Red Letter Day

(This post was written on or about Feb 22. I did not get it edited or posted, when I reread it I thought it should be posted so here it is June 8)

Last Monday the puppies were 15 weeks old. They went for their last set of shots which included rabies. They are now free to go out into the world and explore; hopefully safe from most diseases that we know are a threat. Puppies weighed in at about 28 pounds.

We now have a set routine with the big dogs in rotation. It makes it easier to get everyone fed, out to potty and play. The puppies are doing great with crate training. Winona now sleeps at night in a soft-sided crate. Hopefully that will carry on over to the shows and trials. The housebreaking has gone better than expected with all of the rain we have had in the last few weeks and more expected tomorrow. Winona seemed to catch on first. We have a doggy door and they have all learned to use it. Last week was great as we only had an accident or two.

Labs and rain. With labs wet conditions don’t seem to matter. It is great coming home to the pups warm and dry in their crates and then letting them out, watching them scatter to find just the right spot. The only problem is when they stay out to play and came back soaking wet. I have become the queen of the mop.

I remember once at a hunt test with Ezra, a storm was moving in fast as you could watch the black clouds pushing east. We ended up being the last dog to run before the judges called it and the rain came down in torrents. As we walked to the line the thunder and lighting was alarming. Ezra was oblivious as he was focused on his birds. We ended up qualifying that day. Labs are like that; just don’t expect that same love for a bath.

Since all pups were good to go we loaded them all up and headed to the park. Each one got their turn to get out and about, meet new dogs and people,hear new noises and enjoy the sunshine. They all did great on leash. Winona even got to practice her down and back for her upcoming match.

Pups are 13 weeks

Puppies at 9 weeks, Paws for Pictures Photography

I still have two black girls available. They are 13 weeks old, have had their third set of shots and are now on heartworm prevention. They are great little travelers having been to Texas and back. They took everything in stride including stopping for the night due to thunderstorm and tornado warning. They are continuing with their crate, leash and basic obedience training. Please email me at wintercamp1@yahoo.com or call me at 512-743-8456 or 205-685-1130 if interested.

The girl on the left I call Bonus, she was the white collar girl and on the right was the yellow collar girl hence the name Daffodil. Both girls are active and playful.

I kept the bigger black girl with the lime collar. Her name is now Wintercamp Gaiety Black Canvas aka Winona or Win for short. She has been such a good girl. So easy to crate train. We have been working on obedience and agility, still trying to get her to follow her mom through the big, scary dark tunnel. I plan to show her in the 4-6 month puppy class at the Birmingham Kennel Club dog show in April.

I have been thinking lately how much energy I have and time to do housework and or puppywork. I have not traveled out of town since Punch was bred except for my short trip to Texas to drop off puppies. I think all the packing during the week, unpacking on Sunday and then washing and repacking for the next weekend was more work that I had thought. Though I do love to travel and compete with my dogs, this break has been nice. It was filled with lots of puppy time. I have entered Punch in several agility trials this spring and plan to go to Deep South Agility trial over spring break.

I have gotten back to rally and obedience training with Punch. I am hoping she will be ready for the obedience ring this spring or summer. Between Christmas, puppies and a trip to Texas I haven’t had time to post. I am hoping to get pack on track with posting on a regular schedule.

A Little Christmas Cheer

What could be more cheerful than watching puppies playing and listening to Christmas music? I keep the puppies in my Rover Enclosure which I have configured in a four by eight foot area. They stay safe in there when I can’t watch them. After they eat I turn them out into the room to play. They learned where I opened the enclosure to let them out. So now as soon as they finish eating the will gather at the gate, excited to get out to play. As you can see they play hard. Then as they fall off to sleep I return them to the Rover Enclosure. After a nice nap they are ready to do it all over again.

Pups At Five Weeks

The little black girl, I call Bonus, was escaping from the whelping box quite frequently. I thought maybe she had used one of her littermates as a step stool. Then she started getting back in. Then the black collar girl was escaping so I figured it was time to move them. I set up the puppy pen in the dog room ready for the big move.

What a surprise when a dear friend of mine from Atlanta showed up and helped me. We got all of the pups settled in to their new digs. I think they really enjoy having more room. When I can watch them I turn them out to play. What fun it is watching them.

The first few weeks the yellow girls turned on their personalities and really had me entertained with barking, running and playing. Then the black girls stepped up and became the stars with shining personalities. Today they were all on a roll. The little boy has been the same sweet little guy fighting off his sisters that constantly want to play. It has been fun watching all the changes. This video is the first time they got to play outside the puppy pen on Sat.

Last week was the Montgomery Alabama Dog Obedience Club agility trial. It has been many years since I have missed it. One of the last trials of the year. But I am happy to be at home with Punch and all the puppies. So what do you do when you can’t go to an agility trial. Take puppy pictures. The little boy was so sweet and sat for his photos. The black girl not so much. It is hard to get photos of a pup in motion but my husband was a pretty good puppy wrangler.

Pups Week Four

Happy Thanksgiving. Puppies are doing well. On Monday I decided I would try the puppies on real food. I mixed soaked puppy food and a little goats milk to make a fine gruel. They all took to it right away. Yesterday I switched them over to the big saucer as they are eating more. In the first video they are busy eating. In the second video they spy mom patiently waiting to clean up the mess.

I am off work this week so I have enjoyed spending all this time with the puppies as they are growing fast. Yesterday I made an appointment for shots/microchip and another appointment to get their eyes checked. Hard to believe they will be heading to new homes after Christmas. As each week passes they are more fun. When I sit with them they will crawl up on me. And they are so sweet to hold.

After dinner today the grandkids are coming to socialize puppies. Maybe next week I will start setting up a play area if they seem ready. They are starting to play with each other. They are upstairs to hear the TV, pots banging, vacuuming humming. If we are lucky enough to have warm weather before Christmas they may take their first adventure outside.

Pups week three

Eyes have opened. The pups are now barking and growling as they try to play with each other. They will come to the side of the whelping box when they see me or mom approach. Still not steady on their feet, they are more active. Their personalities are starting to emerge. I took the heating pad out since they seem to be warm enough. They sleep all spread out instead of all piled on top of each other trying to get warm. They are growing fast and I don’t know how long mom can keep all those little bellies full.

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Pups Week Two

I have been getting lots of puppy breath lately. I am really enjoying these sweet little pups. All the puppies are growing trying to get up on their feet. Punch continues to be a good mom which makes my job alot easier. Punch brought her lamb chop she won at the Huntsville rally trial into the whelping box. I don’t know if she brought it for herself or the puppies. The three yellow girls seem to be about the same size. The yellow boys seems to be a bit bigger than the yellow girls. The black girls vary in size and are a little smaller then the yellow girls.

Puppies On The Way

Punch was bred on Sept. 5. and 7. Could a month ever feel like eternity? Yes it can if you are waiting to hear puppy news. Excitedly I would go to http://www.murphy.se/kennel/dog-pregnancy every week to check on puppy developement. I was trying to not get my hopes up. But I am excited to have a new puppy. I don’t breed very often so when I have a litter it is very special.

I took Punch in for an ultrasound on Oct. 3 and recieved the good news she was expecting. Now less three weeks away, I can hardly wait. This will be the first time I have had any black puppies. I have always loved the yellows and never really thought I would want a black lab. Sometime betweeen meeting Punch’s grandsire Asher aka CH Kai Den’s Power Surge RN TDI and breeding Punch I came around to wanting a black puppy. To this day I think he was one of the most beautiful black labs I have ever seen.

Having puppies to me is like waiting for Christmas with the same anticipation and excitement. Next weekend we will set up the whelping box as I will be in Huntsville the following weekend for my last out of town agility trial for a couple of months. It will just be me an Ezra. I would like to get his PACH finished up so I can retire him. He will not be happy sitting at home just yet. At nine he is still wanting to go and do. So I will find him another job.

I went yesterday and picked up what I think are the last of any supplies I will need. I have made a pupppy buja (wobble) board and a repurposed puppy adventure box. I am sure I will be posting lots of pictures and videos. It is a new adventure for Punch and me.

Birthday Cake

I love to bake. I always have, even as a child I learned to bake cookies, brownies, pies and cakes. Anything chocolate was a winner in my recipe box. At a young age I use to make cookie dough to eat. This was long before it became a popular confection. I loved to bake for my husband, kids, family and friends. My grandsons and I made moon pies, from scratch including the marshmallow filling. On one of my spring break trips to Texas my then five-year-old granddaughter and I made a chocolate cheesecake. Sadly, I don’t have as many opportunities to bake any more. The kids have left home and everyone is limiting their sugar and fat intake. So now I find enjoyment in cooking and baking for my four-legged-kids.

I have made frozen treats from yogurt, meatballs from hamburger, turkey and carrots and all kinds of cookies. When I go to agility trials I like to make my meatballs and then freeze them according to how many I might need for a weekend. If you have ever gone shopping for dog treats you might have noticed some are rather expensive, the price can be broken down into dollars per ounce, so I started making mine fresher and cheaper. My dogs love liver and tuna brownies. I have made dog cookies to give as gifts for my dog friends.

Today is Ezra and Viola’s ninth birthday. So I tried a new recipe for banana and peanut butter cake with icing. The dogs seem to love them. I found the recipe on https://wearenotmartha.com. This cake is safe enough for human consumption and no extra sugar added. I like to decorate as much as I like to bake and I hope the dogs appreciate that!

If you are into decorating as I am, go to http://thesugarfreediva.com and check out the icing for dog cookies. I had seen some uniquely decorated cookies at a dog show once and searched for sometime to find a recipe for this icing.

Dogs do not need extra sugar. Commercial dog treats are pretty bland. Your dog will enjoy the sugar from the banana and peanut butter. Make sure NOT to use any peanut butter containing xylitol as it could be lethal to your pet. Also keep in mind homemade dog treats have no preservatives so use within a few days. I will refrigerate or freeze for long term use. 

Dog cookies with a twist, check out https://pinchofyum.com/homemade-dog-treats. Dogs love Pumpkin and that is another popular ingredient.

As you can see from all the websites (just google dog treat recipes) I am not the only one that chooses to make my own dog treats. I don’t always make my own treats. There are so many dog treats to choose from now days and so easy to get online. Just make sure your dog is not getting too many too often. When I train and they are consuming a considerable amount of treats I always cut back on their regular meals.

Happy Birthday Ezra and Viola!

Birthday Cupcakes

Tilde

I lost Tilde almost two months ago. I celebrated her 13th birthday back in January. I figured everyday after that was a blessing. She was my purple puppy, my first titled Utility Dog and my first agility dog. Sometimes I thought she was a border collie in a labrador suit. After having puppies she evenually lost interest in running agility. I only bred her one time but she gave me Ezra, my first Master Agility Champion. At almost nine years old he is still happily running agility with me and closing in on his Preferred Agility Champion title.

Ezra’s sister Viola also ran agility and got her Junior Hunter title. These two siblings enabled their dam to achieve the Labrador Retriever Club’s title of Producer of Merit. Tilde herself was a talented dog with her Utility Dog, Rally Excellent, Open Agility, Open Agility Jumper with weaves and her Junior Hunter titles. She also obtained her Dog For All Reasons from the LCR at the National 2008.

Tilde loved her popcorn. She would stand at the bottom of the stairs and bark as soon as she heard it popping upstairs. She had a broken canine tooth that I can only assume she broke when two dogs collided when going for a piece of popcorn I had thrown. After that I was very careful. No one barks now when I make popcorn even though they all love it. She was a good dog, an easy traveler and never any trouble. She was my greatest comfort when I lost her sire, my heart dog Toby.

Tilde doing scent articles at 11 and half years old. The last time she did scent articles was over six years ago when she got her Utility Dog title.