the SODA PUP TOO Litter
BORN:  February 26, 2016

Open Happiness - 4/15/16 - 7 Weeks Old

Get your HAPPY on because the Soda Pups Too are big, bold and ready to bounce into your arms!!  The sweet little monsters, I mean DARLINGS!!, have grown so much this week in sooo many ways!!
 
Weaning is complete and they are eating like champions.  To help them get ready to adjust to a new home, they are eating only twice a day now, which is a good schedule for the rest of their lives and will hopefully fit into their new family’s schedule.  A little warm water, added to their food right before you feed it, for the rest of their lives, will slow the speed of eating, decreases the choke factor, still makes them chew which is good for their teeth going in and good for everything going out!!
 
They have become their own little selves with personalities unique to each one of them.  Now we just have to match the right puppy to the right family!!!  They have become more confident in themselves and are up to something almost all the time, especially when they are in a little herd urging each other on!!
 
They are much more puppy-like physically too.  They can run, climb, hop, skip, jump and torment each other relentlessly.  Fortunately, spring has been good to us this week so we are able to take them on our “walk abouts” a couple times a day.  It helps to let them run around, be crazy, and get some energy used up!!!  It is also a great time for me to watch and observe how each reacts to new and different experiences.  Very telling sometimes.  Also very telling, is taking their last set of pictures.  They are alone in my fancy photography booth (a chair covered by a blanket!), all alone with just Grandma June trying to catch them being themselves, alone with a kind of scary lion thing and a couple cans of soda!!! 
 
On some really nice days, they get to play in the BIG puppy play pen where they share a chain link fence with all their older relatives, experience birds, trees, bugs and all other good smelling things!!  They like meeting their extended family members and is the beginning of good dog socialization skills.
 
They were off to their final vet check this week too.  All body parts get checked and recorded on their health records. They got weighed (the heaviest was Mello Yello at 14.8 lbs, the lightest was Ruby Red at 11.8 lbs)  They got another dose of that yummy wormer stuff, poked with a little needle for their first puppy vaccination, and poked again with a BIG needle with the microchip in it.  Big needle = BIG benefit if they are ever lost or stolen.  Hearts, lungs, testicles (all the boys had the required two!), teeth all checked out great. The Soda Pups Too litter were  a big hit with all who enjoy helping with them at the clinic!!!
 
 
Females:
 
 
Ruby Red – dark red wheaten, very dark mask, very little white on feet, small spot on chest, great ridge. Easy going, happy go lucky, watchful and observant, a thinker
 
7 Up – dark red wheaten, very dark mask, no white on feet, big spot on chest, great ridge.   Gentle, quiet, lap lover, so willing to please, curious
 
Sierra Mist – red wheaten, dark mask, very little white on feet, wild spot on chest, great ridge. Expressive, spunky, silly, adventurous, fun
 
Sunkist – reddish gold wheaten, very dark mask, front white socks, small spot on chest, great ridgeAttentive, loves attention, first in line for everything
 
Ginger Ale – red wheaten, dark mask, white socks on front, big spot on chest, great ridge. 
Silly, sassy, playful, goofy, happy
 
 
Males:
 
 
Barq’s - dark red wheaten, very dark mask, no white on feet, small spot on chest, great ridge. Confident, curious, lots of swag, likes to hug
 
Mello Yello – reddish gold wheaten, medium mask, very little white on feet, big spot on chest, great ridge.  Laid back, big galoot, snuggly, huggable, squeeze me attitude
 
Pibb - dark red wheaten, very dark mask, very little white on feet, big spot on chest, great ridge.  The BIG easy, happy go lucky, eager to please
 
Live Wire - dark red wheaten, very dark mask, white on front feet, small spot on chest, great ridge.  Spunky, full of himself, go getter, action seeker
 
Vanilla Coke - red wheaten, dark mask, white on front feet, big spot on chest, great ridge. 
Kind, gentle, sweet, don’t worry/be happy attitude
 
 

Feel the BURN - 4/6/16 - 5.5 Weeks Old

Like the ‘pop’ of a soda can being opened, the Soda Pups Too have POPPED!!!  They have really grown again this week (all weigh between 9-10 pounds), turned into puppies in every way, and are feeling the BURN of life in the fast lane!!!
 
They are soooo much fun now, but a little naughty as well.  They are running, hopping, climbing, rockin’ and rollin”.  They love to engage each other in biting, wrestling, growling and piling on!!!  We have introduced toys to encourage them to chew on something else besides each other.  Poor toys – they suffer so!!  Ayana loves playing with her puppies, but really does not appreciate the teeth and claws of the Soda Pups Too, so her visits with they are short and sweet, and looks extremely uncomfortable!!  She no longer lays down to feed them, so they hang from her to eat.  Ayana’s long suffering look speaks volumes about how she feels about it.  Weaning has moved ahead quickly – the pups are very good at eating their yummy puppy mush and really don’t make as big a mess as they used to.  Due to their full tummies, they spend a lot less time eating with Ayana and instead just play with her.   Ayana and their full sister, Safiri (formerly Sunkist) love to play with the little monsters, I mean darlings!, which thankfully tires them out!! 
 
Speaking of yummy – another worming with the delicious yellow stuff!!!  In the future, you will want to remember that the life cycle of an intestinal worm is 3-4 weeks, so worming them every month is a MUST for a puppy.  Another annoying toenail trim - a monthly torture humans insist on and I strongly recommend. Bribing them with wonderful treats and making it fun and pleasurable will help in the future.  You might want to consider getting them used to a dremel tool very young as well.  Dremels work very well but you have to be careful how you do it.  You can utube it to see examples. Despite doubling the size of their sleep and play area, the litterbox training has gone very well.  They rarely go where they are not supposed to which is GREAT and keeps their bedroom much cleaner.  They are even sleeping most of the night in a warm pile of puppiness!!
 
It is warming up some here, Yeah, winter might be over!!  On one particularly beautiful warm day, we introduced the Soda Pups Too to the great outdoors – a whole new WORLD!!  GRASS, cars, big dog relatives, bugs, tractors, sights and sounds galore!!!  It is overwhelming the first few times they are outside so they stick pretty close to their humans.  They each respond a little differently and adjust a little differently, so it is a great opportunity to watch them becoming their own unique little selves. 
All of the Soda Pups Too are just sweet little darlings right now, but in the next few weeks, they will begin to develop their own unique personalities that will help us, help you, pick the right puppy for YOU and your family!!  It is so much fun to watch them become their own little selves!!  I have tried to describe them below - keep in mind the color variances are very subtle!
 
Females:
Ruby Red – dark red wheaten, very dark mask, very little white on feet, small spot on chest, great ridge
7 Up – dark red wheaten, very dark mask, no white on feet, big spot on chest, great ridge
Sierra Mist – red wheaten, dark mask, very little white on feet, spotchy spot on chest, great ridge
Sunkist – reddish gold wheaten, very dark mask, front white socks, small spot on chest, great ridge
Ginger Ale – red wheaten, dark mask, white socks on front, big spot on chest, great ridge
 
Males:
Barq’s - dark red wheaten, very dark mask, no white on feet, small spot on chest, great ridge
Mellow Yellow – reddish gold wheaten, medium mask, very little white on feet, big spot on chest, great ridge
Pibb - dark red wheaten, very dark mask, very little white on feet, big spot on chest, great ridge
Live Wire - dark red wheaten, very dark mask, white on front feet, small spot on chest, great ridge
Vanilla Coke - red wheaten, dark mask, white on front feet, big spot on chest, great ridge
 
Get ready for the ‘burn’ you will feel when you see your puppy for the first time!!
 

The FIZZ Factor - 3/25/16 - 4 Weeks Old

What a difference another week makes!!!  The Soda Pup Too’s have lots of FIZZ now!!!  They are puppies in every way, and getting cuter by the minute!!!  They have figured out how to run, hop, jump,  wrestle, growl, bark, and play, play, play till they are all exhausted and curl up in a pile to take a nice long nap before it starts all over again!!

Their teeth are IN!!!  which means Ayana is one her way OUT!!!  She is getting to the point where she does not like to hang out with them anymore just chillin’ cause they won’t leave her alone, and those TEETH!!!   Typically she will spend less and less time with them, feeding them perhaps 6 times a day depending on how much milk she can produce.   She will endure the feeding less and less as time goes on, so the weaning process has begun.  This week they had their first try at milk supplementation.  Teaching them to lick rather than suck is a VERY messy business but they figure it out within a few days.  It takes them a little longer to realize that they should not walk through the milk and snorkeling is not a good idea.  We use a donut shaped stainless steel ‘puppy ring’ which is elevated about 1-2 inches off the floor to try to help them figure it out. We will feed them just milk supplement for about a week and then start adding puppy chow to make a gruel.  Then they get really messy for a while, however Ayana is happy to clean them up which fantastic for us!!!

New this week is the introduction of the puppy litter box.  We use the compressed cedar saw dust pellets that are manufactured to start wood burning stoves.  It smells good, is very absorbent and easy to clean up after them. The natural instinct of puppies is to go away from their sleeping and playing area to go potty.  We use that natural instinct to teach them to go where we WANT them to go which will help you teach your puppy where yOU want them to go once they go to their new  homes. You will want to decide where that is BEFORE the pup comes home to you so that you can carry them to that spot immediately and get them started on the right path.

We tortured them with another toe nail trim which they still don’t appreciate, but as they get bigger it is much easier to do because you have more puppy to hold on to!!  We can see their ridges very clearly now - no more fuzziness.  All have long lovely ridges, some have large fans, some have smaller fans, we think one might have only one cowlick and one may have three!!!  Time will tell.  Some have very minimal white anywhere, some have big spots, some small spots, some have lovely white socks!!  Some have what we can a heavy mask and some have a medium mask, none have a clear face which means no mask.   A few are a bit darker red then others, but it is very minimal.  I can tell you after 20 years of watching them grow up, that you should enjoy the white while they are young as they will have less of it as adults.  They will also get darker red with age and the mask will usually become  slightly less defined.

It is great fun to give them their ‘litter names”.  Long ago, I felt that it was WAY more fun to have a litter theme so that when we talk about each pup we know for sure who we are talking about.  Plus it makes taking their pictures so much funner!  (is that a word?  It should be!!)  You can name your puppy any thing you want when you get them home, however they are required to have KKR (Kina Kabamba Ridgebacks which means ‘great family’ in Swahili)  at the beginning of their name which identifies which family or breeder they came from.  It is very fun for me to hear what name you have chosen for them, but I can tell you that for the rest of their lives I will remember them by their litter name as well!!  Enjoy getting to know the Soda Pups Too!