Early Neurological Stimulation

As always, I come back to work to rest. Even though I clamped the sheet to the side of the kiddy pool Midge and the puppies are in, the puppies still managed to get under the sheets. I elected to take a vacation day from work on Friday to stay home and keep an eye on things. It was not an ideal day weather-wise to take off given that it was still over 100 degrees, but I wanted to be home to be with Midge and the puppies. I put a canine cooler (I love those things, well, the dogs love those things) in the pool and covered the rest of the pool area with small towels. That seemed to work well for all concerned. Even with the A/C on, it was warm in the house.

Started early neurological stimulation on the puppies on Friday and have continued it every day so far. I will stop when the puppies are sixteen days old. My landlords and their daughter came over on Sunday and I had the daughter help me out. The more people who can handle these puppies, the better. It is Monday and it is still supposed to be hot, it’s supposed to be hot all week, so Midge, Gel and the babies are inside in the A/C. I can’t wait for it to cool down; this heat has been horrible for all concerned.

The puppies are almost up to one pound in weight. They are fat and shiny; they feel like little bricks when you pick them up — little wiggling bricks! They wiggle so much. They are starting to use their back legs to propel themselves around the pool. I expect that within another week or two, they’ll be crawling out of the pool. Something else to look forward to.

There are a lot of differences between puppies and kittens; for example, I always filled the kitten box full of sheets and never had a kitten get under the sheets and suffocate; cat mothers are always trying to move their babies; that was the worst problem, keeping the mother in one place. To my knowledge, Midge hasn’t picked up a puppy, which is probably a good thing.

Midge didn’t eat too well the first few days after delivery, but is now eating very well. I noticed this morning that she has been taking food out into the woods and stashing it. I will sometimes feed the dogs outside or leave the front door open in the early in the morning to let some fresh air in. I had noticed a few days ago that she had been going down into the woods and I couldn’t figure out why. I found out this morning she’s stashing food. Funny what natural instincts kick in during motherhood.

Gel hasn’t changed any due to fatherhood. I think his nose is a bit out of joint because he’s not getting all the attention when people come to visit. We took another agility lesson on Sunday (forgot the video camera!) and he was excellent. The instructor we went to see hasn’t seen Gel in about six months. She was very impressed with him. I let her run him through a few sequences and yes, he is amazing. Very fast and very driven. Big difference from where he was a year ago. Maturity makes a big difference in some dogs.

I purposely haven’t taken photos of the puppies because they don’t look like anything at this point. I will as soon as they are up and about. I haven’t taken any more of the dogs because it’s too bloody hot outside. Five minutes out the door and I’m sweating, not conducive to photo taking. I don’t like sweat on my cameras!

I spent some time over the weekend finishing up five jumps. They are almost done! As soon as they are I’m going to do some single jump work with Gel. I need to tighten up his turns around jumps and his responsiveness when jumping. The good (bad?) thing about Gel’s jumping is that he’s a good jumper, if he knocks a jump it’s due to a mis-queue on my part. So, is that a good thing or a bad thing? When a good handler runs him, there’s a big difference in how he comes around jumps. I need to improve my handling skills. Originally I wasn’t going to do agility with Midge, but if she expresses an interest in doing it, I’m going to go ahead and work her too. What the heck.

A friend of mine is going to train Gel to do flyball and run him in a few competitions and see how he does. I’m sure Gel will love it; he has tons of ball drive. I won’t like it, can’t stand barking dogs. We’ll see how that goes. Gel is going to turn into a very well-rounded individual.