2003 Puppy Photos

Last Updated: 12/14/03



Well, at 3 am this morning I was awakened by the cries of Runt in labor. After a few hours of a fairly painful labor, I saw her start to squat and raise her tail.... I took a look only to find a little foot coming out and then disappear... after another 15 minutes, the little tiny foot came back out with an even smaller tiny little tail.... that was the hold up, I guess.... I think it's easier if they come out head first (but I didn't want to pull on it for fear that I might hurt the little one) but after a few more minutes the other little foot came out and then I guess the log jam cleared, because it came right out into my hand. If you have never seen it before, I have to admit the miracle of puppy birth is more like seeing that big ork in The Lord of The Rings come out of that slime, than the pretty little fuzzy pup that you see 6 hours later:) I'll spare the gory details but it is a pretty wild thing to watch the mother clean it up (and a little nauseating)... but then she picked it up, climbed under her box and there was an immediate visible relief to her pain.

Once I was sure she wasn't going to eat it, and was taking good care of it, I went inside and got a pot of coffee going. By the time I came out, 5 minutes later, there were 3 more, so I guess that first one was the one stopping traffic. Runt seemed fine and curled tightly around her puppies. She would lick at them and then rest her head and her eyes would close, so I sat there at dawn drinking coffee looking at the new additions to the kennel, relieved that all went as planned and all seemed fine... except the father, of course, who was dead.... hehheeheh....ok .... the truth is that was ok because the father, Charlie Champaine's 'Bruce' had been dead for years... it was an artificial insemination from a world champion sled dog that was born back in '77, so he wasn't supposed to be here anyway, but I thought I would add to the drama:)

...So I went back to bed and got a few more hours of sleep. I took this picture a few hours ago. Right now everybody is clean and dry and actually look much cuter, but that's what they looked like at about 9 am this morning. But the story doesn't end there.... her sister, Ginger, my main race leader, is in the pen beside her and was impregnated the same day, and both she and Runt were due on the 28th, so I expect to see 1-3 more (hopefully) in the next few hours, instead of the middle of the night tonight, but hey, I'll be happy to see my new little friends whenever they show up. I’ll let you know how that goes.


Well, still no Ginger puppies.... right before I went to bed last night I went to check on her.... I thought she was acting a little strange so I got out my little chair, like I did with Runt, and sat down to wait..... and wait....and wait. Finally I couldn't do it anymore so I went and got my sleeping bag and came back out and slept on and off until the clouds opened up and the rain stormed down on me around 2:30 am. Runt and puppies were safe in her box, and Ginger went into hers, so I packed up and went in the house too. But this morning, still nothing.... so I guess they really want to make a grand entrance but after waiting 3 days, I'm not sure if you would still call this 'fashionably late':)

Here is Runt with her new puppies

6/01/03 - Runt's litter (5 males 1 female)


5 days late, and literally 7 hours away from a c-section, Ginger gave birth to 3 jet black puppies at 2:30 am... I named them 'Tuesday', 'Patience', and 'Sleeper'. 'Tuesday' was born on, you guessed it, Tuesday. 'Patience' was the lesson I learned. And 'Sleeper', the last one to come out, had the slowest of the heartbeats (120 when the other two were 140) during the ultrasound yesterday, and the vet thought it might be sleeping.

Talk about cutting it close. This was a dangerous one. X-rays and ultrasounds, and arguing vets and reproductive specialists... some say cut her now, others wanted to wait 12-24 hrs. We got home at 10 pm. I got my sleeping bag out and got a few hours sleep off and on, but Ginger got more and more restless and finally went into full blown labor at about 12:30 am. I knew it was the real deal, so I put the bag away and put my insulated Carharts on, and sat and pet her for 2 hours. When she had the first one, Runt, in the other pen, heard it crying and mistook it for her own, causing even more late night pandemonium.

The puppies came 20 minutes apart. Ginger was relaxed after the first one and didn't even realize when the second one came out at first, until I showed it to her. Then, I'm embarrassed to say, I got crazy hungry and snuck away for a late night bowl of spaghetti between number 2 and 3....heehheeh... no idea why... all of a sudden I was famished. I saw it in the fridge and it was all I could think about. I kept checking between my microwave and the puppy box.... and then ate outside. But Ginger was fine and content, no longer in visible pain. She was resting on her side, eyes closed.... plus, there was nothing I could really DO. I just tried to keep her comfortable and make sure she didn't eat the pup along with the placenta.... but by the 3rd one, I wasn't worried anymore. The first one though is always a little scary... the mothers always seem very surprised, and excited, and not sure exactly what just happened, nor what to do next.

On a different note, I guess I just want to talk about overdue dogs in general, just in case anyone ever runs into the same scenario and thinks, 'well, his litter came out ok, I'll think I'll just wait and see' ...Yeah, this second litter was scary. The specialists in Utah, who did the implant, were adamant about an immediate c-section. I just figured out that the vet here (who did the x-ray and ultrasound) had brushed up on 'Dystocia' right before I came and misread the '<' sign for a '>' sign (in another reading) and thought we were still in the acceptable range for heart rates, when in fact they were actually very low, indicating 'fetal stress'. This excerpt is from an article which was written by the vet who actually did the implant:

"If the pregnancy continues past the 66 day range [from the LH peak or progesterone equal to 2.0 ng/ml] daily ultrasound examination can determine the level of fetal stress and indicate the need for intervention. Normal fetal heart rates are between 175-200 per minute, when stressed heart rates will drop. Rates below 150 indicate the need for immediate intervention probably through cesarean section."

...We were around day 70 and 'Sleepy' was at 120 bpm... if we were back in UT, as my cousin reminded me, the puppies might have been named 'Cutter', 'Snippy', and 'Stitches' :) But, as it turned out, we had the puppies without the surgery, and I think all involved were better off for it. We were lucky.

I found this article on gestation very helpful, as well, if you are interested. It was written by a vet for other vets, but I muddled through most of it. I guess the point here is, unlike humans and some other animals, dogs are exceptionally reliable when it comes to gestation periods... if they don't drop within 2 days of their due date, you may have a serious problem. I'm my case, we had absolutely none of the 'bad' symptoms (except the heart rates of the puppies) but I knew what most of them were, and found out about the rest. The other thing is that we were doing all sorts of tests on the females throughout the heat cycle (because we did a surgical implant) so we knew exactly when to extrapolate the due dates. In hindsight, I should have been monitoring their temperatures (at the same time of the day, every day) for the last week of their pregnancies... when females are ready, their temperatures drop below 99 degrees F... if more than 24 hours pass from the drop in temperature until delivery, that is another indication their may be a problem.

Anyway, we all were indeed lucky....but now maybe all of us can get finally some rest. I’m off to bed.

6/04/03 Ginger's Puppies - from left to right: 'Tuesday' (female)...'Sleeper' (male)... and 'Patience' (female)


Runt's Puppies - 1 week old


The only puppy named in her litter so far is 'Monster' (the one I'm holding.)

Ginger's Puppies - 1 week old


Runt's Puppies - 2 weeks old


Ginger's Puppies - 2 weeks old



Runt's Puppies - 3 weeks old

Ginger's Puppies - 3 weeks old


6/24/03 Puppy Update

Well, as you can see, all the puppies are developing nicely. All of them seem quite healthy. In fact, Ginger's puppies are actually much bigger in real life than what they appear in these photos. Not to say that Run'ts puppies are small, because they seem the right size for how old they are, but Ginger's are enormous... they look like the size of small cats with big fat rear ends. Out of those three, Tuesday is the largest, followed by her brother, Sleeper, and then there is Patience. Sleeper's markings are particularly attractive to me. I think he is going to be a beautiful big dog.... I like that black muzzle look.

Their dispositions though, especially Tuesday, are quite different than Runt's pups. They don't particularly like being handled... they cry sometimes and if you put them back down they just try to get back under their box. As a result, I try to handle them as often as I can to get them used to me. I'm sure that they will come around with time. Runt's puppies, however, are very passive. You can pick them up and they just let you, with no attempt at struggling. They just sit and look at you quietly, with no real emotion whatsoever. I have to admit that I secretly like this trait, as they seem more confident. I'm probably reading too much into it, but there definitely is a real difference (beyond size) among the puppies.

Run'ts puppies are starting to venture out into the grass more, their teeth are starting to come in and they are now playing with each other. Ginger's mostly sleep.... life is good:)



Runt's Puppies - 4 weeks old


Today I gave Runt's puppies some EaglePack puppy food (moistened with warm water) after I saw them trying to get into their mother's bowl. I thought that it might take a little while for them to get used to food, but I was completely wrong. As soon as they tasted it, they ate my little handful of wet food as fast as I could dole it out.... so I went back in and got them a little bowl full and let it soak. When I put it down, they all came out from under their box and went to work until it was all gone. Typically, if they were a little older, I would make sure that they had as much as they wanted, but being the first day they ever even tasted food, I didn't want to over do it.

Happy birthday, little ones.... I present you, 'Dog Food' :)

7/2/03 -First Puppy Walk

Ginger's Puppies - 5 weeks old

7/13/03 - The Puppies' first family reunion... Runt's puppies 6 weeks one day old.... Ginger's 5 weeks 4 days. With the help of my little cousins, all puppies are now named.



~ 8 weeks old

~11 weeks old

Aug 24 - First swim


9/5/03 - Monster, the largest of Runt's 6 pups and pick of the litter, is in ICU at Cornell Univ Animal Hospital... his eye got punctured and he may lose it.

We were all playing down at the kennel when Monster came to me holding his eye shut... the 9 pups had been playing on a sand hill so I thought he may have gotten sand in it.... I couldn't see anything so I was concerned but thought it would flush itself out. The next morning (2 days ago) it was worse, so I got an emergency appointment at the vet. Apparently his eye got punctured by something very small, like a thorn or some type of plant matter (because he had a fungal infection on his cornea that clouded his brown eye milky blue.) We started him on anti-inflammatories and antibiotics and tried that for 24hrs.

When I went back yesterday, it had gotten worse which meant a decision had to be made if I wanted to take him to a specialist. I said absolutely. They asked if I could leave straight from their office because their was an Ophthalmologist at Cornell Univ Animal Hospital that could see him immediately... so Monster and I hit the interstate @ 90 mph in the dog truck for a 5 hour drive up to New York (I'm in PA for the summer to see family.) I got him there by about 5:30 pm and the vet was ready for us.

Basically we are looking at (and for) multiple infections in multiple parts of the eye. The outer eye isn't too good but from what I gathered, it all depends on the inner eye.... if that gets infected, its all over, they remove it. If they can get the outer eye under control and everything looks good, I can get him back on Monday or Tuesday.... then weekly checkups for 4 weeks up in NY. It is very possible that the inner eye could slowly get infected and the eye would still have to be removed, say, after 3 weeks even if it started looking better. So essentially we need to get the outer infection under control and then see if they can see if the cornea needs surgery, and if the lens got damaged and needs surgery as well.... that is, if it looks like the inner eye has no infection.

So at this point I still don't really understand what is going on... they wont make any predictions either.... not even give me odds on losing the eye... we take it day by day for 4 weeks in the best case scenario.... if we know anything sooner, it will be because it is bad news.

9/6/03 - Monster Update

“cautiously optimistic” were they keywords I heard on this mornings vmail I got from the vet after getting back from running the big dogs. Yesterday it had gotten worse but she said that was to be expected in that it was either the eye trying to fix itself... or it was in fact actually getting worse... and we wouldn’t know which one until this morning... so today there was some improvement, which means whatever they are doing is working... but they said he should stay with them in intensive care until wed or thursday... which I think is a positive thing.

Apparently it really is *intensive* in the ICU... they are giving him drops every hour, he is getting shots in the tissue around/in the eye so that it slowly leaks out all day into the eye, he is on something like 5 or 6 antibiotics until they get a culture confirmed off a scraping they did the night he got admitted... so it sounds like they are all over it ...and calling me 2x a day with updates, which helps me out some too. I definitely understand why people hold Cornell in such high regard... they seem exceptionally capable.

9/7/03 - Monster Update

this morning's update wasnt much of an update... things appear to be holding steady pretty much. Some of the tissue around the damaged tissue seems a little less inflamed and appears that it might be starting to grow back to replace what is dead, which means we might be over the hump. But still no word on a deep inner eye infection. Results of the culture from their scraping should be in tomorrow which may allow them to focus their efforts.

9/14/03 - Monster Update

well, about 10 days later and close to $2000 lighter, I'm writing to let you all know that my little Monster is back, and while the other pups may make fun of him for wearing his silly little lampshade around his head, none of them have reason to call him 'Cyclops' :) It's not really over yet but it doesn't look like there is an inner eye infection.... in fact they think all the damage was done to the cornea and that will lots of medication and time, he will fully recover.

12/23/03 - Final Update


Ginger's litter: Patience (40lbs), Tuesday (45lbs), and Sleeper (60lbs)


Runt's Litter: Monster (49lbs), Austin (44lbs), Magic (51lbs), Rowdy (42lbs), Vegas (42lbs), and Bella (31lbs)


....to see Runt and Ginger when they themselves were puppies, check out our other Puppy Page on our 2001 litter.


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