Pictures & Words
They're impeccably clean because Grace did a great job of washing them all today. They smell great, and they're soft and cuddly. As they approach the four week mark, they're getting lots of personality, and they're much more interested in interacting with people.
The next four weeks will be busy—and a lot of fun!
I took Max out last night to see a movie about his namesake—Where the Wild Things Are. Max had relatively low expectations because some of his friends had seen it and said that it was just 'OK'. Well, I think the combination of the subject matter and his literature class at college really helped him out, because he thought the movie was outstanding—the best that he had ever seen. I had a very similar opinion. The movie was tremendous: well done and wonderfully acted. A beautiful and horrifying look at childhood. This isn't a kids movie in the traditional sense, so don't think 'Toy Story'. I doubt that kids under the age of 10 would 'get' any of it, although I wouldn't not bring them (it's not too scary)—although it may scare parents a bit to remember their childhood and then think about what their kids are going (and growing) through.
Six stars. Max and I were discussing the psychology around the 'Wild Things' the whole way home, and for another hour after.
More of the same. Everyone is doing great, and we've started to 'mash' them—which isn't as cruel as it sounds. We make a mash from puppy food and goats milk. They love it!
A couple quick snaps...
The eyes are open, they're interacting with each other (and me), learning how to talk and play. This is where things get fun (for the next couple weeks). Then the teeth come in—it's still fun, but it hurts more!
The Foveon chip in Sigma's SD14 isn't the greatest for color at ISO 1600 (an understatement), but it really does a nice job for conversion to black and white. Just playing with this—taken with the 30 mm f/1.4 (at f/1.6). I need to stop down to get a little more of the puppy in focus.
Eyes are opening, and everyone is doing great! It's also refreshing not to be chasing around the neighborhood looking for a Field Spaniel...
Purple Polka Dot Girl
Pink Polka Dot Girl
To go out and shoot photos. Field Spaniels were safely put away…
Yesterday morning, Beep decided to sneak under our dog yard fence (so we suppose) and visit the neighbors. We figured this out in relatively short order. Jen got over there and saw him and called—and the f*!@*^in dog took off in the opposite direction, now about a 1/4 mile from our house. Jen, Max, Noah and I spent the entire morning combing the fields and woods around this area, and didn't see him at all. It was homecoming weekend for Grace, so we didn't call her figuring that we'd fine him quick enough.
Well, a little after noon I figured it was time to start making flyers and stuffing mailboxes on our 'block', which is basically 2 miles by 1.5 miles. We called Wyn who was very understanding, and she put a call out to Kylie, Becky, Joe, and Terri---Field Spaniel folks who live north of us. Around 3 or so they showed up and we had a full contingent searching. Around 5 or so Kylie spotted Beep (right where we had lost sight of him that morning—and he turned and fled, again. Joe picked him up a few minutes later, with the same result. As the light was going away, the decision was to leave a crate with dog food and ground beef mixed in, and hope that he was there by morning. If not, we'd need to locate a large live trap...
After dropping Grace off at the homecoming, I took a walk with my flashlight to that area. Shining the light around where I thought the crate should be---I saw two amber eyes staring back. I talked nice to those eyes and they didn't go anywhere, so I started to close in (I was about 50 feet away). When I got closer, I could see Beep in his crate. I got to about 10 feet of him and he bolted out of the thing running the other way! I hung out quietly in the darkness for another 10 minutes to see if he'd come back, but I didn't hear anything. I got up, called him telling him to come home, and walked back to the house.
An hour or so later, Jen is on the phone with Animal Control, asking if they have a larger live trap then what she bought at Gander Mountain. They ask her to check the size, and she goes into the garage and a Field Spaniel shoots by her into the house (all muddy—and settles down on our bed).
Twelve hours later, and he's back safe and sound. Wyn—come get your baby! He took a year off my life yesterday (luckily 10 miles of walking probably made up for it...)
So I've caught up on my sleep a bit (the Packer game last night didn't help). Not so much for Jen, but it gets better with time. The puppies are all doing terrific! Everyone is eating and pooping and squeaking and being cute. Carmen is doing a really nice job with them too---not too intense, but she's giving them the time that they need with her. They went to the vets today to get their dewclaws removed.
Just a few shots while Carmen was out of the box—these guys were pretty sleepy though...
…and early morning.
Carmen had her water break around 3:30 yesterday afternoon. She delivered her first puppy at 6:30 pm—a nice liver girl at 14.5 oz. She took her sweet time to deliver a liver male at 9 pm—a big guy at 16.2 oz. Then we started to have problems. She did a lot of pushing, and delivered an empty sac around 10:30-11 pm, but she just wasn't having any luck getting any puppies to move through the birth canal. We went into the vets around 3 am for a C-section. It was amazingly messy (my first) and way too busy for the five of us (Dr. Hatcher, an assistant, a friend of the vet, and Jen and I). There were an additional nine puppies in there—the one clogging up the birth canal had expired (a liver male), and another gianormous liver male whose sac had ruptured was also gone (he must have been 19 ozs). The remaining black 7 puppies (four males, three females) are all in good shape, although it takes much too much work to get them resuscitated and breathing (squeaking). A couple had us worried for a while.
We got out of there around 5:30. Bottom line is that the puppies are doing well, Carmen is doing well, everyone is nursing and healthy. Smallest pup is 12 ozs (nice size), and we have four over 16 ozs. Carmen looks slimmer, by the way. So the score from last night is:
• Four black males (18.5, 17, 17, 14.3 ozs)
• Three black females (13.2, 13, 12.2 ozs)
• One liver male (16.2 ozs)
• One liver female (14.5 ozs)
We've had a visitor for the last few months: Beeper the fun-loving Field Spaniel. Grace has gotten into these dogs over the last couple years, and has been doing a lot of showing with them both in the Junior's ring and in the breed ring. In fact, she'll have a Field Spaniel in the ring with her at Westminster this coming February (Mr. Darcy). Beeper is a loaner to us from Wyn Overholt. Grace has been showing Beeper in the Junior's ring and doing pretty well with him. He may be going back to Wyn in a couple weeks, but if he does, I'll really miss him.
Normally, I don't get very excited about new breeds. We have CJ the pointer—he's a great dog, but I wouldn't drop Curlies to start raising pointers. But these Field Spaniels are different. They're a nice sized dog—40 lbs or so, and really solid. Athletic. Fun and loving, but not stupid, slobbery and fawning. Reserved but confident with strangers. I would have no problem keeping a few of these guys around the house… Only complaint is wet ears coming out of the water bowl!
Obligatory stacked photo:
The more 'native' state of a Field Spaniel:
Well, not quite—but really soon. Carmen is due any minute, and she's the size of a house. X-rays say 9 or 10 puppies. She's been sleeping in our bed the last few nights—but she's been very restless and she always ends up laying over my legs. Jen gets all the cats on her side. Look at this profile!
And in case you can't tell, the milk is coming in...
Hopefully we'll have some puppy pictures up in a day or two...
Over the last couple months, Jen has seen a young deer hanging out by our place. This deer is apparently without a mother, and she has an unhealthy trust of people–she comes up to Jen and the kids and lets them pet her. Fun for them, but not a good thing with hunting season around the corner. And no, we don't need another pet!