The ups and downs of being a brood bitch holder

March 11, 2014

It’s been a tough couple of weeks. The pups are 4 weeks old tomorrow.

In the last two weeks, I’ve weaned the pups onto solid food which has gone pretty well, apart from 2 pups who refused to eat. Meanwhile, Pepsi decided that if I was feeding them solids, she didn’t need to feed them milk any more so we’ve been negotiating a lot. Which is not easy with a dog who knows her own mind, won’t be persuaded to do anything she doesn’t want to do.

The pups had their first visitors last weekend and they loved it. thanks Nic for bringing your delightful family along. The pups just crawled all over the kids, then fell asleep in their arms, woke up, crawled all over them again and crashed again. They slept through the night that night!

We also got to meet the stud dog’s holders which was lovely especially as they will puppy walk one of the pups, although they don’t know which one yet. It’s so lovely to get to know the puppy walkers because we really are a part of a very large team of people who take these dogs from birth to leading a visually impaired person around in life.

Pepsi has had a viral bug which meant she refused to feed the pups for 3 days. I tried getting her to feed one pup at a time, all together and any number in between but she just would not have it. Yesterday one of the pups was sick 6 times and then lay in a crumpled heap, shaking and crying. I hate it when these things happen because pups can go downhill so quickly or bounce back again. Thankfully this one bounced back so by the time I’d got him to the vets, he was looking brighter.

The others have had slight diarrhoea but nothing serious so hopefully this is a 24 hour thing that will pass.

We’re fully into the hard work now as the pops are on 4 feeds a day and have definitely found full voice!

Meanwhile Gracie seems to be enjoying life – here she is out on a walk whilst staying at my friend Susy;’s house – what a fabulous smile!

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The O litter are two weeks old

February 25, 2014

The O litter are two weeks old tomorrow. Where has that two weeks gone?

I’m now very sleep deprived. The pups get lost in the box overnight and squeal. I usually wait a few minutes to see if they find their way back but they don’t and Pepsi ignores them. So I have to get up and put them back onto Pepsi or the squealing gets worse and worse.

Usually they are big enough after 3-4 days old to find their way back but this lot don’t so I’ve now had 2 weeks of getting up 3-4 times a night and I’m definitely running on empty! The other thing Pepsi has been doing is digging up the newspaper in her bed. This is fairly normal after a litter but she is very vigorous and once again, I wake in the night to hear her digging and the pups squealing as they get thrown around!

This is what the bed looked like a few nights ago – I promise you the pups are in there somewhere!

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I can’t say that tidying this up at 3am was a joy only for Pepsi to repeat the experience 5 mins later.

Here is Pepsi  doing her elegant pose again!!!!

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Hopefully this will start to ease as last night I was only up once in the night because Pepsi wanted to go out for a wee.

Gracie has now gone to stay with my friend Susy and her friends Truffle and Isabel. She was starting to take her responsibility too seriously as the older ex- brood. She loves pups and she’s a worrier, taking on the cares of the whole world.

A few nights last week, Pepsi woke me barking which is unusual because neither of my dogs ever bark. I rushed downstairs and Gracie shot off into the garden whilst Pepsi stayed in the house.

After they had done this for 4 times over a 2 hour period, I eventually told Pepsi to shut up and it seemed to work. I can only think that there was a fox around and Gracie was doing her best to protect the pups!

I know Gracie loves pups but it will be good to keep her moving. She has been in for 2 weeks and never once asked to go for a walk. At nearly 12 years old, she is really fit and active but has a tendency to do nothing if left to her own devices. So keeping her moving is essential.

I miss her so much though as although she is so quiet around the house and can easily be overlooked, she is such a massive presence and a grounding, calming influence on the household.

The pups have put on loads of weight and have more than doubled their original size in two weeks. The biggest pup was 530g at birth and now weighs a whopping 1.5kg!!!! Meanwhile, the smallest pup who didn’t eat for two days caught up again but in the last few days the gap between him and the bigger ones has grown quite big. He is only 870g so after Guide Dogs visit today, they told me to bottle feed him four times a day.

Well that’s not so bad I thought except that the pups all start solid food tomorrow and it was suggested that I bottle feed him at a different time to feeding him solid food. That means I need to bottle feed him 4 times a day and solid feed him 2 times in a day. Meanwhile, Pepsi is already on 5 meals a day. I forget how time consuming this job is!!!!

Here are three of the pups aged 10 days old – just chillin’!!!

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We wormed the pups today and that seemed to go ok. They get wormed at 2 weeks old and 5 weeks old. They also had their claws clipped. They grow so fast each week and are needle sharp. Poor Pepsi has been ripped and scratched and has been very reluctantly feeding the pups the last few days. I’ve had to persuade her to go into the box and feed them. Today I checked her over and discovered that the whole of her stomach is red raw, poor thing. I applied some Hypercal cream and that seems to have calmed it down.

Normally the pups open their eyes and ears when they are 10 days old but this lot are refusing to acknowledge the outside world! I know they can hear because when I sing, they wake up!!! I do enjoy doing that🙂

So it’s still all fairly easy and quiet (for me) but once they start solid food tomorrow, the fun begins, the mess increases, the pups will start recognising me as the hand that feeds them and will bark every time I sneak into the kitchen for a cup of tea!

One of the things I love about the pups at this age is that they are starting to find their bark so I often hear Grrrrr Woof in a high pitched puppy voice and it sounds just like a toy dog that I had when I was about 4 years old! Really makes me laugh.

We can now start to accept a few visitors so let me know if you want to come along and see the pups.

More updates on the fun and games to come next week as we start hand feeding and bottle feeding!

With love
Jude x


The O litter arrive!

February 14, 2014

Pepsi’s 3rd litter arrived on Weds 12th Feb 2014!

They were due on Thurs 13th but last Sat, her temperature dropped below 37 0 C which implies that she is likely to give birth within 24 hours. 36 hours later and she showed no signs so I called guide Dogs and we took her to the vet at 7.30pm on sun night. they scanned her and we were able to see at least 5 pups with hearts pumping so we decided to leave her and see what happened next.

Monday morning, her temperature went back up to normal so panic over.

Tues morning, Pepsi’s temperature dropped again indicating that the pups would arrive within 24 hours. She was really restless all day so I was pretty sure that they were imminent.

By 5pm on Tues, Pepsi started pacing up and down. She was clearly uncomfortable. She couldn’t sit down or lie down so she paced for the next 10 hours. I felt dizzy with the constant movement. If I left her side, she cried so I sat in the kitchen watching her pace until 3am Weds morning when the first contractions started. Throughout those 10 hours, she never stopped pacing, whined constantly, asked to go outside, instantly wanted to come back in, did laps round the kitchen and repeated the process until I thought I was going to go insane.

Pepsi hours before the pups were born, looking really fed up!

Pepsi looking fed up

Finally at 3am on Weds morning, she began whelping. She took an hour of contractions to have the first pup (normally takes 20-30 mins max) so I really thought we were in for a long night.

The first pup was born at 04:15am Weds morning. She then proceeded to pop them out at a fairly steady rate until the final and 9th puppy was born at 09:00am.

She had 5 black pups and 4 yellow and they are all really healthy and good weights ranging from 430g to 530g. She was mated with a golden retriever called Sellers.

So now the fun begins. After being up all night during the whelping, I was up 4 times the following night during the night as the pups got lost in the whelping box. Pepsi is an ok mum. She does the bare minimum and expects me to wait on her and pups hand and foot, which of course I do.

Throughout the night, the pups sometimes get lost in the box so they squeal. Pepsi just ignores them so I usually have to get up, put the pup back onto Pepsi and go back to bed. I’m doing that 3-4 times a night at the moment and probably will do for the next week until the pups get a bit stronger and find their way back. Hard to believe I’ve had no sleep – must be the reflection off my pink jumper!

One of Pepsi's pups

More photos to come but this is the pups 1 day old:

Pepsi chillin'

 

Check out my Facebook page for videos of the pups too.

With love
Jude x


Fizz comes back to us and leaves again

February 3, 2014

My last blog update was in Sept 2012 when the F litter left us.

Imagine my delight when Guide Dogs rang me to say that Fizz had been accepted as a brood bitch and did we want to take her. Of course I said yes as I’ve always wanted to have one of Pepsi’s daughters.

In Sept 2013, Fizz came to us and whilst she is sweet and adorable, she has been a challenge to learn to live with. Her obedience is outstanding and she’s really easy out and about. In the house however, she whined almost constantly for attention and barked whenever I was on the phone. It wasn’t ideal since I work from home most days. I spent a lot of time working with her, taking her through the Kennel club bronze and silver obedience which she passed easily, trying to keep her occupied so that she wasn’t bored.

It’s such a big shift for them to come from being puppwalked where they are on the go a lot and regularly go to new places to being a family pet who has pups once a year. Gradually, she was learning to adjust to life as a brood bitch with her two walks a day and her visit to see my horses (on the lead as she chased them!)

10 days ago, she came into season so she went back to Guide Dog kennels which is the general rule for Guide Dog broods so that they don’t get mated accidentally.

Imagine my shock when I received a phone call last Fri from my supervisor telling me that she has medical issues that prevent her from breeding although she is fit and well to work as a Guide Dog. So she has been withdrawn from the breeding program which means that she won’t come back to us. I’m so gutted because I’d worked so hard to help her adjust to us and vice versa.

We have to wait until she finishes her season and then she will be assessed for training as a working Guide Dog. Guide Dogs are confident that she will be out through the training so it looks as though Fizz will now be a working Guide dog. From a head place, I actually think she’ll be happier as she really does love to work and do new things. I can’t help but feel gutted i my heart that we won’t see her again after we were learning to love her so much.

Still, this is the job I signed up for. It’s a roller coaster of emotions from start to finish!

Now I shall concentrate on Pepsi as she is about to have her next litter.

Jude x


We send the F litter on their way

September 19, 2012

Well the last two weeks have been crazy and almost a blur.

The pups left us yesterday and I’m sad to say that yes, it is a huge relief. My back, legs and arms are aching so much that I feel as though I’ve been hit by a bus when I get up in the morning. It’s all the bending over, cleaning up soiled newspapers, putting clean ones down and repeating the process continuously throughout the day that does it. Oh and lifting pups who now weigh about 4kg each. Their final weight on leaving us is done in kennels so I don’t know exactly what they weigh yet but they put on a lot of weight in the last week.

In the last two weeks, the pups have been out in the garden to eat their 1pm and 5pm meals. Breakfast continued to be inside because there were too many slugs around and dogs can get lungworm from them. The 9pm feed was also inside because it was so dark and again too many slugs. The pups have loved being outside but they seem very clingy towards me.

Guide dog puppies feeding at 4 weeks

We didn’t have as many visitors this year and I usually find that lots of visitors build the confidence of the pups. Normally I feed the pups outside and then leave them to play whilst I clear up the mess in the kitchen, clean their bowls and prepare their next meal. This time, every time I left the pups, they would scamper back into the kitchen and cry. As soon as I joined them again, they were happy to play. This has made life more challenging because it means I still have the cleaning up to do after they have gone to sleep. Still, they are confident enough I think.

Also in the last two weeks, Pepsi decided to regurgitate her food for the pups every meal which meant that I could no longer leave her alone with them for even a split second. As soon as I saw her licking her lips around them, I had to get her moving and remove her from their pen.

As a result, she gave them less milk and the good news is that her milk dried up almost completely in the last week so at least she won’t have mastitis now the pups have gone. One less thing to worry about.

Instead, she did throw up a couple times in the last week and then all the pups scrambled for it. the end result was that the last four days the puppies started to get fussy about their food, wanting it to be body temperature instead of room temperature and wanting Pepsi’s food instead of their own!

Feeding time

Consequently the last 4 or 5 days have been hard work at feeding times because the pups wouldn’t eat so well and kept wandering off. I had to keep bringing them back to their individual bowls to make sure they all had the right amount of food. This is not easy when 7 pups move all at once and they weigh about 4kg each. No wonder my back is sore!

On Saturday, Pepsi was sick (not for the puppies) and refused to eat (very serious for Pepsi to not eat!) so I separated her all day from the pups and starved her for the rest of the day which is hard when she is so hungry and used to 4 meals a day. The pups didn’t seem to miss her but she missed them and kept whining to go in with them. Thankfully she was ok again by Sunday.

On Sunday, Folly threw up. I’ve never seen a puppy be sick before so I was slightly worried and monitored her closely but she ate her next meal without any trouble.

On Monday, Frankie refused to eat all his meals and for the 9pm feed, all the puppies were really subdued so I was a little worried that maybe they were all sickening for the same thing that Pepsi had. The pups left us Tues morning and Frankie ate a small meal so I hope they are well in kennels and able to go out to their new puppy walkers on Thursday.

Today, I am easing back into normality. There is a lot of cleaning to be done. Everything gets disinfected before being put away for next year, including toys, feeding bowls, thermometer, fence panels for the puppy pen in the kitchen and the one in the garden, the whelping box, thermometer. the list is endless. The kitchen floor needs scrubbing because it is covered in newspaper print and the steam cleaner didn’t bring it clean!

Pepsi seems to be missing the pups. She has played with them so much. I think because she wasn’t giving them milk in the last 10 days, she played with them more.

Guide Dog Pups playing

Here’s my summary of this litter:

Fizz – the first born and a feisty little girl. She started off as the ringleader of any trouble and wanted to be cuddled a lot but more recently she has been independent and likes to play on her own with a squeaky toy.

Guide dog puppies Fizz and Folly

Fizz (left) and Folly

Faith – started off as a quiet one but more recently is the ringleader of trouble. She often sits back and watches and works things out before charging in.

Felix – a big chunky boy. Laid back. Gets picked on by all the other puppies but still sleeps through it all! He was the last to get over the back door step as he has short legs and a big chunky body.

Freda – spent a lot of time wanting to be with me. Has a sweet and naughty little face, very much like Pepsi. Has Pepsi’s personality – is a people watcher and then dives in.

Freda

Freda

Folly – loves to play tug of war with Faith. A good eater, often finishing first and needing to be held back from eating the others’ food!

Flash – a yellow boy who loves to pull me round the kitchen by my trousers. He has short legs and often looks as though he is running on his stomach, although they have grown in the last couple of days! I think he was Pepsi’s favourite because she always made straight for him and played with him a lot. It usually involved me stepping in and saying no as Pepsi was often very rough with him. He didn’t seem to mind!

Flash

Flash

Frankie – another yellow boy who often fell asleep first and woke up last. He has Pepsi’s slim build with a sweet gentle face. He played with Flash a lot and they were a good match in size and strength.

Frankie

Frankie

What’s wrong with this picture?

Are there 7 puppies or 8?

In this picture there are seven puppies and a black toy panther! (top left of the picture) I’m not sure how the toy panther got into the pen but it is Pepsi’s favourite toy so I can only think she put it there without me noticing!!!

Pepsi is whining a lot the last couple of days so we’re trying to keep her occupied and I hope to pick up my retired brood bitch Gracie from my parent’s house this weekend so she’ll have company again. It breaks my heart when she whines.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the updates. Once again it’s been hard work and a lot of fun.

With love
Jude


Pepsi and I enter a battle and the pups get fed

September 3, 2012

The pups are now four weeks old. So much has happened in the last week that I hardly know where to begin.

Pepsi with her pups 3 and 1/2 weeks old

Pepsi with her pups 3 and 1/2 weeks old

Pepsi responded well to the antibiotics and her stomach infection cleared up. Thankfully, Felix is now fighting fit (well, not fighting exactly as he is so laid back!!!) and the other pups haven’t caught it thank goodness.

Unfortunately the drama of this last week is that Pepsi has had mastitis on and off since last Tues which resulted in her refusing to feed the pups again. I tried giving her only one or two pups at a time to see if that helped but she just walked away from them and to be honest it took such a long time to make any difference.

So last Weds when her milk was full and I was worried after reading about mastitis in dogs on the internet, I was afraid that she could end up with gangrene and sores that burst open. It might sound melodramatic but I was told today by Guide Dogs that it has happened several times. Not to my dog it won’t.

So I made Pepsi go into the puppy pen 4 times a day and I physically held her whilst she fed the pups. She wriggled a bit but she seemed to accept that I was trying to help. It did make a difference because within 5 mins the pups had drained her milk and the lumps had almost gone. So I continued to do this every day last week. I felt really mean but after a couple of days, Pepsi seemed to realise that it actually eased things.

I also reduced her food which is a disaster for Pepsi as she loves her food and she is quite thin but better a thin dog than one with gangrene and oozing pus I thought.

It seems to have worked because she is now ok again.

Pepsi feeds her pups, 3 weeks old

The pups developed their teeth and they now bite really hard and it HURTS! Pepsi now feeds them standing up but they hang on with their teeth. Today one of the pups must have sunk its teeth in because Pepsi yelped and moved quickly and in doing so, the pup hung on with its teeth and tore her nipple. Guide Dogs supervisor was with me at the time so she said that Pepsi might refuse to feed them at all now and might need hormonal treatment to dry up the milk if she won’t feed the pups.

So tonight, I got her to stand and feed the pups by wrapping my hand round the torn nipple so that the pups couldn’t get to it and she was able to tolerate them for long enough to drain the milk. I can see how painful it is for her because just their sharp claws scraping on my hand was uncomfortable.

Oh the life of a mum!

Other dramas this week include Pepsi throwing up over the pups and me having to clean it up, the pups up and try and stop the pups eating it! Whislt doing all of that, Pepsi ate my breakfast!

Meanwhile, the pups are doing GREAT! They are the cleanest litter of pups we’ve ever had and if one of them poos, they all squeal and muggins here comes running with paper towel to remove it. So hopefully the puppywalkers will have well trained pups!

In the last 2 days, Pepsi has been teaching her pups to play. they have no idea what she’s doing and seem a little scared. For those who don’t know Pepsi, she’s boisterous when playing. She growls a lot and bares her teeth and has been batting the pups with her paw just a little too hard for my liking! I’ve been shouting “Gently” every 2 minutes and she seems to have got the message. Here she is mouthing them gently. I assure you it was gentle even though it doesn’t look it!

The pups went outside yesterday for the first time. It involved much squealing and being very frightened (that was just me!). Today, they went out for breakfast lunch and tea (not supper because that is at 9pm and it’s dark). that said, I have been known to feed pups outside in the dark before with a torch.

The pups have their first meal outside with Pepsi watching

and it all proves too much for Frankie

The pups are now on 4 meals a day so the workload increases for me and Pepsi now only has to feed them 3 times a day for a short period of time. This is the easiest litter of pups I’ve ever had to feed because they all stay with their own bowl. Normally it’s a mad scramble as they all swap bowls and I try to keep them on their own so that I know they are all eating the same amount. Don’t know how long this will last though!

The pups are starting to come when I call them and they recognise that I am the provider of food which means that every time I enter the kitchen, they all wake up and squeal. This evening at 10.30pm, Fizz refused to go to sleep and sat squealing at the top of voice. I picked her up because I knew that if she carried on, they would all wake up. So I did my chores carrying her, emptied the dishwasher, washed the puppy bowls, prepared the food for breakfast (has to be weighed out and soaked overnight) and the whole time, she sat looking at me. Eventually I put her back down and she settled down to sleep. Phew!

I know that the puppy walkers won’t thank me for this because it will make the pups more demanding and they’ll expect to be picked up but to be honest, I have my own sanity at 10.30pm to think of and when one cries, they all usually follow. By the end of the evening, I can stand the noise no more!

I’ve tried taking photos this week but nearly all of them are blurred or instead of their face I get just the end of a tail in the shot because they move so quickly. Here are a few:

“Of course we won’t bite your nose” – Fizz and Faith

A pile of puppies. Honestly, they are no trouble at all

Faith sinks her teeth into Flash’s ear whilst Frankie chews his own leg!

“Erm, ouch!” Faith sinks her teeth into Flash’s top jaw

Dennis our cat came into the garden and jumped into the puppy pen this afternoon. Two of the pups went right up to him. He stood his ground (although he never swipes them) and the pups backed off! Wonder how long that will last!

Dennis tried to entertain the pups a few days ago by bringing in a live mouse and trying to get the pups to play with it. Thankfully they didn’t but it took 2 days and a humane mouse trap to catch it again!

Now the pups are eating well, we can concentrate on socialising them. They’ve had a few visitors already and hopefully some more in the next 2 weeks. Meanwhile, I entertain myself by singing, whistling, wearing different hats.

Yesterday was loud noise day so I spent the day coughing and sneezing as loudly as I could and banging cupboard doors and drawers shut!

I’ve realised that the one thing our pups never experience is shouting as Paul and I never argue so maybe we can have fun with that next weekend!!!

OK, off to get some sleep ready for another day of fun and frolics!


Singing shuts them up and other stories

August 28, 2012

The pups are now 3 weeks and 2 days old. I wonder where the time has gone.

Guide dog pups Flash and Frankie having a scrap!

 

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.

Guide dog brood Pepsi

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!

Guide dog puppy Frankie

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!

With love
Jude x