Age is Just a Number

My favorite puppy.

You know that saying “They grow up so fast”?  Well Mulder aged a couple of months this week.  Let me explain.

When she first came to us, I estimated her age was about 6 weeks.  We took her for her first vet visit about 2 and 1/2 weeks later and the vet agreed with me that Mulder was probably in the 8 – 9 week old range.  I am a breeder.  My vet is a breeder.  And she sees A LOT of puppies.  I had every confidence that Mulder had been born sometime around October 22.  I already have that date marked on my 2011 calendar for her 1 year birthday.

This past weekend, I found she was in season.  I have never had a bitch come in at such a young age.  I was shocked.  I wrote to my Aunt who breeds Shelties (I figure Mulder has some Sheltie in her family tree) and she asked me if I was sure about Mulder’s age.  I said that maybe I could have been a week off either way but yeah, pretty sure.  Then she asked “Still has baby teeth?”.  Yeah I’m sure she does but I’ll go ahead and look just for the heck of it.  Adult teeth.  Whaaaaaa?

From my Aunt:

Don’t forget she was in pretty bad shape when
you got her.  I have four month old puppies here,
and just a few adult teeth on each.. the teeth are
a HUGE indicator.  A sickly, malnutritioned Sheltie
at three and a half months could very easily pass
for six to eight weeks.  I think you need to put
her birthdate down as August  :)

So Mulder is apparently a couple of months older than I thought – than we all thought.  I’m still shocked over this.  What do you think – birthday in August?

13 thoughts on “Age is Just a Number

  1. Yep. Birthday sooner than October 22nd. Way to go, MULDER. What a little sugar. I mean vixen. I mean imp. You take her in, you help her get past her fears of two-leggeds, you make super delish home cooked meals for her. And wham. All the while she’s giggling behind your back knowing she’s pushed the puppy envelope way past the pass stage. Love photograph. I say call The New Yorker. And Bark. Hmm. MULDER probably needs her own FB page, dontcha think?

  2. Great photo — you can feel the love. Would make a great greeting card for you.

    I must have missed the post about when/how you found her, could you post the link here? Thanks.

  3. After Zippy, I always age by teeth and teeth alone.

    That puppy weighed 13 1/2 pound when I picked her up from the pound. Her sisters were a little smaller. We thought they were emaciated three-month-olds. We were half right.

    My vet opened her mouth and said no way — seven months old. I looked in and MY jaw dropped to show all MY grown-up teeth.

    She should have weighed a minimum of 35 pounds at that age.

    That said, there’s a fair amount of variability in when later teeth come in — even between littermates. So you have a range. Zippy was *at least* seven months old — could have been older if her teeth were late.

  4. Dogs will lose their baby teeth between 4-6 months, depending on genetics, stress, breed, etc. Go for August, but remember, that’s partly LEO month, so you might have yourself a little Lion there! teehee

  5. I vote for August 23.. my Moms’ birthday.. she loved animals of all sorts.. and instilled my love of them in me at a very young age.. so Happy Birthday on August 23 to Lulu ( my Mom) and Mulder!

  6. It’s amazing what love and good care can do! She may have been born in August, but I’d celebrate the day she arrived with YOU! (Or, all spoiled kids enjoy TWO parties…)

  7. What a sweet photo. All this means is you have to get her spayed a bit sooner (after she finishes her season). Dogs are terrible about keeping track of dates, I’ve found, so you can pick whatever day you want for her b’day celebrations.

  8. My dog, Grace, came to me from a fighting ring – and when I got her the vet and everyone told me that she only around 2 yrs old. The entire time I disagreed with them and told them so, but they are the *experts* and refused to put down the age I thought she was in her chart. About a year ago she had to have a medical procedure and at that time the vet FINALLY agreed with me that they were all off on her age by about 4 YEARS! I had already suspected that was the case…but to finally have the vet agree with me made me feel like I wasn’t an idiot! LOL

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