<-Sleepy face just woke up.
According to the vet, Samantha is going to have a big litter. She is at around 42 days and the puppy skeletons were just starting to calcify. Samantha is in very good health and has already been receiving double vitamins and puppy food, the vet was happy to hear. Since the skeletons weren't fully developed, she was unable to get a count, but said the size of the uterus indicates she will have a good sized litter. With a large litter, it usually means the individual pups are smaller and we anticipate no issues with her pregnancy or delivery. Our expected due date is between November 11th and 13th, but we will begin taking her temperature around day 58.
After bringing her home (it was raining all day off and on), we went back out and picked up some mud mats for the back porch to hopefully cut down on the amount of mud the dogs tend to track in to the house. We also picked up some rebar posts to further escape-proof the fence as well as keep out coyotes. With pups potentially running around the yard, we can't be too careful! We also picked up a horse trough that is of the right size and has walls the right height that Samantha can use as a whelping box while indoors where she can hop in and out and the pups will be restrained for the first few weeks of their lives. We have been working on preparing the barn, cleaning it out and hopefully will have it sanitized and ready by the time the pups are ready to inhabit it. We have electricity and will have a heater for the really cold nights.
Sunday was gorgeous, woke up to 31 degrees and waited until it was light enough to harness up. This time I leashed the dogs as I harnessed them, and tied down the cart. I led Freya out the front door first, and attached her leash to the back of the truck as I hooked up her tug. Then came Yukon, then Demon. Jim was there just to help keep the dogs from getting too tangled in their excitement. It was our best run yet! The dogs did VERY well, only one incident of distraction, but that didn't last long. Even when I asked Freya to Come Around, she did so without tangle and maneuvered perfectly back around towards home! Only once did I need to tell them Gee or Haw when approaching a turn. Demon pulled the whole way, even when Freya and Yukon wanted to stop for a squirrel, he pulled past them shaming Freya into retaking the lead. Fortunately there was no tangle. I was so very proud of my team! They all got extra meaty vitamin treats, rubbed down and their paws checked.
I guess I didn't wear them out enough, because by 10am they were romping around in the yard like a pack of 4 month old puppies. It was fun to watch them while I worked on leveling more of the path, putting down gravel and sand, then putting on the flat stones. I put down sand on all the paths where the dogs run and have turned to muddy-clay. Hopefully this will also help cut down on the amount of mud.