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28 November 2006
These puppies are getting so big. It's difficult to remember when they first arrived here, 20 days ago. They are 1 month old today. They arrived as little blind, barely moving lumps. Now you can't keep them still.
We've also come to "recognize" them. They arrived color coded and I couldn't tell them apart without checking their ID tags (except for Blue, the only male). Now both Walt and I can tell which puppy is which from across the room, without any ID tag (all of which became too tight). Now that I can tell them apart, it's amazing to me that I had such difficulty in the beginning. They don't look at all like each other — each has very unique markings.
I've watched them running around the family room the last couple of days, reaching up to tug on everything cloth they can get to, and gnawing on my toes (ouch! They have teeth!). I got this idea that what they needed was the kind of hanging thing that we used to call a baby gym, something where I could hang things for them to play with while they were in the playpen.
Walt got to work and built a bar to rest across the top of the playpen, for me to hang things on. I put a rubber chew toy on a strip of cloth on one end of it and hung another strip of cloth down on the other — I wanted to be sure that they were both hung in a way that would make it impossible (or at least very difficult) for the puppies to hurt themselves.
Within seconds of being put back in the playpen, Panda had found the chew toy and was actually making tentative gnawing motions at it.
They've had some blood in their stool the last two days and Ashley assumes they have picked up coccidia, little one-celled organisms that are commonly found in the intestinal tract of dogs and cats less than 6 months of age. So they are now on medication for that. I thought it would be difficult to give them the pills, but they are so used to sucking on my finger and drawing it practically to the back of their throat that it turned out to be very simple to give the pills. They didn't even choke when swallowing them. Even after only one dose, the morning brought a noticeable improvement — and no more blood.
They will also start weaning off of the formula that I use to mix with their kibble, since I'm running out. Mixing kibble with water instead of formula might also firm up the stool a bit.
Ashley says that we should let her know when we've had enough of the growing puppy antics. There are times when they are quite time-consuming and I can see that it would be nice to have them move on, but as long as they are sleeping as much as they still do, and as long as they still fit in the playpen, I don't mind having them around. They are too much fun to think about giving up yet.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
This is entry #2434