I uploaded 22 pictures to Facebook (Kate Roberson)) of the puppies outside today. They are giant and getting gianter.
Finally, here are individual pictures. Wordpress was giving me grief, so they aren’t large here, but click for the giant size.
Miro and Quarra told me that their names did not suit them, and didn’t like any of the other “Ender” themed names I offered. Miro says he is Milo, and Quarra says she is Claire.
Ella is exceedingly pleased with her brood of five pupplets, delivered between 11:45 pm on the 28th and 2:40 am on the 29th. She was waiting for things to settle down around the house, I suppose, as she was holding off all day. When I was sitting on the floor in the mud room cleaning the cat box she came in and asked to curl up in my lap, so we retired to the pool. She then begged that her granny (Rebecca) be there, so we all laid down on the bed together from about 9:30 to 11 pm and napped. At 11 she started to push (and had decided that the pillow Rebecca’s sleeping head was on would be the best place), so I sat in the pool with her from 11 on. She pushed from about 11:15 to 11:45, making progress, and SCREAMED when the first baby came. She was bred by AI, so the tissues were intact in there and needed to be opened. Always smart, and always a planner, she had her smallest puppy first to clear the way. Her second puppy was a full 3 oz bigger! After the first, it was over an hour until the second big puppy, but he came easily, as did everyone else. She didn’t seem bothered at all. She was instantly amazed and in love with her first baby, her eyes big and fascinated. Bronte was a great mother, but she didn’t love her babies, perhaps because she was sick with Lyme at that time and didn’t have the strength. (Lessons learned… ::sigh::) Ella was astounded by what she had done, and as proud of them as she is of her fetching toys. I knew she would be a good mother, she loves puppies, but WOW, she LOVES THESE BABIES, and is keeping them immaculate and well-organized. She is so fastidious that I haven’t had to change the bedding.
“Mommy! Granny! Look at these babies! Ain’t they the prettiest babies you ever seen? They’s so colorful and nice, all lined up.”
And they are, too. Everyone is prettily marked. The black is BLACK, and the blue is clear, and they are unbelievably healthy and vigorous. I could feel how strong they were while they were still inside. I put a huge amount of maintenence into Ella during this pregnancy, making sure she got to do all of her favorite things (to whatever degree she could do them), that she got a lot of exercise, that she was happy (studies have shown that the levels of cortisol – a stress hormone – that bombard a fetus will affect how they behave their entire lives, i.e. a happy mother makes happy puppies/adults, a stressed mother will make worried, stressed puppies/adults, because they are expecting to come into a stressful situation and need to be prepared to survive), that her nutrition was more than adequate, and far above par, that she stayed an ideal weight… And let me tell you how obvious it is. This is a stunning litter, even if not a single one makes it to the ring – which is at the bottom of my priorities, anyway. They are SOOO HEALTHY and vigorous.
I was going to name them all after stars or constellations, since the theme for their registered names is “Astronomy” (Note: Sorry, everyone, these aren’t Ellaments. That was when she was being bred to an element, “Neon Black,” which was not to be. I do, however, have plans for a certain very lovely and wonderful boy as a future hubby for Ella, and his registered name fits well with the Ellaments theme, so that theme will be making an appearence in 2013 or so if all goes as I want it to…) but Rigel, Sirrius, Polaris don’t exactly roll off the tongue, and are very sterile, rigid sounding names anyway. Last week, while cleaning the horse paddock, it occurred to me that I ought to got with an “Ender” theme for puppy names. Ella herself is named after an Ender character, and I’ve had a ton of names from those books on my puppy name list for years, so I decided to clean house. And, since it’s a SciFi series, goes well with the Astronomy theme.
#1 @ 11:45 pm – “Valentine.” Black girl with a squiggly, asymmetrical blaze and a small fairy kiss on the back of her neck. 10 oz. Pretty and feminine and sweet.
#2 @ 12:59 am – “Miro.” Black boy with a black spot covering his nose. He wants to be white-factored, as his white comes up in a square over both shoulders and there is white along the front of each back leg from his socks to his belly. 12 3/4 oz. He is very mellow and quiet, reminds me of Uncle Dex as a newborn. I think he will be a love.
#3 @ 11:15 am – “Petra.” Mismark blue girl. Light grey, the whole right side of her head is white all down her neck, with the right ear all blue. She is very conservatively marked on her show side, though. 12 oz. She will be her mother’s daughter. You can already tell that she is very, very smart. She understands that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, and is very deliberate in what she does, and she already oozes personality.
#4 @ 1:45 am – “Ender.” Black boy with a blaze a lot like Val’s, but thicker. The entire back of his show side ear is white. 12 1/4 oz. He seems a little keener than Miro, but is a very calm puppy.
#5 @ 2:40 am – “Quarra.” Slate blue girl, huge black patches. Pretty, pretty, pretty. Her markings, and her white, are so interesting and indescribable. You’ll have to wait for pictures. 11 1/2 oz. She will be a very, very beautiful dog. Heidi wants a blue girl from this litter, and I promised her pick of blue girls (in an attempt to try to keep myself from retaining yet another one), so if she turns out she will go to Heidi. I am already very jealous. 🙂 She is calm and sweet.
Points are all minimal. Valentine has the brightest ones, so I think she will have bright brindle points. No one should be tan-pointed in this breeding.
This morning we celebrated with mimosas made from the bottle of sparkling Dexter’s mom Susan gave me for the occasion (Barefoot winery, which I can only assume she did on purpose, LOL), and have been admiring our fine specimens all day. Ella wanted to fetch first thing outside, and did so for about 3 minutes, running fast and reveling in it. She already acts like nothing happened. After 3 minutes she was ready to go back to her babies, though. You can’t take them more than a foot away or she comes after them. She is the best and most perfect dog in the world. She is the dog of my lifetime and I am so proud and in love with my girl.
Pictures in a bit…
We’re having the puppies – today or tomorrow. I won’t be able to update the blog until all is over, but will update Facebook by phone when possible, and will take lots of pictures.