Tuesday, August 28, 2007

More Puppy Prepping

Last night once we both got home from work, we began prepping the kitchen area for whelping. Normally we are earlier in this, but we have something of a conflict with Monkee's pups that remain here (Buster, Wulf and Faina). It has been way too hot (and humid) for them to live outside 24/7 in the puppy pen! We have been trying to acclimatize them with longer and longer periods out in the yard when we are home - and they had gobs of outdoor time this past weekend - but there's just no way they are ready to be out all day. We finally settled on moving Buster and Wulf (BIG boys) to the ex-en in the dog room with some of the Silken girls who are in for various reasons (Ginger, Trouble, and Kandi). Faina (with QiQi) moved into Duri's old crate in the dog room after she was ensconced in her new area in the kitchen. Here's hoping they don't make too much of a mess today while we are at work! The boys have actually been lifting their legs since 10 weeks of age (my - are they going to be handfuls once they're grown!) - so I am hoping they don't somehow manage to pee on Moose since his crate is next to them. He needs to be ready for his trip to Colorado for the specialty on Labor Day!

Duri also got her "maternity cut" last night. I took the clippers (with a 1" guide on the blade) to her "britches" and belly and tail so the newborn pups wouldn't get tangled in her coat. We also started taking her temperature since with so many on board, I wonder if she may actually go into labor this weekend as opposed to the 6th (which is 63 days from the breeding). I showed Victor how to read the old mercury thermometer so he can monitor her while I make my brief trip to Colorado.

To brighten the day, here's a picture of little Faina jumping through the high grass. She's such a cute little girl - but looks like she will be hell on toys. Hopefully that bodes well for her future playing running games.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Preparing for the Invasion

My oh my - we are going to be invaded in early September! Duri went to the vet today to have an x-ray taken to count puppies so that we can be better informed as to what to expect to arrive! We knew she was getting bigger and bigger - but to actually see it in black and white (pun intended!) was certainly a rush. We have count of definitely 9, probably 10. Prior to this, my larget litter was Nikki's first, back in 1995, when she delivered 9 pups (one of which we lost a few days later). So we have got a job ahead of us!

Of course I will be super pleased to have pups from her, this having been our 4th attempt to get pups from her. It's great to know that she will make a contribution to our plans here, providing more Nikki grandchildren (and Nigel great-grandchildren)! The next day or so will be spent contacting those folks who have inquired about Duri-pups, some who have waited for a couple of years. I had tentative plans to use a Harry Potter Spells theme for this litter - since, with the difficulty we had - it seems a magickal event!

Friday, August 24, 2007

New Web Site

Well I finally started to make use of another one of the domain names in my library...silkenwindhounds.net. I put up something of an abbreviated site highlighting our Silkens, with pointers to the main Gryffyn's Aeyrie site for further details. It was pretty much an excuse both to try and drive more traffic to the G-A site, and to play with another design.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Fence Me In - Please!

We watched the house behind our property with its "For Sale" sign out front for quite a while. We were a bit worried - as one never knows about new neighbors vs. dogs. The previous neighbor who moved in after a long advertisement was pretty easy-going and seemed to like the dogs - who would occasionally high-tail it out to the shared fenceline and visit at times. Or stare at the stray cat. The dogs who remain outside during the day in various fenced areas of our 2 acre backyard are quite visible - so it would be no great surprise to house hunters that they would have several 4-leggeds as potential neighbors.

Then one day, the realty sign disappeared. Uh-oh - here goes!

Well, while mowing the yard this past weekend, Victor met our new neighbor and reported back that he's a nice fella. He also asked if it would be ok if he used our existing fenceposts (currently set-up with 6-foot "no-climb" wire, to put up a privacy fence against it. Wahoo! I have been wanting to completely fence the yard with wooden stockade for a while now - it already has it along the fencing just beside the road (we are on a corner lot). We just can't budget for it at this time. The dogs are visible from the road along a portion of the back fence - so this is great.

Now if our side neighbor only began to desire a lovely wooden fence as well!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Farewell Wee One

Today's dreary weather (more thunderstorms interspersed throughout the day) seemed absolutely sunny compared to the sight that awaited me when I arrived home from work - our approaching-ancient Brussels Griffon, Heather, had passed away during the day. Heather was a rescue - so perhaps she was actually ancient instead of just approaching it. The more I think about it - the more I wonder if she may have personally known Noah. I had been curious about Brussels since seeing them at shows when I first began exhibiting Borzoi. Their little faces reminded me of the 1950s Wolfman I would catch glimpses of when staying up late at night in my high school years sneaking peeks at forbidden horror movies.

Heather was already an adult when she came to live with me. She used to have a torrid love affair with my male Borzoi Nigel - and he certainly thought she was the bee's knees. It was fascinating, in a train wreck kinda way, to watch them flirt and coo over each other. Heather would circle around his front legs, brushing up against him at times like a cat, her nubby tail going back and forth, and her head turned up towards him, sometimes licking at the air as if to say "C'mon big boy!"

The first signs of her aging were her eyes - clouding up and eventually getting a blueish cast. Then she started to lose a bit of her hearing - then pretty much all of it. A few years ago our vet's diagnosed an inoperable mass in her chest cavity - but she seemed comfortable enough. She had also started to accumulate a bit of fluid in her chest, so Lasix was prescribed. She looked like hell - but she was still truckin' along and cleaned up her dish every night. The senility seemed to set in, and she lost more of her sight, occasionally becoming lost in the yard when out to potty - just 10 feet from the door. But her bowl was always licked clean and she would at times, bark her displeasure at whatever unforgivable sound she may have heard.

Yesterday, the food was untouched. We talked about her options and if it was time to go ahead and assist her passing with a visit to the vet, since she no longer seemed to really be "there". I opted to wait another day...just in case she was having an "off day". But no...she was ready...and she took matters into her own little paws.

I guess we were thankful for the recent storms in that the ground was soft. Victor dug a hole in one of the little landscaped areas and she was laid to rest this evening. Now back with her beloved Nigel.