Monthly Archives

February 2012


On love and devotion

Tonight after the ten o’clock tubing I decided to try and get a little nap before I was up for the night with the puppies. The older kids (thank God for homeschooling) could sleep very late in the morning, so they volunteered for the ten-to-two shift.

I went upstairs and laid down in one of their beds, because I can’t yet sleep in my own. The whelping box is at the end of my bed, and every time there’s a tiny grunt I bolt up and yell muzzily, “What’s happening! Is everything OK?”

I put my head down, but all I could think of was worry. I put on classical music, but that just made me think of Mozart dying alone, so I turned it off. I finally gave up and went to the top of the stairs and told Doug that I needed to have him come up and talk to me so I could go to sleep.

He creaked up the stairs and sat on the bed next to me and told me about the TV series he was watching… for about sixteen seconds. Then he fell asleep against the headboard. I manhandled him down into a more graceful position and with a great sigh of relief stuffed myself against his arm and closed my eyes.

I woke up three hours later, Doug snoring peacefully, and for just a second refused to think of the puppies and just listened to the sound of breathing. His, mine, and the hissing one down… what?

Yes, there was definitely a third set. And my knee was sweating mysteriously. I reached down and felt the only smooth head in our dog household – Bramble. Bramble, who NEVER comes upstairs unless forced. He had crept up sometime after I fell asleep and curled himself inside my knee. I rubbed his ears while he groaned in pleasure, and felt very teary about dogs, and how they understand when we need comfort, and how much I really do love Bramble, and how he somehow always seems to do something wonderful in a crisis.

Then I really did have to get out of bed, so I lovingly used both hands and an elbow to shove Doug over enough that I could get up. I sat and reached for my jeans, which had been discarded on a chair when I got into bed. I blearily pulled them on.

And discovered that Bramble had peed all over them before he got into bed.



Daisy Poppy litter almost 48 hours

The good news is that Daisy Poppy’s milk is FINALLY coming in. Puppies are able to get full bellies. The other good news is that everyone made it through the last 24 hours and we’re still counting to nine when we look in the box.

Puppy weights are still below birth, except for a couple who are even with birth or very slightly above. The ones doing best are the ones I have been tubing the most, so we’re going to continue to supplement the whole group at least through tomorrow and then try to wean them off and hope Daisy P can keep weights going herself. I’m prepared to feed them all for the entire nursing period if they need it, but it’s so much nicer and healthier for everybody if mom can do most of it.

Daisy Poppy herself is beginning to feel a little better but we’re still working hard to get her to eat and drink. We’re feeding her french toast right now; lunch was chicken and pudding. Thankfully she’s starting to do more cleaning of puppies and less freaking out that they’re OK. When the first puppy was born she actually screamed and ran and tried to jump out of the box, and she continued to cry with each baby, so for a while there it seemed like she was pretty traumatized by the mothering experience. I am thankful that she now wants to lie down more and checks them efficiently and calmly instead of constantly whining and tossing them around worriedly.

I am not yet ready to say that we’ve turned the corner – I want to see that scale start to go up and not down! – but I am feeling hopeful that we’re headed in a better direction. Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers and sharing of your own experiences. I so appreciate every single moment and syllable of it.


Update on the Daisy Poppy babies, 6 AM

Here’s what hasn’t worked to get Daisy P feeling better:

Scrambled eggs

Chicken of all types (soup, raw, seared, etc.)


Everything else in the fridge that looked like a dog would eat it maybe

My counters are littered with DP rejects.

Here’s what has worked:

Ham sandwich (seriously, I cried when she ate it)

Comfort pudding (4 cups whole milk, 4 egg yolks, 4 T sugar, corn starch, cook until set). She finally, FINALLY ate this, and then gave a huge sigh and laid down flat for the first time in hours.

I am still giving fluids to the littlest babies and still tubing regularly. Daisy P herself is still getting more fluid from the bag of Ringers hung off my window (if the neighbors didn’t think we were crazy before, they do now) than from drinking. But the puppies are slowly, slowly getting some food from her, and between my feedings they are sounding quieter and less like they hate the world. She’s panting less and dozing more. If she can just feel good enough to let her milk down we can get around this corner.

Thank you for your kind words on the littlest girl we lost. You never, ever forget the ones you lose, and they become a very important part of your world. I am still very sad, but I am loving on everybody else twice as hard.

If I feel more confident tomorrow, we’ll do pictures of everybody.


Daisy Puppy update

Hi, everyone. It’s been a long and hard day.

Daisy Poppy went into labor after midnight last night. She whelped 10 puppies between 2:30 AM and 10 AM. The labor was very hard on her. She cried and cried with each puppy, and when it was over she was absolutely exhausted, shaking and miserable. She still isn’t eating or drinking on her own. We are doing all the things we know to do, sugar and calcium and sub-q fluids, and we’re going to get her through this.

The puppies were born strong but were/are very tiny. They range from 6 oz to 9 oz (and one relative monster at 11 oz), with most in the lower end of that range. We’re doing fluids and tubing, but despite our efforts we lost the tiniest bitch tonight.

I am pretty much in the valley right now. I will be updating as it’s possible. If you can spare a thought for Daisy Poppy, and pray that her milk comes in soon and she can start putting weight on the babies, we’d appreciate it. Breeding sucks.


Available (sob!): Oberon

Oberon is the GORGEOUS Juno-Shade puppy who was Sarah’s pick baby. He is just about the prettiest thing I have ever seen, and he’s incredibly sweet. Unfortunately, his second testicle never dropped into the scrotum. It’s sitting about an inch away, laughing at us.

So – he’s ready for a new career as a performance or companion puppy. He’s a moderate 20 lb at almost six months old, which means he should top out on the small end and should be able to have a long career in sport, herding, or whatever you’d like to do with him. Beautiful front and rear, never puts a foot wrong, thinks he’s a cat and spends most of his time navigating the house from the tops of furniture. He’s trainable to the extreme, socialized, happy, and very bonded with his people. Therapy dog? Possibly a service prospect? Absolutely. And, of course, he’s a flashy painted pony who turns heads everywhere.

It breaks my heart to see him go, but we’re not going to “fix” the testicle (despite several vet offers to do so) just to get him in the ring. He deserves to be adored for everything that we love about him.

If you are interested, talk to Sarah (I am not involved except as a matchmaker and his biggest fan) at


Yankee Cardigan club rally clinic and fun match announcement!

All-Breed Rally Clinic and Match

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sponsored by the Yankee Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club

With Rachel Brostrum (APDT judge, corgi owner, and all-breed instructor)

Monadnock Humane Society

101 W. Swanzey Road, Swanzey, NH

All Participants Must Be Pre-Paid & Registered; open to all breeds.

 9:15-10:30 Beginner Instruction

10:30-12:00 Intermediate and Advanced Instruction

12:00-12:30 Lunch

12:30-2:30 Fun Rally Match for all Levels!!!


Club members: $20.00 for day, $5.00 more for 2nd dog, $5.00 lunch

Non-Members $35.00 for day, $10.00 more for 2nd dog, $5.00 lunch

Beginner: Dogs with little to no rally experience, who have never shown in rally. Should be able to sit, down, and stay

Intermediate: Dogs with some rally experience or training (on-leash)

Advanced: Dogs with rally title in any venue (off-leash)


Registration form (please copy, paste, print, and mail)

Send to Carol Kasabian, 2 Amherst Road, Belchertown, MA

For more information, call 413-213-0593 or e-mail or


**Checks should be made payable to Yankee Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club


Your name_________________________


Your phone_____________________Your E-Mail__________________


1st dog: name ________________________level _____________________


2nd dog: name________________________level_____________________


The pile of dogs is doing great

Meriwether scolded me today for not doing an update on the whole pack of dogs lately. I know, it’s true; whichever dog is most needy or most dramatically active gets the press, and the others may not be highlighted for a while. It doesn’t mean they aren’t getting attention here at home – they’re just hanging out on the couch being happy.

So, Meri, you’re right, and here you go:

Sammy: Will be spayed soon, which always makes me a little nervous, but she’s healthy as a bear and should do fine. We love every bit of her and can’t get along without her.

Clue: Had a really rough recovery from her spay, not medically but behaviorally. Sudden menopause was not good to her. She spent a lot of time grumbling at the other dogs and marking fifty times whenever we went out. Thankfully, it’s almost all smoothed out now and she is acting much more like herself. As always, she’s attached to me most of the day, sleeping under my feet or snoring on the couch.

Daisy Poppy: Huge, pregnant, happy, loving.

Bramble: Settled into his first middle age with gravitas and grumpiness. He’s actually much, much more tolerant than he used to be of kids and naughty puppies, but more annoyed by strangers visiting or bad behavior by humans. I spent so much time scooping him up and putting him in his crate when people came over that now he’ll jump up into the crate himself as soon as there’s a knock at the door. I’m happy with that kind of decision-making, and of course we love the little sod and there’s very little time that he’s not in my lap or curled over my shoulder.

Friday: Always gorgeous, easy, no stories to tell because she’s the queen of the yard and keeps everybody in line. She’s always been a farm dog at heart, very busy and loves to patrol the fence line and scold at the chickens if they come too close to the fence.

Juno: Bounced back from her puppies faster than I’ve ever seen. She’s in fantastic shape, athletic as always, and (as with most of her siblings) abruptly bodied out when she turned two. She’s stayed perfect and tiny and friendly and sharp as a tack.

Godric: Got hair, finally, after we despaired at having a naked Papillon forever. He’s freakishly smart and starting to take on tasking, which is fabulous. The last few weeks he’s decided when it was time for me to get up and has dug at me until I sat up in bed, pulled my covers off, and grabbed my fingers to pull me out. Even if I’ve only had a couple of hours worth of sleep, I’ve pulled myself together enough to praise and tousle him thoroughly, because that kind of initiative is priceless. He’s very, very handsome and wonderful, except for RAMPANT AND INTRACTABLE MARKING OH MY GOSH I AM GOING TO DIE FROM THE PEE. Belly bands have become a lifesaving device.

We’re in the calm before the storm; Daisy Poppy is due to whelp at the end of the week. She got her last pedicure today, and a gentle belly and pants trim so everything stays clean and sanitary. She’s still feeling great, despite being as big as a house, and the puppies are kicking in there like crazy. I need to get the box set up and go buy clean tea towels for rubbing babies dry, and then we’ll be ready. Wheeee!


Sneak Peek: Hanging out with Sarah and Shade

Last week we met Sarah in Concord to get some updated photos of Shade and his beautiful sons (whose beautiful moms live here, so I am rather partial!).

I wanted to post some of our outtakes so you can see why I am so in love with these babies :). These aren’t pro-edited pics, just the snaps we were taking as we were walking and talking.

Shade, who is such a great guy.

Zen, who was Bernard – Clue’s son.

Oberon, Juno’s son.

The obvious improvements over their moms are in prosternum and depth, and angle of croup. Clue and Juno both have great rears and toplines, so you can blame both parents for these guys’ strengths.

Best of all, they are the sweetest puppies EVER. So fun to be with.

And speaking of Shade babies, Daisy Poppy is due on Friday! Geezum, I need to get ready.