Puppies – The Story Continues

As Nick reminded me, we didn’t announce that Molly might be having puppies.  Actually we didn’t know for sure until we got back from California very late on Thursday night.  So, here is a little more information about the whole situation to bring everyone up to date – and more puppy pictures of course.

molly before puppies

                          Molly just before the puppies were born.

We  thought Molly might have been in heat around the time Larry and Karla and then Megan and Brandon visited in August, but were not sure.  Around the first of October, Molly started to look like she was pregnant, so we took both dogs to the vet and had them checked.  The vet told us she certainly looked pregnant, but often in young dogs it is a “false pregnancy” where they exhibit all the signs but no puppies.  “Time will tell” he said.  We had Grizzly neutered then, but it was a case of shutting the barn door after the horse was already out it seems.

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We were scheduled to be in California for two weeks, starting October 15th.  Neither of us were comfortable being away for that long if she was having puppies, so we cut our trip down to seven days.   Our friend Collin took care of the dogs (and chickens) while we were away, and we returned very late Thursday night.  Friday I could tell Molly was definitely going to have puppies; I could feel them squiriming around in her belly.  Also on Friday a very cold front blew through and we lost power about 9 pm and it stayed out all night.

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On Saturday, the power finally came back on and Molly began acting like she was going to have the puppies very soon.  I made her a little bed in our shed.  She started having the puppies about 10 pm and had the first seven by 2 am.  She surprised us with the last three sometime after that.

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I’m glad she waited until we got back and that the shed is mostly done so she had a dry (it has rained almost three inches in the past two days), warm place to give birth.  And that she didn’t have them Friday night when it was really cold with no power – though I guess we could have fed the little wood cookstove all night.

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We have looked closer at the puppies, and in my inexpert opinion we have six boys and four girls.  Of the three black ones, two are boys.  The ones that are mostly white now,  but will take on the heeler markings later,  are four boys and three girls.

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There are two of these little “bandit” looking ones; one boy and one girl.

 The runt of the litter is #6.  We kept track of them (at least the first seven) as they were born, and he is the one who had the most difficulty.  We had to really work on him to even get him to breath and we didn’t think he would live through the night.  He has surprised us by making it this far, so hopefully he will continue to do well.  He also is the one with a little red birthmark on his head – closest to Molly’s front leg in the photo.

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Molly is a sweet dog with a gentle, calm spirit and she has kept that same temperment throughout.  Grizzly – who always thinks he should be the center of attention – doesn’t seem to understand why he is not welcome in the shed with the puppies.  He will have plenty of time to get better aquainted with his offspring when they are a bit older.

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So, there you have it – the rest of the puppy story.  Molly is 3/4 heeler and 1/4 lab, while Grizzly is full blooded heeler, so by my calculations the puppies are 7/8 heeler and 1/8 lab.  Luckily, though Grizzly’s mom raised Molly from the age of two weeks, they are not related.

 puppy pile

One is already spoken for, so there are only nine left for you to choose from.  They would make perfect little Christmas Stocking Stuffers!

More Puppies!

When we went to bed around 2 am we thought Molly was all done having puppies.  She had seven very regularly about a half hour apart, then nothing for well over an hour.  We put down fresh bedding, made sure everyone was dry and warm and came in the house.

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When Rick went out to check on her this morning – surprise! Three more puppies for a total of ten.

protective mama

Molly handled giving birth to the other three pups just fine without us.  She’s been amazingly calm and collected and seems to know exactly how to take care of her babies.

heeler pup

The puppies of course are adorable.  Seven white ones with heeler markings and three black ones that look like Molly.  We haven’t discovered yet how many males and females.  Any guesses?

Puppies!

We are happy to announce the safe delivery of seven puppies late on the 24th and into the early morning on the 25th.

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Mama Molly is doing well and she was a real trooper.  She was cool and collected and very calmly went about her business.

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More details to follow soon.  For now, it’s been a long evening for everyone and we are all going to bed.

Any guesses on how many boys and girls?

P.S. To Alex:  Molly really appreciates the use of your old sleeping bag.  I don’t think you are going to want it back 😉

That’s a Birdbath!

While I was waiting for Rick one day, I caught this robin in action – very enthusiastically splashing around and enjoying the water.

bird splashing

After her bath she seemed a little damp, but very pleased with herself.

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The most entertaining part of this was her choice of bathing facility.  Can you guess what it is?

Here is a clue.

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A bit more of the picture.

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Here is the rest of the story.  It had rained the night before, and we were at our friends house.  John’s old – and not very recently registered – dump truck had accumulated quite a puddle from the rain.  A robin hopped right in and made good use of the “birdbath.”

truck view

I think the truck is a little large to fit in most yards, but it did attract the bird, and it made a great bath.

Fungi and Foliage

It is chanterelle mushroom season again. We went out the other day to see how many we could find.  It was a beautiful, crisp fall day.  The leaves have started turning and the colors are very vibrant against the backdrop of the evergreens.

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 The maple leaves are my favorite.  Gold, yellow and reds.

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Most of the chanterelle mushrooms are a buttery yellow color – almost the same as the fallen leaves which makes them harder to find.

chanterelle close side

We are very careful  to only pick the two types of mushrooms we are absolutely sure are safe.  Chanterelles in the fall and morels in the spring.

chanterelle close

There are probably at least fifty types of mushrooms that grow in this area, and some folks around here eat a lot of the others.  We are not that brave, but there are some interesting looking ones.

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Chanterelle’s are very popular in this region.  The grocery stores and farmer’s markets sell them fresh in season.  They even have them at Costco.

costco pic

We found quite a few chanterelles, including some of the rare white ones. Probably about four or five pounds all together.

 chanterelle on tailgate

Rinsed off and ready to chop.

before chopping

Chopped and spread on the dehydrator trays.

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We enjoyed the beautiful day and have plans for the mushrooms. Fresh, homemade cream of mushroom soup mmmgoood.

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She’s 21!

Our baby is 21 years old today – it doesn’t seem possible.  I wish I had some pictures of Megan when she was a little girl to post – but alas those are all in storage at the moment.  I will have to settle for some fairly current pictures in different settings. Here she is in New York with her friend Ashley just after they graduated from high school.

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  Playing in the snow at the ranch.

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 With Brandon this summer overlooking Ross Lake.

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With Grizzly – who has been trained not to climb on people.

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This photo also says Megan to me.  She loves shoes.  When Megan visits, you are liable to find her shoes anywhere and they will be very cute, designer shoes at that.

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Here is her senior picture from high school; note the shoes.

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With Brandon and Rick on the bridge over the Skagit River.

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With her Dad.

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We are a little sad not to see her on her birthday – she is in Texas.  We will see her soon when we have Thanksgiving with her this year in Aggieland.  Happy Birthday Megan!