Relaxed at home
Relaxed at home
Relaxed at home
Relaxed at home
Relaxed at home
Relaxed at home

  Roxy Summer 2020  
Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow

Birth: Friday 31st July
We are beyond excited to announce the arrival of Relaxed's first ever litter of Gordon Setter puppies.


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Roxy (Marshmoor Purple Velvet) had her wicked way with Gloria's Marshmoor Black Jack on Monday 1st June and today, Friday 31st July and a mere 60 days later, she has given us TEN puppies, five boys and five girls (thus satisfying Jack and David's slight obsession for symmetry and equal numbers!). After becoming a little restless and 'panty' yesterday evening, she then kept Jack awake for five hours: pacing the room, lying down, getting up and considerably upping her panting. Around 3.15am she was sick (on the sofa) and then her waters broke (on the carpet, and a dog bed). David was summoned and managed to entice her into the whelping box and at approximately 3.40am, out popped her first puppy: a boy. A second followed within 15 minutes, a third 25 minutes later and then a whole hour later, the first girl put in an appearance - she was a bit of an effort to get out but within the next hour, two more joined her. A fourth boy arrived at 7.15am, bringing the total to four boys and three girls, thus matching the total number of reserved puppies - and desired sexes - exactly!!!

Roxy was being a perfect mum, bringing all puppies round to her front, licking them clean, eating the placentas, cutting the umbilical cords and then allowing them to head off into her nether regions to find a teat!

An hour went by, followed by another, tea and toast were consumed, Roxy took a bit of water and then quietly snoozed whilst her seven puppies found her seven teats and quietly, or rather noisily, drank! At around the two and a half hour mark, Jack rang the vet to say all was done, it looked as though we had finished and everything seemed okay.

And then suddenly there was an outpouring of liquid and a full two hours, thirty-five minutes after the last puppy made his entrance, out popped two more - and in very quick succession, one boy, one girl. They were so fast, one was almost dry when he came out!!! And so now we were nine. Our attention turned to Roxy who we showered with praise and adoration before instructing the puppies that they now had to master the art of sharing as nine into seven most definitely did not give them a teat each! Roxy cleaned her latest charges in record time and then promptly fell back to sleep, where 30 minutes later, she gently lifted a back leg, hardly opened her eyes and with the vaguest of pushes gave us puppy number ten: a fifth girl, thus once more giving us even and equal numbers. Such a clever girl.

As we type this it is now gone two o'clock in the afternoon and we are pretty sure Roxy's whelping is complete. She has hardly moved, whilst the puppies have continued to remain oblivious to anything and everything other than getting a fix on that teat!!!!

We are in awe, we are super proud, we are indebted to Gloria for entrusting us with Roxy back in 2018 and for holding our hands these last few weeks, not to mention allowing us to use her wonderful Jack as our sire.

We are also massively excited for the potential new puppy owners who, in just eight short weeks, will be taking home these wonderful Relaxed babies to start their new lives.

PS - our Kennel Club name (yet to be confirmed) will hopefully be Dexaler. We couldn't have Relaxed as it is a company name: ('yes, it's OUR company name' we wanted to shout.... but 'rules be rules'... let's hope Dexaler is approved - in case you were wondering, it is 'Relaxed' backwards - although we have since discovered it is also the name for a Spanish drug!!!!!).

Anyway, a few pics of Day 1 - expect lots more.... xxx

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Relaxed At Home
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Relaxed At Home

Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Week old
One day old: Saturday 1st August
Sleep, food, sleep, food and a much needed toilet break


We checked on Roxy a couple of times through her first night and all was good. This morning we offered her a hearty breakfast of scrambled egg, some wet food and her usual biscuits and she ate where she lay with the pups, very enthusiastically and polishing the whole lot off in mere minutes. She was still incredibly tired and spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon snoozing!!

We knew we needed to get her up at some stage both to empty her bladder and bowels and to remind her what her legs were actually for. We were also quite keen to remove some of the soiled bedding from yesterday's birthing activities!!! We had a plan but Roxy beat us to it, suddenly leaping up at around 4pm and with a slight nervous glance back at her pups, heading outside to her own 'private' bit of garden. She had been in the whelping box for over 36 hours and a stretch of the legs was definitely called for.

The pups have already grown - they apparently double their birth weight in the first week - weights vary from 9 to 13 ounces for the girls and 11 to 15 for the boys. We added all the weights together and worked out Roxy was carrying an extra 8lbs by the end of her pregnancy (3.5 kilos). She weighs 28kilos so that is well over 10% of her body weight.

Lots more food was consumed throughout the day and she even said hello again to the other dogs who were allowed up the 'outer perimeter' of the whelping area. Stonefly in particular is missing Roxy, Dragonfly is on the other hand a bit more 'chilled' - she does live in Roxy's shadow a bit at times.

It's all very peaceful at the moment: Roxy is calm and the pups, when not suckling, seem pretty relaxed too. We are a little in love with the smallest girl who has a white flash on her belly that really reminds us of Rabbit, our first dog. It may stay or it may grow out - time will tell.
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Relaxed At Home

Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Week old
Two days old: Sunday 2nd August
Food in, milk out...


Roxy is doing her very best impersonation of a production line, huge amounts of food get loaded in one end and copious amounts of milk are chucked out the other. There always seems to be at least half a dozen pups drinking and my goodness they are growing. Weighing them again at a week old will be interesting and we wonder if the difference between lightest (9 ounces) and heaviest (almost 16 ounces) will be the same, smaller and larger?

Roxy has eaten loads again today and when not eating or cleaning the pups, she sleeps. We have to say that she is keeping a very clean whelping box and our thoughts keep turning to when it is 'our' turn in three weeks.... we may not do quite such a good job!!

We have altered her life hugely and it's going to sound bizarre but we are missing her! We are missing her enthusiasm and bounciness and her being around all the time: hassling us for a walk, a cuddle, asking to go out, come in... but my goodness we are super proud of her too. We have no comparison of course but it seems she is being a quite outstanding mum!
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Week old
Three days old: Monday 3rd August
Getting cuter.. and bigger and noisier


Roxy's trust in us is remarkable. We get in the whelping box, we pick up the pups, we re-arrange the bedding and she accepts it all. We know she is 'keeping an eye' on us, it's not like she doesn't care, she simply trusts us. It's quite humbling.

Today we gave her a bit of a wash, she has kept herself and her pups amazingly clean but the remnants of birthing, and the fact she is in the whelping box 23/24 hours, meant a bit of a freshen up was a very good idea. She also had a bit more of a wander round the garden.

The pups get bigger, noisier and cuter by the hour... the days seem to be flying by already!
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Week old
Four days old: Tuesday 4th August
A bit of a wander and full bellies


Roxy is not quite so tired anymore and today had a bit more of a wander round the garden and some 'cuddle' time with us both. The pups continue to drink sleep, make a lot of noise and get ever cuter. The competition for the teats (as the photos show) is fairly intense at times but whenever we check (which is a lot), all pups seem to have full bellies. Watching them sleep is amazing - they twitch and wriggle and squeak... they are never still: as it should be in fact - a still puppy can be a cause for concern.

Roxy really is a stunning mum - we are so proud of her!!
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Relaxed At Home

Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Week old
Five days old: Wednesday 5th August
Our first visitor


We had our first 'puppy' visitor today, a local friend that Roxy knows. We weren't entirely sure how Roxy might react but we weren't prepared for the massively enthusiastic response that she gave. She jumped out of the whelping box and was full of bounce and licks and tail wags - it was so lovely to see. She was also very happy for her pups to be touched and admired!! This all bodes well for when we start to get the first official puppy viewings from potential owners!

Roxy is beginning to grab the odd ten minutes or so away from the puppies, having a wander in the garden, or cuddling up with us on the sofa in her whelping area. The pups are okay snuggling up to each other during these times and don't get cold. It's all systems go though when she returns as they detect her presence and start heading back to her teats... today for the first time we saw some wagging tails as they fed - it reminded us of how lambs and kids wag their tails when they suckle from their mums: mega sweet.

Roxy is eating over twice as much as she would normally and this amount will need to go up as the pups demand more and more. In the third and fourth weeks of the pups' lives, the amount may need to rise by three/four times too. We do feel she is in great condition at the moment, not under weight, with a glossy coat and, after some rather lose movements (!!!), regular poo that shows she is getting the maximum out of her food.
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Week old
Six days old: Thursday 6th August
Sleeping and Slurping


As Roxy increases her 'time out' from the puppies, we get more scenes like this: mega cute puppy piles! If we then pick any of them up, the warmth is just fantastic!
Ears are now not quite so glued to their heads although it is another week before the ear canals start to open. The squeals and squeaks are getting noisier, proper barking though won't start until day 18. From tomorrow, eyes may start to open: we are looking forward to this enormously!!
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Week old
A Week Old: Friday 7th August
The other dogs


Roxy gets more and more keen to leave the puppies for short periods and see us a bit more each day and she also seems pretty happy to be with the other dogs too. None of them have seen the puppies, although they have heard them - plenty of times!! - but today, as Roxy wandered in and out of her whelping area, we wondered about her reaction if any of the other dogs showed any interest in seeing where these 'strange noises' were actually coming from. We are very careful not to allow any of the other dogs near the whelping box when Roxy isn't there but Stonefly was made to feel very welcome this afternoon when she came for a closer look once Roxy was back inside.

We expect there may come a time when Roxy is VERY happy for one of the other dogs to 'mind' the pups when she needs a break (LOL), but for now, it will be supervised visits only.
Once again, Roxy is astounding us with how she is coping with her new role and all the challenges it is bringing!!

No eyes open as yet, but the eye lids are now looking closed as opposed to sealed!!
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11 Day 12 Day 13 Two weeks old
Eight days old: Saturday 8th August
Gaining weight


Today we weighed the puppies, at just over a week old now we were expecting them to be anything up to double their birth weight. We weren't disappointed. The girls had collectively gained weight by an average of 1.71 times, the boys 1.77. The combined birth weight was 3.6 kilos, it is now 6.29 kilos with individual weights ranging from 480g to a whopping 810g!
Roxy is feeding ten puppies so we think these weights show she is doing an amazing job. And as the first picture shows, our smallest girl definitely no longer fits in our hands!!
No open eyes yet but mobility is getting more and more. We are now seeing the pups lifting themselves up on either their front or back legs in order to move forward and this means they are also getting quite nippy round their box too!!
There is also more sleeping away from mum and Roxy herself has times when she just chills on the sofa for a few minutes!!
It's incredible to think we are an eighth of the way through their time with us before they go to their new homes!!
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11 Day 12 Day 13 Two weeks old
Nine days old: Sunday 9th August
That puppy smell


We have had several friends telling us they are looking forward to 'that' puppy smell!!!! There is, we agree, nothing quite like it and when you own a puppy, it is a smell that once gone, you really miss and cannot recreate and you wonder at what point the puppy stopped smelling like a puppy and more like a dog (and let's face it, some dog smells are no where near as welcome...). When Roxy sits with us on the sofa she smells of her puppies - it is such a comforting smell and one that comes with/elicits a variety of emotions and responses - all good - huge love, innocence, warmth, sleepiness, calm....

So, we are not afraid to admit it: we do spend our days inhaling 'that' puppy smell!!!
As well as watching eye lids vaguely start to flicker (we are so excited about seeing the first open eyes), legs get stronger and faces get cuter!!

And today we captured the 'Setter' totally-chilled pose: on his back, legs in the air, completely relaxed!!!
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11 Day 12 Day 13 Two weeks old
Ten days old: Monday 10th August
Can we see yet?


We are willing these eyes to open! Today we have had a lot of eyelid movement and the very tiny start of slits appearing but, as yet, no open eyes..... It is going to transform how they look and as their vision develops (it takes a while), it will of course transform their behaviour too!!!
We have increased Roxy's food a bit this week, she has demolishing what we give her and the pups will be taking more from her so if she wants more, she can have more. We now leave her with a bowl of dried biscuits when we go to bed and usually, by the time we have finished turning off lights, washing up the tea mugs etc and putting the other dogs to bed, it's gone!!
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11 Day 12 Day 13 Two weeks old
Eleven days old: Tuesday 11th August
A bit pooped


It has been a hot few days - today was the hottest, 27/28 degrees we believe. We are grateful that the front room, where the whelping box is, is our coolest room but today, even that was a pretty warm 24 degrees. So, there has been a lot of stretching out and less 'puppy piles' today and still, we are sad to say, no open eyes - just podgy puppies who are doing their best to drink mum dry (and not succeeding thankfully).

Roxy is in good shape, her weight seems fine, her coat glossy and we have been doing our best to remove any knots and tangles that appear - which they do with all the lying around she is doing in this warm weather. She does get a bit itchy and so we plan to give her a bit of a wash to soothe her skin - baby shampoo is on order!

The other dogs have now all met the puppies - Roxy is very chilled about this although interestingly she is a 'little' protective when Stonefly is near - is this because Stonefly is our only other intact female (the rest being neutered or castrated)? With all human visitors, she is very keen to say hi and has no issues with them peering in the box to coo and admire!!! It's all good!!
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11 Day 12 Day 13 Two weeks old
Twelve days old: Wednesday 12th August
I can see clearly now


Yay!! Eyes are starting to open and little Sparrow here was the first... Sparrow is the smallest girl who we have pretty much fallen in love with and may well end up being our 'keeper'!!! She is classic 'small but with a big personality'!! She is the loudest, she seems to be the zippiest, already lifting herself off her tummy and hoisting herself around on her legs - more or less - and when it comes to the 'milk bar' she burrows her way under her brothers and sisters and grabs one of the lower teats with no problem at all!! The fact she has been one of the first to open her eyes is no surprise!!!

Today has been ridiculously hot again but the whelping box and therefore the puppies, thankfully remain cool. Fans have been on in most rooms. Roxy is coping - just - although her poo is a tad runny just now: weather maybe or possibly all part and parcel of the changes her body has and is going through?
She is away from the puppies more and more but remains massively aware of the presence of the other dogs and of visitors. Today we have had a lot - of the later - and she was so happy to have a friend's ten year daughter handling the pups, she even left the room.

Another observation: we have seen some puppies wee without Roxy stimulating them and every time, they have done so on the towel in the whelping box, NOT the vet bed. Is this already an awareness not to soil the area where they sleep?
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11 Day 12 Day 13 Two weeks old
Thirteen days old: Thursday 13th August
Too hot!!


More heat and even more humidity today but thankfully Roxy has been doing the sensible thing and essentially not doing a huge amount: just feeding the pups and lying around - although she did come with us on a quick walk round the fields to check the livestock which was really lovely.
We are mega proud of the rest of the dogs who seem to have accepted these extra ten bundles and pretty much now ignore them, and certainly don't interfere. Stonefly remains the most interested and the one that Roxy still 'glares' at occasionally but access is now such that Roxy can come and go as she likes, and we don't need to worry about either the pups or the other dogs!

The pups themselves are noisier, faster and most now have their eyes open, albeit with less than prefect vision (that will come over the next few days)! Tomorrow is worming day - we are preparing ourselves for a bity of a mess!!!
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11 Day 12 Day 13 Two weeks old
2 weeks old: Friday 14th August
Increased volume


It is fascinating to see how Roxy reacts to the noise of the puppies. As the days go by, she responds less to every single squeak and squeal and mini bark and chooses more discriminately what to react to (just as with human parents with their human babies!!). As this is our first litter, we have no benchmark, but based on our experiences of livestock and of how well these pups are doing, we think Roxy is being a brilliant mum.
There certainly are a lot more noises as the days go by, and there are times when we jump up and rush over to the whelping box to check all is well, whilst Roxy sits on her sofa opposite with a look that says: 'they are fine, stop fussing'!!!!

We are not yet seeing obvious signs that the pups are 'seeing' clearly yet - some still go round in circles searching for mum's teat when she gets back in the box - and we know that in 'seeing clearly', that's when the chaos will really start!!
Ha - we cannot wait!!
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Day 15 Day 16 Day 17 Days 18/19 Day 20/ Three weeks old
Fifteen days old: Saturday 15th August
Increased movement


A day of lots of changes, most of which we found hard to catch on camera!!! LOL. We have a fair amount of walking now occurring, sitting (mega sweet), signs that the puppies are starting to 'see' their surroundings and the noise level just keeps on climbing.
Roxy remains calm and collected - she was simply fantastic with visitors again today - these were the first of our potential new puppy owners and she did us proud - as owners that will be new to Gordons, they were fairly bowled over by how loving and happy she was, and even more bowled over by how chilled she was for them to handle her pups!!!
The puppies seem to be sleeping as much - often (now the weather has cooled a bit) in huge puppy piles now as the photo shows - but when awake they are definitely a lot more mobile and vocal. Also, when Roxy gets back into their box, they don't now immediately always rush for her teats: a sign she is feeding them exactly right so they are not always desperate for food.
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Day 15 Day 16 Day 17 Days 18/19 Day 20/ Three weeks old
Sixteen days old: Sunday 16th August
Indignant barking!!


Today the puppies really found their voices: it has had us in stitches because they have all been trying to bark and yet all we hear are loud, high pitched yelps that sound soooo indignant. They seem to be saying all sorts of things: 'where's my milk?'; 'who are you?'; 'who put that wall there?'. Roxy has done her best to ignore them but even she has rushed back to the box a few times to check all is well!
There is a wealth of discovery going on at the moment - we are utterly entranced.
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Day 15 Day 16 Day 17 Days 18/19 Day 20/ Three weeks old
Seventeen days old: Monday 17th August
Worms and weighing


The general advice from those in the know is that puppies should first be wormed at 2 weeks. We use Panacur which means a dose every day for three days. On the first day, there was a mild acceptance of it all and with the help of a friend, we managed to squirt 1ml (ish) of wormer in all ten mouths and not end up with more on us and our clothes than inside the puppies. From then onwards it's been downhill all the way with the final day seeing a lot of head shaking to get rid of the taste, squealing at having a syringe inserted in mouths and general unhappiness at being 'torn' from their warm, soft bed and 24/7 milk bar!!
We weighted the puppies in order to worm them and all are putting weight in at a pretty equal pace: for the girls, 1.65 times the last weight at just over a week and 1.64 for the boys, Our biggest pup now is a boy at 1443g, whilst Sparrow is a cute 800g!!!
Eyes are starting to look more like eyes now with pupils beginning to show and focusing begiining!! Chaos is not too far round the corner!!

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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Day 15 Day 16 Day 17 Days 18/19 Day 20/ Three weeks old
Eighteen to nineteen days old: Tuesday 18th to Wednesday 19th August
Huge changes


The puppies have changed so much in the last 48 hours - they really seem to have become proper little dogs: walking upright on all four legs without their bellies sagging on the floor; wagging tails more; starting to interact with each other, chewing and siffing ears and faces. They are definitley focusing on things around them more too, including (we think) us.

Roxy is spendig more and more time away from them and more time with us and the other dogs. Stonefly is desperate for her to start playing again! Roxy isn't quite there yet though, she is still taking her responsibilities as a mum very seriously and being protective when she needs to be. We are also aware that she is tired - the pups will be demanding a lot from her as they get bigger and bigger and so tomorrow, we will begin offering them solid food and thus begin the process of helping her wean. We are looking forward to this - and just hope we do as good a job with continuing to raise the puppies as Roxy has up till now. We have a funny feeling that our 'clearing up' may not be quite as quick and efficient as hers!!!!
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Day 15 Day 16 Day 17 Days 18/19 Day 20/ Three weeks old
Twenty to twenty-one days old: Thursday 20th to Friday 21st August
And so it begins...


And so the fun begins as we introduce the puppies to solid food!!!
Well, they loved it, we loved it and didn't we all get into the most terrible mess. Roxy however, is the most superb 'clearer-upper' and whilst we headed to the kitchen to wash, wipe and dampen ourselves down, she set-to with the puppies and by the time we returned to check them all, the whelping area was completely clean... what a star!!
We are feeding the pups on a mixture of the Royal Canin 'puppy moose' and their 'mum and baby dog' biscuits, soaked in warn water and then 'mashed' in the food processor (thanks to Gloria for the tip). The sound of them eating was so cute, even the mess they made was cute. Bellies got full very quickly but some still then headed back off to mum for a warm milky pudding!!

We now have a 12 by 9 foot area outside the whelping box for the pups so they can eat, play and generally stretch their legs. Even when all 10 are in there, it seems huge but we expect they will start to fill it very quickly!!
Every day, almost every hour we are noticing new behaviours and changes: they are starting to interact with each other now - mega sweet; to wander off on their own to explore new corners; to experiment with all the different sounds they can make, form squeaks, to mini barks, to howls (yes we have even heard the beginnings of the Gordon howl - head back and looking to the stars).

They are utter time wasters; they make us giggle and laugh and smile; they tug at the very bottom of our hearts. We are scarily aware how vulnerable they are and yet how robust they are becoming too. We cannot believe that we are three weeks into the eight!! Already we are worried about how much we are going to miss them.
And then there is Roxy – we couldn’t be more proud of her, and of our other dogs. They are all winning the hearts, souls and minds of all our visitors.
What a privilege to be able to bring new life into the world like this!!!

(PS, apologies for the poor quality photos - our camera has chosen this week to have a hissy fit and break down and so we have had to resort to the phone - NOT an i-phone so not great quality - we hope normal service will be resumed asap..)
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Days 22/23 Days 24/25 Days 26/27 Four weeks old
Twenty-two to twenty-three days old: Saturday 22nd to Sunday 23rd August
Competition


It seems that we are in competition with Roxy - as fast as we try to get the puppies to eat solid food to take a bit of pressure off her, the more she wants to keep giving them milk - she is obviously happy to carry on being super-mum for a while longer yet! She is still cleaning up superbly well too - it's often a race between her and us with our roll of blue tissue - and she usually wins!! Not that we are complaining - even a teeny bit!!! We know our time will come!!!

Roxy is spending more time away from them when they sleep but she is usually with them when they are awake and funnily enough, she is very keen to be there when we feed them too, in order to offer her clean-up services of their bowls - her own meal having been wolfed down in mere seconds

The pups are still sleeping for huge amounts of the day - but when they are not, we are being hugley entertained as we watch their voyages of discovery. The last few days have seen them discover that their front paws are great to bat each other with, that bottoms are great for biting (their siblings, not their own) and that if they put their heads down and get a bit of momentum going, they can often get quite a speed going across their run.
Their coordination is delightfully off still and when they trip, and fall over and bump into each other, we always laugh, in the sure and certain knowledge they are not hurt at all...
Teeth are coming through now - we can feel ridges in the gums and in one of the bigger boys today, we felt and saw two tiny insisors - we are so looking forward to those puppy teeth weeks - not!!! We are already building up a good supply of cardboard boxes and bits of rope for them.

Cannot believe we are close to being half way through our time with them...

(PS, slightly better pics, not quite back to normal though...)
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Days 22/23 Days 24/25 Days 26/27 Four weeks old
Twenty-four to twenty-five days old: Monday 24th to Tuesday 25th August
Puddings and Play


Roxy is now feeding the puppies less than she was and so their solid intake is going up - this is all good and exactly what we hoped for. Her desire to be with her pups when we feed them is now far more to do with her hoping to 'mop' up what they leave, rather than wanting to give them a bit of 'milk for afters'!! This is fine by uis, she may be feeding them a bit less as in the number of times and duration of each feed but when they do feed, they will be taking a huge amount from her compared to when they were just a few days old.
They are total puddings some of them - it is surely not possible for three and a half week old puppies to be overweight but my goodness, they are little barrels!! At the latest weighing (day 25) our big boy was just under 5lbs (2.25kg) and little Sparrow a heavty 2.8lbs (1.28kg). Weight gains overall are all wonderfully consistent (ranging from 1.52 to 1.68 times heavier than the previous weighing).

The pups are also playing so much. Exploring each other is the main activity - we have a cardboard box in their pen but they take little interest as yet, perfering to bite and chew their siblings, climb over and bat each other with their paws. It's all massively entertaining - we don't watch telly but if we did, we certainly wouldn't be just now. Jack is definitley spending less time on facebook mind you, now that IS a result!!!

The pups are also showing more interest in us: nibbling at our feet, looking at us, coming out of their whelping area when they hear us (we rattle their feed bowls now).. they also try to crawl on our laps when we kneel down and this afternnon, one girl clambered up and then prompty fell asleep where she lay!!!! Mega, mega cute!!

We are trying to relish every single moment!!!
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Days 22/23 Days 24/25 Days 26/27 Four weeks old
Twenty-six to twenty-seven days old: Wednesday 26th to Thursday 27th August
Teeth, toes, boxes and play


Roxy has been spending less and less time with the pups the last couple of days and today didn't give them a long feed at all. She is still being massively attentive though and if she hears them making a noise she rushes over to check them out - 'and' she is still clearing up after them, a fact for which we are truely grateful - although we are now doing it as much as we can too. There must be a limit to how much poo one dog can eat in a day, and as we walk around our smallholding, Roxy gets a LOT of opportunity to eat more and more..... hmmm... think we'll leave that one there and move on...

So, teeth are getting sharper - although still at the not-sharp-enough-to-break-our-skin stage. Claws are also getting sharper mind you and they do now leave a mark if one is daft enough to enter the whelping area in mere clogs and a dressing gown... just saying!!!

Eating is getting more orderly and we now longer have to spend the entire time picking pups up and putting them back by the bowls, and even without Roxy's help, most of the food now goes each time. And then it's playtime - with cardboard boxes, tubes and bits of scrunched up paper proving highly entertaining. The definition of a proud puppy??? One who can walk from one side of the run to the other carrying an empty toilet roll. We didn't catch it on camera as we were laughing so much!!!

Sparrow is now sporting a red collar and as our 'guinea pig' puppy, we are happy that the collars stay on, don't annoy them after the initial I-am-very-annoyed half hour and don't get instantly pulled off. We will get them on the others now and so start to notice individual behaviours etc, as well as check all are eating equally well (although the weekly weigh-ins help with that too).

Oh my goodness, we are so loving raising these guys!!!
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Days 22/23 Days 24/25 Days 26/27 Four weeks old
Twenty-eight days old: Friday 28th August
Collars!!!


All pups now sporting smart new collars: green and blue for the boys and red, orange and pink for the girls!!! No sterotying here!!! Fitting them was fun and we are of course now keenly checking them each time we handle the pups to make sure we adjust them as they grow.

Roxy gave us a mild scare on this morningas she didn't eat her breakfast, in addition her poo was awful and for Roxy, she seemed a bit quiet!! As we are potentially at maximum output time as far as her milk goes, we eered on the side of caution and took her to the vet. The good news was the vet suspected nothing more than a tummy upset and Roxy didn't abstain for long.. The even better news was that he was really pleased with her overall condition, weight and teats and even more pleased to hear that the pups were tucking into their solid food and all growing at a uniform rate.
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Days 29/30 Days 31/32 Days 33-35/ Five weeks old
Twenty-nine to thirty days old: Saturday 29th to Sunday 30th August
Collars!!!


Busy days with lots of visitors and lots of cuddles.
The puppies are spending more and more time playing (for 'playing' read 'chewing' and for 'chewing' read ankles, fingers, knees, pockets... anything they can get their teeth stuck into in fact). Mealtimes now see totally licked bowls and each day we are mixing up just a little more feed, compared to the day before.

Roxy is still giving some milk - the perfered position of choice is to stand up - presuably for a quick getaway, but as she walks away and the pups drop off, we slightly wince and think how much it must hurt her. Her teats are now quite sore from teeth and claws and yet she still allows them to latch on!!! Her super-mum status is definitely on track still.
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Days 29/30 Days 31/32 Days 33-35/ Five weeks old
Thirty-one to thirty-two days old: Monday 31st August to Tuesday 1st September
Growing up


Every day now we seem to be seeing such huge changes in the puppies: more sitting, more playing, less sleeping, less clumsiness, more wee-ing (a lot more of this), more chewing. We have now enlarged their run and so given them more space to eat and play and, if they want it, more space so they can spend time away from their litter mates. We are starting to see one or more of them playing or sleeping away from the others - all entirely normal and in fact to be encouraged!

Feed time is now less messy because we no longer need to 'mash' their biscuits, instead we soak as normal and then just dish out the 'soaked' versions which they gobble down very easily and quickly and without smearing themselves (and each other) all over.

Roxy is still giving two or three 'upright' feeds a day but today (Tuesday), the sweetest thhing happened. Roxy jumped in the run and all the puppies surrounded her, not however to find a teat or two, but simply to cuddle up. It was very sweet and rather humbling to see such pure love between a parent and her offsping!

And in other good news, we have finally registered them. It took a while to settle on a good Kennel Club name after both 'Relaxed' and 'Dexaler' were rejected, but we settled on Delmheis (made using letters from our surnames). We chose trees as a theme (using species that grow on our land) and then had the bright idea that we could insert 'Relaxed' as a middle name, so, in no particular order we have: Delmhies Relaxed Willow, ...Oak, ...Maple, ...Beech, ...Hawthorne, ...Ash, ...Chestnut, ...Alder, ...Poplar and ..Hazel!!

Mega proud!!
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Days 29/30 Days 31/32 Days 33-35/ Five weeks old
Thirty-three to thirty-five days old: Wednesday 2nd to Friday 4th September
Playtime, tripe, weighing and worming


Well, everything just keeps being 'more'... more play, more poo, more wee, more food, more chewing, more bouncing, more poo, more wee, more looking, more squealing.. did I mention more wee and more poo?
We have also had a lot of firsts in the last few days: first time of eating tripe (they LOVED it, thanks Gloria); first time of sleeping in different places - we have put a dog bed in the run which is a massive hit - and some now sleep in there instead of the whelping box.
We have also had HUGE fun with a new toy - we really splashed out on this one(!!). We threaded a few cardboard rolls on a piece of rope and strung it across their pen!!! They absolutely love it and we have been captivated by watching them chew it, climb over it and then lie in their backs and bat it with their paws! Oh my word - the cuteness....

On Friday (5 weeks old), we wormed them and weighed them. Sparrow is now a healthy 2.35kg and dark blue collar, our heaviest boy, a stonking 3.6kg. Once again rates of growth are all incredibly uniform: an average of 1.74 for the girls and 1.70 for the boys. Sparrow has actually gained the most - she was 1.84 times heavier than day 25!!! All in all, we are very very happy with how they are all growing.

Roxy's feeding gets less and less, one day we don't think she fed them at all. When she does it is now once or twice a day. We wormed and weighed her too and were delighted that she was just a little under 28kg which is only about 3-4 hundred grammes less than her pre-pregnant weight!!!

We are watching for individual behaviours but other than Sparrow being a bit of a tinker (who was the first to lose her collar 'and' find a way to sneak round the back of the pen??), all the puppies seem bouncy, happy, and confident. Sometimes we may think one is being a bit quiet but then the next time we see then, they are careering round like a lunatic. We will keep observing!!!! But basically, they are all totally amazing!!!
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Day 36 Days 37/38 Day 39 Days 40/41 Six weeks old
Thirty-six days old: Saturday 5th September
The great outdoors - almost


First day properly outside - - not that some of them totally made it - a bit too scary - but the door was open and they all felt a bit of sunshine on their backs. It was just amazing to watch them overcome their nerves (or not..)
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Day 36 Days 37/38 Day 39 Days 40/41 Six weeks old
Thirty-seven to thirty-eight days old: Sunday 6th to Monday 7th September
Chewing


Chewing is definitley the number one occupation at the moment! Anything and everything is game - including each other - and us!!. We are already doing a few of those high pitched squeals when we feel teeth a bit more than we should - it's a classic training exercise as we all know. A bit like their fellow pups, we need to shriek when loudly in order to begin teaching a bit of bite inhibition. In our experience of raising Gordons from 8 weeks, they learn pretty quickly!!
Cardboard and paper are enjoyed as part of their playtimes - as is the 'swing rope' toy. The rope knot toys we have made tend to get taken into the whelping box and are often chewed as they lie quietly on their own. They are perhaps more of a 'comforter' chew, rather than the cardboard rolls and paper that get chewed, suckled and shredded and strewn around the whole run!!

Such entertainment for us...
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Day 36 Days 37/38 Day 39 Days 40/41 Six weeks old
Thirty-nine days old: Tuesday 8th September
Posing


Today Gloria, Phil and friends descended and had a 'preliminary look' at show potential in lieu of final decisions being made in two weeks. It was a hugely enjoyable day with the puppies getting oodles of attention and praise.
So, we can now give you the 'rogues gallery' in order of size, smallest to biggest, girls first and then boys - and we will leave you all to play 'spot the difference'.
As for us, we just love them all - to bits!!!
Sparrow (G)
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Purple (G)
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Orange (G)
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Light Pink (G)
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Lime Green (B)
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Pale Blue (B)
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Pale Green (B)
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Dark Green (B)
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Dark Blue (B)
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Day 36 Days 37/38 Day 39 Days 40/41 Six weeks old
Forty to forty-one days old: Wednesday 9th to Thursday 10th September
More of the great outdoors...


Wednesday was a quiet day after the excitements of Tuesday although there was nothing wrong with appetites as three out of the four meals saw totally licked-clean bowls, followed by copious amounts of poo and wee!!! Thanks goodness Gloria brought us more newspaper yesterday!!!

On Thursday, we had our first completly dry day for a while (as in weather, not puppies..), with the promise of more to come, and so 'operation outside' was launched. The plan always was to have the whelping area and run by the outside doors in the front room, so that ultimately the pups could be encouraged to go outside as much as possible (depending on the weather) so aiding further socialisation, as well as more outside weeing and poo-ing.
Being smallholders with copious amounts of sheep hurdles and straw, it was dead easy to set up a pen for them and all we then had to do was encourage them out!! First off the block was Sparrow who confidently and quickly explored all far corners 'and' exposed a few weak spots (!!!), some of the others joined her for a while but tiredness overcame most of them and so they headed back in for their post lunch siesta.
Teatime was more successful, we fed them outside and then spent the next hour sat in the pen with them as they all had the most amazing rough and tumble, sniff and chew, run and climb playtime. They absolutely loved it and we absolutely loved watching them.
Roxy joined us all too for a bit whilst cats eyed us up from the safety of the garden beyond!!

The post tea-time snooze was late starting and then lasted right through suppertime. To say the puppies were shattered is an understatement!! What a hit!!!!
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Day 36 Days 37/38 Day 39 Days 40/41 Six weeks old
Forty two days old: Friday 11th September
Learning fast...


Having the outside run (coupled with some rather amazing weather) has proved a bit of a gamechanger for the puppies. We encourage them outside to poo and wee as soon as they wake up and after all naps, and we now have virtually no inside poos during the day and wees have been cut dramatically - in fact, we are now in danger of having loads of newspaper left over!! All meals are eaten outside too which means in the mornings we can do a full clean inside without pups being in the way (or having to shut them in their whelping box, which they aren't at all impressed with).
They are playing so much more and subsequently crashing out much more in between times in huge heaps back inside - the whelping box is no longer the favoured 'bed' - instead most of them sleep on the floor inside which, on the whole, they are now keeping really clean - weeing and pooing mainly on the paper by the door. We really hope this behaviours translates into super fast toilet training when they go to their new homes.
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Days 43-44 Days 45-49/ Seven weeks old
Forty three to forty four days old: Saturday 12th to Sunday 13th September
Socialisation


Roxy has been feeding the pups a bit more again, we think she likes the outside run as much as they do and is now popping in a good three to four times a day - consequently we have had to up her food a bit - maybe that was her cunning plan all along!!

The puppies are also responding to being called and we find now if some are inside, and some out, we can call them to all come together. It's pretty sweet when they do that.
We are constantly struck with their innocence and their desire to explore. More and more we notice them looking and listening at/to specific stimuli. They no longer rush back inside when they hear a tractor go past or freeze when they hear one of the other dogs barking. The hoover bothers them not a jot, nor does the argumentative tones of Nick Robinson on the Today programme or the terrible Archers theme tune!! We very much hope they will have met a few of other animals before they leave us too.

Not that we want to think about them leaving us.... my goodness we will miss them....
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Days 43-44 Days 45-49/ Seven weeks old
Forty five to forty nine days old: Monday 14th to Friday 18th September
Those faces!!


Well, individual characters are really starting to show now: we have the 'first up to the feed bowl' and the 'I'll come in a sec' puppies; we have the 'my sole aim is to jump up at you and grab the zip on your fleece' puppies and the 'I'll just sit here and chew this piece of cardboard' ones. We have pups that are already giving us 'that Gordon' look - the one that says 'you're late with our tea' or 'I don't care if you haven't finished tidying our playpen, I want to come back in NOW..'.
We cannot really keep up with how fast they are changing, physically and in behaviour. Every day we spot something different: curlier ears or longer legs or more upright sits; times when we can see the puppies are really listening or looking. It's fascinating to see how at times one will take themselves off to a quieter corner just to sit or lie down. Some already have their favourite places inside or in the outside run.
Life is such an adventure... in this last week we hope to give them a few more....
Meanwhile, check out these faces!!!
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Days 50-52 Day 53
Fifty to fifty two days old: Saturday 19th to Monday 21st September
The brave and the bold


Well, haven't we had fun this weekend.... it seems that the outdoor run had a couple of weak points and certain puppies (not naming any names - Orange, Purple and Sparrow...) decided to test them.... The wonderful thing was it proved highly entertaining for us to get them all back and of course, we then deliberately let them out just to enjoy it all over and over again!!!!
We also rather delighted in their interaction with Stonefly. We think she is going to be rather a great friend to Sparrow when the time comes....
They still all look as though butter woudn't melt mind you!!!
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Days 50-52 Day 53
Fifty three days old: Tuesday 22nd September
Another day of posing


Gloria was back again today to make final decisions about whether any of the litter are show potential. Pale Green now Brown is a likely contender on the boys' side but none of the girls quite had it!!! Light Pink was very close though...
Have a look at another rogue's gallery.
Sparrow (G)
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Purple (G)
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Orange (G)
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Light Pink (G)
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Lime Green (B)
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Pale Blue (B)
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Brown (Pale Green) (B)
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White (Dark Green) (B)
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Black (Dark Blue) (B)
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Pastures New

After a successful health-check vet trip on Wednesday 23rd (a few waxy ears notwithstanding plus an indescended testicle (edit - which has since dropped)), on Thursday 24th, our wonderful litter began to wend their way to their new homes. Yes, we shed a few tears and yes, we miss them but oh my goodness, are we thrilled to bits with all their new owners and the truly fantastic lives we know they are now going to have?? Lucky, lucky pups. Thank you so much to you all.xxxx

Thursday 24th September: Chester (Pale Blue Collar) off to Cornwall to live with the D family.
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Thursday 24th September: Stanley (Black Collar, was Dark Blue) off to Hampshire with G and L.
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Friday 25th September: Rueben (Lime Green Collar) off to live with M and M in Herefordshire.
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Friday 25th September: Cyrus (Brown Collar, was pale Green) up to Manchester (via Dorset) to live with B.
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Saturday 26th September: Cadbri (Dark Pink Collar) off to Hampshire to live with the T family.
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Saturday 26th September: Masie (Purple Collar) with the S family heading up to Oxfordshire.
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Sunday 27th September: Gwilym (White Collar, was dark Green) heading up to Anglesey with the W family.
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Wednesday 30th September: Nell (Light Pink Collar) off to Hampshire with the B family.
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Friday 2nd October: Pepper (Grey Collar, was Orange, then Yellow) off with the D family to Oxfordshire.
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Birth Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Pastures New Sparrow
Sparrow

Friday 2nd October: Over the last eight days, Sparrow has seen her litter mates leave her, one by one. She's watched them be carried off in the arms of strangers and driven away into the sunset (or rain...). Each night there have been less bodies to snuggle up to; each day, less playmates to bite and chew. Every day she has wondered, 'will it be me next?', 'why cannot it be me next?', 'do I 'want' it to be me next?' Today she became 'Puppy Home Alone'....
This was her this evening: I think it's fair to say the whole experience has totally traumatized her!!!

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