Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Magic's Progress

Leigh: Magic is taking a rest from blogging for a bit so I'm going to give a little progress report on her behalf! As you can see from the photo she is pretty fed up at times with her growing size. She is eating plenty - no trace of morning sickness - and still goes on walks but only on-lead. Luckily with the weather being so dull it is no loss not to be going for country hikes here.

In dogs, the pregnancy lasts around 9 weeks and for the first 5 weeks there is very little sign externally. Then the nipples start to enlarge and point and the breast tissue swells:

This was Magic a week ago - she is bigger still now but doesn't want her picture taken, needless to say. The development of the puppies is very rapid. 21 days after fertilisation the embryos develop their central nervous system and within a week the brain and spinal cord are formed and all the organs of the body, limbs, head, eyes and face begin to develop. At the stage of pregnancy Magic has now reached the foetuses will have their sexual characteristics formed and their eyelids will have closed. The next couple of weeks or so there will be further development and the pups growing to their full size to be viable at birth. Puppies can be born from day 57 but it is usually between 60-63 days. We will be anxiously waiting by the weekend of Crufts - Magic should be due to give birth the following week!

Our other dogs are aware that something is going on with Magic - much sniffing of her rear end naturally - but how much they know is a mystery :-) Caoimhe has no idea of being gentle around Magic and would accidentally kick her, leap on her or just knock her flying in sheer youthful exuberance. Aoife has become very maternal herself - she stays close to Magic when she can and constantly cleans her - licking her ears inside and out and trying to clean her beard! Poor Magic ends up looking very bedraggled:

Magic may well come back to blog about her feelings on this before too long. Just thought I would give you a bit of background - apologies to the squeamish and probably the boys for too much girl talk here!

Monday, 27 February 2012

Caoimhe's Update

Hello Bloggy friends - it's me Caoimhe back! I have finally managed to get Leigh to help me with the computer again. Leigh was not well last week - migraine she called it - and she was very sick and really not able to do very much at all. She wanted to say she will catch up with friends' posts soon - sorry not to have been able to read all your adventures last week. Anyway I will get you all up to date with what's been happening here. Spring has come to our garden now the snow has gone and we have little irises coming up:

 They are very delicate and pretty - not like Magic haha! She is getting so-o fat and I keep wanting to use her as a pillow or a bouncy ball and getting into trouble :-( Leigh will do a post later this week about how Magic is doing 'cos I want to to tell you more exciting things. I went to a show on Sunday and was entered in the Puppy class. I was doing very well I thought but then suddenly I so needed to go to the toilet  and I couldn't stand still and the judge didn't like me fidgeting when she was examining me so I only came 4th. But I did get a nice green rosette and then phew I could go outside and relax...

This is a photo of Aoife lounging on the sofa. It was her birthday on Sunday and she was 1 year old so she's not a puppy any more. That's why she wanted a black & white picture instead of colour 'cos she said it's more elegant now she's grown up. All I can say is no affenpinscher is ever going to look as elegant as a schnauzer - not with that little monkey face - even in black and white!

Anyway that's just a quick catch up on things here - more about Magic to come later in the week. See you again soon - Caoimhe x

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Strange Happenings

Strange happenings here. Suddenly this white box has appeared - what can it be?

I had a look through the window - is that my furry bedding in there?

Open sesame - the door lifts up - and that IS my furry bedding in there!

I checked it carefully - definitely my bedding.

Then Leigh tells me it's a Whelping Box ....which is..? 'For when you have puppies'  Do I remember anyone telling me about maybe...and is that why I've been feeling decidedly seedy this past week and my waistline has been growing a bit (I thought it was because of too many treats over Christmas). Oh no - I'm not feeling like having my picture taken now!

In fact I think I might not want my picture taken for a very long time...

More detail from Leigh:
We are now 38 days from when Magic was mated and the signs are positive that she is pregnant. She definitely looks a bit stouter and we have cut the hair from her chest and tummy as her nipples have grown larger and the breast tissue is swelling. She is sleeping a lot more and she also has a clear discharge which our 'breeding Bible' The Book of the Bitch says is a fairly reliable indicator of pregnancy.. The usual length of pregnancy in dogs is around 63 days which means Magic should be due around the second week in March. We have set up the whelping box for her to become used to it before the time and are busy accumulating newspapers and an assortment of equipment in optimism! More to come on this front over the nest few weeks ..

Monday, 20 February 2012

Crufts Competition Results

Today 2 lucky peeps have won tickets to Crufts from our blog competition and me and Alfie Crybbe helped to pick their names! All the names were printed out on pieces of paper and folded up in a wooden bowl and we each took a turn to pick them out:

This is me making my choice.......and the lucky winner is........Jan Bell:

Then Alfie Crybbe took a turn:

And he picked......Geraldine Staples:

So 2 lucky sets of peeps will have the chance to visit the Crufts Show and see all the wonderful dogs there and the agility competitions and the shops with doggy treats. Leigh is going to go along and take some pictures for my blog in March. But if any of you still want to go you can always get tickets by going through to the Crufts website. Just click the banner below!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Monkey Dogs

Today I thought I would tell you a bit more about affenpinschers as they are not as well known as us schnauzers but they are a very old breed of dog. The breed originated in Germany and their name means monkey dog. (Affe is German for monkey) They are thought to be one of the oldest breed of toy dogs going back to the sixteenth century. They are pictur

Affenpinschers were used as ratters but they also became much loved pets as they are very good at making people laugh with their comic antics. My brother Crybbe is a master at comedy especially in his training class doing little bows and twirls instead of obeying the commands and sitting and looking at the instructor with his head on one side.

Affenpinschers can have pricked ears like Crybbe or drop ears like my little sister Aoife. Crybbe was not born with pricked ears though. Here is a picture of him on Christmas Day at 4 months old.

But when he grew older his ears gradually went up - first one then the other!

Affenpinschers are now not a common breed at all even in Germany. The highest number of dogs is probably in the USA. Affenpinschers were introduced into the UK first in the 1890s but only in ones and twos. The breed did not really begin to be established until the 1970s and even now there are only about 100 puppies registered a year with the Kennel Club. It is thought we miniature schnauzers have affenpinschers in our breeding from years ago when the standard schnauzer was cross bred to reduce its size and make a smaller dog suitable for city living and to be a companionable pet.

Affenpinschers are intelligent dogs and can be trained to work as medical alert dogs. The picture above shows Crybbe who has worked as a Pets As Therapy dog visiting nursing homes to cheer up the residents! But some dogs are trained to work as assistants to people with a medical condition that could put their life at risk and one affenpinscher is working in Exeter with his diabetic owner Eileen Reed to help keep her well. Click on the link to read their story!

Affenpinschers are uaually between 10-11" tall (24-28 cm) and weigh around 8-9lbs (4 kg) In the UK their coat is always black although it can go grey at quite a young age.  They are judged in the Toy Group at dog shows.

Affenpinschers are not the dog for all people though. They may be small but they want to be top dog! They will protect their food and their toys by any means possible and are not slow to nip anyone who tries to steal them whether dog or human!

Aoife at 9 weeks old defending her toys

But they are fun to live with most of the time :-) and I wouldn't want to be without my little sister really;

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

We got tagged!

Our good friend Haopee tagged me so here goes with my answers to the questions:

1. Describe yourself in 7 words - friendly, loving, cute, optimistic, curious, relaxed, schnauzer

2. What keeps you up at night? - My sisters snoring.

3. Who would you like to be? - Happy being Me

4. What are you wearing? - My new hoodie

5. What scares you? - Black plastic bin liners flapping about.

6. The best and worst of blogging - best is hearing about the adventures of all my bloggy friends all over the world worst is when blogger doesn't work properly and not having enough time always to keep up with the blogs.

7. The last website I visited - My Dogs Love Me (checking the questions :-)

8. What is one thing I would change about myself?  Nothing really - do you think I could be improved upon?

9. Slankets - yes or no? - No I don't like sleeves in my blanket :-(

10. Tell us something about the person who tagged you - that is Haopee who has a great blog about her life with her dogs. She is a dog lover who posts about many interesting K9 topics which my peeps look forward to reading - and she makes us laugh with her 'conversations' with her dog companions.

11. Tag 8 more blogs:


Schnauzer Days


Michelle at Hood Acres Farm

Four Miniature Schnauzer Girls and a Maltese Boy

Muffin the Shih-Tzu

Nora Bella memoir of a schnauzer

The Brown Dog 

Check out my tagged blogs if you haven't visited them before - they are all worth a visit!

Friday, 10 February 2012

Yet more snow!

Just when we thought it was going to melt - it snowed again! Leigh had cleared a path and it was doing well and then last night it snowed and snowed.

This is Caoimhe discovering that she can walk on water - well frozen pond water anyway :-)

Me in my new fleece hoodie.

The birds are all coming to feed from the bird feeders - this pretty robin was after the fat balls.

and the Great Tit was enjoying the peanuts.

and then the Wood Pigeon decided to sit in the water bowl :-(

It is still very cold here - we want it to warm up soon so we can start going out on walks again. But just to finish here is my cute little sister Aoife in her red jumper:

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Gates..and more gates!

When we first moved to this house two years ago there were hardly any gates and we could run upstairs and downstairs and up the garden and down the garden and then...a gate appeared with a fence to stop us dogs getting into the vegetable plot :-(

Then last summer another gate appeared to stop us running into the borders and digging up the plants :-(

and then suddenly at the weekend another gate appeared to stop us chasing the cats upstairs and jumping on the beds when we're wet and muddy :-(

Where will it all end? 

Sunday, 5 February 2012

A Winter Wonderland

We have snow! It started coming down yesterday afternoon and then didn't stop. I've seen snow before but Aoife and Caoimhe had a bit of a shock :-)

Caoimhe trying to work out where the white stuff came from.

Aoife seeing if it's good to eat.

Our own Christmas tree!

The silver birch tree all laden with snow.

The schnauzer plant pots filled with snow :-)

Caoimhe in her winter jacket.

Alfie Crybbe was very cross that he had to wear his jacket.

And here I am calling everybody back indoors.

Time for a snooze in the beds by the radiator!