7/6/13 - 7 Weeks Old

Barbies in Blue

What fun it is to play with the “BARBIES” every day!!  They have really changed again this week and gained lots of confidence in themselves and their world.  They have grown soooo much again and really turned into PLAYFUL, full of mischief puppies.   The weather has been so beautiful lately that I have been able to take them on daily  “walkabouts” where they follow me around the yard and gardens learning to come and follow.   I’m sure I look like the Pied Piper of Puppies!   These are training sessions for them whether they know it or not and also a very useful means of wearing the little monsters, (I mean DARLINGS!) out.    Remember, a tired puppy is a good puppy! 
This was a BIG week for them!  They had their final vet check on Monday.   Everyone weighed in between 8 pounds (Tutti) and 14 pounds (Midge).  They got their first puppy shot (OUCH!), wormed AGAIN (yuck!), another toe nail trim (very annoying), and microchipped for permanent identification (BIG OUCH!!)   Considering the size of the microchip needle, it is pretty impressive how well our little “BARBIES” handle it!!!   It helps that we rather quickly give them the good tasting wormer!!!   Don’t ask me how I KNOW that it is good tasting!!!   Lets just assume that I don’t have worms nor will I ever have Rabies or Distemper for that matter!  Stuff occurs!   I have a check list my vet fills out that lists every possible body part so that she can make notations if she thinks there is anything you or your vet should be aware of.   I will send a copy in each puppies going home packet along with all their other health records.  All pups have great hearts, all lungs are good, teeth are beautiful, Ken has both testicles down, Tutti has a very tiny umbilical hernia- a very nice healthy litter!!!  Tutti also had her checkup appointment with the surgeon.  She gained 3 pounds in a week!!  Guess that is what getting to eat does for you!  She still has one small hole about the size of my little finger nail in her soft palate way in the back of her mouth that will need to be fixed so she has surgery scheduled again for July 29th.  Her doctor is VERY pleased with her progress and so am I!!  We have LOADS of fun visiting with all the Ridgeback Lovers at the vet clinics!!!
The BARBIE litter has been GREAT fun to watch grow up, but it is time to let them go.  They have grown up and are ready to spread their wings and become someone else’s little DOLL!

6/26/13 - 5.5 Weeks Old

Little Dolls 

Lookout! The pups have TEETH and they DON’T know how to use them!!!  They still need to learn that friends don’t bite each other!!   Yikes!!!  They have been sharpening their new little teeth on each other, me and worst of all - their Momma, which is just another reason why she is pretty much DONE with feeding them.  Can’t say I can blame her there!  I make her feed them 1-2 times a day, but she never lies down with them and has a pathetic long suffering look on her face.  She does like to play with them though as long as she can keep moving so they can’t hang off of her.  Can’t say I blame her on that one either as it looks really uncomfortable!!!  So far all those little teeth look very good, incisors are scissoring correctly, no over or under bites.  YEAH!
Another worming with that good tasting banana stuff, and of course another toenail trim were the health maintenance activities of the week.  The first puppy shots and the microchips have been ordered and should be here soon.   Their AKC registration papers have been sent in and should be here soon as well.   The countdown to Home Coming is on!!!
The BIG event from their point of view was getting to play outside!!!   I always wonder what they must think the first time they get to go outside as it must be a completely different alien sort of world.   They QUICKLY learn to enjoy it though!!!   Lots of grass, flowers, trees, bushes, noises, vehicles, RELATIVES, human visitors, etc….   Every day is a new adventure for them now!!!
I have continued the litter box training which they do really well at.  They never, never go pee or poo in their sleeping crate and always use the litter box when they are inside. The goal is that this will help you house train them when they come home to you.   All you need to do is select WHERE the bathroom is going to be in YOUR yard, be sure to CARRY them to that spot the very first time you get home with them and that will help you get started on the right foot at your home.  If you go out the same door, say the same thing and carry the puppy to the designated spot and then reward them with your voice, hands and eyes when they accomplish their goal, they will house break very quickly.  Puppies tend to be about as house broke as their families are!!!
They have gotten very good at eating their puppy mush and do MUCH less snorkeling in it.  I use a stainless steel puppy donut ring that is elevated to help them swallow easier and NOT walk in their food.   Puppy mush is delivered to them 3 times a day, so Momma gives them a bath 3 times a day too.  They have doubled in size again this past ten days which is another reason they need all that extra room for their romping and rolling and chasing each other around!!!  They are still figuring out how to play with each other nicely and now they have TOYS too!  As they grow and mature and summer has finally arrived, I daily expose them to new things, sights, sounds and smells so that they can widen their world and experiences!!!  I have become the “Pied Piper of Puppies” on our walkabouts – they follow me everywhere I go and there is always something new for them to investigate. 
I continue to look for and take note of little differences in color, size and personalities as they each become their own unique little selves.   Keep in mind that these differences are generally VERY slight, but do make it possible for someone who pretty much lives with them to tell them apart!!!  Personalities will continue to develop, coloring for the most part tends to blend together with age (if you like the white – enjoy it now as it will freckle and fade), they tend to get darker with age and the black tends to get more pronounced.  Size will constantly change as they go thru their own growth spurts.
Tutti update!!!  She did great during her surgery to fix her cleft palate.  She has an esophageal feeding tube where I feed her every two hours.  She wears a cone to keep her from scratching at her head and neck and stop her from putting anything in her mouth.  She continues to insist on thriving, nothing sets her back or destroys her zest for life.  Her surgeon believes that once healed she will have no eating problems.
This week they each had their pictures taken individually which is always GREAT fun for us, the pups are not quite as keen on it!!!    It is their first time being alone in a strange place so it is always interesting to see how they react.  Enjoy their first portraits.   As a hilarious side note – check out how badly the hair suffered on the Barbie Dolls during the photo shoots!!  No dolls were permanently injured in the making of these photos!!
The Barbie Dolls

Pet Male:

Ken – dark red, black mask, large spot on chest, no white on feet, one cowlick ridge.  Curious, active, eager to join in the fun, kind of a go getter
Pet Females:

Tutti – dark red, black mask, medium spot on chest, white on all four feet, perfect ridge, cleft palate.  Sassy, spunky, so full of life, eyes so full of love, sooo soooo special
Barbie – golden red, black mask, medium spot on chest, no white on left front foot, little bit on others, four cowlick ridge.  Calm, Gentle, observer, confident, leader
Jazzie – dark red, black mask, two squiggles on chest, little bit of white on all four feet, 3 cowlick ridge
Gentle, quiet, lap lover, loves attention, hugs and snuggles.
Francie – dark red, dark mask, very large spot on chest, little bit of white on all four feet, 3 cowlick ridge. Eager to please, playful, fun, interested in all adventures, attentive
Perfect Females:

Midge – very dark red, very dark mask, large spot on chest, left front food sock, small amount of white on other three, perfect ridge.   Independent, outgoing, confident, go getter, adventurous, full of herself
– golden red, black mask, M shaped spot on chest, white on front left, minimal on rest of feet, perfect ridge.  Sweet, fun, full of play, easy to be around
– very dark red, very dark mask, squiggles on chest, white on right front foot, minimal white on rest of feet, perfect ridge.  Happy go lucky, willing to do whatever I ask, loves attention