Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Red Letter Day

Mr. Red just barked at me. I love it. They are so cute when they first become aware. I was in the box playing with them and he sat there, looked at me and then went..WOOF! and fell over.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Good Day Indeed

When Pal bloated and was opened up, the surgeon, Dr. Su, noted that her spleen had some suspicious marks and some of her lymph nodes were enlarged. The spleen and the lymph nodes were removed and sent to pathology and the results came back today - NOTHING wrong!

Woo Hoo! I cannot tell you how happy I was to receive this phone call today. My 9 year old bernese is o.k. I honestly expected bad news.

Long live Paliwags!

Happy Birthday "I" Litter

OK - this is the last birthday for April. Today the "I" litter turns 7 years old. Eight are alive and well from a litter of 10. This birthday includes our own girl "Callie Two Toys".

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Guitar Leg

Even at this tender age when you scratch them just in the "right spot" they have guitar leg.

Sunday Morning Puppy Update

The Three Tenors are doing very well. Their eyes are opening and I suspect their ears have also begun to open. In a few days they will be seeing and hearing everything. Red is the whiner of the bunch - hear a puppy complaining and you can count on it being Red. He's also the most active of the three and has actually walked across the box. In my mind the lines from "Midnight Cowboy" going through my head..."I'm walking here!"

Sparkle continues to be a wonderful and attentive mother. She is starting to feed them sitting up now. The boys are gaining weight steadily and I am quite pleased with their size. They are robust, strapping boys.

4 lbs - 8 oz

4 lbs - 7 oz

4 lbs - 6 oz

Pal Is Home

I was able to bring Pal home yesterday. She ate out of my hand at the clinic demonstrating her "princess status" for everyone to see. She also exhibited her "drama queen" inclinations by whining, hooting and hollering when she saw me. I am supposed to keep her as quiet as possible since her incision is very long and there is always a risk of her tearing it open should she be too active. I have been successful up until an hour ago of keeping her off the couch and bed - but an hour ago she snuck into the bedroom and I discovered her happily sleeping curled up on the bed. Rather than make her get off, I will simply restrict access to the bedroom once she decides it's time to get up.

I am so happy to have my sweet girl back home.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hellish Night - Addendum

I forgot to mention that when one goes for emergency services and surgery such as bloat, due to the extremely high nature of the bill, you are asked to put down at least 1/2 of the costs up front. I handed over my credit card only to have it declined. Luckily, my husband was able to use his card (over the phone).

I get a call today from the bank fraud centre asking me to call them. I guess my spending patterns for the last day were suspicious so when I tried to put down the money for the vet bill they froze my credit card (gives you an idea of what kind of money we talking about). I was able to get my account reactivated - I still have some big bills to pay today.

I couple of years ago I had my purse stolen and of course all the contents (credit cards) too. Since that time all my cards are flagged and I guess this activity last night triggered that feature. Good to know that it works. I now have it so that if this "flagging" is activated again, they will call me on my cell phone to verify it's me.

Hellish Night

I was relaxing in my bedroom watching TV last night when I heard a dog vomiting. It is "Pal" and she is 'trying to vomit'. I race her outside and she continues to 'try to vomit' - she is also quite distended in the abdomen...BLOAT!*

Pal has always been a gassy girl and one of her favourite things is to burp or fart - this time however she was unable to relieve the pressure and was in obvious distress. My regular clinic was closed and emergencies services were available at the University of Saskatchewan - Small Animal Clinic.

Unfortunately, a freak snow storm had just passed and the highway was pure ice. I saw several vehicles in the ditch. I decided that travel on the highway was not prudent so resorted to getting into Saskatoon via the gravel grid roads. I managed to avoid hitting skunks and deer and made it to the clinic by 9:45 pm.

Xrays of Pal's abdomen revealed that her stomach was very odd in shape however not typical of what is usually seen in bloat/torsion cases, despite her exhibiting all the classic symptoms. They were able to deflate her stomach by piercing it with a small gauge needle, however, tubing was unsuccessful. The surgical team was brought in and she was prepped and put on the operating table at midnight.

I spent several agonizing hours in the waiting room alone with nothing but TV and my own thoughts to keep me occupied. Finally, at 2:30 am and doctor comes out to tell me that Pal is doing fine and they were closing her and the surgeon would be out shortly to speak to me. At 3:00 am the surgeon comes out to tell me that when she opened up Pal she found that her stomach had not torsioned (which is a good thing) but it was distended. She tacked the stomach - to prevent it from ever torsioning, removed her spleen as it has some spots on it that looked suspicious (it will be sent to pathology). She said Pal was doing well at this time.

I got into my van to make my trip back home. I am super stressed, tired and having a difficult time just keeping the van from weaving on the road. I am sure if a cop were to see me driving now I'd be pulled over for suspicion of being impaired. It took me a good 15 minutes to get my wits about me and drive.

It was really dark last night - no moon to light the way. I knew at some point I would have to get off the highway and onto the grids again due to the snow. There are sections of the road that are marked with hazard signs warning of deer and sure enough I see 3 deer on the road. I hit the brakes and manage to get by them without incident, drove another several hundred feet and from the corner of my eye could see another herd of deer off on the shoulder. I reduced my speed down to 80 k. When I started to see dustings of snow on the shoulders of the highway I knew it was time to turn onto the grids so that I would have better traction. I turned onto what I thought was Blutcher Road but it wasn't and as the road narrowed in front of me and the fog started to settle in I couldn't help but think I was suddenly plunged into Stephen King's "The Myst". I did manage to find the grid road that runs south of our house and crept along at 40 k. The fog was getting thicker and thicker but I finally found the road that runs by our house - turned onto it - it was so weird. I could hardly see and when I crested the hill south of our house I could not see any lights at all. Made me wonder if I was on the correct road.

Finally, after what seemed eternity, I was home.

The surgeon just called me with an update on Pal and she is doing very well. Her vitals are strong and she has been outside for potty duty. However, she will not eat for them - but this is typical of Pal - she has never taken food from strangers and simply doesn't eat if I am not around. I will go in later this afternoon and if I can get her to eat for me, I can take her home. So - I will have to find something super yummy in the cupboards.

*Bloat is quite common in large, deep-chested breeds. The stomach fills up with gas and bloats up like a balloon. Sometimes the stomach twists and this is called torsion. Bloat with torsion is an emergency situation and if the dog does not get medical treatment to untwist the stomach it will die. For more information on bloat and torsion just google.

Happy Birthday "N" Litter

Yet another birthday! "N" litter turns 5 years old today, which includes our own "Joey" - proud pappa to our current litter.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Happy Birthday "O" Litter

Another birthday at Kimberlite. Here is to the "O" litter who turn 4 years old today. Our mommy dog, "Sparkle is from the "O" litter and so is her sister "Ophie". I picked up butter tarts for them today (but I will eat them).

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Happy Birthday F Litter

Happy Birthday F litter - you are nine years old today! Pal - gramma to Q litter is celebrating.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Day 8

8 days old.

Sleeping Beauty?

I sleep by the whelping box for the first 2 weeks of the pups lives.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Geese on the Pond

The Gander

The Goose (she is nesting)

Sunday Morning Puppy Pictures

Gold - 1100 g (2 lbs 7 oz)

Red - 1150 g (2 lbs 8 oz)

Purple - 1210 g (2 lbs 10 oz)

Nursing Sounds

I took this short video this morning. When the puppies are nursing they furiously pump on the breast area to stimulate milk flow. Once the milk flows, they cease this pumping action and just suck it back. They make this little grunting noise and that's how you know that the milk is flowing.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

More Berner Babies

Introducing Susa Berners - a very good friend of mine is expecting her "B" litter and will be blogging about their progress. Keep your eyes and computer tuned to her blog here.

Belly rubs to Reni! I think she will have at least 8 pups.

You Know You're Hooked on your Laptop When...

Perhaps I'm spending a bit too much time with my laptop. I am figuratively chained here to the whelping box and to amuse myself and keep myself sane I spend a lot of time cruising the Internet and instant messaging with friends. Well, picture this - here is Peter and I at the table (next to the whelping box), both of us have our laptops in front of us. Peter says to me - "you should read this interesting article on Global Warming".

I say, " Send it to me".

He throws the magazine at me.

Sorry, I Cannot Possibly Do Housework

We are still alive. We plan on doing puppy pictures tomorrow. Every Sunday will be "new" puppy pictures. Pups are doing great - gaining weight and just hanging out at the milk bar. Sparkle is a great mom and watching her at night is easy because she doesn't change position all night. In case anyone was wondering - either Peter or I sleep by the box. We watch the puppies 24-7 for the first two weeks. They are just too precious and even the most doting and careful mother can easily smoother a puppy by laying on it. By the time they approach 3 weeks of age they are much stronger and can pull themselves out of tight situations. This is my perfect solution for letting my housework/cleaning lapse..."gee honey, I have to watch the pups, I can't possibly cook supper tonight."

I would enjoy people sending me their suggestions for "Q" names. These are the rules. The name must start with my kennel name "Kimberlite" and then begin with the letter "Q" and it cannot be longer than 30 characters including spaces. For example, if I keep a boy I am thinking of naming him "Kimberlite's Quenten Tarantino". Here is an nice little link for names*/

Friday, April 17, 2009

Lucky Micky

I hear this crashing around in the living room and go to investigate and find Baby Puddy with a mouse in her mouth. The other cats are staring intently at her. I pick her up and go for the door, but she drops the mouse. Me and three cats are scrambling around the living room chasing the living daylights out of this mouse. It scampers into the radiator and I'm thinking - well, this one is now gone into the walls, but Baby managed to hook her paw into the rad and pull the mouse out. Another crazy scramble ensues around the living room (I wish I had this on video). Mouse manages to hide under loads of stuff and then scampers into the other room and scoots under Joey. Joey doesn't even know he is now harbouring a "criminal". He doesn't know why Baby has suddenly decided to poke him under his belly. Mouse escapes the confines of Joey's fur and hightails it behind a garbage can cylinder. I don the oven mitts. With the help of Baby I corner Micky, smack him with my oven mitts and grab him. I toss him and Baby outside. I toss the oven mitts in the garbage.

Q Litter - Day Four

I hope to get some more pictures uploaded and some little video clips. The Three Tenors are doing very well - they are very contented pups. Sparkle continues to be a doting mom and is ever watchful for anything that might harm her precious babies.

Weights Today:
  • Purple - 1 kg (2 lbs - 3 oz)
  • Gold - 840 g (1 lb - 14 oz)
  • Red - 900 g (2 lbs)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dew Claw Removal

Rear dews claws were removed from the pups this morning. Purple and Gold boy both had double rears and Red boy had singles. Everyone is fine. These pups are very content since Sparkle has enough milk to feed a neighbourhood.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mom and Dad Baby Pictures

For comparison purposes - pictures of mom and dad when they were just wee pups.



Introducing The Three Tenors

Kimberlite's Q Litter born April 13, 2009 - also known as The Three Tenors.

Purple Boy

Red Boy

Gold Boy

First Night

Sparkle is going to be a super mommy. These pups are never going to be dry because she just cannot get them clean enough. The pups are doing very well and I hope to get weights on them later this morning along with individual pictures and introduce them properly.

Having a wee bit of trouble trying to keep Sparkle's temperature down. I hope it is nothing serious and only due to the surgery. I put wet cool towels on her and that helps. Apart from her having a temperature she is attentive and is very upset when I either remove the babies to change sheets or ask her to go outside for potty.

I think I also forgot to mention that all the pups are boys.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Q Litter Birth - Last Chapter For Now


Amazing Vet Techs! - Thank you Ladies!

First suck.

New Mommy

Finally home.

Q Litter Birth - Phase 3

Amazing vet - Dr. Brian Gibbs.

Brian closing.

Rubbing newborns.

Rubbing newborns.

Hello there baby!

Q Litter Birth - Phase 2

Ready for incision.

The incision.

Pregnant uterine horn.

Pregnant Uterine Horn.



Q Litters Birth - Phase 1

Unfortunately, Sparkle was unable to delivery her babies naturally and she underwent a C-section around 1:15 pm today. Hope you enjoy the pictures. Note some of these are graphic - so don't click to enlarge if you are a bit squeamish.

Masking down.

Belly shaved and prepared.
Ready and waiting on the table.

The Waiting Game

5:53 am Did I mentioned that the first puppy takes forever to arrive? Sparkle slept with me all night - so at least I got some sleep. Things are now moving a long and I thing puppy number one will be making his or her appearance in the next hour or so.

Stay tuned for updates.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

And So It Begins!

This is Sparkle nesting - this is the first signs of labour.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Cats in the Cradle

At least something is in the whelping box.

Puppy Count

Well - it is still unknown how many pups Sparkle is carrying. We just could not get a good xray (she is so thick). We saw 3 for sure, however, due to her tummy being full of food and her colon being full of poop...we just could not get an accurate count.

She weighs 110 pounds (50.2 kg). She's gained approximately 15 pounds and is 36 inches around the belly. So, with an increase of 12-15 pounds and 6 inches I am estimating that she is carrying at least 6 puppies.

Ophie is not pregnant.

So - now we sit and wait for her go into labour.

Peter tells me that while I was in the xray room with Ophie one of the vets looked at Sparkle and said she would not deliver until Wednesday.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Be a Wise Puppy Buyer

This sickens me. I happened to see the news today that spoke about this person in Nova Scotia being charged with animal cruelty. I googled and came across this website.

I cannot stress enough to potential puppy buyers - be very careful where you purchase your puppy from. Do not facilitate backyard breeders and/or puppy millers. If you are interested in a registered, purebred puppy - do your research and buy from a good, reputable breeder.

OR (if registration is not important) all means go to to the SPCA or your favourite breed rescue organization , - but DO NOT purchase a puppy from some fly-by-night breeder or from a pet store.

Don't be part of the problem.

The Nursery

We are ready!

Don't Panic Yet!

Had a wee bit of an anxious moment this morning after taking Sparkle's temperature. It was 99.5 F - down a whole degree from the last 3 days. One of the signs of impending labour is a drop in body temperature of about 1 degree that stays down. This signals that labour will begin in 24 hours. So, a week before the due date, one should take their girls temperature so that one will know when that drop occurs. As the due date draws nearer, one should take the temperature more frequently.

So, I took her temperature a few hours later and it is back up to 100.3 F. I don't expect pups in the next 24 hours, however, I anticipated her due date for April 14th - but, I think maybe it might be sooner.

None-the-less, the whelping box will be installed today and all the whelping equipment will be at hand and ready.

It has been my experience that dogs instinctively know when it is a holiday - because they just love having their owner take them to the vet under emergency circumstances after hours, on weekends and most especially if it involves a statutory holiday...they hate seeing their owners with any money in their bank account.

One Thousand Visits!

How exciting - 1,000 visitors since I started blogging on March 7, 2009. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pretty Kitty

She was very close to earning the name "Pretty Nasty" but she is starting to get along with everyone here - still a bit of hissing.

Update: Sigh...she is in heat. She is scheduled for a spay on April 13 - meanwhile, my neutered tom cat "Mr. Slinky" fancies himself a stud.

Do They Shed?


Note this pile of fur that I blew out of Dylan today.

Dylan after his bath with his raccoon.

Monday, April 6, 2009


I'm in gooming mode this week. Trying to get everyone bathed and groomed before the pups arrive. I will have my webcam pointed to the grooming area whenever I am grooming - so check periodically. Otherwise, it is on the bird feeder. Tomorrow I plan to groom Dylan and Callie.

Lola and Sparkle had their bath and groom yesterday.

Here is Lola at 8 months of age.

Bogart pictured (7 years old).


Big Belly

Sparkle 7.5 weeks pregnant. She is 36 inches around the belly (up from 30 inches). There is a "rule of thumb" - 1 inch equals one puppy and she still has about 10 days to go.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Transitory Art

Mother Nature certainly is an amazing artist.

Does this look like an alien hand to anyone? Click on the picture to enlarge.

Coyote Ugly

Too bad I don't have a good April Fools Day prank to play. Oh well, maybe next year.

This morning I was up around 6:30 am and put Lola, Dylan and Callie outside. Lola quickly ran to her "poop" spot and was in the process of pooping and I was about to turn around and go back into the living room when I saw her stop mid-poop and bolt for the door. I then see Dylan and Callie go run off towards the fence-line behind the shop - barking all the way. Obviously, something is out there. I step out- in bare feet, and I can hear the maniacal howling and hooting of coyotes. They are very close. I quickly call the dogs inside and then get a pair of boots and go out to investigate. There are two coyotes just across the road and they are making quite the racket.

I let the dogs back outside and supervise them. All the while the coyotes are barking and carrying on and the dogs are barking back. Lola just doesn't know what to do - she does this nervous little woof and then runs behind me. Finally, she has enough nerve to finish her business.

You know the expression - "scared s$%tless!"...that was Lola, literally.