CH Elfin Eye On the Sparrow "Lark" turned two at the end of September, 2010. She has completed all her health testing, has her CHIC number, and is now a Certified Havana Silk Dog™. She has been bred to Multi CH Bydand In the Mood at Concordia "Curtis." In addition to being a proven sire of quality dogs (he is Penny's sire), Curtis has been known to throw red and, with Lark's unique color (she is a red/gold agouti with cream points) anything goes! Lark's litter is due May 8, 2011.
Note...this is May 8th and we are running out of Mothers' day. Lark's sister, Karma, made it all so easy. I guess Lark's going to dance to her own drummer, too. This page will be updated as soon as Lark lets the pups make their debut. The theme for this litter will be mystery authors. Karma's pups are characters in their books...Lark's pups will have written the books....stay tuned for the solution to the mystery of WHEN is Lark going to have her pups.
Multi CH Bydand In The Mood At Concordia
Jr CH Elfin Eye On The Sparrow
Mystery solved. On May 9, 2001, Lark went to visit Dr Steve who has a special interest in reproduction. Ultrasound and the temperature fluctuations, and especially progesterone testing all indicated that Lark should have had her pups on May 8th so we made the decision to have a C-section. The thought was that her uterus was stretched too thin to begin contracting so labor did not begin. One of the 5 puppies was in distress, as evidenced by slow heartbeat, but the others were in good shape. Dr Steve kindly did the C-section as I am way too emotionally attached to Lark to have done it myself and the result was that the 4 puppies survived and Lark did great. I brought them all home the same afternoon and Lark was very happy to be done with that. She ate as if she was starving and is doing a good job with the babies, especially considering what she'd been through. Here is Lark's cast of characters...I originally was going to name these after authors but there are just too many cool mystery characters to go around so we are going to continue the theme that Karma began...
1. "Kate Mayfield" Black/white markings Female
2. "Jack Reacher" Black & Tan Male
3. "Ranger" Black/white markings Male
4. "Stephanie Plum" Gold Female
4 shiny puppies!
"What're YOU looking at? Whew, it's been a LONG day!
******************************************************** Chapter One - Introductions....
Where Karma's mystery tale began uneventfully, Lark's story continues to unfold in a gripping tale of suspense. After breezing through a C-section and taking immediately to motherhood, being quite protective of her puppies, and steadfastly guarding her castle gates, last night Lark seemed very lethargic and refused supper. Temperature check revealed a fever of 104...no wonder she felt like a hot dishrag. Every hour through the night, she was syringe fed water to maintain hydration. Nothing but the fever was apparent...all vital signs good, milk flowing, color good, abdomen not tender. I fully expected to take her to the ER for a quick blood panel this morning...but, there she was, sitting up, eyes bright, temperature normal (101.8) and hungry. 2/3 of a can of food later, she was cleaning her puppies as if nothing had happened. I, on the other hand, feel drained and sleep deprived. Now I'm wondering if I would have been better off basing her pups on a comedy novel...am tired of mystery and suspense already. Throughout the night, the puppies were all fine, nursing, content. I hope the next plot twist is "all drama is behind us!"
Usually puppies are updated at a week of age and each week thereafter but to keep updates timely, they will be on the weekends so here are Lark's Legends at 5 days of age...
The 'feet' are for my friend, Patty, and illustrate the great pigment all the gold puppies have.
Chapter Two - Suspense to solution... When we last visited Lark, she was recovering from a C-section, surviving a fever, and proving picky about eating. Last week was a suspenseful time reminiscent of one of my favorite book pages called "What do I want to eat today?" Trips to the store to buy a variety of gourmet and organic foods...rejection of egg and anything containing calcium...suspicious inspection of any food presented on the off chance it MIGHT contain something nutritious...sigh. On Thurs, Lark decided that she'd held out long enough. The turn around was partly due to ingenuity and partly due to nature finally allowing her to feel good again. I found a Calcium carbonate supplement with no flavorings...and an organic food she really LIKED. The other thing I did was enlist Karma to help...brief history...Lark has always been the dog who eats only because someone else wants it (tongue in cheek but that's what it looks like.) I finally realized that the lack of competition was keeping her appetite down so I invited Karma to watch Lark eat...or should I say gobble...her breakfast. Worked like a charm. Now all I have to do to get Lark to her dish is say, "Are you done? Karma wants it!" Eating like a little pig and plumping back up! Scrambled eggs (these are fresh eggs from my friend Marsha's chickens who live the life of Riley, running free and eating better than many people) for breakfast...yum!
Lark's Legends have been blissfully unaware of the Lark's trials...they have been growing and thriving from day one and are shiny and sleek. Eyes are not yet open (remember they are 4 days behind Karma's Characters) but should open in the next day or two. They are contented and beautiful. They have been doing their daily super puppy exercises which will end tomorrow. They have the sweetest little faces and I swear they smile when their faces are stroked...little puppy expressions and twitches are just endearing.
Got their little portraits done...just shy of two weeks, the Legends!
Chapter Three - Here's looking at you, kid... Memorial Day and a rare Monday off from the office. Lark's Legends continue to grow and thrive and now have eyes all open and are beginning to explore their environment and interact with both humans and each other. Lark continues to do great and there have been some interesting changes in her, too. Lark, who has been voted 'least likely to share anything!" in our house has been caught on several occasions sharing a food dish with sister, Karma, AND Waylon, the cat...of course she is happy to share Karma's kids, too. This morning, for the first time, she was actually nursing little Rhyme while Karma was out airing. And, when Karma came back, Lark vacated the premises...it's like my little Mine, Mine, Mine teenager has suddenly matured.
Been comparing weights between Karma and Lark's litters and they are very comparable at the weekly weigh ins. Always trying to guess the eventual sizes but it's still too early to tell. I've compared them to some previous litters and have decided that weights at this age are essentially meaningless. More relevant is that they are healthy, sleek, shiny and happy little puppies.
Lark got her first bath post whelping on Sat and looks gorgeous...here is Lark, eating with Waylon and posing for her apres bath portrait. Then, the really important part...Lark's Legends!
Sharing a meal with Waylon
The Legendary Portfolio
Chapter Four - The Town Council Meets... and, to the delight of all, approves zoning for multi-family housing for the Legendary Characters! The original novels have merged into an epic filled with colorful characters as Lark's Legends join Karma's Characters...on the North side of town, the commune is complete and expanding to meet the families' needs. The interval from novelty (when the Characters were enthusiastically greeting the Legends, who were somewhat bewildered) to acceptance and integration was of the 'you blink, you missed it' length. The first playdate, last week, ended with the 4 Legends segregated from the other kids...last night, the bed was a pile of puppies (see below) jumbled and content.
Karma and Lark are competely content to co-mother the puppies. Lark does most of the nursing and Karma is the clean up crew. The babies take which ever is nearer...little children of the earth. Over this week, mother visits will diminish until the babies are entirely on their own. All are eating very well...canned chicken and rice for now. This week new foods will be introduced. The mommies have had The Honest Kitchen's Embarq (organic, dehydrated, grain-free) added to their meal choices and I plan to add it to the babies' meals later this week. This morning the Potty Park was placed in the pen...soon they should be able to clamber up on it...then the floor grass will be replaced with another Park. With 11 little eliminators, a generous grass area is essential.
Over this and the coming weeks, we'll be watching personalities develop and getting an idea of which puppy will be matched with their new homes. The final decision will be made after the 8 week evals and Puppy Aptitude Test but we should have a pretty good idea by the time we confirm our thoughts on placements. Outdoor fun begins today, although it will be limited due to extreme heat. Next week a brick patio will be installed on the shady side of the front yeard...yet another surface to enjoy. 6/6/11
A Pile of Puppies...peaceful.
Breakfast is served!
The Commune...Day 1
Lark's Legends...4 week pin-ups!
Chapter Five - Coming alive... The legends have caught up with the Characters in the personality, puppy play, fun department...integration is complete and all 11 are just one big happy family. The Legends have changed a lot in the last week, mostly coats which are lush, soft and beautiful. They are doing great in the new big playyard and eating up a storm. Lark and Karma's visits are becoming shorter and shorter as the little ones are very enthusiastic about latching on to the nearest nipple with their sharp little needle teeth.
The puppies at this stage are like the adults in miniature...they play hard and fast then fall fast asleep...grin. New in the food department is soaked organic kibble which was received well. The pups were introduced to the rest of the dogs yesterday. The pen door was closed so all contact was through the fence but everyone was very interested in getting to know the babies...especially Dancer who was entranced!
Hope to get some pictures of the pups outside tomorrow. We finally got some relief from the horrible heat. 6/13/11
Everyone meets the babies!
Penny & Dancer check out the puppies.
Mega dose of 'sweet' without the calories!
Chapter Six - It had to happen sometime... After dodging the bullet for almost a week...bath happened. We were waiting for our new puppy spa sink to be installed and it finally got finished! Auntie Cathy and Uncle Les came to visit today (bearing puppy toys!)and were promptly pressed into service. Cathy helped as we trimmed feet, bellies, butts, nails and eyes. Then I bathed and Nancy dried and all the puppies were simply wonderful. Not a single fussbunny during the baths, only minimal "Wha's happening to me???" when the dryer first started then, "Oh cool...I can do this!" and they were fine. Deciding when to do a post bath photo shoot is always a toss up...if you wait, you might not have a clean puppy any longer...if you do it immediately after the bath, sometimes you get baleful eyes or 'deer in the headlight' expressions. When you look at the portraits you may notice that Ranger was on the move. To complicate things, I had coq au vin going in the slow cooker on the other side of the counter and several pups (notably Ranger and Karma's Corey) were entirely bent on following their noses instead of responding so Cathy's squeaky toy but, we managed to get decent shots.
All the babies have really been enjoying their outside time...They go out first thing in the morning while their house is being cleaned and then after each meal. They learned to go up and down the front steps in record time. I think they are little geniuses. Some of the puppies really prefer to potty outside (Karma's Corey and Dance made it very clear today that they wanted to go farther away to potty...so we took them outside when they cried and that's exactly what they did.) They are, collectively, some of the most sociable puppies we've had. They love being with people and are very curious about the world around them. We have a little barrier now to help clean up poo or I'd have 5 or 6 pups "helping" each time. Silks like to shred paper and these kids really, really want the tissues that take the poo.
They are fully weaned now. Lark and Karma moved back to my bed last night...they were SO happy! Today, a couple of times, they thought they'd like to visit the pups but as soon as they stepped into the pup pen, they were besieged and beat a hasty retreat. The puppies have given up fussing over the lack of maternal attention and are eating solid foods happily. 6/19/11
Lark's Legends...squeaky clean!
Chapter Seven - Showing off... Lark's Legends are simply a delight. The developmental differences between them and their 4 day older cousins is shrinking...now we have to rely on individual characteristics to identify them instead of them looking noticeably 'younger'. We had lots of visitors this weekend (see Karma's characters for details) and they could all tell us all apart in very short order. Plum and her cousins Amelia, Honey and Dance are the most challenging but all have different markings and expressions (and some other details, like bigger and smaller ears. We were very good about our baths (well, ok, Reacher got a B- for hollering but he was first and first is hard cause you have to be in the 'clean' room all by yourself til the next victim arrives!)
This week we have been promised more playground equipment equipment will arrive. We have a teeter totter and are great at running up and down steps and, of course, climbing in and out of laps, crawling over legs and feet, and finding shoelaces to untie! We will be training for our evals this week...we heard something about soaped photos and are thinking it's not going to be nearly as much fun as 'portraits'...oh well, it's all part of growing up!
Chapter Eight - Balance is Everything, Grasshopper... We are growing up...it's a fact. It turns out that when you grow up, life changes and it's not all play anymore. We have WORK, too...we have to take tests and 'valuations'! You would have thought they would just know that we are valuable...but, no...in the words of the great Arlo Guthrie...
"They got a building down New York City, it's called Whitehall Street, where you walk in, you get injected, inspected, detected, infected, neglected and selected."
Well, we sure hope we don't ever get neglected or infected...but we sure got inspected and detected and are going to be selected after our PATs, which are going to be this afternoon (see Karma's Characters for details are what's going to happen to us!) There are rumors that we're gonna be injected this week, too...doesn't sound good for the Legends!
But, there's good news, too...we got new playground equipment last week! All sorts of fun things to play with. Wiffle balls are FUN and we have a Buzz and Woody Skateboard and a tunnel to hide in. And, you're not going to believe this...we got a piano AND we can play it. Forget 'kitten on the keys', it's "puppies play poptunes!" Once we get done practicing, we might make a music video!
The Fab Four...
Week Nine - Change is in the air... Something's up...we can just feel it. There is whispering and talking and words like "leaving", "new homes" have been overheard. Frankly, we are ready for a change...ready to expand our horizons. We have met every new experience with aplomb (and a Plum!) Today we got our hearing tests (all perfect) and our first 'shot' but we didn't hear any shots and we know we can hear. We got a little bite of freeze dried liver..yum...then someone said "GOOD PUPPY!" and it was over...what shot?? We had a good time and got to sing again in the big Cocoon van...not exactly 99 bottles of beer on the wall but singing nevertheless. In the next few days we are all going on big adventures...Plum's learning to fly tomorrow...wow! Dance has her first flying lesson on Sat. Reacher and Ranger are staying in the local area so get to visit sometimes. We have been told we are the best, cutest puppies ever...and we ARE!
Last time..we will all go together when we go...
Epilogue - Lark's Legends Leave... Of the legends, only Kate remains but she, too, will be gone within the week. 4 precious puppies have been a privilege to raise for the wonderful friends that have taken them into their hearts and homes. Check out their farewell concert under Karma's Characters...what talented little babies!