The Final Frontier

Written by: Isobella Ash

This week Jane takes the puppies to the vet and says goodbye all except her two pups. As she reflects on her time raising a litter, she begins training Tiffy And Gaby.

And then there were two, all the pups have left us for their new lives, and it is quiet. It has been such a sad and happy week; I really don’t know where my emotions ended up. The good thing is that the owners are keen to keep in touch with me and each other. I set up a WhatsApp group early on for the pup updates and over the weeks they have started talking to each other without my intervention, which is lovely. They are still doing this and that means I get to see what is going on and how well everyone has settled in.

They also asked if we could have a Facebook Group, which I have set up for just the owners. Raising a litter of puppies is a once in a lifetime experience for me, I am very invested in all the pups. I have worked my socks off to ensure I have given them the best start I can. I love each one and always will, having seen them come into the world, I would safeguard them with all my might. I took this week off work as I thought I might be an emotional wreck, I was right.

 Our Trip To The Vet’s

The week started with a trip to the vets, some owners had asked for the first vaccinations to be done, some prefer to let their own vet do that. All were microchipped. The whole event was like a military operation. Firstly, as currently we are not allowed in with our pets, I did them a reference sheet to help make taking puppies to the vet easier. How to identify each one and what each one was in for. We popped collars on at the last minute as per the pre-planned list, Gaby wore the pale pink puppy collar that all my girls have worn right back to Tizzy 15 years ago. Tiffy wore a new collar, blue with stars on, I have a puppy collar that Aston wore back in 1997, Mr. Darcy wore it as a pup and when it came off on a walk, I was distraught, but thankfully found it the next day. I vowed that it would not be put at risk again, so for trips outside the new collar was bought. 

At the vets, they decided that they would take the pups in two at a time, which made identification easier as I could tell them which two, and they could refer to the sheet also. We were there quite a while, but, as my vet is also my best friend (handy) and she had owned a relative to these pups, she wanted to see them all. Although I had invited her over, she wouldn’t come saying she was a risk to me due to seeing about 40 – 50 people a day. I had no concern about her taking the pups without me present, I trust my friend without question. Choosing a puppy vet you trust is important! If I am honest, I hate taking puppies to the vet to get microchipped and for once I didn’t have to witness it. Of course, they were given treats for being so brave, I had made liver cake and taken a tub with me, so that went in with them. A litter of pups is always welcome at my vet’s and I know that they were fussed over by everyone. 

Then the pups started leaving, Flukey (was Mr. Classic) was first to go, then Kali (was Mushroom) and then Winnie (was Diamond). The next day was Lexie’s (was Exie) turn, followed by Keepa (was Junior), and lastly Bodhi (was Elvis), which was rather fitting as he was the first born. And Mr. Martin and I couldn’t resist posting on the Facebook group that Elvis had left the building (the old ones are the best!)

Training Our Pups: Tiffy And Gaby

And so, now I only have Tiffy and Gaby to talk about. Well as you can imagine I have not had much time to do any training and this has started again. Thank the lord said Mr. Darcy, Bunty was very pleased also. Now that I have the youngsters as well, I always start my pups off once they have had a few days to settle in. When I’m training puppies I use rewards and play, so it is just a game to all concerned. Having the pick of the litter is not always the benefit it seems on the surface. I know that a lot of the owners had trouble choosing a puppy and Mr. Martin and I were no different, but we are very pleased, and I am certainly pleased with how they approach the tiny bit of training I have done so far. 

Now that there are only two, we are using the pen less. It is much easier to run after and keep occupied two then eight, as I am sure you can imagine. This means that like the others in their new homes, Tiff and Gabs are exploring more as well as interacting more with our existing dogs. Mum can be a bit of a drag as she keeps a close eye on them and will not let them get into trouble. Very often I could add a speech bubble that said “Oh Mummmmmmmm!”. This brings a smile, and as far as I am concerned is a very welcome help to training puppies.

I had started toilet training with the whole gang, logistics meant this was a difficult task, but, wherever possible they would do their business outside, we have stepped this up. Like all new pup owners, we spend more time in the garden than indoors at the moment, saying good boy or girl when they go and providing a treat as a reward. I never leave a collar on a pup when they are in a pen, I have heard too many bad stories, but our two have started wearing theirs when supervised and because we have a paddock that no-one else accesses, I have started letting them have a little walk around my training area to get used to a harness and lead. We currently have a bull in the field next door, and he is very interested in the small dogs! Oh, and we have also reseeded the grass that was dug up by the gang before they left! 

I don’t know where the time has gone, but I hope that you have enjoyed the blog, pictures, and video of the pups growing up and my experiences raising a litter of puppies. I am sure that you will see Tiff and Gabs as they grow, we love sharing dog pictures here at Orvis and on that note, I will say farewell and thank you for reading. 

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