(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.
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 email@example.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Eddy and Punch puppies are here, they arrived Nov. 4, 2019, right on time. Punch got me up at 2:00 a.m. on Monday. By the time everything was cleaned up and pups settled it was after 7 p.m. I was exhausted but happy. We have three black girls, three yellow girls and a lone yellow boy. All pups are vigorous with great appetites.
Punch is being a great mom keeping the puppies clean and well fed. It looks good seeing those beautiful black pups in the whelping box. I was planning on a black boy so now I will have to rethink names for a black girl. I have always liked to use gemstone or flower names for my girls. There are actually black flowers, though some are a deep purple. It is amazing what one can learn by surfing the internet for puppy names. This is something I enjoy and spend a great deal of time naming my puppies.
I think I am finished for now. And in order to get pictures up for those waiting, I wll forego any editing this early morning. Enjoy the pictures. As I have mastered WordPress Gallery I will hopefully get pictures up more quickly.
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.
I train for rally and obedience in my driveway. I am not new to training, though I am no expert. If I have problems I will go online and see what the experts do. I have been training for over 50 years. And as recently as 2006 I learned a new way to train. Now days it is all about positive training with food. That takes longer than the old fashioned methods. But it works. Then I go to the park, Petsmart or a match for proofing. Distractions are a good thing. I was thinking that rally would work as ring experience for Punch’s inevitable obedience career. We have already been working on gloves and scent articles for utility.
So when I had a few months before I was going to breed Punch I figured I could get a few more titles on her. We had done lots of heeling on lead. She knew sit, down and come; everything needed for Rally Novice. So with a little practice and the help of AKC Rally Regulations we were ready to trial. A friend suggested we go to the Peach Bloosom Cluster in Perry for a weekend of agility. They were also having a rally trial so I figured we would give it a try. Running from the agility ring, to the rally ring, Punch managed to qualify with a nice score and a third place.
I found a trial in Tallahassee, FL the first of June and entered her in Rally. They were having an obedience match the evening before so I thought that would be good ring experience. Saturday morning she did a passable job with a third place. She did an even better job in the afternoon with a second place. She now had her Rally Novice title. I had planned on this and picked this trial as it allowed for move-ups. I thought she was ready but not sure if I was. Luckily there were some very nice exhibitors that explained some of the more technical rally signs. Off came the leash for the first time and we received our first qualifying score in Advanced and a first place.
Next time I planned closer to home, the Huntsville Obedience Training Club trial. They had an obedience show and go at the end of June that we attended. Then in July we went to the rally trial. Saturday morning I had every confidence in her under one of my favorite judges. But for whatever reason Punch decided she needed to sniff the signs and just generally ignore me. No leash, no safety line. The judge told me she did not qualify but had some moments of brillance. I have to admit I was rather disheartened by my girl’s performance. Did I even want to drive back up in the morning? To my suprise she was better in the afternoon trial and recieved a second place for her second qualifying score.
I had decided to drive up again on Sunday morning. What if she didn’t qualify? We would be there getting ring experience for the long term. And dog sports are always about having fun with your dog. She did not let me down. She was a real partner and it felt good working together. We qualified with a first place and our Rally Advanced title. I know laying this foundation will benefit us once we get into obedience.