Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Getting Bigger

I don't think I really need to add too many words! They are all very strong and sturdy apparently and all have their eyes open now. Roll on the weekend! I can't wait to see them.

Katy and Martin x

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Cassidy & Co at 2 Weeks

I'm sure you'll all be eager to see some new photos of the puppies! They are 2 weeks old today. As you can see, baby Airedales look more like baby Rottweilers! The black gradually fades to reveal the typical Airedale black "saddle".

At 2 weeks old a puppy can crawl to find milk and the warmth of its mum and brothers and sisters. They spend most of their time eating and sleeping. Their eyes should now be open, as this generally happens between day 10 and 14.

Don't they look adorable. I wonder which one Cassidy is?

Before we see them next weekend their teeth should start to break through (oh joy) and they will start walking and should be able to lap liquids, so weaning can begin. Once their teeth come through mum tends to be less keen to have them at the milk bar for long periods! Their ears should be open by the end of the 3rd week and their sense of smell begins to develop.

Watch out for lots of photos after our visit next week...

Katy and Martin x

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Welcome Cassidy

Hello all,

Any of you that read Oscar's blog will know something of ours tears, heartache and sadness in recent weeks, but we have some happy news to share with you. Oscar's breeders had puppies in the early hours of Sunday 9th September and we have decided that we would like to give a home to one of the puppies.

We have always been in close contact with Oscar's breeders, and they have been a great support over the last 7 weeks. Oscar had a big place in their hearts, especially after being taken back to them by his original owners. We have known since Oscar died that the puppies were due, but at first we were too distraught to even think about the possibility of a new dog entering our lives. We were so numb from the loss of Oscar that all we could think about was being without him. I felt overwhelmed with guilt at the thought of getting a new puppy or dog, thinking Oscar would feel he was easily replaceable, when this is so, so far from the truth. I also didn't want to get too excited about a puppy to find something had gone wrong with the pregnancy or birth and face yet more heartache. We have come to understand now through talking to each other and other people, that by getting a new dog we are in a way honouring Oscar and the love of Airedales that he gave us. I know deep down that he wouldn't want us to go through life unable to open our hearts to another dog, and to have one from his breeders who have litters very infrequently seems fitting.

We do not know yet if we will get a girl or a boy, but as long as they are happy and healthy we do not mind at all. They will not have the same sire or dam as Oscar. This should mean that the puppies have very distinct personalities, looks and traits to Oscar, but no doubt will share the same clownish love for life as he had. We do not want to be forever comparing the new puppy to Oscar as that isn't fair on Oscar's memory, us or the new puppy.

However, as you may know, Oscar's KC name was Sherifs Sundance Kid, and we have decided to call the puppy (Butch) Cassidy as a way of remembering and honouring Oscar. Cassidy is a fairly unisex name, so it should equally suit a boy or a girl pup. Funnily enough both Martin and I decided on the name independently (Martin at 4am after waking from a dream about Oscar, and me after talking through some name suggestions from a very good friend who I came to know after her own Airedale died suddenly earlier this year, and she found solace in Oscar's blog).

Here is Cassidy's sire, isn't he handsome? He's English and American Champion Joval Jumpin Jack Flash at Jokyl. His pet name is Jack.

Here's a photo of the dam, Maggie. Her full name is Magwyr Starlight Over Sherifs. Here she is giving the first alert that the puppies might be on the way. Maggie was discovered in the garden having dug a nice comfy mud hole to give birth in. She was quickly rounded up and washed down (as you can see from her paws, she's made quite a mess!), and was settled in the whelping box. She became unsettled at about 10:30pm on Saturday 8th September, and gave birth to the first puppy at 2:00am on Sunday the 9th. The last one arrived at 9:45am. All the pups were vigorous and healthy despite being a few days early, and all took well to mum's milk bar.

Here is the beautiful Maggie with the puppies at a few hours old. It's hard to see the puppies, but they're all there at her tummy. Airedale puppies are almost totally black when they're born. The tan slowly grows through as they get older. She looks bright eyed and bushy tailed despite being up nearly all night giving birth.

So here begins Cassidy's tale. We will give you weekly updates until he or she is ready to come home, then hopefully we can pass the reins over. We are planning to go for our first visit when the puppies are 3 weeks old on the last weekend in September!

Katy and Martin xxx