash vet bedding, remove puppy toys and wash, give new dish of water (which the pups immediately walk through and spill everywhere and I pretend not to notice!)
11:00 – feed Pepsi, remove soiled newspapers and replace with clean ones
12:00 – worm Pepsi and pups
13:00 – feed pups, clean out puppy pen and replace all newspapers (they are all soiled by this time of day)
14:00 – feed Pepsi
17:00 – feed Pepsi and pups, give Pepsi antibiotics and probiotics, remove soiled newspapers and replace
20:00 – feed Pepsi and take her temperature (due to infection)
21:30 – feed Pepsi, clean out puppy pen for the night, mop floor, dry floor, replace all newspapers, watch the pups wee all over the clean papers, remove them all again and replace them all again (at least once!)
In between these times, I check on my horses and run my own business. No wonder I keep falling asleep every time I sit down anywhere!
At lunchtime today, I let the pups have the run of the kitchen whilst I cleared away the newspapers. Pepsi and I then sat on the floor playing with the pups and they crawled all over us. They are starting to come to me now as they see me as a food provider as well as Pepsi although Pepsi will continue to be feeder of choice!
Meanwhile the cat caught his own dinner (2 mice). I think he realises that we are distracted as we’ve forgotten to feed him for the last 2 days. thankfully he is self-sufficient!
This evening, I discovered that if I sing at the top of my voice when the pups are squealing, they all go quiet! Ha ha, I think I may develop my own vocal chords as I keep bursting into song to keep the pups quiet. I also discovered that whistling shuts them up.
I turned on Classic FM yesterday and that caused them to squeal so I turned it off again quickly. Over the n ext few weeks, we’ll be introducing the pups to a variety of noises. I once discovered that one litter of pups liked all radio statgios except Classic FM so now I alternate on a daily basis so they get used to everything. Much of this to come in the coming days and weeks.
Finally, we are open to visitors now that everyone is well again. Let’s hope this continues now after all the drama of the last week!
Well, if you made it this far, well done you! As for me, I’m off to mop the floor for the last time tonight! Sorry there aren’t many photos. the pups won’t sit still. I need to get my decent camera out with a Sports mode on it!