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.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Weeks Seven & Eight--Collie Puppies

Golden Girl (Brown Eyes)

Whew... this should catch me up for a brief day or two with the collie pups. It was a busy two weeks and my little pups are turning into little dogs!

Three Sisters--AJ, Brown Eyes, Big Tri

During this time the puppies got their second worming, eye checks and first shots. Tuesday April 26 was an especially big day for them--that was the day they were packed in crates, and rode an hour to Springfield, where they got their eye checks.

Before I took off with the puppies we walked and played and generally got (them) worn out. They were very good all the way up, with a minimum of yapping at the beginning. Little Tri vomited once on the way and then spent the rest of the trip up slime-ing her sister.

I took the day off work to go with them. We (the breeder and I) met at the Vet clinic where the vet that does the eye checks comes about twice a month. The procedure involved putting drops in their eyes (I'm assuming to dilate them) and after about fifteen minutes the vet then used a special scope to look at their eyes. Many purebred dogs have an 'affliction' within their breed, and conscientious breeders will have their dogs tested for those problems so as not to perpetuate them. With Collies it is CEA (Collie Eye Anomaly) and PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), in a nutshell either can cause dogs to become partially or completely blind. No blind puppies here as all four checked okay, three with excellent reports.

Little Hot Shot Tri 'herding' sheep

After the eye checks we headed out to Helen's vet to have a small wart removed from the little tri. From what I've read this probably occurred because her system became stressed when she started losing ground, before I started tube feeding her. The vet was very busy so we had to wait quite a while. A local was given, wart was removed and cauterized. In the meantime we had moved the other puppies to Helen's van and bigger crates, so they had a comfortable place to wait. Little Tri was quite good, but she did get restless with being held.

On the way back we stopped at Helen's house and I got to see Frank, the sire of the pups --he is a lovely big blue merle. When I first got Ashley I 'met' him, but he was quite young then. Afterward we went out and had a nice late lunch, then off for home. The pups never missed a beat. They played in the vet's office, they played in the grass at Helen's and they cried very little during the entire trip.

Once home, I fed them (they were starved by then!), and a little later that evening gave them their first shots. The next day they were official 'weaners'. It seems they should have been weaned about a week earlier (I'm sure Ashley would have appreciated this!). The whole weaning process went very smoothly, with none of the drama that the sheep generally participate in. Ashley had been gradually cutting them back anyway.

When Friday rolled around it was time for the two little Tri colors to be picked up and taken to Helen's. A pet buyer was coming Saturday and would pick between the two. They had a collie from Helen that died at age 13, then got another puppy a year or two ago (not from Helen, since she didn't have any available). They wanted another one from Helen's lines and prefer tri-colors which is--everyone usually wants sables. I wasn't there, but from what was said, they brought their male collie with them to 'meet' the little girls, and they went back and forth, but in the end took the little Tri. She is such a little pistol and full of personality--she will keep her 'big brother' and new family on their toes. I think they will have fun with her. A few days later Helen talked to them and they said she was doing great, had settled in and was eating well, and that they love her already.

It was hard to see her go, but knowing that she is going to collie lovers and that she will be loved is very comforting.

First thing in the morning--you can't even imagine the decibel level--... L-R Little Tri, AJ, Brown Eyes, Big Tri

When the tris left on Friday, I tore down the big whelping pen in the house, and thoroughly cleaned the area. It was so nice to get that huge thing out of the house! Once it was out and everything was clean and dry, I brought the tarp back in, folded it in half and lay it on the floor. Then the ex-pen was put on it, in a much smaller oval shape. A few newspapers over that (but no shredded paper!) and it was ready to be the puppies night pen only--since this was also the weekend they graduated to being outside dogs during the day! By making a smaller space for them to sleep in, I'm hoping that it will make transitioning to being in a crate at night will be easier.

Mealtime is intense

The two sable merles were pretty unhappy the first night, but when their tri sister rejoined them the next day, they all settled into the new 'night pen' routine pretty quickly.

There is a nice big pen and nice big house in the backyard, which Boone used for the first couple of years he was with me. I did a puppy inspection to make sure it was safe, and Sunday morning they spent their first few hours 'in the pen'. Of course the pen and house were great fun to play in and around and they spent loads of time back there----until I shut the gate. Then you would have thought the world had ended--much wailing and gnashing of teeth ensued. Now a week later they are more resigned to it, but refuse to use the house, choosing instead to sit out in the rain and look pitiful. Ashley is in the main yard and she can visit the pups through the wire, but I seriously doubt she does much of that!

Lots and lots of this sort of playing and growling

In the evening when I get home they get out into the yard and they and Ashley have a big (noisy) rowdy playfest. At first Ashley would scare the pups to death by her 'puppy-ish' antics, but it wasn't long before they started chasing her and having a great time. Before dark we take a good long stroll across the field so they can all get tired out good and proper! Then it's inside for the night (right now, just in the ex-pen--eventually they will get more exploring time in the house). Ashley is in the back room with me and the pups in the front room.

Me & My Shadow(s)

Family Trip

Next weekend, blue-eyed sable merle girl will go to her new (pet) home.

Did I mention that I will have three dogs? I didn't? Huh...well..... ;-)

Week Eight!

Little Tri

AJ (Blue Eyed Sable Merle)

Big Tri--She is staying

Brown Eyed Sable Merle--She will be staying and is considered the "pick" puppy-meaning she closest resembles the collie ideal at this point

To answer the question several have asked-no, I didn't get to pick who I got to keep. This litter was whelped as a part of the deal of getting Ashley (for free) a couple years ago. I got to keep one puppy from the litter as well. The other three were either to be sold or kept by Helen to be shown. None of work of placing them was done by me. I did have a 'favorite' and no I didn't get to keep her, but in reality I'm okay with it, as I have a bond with all the puppies and they each have a special character. Indeed it would have been very hard for me to choose. Through a series of events and the breeder's graciousness I ended up keeping the pick puppy and will also be getting the tri color.

It's been a long time since I've had a little puppy around--let alone two to train and help become 'good canine citizens'. Ashley needs some more socialization work as well, so I doubt I'll be going too many places by myself for awhile! I need to brush up on puppy care and will work on taking them out (individually at first) so they can be properly socialized. The big tri is very reserved and shy, so extra out and about time will be needed for her.

Oh...and I have to come up with names for them. And we all know how long that could take!

Ash & her Pups L-R--Ashley, Big Tri, Little Tri, AJ (in back) and Brown eyed Sable Merle in front


Teresa aka JW said...

I've always been partial to the name Teresa, but there are too many T's in my family as it is.

Pretty babes they are.

Nancy K. said...

How wonderful that you get to keep two of the puppies! I also like that they'll be using Boon's pen. That way he can watch over them and keep them safe. I have a paddock for my sheep that my favorite dog is buried in and I call it Rockie's paddock. I know that he watches over the lambs and keeps them safe for me.

Your house is going to be SO fun!

kristi said...

Having been loved a collie for 16 yrs, I did not love all of that grooming! Oh, and you are going to be grooming 3 collies? Oh get those puppies up on that grooming table now and get them trained well;) Can't wait to see your craziness this summer!!

Louise said...

They are adorable, and, you are going to have your hands full with three collies in the house.

Kathy said...

Boy, this will teach me not to pass through my friend's blogs once and a while! They got huge!!!! ;)
You have done such a good job with them, Tammy. You should be proud, even though it does hurt the heart when they go to new homes.
So...couldnt resist another dog, eh??? ROFL!!!!!!!
But...did you ask the cats first?
Again ROFL!!!!

Sharrie said...

Wow! We get to see two pups grow up. That will be fun for you and your readers. We have a tri male and a sable Cardigan Welsh corgi fluff. She looks like a VERY short sable collie. Kristi is right about the grooming. Our tri looks like a real farm dog and has to go to the groomer to look good.