Socialising and House Training 15:37

I was reminded yesterday why I keep this blog - it's been so long since I've had a puppy I spent yesterday reading back through my first few weeks with Ria, and there was so much I'd forgotten that was very reassuring to read!

I am absolutely exhausted. I think we are starting to get some semblance of a routine, and I think Luna may be starting to get the idea of house training - which will completely change my life. I'd forgotten just how physically demanding house training is, so for someone as restricted as me it's just taking everything I have and then some. I love her to pieces but at the moment I am just so exhausted I am struggling to enjoy her as every bit of energy I (don't) have seems to be going in to standing outside for hours. But it's not the sort of thing you can do some of - it obviously has to be all or nothing!

The nights are problematic - ironically partly because she seems able to hold it for longer than I expect! She wakes me up crying at least once or twice a night (usually 3am) but as I mentioned I can't take her outside at night so I'm having to use puppy pads. Which was fine the first night, but since she hasn't gone on them - which is awful for me because I never know if she doesn't actually want to go, or if she's just not wanting to go on them! Last night she woke me up whining 3 or 4 times and I let her onto the pads (one occasion was hilarious as she came out of the crate, walked on to the pads, looked at me and then took herself straight back to the crate and lay down) but she must've gone about 8 hours before she peed, which was when I took her outside at 5am (and pooped thent oo). I was more on edge because I was fully expecting her to poo before then, having not had one after her last feed. But she seems ok not peeing for so long so I guess as I get to know her better I'll be able to relax a bit more.

During the day is mixed - yesterday we actually managed all day with no accidents except a poo first thing and a wee last thing. I find the most common ones are when she catches me out because she's only been half an hour or less before, but then goes again. That's happened twice today - first thing this morning she weed inside having just done one outside about 15 minutes previously, and then the same happened just before lunch.

I've started to try and get her out more now she's settled. She's finding the world a bit scary at the moment! We've had a few sessions on the drive over the last three days, and then yesterday we ventured to ASDA (supermarket) and that was interesting, I had to stick to the quieter bits as it was all a bit too much otherwise. She's not good with people at the moment, but then she was terrified of the traffic the first time I went on to the drive and she's 100% better there now. We even saw a tractor this morning and she was too occupied eating her breakfast from my hand to care!  I had her up the drive yesterday evening (sitting on my lap) and the first person who walked by she was terrified of (and she just walked past, no interaction at all) so the next ones I moved further away and she was wary but still accepting food which was an improvement. Then we had to call it quits because there were no more handy people about!

We went for a first carry down the road this morning which was ok - she seemed to deal fine with the traffic, and when someone caught me off guard and stroked her although not happy she wasn't quite as freaky as she was yesterday. Time will tell!

I suppose it's easy to forget just what we're asking of them - when they've only ever known one place and with the comfort of their litter mates, and all of a sudden we uproot them to only the second home they've ever known, away from their mum and siblings and then also expect this tiny thing to deal with an enormous great world full of sights and sounds.

The Start of a Journey - Luna 08:05

and now having brought things up to date, let the Luna journey commence!

So as I mentioned I brought her home on Sunday, aged 8.5 weeks. What a baptism of fire! I had been excited for my first summer pup to house-train, after having to do all the others in we arrived home in torrential rain and I got to spend most of Sunday afternoon standing outside as it deluged! Not conducive to house-training.

It was a very stressful, exhausting and fragmented afternoon (bit of a fraught journey home too - it wasn't far but there had been an incident on the road we were on before the motorway and then the M5 was like a car park due to an ambulance fire) but her first night was quite positive - she refused to wee at 10pm but then slept through til 5am. I took her outside and she peed, but then it all went a bit pear-shaped as I went back to bed but then couldn't really settle and then spent til about 8:30 up and down as she failed to pee!

The day did improve. It's just finding my feet and working out how to do certain things, plus settling and us both learning about each other...getting towards a bit more of a routine now I think which will help, and I think we are starting to form a bond which is a relief! I was feeling like all I was doing was bad...all I care about at the moment is her bonding with me, sod anything else! I'd also forgotten how much harder it is with a wheelchair - I think house training is a nightmare at the best of times, then add in an object with interesting smells, loads of things to chew and something you can hide underneath and it suddenly becomes even more complicated, with nothing I can do about it! (To say nothing of the whole not being able to act quickly issue...) I'm hoping we don't have a problem as she seems to be leaking a bit. I hope it's just submissive urination and she'll outgrow it.

She has a very good pair of lungs on her - she screams frequently! Sometimes for no apparent reason. She can be in the crate, in the puppy pen, loose or even sitting right by me. But early days and she needs to settle.

Kooikers are not first dogs anyway, but my initial impressions are that she would be a nightmare in an inexperienced home. She's a lovely pup but very much of the temperament and behaviour that you could reinforce the wrong things so easily and then you would end up with an absolute nightmare...and if I can see that at 8 weeks...!
Let's just hope I don't mess it up.

Her second night was better in some ways and worse than others - she had a last pee about 9:30, went to bed. Woke me at 00:45 crying, I let her out of the crate onto puppy pads (which I have resorted to at night for the first time - incredibly frustrating for me but there is physically no alternative at night - I cannot move) and she peed and pooed really quickly, so back to bed. Woke me again at 3am fussing, let her out but she didn't want to do anything so put her back to bed and then decided to try a different tact and rather than wait for her to stir and then struggle to move quickly enough at 6:15 I woke her up to take her out and start the day. Took her outside, she peed and I then gave her a bit of food and was able to settle down :) which was soo much better than the previous day, especially for the boys who are finding it all a bit stressful. It's now just gone 8am and we have had a lovely "normal" hour and a half, plus pup is still asleep after an initial play!

So a much better start! Now let's see what today holds....

Revival - Update & A New Addition 07:30

Wow...time to revive this! So, after my last post life happened - puppies distracted me and then in December my mother had an accident, ended up in hospital and after that things were never quite the same again (she's made a good recovery though!)

Things changed forever, my health slid and So I have done very little for the last couple of years, but let's bring things up to date...

Sadie - just had her second litter (born 5th June) but went back to her owners for it and is currently still there, will be coming back to me in a few weeks. As for her first litter (as that was my last post, just after they were born!) I lost Three Spot (Gizmo) at 7 weeks old which was beyond traumatic. Little One (now Charlie) was kept by Sadie's owners and has gone on to do very well in the ring, gaining his Junior Warrant and being consistently placed. Chunk (now Bailey) is a much loved pet having a lovely life in Cornwall and Wide Blaze (now Magic) is having a wonderful time as an agility dog, currently on his way to Grade 5.

Solei - growing old disgracefully :-) just celebrated his thirteenth birthday and although he is suddenly starting to look old he is certainly not acting it! I've retired him now. I did want to do some rally with him to finish his first rally title but I haven't managed any shows or training for about two years so that went by the wayside!

Elton - now 8 years old, still up for everything but I haven't managed any kind of training for a couple of years so we're on a break from everything bar breed showing. I still show him very occasionally but I struggle to manage to keep him in show condition, so his outings are very sparing now. He had a Best Veteran in Show at a limit show last year (along with BOB and Group 2, still showing the youngsters how it's done!) Note for me - he has a couple of very loose ones so not for much longer, but atm he even still has all his teeth!

Ria - is Ria! What more can I say really :-) She's 6.5 years old now, so goes into veteran next year which is an insane thought. Like Elton I haven't managed any kind of training for a couple of years so we're on a break from everything bar breed showing. I've shown her even less than Elton, literally about twice a year. Really just to make sure she qualifies for Crufts (though I didn't take her this year, after all that!). Her behaviour hasn't really changed, despite best efforts.

and now for the reason for this revival....on Sunday I welcomed a very unexpected bundle of fluff into my life :-)

Meet Luna! An 8.5 week old Kooikerhondje.
To cut a long story short, she was totally unexpected and unplanned. I've actually been looking for a pup for a few years now, but nothing was working out (I wasn't set on breed - either a Phalene or a Kooiker, whichever came up first - and still nothing!). Then I have had a couple of years of utterly horrendous health and drama and so I was still looking idly but it would have had to have been something really special. Then barely a month ago I got this incredible offer totally out of the blue - pick bitch from a litter of 8 and she is also pick of the whole litter. Both parents are imports, and both very nice - the bitch is 5 and has done very well - including BOB at Crufts - and the dog is young (not yet 2 years old) but has also done well, including BOB at champ shows. Initially I was absolutely distraught because I didn't think it was an offer I was going to be able to take up, but....well, here we are.

I hope she will be all that I hope for, and improve life after such a rocky couple of years. I wanted to revive this blog to document our I hope you will join us for the ride!

Sadie Puppies! 14:36

So, I'd like to show you my completely life altering distraction for the next few months!

Puppies about an hour old
Meet Chunk, Three Spot, Little One and Wide Blaze lol Four boys. To be named properly at some point in the future...

They were born on 4th September after a very long all night labour (no sleep received on Wednesday night/Thursday morning!) culminating in a c-section on Thursday morning. Had a water bag at 1:30am and no puppies followed; if it wasn't for the fact the water bag had gone it would have looked exactly like normal early labour. They are big puppies and when the vet opened her up he discovered that her uterus and abdominal muscles were all so stretched she couldn't contract enough to push them out. We had a bit of a job getting Three Spot and Little One breathing properly but got there in the end, the anaesthetic didn't help. Sadie has been fantastic throughout, she took to them straightaway and she is being a fabulous mum.

Two Day Old Puppies
(LtR: Wide Blaze on his back then Little One, Chunk and Three Spot!)
I need sleep! Three Spot is a screamer when he loses the nipple or objects to something :-P Especially at 4am...

Little One doubled his birth weight on day 8. Chunk doubled on day 9, of the other two one also doubled on day 9 and one is 8 grammes off - when I weighed them the day they were born I got those two muddled and I'm not sure which was which! - but they weighed the same on day 9. Chunk's eyes started to open yesterday, Wide Blaze's eyes are starting to open today. Won't be long until they can see and then hear :-)

Chunk at 9 days old, eyes starting to open
They are strong and healthy puppies, now 10 days old and thriving. It's been an amazing experience so far, so much better than I thought it would be. We started Early Neurological Stimulation on Day 5 (I was apprehensive about doing it so started a little late, but actually it was much easier to remember than I thought it would be and we got into a nice routine very quickly) and they have had their nails cut a few times already. Amazing how quickly they grow!

9 day old puppies at the milkbar, growing fast!
(LtR: Chunk, Wide Blaze, Three Spot and Little One!)