Calypso Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs


The continuing saga of the Calypso C litter: Avanti x Scrabble, born 3/12/11.
Puppy Watch is written by me (Amy), so if you have any comments or questions, please email me at


Friday 4/29/11:  My humble apologies to those brave souls still following this - I have been a total slacker on keeping this and the puppy page updated.  I do, however, have a pretty good excuse - we finally sold our house!!!  And found a new one with nearly half an acre for the doggies to play on.  Between selling and buying, plus all the paperwork, errands, and meetings it has just eaten my life.  The puppies will be going to their new homes soon - it is hard to believe that they're already 7 weeks old tomorrow!  I will get the site updated this next week, before they start to leave - I promise!

 Monday 4/18/11: Visited the puppies last nite - they are doing great!  They are now living in the big puppy box and enjoying the space to move around and the toys to play with and climb on.  They're also getting fairly good at trying to head to the part of the box with the newspapers when they need to potty - yay!  They're eating solid food and nursing less, and Avanti is happy about that because they've got teeth.  We took individual pictures and I'll post those now, since Terry sent them to me.  Alas, my home computer died last Saturday and I'm picking up the replacement tonite, so it will be a day or so before I get all the 5 week candid shots we took onto the puppy page, but they'll be worth the wait.

Friday 4/15/11:  OK - I have been very bad about updating, but this week has just been a mess!  Between the dog shows last weekend, getting sick and trying to negotiate a contract on our house, I just haven't had time.  Happily, Terry sent some 4 week pictures and I am putting those up.  The pups are getting BIG and have started on solid food and I'm looking forward to seeing them and having some snuggle time this Sunday.  We'll get plenty of 5 week pix and figure out when we'll have some puppy visits.

Tuesday 4/5/11:  Survived the trip back from Oregon!  We had a grand time - I'll be posting photos of the boys ocean adventures soon.  Meahwhile, I've finally managed to put up the 2 week pictures of the puppies.  We went to visit yesterday afternoon and it is just amazing how much they have grown and changed!  Their eyes are all open and they're all walking!  They are curious and can almost climb out of the whelping box if you leave the door open.  They like to wrestle and play with toys and snuggle and give puppy kisses.  I got lots of good 3 week pictures, and I'll try to get them posted today, but by tomorrow at the latest.  Terry and Bev also sent me a bunch of really cute shots with their grandkids, so there will be plenty to look at.

Friday 3/25/11: Gonna go see puppies this afternoon!  I'll take the Week 2 pictures, but I won't be able to post them until we get back from our Oregon trip.  So be patient - they'll be worth it!

Monday 3/21/11:  We got to see the puppies on Saturday and they are doing great!  Avanti is a wonderful mama and is keeping them clean and fed.  They're getting more active and really strong for their size.  Some of the more adventurous ones are exploring the whelping box a little and climbing all over Avanti.  They are all nursing strongly and gaining weight (Red girl made 2 lbs at last nites weigh-in!).  It's just fascinating to watch them  - they've grown and changed so in just one week.  I'm having some computer issues, but I promise I will get at least some of the one week pictures posted on the Puppy page tomorrow.  I can't wait until their eyes open this week!  Going to try and swing by on Friday for the 2 week photo session, though those pix may not get posted for a while since we're leaving for Oregon next Saturday.

Tuesday 3/15/11:  The puppies went in for their first checkup and dew claw removal today - all healthy & thriving and Avanti is recovering well.  We'll be visiting on Friday or Saturday to take more pictures to post on the Puppy page.

Monday 3/14/11: It's amazing what a good nights sleep will do for you.  I still want to crawl under my desk and snooze, but I think my boss might object.  Seriously, having puppies was an amazing and humbling experience.  If I learned anything, it's that I have a whole lot more to learn!  I do owe a debt of gratitude to Terry and Bev for sharing the whole journey with me, to their daughter Christa and to Carolynn Wamsley for their experienced help and unwavering support, and to my hubby Chris for being willing to miss it all in order to stay home and take care of the dogs and clean the house.
Whelping a litter is a lot like a good roller coaster ride, with some amazing and awe-inspiring highs and some heart-wrenching lows, but it still leaves you wanting to try it again.  The sheer terror and helplessness of watching that first puppy arrive gives way to newly born confidence to clamp that umbilical cord and rub that puppy and watch it come to life. It really is the start of a great adventure!  And I promise, I'll get some more pix up soon.

11:52am  Avanti and all the babies are doing just great, so I'm going to head on home to do some laundry and snag a nap.  Alas, our home computer is dying a slow death, so I won't be able to post any more udates or pictures until tomorrow morning at work.  But I will post lots of new pix then, I promise!

Sunday 3/13/11 9:05am:  Mama and babies doing great - all snoozing in the box together.  Babies eating well and Avanti keeping them nice and clean.  Did anybody get the license plate number of the truck that hit me, though?  

4:37am: Oxytocin on board and a nice little walk out in the rain and we're wrapping things up for the moment.  Bev is taking first shift sleeping next to the box and putting the puppies in to nurse.  I am going to crawl into bed with Sarah and hopefully not wake up for a while!

4:22am: Final monitoring done and data transmitting.  Hopefully it will be time for a last clean-out shot of oxytocin and time for bed!  All the puppies are nursing and doing well.  Whew.

3:28am: Last baby (we think) has arrived - another lovely little girl. We'll check for any heartbeats to make sure Avanti is done and get everything cleaned up.

2:06am, which is now 3:06am (Geez I hate daylight savings time!) And here's all six puppies so far spending some quality time with Mama.Six_puppies.jpg

1:26: Another little boy - healthy and nursing, thankfully.


1:22am: Avanti is having hard contractions again - we found 2 more heartbeats, so there's 2 more to come.

12:48am: Another little girl.  Unfortunately, she was born with some of her intestines outside her body.  Bev and Christa took her to the e-Vets, but she didn't make it.  It just hurts to lose one.  It just hurts.

12:34am - We'll walk Avanti around a little, give her some ice cream, change the bedding in the whelping box and hopefully the next pups will make an appearance.  Red girl and Blue boy are nursing and doing well.

12:16:  Puppy number 5 - a boy!

12:10 Puppy number 4 is here - another girl!

Here's the girls with their bro:


 11:14  OK, now that the girls are dried off, weighed and nursing, I can elaborate a little! Avanti was having contractions but not much was happening, so we took her outside to walk around a little and lo and behold - out popped yellow girl!  We'd just gotten everyone settled inside when lavender girl made her appearance.  We're on our way!

11:07: Puppy number 3 - another girl!

11:00 It's a girl!!!!  Number 2 has arrived!

10:47 Still waiting!  Just finished monitoring - will see what whelpwise says.

9:40 pm Still waiting on the next one...

Here he is!

small_green_boy.jpgA fine big 1 lb 4 & 3/8 ounce boy  who is already nursing!!!

8:18  OMG!!!!!!!!!  The first one is here!!!!!  It's a boy!!!!

8pm: Avanti lost her mucus plug - let the mess begin!  It will be interesting to see what the contraction rate is up to when we monitor next.

 7:25pm  She's up to 12 contractions an hour - still panting and restless.  Went outside to pee , but was happy to come back in.  Could be sooner or could be later...sigh.  Will monitor again in a couple hours.

6pm:  Avanti is snoozing in the whelping box, but you can tell when she has a contraction - her head comes up and she pants and her abdomen gets rigid.  We'll put the monitor on her around 7 to check the contraction rate.

  5pm: She's in labor!  Just finished an hour of monitoring and she's at 8 contractions for the hour.  Will monitor again in 2 hours.  She has colustrum, so she's ready to feed the puppies when they arrive.  We found all 7 heartbeats (I'm still betting there's a number 8 hiding in there somewhere!) with the Doppler and they're nice and strong.  Something tells me this is gonna be a long night!

 Saturday 3/12/11 3:30pm:  Avanti is clearly not comfortable - poor thing!  The puppies are starting to line up and she's having some more contractions.  We're going to go put her on the monitor and find out where the contractions are at.

Friday 3/11/11: Avanti's appetite is slowing down and her temperature is fluctuating - she's getting closer.  Bev says the puppies haven't lined up yet, so she doesn't think Avanti will be ready until tomorrow at the earliest, unless she starts having steady contractions, of course.  They'll put the monitor on her again this evening and see what the Whelpwise folks say.

Thursday 3/10/11:  WHOO HOO - 8 PUPPIES!!!!  OK, 7 puppies for sure, but Dr Culver was pretty certain she saw another one in the bunch - they are very active puppies!feelthosepuppies.jpg
Avanti was lying on the x-ray table between shots (they did 2 to try and confirm the number) and I had my hand on her belly and felt a puppy moving! It was amazing - it took me right back to when I first felt Sarah move before she was born.  That new life in there never ceases to amaze me - I nearly cried.  But we were all standing there looking at each other with big goofy grins on our faces, too!
Dr Culver said everything looks good and we should be on track for a weekend delivery.  Guess I better get my overnight bag packed!
Here's a shot of 'watermelon girl'-preggieavanti1.jpg

Tuesday 3/8/11: Avanti's x-ray appointment is on Thurday afternoon, so I do get to go - yay!  Will post more info then. 

Saturday 3/5/11: Helped set up the whelping box and get out the whelping supplies at Terry & Bev's house.  Terry showed us how to use the Doppler and find the puppies. Chris was better at it than me (darn ex-paramedic!) but we did manage to find 6 of the 7 heartbeats before Avanti got fed up with us.  Hearing those heart beats was just amazing!  Avanti will be going in for an x-ray later in the week so we can get a fairly accurate count of the pups. She's looking good and is still her lively self, even is she does look like she ate a watermelon whole - Sarah's description, not mine.  Hopefully, the vet appointment will be in the afternoon, so I can go, too.  If the vet has digital x-rays, I'll see if I can get a printout and post it here.

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