Born:  09/28/23

                                       CH Amber Trace The Born King - “Silas"

(Owned by Julia Toole)


GCHB KKR Captain's Hula Lou - “Hula”

(Owned by June Greenwood and Angelina Horne)

This is what miserable looks like.  ONLY WORSE!   dripping milk, anxious, restless, can’t sit, can’t stand, just flop.  Temperature 100 and dropping.  So OVER this!!
Thursday  - BIRTH DAY - September 23, 2023
Temperature 98.  Go time!  3 days early!   C-section at 8:00 am.  BIRTHDAY!!  Sept. 28.  12 puppies!  All born alive.  Hula doing well.  All going home today.  Human anxiety goes WAY down!!
First day at home.  Puppies oblivious.  Silas clueless.  Hula attentive.  Loves her humans to sit in the whelping box to play with her puppies and get ear rubs!  4 human children over the moon!!
8 females, 4 males.  3 are ridgeless females and 1 off set crown.  No cleft palates, no bump tails, no excessive white.  All eating well and feisty!  Wide array of colors from dark red to dark gold with wide variety of black masks.  
Dew claws off.  OUCH!  Hula and puppy check up!!
We have 12 living puppies and a living mother!!  All is well, all is good, all relieved!!
1 week old
The puppies pretty much do nothing except eat and sleep and some whining!  They doubled in size since birth and will continue to do so each week until they are about 4 weeks old!
Hula is doing great.  She has 10 faucets and plenty of milk!!   See food conversion above!  Her tongue lashing baths are ferocious and frequent which the puppies are not fond of.  See whining above.  We are happy that Hula has taken the cleaning of the puppies to heart with such vigor!  We certainly are not very enthusiastic about the job!  Note to self:  do not let Hula lick your face!!
Their eyes and ears are all tightly closed yet so they can not see or hear, but those baths above and their sense of smell work wonders for them.
The dew claw removal went…… well it happened!  Nobody enjoys dew claw removal especially the puppies!!  Hula, Grandmas, vets all hate it too, but a necessary evil for a very active breed.
Developing High Achievers/ Early Neurological stimulation exercises, developed by Carmen Battaglia, have begun.  We start on day three and go through day 16.  The program is 5 easy, quick exercises once a day that the puppies actually like except the upside down one!!  Read more about it here:   http://breedingbetterdogs.com/pdfFiles/articles/early_neurological_stimulation_en.pdf
As always, the litter theme is great fun to arrive at especially now when children are involved again.   Silas in Aramaic/Greek/Latin means ‘of the forest’ and ‘prayed for’.   So it seemed appropriate to have a Forest theme!!  See below!!!

3 Weeks Old

“Go into the forest and get very quiet. Just listen."  

Sometimes the Forest puppies ARE very quiet, sleeping away the day, and then they are ….. most definitely NOT!! They still do lots of whining and complaining about who gets the best faucet, but they have also begun to ’trill’ as I call it.  It is a rather pathetic attempt at growling, barking, and whining all at the same time.  It is really cute, but only lasts a few days and then they ARE barking and growling as part of learning to play!  

They have been GI Joe crawling for a few days now. They still tip over a lot and face plant, but they are low to the ground so a litter mate usually cushions their fall!!  Wrestling and chewing on each other’s nose, toes and tails are a great way to spend the 1/2 hour at a time that they are awake.  Then the Forests relapse into "that quiet place between heaven and earth."

Their little ears, which have been pinned flat up against their heads, have flipped down and lay like hound dog ears should.   They are beginning to hear now, but they seem to have no idea where sound is coming from….. especially their own!!!

They have eyes that opened into squinty, cloudy blue slits that allow them to see light.  Their vision gets better every day and slowly the color of their eyes will turn from blue to shades of amber or chocolate brown whichever color best matches their coat color.

The ridges have gotten very fuzzy and hard to really see this week - which is normal.  By next week the fuzz will go away so you can easily see them again. No hope for those 3 Ridgeless girls though!  We prefer to call them Zimbabwe Flatbacks vs Rhodesian Ridgebacks so they don’t feel left out!!

Belly buttons and dew claw removals have healed very nicely and no dermoid sinus has been detected so far!! There are lots of big hurdles every week ahead of them as they begin to turn into their own unique little selves.

Hula required her weekly toenail trim so the 192 (4 per paw x 4 paws per pup x 12 pups!  Yikes!!) nasty little daggers are dulled down.  Her wicked tongue lashing baths continue, but Forests are making head way on escaping the tongue on occasion!

I think this week is the end of "the quiet Forest where silence has come to lick it’s wounds.”  or Hula!!

Click to enlarge photo.

4.5 Weeks Old
“Always, adventures are awaiting in the Forest”!   and what adventures they are!!  Outside was a thing unknown to the Forest puppies, so what an adventure when they got to experience a whole new world!  I am positive it has to be overwhelming!  A whole new world!!  The first hour of the first outings took a bit to decide if this was a survivable experience!  Now, however, they are having a great time!!  So many sights, sounds, and smells, so many things to learn, so much adventure!!
Teeth! They have teeth and they know how to use them!!  Hula is very put out about teeth as they are sharp and they use them on a wide variety of body parts including her own, siblings, and their favorite chew toy - children fingers!!  We are strongly encouraging them to use the chew toys that are also new in their world rather than the ears, toes and noses of their siblings and humans.  They are already learning ‘no bite’ and ‘leave it’!!  On the bright side, their teeth all look fine as they are coming in - no overbites, no improper scissoring of canines.  
Due to the teeth issue above, added to the ongoing toenail issue, Hula has determined it is weaning time!  So another exciting new adventure for the Forests is ‘puppy mush’!!  To get them started we soak puppy food in milk replacer until it is a very liquidy mush that goes down easily and they LOVE it!  It didn’t take any time at all to teach them how to eat out of their ‘puppy donut’ which miraculously refills 4 times a day.  Setting it high enough to not let them walk through it is another thing altogether!  Thankfully, the donut perfectly over a baby water bucket which really helps spillage. Eating puppy much is very, very messy! Thankfully Hula is more than happy to clean up after them!  Weaning is a process that takes a week or two to complete.  The puppies figure it out in a day.  Hula, however, has been making milk for 12 puppies all this time, so easing her through the process is hugely important.  It is slow going at first, but one that must be done right and well to save her from a real uncomfortable, unnecessary experience.
Another new adventure - puppy dewormer!!  Yummy, yellow liquid that goes down easy and tastes like bananas!!  (Don’t ask me why I know that!) We worm them every 2-3 weeks while they are puppies to be proactive internal parasites. Puppies notoriously put everything disgusting in their mouths, especially once outside adventures transpire, so internal parasite control is a must -  all of their lives.
The final big adventure this week is becoming their own unique little selves.  What an ever changing fiasco!!  Right now they are all sweet little darlings that just want to be adventurous for 30 minutes and then fall asleep in someone’s lap.  By six weeks, we can tell who will fit on the scale of “wild to mild” personalities, and therefore what type of home they will be successful in.  Wild childs' do well with teenagers, very active, dog savvy families.  Mild childs’ do well with little children, new pet owners, and walks in the woods.  
Be a tree hugger!