Friday, 30 March 2012

British Summer Time

I may look a bit shattered in this photo - I am tired with feeding those greedy pups of mine but I have been able to get a bit of sunshine. Last Sunday was the start of British Summer Time when the clocks here in the UK moved an hour forward. This year it really seems as if summer is on the way - it has been hot (20C) - hot for England :-) anyway and lots of flowers have been coming out. Here are some of the ones in our garden:

We have been able to enjoy more playing in the garden too - only when we got too excited about neighbours playing in their gardens we decided to have a good bark at them and got banished indoors again :-( Here are Aoife and Caoimhe in trouble again:

And a last photo of my babies - they are over 3x as big as when they were born!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Growing Pups...and A Competition!

Hallo again - I have finally got the chance to escape from my puppies for a moment to be able to get to the computer and blog again. As you can see I'm looking a bit raggedy - my coat and tail are terrible but I have had a shower and a bit of a clean up so I'm feeling better than I was last week! Thursday a week ago 4 little ones were born and you should see them now! While I got a lot thinner - they have got much bigger:

Caoimhe says she thinks they are little rotties and they are certainly big now - and noisy - they fight each other to get some milk! Oh it can be quite painful for me - I don't think they are bothered if I'm hurting :-( But the one good thing about this mothering at the moment is I am getting lots of extra treats - I have special tasty biscuits, chicken stock drinks, extra meals... and lots of cuddles when I manage to get away from the babies for a while. They haven't opened their eyes yet and I don't think they can hear either but that should all happen next week. I will let you know how they grow and Leigh will take more pictures of them too.

But the other thing I remembered was the competition for all my bloggy friends to win some doggy surprises from Crufts. This competition is for anyone wherever you live in the world and we are going to make it a caption competition as you are all very good at writing fun comments on your own blogs.  This is a photo of Maisie - she was Leigh and Judith's very first mini schnauzer and went everywhere with them on holiday. This photo was taken in Wales at a holiday cottage and for the competition just put your own caption to the picture. You can email your captions to Leigh at: The closing date is a week tomorrow so it will be Friday 30 March 2012 and the winning entry will be put on the blog on Monday 2 April. Have fun!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

A Jump for the First Day of Spring

Hey it's me Caoimhe here again! I know everyone is excited about my big sister's pups but I thought we other canines here were getting left out of things a bit. Magic will be back in a couple of days to tell you her side of this whole puppy business but just for today - it's the first day of Spring so my peeps got out the mini agility poles and things for us to have a jump around while Magic looked after her little ones. As you will see we're just learning really but we all had fun:

Me jumping through the hoop and sniffing something interesting on the other side.

Coming through the long collapsed tunnel

Aoife coming through the hoop.

And over the jump

And Alfie Crybbe showing off because he thinks he can go faster than us girls

He even stuck his tongue out at us going through the hoop!!

Anyway we all had a good time in the sunshine - except my big sister. And now I've started feeling sorry for her as she can't do as much as us 'cos she's looking after the pups. Leigh sleeps downstairs beside the whelping box so that she can let Magic out in the garden if she needs to go in the night...and I think she's also been getting extra food when we're in bed! But you know poor Magic went overnight from being the fattest schnauzer in the village to being size zero - and definitely no super-model in looks :-( ! And just for those of you who are pining for more puppy pics here's a few from the last couple of days and Magic will be back soon to blog about it:

They said they were schnauzers but I think they're little rottweilers :-)

Magic loves them though - can you see the little one peeping out from under her back leg - I think he's got lost!

Friday, 16 March 2012

Magic - the proud Mum

Magic gave birth on Thursday morning to 4 beautiful puppies - 3 boys and a girl. All went very smoothly - she was a little superstar of a Mum and did everything that needed doing all by herself. No need for any equipment or help of any kind. Here are a few photos of the new arrivals:

2 of the pups on the heated pad.

Magic does look more than a little frazzled here - she obviously got quite messy with doing all the hard work herself - tearing the sac surrounding the pups and severing the cord and then cleaning the pups. The ribbons we initially used to identify the pups but actually we can tell them apart without so have removed them now.

All 4 pups enjoying a warm rest on the heat pad.

The pups favourite activity - feeding!
The white bar in the photo is a special barrier in the whelping box to help protect the puppies when they are very small from being rolled on by the mother and squashed against the wall of the box.

One of the pups snuggling against Magic's cheek - it gives an idea of their small size.

I will put up more pictures and more details about the birth etc in the next week but thought Magic's bloggy friends might like to see the first day's photos - thank you to everyone for the good wishes you have posted in our blog comment box!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Update on Magic

Leigh: This is just a short update on Magic's pregnancy as we are expecting her to be ready to give birth around this coming weekend. We are now on day 59 from mating and 60-63 days are average. She is still growing although she manages to go on slow walks still and can even sometimes jump on the sofa although she has taken to sleeping stretched out in one of the ground level beds more often:

As you can see she still falls out - this is not unusual for her :-)

Some people have asked if we know how many pups she is expecting but we decided not to have a scan done which would have given some indication so we'll just wait and see. I would expect 4 - 6 puppies as being the average size litter for miniature schnauzers and although she seems large she's not so enormous that I would think she has an unusual number. The record as far as I know is actually 11 puppies from a UK breeder many years ago. It's hard to believe such a small dog could have so many puppies!

This is a photo of Magic when she came to live with us 2 years ago - it's hard to believe she may now be about to have pups of her own. If they are like her they will be very sweet :-)
She seems very fit and well and still eating! In terms of health she comes from a strong pedigree with no health issues and has been eye tested by a BVA eye specialist vet. Miniature schnauzers as a breed have been known to suffer hereditary problems with cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy which can lead to complete blindness. The Kennel Club in the UK recommends that all miniature schnauzers - most especially those being used for breeding - are eye tested annually to ensure they are clear of the condition. Both Magic and her parents and Luke (her mate) and his parents are clear and there is no history as far as we know on either pedigree of these conditions. Puppies can be tested before they leave to go to their new home for cataract problems but the PRA test cannot be done until they are a year old. Another issue with pedigree dogs generally is in-breeding which can also lead to hereditary problems and a limited gene pool for breeding. The UK Kennel Club now runs a Mate Select service on-line which can not only give the inbreeding coefficient for an individual registered dog but also tell you what it would be for their offspring. The wonders of modern technology!

For Miniature Schnauzers the average in-breeding is  only 6% but for Magic and Luke their offspring would be just 0.9% which is excellent in terms of the diversity of their genetic make-up. We have done all we can to ensure that Magic's puppies will be as healthy and fit as can be so we are just keeping fingers crossed that all goes well over the next week and Magic is soon a mum of some happy little minis :-)

Sunday, 11 March 2012

More Fun at Crufts

Yesterday Leigh went off to Crufts on the train to take some more pictures of the dogs and events. She met lots of new doggy friends like this Hovawart and a Sloughi:

And these sweet little dogs called Sealyhams who are an endangered breed:

Their faces are a bit like schnauzers:

At Discover Dogs there are some of many breeds from around the world including a number of dogs like the Sealyham which are quite rare or becoming so. Even the English Setter is now not very often seen here. This one was sleeping off all the excitement:

There was even a Giant Schnauzer lounging in the Working Dogs section:

But talking of schnauzers there were schnauzers of all kinds and not all of them were real!

This one is a plant pot holder!

These were just hanging around :-)

and this one was advertising microchipping your pet.

There were also lots of events with dogs - like Great Dane Basketball:

These guys were waiting their turn to get into the game.
And there was agility for lots of little and medium sized dogs:

This sheltie is getting ready to go over the jumps and the boxer is thinking he'll sit this one out:

Of course there were lots of stalls too selling treats and other doggy items. These were very scary:

but this was more interesting - a stall selling ice-cream sorbets for dogs!

Sadly it wasn't possible to bring back frozen desserts from Birmingham as it was a 4 hour train journey but we do still have our jerky and tripe treats to munch. And I nearly forgot to mention that Leigh met Sampson & Dante & Daisy Boo's Mum there too and they did a bit of doggy shopping for us all. Well I'll be back next week to tell you about the competition for all my bloggy friends with a special prize from Crufts to be won and Leigh will be posting more about my progress on the puppy front :-) 

Friday, 9 March 2012

Aoife's big day out

As I couldn't go to Crufts being in a delicate way of things - as you know - Leigh had to stay behind too to look after me. So Judith took Aoife along with a friend from her work called Nicole and they have provided some pictures for you to see Aoife's big day out. Actually it all started for Aoife the night before - and not very well from her point of view!

Poor Aoife - at least I missed out on the shower!

The next morning they set off at 5.45 am to go to the NEC and it was busy! There were all sorts of different dogs there not only being shown but displaying their agility skills, their police work and their talent for dancing! There was plenty of grooming going on:

from fluffy white Bichon Frise with lots of fur to ...

Chinese Crested with not so much!

In the show ring there were Yorkshire Terriers being shown on their boxes:

and Aoife - who didn't need a box to show off!

Well in the end she got Very Highly Commended which is 5th - she is still a baby though and hopefully she will do better when she's grown up a bit. Anyway she cane home with this certificate so we're very proud of her anyway:

And even more importantly she persuaded Leigh & Nicole to go shopping for TREATS! There were so many food stalls there selling food for dogs - I wish I could have been there! There were even doggy gateaux:

And they brought us home some lamb jerky:

and some tripe treats:

And this is me waiting patiently for my treat:

Well I'll be back with more news from Crufts this weekend. And if anyone still wants to go you can get tickets by clicking on the link at the top of this post - or just go along - there is so-o much to see and lots of doggy treats :-)