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On the morning of Sophie's 58th day of pregnancy, Friday 27th June 2003, she began showing and she became more and more restless as the day went on. She paced around the kitchen, only stopping to lie down temporarily in the whelping box, or on top of my feet as I washed dishes in the sink. She took to ripping up the newspaper that lined the whelping box and showed clear signs that we didn't have long to go.

Around 3am Sophie's contractions suddenly stopped.  She seemed relieved and quietly fell asleep on the couch beside me.  Her temperature held steady throughout the night, and her contractions recommenced the following morning, progressing to full labour by 6pm on Saturday 28th June.  She refused all food, and would not leave my side.  When I walked upstairs for a moment, she let out such a ghoulish howl, I dared not do it again.

By 3am on the Sunday 29th June, poor Sophie was becoming quite distressed. No place felt comfortable for her, except sitting on my lap having her ears massaged.  I had reached zombie-state by this stage, and feared that I would accidentally doze off.  To combat this, I erected portable fencing around the whelping box, and hopped in there myself along with Sophie.  Armed with pillows and a blanket, we cuddled up together, she resting in my arms like a baby.  At 5am I felt her body tense, and she began to push.

Culprit emerged at 5.20am, followed by Hey Jude at 6.12am, Sage at 6.45am and Given at exactly 7.00am.  Hey Jude was the quickest to his feet, crawling over for a drink before Sophie even had the chance to clean him up.  HJ and Sage weighed in at 200gr, with Given just a smidge heavier at 220gr, and Culprit at a whopping 300gr.

Sophie looked like the Incredible Shrinking Dog.  How to loose half your body weight in one night?  Just have four babies!  By 8am the whelping box resembled more of a nursery, with warm blankets replacing the newspaper, and mother and babies settling down for a well deserved sleep.  Ah, sleep, what a concept!     

Not able to tear myself away from our adorable new arrivals, I slept right there on the floor beside them, and woke with the sudden realization, that life as we knew it, would no longer be the same, now there were PUPPIES in the house.  Each trip to the supermarket is now timed for efficiency, as one hour can't pass without checking that the puppies are warm enough, feeding correctly, breathing soundly, etc.  The heating bill this winter is about to go through the roof, not to mention the laundry expenses for all those changes of towels and blankets throughout the day.

At Two Weeks - The puppies' eyes have opened now, Given being the first to lead the way.  They are quite aware of each other now, and will crawl from one end of the nursery to the other just to huddle up together in a nice warm bundle. Their hearing is also acute, and they can hear dinner coming (Sophie) from a mile away.  In their excitement, one usually trips over his own awkward feet. But they won't be bumbling little teddy bears for ever, so I'll enjoy every minute of it while it lasts.  Their nails have been trimmed this week, they've had their first taste of worming syrup (unanimous yuck), and they are all healthy and terrific!

At Four Weeks - Are you ready to Rumble?  There's certainly life in the house thesedays, as the puppies find their feet and realize that there's a big wide world out there, just waiting to be explored. They scale the highest heights (mum, the padded kennel, the water dish, or anything else in their path) to the tune of "ain't no mountain high enough!"  Baby teeth are pushing through, and tummies are now hungry for more than just milk.  Intent dining now takes place, but the business of eating is quickly replaced by friendly wrestling matches, often right there over the dinner dish. The puppies have found their voices too, barking in unison when a visitor comes knocking on the front door.  McDonald's toys are happily chewed and thrown around the nursery, while we humans set up the outdoor puppy run, in readiness for their emergence into the great outdoors next week. 
 At Six Weeks  - The early risers wake us each morning at 6am, calling for their breakfast and access to the garden. The puppies love nothing more than romping on the lawn, climbing onto footstools, wrestling their toys, and displaying the boundless energy that JRs are renowned for. They have experienced their first vaccinations this week, and also their first bath - after upturning a bowl of food during playtime.  

At Eight Weeks - The puppies had their last car trip to the vet surgery today, this time for their final check-up and weigh-in before leaving for their new homes.  Culprit still leads the pack at 2.35 kilos, closely followed by Given at 2 kilos.  Hey Jude is next at 1.8 kilos, with little sister Sage 1.6 kilos.  Tomorrow they will leave with their new families and although a joyous time, we will miss them very much.

Good luck in your new lives little ones.

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This site was last updated 01/25/07