14 days and counting!

April 8th is Sugar’s due date, and that means just two more weeks until we get to discover how many puppies are waiting to join the ranks of life-changing “puppies in training”! She is 46 days along currently and the pups will start growing rapidly during this last stage of development!

Their organs have developed, claws have formed, hair has grown, and on Friday I was able to feel them kick for the very first time!  No one else could feel it, so I thought maybe I was mistaken, but Saturday I felt it again and today there was no doubt that what I was feeling was some tiny puppies making their presence known!!!! This may not sound surprising, but when you realize they are only about 5 inches long at this age of their development it might change your mind!

Sugar showing one of her former whelping moms who stopped by for a visit what she’s growing….

So, the journey begins over the next two weeks!  I will be picking up the whelping box, whelping kit, and some supplies to start preparing for a home with puppies; the room they will call “home” will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected to make sure they have a great area to start life on the right track, and our schedule starts slowing down to make a calmer environment for Sugar to just rest and relax!

At this time, we have no idea how many puppies to expect other than the fact that during her ultrasound they were making an educated guess of somewhere between 2 and 6 puppies!  So, when delivery day comes-I will be just as surprised as to the number of puppies as everyone else!

And now the waiting begins….this is the two weeks that can feel like an eternity:)

Some interesting things about the puppies growing during the pregnancy;

The Rate of Growth of the Fetus:

  • At 10 days the ova is approximately 1/12 to 1/20 inch long.
  • At 3-4 weeks old they are approximately 1 inch in length.
  • At 6 weeks old they are approximately 3 1/2 inches long.
  • At 7-8 weeks old they are approximately 5 inches long.
  • At the 9th week, they are 6-8 inches long.

The stages of development are interesting as well:

  • At 10 days the fertilized ova have reached the uterus.
  • At 10-21 days traces of the fetus appear, and traces of head, body, and limbs can be discerned.
  • At 3-4 weeks the first indications of claws can be seen.
  • At the 5th week, the stomach is well defined. At 6 weeks large hairs appear on lips, eyelids, etc.
  • At 7-8 weeks the eyelashes have appeared, and hair is beginning to appear at the tip of the tail, head, and extremities.
  • By the 9th week, the puppy is getting fully covered with hair and ready for its birth.

The killer puppy dog eyes waiting to be fed….

 

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July 19th, 2017 – Oh! The Places You’ll Go! Congratulations GRANDMA Sugar!!

Ivy with AU litter (002)

Ivy looks so content as a Mom-completely reminds me of Sugar with her smile!

You’ll be on your way up,
You’ll be seeing great sights,
You’ll join the high fliers,
Who soar to great heights!

Wherever you fly,
You’ll be best of the best,
Wherever you go,
You will top all the rest.

~Dr. Seuss

While Sugar only has a little over a week left until she has her 4th litter of puppies, I received the awesome news today from Can Do Canines that Nutmeg (now named Ivy) from Sugar’s very first litter has just become a momma to 5 beautiful puppies in Japan, and Sugar now is a Grandma!

This is special news on its own, but it is even more special when you consider that the journey of these dogs in training cross state lines, traverse countries across the globe, and touch the lives of countless numbers of people along the way. Sugar currently has puppies in Japan, California, Canada and Minnesota amongst 4 different organizations.

Sugar began her career at Guiding Eyes in New York.  When she was 1 1/2 years old. Guiding Eyes and Can Do Canines arranged to have her become a breeding dog for Can Do Canines, with the opportunity of some of her pups going back into the Guiding Eyes program or a program of their choice to continue to bring great bloodlines into programs across the world.  Sugar had her first litter in August of 2015 and had 6 beautiful little girls-2 yellow and 4 black pups which became the Spice Girls litter.  Cayenne, Poppy, Sage, Nutmeg, Clover and Saffron started their journey in the assistance dog world!

It was determined that Nutmeg and Sage would be in Great Start homes here in Minnesota until they were old enough to travel and then they would go back to Guiding Eyes. Then the puppies were sent to Japan in helping to further develop a program for guide dogs there.  After leaving Can Do Canines, their names were changed to Ivy and Isla. and their big journey began!

At some point during that time it was decided that Ivy (Nutmeg) would become a breeder dog and that Isla (Sage) would be in the guide dog training program. It’s really incredible all of the things that are taken into account in Assistance Dog programs that determine which path will be best for each dog, but I’ve learned over the years that it is not a decision taken lightly! Personality/Temperament, breeding qualities, size, and a huge variety of other factors play a role in the decisions of making awesome assistance dogs!

After this first litter, Sugar has had 2 more litters and has had a total of 16 puppies with more on the way! She’s definitely doing her part to make a difference in the world!

And, so the legacy continues for assistance dogs across the globe on a daily basis-with the help of many, programs flourish, lives are changed, and success is realized!

Congratulations to Momma Ivy, Grandma Sugar and EVERYONE who has a hand in making the dogs, the programs and the world better every single day!

Above are photos of Sugar (left) taken today at 8 weeks pregnant and on the right is Ivy/(Nutmeg) before she had her puppies.  Like Mother, Like Daughter!!!

Ivy Nutmeg and Isla Sage

Ivy and Isla are representing November for the calendar!