If I didn’t write things down, I’d be lost.
Think about it. The shopping list. Directions to a destination (before GPS). The times you administered a medication. Who’s eating which kibble?
There are 19 dogs in this house right now and that is down two, because Mlle. Campari and GRCHB Questa are both competing in Springfield, Massachusetts under Rebecca Bradley’s professional hands. Three of the girls here have litters and we hope that dear Piper will come into season in the next three months, get bred and have puppies. We’ve been hoping that, since she was bred last April and did NOT conceive. But I have way, way, WAY too much on my plate now to worry about when Piper’s coming into season!
You should see the clipboards and easel pads that hang around my house. And scales – I have three. And hygrometers and thermometers – there are at least six of those. My own office gets repurposed, with every litter. For the first four weeks, the new litter and their mum hang with me in my office off of the kitchen, as I attempt to stay on top of daily weighing, note taking and mummy dog care. Once the puppies can climb out of the whelping box (and that will be happening within days)? It’s time for the 2″ height extender that will buy me most of a week’s more time, before we move the puppies down to an Xpen in the AGA room at about five weeks of age. This year? That is scheduled to happen, just as Ziva’s puppies begin leaving for their new forever homes. Thank you, Mother Nature! A four week gap between litters is just about perfect. Now, she needs to work on her ratio of males to females. ;>)
And then we have the oldest litter which will be the first to leave, beginning on December 14th. At nine weeks of age, Monsieur Moustache will depart for a wonderful new home that’s been grieving the loss of their Golden for some time. He will move to Richmond, Vermont to live with an athletic couple and their seven year old son. Mrs. will be home 24/7 for the first week with the new puppy, as they have their own contracting business. I’ll get to see the puppy occasionally and will always offer him board & room, when requested by his humans. His first day on Albon was Thursday – boy, THAT was fast! They just met him on Wednesday and moved quickly with their decision making. The Albon protocol is important, as we proactively treat for the potential of coccidia by putting each puppy on a ten day course of Albon liquid, timed ten days backward from the departure date. And Pinot and Preta’s Albon protocols began yesterday. Kuro starts today, as he’s leaving next weekend, too. Yvette (formerly Chesty and no laughing ;>) is staying with me and so, she won’t need it. And then, depending upon Preto’s departure dates, we’ll add him to the Albon calendar, too; that will be five out of six in that litter.
Koko’s litter is only four days behind Ziva’s and I’m keeping Eddie, one of the Beckham x Koko puppies and, yes, named for Eddie Redmayne. That puppy won’t need the Albon (as he’s staying with us) and I now have departure dates for the other two; have figured it out and added their Albon protocols to the calendar. And the only tricky thing to remember and calculate about the Albon protocols is that the first day is a double dose: .5ml per pound for the first day vs .25ml per pound for the next nine days.
Piccolo’s puppies are too young to have to worry about anything other than the Nemex II dewormer protocol (administered at two, three, four, six, eight and ten weeks), although the two females are going to Dallas by jet plane on January 16 . . . count back ten days and add those two to the Albon calendar.
Understandably, sometimes I just want a break and need to take it down a notch or we celebrate a Questa win! Where’s the wine? Only issue there is that with my overnight sleeping interruptions? I sleep better without the alcohol. And I remember in the early 2000s, when my dear Italian aunt was still alive and suffering from Alzheimer’s with me as primary caregiver . . . I’d meet my brother for a two martini lunch at Legal in Chestnut Hill to ‘dumb’ myself down . . . only to realize that she was exactly where I left her, upon my return. I drank to make her go away, but it didn’t work! (Anyone out there who’s done the same? It’s pretty funny and absolutely pointless, in retrospect.)
So, the training routine continues and morphs a little bit with each passing day. Puppies are now outside playing in the freshly fallen snow, twice daily. Car training is in full gear (pun intended). Lady Bernadette is here daily and becomes more highly valued with every passing day and tomorrow? Nothing will have changed. Clean laundry will await folding by early morning – dirty laundry will predictably be waiting my morning arrival down in the AGA room – the Albon’s sitting on a windowsill to keep cool and the ladies will greet me with circular wags of their happy tails – and out they’ll go to bark at the world and announce the beginning of another day.
One day at a time. Nevermind the wine; where’s the coffee? ;>)