Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Puppies, Floods & Blog Block

Where to start? I seem to be suffering from writer's blog block. So, should I start with puppies or, the Great Flood of 2010?

Probably puppies right? Okay here they are----

Funny looking puppies, you think? Look eerily familiar? Yes, Tempe, you look especially eerily familiar.

So the word on the pups is--no pups. Yes, it was disappointing to say the least. It seems Ashley really did have a secret---it's called a false pregnancy. So up until about a week before her due date, I was firmly secure in the fact she was going to have pups. So was her breeder.

Then I gave Ashley a bath and further de-haired her.

Hmm... there sure wasn't much dog under that fur. Not much at all. In fact she looked a little thin. But she was very clean.

Boone got a bath too. Actually two baths after he rolled in the dirt immediately following his first bath. He and I were not happy campers. This picture was between his two baths.

Back to Ashley. After a flurry of emails and calls Helen decided to come and see for herself. So Helen came and saw for herself. And it wasn't a good thing. Ashley was not pregnant, unless she was cleverly hiding them in some tiny space in her skinny body. Being basically paranoid and over protective of everything I went ahead and treated Ashley as if she were right up to first due date, second due date and three days after second due date. Which meant she got to stay in her 'gorilla cage' during the night and the day when I wasn't here to watch her like a hawk.

And while Ashley even went so far as to produce milk she did not produce puppies. Now she is slightly depressed (whether from being kicked out of her 'special pen' or because she wants puppies I don't know). Lots of attention, cheese smeared on a rawhide bone and a little competition from Boone is helping. She also got to mother one of the cats last night during the storm and she enjoyed that. I'll be keeping a close eye on her to make sure she doesn't develop any infections or problems of that nature.

As for the gorilla cage? Well, I needed a cat secure area for Ashley to whelp her puppies. An area I would be able to feel comfortable leaving her and the puppies while I went to work. An area that no cat could stick their nosey nose into.

Enter the gorilla cage. All my furniture in my tiny living room was shoved over into the equally tiny 'dining area' and spilled over into the kitchen itself. But this then left me with a nice roomy area for Ashley. Horse panels do cost a bit, but they last forever and I can use them for tons of things. A couple of 16 ft panels cut to size, a couple of used 1 x 2s wired across the top, some chicken wire to enclose the top and ta-da! Almost instant whelping pen. The swimming pool is one of Boone's old ones and would have been the 'whelping box' instead of the cat bed if Ashley had had puppies. Pretty nifty. Even if my house did look like a commercial kennel and I prayed for no visitors for the next 8-12 weeks!

Here is the pen. It really didn't need to be that tall, but I didn't want to cut the panels up any more than necessary. I will say the cats have gotten their money's worth out of the whole non-event. Such fun they've had. I expect they are going to be crushed when I move it out tomorrow. That is my couch just on this side of the pen. It normally sits against that back wall. I'm thinking of getting a different couch too...but that is another post.

So sadly no puppies for now. I was really hoping to get it done and behind us so Ashley could be spayed and go on with things. This would have been a good time for puppies with the warmer weather. We'll have to try again next heat, and hope the results will be more positive.

And since this post is already long, I'll wait to tell you about the great flood...of Boone grimly perching on his soaking dog bed as the water rose. Water in the front room, water in the back room. Water everywhere....

Things happen when you get eight inches of rain in less than 24 hours after a long terrible dry spell.....


phylliso said...

Poor Ashley.At least she has a really prepared future mom,maybe next time.She does look a little sad,I know you were hoping for things to be over & done & back to normal.I`m still figuring out how far you are from I can perhaps get a pup from her,the cats look really comfy in the pool-bed!phylliso

Vicki Lane said...

What a disappointment for you and Ashley! The cats seem to have taken it in stride though...

Nancy K. said...

I'm so sorry for you! That had to be a huge disappointment.

Poor Boone! Double trauams ~ he doesn't get to be "Uncle Boone" (yet) and his bed got wet...

I think you should let him sleep with you!


Nancy K. said...


Star said...

I'm sorry for Ashley, I really am. I understand broodiness myself. I have had it a lot over the years. Let's hope that the next effort takes better.
I'm sorry to hear you've had a flood. You are going through it lately, aren't you.
Take care.
Blessings, Star

AJ-OAKS said...

Awww, how disappointing for Ashley, you and the breeder. :(
Maybe it just wasn't the right time this time around.
Although those kitties sure do look mighty comfy in the 'whelping box".
Okay, now let's hear about the flood! Is it one of those where it rains it really pours?

Louise said...

Poor Ashley, she really looked like she wanted to be a Mommy. Hopefully, next time will be more successful.

Seema said...

great collection of pics!!!!
it shows variety of dogs, and helpful to choosing them.
Puppies in Georgia

Kathy said...

You are sure allowed some "Blog Block" with everything going on, Tam. Just be sure to give yourself some room. ;)
It's too bad about Ashley. I do hope the next breeding takes and someday the breeder will get her litter. Of course they will be exceptional puppies. After all with cat-snoopervision and Uncle Boone around, how could they not be great puppies?
And most of all - a great human-bean mom like Y-O-U!
Better luck next time, Ashley...