Tuesday 13 August 2019

A day in the life of Ella and her 9 pups

Ella is pictured here on our 6am daily early morning walk on the Killerton park estate which is right next door to where we live. Considering she had a litter of 9 pups only 7 weeks ago she is in tip top condition.

Ella’s litter were 7 weeks old on Friday 9th August and will be going to their puppy walkers on Sunday 18th of August.

Ella has unrestricted access to her pups at all times and now that the pups understand that I feed them and not mum they tend to leave her alone and she can now really enjoy being with them.

She is always on guard and nothing escapes her attention. Even a crow flying overhead is in her sights.

Once we get back from Ella’s walk it is time for me to let the puppies out for a leg stretch and to do their toileting.

After the initial mad scramble to greet mum Ella things settle down and everyone has a morning play.

I then go down to clean out their Den and the pups invariably follow me into the conservatory to continue playing while I go into the den to clean up.

It takes quite a while to thoroughly clean out their living quarters and they usually all eventually run out of steam and huddle up waiting patiently for me to put them back in a nice clean den before I then go off and make their breakfast.

With their feeding I like to make sure that each pup gets his/her fair share with their own portion. This has worked well with all of our previous litters and was going quite well with this litter.

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However Freya ( Silver) Finni ( Pink) Franky ( Orange) and Flint ( Green ) are ferocious eaters who obviously take after their Dad PD Drake and within a very short time they have eaten their share and then try to pile into everyone else’s portions.

I decided I needed a system where everyone could have their own bowl and the big eaters couldn’t just take everyone else’s share. I knew exactly what type of feeding station I needed but didn’t have the skills to make it in a short period of time.

I rang our friends and current puppy walkers Colin and Mitzi who are puppy walking TPD Rana to see if Colin a builder by trade could help out. Within 24 hours Colin had acquired the materials, built the feeding station to my requirements and delivered it to our house.
With the feeding station I can remove the big hitters as soon as they have finished their share and place them back in the run while the others finish their share in peace.

Around 5 weeks of age I noticed the puppies were not always producing solid stools and so I spoke to our vet who suggested putting them on a course of antibiotics. This had an immediate effect and they have been much better.

However a sample of their stools revealed that they have a parasite called Coccidia and will need another type of antibiotic to completely clear this up. Hopefully this will clear out this parasite before they go to their puppy walkers on Sunday next week.

The one abiding memory I will take from my time with this excellent litter will be watching mum Ella interacting with her pups and the obvious enjoyment she gets from being with them.

She wants to check on them all the time and particularly when we have visitors.  Here she is on one of the many visits we have had demonstrating her excellent temperament and lovely trustworthy nature.

I have no doubt her calmness has been passed onto her puppies and they definitely draw strength from witnessing that calmness first hand. Here she is while I am introducing the pups to the rather loud hoover.

I find that sprinkling a hand full of food on the floor for hungry pups makes them oblivious to the noisiest of hoovers although this litter didn’t need that development strategy.

I doubt I will ever find a female like Ella ever again. A dog like Ella probably only comes along once in a lifetime.

Every evening our special time together would be 9.30pm under the apple tree when all the pups were put away for the night.

I enjoyed sipping my cold beer with Ella alongside me in total peace and quiet. However once the pups got to 6 weeks they weren’t so keen to go to bed at 9.30pm and invariably they would fall asleep at my feet in the garden.

When I eventually decided it was time to go to bed they never seem in a hurry to move

At this age all pups are playful and all of our litters have been very playful. But there is no doubt that this litter are the most playful we have ever had. They all just amuse themselves and all the pups just continually play and carry objects.

The boys are all very confident and playful pups but there is no doubt that the girls have an extra special dimension to their characters. They have a hard steely determination but at the same time a very calm confident nothing is a problem attitude that Freya is showing here.

This week the pups will be undergoing a 100 mile round trip to Plymouth for their puppy assessments. Because we have had kennel cough in the HQ kennels I have been unable to take them into HQ each day to meet the office staff and get them used to travelling.

I am so confident in this litter that I don’t think their lack of preparation will affect their performance on the assessments despite the long journey. The assessments will take place on two days with the girls on one day and the boys the second day.

On Friday they will have their first inoculation and microchips fitted before going to their puppy walkers on Sunday.

I will leave you with a couple of video’s of Ella and her pups which demonstrate clearly why if it is at all possible mum should stay with her pups until they leave to give mum and pups the best possible experience.

I will do a final blog next week showing how they got on with their assessments and finally leaving  with their new puppy walkers.

From Ella and I bye for now.

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