Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mama Sara

The pups are 11 weeks old now. They play for long periods - hours rather than minutes then they sleep very soundly. Miles sleeps through the night in his crate by himself. We still have puppy pads and newspapers down in an X-pen attached to his crate so he can go there when he wakes up. He usually goes outside during the day though. We leave the X-pen gate open when he is out so he can go on the newspapers if an emergency comes up and he almost always does. The pups have never soiled their crate since I got them at 5 weeks. It is a 48 inch long XL crate with blankets in it so is not the small den that is usually recommended for potty training pups.

Sara, the pups mom, has not been adopted yet so is still at my house. She still loves spending time with Miles and the other pups when they are here. She has gotten really playful with Miles and they run through the house chasing and playing with each other every day. The play sessions can last 30 minutes or more and I am amazed that Sara has the energy to keep up with Miles as a 5 year old. Sara plays very gently with him and he rarely yelps even though it sometimes looks and sounds pretty rough. He is about 20lbs and she is around 58lbs so he is about one third her size. They move so fast most of the photos ended up being slightly blurry.

The chase moves to the living room

Sleeping on the bed with his "big brother" Streak after playing.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Took Miles on a couple of long hikes during his 10th week. His energy and stamina are up to covering longer distances now. We went with our friend Jann who brought 4 of her own dogs along. That is Jann the May Pole getting all eight dogs out of my van. Three of the dogs are puppies all about the same age. I had Miles and his brother Otto and she had her golden mix pup Roo. The first hike we did was at Paris Mountain State Park and it was about 5.6 miles long. The next hike was a better distance of 4.8 miles and was to Raven Cliff Falls at Caesar's Head. The pups were very tired after both but weren't laying down and falling asleep at every stop like they did at the end of the longer of the two hikes.

Left to Right: Miles, Sara (pup's mom), Me, Otto and Pinky. This was on the trail to Raven Cliff Falls at Caesar's Head.

We made it to the falls and it started snowing! It was nice when we left Greenville so I just had on the windbreaker and only had Pinky the Italian Greyhound in a coat. A cold front came in and we went way up in elevation. Will be checking the weather forecast for future hikes. It got steadily colder while were hiking and I would have had all the dogs wearing coats had I known how cold it was going to be. Had lost feeling in my face and hands even though we jogged some on the way back to keep warm.

Miles and Roo at the falls.

Glad I was able to give the pups this new experience when I did. Those will probably be the last hikes in awhile. Stepped down wrong last night and either broke a bone in my foot or sprained my ankle. I don't even have any good story or reason for it. I was just putting a dog toy away in the garage. I can't put any weight on it and it is all swollen up. Have it wrapped up and am on crutches for awhile. Done with hiking for awhile and am wondering how in the world I am going to watch Miles every second and give him enough exercise while I am on crutches. ACK!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Another Brother

Last Tuesday when Miles was 9 weeks old we traveled back to Birmingham Alabama to pick up another one of his brothers. One of the people there that had pre-adopted a pup backed out and we had someone in South Carolina wanting a pup. I had already planned a trip over with a friend so it worked out well. She had lost a greyhound to cancer recently and wanted to pick out her next greyhound from the boys that were available in Alan's kennel. Raider Gilligan, a small, friendly, calm, 3 year old brindle male ended up being the one she chose. Then we headed over to the adoption kennel to pick up our puppy.

We were afraid it would be a hard choice since all the pups are so well socialized and are very outgoing. The largest pup there caught our attention right away though. He made great eye contact and seemed to be a mid level energy pup. On his vet records he was listed as Pup One so that is what we listed him as on our website temporarily. I am sure his new mom, Kathy, will pick a more suitable name for him soon. He is a darker brindle than his brothers Otto and Miles and so tiny compared to them.

Pup One

The difference in the size from the pups that we had taken 4 weeks earlier and the pups that were still at the kennel was dramatic. Pup One was 9lbs and the other pups looked like they must have weighed about 7lbs or so with the female runt being only about half that size. Miles weighed over 15lbs and Otto was just slightly under 15lbs. What could have caused that big of a difference in growth rates in pups from the same litter that had been the same size just 4 weeks before?

You can see the difference in size between 15+lb Miles and 9lb Pup One.

The SC pups and the AL pups both had weekly wormings but both groups of pups still had some worms at their last vet checkup so that shouldn't have been a factor. Both groups of pups had had their first round of puppy shots. The AL pups had been been battling a staph infection on their skin and had all lost a good bit of their hair. Our SC pups didn't have that. Our SC pups did get to nurse a little longer than the AL pups since I we had the mother but only for 2 of the 4 weeks. She was already weaning them when I got the pups. They already ate on their own and were quickly weaned from a few nursings a day down to one a day. The SC pups got mainly raw food and were fed 4 to 5 meals a day. The AL pups were free fed ProPlan. Those were the only differences but one of those things made the SC group of pups grow 40 percent better.

In case it was the food, the AL pups were changed to another puppy food - not sure which - and are starting to put on some much needed weight. Antibiotics for their skin infection were started the day we picked up Pup One. Otto's family stopped feeding him raw shortly after they adopted him at 8 weeks. They are feeding him ProPlan now (what they feed their other dogs) so it will be interesting to see if he is able to maintain his weight and growth on it. Pup One has been switched to another food on the advice of our vet and is also on antibiotics for his skin infection. I fed him Evo while he was with me but am not sure what his adopter is feeding.

Miles joined us on the trip to Birmingham so the people that had taken care of him for his first 5 weeks could see him again. He slept most of the trip and did really well. His brother, Pup One, and our other passenger Gilligan were angels too and the trip was a long but pleasant one. Only one small pee accident in Pup One's crate.

Pup One stayed at my house overnight and all day last Wednesday. I wondered if he would remember his mother, Sara, and doubted he would. Boy was I in for a surprise. As soon as he got near her crate he started whining, jumping all over it and scratching trying to get in. Even after being separated for 4 weeks he definitely remembered his mom. Sara was very excited to see him and obviously remembered him too. She played with both pups and laid in the puppy area with them for quite awhile. Pup One didn't try to nurse at all. Otto and Miles haven't tried to nurse either since their mom was spayed. We had that done while we were in GA for Sandy Paws.

Mama Sara playing with her two boys outside the day Pup One arrived.

Pup One wasn't so thrilled about seeing his bigger brother Miles. He screamed, growled or ran away every time Miles tried to get him to play. Pup One didn't seem to like being the small pup and having the roles reversed. He gradually warmed up and after a few hours he and Miles were playing like the brothers they were. Hopefully I will get to have Pup One over to play with Miles the way we do with Otto. Otto comes over at least a couple times a week and spends the day.

Furry Friends

These photos are from when Miles was 9 weeks old and about 15 lbs. Some of Mile's friends came over to play. A little golden mix named Roo that is a week older than Miles and Jack the Doxi (a young adult that is still a pup at heart). There is a big fenced area off the stable that the pups love to play in. Pinky my deaf Italian Greyhound supervised the pups. Pinky acts like he wants to play and has the energy to keep up with the pups but for now he still just keeps them in line with a growl or air snap if they bother him. It was a beautiful warm day so we stayed outside for a few hours. The two pups actually fell asleep in the leaves.

WOW! Under these leaves there is DIRT! You can DIG in it and it doesn't taste bad either!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sandy Paws Sunrise

Sunrise from our balcony

Sunrise on the beach

Moon in the trees

Jenny and Opie enjoying the sunrise

Another shot of Jenny and Opie on the beach

More Sandy Paws Photos

Miles doing some of his tricks. He knows how to sit up.

Sit from a Stand and a Down

Roll Over - both directions!

Down and Crawl
He also knows how to Stand, Shake and to shake with the "other paw" too.

The shirt Ann bought for him to wear

Talking to Jean Ussery Animal Communicator

On the beach

Sand and Sticks

We have a name finally! Miles Per Hour - Miles. Ann Owens came up with that name on our first trip to see Alabama to visit the puppies when he was just 10 days old. Seemed to fit him the best since he can outrun me at just 8 weeks old.

Miles was lacking a few of his 100 people that he needs for proper socialization before he turns 9 weeks old so we headed to Sandy Paws at Jekyll Island Georgia to find a few more people. I think he got held and petted by more than 100 people in one day alone there. He gave out kisses to all and had so many pictures taken of him that he should never be afraid of any flashing lights or lightning. We got there Friday and left Saturday night so were only there 2 days of the event. We had a good time and there were a lot more firsts. His first ride in an elevator and it was a glass one. He did his first full steep staircase since we were on the second floor. He learned to go up and down the whole way on his own. His first night in a hotel, first night sleeping in a bed, first sand, first beach, first waves and probably a bunch more I forgot. Got a photo of him doing his first open stairs out on the beach. He did great and didn't seem stressed by any of it. No accidents in the hotel room at all or in any of the indoor vending areas. He always went outside.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wheelbarrows and Chainsaws

While preparing for a snowstorm the other night I had a great opportunity to work with both pups. My husband, Roy, had the chainsaw out cutting some fallen trees so we would have a good stack of firewood if the power were to go out. I took one pup at a time outside. At this age they are still programmed to be glued to my side and were more afraid to leave me than of the chainsaw. Perfect opportunity to show them that loud scary noises were no threat. We gradually worked our way closer and closer to the scary noisy chainsaw. The pups did it on their own by following me and weren't forced with a leash. They could move away or closer as they felt more comfortable. They each followed my lead as if I was their mom trusting that I wasn't leading them into danger even though they were very afraid of the noise.

The chainsaw that was very scary at first became just another noise by the time we finished the exercise. Within minutes the pups were confidently sniffing around, ignoring the noise. My pup even went up to it while it was off and cautiously sniffed it. Wish I had photos of everything but it is hard to take pictures and haul wood. The cutest thing was when my pup, who was watching me carefully picking up wood and stacking it picked up a small stick and brought it over to the stack.

They also got exposed to the wheelbarrow and both got several rides in it when we went to refill it. Pretty scary at first but they adapted quickly and were soon riding in it like they had been doing it forever. They learned another lesson from the wheelbarrow and that was to pay attention to where they were walking. They had to pay attention to me and the big wheelbarrow. I only had to stop a couple of times to keep from running one over. They quickly learned to follow instead of trying to get out in front. Riding in wheelbarrows is not something they will need for their life in the future but but each time they conquer something they develop confidence in themselves and trust in the human who kept the safe in a slightly scary situation.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Learning Fast

My pup still has NO official name! ACK! Trying to come up with something that fits him. Right now he responds quickly to Poo Pah which is something all the pups were called all along. They answered to it when they got to me. Got to find something better to call him when he is grown up.

OttoBahn had his first sleep over with his new family a few nights ago. He did great but his brother and mom were sure glad to see him when he got back. The pups went nuts running, fighting, growling and barking at each other when he got back. They get wilder by the day. They are calmer by themselves but when they get together they are flying through the house at top speed. They are getting so big it is getting hard to carry both of them especially when they squirm.

They are both eating their raw food great and have plumped up some. Otto is still the smaller and more wiry of the two with shorter fur. My pups is larger and fuzzier. Otto still has a shorter nose but it is starting to get longer and more greyhound like. He is really cute with white socks on all his feet.

Have been working on teaching them to walk on leash and they are getting better at it. They are programmed to stay so close at this age I can drop the leash and they just follow along. They are used to wearing collars now but don't like the feel of the collar tightening up on their neck so I give them treats while pulling just a bit on their collar to associate the feeling with something good.

My pup is learning his obedience commands and has sit and front sit down perfect. He does down but has to be lured into position with food still. His recall is good if he is paying attention. He is learning to finish both directions and is pretty good at the longer right finish but keeps trying to sit facing me on the left finish instead of turning around. He loves to sit and is offering it all the time in hopes of getting something yummy. We have also been working on scent discrimination. Plastic cups with meat hidden under one. If he finds it he gets it. Fun game. He has to know tricks too - sit up and crawl are the ones we are working on first. Pups are so easy and fun to train at this age but I have to keep training sessions really short and frequent.

Momma Sara is down to nursing once a day. Not because she wants that but because she is scheduled for her spay on Thursday. The pups will be 8 weeks old this Wednesday so it is time for them to get weaned. Tonight when the pups tried to nurse there was nothing there and they gave up after a minute or two and started playing. Success!! Sara is getting more playful and I got to watch her running and playing with both pups tonight. Really sweet to watch her carefully playing with them. They figured out that she couldn't get under the futon or the table so would hide from her under there. She is a great girl that will make someone a fun pet. She is still looking for a family.

Working on training my boy to stay in a small crate - My Italian Greyhound's crate. They sleep in a large greyhound size crate now that is attached to an Xpen so they are used to being in a crate. Just need to get him used to being in a small crate that will be easy to transport to Sandy Paws - a greyhound get together at Jekyll Island Georgia that starts on Thursday. His first big trip other than the move from Alabama where he was born to my house in South Carolina. He is learning to take naps in the crate and has only howled once so far.