Well, their first day of solid food on Monday was a good start… Light Blue, Orange, and Blue were my big champion eaters! Which is great, since they are some of the smaller pups in the litter.
Zen jumped in the box and started nursing them immediately after I set the food down – what timing, huh?
So it was a nice low pressure introduction to something new, and every puppy investigated a little. Some did more than investigate a little. Red, Purple and Orange all ate a surprising amount, considering they’d also just nursed. Light Blue and Blue REALLY chowed down, by the time it was all said and done. Light Blue immediately dozed off into a carbohydrate coma, sleeping on his back like a little Buddha. Poor Blue’s over indulgence led to him urping up a little and having an upset tummy.
Then, everybody needed to sleep it off.
On Tuesday, when I offered solid food again, Light Blue was once again at the front of the line. As I write this now, he’s gaining weight faster than he ever has before. Almost at twice the rate he was before. I think this is going to really agree with him!
The collective of pups ate everything I put out for them, and then most everything I refilled their bowls with (I’d made extra to set aside for a second feeding later).
Today is Wednesday, and they’re still nursing a regular schedule, though Zen is less and less interested in spending time with them when she’s not feeding them.
All right, I’ve been promising to get into this solid food thing for a while now, so it’s time I put up or shut up. So, hold on… here we go!
Remember our new partners from last week? Those sad sacks that still had something valuable to offer those pups? Well, those guys get to go to work NOW!
When DuMor powdered goat milk and BilJac Large Breed Puppy Food work together, they make absolute MAGIC! Palatable, digestible mushy food that even very young pups can ingest and keep down. It even smells nice. Kind of like a creamy vanilla milkshake. NOTHING like Zen’s nasty Green Tripe!
First, figure out what you’re going to serve it to the pups in, and about how much you’ll need. Little serving dishes are good. I shamelessly looted around in Rita’s kitchen, looking for likely candidates…
These 4 inch ones are just about right. There are 9 pups, and their noggins are still pretty little right now, so they can eat 3 to a bowl. I was thinking. “This should work for my crew.” Your mileage may vary, depending on the size and number of your pups.
I only put a couple handfuls of BilJak food in each bowl… and my hands are kind of small. I knew this was probably going to be overkill for the first time feeding any kind of solid, but I come from a long line of Ladies Who Cook. It’s in my genes to try to stuff small helpless creatures full of food. I can’t fight it.
Next, I whipped up the DuMor goat’s milk. And I do, literally, mean “whipped.” That nifty little gadget is a milk frother… also purloined from Rita’s kitchen. One of my friends told me once that if I ever did a cooking show, I’d be half Martha Stewart, and half Dexter’s Lab. Now, I kinda see what she meant by that…
Well, it may be weird, but it sure gets the job done. The goat’s milk reconstitutes nice and smooth and has a sweet, appealing smell. Puppies should like this a lot! Go ahead and pour it over the BilJak food, covering it up good.
As it soaks, it will expand. Remember, we’re not just trying to soften it up, we’re really trying to dissolve it. These pups have NO teeth at all. They’re just gumming it, at this stage. So we’re looking for something that will go down easy.
Enlarged, to show texture! Ha! Look at how it’s starting to break up. A little mashing around with a fork, a minute and a half in the microwave, and it’s warm and ready for their first taste-testing…
Tune in next time to see how it went. Muahaha! Mine is an evil laugh! You are my captive audience! You read this far hoping to see a puppy picture… you addict. Ok, well, here you go! Consider this a preview:
All right. I set them out. Do you think the puppies noticed, with mom in the box providing drinks at the nipple bar? Find out next time!
cereal, er, serial story installment was brought to you by guest blogger C.T. (“Chel the Chef”) Griffith.
Over the years I’ve had to field a lot of questions about my borzois, and what they eat. In the early 90’s when I had my first borzois,it was usually just curiosity on the part of the asker, plain and simple. But in the last few years, with people going so rescue-crazy and people wanting to see villainy where none exists, there have been a lot of nosy questions about what I do – or do not – feed my dogs. I’ve even been accused of “starving my collies”… you know, for fashion.
People can be astoundingly dumb.
So, when I’ve had a few people writing in and asking about Zen’s diet the last couple weeks, it’s been a real pleasure to see that spirit of curiosity take back over, and get nice questions from nice people who are really just wanting to know what the nutritional requirements of such a beastie are – especially one that’s eating for ten!
Zen’s a petite girl, but man does she love to EAT – especially when I break out the good stuff! For the first couple weeks after the puppies were born she was kind of picky about finishing her meals, but that has really changed this last week. I’m sure part of that’s the demands of milk production, but I think the big change is that we added raw back into her diet.
At first she was getting a premium quality kibble, top dressed with a similar quality canned food, whole milk plain greek yogurt, a canine probiotic and an all-around mineral supplement. She also got a calcium supplement right after the puppies were born, and Fenugreek (an herb, in tablet form) to help her milk come in and keep flowing. She’d eat, she’d even clean her bowl, but it seemed kind of dutiful and not particularly joyful.
Oh yes, Zen… you’re not imagining that distinctive stench emanating from the kitchen. You’re having Green Tripe for dinner tonight! And breakfast, tomorrow! Green Tripe, an important part of YOUR balanced diet! Along with other totally gross stuff, like raw turkey necks and chicken backs.
Here’s what it looks like all mixed up. Hey, misery loves company. Enjoy the view. At least you don’t gotta smell the “phew!”
This big bowl of gross brought to you by housesitter, hound hugger, guest blogger and fantasy author C.T. (“Chelle”) Griffith… who is really considering a genre change to Horror after this particular post.
On Monday we were busy preparing for the big day coming up – the pup’s 3 week birthday!
I have been clipping nails every three days and checking collars every single day to be sure they’re not too tight. On Monday, Blue outgrew his completely.
Zen watched me the whole time I bustled… something she’d never done before. She’s gotten real comfortable with me handling the puppies, even if they’re fussing, but she seemed kind of wistful.
Speaking of getting bigger, Red was able to figure out how to use the potty box right away. She’s the firstborn. She’s good for a lot of firsts!
Wow. They really ARE growing up.
“They can get as big as they want, but they can’t have my dinner!”
“Oh Zen…it’s ok. They’ll be doing solid food of their own real soon now. I promise, you don’t have to share.”
“Yay! Solid food! Soon!”
Today’s Daily Cute brought to you by borzoi fanatic and fantasy author C.T. (“Chel”) Griffith.
Got a couple new players coming on board this next week. Meet Mr. BilJack and Mr. Dumor. I thought we’d have a sitdown, look at next week’s schedule, get up to speed and try to come up with a game plan.
On Tuesday, the pups will be 3 weeks old.
Now that the pups are getting bigger, they’re going to need more than just what Zen and I can provide for them. I know they don’t look like much, but each of these sad sacks bring years of experience to the table, and are good at giving growing puppies what they need.
Kinda looks like Mr. Dumor started the party without us, doesn’t it?
This post brought to you by guest blogger and fantasy author C.T. (“Chel”) Griffith, housesitter and hound hugger and sack slinger at Aria Borzoi. Be sure to tip your waitress. Me’n the boys, Mr. Dumor and BilJack will be here all week!
With the puppies rounding the corner into their third week, it’s time to make some upgrades in their living space. They already outgrew their original little Rubbermaid tote where I’d stash ’em while I’d clean their whelping box – they all escaped en masse one day early last week, before their eyes were even open. It was weird. I’ll tell you all about it sometime in the next couple days. Aside from getting a bigger box, I put the half-partition up in the whelping box that very day even though it seemed kind of premature. But, hey – better safe than sorry, right?
The original whelping box was easy. Just the box with the railings and the fleece with the rubber bottom. Wipe down and change as necessary. Simple, effective. Here it is, in case you don’t remember. In case you’re curious, you can view the entire blog entry with the whelping box setup right here.
But early on, I noticed something kind of amazing that I’d only heard about before, but never had the opportunity to observe first hand. The VERY instant the pups had any control over their own bladder and/or bowels, they began moving away from the puppy pile to poop and pee. Amazing, isn’t it?
One of the billions of things that factory puppy farming gets so completely wrong is to raise pups on wire bottom floors, where they never have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. Their waste falls away and they don’t have any consequences. The other kind of factory farming means cages that don’t get cleaned regularly – and that makes pups comfortable in their own filth. Neither is what nature intended. In this case, doing the right thing comes easy to the pup… you just have to give him the opportunity to start doing it and those instincts will do a lot of the work for you.
I’m starting to see that raising puppies the RIGHT way, is kind of like making a quality piece of art. Sure, you can go to the swap-meet and pick yourself up a cheap velvet Elvis, or somebody’s favorite aunt’s hobby painting – but it won’t be the same quality as a portrait painted by an artist with an education from a school of the fine arts and a lifetime of experience. A master of their craft is going to use the best materials available, just like a quality breeder will breed stock that’s true to the breed standard, has excelled in the ring and/or the field, is mentally and physically sound, and has been health tested and deemed clear of any genetic disorders. Artisanal puppies. Raised with loving, hands-on care, with methods appropriate to their breed. But anyway, I digress…
So, given the right opportunity, puppies will start housebreaking themselves. This week, here at Casa de Aria Longnoses, they get their opportunity!
The first addition to the whelping box is the litter tray. This is a crate tray, with a light smattering of compressed pine bedding pellets. They expand once they get wet, so there’s a lot more on the tray than it looks like. The added bonus is you can tell once they’ve used it!
Here’s what the box looks like all put together.
They got a couple toys last week, but now that their eyes are open, they get a variety of new friends.
Here’s an “up close and personal” of their new friends. As a funny aside, Rita told me that once the puppies open their eyes, they usually see the puppy on the Dura-Whelp logo, recognize it as a puppy, and try to make friends with it. I was skeptical… until I saw it happen last week! I think I have a photo of it, too… I’ll try to find it and put it up as a feature on The Daily Cute sometime soon.
So, within minutes of putting the pups in their new box, guess what?
It works! The litter box WORKS! The proof is in the… er, well, not pudding… but you get it!
Giving your puppies an early start at basic housebreaking gives them the tools they need to have a good start at their forever homes. Isn’t it cool how mother nature helps out?