Monthly Archives

August 2011

clue, Juno

Nine days video

Thought you might like a close-up look at each of the babies now that they’re a nice double-handful.

You never really know what you’re looking at until you do the real evals, but for bitty babies I’m very pleased with them. I love their personalities so far; they’re strong and quiet and happy, but they’re headstrong and pushy too. Unless I’m wrong, I got more bone than Clue’s last litter and I believe I have shorter legs. I got very different heads compared to last time; I have a bunch that are very broad and blunt with a very short foreface, in addition to the more classic heads that I recognize from Clue’s first litter. Clue also gave me some narrow heads with Draco, which I don’t see in these litters at all. And they all look very much the same – it’s not a situation where I can tell by look or feel which are Clue’s and which are Juno’s. I am super excited to watch them grow up and see more clearly what we got!

By the way, while I don’t want to sound like I’m pimping them, if you are interested in one of them and you haven’t gotten me an application, please think about doing it soon because I’m thrilled to say that there’s been lots of interest in these beautiful babies. I will give preference to performance applications. I would rather not put puppies in show homes unless they are lifelong homes. Those of you who have already given me an application, can you drop me a line and tell me if you already have a puppy preference? I won’t do the final who-goes-where until evals, but I would like to come as close as possible if you have a specific puppy whose looks you like. The merle boy is taken three times over, so unfortunately he’s not in the mix, but none of the others are specifically assigned yet. The heavy-white boys (Sebastian and Oberon) have Sarah’s name penciled on them, but it’s entirely possible that they won’t turn out to be the top show picks – so if you’re in love with one of them let me know.

Untitled from Joanna Kimball on Vimeo.


Nine days: Post-Hurricane

I didn’t write here yesterday because supposedly we were all going to die from the biggest storm in the history of the world.

What ACTUALLY happened was that I took a nap and then waited for the power to go out while watching True Blood thanks to our free-for-six-months premium channels.

I got through almost all of season three, better known as The Season Where Everyone Wears Improbably Long Fake Eyelashes, Including I Am Pretty Sure Alcide In One Episode, And Alfre Woodard Does Stuff Where She Pretends To Be Insane But Looks Like She Just Came Home From The Spa.

Seriously, if you’re supposed to be fresh out of a mental institution where you have spent the last ten years throwing applesauce around, shouldn’t your skin be SLIGHTLY less than rich and glowing? Alfre has never looked genuinely bad in her life, but if every time she walks onscreen I go “Wow, lady, you look like you’ve been bathing in fermented heavy cream and rubbed with the tears of purebred kittens; can I touch you?” maybe you need to talk with the makeup artist.

Obviously, the power did not go out. Nor did any trees come down or anything else I can figure out. I know they lost some big limbs down on the Common in Boston, and people tell me some trees have fallen elsewhere, but here it was nothing worse than any thunderstorm we get on a regular basis. I’m going to take some pictures as soon as the light is good, and meanwhile I’m just going to sit here at my grandma’s table drinking coffee and talking about what a narrow escape we just had from Mississippi while waving my inch-long mink eyelashes around. As one does.

clue, Juno

One week old: Sweet Oblivion

And no, I have no idea how on earth Clue can sleep through it.

Puppies (from bottom to top) are Puck, Moth, Bridgid, Iggy, Oberon, under him is probably Hedwig, on top of her is Bosco, then Quince, Felix, Bernard, Sebastian, Zeno is nursing, Titania, then Peaseblossom. Most of them have doubled their birthweight as of today, which is great gain for a litter of any size. Moms are doing a fantastic job. I am doing laundry.



clue, Juno

Day 6: The ravening horde

This is what goes on every twenty minutes or so. I love how careful the moms are to scooch in without crushing babies. I was in the end of the box where they usually hop over, which is why you see me helping the moms over – they were like “Hey, where do we jump in?”

clue, Juno

Day 4: sharing


Just a short one from my phone–thanks to a heroic effort from tabitha to throw up on every towel and blanket in the house, the puppies had to be put in one box while I was washing their bedding. I was trying to keep the bitches away from them for fear of fighting, but both moms said “Finally! Why did this take you so long?” and hopped in past me and settled more relaxed than ever. They’re cleaning buns and nursing babies without asking who’s who.

clue, Juno

Short puppy video as dawn breaks on day three

I apologize for the metronomic barking of Shade in the background – when that boy wants out, he sounds like a sea lion.

Clue’s babies are doing what all puppies do when mom has just lay down: scream “You’ve never fed me! I’ve never eaten! Years without food! A thousand years of hunger and deprivation!” even if they ate three minutes earlier. Juno’s are doing the quiet gulp-suck of puppies getting drunk on milk. A few minutes later the situations were reversed.

clue, Juno

Day 2 and redistribution of wealth

Clue’s tanker trucks.

Last night I was working for quite a while to get Clue’s littlest boys (Bosco and Iggy) to nurse well. They were born in the mid-9s and were down to 8.5 when the others were already gaining. Clue’s got scads and scads of milk, which is actually the problem. Puppies have to open their mouths really wide to nurse, and the littest ones just pop off too easily. One moment of inattention and a big puppy steals your faucet.

Juno, on the other hand, has almost no mammary tissue – seriously, if you saw her you might think she was coming off a heat cycle, definitely not nursing – but what is there is mighty. Her puppies latch on and start desperately gulping almost instantly and they’re gaining ridiculously fast.

Ordinarily I end up spending several days managing each feeding to make sure the pee-weedlies get milk until they grow a little more. But last night I was pretty much fainting with exhaustion and was considering waking up a kid to spell me for a while so I could nap, and then said oh, heck, I can’t take this, and grabbed the littlest boy (Bosco) and put him on Juno.

Clue looked up and said “What the heck?” and I said “Settle, honey, it’s OK,” and like the angel she is she laid back down again to sleep. Juno went “Who are YOU? You smell like my mom, and – TYPICAL – she’s not keeping you fat enough. Well, tuck in, tuck in.” And the puppy said “Hello, gorgeous,” and went through three teats in a row until he finally popped off and passed out on the blanket. I poked him and he only groaned faintly and burped.

Since then he has gained a tenth of an ounce an HOUR. He’s at 10.1 now. And the remaining littler guy, Iggy, found that just that bit of opportunity allowed him to get the softer tissue he needed, and he started getting better and better with each feed. So now I have fourteen two-day-old puppies ranging from 10-14 oz and shiny and fat, and you can’t get much better than that.

Juno’s expanded brood – Bosco is the one with the arrowhead on his collar.

Clue is still very aware that Juno’s got her puppy – she has let me know clearly that she sees and hears him and that she’s only tolerating it because I told her to – and Juno also knows it and is feeling quite boss about it. He may be moved back in a couple of days or we may extend the lease if it works out well; I don’t know yet. What I do know is that they’re all peaceful and quiet and I got six hours of sleep. Boo yah.


clue, Juno

The war room

This is what it looked like last night in the middle of things – ah, the glamour of breeding dogs. Forty bloody towels tossed everywhere and green placental blood from end to end.

They’ve all got new clean blankets now (well, actually, they’ve just had their third change of blankets, believe it or not) and things are quieter. So far the moms have no problem being next to each other, but of course we’re not leaving them alone to experiment! Eventually those big boxes will be divided into sleeping and litter areas, but right not the moms seem to enjoy having the space to get up and away. It seems to make them feel safer about turning over – they stand up, walk way over to the other end, shake off, have a drink, and walk back to their babies again and lie down on their other sides. And I can sit in the box and stretch my legs out! This is now the, ummm, maybe sixth whelping box version I have tried and it may be my favorite so far. Plus, next year they can be raised planter beds for the kids’ vegetable garden :).