3/5/19 - 6 Weeks Old - "GOOD GRIEF!!! "
Oh Brother!! The Peanuts have grown so much it is hard to believe!! They are everywhere and into everything! Running, hopping, jumping, stalking, pouncing, then power sleeping – you get the picture! “Life is too short not to live it up alittle!” - Snoopy Their poor stuffed animals and squeaky toys suffer so!! But at least all that biting and chewing is focused on the toys and not the body parts of each other or worse poor Ruki. And Noisy!! They are barking, growling, whining and even howling!! They have not figured out Ridgeback Rule #1 “No barking unless you really have something to say.” Snoopy They are just the cutest little pooping machines EVER!! 13 puppies produce copious poop piles! Keeping said puppies out of the poop and therefor clean is a VERY challenging enterprise!! And time consuming! By three weeks, the puppies have already begun to move away from their bed to pee and poop in a different area. By taking advantage of that natural inclination, they now know there is a place they can use and they do use it. Before they come home, you need to choose where that ‘place’ is at your house and from the moment you get out of the car, you take the puppy to that spot and teach them immediately where the bathroom is. After that, every time you take them out, you CARRY them to that spot and tell them to go potty! If you go out the same door, say the same thing and carry the puppy to the designated spot every time, 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 trained as their families are!!!
With the arrival of teeth, Rukiya opted out of the feeding role to “Do what makes you happy!” Snoopy The pups had begun to hang off of her to eat while she is standing which looks beyond uncomfortable, so we could tell by the long suffering look on her face that she was done. She still likes to see her puppies, kiss them now and then, but all of that is good from across the fence!! She no longer believes that “Love is spending time together!” Snoopy
The Peanuts were ready to power chow, so we have been feeding them a mixture of puppy chow and raw puppy food. The are eating like they may never have another chance! It is quite an operation with 13 of them, and can be very messy, but then “Life is like a messy coloring book.” Linus “Smile and the world smiles with you. Slobber and they put you outdoors.” Snoopy They get fed three times a day right now, but we will cut that back to twice a day before they go home knowing that most folks can really only feed in the morning and evening.
We try not to be fuss budgets around here, but some things just have to be done! For example: ANOTHER toenail trim which they clearly are not fond of. ANOTHER de worming with that gooey yellow stuff that tastes like bananas! (don’t ask why I know that!) Coming up is their first vaccination for really bad puppy bugs, followed by the microchipping with the HUGE needle. RATS!!! Charlie Brown Before they go home the “Dr. Is In” Lucy for their final vet check so you will know all I know about their first 8 weeks of health.
The Peanuts are a very very nice litter of puppies – not prejudiced at all here!! There are very minor differences between size, coat color, mask color, ridges etc.. Usually, the way we tell them apart is by the amount of white they have on their chests or feet. And gender of course!! As always, what matters the most is WHO each is, and now we can even tell them apart by that!!
"It’s not where you go – it’s who you travel with.” Snoopy
"Saying Goodbye always makes my throat hurt… I need more Hello’s!" Charlie Brown
“A lot of you caught my eye, but you were the one that caught my heart.” Snoopy
SALLY – deep red, full mask, smallest female, three crown ridge, good teeth, big spot on chest. Sweet, kind, gentle, lap lover, strong, survivor (tiny when born!)
PEPPERMINT PATTY – dark red, medium mask, nice ridge, good teeth, big spot on chest. Happy go lucky, go with the flow sweetheart. Loves hugs.
LUCY – deep red, full mask, biggest female, nice ridge, good teeth, small spot on chest. Typical big sister, keeps even her brothers in line. Confident, spunky, attentive, loves to look at you when you talk to her.
Which one is longer? Forever or Always? Snoopy
CHARLIE BROWN – deep red, medium mask, nice ridge, good teeth, minimal white anywhere. Gentle, easy going, super sweet lap lover
WOODSTOCK – dark red, full mask, nice ridge, good teeth, minimal white Always busy, loves attention, always ready to go and last to lay down for a nap
LINUS – dark red, full mask, nice ridge, good teeth, minimal white Eager to please, plays well with others, snuggler
SNOOPY – dark red, full mask, biggest, nice ridge, good teeth, big spot on chest. Big happy go lucky galoot, leader of mischief
SPIKE – dark red, medium mask, three crown ridge plus one on the top of the head! good teeth, least amount of white. Full of adventure, curiosity, and spunk, watches everything from a lap
PIG PEN – dark red, medium mask, three crown ridge, good teeth, big spot on chest, left front sock. Smart, confident, good nose and focus for the arrival of dinner, life lover
SCHROEDER – dark red, medium mask, off set crowns in ridge, good teeth, big spot on chest, stocking on right front. Independent, curious, observant, smart, learns by watching
SHERMAN – dark red, full mask, nice ridge, good teeth, big spot on chest, stocking on left front. Confident, adventurous, beats to his own drum and not afraid to go down the path less traveled.
FRANKLIN – dark red, full mask, nice ridge, good teeth, small spot on chest, right front sock. Easy going, don’t worry, be happy sort of guy
RERUN – dark red, medium mask, nice ridge, good teeth, medium spot with tiny white on all four feet, smallest male. Sweet, gentle, lap loving, Velcro puppy, loves to be with you
This little one needs a home. I think he needs me! Charlie Brown
2/12/19 - 3 Weeks Old - I Only Dread One Day at a Time
Oh Lordy, what a difference 10 days makes!! The little Peanuts smashed their shells and went from peanuts to PUPPYS almost overnight!!
Their barely open squinty eyes are wide open. When eyes first open they are a deep blue, but over time their eyes will turn colors to match their coat color. The darker pups will have deep chocolate eyes, the lighter pups will have eyes of amber gold. Both are very pretty, and you will find yourself drowning in them regularly!
The Peanuts went from just starting to GI Joe crawl in their whelping box, to running wild, running free in their newly expanded play area and …… toys!! Poor toys they suffer so!! They are getting the hang of hopping, jumping, rocking and rolling, and not falling down a lot unless they get bowled over by a litter mate!! They love to play with each other now, so lots of chewing and biting ensue. Ears, toes, tails, and noses are all fair game.
Rukiya doesn’t always appreciate the mauling she is getting and has begun to wear that ‘long suffering, save me” look!! The Peanuts have gotten NOISY!! They trill for about 3-4 days which is sort of a mix between growling, barking and howling. It is so cute and funny!! Now, however, they are barking and growling to make their play fighting even more impressive. “The joy is in the playing” – Shroeder. There is truly nothing as fun and comical than watching 3 week old puppies learn to play with each other, their NEW toys, and us!!
To spare poor Ruki’s sanity, we blocked off a different area where she can escape them now and then whenever she wants to - which is more and more often as they get better at using their teeth and toenails! Those little daggers got shortened again, but at this point I don’t think that changes Ruki’s mind much!! Her frame of mind appears to be “I only dread one day at a time”! Charlie Brown 13 PUPPYS!!! Cant really blame her!
Their first de-worming with that yummy banana tasting yellow stuff starts at 3 weeks. How do I know it tastes like banana’s? Things happen. They will be de-wormed two more times before they go home to make sure they don’t have any ‘passengers’ that come along too. You should always de-worm your puppy monthly as they put everything in their mouths and worm eggs are on everything!! Lots of great natural de-wormers are out there too that work just as well once they get a little older and stop mouthing EVERYTHING!!
The Early Neurological Stimulation exercises are complete so hopefully they have learned all those positive life lessons!! They are soooo wiggly and big it is hard to do some of the exercises anyway! Now we just hold them, hug them and squeeze them for the fun of it!!
Obviously, we have chosen “Peanuts” for this litter’s theme. Now that they are bigger, we can tell that a couple have slight imperfections in their ridges, one has a cute little swirl (crown or cowlick) on her head, and a couple have pretty little socks on a foot. All have various sizes of spots on their chests, some small, some pretty big. Some we can’t tell apart unless they are wearing their collars!! This will change as they get bigger and start becoming who they are. We are still figuring out which of the boys wants to be Sherman, Woodstock, Pig Pen, Linus, Franklin, Snoopy, Charlie, Schroeder, Rerun and Spike. The girls will be Peppermint Patty, Lucy and Sally.
“Be Yourself. No one can ever tell you you’re doing it wrong.” Charlie Brown
2/1/19 - 10 days old - Happiness is a Warm Puppy
Wow, Ruki is a GOOOOOD mom!! We had to start feeding and watering her in her puppy pen because she was so worried about her puppies that she would not be away from them even to eat. And going outside to go to the bathroom is a nightmare for her!! I swear when she gets back she counts them, smells them, and knows who everyone is. Then she begins the rather lengthy process of moving them all around into one puppy pile so that she can VERY carefully lay down near them. Much to the puppy’s distress, the wicked tongue lashing baths begin!! Somehow they survive it all! Believe it or not, these little fatties have doubled in size this week from all that love and attention and LOTS of groceries!!
13 puppies can be very hard to tell apart, especially at this age, for the humans!! For the first time ever, we are using the little colored collars to help us keep track of who is who. For now, we can tell all the girls apart obviously!! The boys on the other hand are much tougher. At birth, we fill out a little chart with all body information on it (bump tails, imperfect ridges, rear dew claws, how much white on feet and chest, color, how much mask etc…). As we look down our chart, we have a whole bunch of boys that say “not much white and a perfect ridge”. So far, we do know that one boy has either a 3 or 4 swirl ridge, one is lighter with a lighter mask, and a couple have a sock or two on the front feet. Now all we have to do is try to keep the collars ON!!
Their first week of life is VERY busy!! At 3 days old, they go back to the vet for Momma’s post partum checkup. We are just making sure that Rukiya’s incision looks good and healing properly, and checking to make sure she does not have mastitis. Nobody wants mastitis especially when feeding that many puppies! Rukiya had to go back to the car for the next procedure………….
The dreaded dew claw removal! EVERY BODY, especially the puppies, hate the dew claw removal. Any one who says puppies can’t feel pain is an idiot, because they most definitely do!! All the pups had front dew claws and a few unlucky ones also had rear dew claws. Dew claws are somewhat like thumbs that curl back towards the back of the leg. Sadly, the claw can grow into the back of the leg and they can easily catch on things and tear which means they will have to be taken off anyway. Only this time it is a MUCH bigger deal, far more painful, and difficult to get to heal. Ridgebacks are tremendous athletes who love adventures, investigations, hunting, tearing around, and running !!! Sooooo…at three days, it is the right time to remove the dew claws, they heal quickly with just a small line as a scar on the inside of each foot, and will never be a concern again.
At three days we also start the puppy stimulation program developed by Carmen Battaglia. They are simple and easy exercises that really help the young pups become developing “High Achievers’. We start on day 3 and continue thru day 16 knowing that the exercises can cause no harm and may help to make each puppy a smarter, well adjusted adult who can handle change and stress more readily. You can read more about it here:
Rukiya deeply appreciates the first of many toe nail trims. Each puppy has 16 claws (4 on each foot) x 13 puppies which equals 208 claws!! Each of them is like a tiny little dagger, so every time they eat or squiggle about something, those 208 little daggers are digging into Ruki!! OUCH!! Toe nail trimming annoys the puppies very much, but we know that this is something they will have to learn to be OK with all of their lives. After 22 years of raising puppies, I know that you just have to be quick about it!!
All is well for our growing brood who do nothing but eat and sleep, hug and snuggle.
Love is spending time together! - Snoopy