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Traveling with Dogs Puppies – Alangus Mini Aussies: A Dog Blog
Dec 182012
 

Mini Aussie and litter of puppies

We decided to load up the motorhome and start the trek home to Kentucky from Hilton Head Island on Sunday, December 16 since Fancy seemed to be holding stable.  She had held off, so we had our fingers crossed that perhaps her body was telling her to wait for her own bed and safety zone.

Of course…not to be and as I originally predicted..day 74 from first show, the exact same time interlude as her litter in 2011.  We stopped for the night in Maggie Valley, NC at the base of the Smokey Mountains in the campground we typically use when traveling on I-40, Creekwood Farm RV Park.  It was pouring rain, so luckily we stopped a little early, around 6 pm.  By 8, Fancy was panting and pacing and crying just a little and there was no doubt, it was happening.  I gathered all the supplies and we got ourselves set to help her and for an all-night stint.  Why is it that it always starts just at bedtime?

At 9:15, the first puppy appeared and struggled a bit to finish its  entry into the world.  We cut the cord and helped it along and found the reason it was hanging back was that two puppies were trying to come down the chute at the same time.  Oops, one at a time please!  Things progressed well, with just a few glitches, but nothing serious.  By 2 am, we had 5 puppies and since the ultra sound had shown 5 heartbeats, our sigh of relief could be heard through the valley.  We straightened up the supplies and Paul went to bed and I stayed on the couch so I could monitor.  At about 4 am, the babies were squeaking a bit and I woke from my coma to check on them and found another baby entering the world.  Oh My!!!  The little blue merle boy was the biggest of the lot and ready for milk right now, or yesterday even!  Paul says this one should be named “Tardy” 🙂  We ended the night with 3 girls and 3 boys, 3 black tris and 3 blue merles.

Because I’m one to try to be as prepared as possible, I had already gathered vet info for the area and set my alarm for 730 am.  I wasn’t sure the last placenta delivered and Fancy hadn’t totally settled as mamas usually do after whelping, so I called a local vet office to ask about an Oxytocin clean out shot for her. My local vet felt like I shouldn’t risk waiting just in case because of the possibility of infection or even another puppy.  Dr. Gibson at Animal Hospital of Waynesville was so helpful and worked us into her schedule for the morning, something a lot of veterinarians just won’t do, especially for a traveler that will probably never be back.  X-rays and an exam didn’t indicate problems, but we opted for the clean out shot and a round of antibiotics.  We then loaded up to continue our ride back toward LaGrange Kentucky.

The shot gave Fancy a little discomfort because just like a similar drug for laboring people, it “induced” contractions to push out any residue that might need to be released.  Within the hour, she was obviously feeling better and laid down quietly to snuggle her new family.  The puppies had already nursed non stop for 12 hours and their little flat bellies had  rounded out and little squeaks of content could be heard on occasion.

I can’t help but interject Paul and my discussion here as we drove down the road with mama and 6 sweet little Mini Aussie puppies.  The production of a new living being is a miraculous event whether it be an animal or our more precious skin children.  There is just no way it could be a random freak of nature coming about with so much precision and in such a complicated way.

Fancy is a wonderful mom to her babies and once settled into her x-pen in our sun room, she is just relaxing and making milk to feed six hungry little mouths. We had a very nice vacation with our daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren and our “fancy girl” but coming home is always sweet.  We had missed our pooches left behind with the petsitter on this trip.

Stay tuned for updates on these puppies!  Additional info can be found at my website www.alangusaussies.com.

 Posted by at 5:18 pm
Jun 262012
 

Puppy in Bicycle Basket

Our favorite vacations are to take the dogs in our motor home and ride our bikes, non-motorized, on a scenic rail to trail. This summer our choice was the Katy Trail spanning Missouri east to west. There’s always beautiful nature since the old rail lines ran through the countryside and often along waterways.  This trail is no exception.

After a slow start and a poor choice of campground for our first night, we landed in Hermann, MO in the middle of Mssouri wine country. The little town with obvious German heritage  was a neat place to relax. The city park had shaded campsites just half mile from one of the wineries with tours, tasting and a nice German themed restaurant menu. Poor planning delayed getting our rental car a couple of days, but once we were mobile to get to a trailhead, helmets to the wind. 

Although the trail is over 100 miles long stretching from St. Charles, MO to the west, we only had time to ride in 10 mile segments because of the heat of midsummer with daytime temperatures approaching 100 degrees F.  We hit the trail very early in the morning for our ride and if possible stoppwd at a local diner in one of the little depot towns for a hearty breakfast. The first morning’s ride took us from McKendrick east to Rhineland, MO with acres of flat cornfields with some hills in the distance.

This trip we traveled with Izzy, Rosie and Swagger our 3 mini Aussies. Ike and Fancy stayed home to be cared for by the lady that works for me in my pet sitting business. I bought a bike basket just for dogs on Amazon and this was our debut. Swagger LOVED IT!!  He has his face to the cool morning breeze and was a happy rider. Rosie and Izzy got in a morning nap back at ground zero.

 Posted by at 9:52 pm
Jul 262011
 

I just returned from a 400 mile trek down to Atlanta for the IABCA dog show.  My adult son and I took his Border Collie, my black tri mini Aussie, Fancy, and Izzy’s two puppies along on the trip.

The show was held at Jim Miller Park just outside Atlanta and was a very nice event with about 160 dogs registered and a variety of breeds.  Fancy earned her points for International Champion as did Gus, my son’s Border Collie.  Both also got awards for Best of Breed.  It was a nice field of dogs and as always, we enjoyed chatting during the day with other dog owners.  There is always something to learn or to share where there are so many knowledgeable dog owners. Since I am a novice in the conformation ring, I especially like it that the judges write their evaluations of both my showing style and the dog’s conformation.

It is a little unusual to take along 7 week old puppies to a dog show that is that far away, but I am determined to give my puppies a good head start on their socialization and what better place than where there are barks and woofs and loud hairdryers and hundreds of hands to play with them, hands that are dog smart.

Traveling was actually quite easy because of their prior playpen training.  I drive a mini-van and removed all the back seats.  Our two adult dogs were in their kennels, but there was room to lay down a vinyl floor covering and the puppies had lots of room to play and since they were used to their peepee pads on the holder, that wasn’t a problem either.  For rest time, I tucked them into their kennel to help train them for their new homes and for them to learn that is their safe and quiet place.

At the dog show, I sat up their soft sided puppy play pen that has a bottom with their toys and pad.  They haven’t had but one round of shots, so I wasn’t comfortable putting them on the ground to play or to potty with so many possibilities of disease. That worked very nicely and they had room to bop around and a place to rest between their bops.

Their fear stage hasn’t set in, so they were happy to greet anyone that wanted to snuggle them and I was especially appreciative of the junior handlers that came around to spend time with them.  Exposure to children and young people at this age is super important in my opinion.

I might add that we had very nice accommodations at the Hilton Convention Center in Marietta and it was very pet friendly.  I had booked at another place, but it turned out to be a little shady and we were not comfortable in that particular area to be outside after dark to walk the dogs.  If I were traveling back to the same show, I’d definitely be on Priceline to book the same rooms.

It was a very nice trip.  IABCA is a relaxed and enjoyable show venue with experienced AKC judges and a nice crowd of people.

 Posted by at 1:30 pm
Jul 072011
 

Traveling with adult dogs is one thing, but traveling with a momma dog and her month old puppies takes a little planning!

My first quandary was where they would ride so I opted for using a normal plastic dog crate that would fit mom plus puppies. With our slide in on the motorhome for travel, floor space was limited.

Since I had previously gotten the puppies used to climbing out of their Perla bed onto peepee pads, when their little feet hit that surface they were ready to do their business. Again space was an issue when we were rolling, so I opted to put a pad in the bathtub and every hour or so set the pups on their pad. Amazingly, they cooperated and there were very few accidents.

Once we got to the campground, I used a soft sided puppy playpen that I bought online. I actually bought two, but opted to use the “Best” brand that I found on Amazon. It was one piece, lightweight and had a zipper screen on the top to keep insects out. It was plenty big for a small bed, pee pad and food dish.  Plus, it was very easy to wash out and dried quickly. I don’t think this particular pen would contain larger, more rambunctious pups, but worked perfectly for this outing. I used it both inside the motorhome and outside under the awning.

I’m really happy we took the puppies along because I got to watch them grow plus they got a ton of socialization since our two grandchildren were with us. They were bombarded with the noises of life in close quarters and will be better pets for it 🙂

www.alangusaussies.com

 Posted by at 7:54 pm