Happy Fall & Four Weeks Old

This week’s blog update is going to be mostly pictures. I have some pictures of the big dogs enjoying the beautiful fall weather, of Duchess hunting, and of sweet Noel, of course. Enjoy!

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Pennsylvania is truly beautiful in the fall!

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Way to go, Duchess!

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Little Jade isn’t so little anymore.

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My 60 pound love bug.

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I lied. We’re not selling a real puppy. She is a stuffed teddy bear.

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Noel enjoyed exploring outside one warm afternoon.

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She started eating a little bit of softened kibble this week!

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This is Noel’s new favorite toy.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Three Weeks Old

The fun has begun! Look at this precious face!

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Big stuff has been happening in the last week. First off, Noel is walking! With that, comes the potty training. Our goal is to teach Noel to use a designated “potty area” and to discourage her from pottying in her bed.┬áHere is evidence of one of her first successes. She even did this one all by herself. She woke up, tottered out to the newspaper, pottied, and went back to her bed. Good job, Noel!

She certainly isn’t perfect. Most of the time, she doesn’t potty on her bed, but she doesn’t always hit the desired “potty area.” However, for 3 weeks old, I am impressed!

Along with potty training comes food. I’m very slowly beginning the weaning process. Right now, I am just giving her a little bit of warm goat’s milk to get her interested in eating from a bowl. As you can see, we haven’t had a lot of success yet.

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How does that saying go? It’s no use crying over spilled milk?

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Nothing mama can’t clean up.

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Here are some other fun pictures from the week. Since Noel doesn’t have litter mates, it’s especially important for her to become familiar with other puppies and children. We had our first play date this week. (A huge thank you to BJ’s Farm for allowing us to use their Boxer puppies as Noel’s “foster siblings”!)

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With the puppies being so young, the play date was pretty uneventful. It was more of a sleepover, but it was good. It’s better to get her accustomed to it now before she is old enough to have much of a reaction. Then, in a few weeks, she should be very happy and comfortable playing with these little guys. They won’t seem so new and scary if she has been visiting since she was three weeks old. I decided if she was relaxed enough to sleep, then the visit was a success!

She has also had some visits from my nephews and from a family in my neighborhood. The same theology goes for children. The younger the puppies are exposed to children, the better. If they are used to being handled by children at a young age, they tolerate them much better as they get older. Noel didn’t seem at all perturbed by the rough little hands and shrill little voices.

She was even giving some kisses! (It’s possible that she was just very hungry, but we’ll call it showing affection.)

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Overall, this past week was busy but very good! There has been a lot of growing and changes, and we are now entering the fun puppy stage! Have a good weekend, and enjoy that extra hour of sleep!

The First Noel

There is once again new life in our home! Mia gave birth to one puppy today; and although we sincerely were hoping for more babies, we are very grateful for the one, healthy puppy we have.

We are happy to introduce Noel. I chose a Christmas name, because this little girl will be ready to go to a new home in time for Christmas this year.

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I sincerely apologize for this less than ideal picture. Noel was unhappy and crying about having her picture taken. Mia, being the very good mother that she is, would not allow me to take any pictures without comforting her baby. You can at least see her beautiful dark color. I’ll post some better pictures when Noel is feeling more cooperative. I don’t like stressing little puppies more than necessary.

Raising a singleton puppy will definitely present some new challenges, but we are prepared to make the necessary adjustments. I am currently arranging for Noel to have some “foster siblings.” I’m blessed to know of two people close by me with a young litter of puppies that will be able to help give our puppy the proper socialization she should have from litter mates. I also made a trip to the store tonight to buy her some stuffed toys to snuggle with and crawl over. We’re also making some adjustments to our whelping box to keep it warmer. Usually, litter mates depend upon each other for warmth when mama has to leave the nest. We have to be more careful to keep the temperature warmer than is usually necessary.

My most immediate concern, though, is milk supply. Some mamas don’t receive enough stimulation from just one puppy to keep up a milk supply. In some cases, however, this isn’t a problem. It really depends on the mama. So far, Mia has plenty of milk for Noel, and Noel has been steadily gaining weight even in the first 24 hours. This is excellent. We will still very closely monitor her weight for the first several days to make sure Mia continues to keep a good milk supply. I am hopeful that no intervention will be necessary. I am prepared to supplement if needed, but I try to avoid those situations if at all possible. Mama’s milk is best, so I will be praying that Mia keeps her milk.

That’s all for tonight! Thanks for reading!