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.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Weeks Three & Four-Collie Puppies

Four Mostly Sweet Little Puppies

My how time do fly! The puppies are growing by leaps and bounds now. It's been crazy around here, with first one thing and then the other.

Shearing was last Saturday, and I hope to get a post about that up soon. I was pretty sick the weekend/week of shearing and so there were many things that I wasn't able to get done (in preparation). Finally went to the doctor and got medicines to help clear the bronchitis up. Still have some coughing and raspy voice, but feel much, much better. I hadn't been sick like that in a long time. I am rejoicing that shearing was able to be done, with cooperation from the weather and many fine folks helping me out.

The Kitties grimly keep trying to 'cat socialize' the puppies... (Tempe & Verity)

Now...on to the puppies! The third and fourth week there was dramatic changes after the first two weeks of them pretty much just laying around. Once their eyes were opened, they started moving around more, sitting up, and then feeble attempts to play.

Week three found them playing and wobbling all over the whelping box, and discovering their voices. Boy, did they discover their voices! Week four the obstacle of the whelping box was overcome---with the tiny tri-color being the first to shimmy up and over. After one night of two in the box and two out of the box...and mommy going back and forth, and the left behind ones screaming, I decided it was time to 'graduate' them out.

Little Tri Girl

Walls are made to be climbed...Just before the big escape.

The puppies got to stay outside for an hour or so while I removed their box, lay down a tarp, fifty layers (or so) of newspaper, and shredded paper. When I put them back in they were sure the shredded paper was going to eat them alive. It didn't take long though for them to start having fun with the paper. It was a big day for them. Ashley was less than thrilled though, since she had lost her advantage of getting away from them out of the whelping box.


During their fourth week we started outside excursions. While it was pretty scary for them, and they had to learn things like not run off the steps (ouch) it didn't take long for them to start having a blast. Now when I get home at night, me and four little puppies make a mad dash to the door and they spend the evening til dark playing outside. I keep an eye on them and go out and play with them off and on, but mostly they are on their own. Their mommy is out with them, but sometimes she gives them the slip. She is pretty tired of puppies! Ashley stays with them at night and part of the day. The other half of the day she stays outside and she gets to stay out in the house til bedtime.
The best way to learn to eat food is to wear it.

The puppies went on 'solid' food along about the fourth week--at first just a handful of kibble, soaked until it was mush. Now they are eating kibble with a bit of canned food and yogurt twice a day, plus a 'snack' of dry food. I couldn't believe they would be ready for dry food already, but their little teeth are quite sharp and capable! They still nurse off Ashley several times a day, but it's getting briefer and less often.

Learning how to be big puppies.

They are a pretty good little bunch, most of the time. I was very unprepared for the decibel level four puppies could produce, though. I almost hate to get up in the morning, because the minute they see me, the barking, howling, screaming begins. I rush around and get their food ready, let Ashley out and feed them, just to keep myself and the kitties sane.

They are a hoot to watch and they have big adventures outside all the time. The sheep are very interesting, but scary, so they tend to just come as far as the back step for now. They will line up there and watch. I call them the peanut gallery. Their personalities are developing, and they are all four very different. The two sable merles are the most laid back and friendly. One of them (puppy A) I call Ashley Junior because she looks and acts just like her mom. She tends to hang out with Ashley allot as well. Both of the sable merles love to be picked up and fussed over. The smallest tri is very busy and adventurous. If someone is going to get hurt it will be her, but she tends to take it in stride. She is quite shy, but loves to be held (I think). Sometimes she gets a little scared when I hold her too long and whimpers. However she is quite the bold, busy little girl. The big tri is the shyest and probably the most timid. She tends to go the other direction if something worries her too much. Right now we are working on getting her to come through the doorway with the others. She loves pets and being held, but you have to really encourage her. I think all four will be very well adjusted collies in the end, but right now they are growing and learning so much everyday that I'm sure it is a bit overwhelming at times.

By the time bedtime rolls around they are usually very tuckered out and ready to collapse for the evening. Week five pictures soon!

Ashley Junior, all tuckered out.

Puppy A--Little Tri

Puppy B--Sable Merle (blue eye)--Ashley Junior

Big Tri

Sable Merle--Solid eyes

Tempe and trainees

Verity--Excuse me? You do remember me, don't you???


Sharrie said...

Thanks for the update. Looks like you are BUSY with those four. They are beautiful. I love how the cats interact with them.

phylliso said...

They are soooo adorable! I don`t know how you keep up with all of the animals.Thanks for taking time to post their pictures,they are so dear,you did a good job getting them all up & going.phyllis

Nancy K. said...

Oh, how cute!
Adorable photos. They're growing so fast. As much as I envy you the cuddles and watching them play, I don't envy the noise and the smell of a litter or growing puppies...


Louise said...

Tammy, they are adorable. Such a big new world they are discovering. It has to be tiring, for both you and Ashley, but I bet it's worth it.

Tina T-P said...

Now aren't they just the cutest things? I was wondering how they were doing. Glad everything is OK. T.

kristi said...

Wow! They are growing so fast! Way too cute Tammy! I love reading all your stories about them, so different from raising lambies isnt't it.....much more work!!! Hope your feeling better, nice spring weather would be helpful too!!

I need orange said...

Glad to know you are better and all is ok.

What a lot of work, all those babies! A good thing they are so cute! :-)

Kathy said...

What cuties! Please tell the kitties they are doing a good job training those puppies right! :)
Sorry to read about you being ill - it's been a year of one thing after another for everyone I know. I do hope you feel much better soon, Tam!

Vicki Lane said...

Oh, what fun! I love that the kitties are helping. The pups are so darling (As if there was ever an un-darling puppy.) Glad you're better!

Star said...

Absolutely gorgeous still and growing fast. I can only imagine the noise in your house and the looks on the kitties' faces!