It is a day of minor celebration in the Yapp household today (and you can’t have too many of those on Mondays in January) as Martha’s litter of puppies have passed the crucial 2 week milestone which, according to The Book of the Bitch is the time when they are most vulnerable to myriad potentially terminal afflictions. TBOTB states that dog breeders should anticipate a 25-30% mortality rate amongst a litter of puppies but concedes that if they reach 2 weeks of age the outlook is considerably rosier. We appreciate that we are not out of the woods yet but we do still have ‘Five Alive’ and the puppies have all more than doubled their birth weights as carefully monitored by our boys on the graph below.

The puppies have now started to open their eyes and are looking much chunkier which is reassuring. Their coats are beginning to lighten out into a distinctive Border Terrier ‘black and rust’ colouration and their teeth are starting to come through. There are 4 males and 1 female and we have stuck with their improvised birth nicknames although there has been plenty of lively family discussion about what to name the puppy we intend to keep. They are all still residing in the original whelping box in the boys’ bedroom but they will soon be moved to a play-pen downstairs and then we will start to wean them on to solid food.

Like most new mums Martha seems to have good days and bad days in terms of her appetite and energy levels but she is increasingly confident about leaving the puppies for short periods and has enjoyed resuming her daily walks. On Saturday I went down to our local market to stump up the stud fee to the owner of ‘Ranger’ the puppies’ father. Fortunately I had a camera on me so I managed to get a snap of him looking imperious on the back of his veg van – Ranger that is not Nick his owner.

Tonight we will celebrate with a bottle of the Ferrands’ excellent white Chinon: Château de Ligré 2009 which is (not very) coincidentally one of our wines of the month down to £10.25 per bottle from £11.50.