Pups are now two weeks old

Everyone is doing well. The 9 pups were wormed this weekend, which was not received very well. The poor little faces scrunched up in disgust and a quantity of the pink wormer ended up on me and the pups’ fur. I made sure they got an extra 0.1ml each to make up for the stuff they spat out. So that’s the first worming done.

Gaias female pups two weeks old copy Blog

 

 

Gaias male pups two weeks old Blog copy

 

Mum is enjoying exercise still and really keen to get out picking up the odd dummy and river swimming on Sundays.

Nice, simple blind retrieve on the path.

Nice, simple blind retrieve on the path.

Despite all the milk, a little retrieve is fun.

Despite all the milk, a little retrieve is fun.

It was not much of a surprise that Titan was the first one trying to get out of the box.

Titan, two weeks old hanging over the low entrance.

Titan, two weeks old hanging over the low entrance.

Hello world! Bring it on!!!

Hello world! Bring it on!!!!

Atlas late for the milk bar:

With 8 teats and 9 pups, you got to be there in time.

With 8 teats and 9 pups, you got to be there in time.

Motherly bliss. And peace.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Still Mostly Eating and Sleeping 24/7.

StillĀ  mostly eat-sleep-eat-sleep. Lots of sleeping with full tummies.

Titan asleep across Gaia's front leg.

Titan asleep across Gaia’s front leg.

The cushioned pig rails seem to appeal as raised beds for sleeping.

Theia sleeping on a pig rail like a leopard.

Theia sleeping on a pig rail like a leopard.

Phoebe sleeping on the pig rail.

Phoebe sleeping on the pig rail.

Belly full of milk.

Belly full of milk.

Titan.

Titan.

They are like piranhas when the milk bar opens and they are hungry.

Gaia feeding 9 greedy pups.

Gaia feeding 9 greedy pups.

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Pups one week old

The pups are a week old and Gaia is a bit bored. She is the perfect mum, feeding and cleaning to perfection, but she is very keen to get out too. We walk and run and today I took them all down to swim in the river. She appreciates the breaks from her beloved pups.

Gaias female pups one week old

Gaias female pups one week old

Portraits of Gaias male pups one week old.

Portraits of Gaias male pups one week old.

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Can’t Resist Taking Puppy Photos

Photos from the last few days:

Selene.

Selene.

Selene asleep.

Selene.

Pontus and Atlas (I think).

Pontus and Atlas (I think).

Helios and Theia (on top).

Helios and Theia (on top).

Helios.

Helios.

Calypso sound asleep.

Calypso sound asleep.

Milk bar open.

Milk bar open.

Phoebe.

Phoebe.

Phoebe.

Phoebe.

Phoebe.

Phoebe.

Gaia coming to terms with being mum.

Gaia coming to terms with being mum.

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Puppies are the Perfect Time Wasters

The first few days are the most concerning, not just for the new mum, but for everyone. It is all new and scary and for the first few days all routine is upside down. The other dogs are kept out of the way (they are curious about what is going on, but as soon as they smell the pups, they keep their distance).

All looked fine and settled at night, but when I came in to the “maternity ward” this morning, Gaia had moved all the pups on to a spare blanket under the table next to the whelping box. Of course I got a bit worried that she might have suffocated one in there, but all was perfectly fine.

Gaia under the table on a blanket with her puppies.

Gaia under the table on a blanket with her puppies.

Outside the whelping box the pups can crawl away.

Outside the whelping box the pups can crawl away.

I put them all back and soon all was peaceful again. I put a blanket half way across the whelping box to help her feeling secure.

All queueing up at the milk bar.

All queueing up at the milk bar.

Eat, sleep, eat, sleep.....

Eat, sleep, eat, sleep…..

 

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Gaia is Settling in as Mum

Yesterday, at three days old, I decided to make portraits of them all. Here we go:

Gaias female pups three days old copyxxxxBlog

Gaias male pups three days old copyxxxxBlog

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All Born and Everyone well.

Saturday 28th May 2016:

I spent the night with a restless Gaia, but no digging and no pups. Got up just after 5am as she seemed to be changing her behaviour and Pontus was born at 7.05. She was insisting on staying in the Tuffies nest and everytime I tried to move her to the whelping box, she went back.

Gaia all stressed out in her nest before the first pup.

Gaia all stressed out in her nest before the first pup.

Finally, she had the pup, Voramissen Pontus, in the whelping box.

Gaia giving birth to her first puppy in the whelping box

Gaia giving birth to her first puppy in the whelping box

Everything going smoothly and Gaia says hello to her first puppy.

Gaia saying hello to Pontus.

Gaia saying hello to Pontus.

She insisted on going back to the nest to have her pups and Atlas was born in the nest.

Atlas being born, Pontus already white and clean.

Atlas being born, Pontus already white and clean.

It turned out that every single pup came out backwards. Here is Atlas arriving.

Atlas being born, feet first.

Atlas being born, feet first.

Green and dirty when just born.

Green and dirty when just born.

Phoebe arrived at 9.45, also born in the nest!

Three pups born in the nest.

Three pups born in the nest.

Nothing happened for three hours and I decided to move Gaia and children to the whelping box and keep her there. At 1.05 Calypso arrived and shortly after that, Oceanus.

Calypso being born in the whelping box.

Calypso being born in the whelping box.

Soon after Theia came reversing out:

Theia being born.

Theia being born.

Cleaning up Theia.

Cleaning up Theia.

Suddenly Gaia decided to put them all back in the nest! I couldn’t stop her, she had done it in a flash.

Gaia carrying a puppy back from the box to the nest.

Gaia carrying a puppy back from the box to the nest.

Phoebe being put back in the nest.

Phoebe being put back in the nest.

Obviously I put them all back in the whelping box and took away the nest.

After a long wait again, Selene was born at 3.55 followed quickly by Titan.

Titan just born.

Titan just born.

So at 4.10 with eight pups, I assumed it was all over and Gaia was resting very peacefully. We sat outside the door in the sunshine and I allowed myself a little Gin and Tonic to celebrate. At 6pm I heard worrying noises and went back in, Helios was being born.

But that was it. Five boys and four girls.

 

The final count of nine pups.

The final count of nine pups.

Pontus on the nipple.

Pontus on the nipple.

Pontus falling asleep.

Pontus falling asleep.

Zonked out and fallen off the nipple.

Zonked out and fallen off the nipple.

I took Gaia out today, less than 24 hours after finishing her whelping and she LOVED it.

Gaia running on the grass.

Gaia running on the grass.

FREEDOM....

FREEDOM….

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Gaia is due to Give Birth Today…

Gaia should be ready for birth today, but no signs yet.

Gaia bursting with puppies. Having difficulties sitting down.

Gaia bursting with puppies. Having difficulties sitting down.

During the last three nights I have abandoned my husband and slept in a spare bed with Gaia by my side (well, uhm, yes, ON my bed). It would be too risky to leave her alone so close to the due date, I wouldn’t have slept a wink if I suspected she could be giving birth. However, NOTHING has happened. Last night she started getting restless and panting, so I thought Ahaa, here we go, but she was just too hot and fell asleep when I opened more windows to cool the room down.

What a dedicated working dog, however, I brought her over to the office with me this morning and on the way she caught scent of a rabbit in the long grass and went on point:

Gaia pointing a rabbit on her due day of birth

Gaia pointing a rabbit on her due day of birth

I guess in nature the bitch will have to try and feed herself right up till the last minute before whelping and as soon after the birth as well.

Staunchly on point this morning

Staunchly on point this morning

She is now lying in the office, not on one of our dog beds, but on the door matt. Maybe that’s a sign??? She is literally in the cold draught!

Gaia lying on the matt with her enormous belly.

Gaia lying on the matt with her enormous belly.

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Gaia has just two days to go.

According to my calculations Gaia should be due having puppies TOMORROW. She is big, but not enormous.

Gaia in the garden with five days till due date.

Gaia in the garden with five days till due date.

We are getting ready with the whelping box and the Bespoke Dog Bed to cover the base. I have made new pig rails and covered them with soft pet-bedding. They fit right round the box to prevent the mum squashing a new born puppy.

Whelping box borrowed from a friend and fitted out with pig-rails.

Whelping box borrowed from a friend and fitted out with pig-rails.

She has been checking out her maternity ward and it seems to be approved as I found her in it this morning.

Gaia in the whelping box looking approving.

Gaia in the whelping box looking approving.

She is still keen to keep her bone intake up. In fact she wants to eat ALL the time.

Gaia on a Tuffies dog bed eating her cow bone.

Gaia on a Tuffies dog bed eating her cow bone.

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A Winning Year with the Working Pointers

Let me just get the bragging out of the way first: My two German Wirehaired Pointers spend most of their time working, but I do enter the odd Field Trial as it’s a fun day out. I am not prepared to travel the country entering every Field Trial there is, so I have only entered a few last season, which then shows a pretty good strike rate:

 

Strandkantens Gaia with her winnings 2015/16 season.

Strandkantens Gaia with her winnings 2015/16 season.

Trudvang Faurbauste with his All Age Field Trial trophy Maplehaze

Trudvang Faurbauste with his All Age Field Trial trophy Maplehaze

Gaia won the only Novice she entered last season. It was a grouse trial and she did a beautiful job of sweeping the moor and stop on point on the first bird that came in her scent path. Two birds were shot, but as it was a novice, she was only asked to retrieve the one she had marked. It flipped in the air, but she caught it and brought it back unscathed. She had a second run where she took in a big chunk of ground, partly on a cheek-wind, then carried on and moved forward, following the scent. I got the guns to keep up with me and she led us in, but it was a big covey and they took off before we could get there.

Later on I entered an All Age trial with both Gollum and Gaia. Gaia probably would have won it, but she is a bit of a wimp swimming, so when three dogs got through to the water test at the end, my two and one more dog, she let herself down making a mess of it although she did complete the task. Gollum got the first prize and Gaia third, but she took the trophy for “The Guns’ Choice”.

Later, during the pheasant season, I entered two open trials where she messed up the first one. She hunted, had a fantastic point in the bracken, flushed the bird, which was shot and she collected it, but she put it down and hesitated a little before she brought it back to hand. The judge was mortified having to put her out.

Things went better next time where she hunted, pointed and retrieved a live bird. She won that trial. So now Gaia just needs to win one more Open Field Trial to be Field Trial Champion.

The Grouse :

I use the pointers 20 – 25 days on grouse each year. We get to the most beautiful places in the Scottish Highlands where guests pay their way to enjoy this old tradition of shooting over pointers. The respectful harvest of wild birds results in a modest bag that is admired and taken home to the kitchen. Walking the heather-clad hills while shooting over pointers requires a good level of fitness.

Gaia on solid point on grouse on the moor

Gaia on solid point on grouse on the moor

Gaia busy retrieving a grouse

Gaia busy retrieving a grouse

We are sometimes high up on the hills. Here we are near the Glenshee ski area and the heather can be very short on the tops making it almost impossible for the dogs to hold birds on point. Where the heather is sheltered a little bit in a hollow, it gets longer and lush enough to create a habitat for the grouse and here the dog gets a chance to stand back on point while the guns can approach.

Gollum is on point in a little bit of thick heather

Gollum is on point in a little bit of thick heather

I often allow one dog to point and flush while the other dog retrieves. This trains steadiness in the first dog, in fact it is a lot to ask a dog to find the bird, see it fall and then not be allowed to retrieve, but this is all for discipline.

Gaia retrieving the bird Gollum found. Good for discipline.

Gaia retrieving the bird Gollum found. Good for discipline.

The steadiness is crucial because sometimes you might have one bird rising, which is shot and a little later another bird gets up creating a good shooting opportunity, but if the dog is running in to get the first bird, it is unsafe to shoot at the second bird and it ruins the opportunity. Therefore the dog MUST sit still till it is asked by its handler to retrieve. In Field Trials this is also important and if your dog does run in to the shot, your dog is eliminated from the competition.

Last year I did take part in one driven day. It was appalling weather and I couldn’t resist showing a couple of pictures here just to prove that the grouse moors are not always “glorious”. This is at 9.30 meeting and already looking dodgy.

Beaters and flankers in the mist before a driven grouse shoot

Beaters and flankers in the mist before a driven grouse shoot

And it got a lot worse. Here is the last picture before the day was cancelled. Everything wet and miserable:

Flanker walking in pouring rain. The day was cancelled shortly after.

Flanker walking in pouring rain. The day was cancelled shortly after.

I had plenty of solid days with Gaia and Gollum last year and Gaia proved to be a really nice dog to work, now three years old. I received such a nice compliment from a Spanish guest, who is an accomplised shot with many years of experience. We had been out for half the morning and, after Gaia had presented them with yet another find of birds, he turned around to me and said “It is so relaxing to shoot over a dog like that”. Some dogs are a little too interested in just putting the birds up themselves, but both Gaia and Gollum have realised that this is a cooperation between handler, dog and guns and they work to make the day great.

Lastly, I must mention that hopefully Gaia will be pregnant, expecting pups on 27th May 2016. I have put her to Field Trial Champion Trudvang Balder. Anyone interested, please contact me on sales@tuffies.co.uk . His list of achievements in Field Trials can be seen on request.

Patch is Trudvang Balder, stud dog used on Gaia

Patch is Trudvang Balder, stud dog used on Gaia

Patch, stud dog used on Gaia

Patch, stud dog used on Gaia

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