Meet the Southern Belle Litter!
3 beautiful puppies (1 female, 2 males) born via c-section on 12/4/22 at 10 AM
Dam and Sire
3 beautiful puppies (1 female, 2 males) born via c-section on 12/4/22 at 10 AM
Dam and Sire
Elly May (Pickwick's Pretty as a Peach) (new name = Aspen)
AKC Registration #TS58246801 Microchip #: 956000015385621
Elly May's new name is Aspen and she lives in California with an amazing mom and dad. Here she is graduating Puppy K and she'll be going onto the next level of obedience training! She is a star student ;)
The Southern Belle pups (plus Tory) had a blast being in the Carnegie Canine Mardi Gras parade!
Mr Drysdale and Jethro enjoyed the camping trip to Monte Sano Mountain!
NOTE: Elly May has left to live in California with a wonderful couple. Most likely, both the boys will be future show pugs (one possibly with a fabulous owner in MS, and the other possibly staying with us) but we have not decided yet and want to let them grow out just a bit more -- probably closer to 16 weeks or so -- before making a final decision.
Blog . . . .
These puppies and their mama are alive and thriving today thanks to the generousness and dedication of our brilliant vet and vet tech. We are so very blessed and fortunate to have such amazing vets at Galleria Animal Clinic in Hoover, Alabama. Dr. Nicki knew things weren't adding up as Buttercup seemed to be starting labor, yet the progesterone numbers didn't add up. The progesterone was 1.3 and temp 98 and Buttercup had been in obvious distress throughout the night before. It was obvious we needed to go ahead and do a c-section. Jeff had been going into the vet all week for progesterone tests and taking temp every few hours but, of course, these pugs always seem to choose Sundays. Buttercup recovered so quickly from the c-section and we immediately went home to put the pups in our Puppy Warmer/Oxygenator (which we do with all pups). That was a very expensive purchase years ago but it has proven to be so valuable. Thank you, Ken, for designing this wonderful piece of equipment and dedicating your life to helping breeders and nenonates!
The night before . . . (Saturday, 12/3/22)
Saturday night it was obvious that Buttercup was starting to show signs of nesting. We placed her in the whelping box and she began panting every 30 minutes or so. Every pug mama and every litter is different, (with Stella, she merely grunted a bit as if she had indigestion then, suddenly, out came a pup! ... but with Lilly, she panted all through the night). So, knowing that you just don't know what to expect, (the progesterone had bounced back up again), Amy stayed up all night with the Princess "in case". Here is Buttercup the night before in the whelping box. The adpatil calming plug-in really helps we think. Usually, we also have the dam wear a collar too.
Day 0 - birthday! (Sunday 12/4/22):
The first goal after getting home from the vet was to warm them up (to the core!) so we put them in the incubator (puppy warmer) while we cleaned Buttercup a bit and got her comfortable. Then, we started the task of trying to get colostrum in the puppies before that window of opportunity closed, allowing pups to try to nurse every 30 minutes. With these tiny neonate pug puppies, it requires a human to help the pup latch on and, sometimes, stay on. We also gave Buttercup some dark beer, oral cal plus, and a tiny bit of icecream as a treat. And, of course, lots of water as she was able to drink. We love the rabbit feeders.
Day 1: (Monday 12/5/22)
Today we went back to the vet who listened to hearts/lungs again, removed dew claws, plus did an intravenous serum transfusion on the off chance the pups did not get enough colostrum. A favorite memory from this morning: sitting on the floor with my vet and vet tech each holding a puppy on a teat to help nurse. I think I'll treasure that memory forever! Back home we went and started the nursing every 30 minutes again .... into incubator in between feedings. We gradually increased to 1 hour throughout the day. Jeff spotted Amy from 6-11 PM so she could grab a few hours sleep. This was his day off from work so we tried to take advantage of it. From now on, no relief in sight for awhile.
Buttercup enjoyed her goat's milk!
Day 2 (Tuesday 12/6/22)
Of course, in addition to everything on this list below, every day we weigh each puppy (usually several times throughout the day during the first few days) and keep a master chart of daily weight with the ideal goal of each puppy doubling its weight by Day 10.
While it may seem repetitive or wasteful to repeat much of the information from day-to-day, it's helpful to see your "to do" list in writing as the humans' brains begin to become foggy because of the loss of sleep. Amy received pretty much no sleep the night of 12/3 keeping watch on Buttercup who was panting and nesting throughout the night. Then, it's a matter of waking up every 30 minutes and then eventually every 90-minutes to oversee the feedings and help the mama eliminate each puppy. Your brain become quite foggy so the more detailed the notes the better! This morning Amy had a piano gig performance and later in the evening the temperament evaluations for the Poldark litter. It was a very busy day but somehow we managed to get home in time for the nursings every 2 hours.
The weight gain is finally more successful and we can finally "feel" the pups strengthening almost hour by hour as we hold them. Buttercup has proven to be fabulous at cleaning them and, so far, there have been no issues with producing milk or any other issues. We waited 2 days later to start the ENS (Early Neurological Stimulation) exercises, and we will wait a couple of more days for the textures and 'feels'.
The pups sometimes leave tiny spots on their mat in the puppy warmer where they sleep in between feedings, so at least one of them is just starting to eliminate on its own. We keep a little towel rolled up where they can crawl under plus there is the textured foam underneath to prevent them from getting a flat chest. Buttercup has really enjoyed her "special meals" and especially loves cheese treats and goat's milk. We got a new stethoscope (the best of the best) so we can hear the puppies' hearts and lungs quite clearly. Our vet even showed us a few tricks on how to use it and how to listen and what to listen for.
We have special "texture" blocks we made that the puppies can experience in these days before their eyes open. Some have burlap, some have a layer of uncooked beans, some feathers, some wicker etc. The pups also will experience the warm air of a hair dryer in a couple of days ... even though they can't see or hear yet, they can "feel".
Today was the church choir's Christmas concert which is a big deal in Jeff's job. It was a glorious concert with brass, choir, organ, and Jeff conducted beautifully. The pups need some benebac to try to get a bit better consistency .... we will also add back some more probiotics to Buttercup's food as well. It's important to counteract the antibiotics.
It was a super busy and stressful day with 'life stuff' yet we still managed to be able to get home to nurse the pups every 2 hours with careful scheduling and planning. The pups seem to be getting more used to the ENS. We also do LOTS of foot and toe desensitization and they are getting more comfortable with that. We have truly been lucky not to have much "milky nose" and have (so far) only had to use the syringe bulbs a few times.
The pups have basically doubled their weight so they should make the goal by tomorrow's weigh in. That is always a relief as it's an important milestone in their development. Here are some photos Jeff took of the pups late Tuesday evening. As you can tell, their eyes have not opened yet. Usually, this happens around Day 13 or later with most pups.
Last days in the whelping box . . . .
Princess Buttercup shows her puppies how to drink raw Goat Milk:
Puppies move to the weaning pen!
Amy attempted to sleep in puppy pen with the pups but, alas, the floor just got too hard! ha They had a BLAST for a few hours at least! "Slumber Party!!!!"
Puppies go to work with their humans. They met all sorts of people of all different ages and then got to practice their recalls!
Puppies have their first piano lesson lol ;)
It got up to 56 degrees today plus the sun finally came out! (It has been raining a lot lately). So, the pups got to have some playtime outside. I put an electric blanket down plus a heater nearby which helped but we came back inside after just a bit since there was a bit of a breeze. Earlier this week the puppies visited the vet and received their first round of vaccinations. They got a "super healthy" from the vet and she checked everything, including fecal (no worms), patellas, breathing, nares, hearts, lungs etc. We are always so very thankful and realize how blessed we are when we have these awesome checkups.
Pups go to work and have a completely new experience for the day . . . .
Happy 8 Week Birthday!
Puppies' breakfast . . . .
Another visit to the piano studio!
Puppies' first trip to Atlanta and hotel stay! 9 weeks of age.
Pups enjoy socializing and have dinner outside on the restaurant patio. They met and snuggled with all sorts of amazing (and "safe") people!
They LOVE playing with their tug toy.
Pups help teach piano at the piano studio on Mondays! Students are always disappointed if they miss them. Great incentive for attendance!!
Mops Messiaen . . . getting used to loud noises!
Mr Drysdale enjoyed meeting the pharmacist at Walgreen's drive through!
The pups learn so much from their aunts, uncles, and grandma. Here they are with Robert who is SO gentle with them.
The pups had a BLAST at a Mardis Gras parade (fundraiser for animal rescue). Tory walked the parade but each of the Southern Belle pups had a turn being carried. The crowd went wild with their cuteness!
Elly May even met some pirates!
Mr. Drysdale has decided he will be running for president. What do you think of his campaign ad?
What fun the pups had on the trip to Tallahassee, Florida. They had such amazing socialization ops like meeting this wonderful 'junior handler' who had been showing her pomeranian . . .
Or meeting a bulldog, or a Bernese Mountain dog (all SORTS of dogs, in fact!) . . .
Practicing stack photos . . . .
Most likely both boys are headed to show homes (perhaps one staying with us, and the other to MS) but we are letting them grow out some more before deciding for certain . . . .
Hanging in the hotel room (and using the litterbox!) . . .
Mr. Drysdale won Best of Breed at his first puppy match and 2nd place in the toy group!
On the way home from Florida, they visited a famous big oak tree in Thomasville, Georgia . . .
Then they also got to visit a Goat/Chicken farm! That was a very exciting opportunity for them and they even saw a peacock and other bizarre (and loud!) birds.
Elly May got to visit the vet one last time to get her health certificate for the flight to California. She was in great shape still and even cleared another fecal test so no parasites will be hitching a ride with her ;)
One more day now to finish her painting, pack her puppy basket, and do a few final training sessions. We are going to miss her SO much! One last collage of Elly May photos for the road . . .