Sunday, August 31, 2014

What a Summer! We Whelped a Litter of Pups for SSD!

We have been VERY busy since our last spring post!!  This summer, we whelped a litter of puppies for SSD.  That means we welcomed a pregnant mommy (GEB Talent from Guiding Eyes for the Blind) and then her 7 lab puppies into our home for 8 weeks.  It was the "C" litter and we got to name them!  It was an AMAZING experience and LOTS of work!  Raising puppies to be service dogs literally starts on day 1.

 Our breakfast nook was transformed into a whelping area.  The whelping box is on the left.  A Xpen kept Kindle out of the area until invited.  Emma got to eat meals with a front row seat to Mommy and pups!

 This was Talent and her 7 babies at 1 week old.  Their eyes and ears are closed and they only slept and ate.  They made the sweetest little cooing and squeaking sounds.  The yellow labs were:  Colt, Colorado, Cameo, and Cookie Dough.  The black labs were:  Cosmo, Charcoal, and Clementine.

                                           This was an amazing experience for Emma.

               Those sweet little faces and their little puppy breath made all the work worthwhile!


                                                   Lots of snuggles all summer long!

 We did get to take our annual trip to Cape May.  Kindle's first time on vacation with us.  We were so proud of her!  She did such a great job!  Emma's cousins, Jack and Nate, enjoyed having her along too!

              Kindle loved the beach and more importantly, loved staying close to her girl!

 Emma slept through miniature golf at the point, but Kindle kept a close eye on the game!  She even nudged Keith's ball at one point.  I think they were in cahoots! :)

 If Emma was in the pool, Kindle wasn't far!  This was particularly impressive because of how much Kindle LOVES water. 

                                            Little Colt looked great in Emma's glasses!

                                  We called this a puppy pile.  They often slept in a huge pile.  This was in the          
                                   pen we set up on our screened in porch.

                                              Colt and Colorado were too sleepy to smile!

 Cookie Dough is trying out the obstacle course that Jack and Nate set up for the puppies.  It was necessary to give them lots of new challenges to try and conquer to stimulate their problem-solving skills!  Cookie Dough decided she wasn't sure how to get down, so she stayed there and whimpered for help. :))

 At 6 weeks old, it was time to take the puppies to the vet for their shots and to get weighed.  I needed lots of volunteers to help.  Each one got their own puppy.  Emma liked holding Cookie Dough, one of the smallest pups and I caught this precious moment on camera.

 Afterward, Emma held Cameo.  She is so cute, she looks like a stuffed toy sitting on Emma's lap.

 Our second vacation was to Lake George, NY at the Sagamore Resort.  Keith and I were there 18 years ago on our honeymoon.  It was wonderful to go back and take Emma and Kindle this time.  Emma was just out of the pool looking quite glamorous in her shades.

                                      The pool was new and a lovely addition to the resort.

 Our last morning included breakfast on the porch overlooking the grounds and the lake.  Kindle is behaving as a good service dog should.  As always.

 This was our view from the table.  The weather was beautiful and even chilly for August.

 A six hour car ride home makes for a sleepy Emma.  Kindle spent the majority of the drive (both ways) on Emma's lap.  I just never tire of that scene!!!

 Kindle makes a perfect barrier to keep Emma from rolling off the sofa.  Thanks, Kindle!!!

 Our final weekend with the pups included an outing in Lititz.  Of course, I needed lots of volunteers again!  This time, the pups were on leashes.  Our trip consisted of Freeze and Frizz (apparently, I can clean up 3 piles of doggy poop while holding a small cone! Well, I did have 7 weeks practice!!!), a walk downtown, and playtime at Lititz Springs Park.  Kindle loved the pups and was like a "big sister."  They all enjoyed playtime in the yard.

             Emma's first crepe!  Bon jour!  Happy end of summer!  It's time to go back to school!!  I guess you could say our summer "went to the dogs!!"

1 comment:

  1. I have a litter of 1 month old pups needing training out and wonder where I can get some puppy service dog instructions? Your story and Emma convinced me to begin training for three friends with MS.