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
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.
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.
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.
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!