Friday, December 31, 2010

Tommy, the Intrepid

Tommy started out at the smallest of the Ocho, but not by much. Now he is one of the biggest pups.

He is "Mr First" - first to double his weight, first to triple his weight, first to open his eyes, and as of this morning, the first to escape the whelping box at 18 days old. 

The whelping box has all of a sudden become very small.  Today's projects include moving to the bigger box, and coming up with a way for Scout to get in and out of the box with the little door closed. 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Don't Mess with the Ocho at Mealtime

Someday the Ocho will do something else to make pictures of besides eating and making puppy piles. 

In the meantime:

Baby Show Frog and Sock Monkey Move in

I pulled out a couple of things that I have been saving for the puppies today.  Baby Show Frog and Sock Monkey  have moved in are visiting.

There's just not enough room for the Ocho, Mom and the Monkey. Monkey will be waiting for them in the dining room turned puppy pen. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Scout and Abby Snuggle

Abby wraps herself around mom's neck:

Then slides around and is Mom's pillow:

Mid-day Snooze

Full of mama's milk, the Ocho nap again.

A Commercial Interruption

Here's something I used in the whelping box that worked really well - a seed-starting mat. It heats to 95 degrees (lower than a heating pad) and stays at that temp.  During the first week and a half, the pups stayed on the side of the box where this mat was under the pad.  A few days ago, I noticed they were moving to the other side of the box, so I turned it off.  After I turned it off, they spread out over the whole box, so it must have been too warm for them.

I learned about this at a puppy seminar I went to.  I found it on Amazon, and in my usual "more is more" mentality, I bought the largest size, big enough for 4 seed flats.  (If you look at pictures I have posted previously, you see the excess mat flap above the pig rail.)  I think the 20 x 20 size is perfect.  I also bought the thermostat, but as it turned out, I just kept it at the 95 degree temp, so really all it provided me was reassurance that it was warm when I could look down at the thermostat on the floor and see the digital readout. 

Also, if you don't have a supply of bed pads (the ones that are used in hospitals and nursing homes) - GET SOME!  They are great for so many uses, but especially for dog bedding.  They are often sold in bundles at dog shows.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Breakfast Scramble

Two weeks old today and scrambling for breakfast:

Also - I saw the the first just barely open little peepers this morning!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Is there a cure?

Saw this on ebay today.  Every once and a while I search on "cardigan corgi" to see what pops up.  There's always something new with Grace, Moira and Scout's 6 month old faces on it  (need a new cutting board?). 

The pups are two weeks old tomorrow already.  They are growing like crazy - no hint of eyes yet.  Scout is taking such good care of them. 

I'm looking forward to one more week off work with them - without the added pressures of dealing with Scout's health, a surrogate mom, getting ready for Christmas, my lack of experience. 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Our pile is twice as big

Merry Christmas! It's actually a white one here - first of my lifetime. Look at this cuteness that I woke up to this morning:

The whelping box is getting more crowded! All have doubled their weight.

Scout spent her first night with them last night and she did great. I took Magic home yesterday. I am so thankful for the help she gave us, and happy that Scout is now able to handle duties on her own.

This morning she is torn between wanting to be with her puppies and wanting to be outside in the snow, which I am vetoing at the moment to her great disappointment.

My brother and his wife and my nephew from Atlanta spent the night with us last night. We had our traditional Christmas Eve snack supper, Christmas movies and trivia games, just with a smaller group than usual. Brother and sis in law are headed up to get Mom this morning.

Hope all of you are enjoying a happy and peaceful day.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Update on the Ocho

Oh my - they are a wild bunch. Scout and Magic both have a little apprehension in their eyes when they go in the whelping box, the little guys catch a whiff of them, and go racing to them. They have both taken to nursing while sitting - they don't even have a chance to lie down before they are attacked from all sides.

Tomorrow the Ocho turns 10 days old, so we will start looking for eye slits to start opening.  Scout goes back to the vet to get her stitches out and to check out her blood chemistry.  She seems like she feels great - hope the numbers tell us the same thing.
I also found time yesterday to make a couple of little girl aprons and get them to the UPS Store early this morning.  I worked from home most of the day today - including the longest three hours of my life listening to a webcast on ethics.  Thank you Enron, Lehman, Worldcom, et al and  Misters Sarbanes and Oxley for making me spend 4 hours of my life every 2 years "learning" ethics.  Arrrrgghh.

Also tomorrow I start whipping the house into shape for the small Christmas onslaught - just a few grown ups this time. I have a goal of getting the pink tree up for at least a little bit of festive decor.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Spencer's Friends come thru for him

Aunts Dina and Ann and the Red Horde read about poor Spencer's plight as the odd man out in this house and sent him a care package.

It was filled with all kinds of manly delights - a cheeseburger, a pizza, fried chicken (actually chicken shaped treats) and bully sticks.

Spence sends his love and thanks back to Virginia.

(Thanks also from the hooman - that was so sweet. I had been slipping him treats when the girls were getting their extra meals, and I had just hit the bottom of the treat jar this morning!)

Snuggling 2 x 2

Just walked in and found the pups paired off:

Lauri and Abby

Joanie and David

Nicholas and Mary

Susan and Tommy

Monday, December 20, 2010

Attacking Mom on 1 Week Birthday

Monday's Puppy Pile

I just love puppy piles.  From the left:  Nicholas, David, Abby and Lauri.

That's Mary in the middle. I like this because it shows off her "whale blaze."

What a difference a week makes. This time last week we were still trying to rouse Scout from anesthesia, it was 14 degrees out and the roads were icy. Right now, Scout is out in sunshine barking at walkers while her 8 puppies are in a milk coma, 3 of them weighing over a pound, the rest just slightly under. And I feel much better too!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday this and that

Scout did not appreciate my last post, and now wants everyone to know that she is Super-Mom. Mommy mode kicked in big time - I can't keep her away from them. Physically, she seems to be handling it well. We will get another blood panel done this week to make sure.

Cute puppy pile - from left: Abby, David, Lauri, Cindy, and Joanna.

The red boy, Nicholas.  His sable markings on his shoulders are getting darker each day,   He has a little offset kiss spot on his head.  Abby is the red girl behind him.  Scout has matching poodle cuts on both front legs.
Lined up at the dairy bar.
David.  He and Susan are the first to start getting black on their noses.

Friday, December 17, 2010

It's never easy being Spencer

But it's especially hard when there are two lactating bitches and eight squirmy little critters living in the house.  He is just not used to being at the bottom of such a tall totem pole. 

He really does not understand why the girls are eating like Queens every time they turn around and he only gets a couple of measly bowls of kibble a day.

And he does not want anything to do with those little squirmy things.  He took a peek in at the sleeping puppies, and when he saw his first puppy jerk, he jumped back, tucked his tail and headed out of the room.

And speaking of Queens, HRH Scout is acting like one.  She gives Spencer the what-for anytime he gets a little too close to her food bowl, or for that matter, anything else she deems is hers.  She is only nursing the pups a couple of times a day per doctor's orders, and while she seems to like being with them, and cleans and nuzzles them, she is easily distracted (i.e., when Spencer barks at neighbor dog).  She just does not have that obsessive compulsion to be with her puppies that Magic has.  So - here's another way she is like royalty - she can spend some time with her kids, but she has her own wet nurse to handle the heavy lifting.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Susan and Joanie

Being snugglers.  This shows off Susan's interesting markings and her heart tattoo on her hip.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Litter Theme Time

It seems that there are two things everyone wants to know: (1) How are Scout and the pups, and (2) What is your litter theme going to be?

Answer to (1) - they are doing great! 

Answer to (2) - not sure yet.  But I was thinking tonight that maybe we should honor the girl who came in and saved the day:


I think there's lots of possibilities with this theme:
  • Practical Magic
  • Spellbound
  • Put a Spell on You
  • Izzy Wizzy Let's Get Busy
So friends, put your thinking caps on for us.  Can you come up with any magical names for us?

Day 3

We are getting into a rhythm around here.  Scout is back - the effects of Monday seem to have finally worn off.  She has been running in the front yard, jumping up on the sofa, eating like a logger.  She gave me a bit of scare yesterday evening - she had a long nursing time with the pups yesterday, and afterwards, she slept for hours, and then seemed very droopy .  Her gums were light and something in her face just bothered me.  I looked at the clock and it was 8:30 - our vet is open until 9:00 - so I called them and told them I was bringing her back in.

They felt like we should run bloodwork again.  Doc came back in and said he had good news and bad news.  Good news:  test results were better than they had been in the morning, including calcium back in the range of normal (Yaaaayyyyy!!!)  Bad news: not sure why she so obviously felt bad - but we are just going to count it as overtaxing her system yesterday with the long nursing session.

Later in the evening she perked up enough to steal and defend Spencer's bone:

This morning she went in with the pups, but I only put 4 of the pups on her.  She had much more interest in the pups today and went right to licking the heck out the butts - (another yyyaaaaaayyyyy!)  The instinct and willingness is there - we've just got to get her body back in shape.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day Two

Scout went back to doc today to check blood chemistry.  Everything is back in normal range except calcium, so Magic's still got her gig as wet nurse.  Scout is much brighter today and has good appetite and is getting all the food she wants.  She will go in with the pups a couple of times today, and we'll work on strengthening her up so that she can do more later.

Yesterday she let the pups nurse, but otherwise had no interaction with them.  Today she began to bond a bit with them I hope, and even licked a few butts.   Puppies are strong and acrobatic.  All lost a little weight from yesterday as expected.

Spencer is getting a little tired of all the action around here having absolutely nothing to do with him.

Here's a serving of cute topped off with a dollop of sweet:

Monday, December 13, 2010

All present and accounted for

When things were at their bleakest this morning, I started looking for a possible surrogate for Scout.  Cheryl has a bitch with 7 week old puppies and she still had milk.  Cheryl was headed this way on her way to Atlanta, so she brought Magic with her (along with Laura to help me tonight).  The doc decided that it was best for the pups to nurse on Magic since she was available, and Scout's calcium is still low.  So we put the pups on Scout for just a bit when we first got home, and Magic has been the wet-nurse since. 

Scout is still weak but improving, and while Magic as on her dinner break, Scout went in and hopped in the box with her pups.  I'm thankful for the help Magic is giving us, but I hope we put her out of work soon.

I titled the last post "Eight is Enough," and while Laura and I were at dinner, I asked, weren't there three boys and five girls in that family?  We googled, and sure enough, there were.  So for now, the pups are known as Mary, Abby, Joanie, Susan, Laurie, David, Tommy and Nicholas.  If you would like to meet them, click on the "Puppies" tab above - where I have posted individual pics and stats.

Here are some other pics:

8 is Enough!

Scout had an emergency c-section this morning and delivered 8 healthy pups, all came out of the operating room screaming and wiggling. I shot a few shaky pics with my phone:

Five girls, three boys.  Five brindles, three reds.  Two of the reds are girls.
Puppies started nursing while Scout was still zonked, here showing the Yardican yard long tongue in all its glory.

Vet just called and said Scout is up and eating and drinking.  He wants to run another blood chemistry before she comes home.  Looking forward to getting the family home.

What else?  Oh yeah - what went wrong:  low calcium.  I had just re-read all the puppy books Friday at a boring accounting seminar, and luckily I had read and remembered the symptoms.  We went to the Emergency Vet at 4:30 am, then to our vet later for the surgery.  I'll write more later, with a special message to all fellow first time breeders.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's been a long day's night

 Scout likes this picture - it cleverly disguises her current state.
Unlike this one.

We have had a tough few days.  For a couple of days, the puppies were arranged so that there was no comfy position for her.  She could not lie down more than a few seconds.  She would sit and lay her head on the side of the whelping box when she got so tired that she couldn't stand anymore.  I tried rolling her to her back and gently rubbing her tummy, but she could only stand it for minute or two before she would have to get up.

She had been getting picky about food, so Friday night I got her some canned Merrick's, which she loves.  She ate it, but shortly after threw it up.  Saturday morning she only ate a little, but by Saturday afternoon, the puppies had shifted down and back enough that she could lie down more comfortably.

Saturday night thing got interesting - she started throwing up again, first the little food she still had in her, then water and bile.  Then she had some diarrhhea.  She was shallowly panting and wandering around the house and just generally freaking me out.

I started calling my phone list.  One said she's probably in pre-labor - get ready for puppies, one says no, it's too soon.  But the best one was good friend Laura who said sit tight, and she jumped in her car at 11:00 on a rainy windy night and drove over that mountain and came sat with me.

We all finally got to sleep and today is a better day.  Scout still doesn't care much about food, but has a little nibble every once in a while.  She has much brighter eyes and perky ears.  She has even felt good enough to patrol the fenceline and bark at those outside.  She's got an appointment with the vet at 7:30 in the morning for xrays to count the pups, and I'm relieved that will give us a chance for the vet to give her the once over. 

We're spending the rest of the day watching snow flurries.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Puppy Shower in a Box!

The Scouchas scored big today!  Their Grandma Penni showered us with all kinds of puppy toys and goodies for the hooman too.  Thank you Penni!

(I notice that there are two pink wubbas and one blue wubba.  You think Grandma Penni is hoping for girls??)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Your Monday Chuckle

If you need a laugh, check out the It's Me Buddy blog for classic cardi behavior when Cardi Claus comes to visit.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Getting Ready

Friday morning, Scout pestered me to let her go out the bedroom door onto the deck and to the backyard.  A few minutes later, I began hearing a "Timmy has fallen down the well" type bark from her.  Spencer came running in from the living room and let himself out the back door as well. (Thank goodness he doesn't have thumbs - nothing would be safe.)

I got dressed and went out to investigate.  I looked out over the backyard and didn't see her anywhere.  My backyard is pretty steep, so I went down one deck level - still didn't see her, but I heard something scratching around under me.  When I started down the steps to the backyard, Scout's head popped out between the steps.  With the help of gravity, she had managed to shimmy between the steps to the ground below under the deck.  (This is something she has always done - she likes to go under there.  She had her own woman cave thing ** going on down there I guess.)

She gave me the saddest look ever - there was no way she could hoist herself back up and through the steps.  I had to pull the lattice work away from the deck so that she could get out.

Now I don't know if she was just going down there for fun or if she had plans to den down there or what.  I decided I had better get the whelping box put together and out for her to investigate.  I've got to convince her this is a much better place to have her puppies.

Kate Robertson made the box for me. In the upper right corner of the picture, you see another part of it. When the puppies are bigger, I will add on the other section, which is about 4 feet long, for puppy play area. The part of the box you see here will become the litter box after the pig rails come out. 

In other preparations, I have been working on my website and incorporating my blog into it.  I am doing this on the cheap and easy - using blogger for all the pages.  You may have noticed the tabs above to the other pages (all still under construction).  I have decided to use Mockingbird Cardigans as my kennel name - since Scout will be the foundation of what breeding I do (assuming I survive this one and ever think of doing it again), I chose a name tied back to her name.  If you are not familiar, Scout's registered name is GCH Cardiridge Jean Louise Finch - Jean Louise Finch is the young girl who is the narrator of To Kill a Mockingbird, but everyone knew her as "Scout."

You can still reach this blog the same way as ever, or you can go directly to the home page at  I am also working on having a webcam up for your puppy watching enjoyment, but mostly for me to able to check up on things when I am not here.  I hope she makes it two more weeks and then I will be off work until the new year. 

** Speaking of woman caves, I have not forgotten to post pictures of my finished cave - just haven't gotten around to taking pictures.  I love it and the family gave it good reviews at Thanksgiving.  My only complaint is that everytime I decide to go down and enjoy a movie on the big screen, I usually fall right asleep. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

How many Scouchas are in there?

Here she is today - I'm guessing she will whelp between 12/17 and 12/22.  Enter your expert opinion (or scientific wild-ass guess) in the poll to the right! 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Just what I needed on a rainy travel day!

An unscheduled Cardi Claus visit!

Thanks to Laura M and Cooper! I stopped at the post office on my way to the airport this morning to pick up a parcel that the letter carrier didn't want to leave in the rain. And what to wondering eyes should appear! Two cute ornaments including a playful red cardi (who is much more svelte than the one living with me now!!)