October 19, 2007 - Birth Day
WOW, Miss Mini Me outdid herself on her first litter!!!!   I didn’t think she looked like she was going to have very many puppies, perhaps 6, but from 10:00 pm until 9:00 am she delivered TEN bouncing baby ridgebacks!!!   The smallest two were 12 oz and the largest three were 18 and 20 oz.   She was carrying exactly 10 pounds of just puppy and the average was 16 oz !!!!   None of them are “mini” at all!!!!   Don’t know where that girl was hiding all those puppies!!!!

There are 8 boys and 2 girls with a wide variety of colors.   Mini Me is a deep mahogany red livernose with a chocolate mask and amber eyes.    Walley is a golden red wheaten with a black mask and nearly black eyes.   The pups all have black noses but are every shade of wheaten from golden to dark, dark red.   Some have the deep rich sheen that I suspect means that although they are not livernosed,  they probably carry the livernose gene and will always have the deep color of a livernose.   Time will tell!!!! 

All have ridges, no excessive white on toes or tails, no kinked tails – a beautiful litter.   The only fault so far is one male has a one crown (hair colic) ridge rather than the required two.   No dermoids felt at birth, no cleft palates, no issues so far!!!   Again, time will tell.

With all these boys, it will be challenging to come up with a litter theme!!  But I will!!!!   They will be 8 weeks old on Dec 14th and ready to make Christmas extra special for their new families!!!

October 26, 2007 – 1 Week Old
The HUNT is on for the perfect family for the perfect puppy!!!    The puppies are VERY proud of their hunting daddy, KKR Wolfgang Waltz with Jakona (Walley) who qualified this weekend in the FIRST ever hunt qualifier for fowl here in South Dakota, the heart of pheasant country!!  Read all about it at http://thehra.com/database.htm and see pictures on Walley’s page!!   What a GREAT time we had with all our hunting friends!!!

The puppies enjoyed being snuggled and hugged by lots of new friends too!!   They had their first check up with the vet and had their dewclaws taken off, of course, at three days old (OUCH!) but VERY necessary for a hunting dog.   Better now when it is easy then later when they get torn and are extremely difficult and painful to remove.   They had their first toenail trim too.  Momma Mini REALLY appreciates all those little daggers being dulled!!!   At three days, we started the ‘Developing High Achievers” puppy stimulation program published by Carmen Battaglia.   Read all about it at http://www.breedingbetterdogs.com/achiever.html

All are little fatties…. Mini is a GREAT momma with lots of milk.   She really takes good care of them and I have to MAKE her leave them long enough to go potty, eat and get some exercise.   She is just as kind and gentle a mother as HER mother, Mink!!!

November 2, 2007 – 2 Weeks Old

HAPPY HOUND HALLOWEEN!!!!   Our little hounds had a few tricks up their sleeves – some GI Joe crawling going on, a few squinty eyes starting to crack open, and their little ears are flopping down so they look a little more ‘hound like’!!!   Mostly, they spend their day eating and rolling around flopping on each other!!!  Mini Me is still just as attentive, but is willing to spend a little more time outside with me getting the farm ready for winter.   We have had a long beautiful fall but I know snow is just around the corner!!!

Another toenail trim!!!  Dew claws are healing up fine and belly buttons all look good too.  Still no dermoid sinus – YEAH!!!   Daddy has never produced one yet and no ridgeless either.   We are a very, very healthy litter!!   They are unusually quiet – usually by now they are starting to ‘trill’ and work on their voices a little.  I guess they are so full and fat they have nothing to ‘whine’ about!!!

Haven’t figured out yet what their litter names are going to be for sure, but I have a few ideas I’m working on!!  All these boys makes it difficult!!!!   For now they are all just little Tricks and Treats!!!

November 10, 2007 - 3 Weeks Old
TRICK or TREAT !!!!!

WHAT a difference a week makes!!  Quiet… are you kidding me!!!!   One day they woke up doing a little bit of the “trilling” which must be how they learn how to growl and by the next day they WERE growling and attempting pathetic little barks!!  Then they look at each other to see where that strange noise came from!!  Did that come out of YOU or ME???   It is REALLY funny to watch them!!!

They are PUPPIES!!!  Their eyes are wide open, their little legs are strong – no more GI Joe crawling!!  They are up toddling around, trying to bat at each other, lots of ear and tail chewing going on.  They have 15 minute bursts of high action and then they CRASH for an hour or two.

Mini Me is holding up well with feeding them all yet.   I will probably start feeding them puppy chow mush this week to help her.   It is a demanding job to keep up with 10 of them!!!

Still no health issues, belly buttons and dew claws are all healed up, feeling pretty confident about no dermoids, will be another week or two before those teeth are in good and we see what they are like, but I don’t expect any off teeth either.   They got wormed for the first time (YUCK), but they actually like it!!   Tastes like bananas – trust me!!   All is well.

We have NAMES!!!!   I like to watch them and play with them to just see if a ‘theme’ fits them.  I was toying with MASH and Star Wars, but ya know they ARE little Tricks and Treats so that is who they are!!

The girls are:

Pumpkin is a little lighter masked than our little Witch, who is black masked and black tailed.   Both are red wheatens but Witch is perhaps just a little darker as well.  Both have very little white on their toes but a big spot on their chests.

The boys are:

Ghost, Goblin, Boo, Spook, Black Cat, Bat, Frankenstein, and Jack o Lantern. 
Black Cat and Frankie are the darkest red with the most mask.  Bat and Jack have the least amount of mask but are the biggest.   Boo has the only fault so far in the litter – just one crown in his ridge.   Spook has the most white on one front foot but NO white on his chest.  Ghost and Goblin have no white on their chests either.   Frankie, Jack, Cat and Bat all have big white spots on their chests.   Did ya catch all that!!!?????  

I can tell them apart already – at least the boys from the girls!!!!   In the pictures, it is Pumpkin, Ghost, Boo, Bat & Jack who are in the basket.   That means Witch, Goblin, Spook, Black Cat & Frankie are out of the basket.    Believe me they are all little TRICKSTERS already!!!   But such a TREAT to have them!!!

November 17, 2007
- 4 Weeks Old
Witches and Warlocks

The Terrible, I mean Terrific Ten,  have turned into wild things!!!  They can run, jump, hop and are even learning to climb!!!  Which means they are trying to climb out of the whelping box already!!   NOOOoooo…….   Neither Mini Me or Me are ready for that yet!!!   We both need our ‘away’’ time from them where we know they are safe, not getting into trouble, and we can go do something else!!!  Time to break out the X-pens and cage them in a little higher!!!   They are great at barking, growling, and rolling each other around.  Ears and tails are fair game!!!   I have added a number of soft chewey toys for them to start learning to play with which really saves the ears and tails.

This week they had ANOTHER toenail trim!  The big news is that they had their first meal of puppy mush!!!   Wow – they just dove in and went snorkeling for lamb and rice!!!   It was NOT pretty, but oh so satisfying!!!   Mini is still nursing them a lot and she enjoys cleaning them up just fine, but I think she also appreciates the help keeping them FULL!!!    From now on, I will have Mini Me stay away from them for longer and longer periods of time.  The weaning process begins!!

They are getting easier and easier to tell apart, though you have to know them VERY well in order to do that!!  Sometimes I still have to use my little birth chart to cheat and match up ‘telling’ characteristics like how much white on each foot, what size and shape is the spot on the chest, even down to who had rear dewclaws and who didn’t!!!

Black Cat and Bat are also VERY much alike!!!   Both have big white spots on their chests, both have almost no white on their toes, both did NOT have rear dewclaws.  Cat is a little darker red, a little blacker mask and has a black tail just like a cat!!!   He is a little spit fire too like Witchey Woman.   Bat is much like Frankie – easy going, happy go lucky galoot.

Boo and Spook are the only two males who are VERY easy to pick out.   Boo has a one crown ridge, so that is quite obvious if you are looking for it.  Spook has the most white on any foot – his left front one.    Their color and masks are almost identical.   Both can be silly and goofey and are always great fun!

Ghost and Goblin are, you guessed it, very much alike!!!   Neither has enough white on them to tell about anywhere, but Goblin did have rear dew claws and Ghost didn’t.   Again, both are about the same color red, but Goblin is just a titch darker masked.  Both are little sweeties, very playful and happy to be played with.

Frankie and Jack are VERY much alike!!!  Both had rear dewclaws, both have big white spots on the chest but different shapes,   Both are about the same color red, but Frankie has a little darker mask.   Jack is like the big round happy faced guy he is named for!!  He is a lap lover.  Frankie is a little bit more of a wild child but is very expressive and fun to work with.

Witchey Woman is the darker of the two females but not by much.  She has a big spot on her chest, a little bit of white on all four feet, had rear dew claws, and a black tail!!!  She will be a dark red wheaten with a black mask.   She is very outgoing and her name fits!!!   Pumpkin is slightly lighter red, slightly less mask, big white spot, very minimal white on her feet.  She did NOT have rear dewclaws so that makes it really easy to tell them apart!!!  In addition to that, Pumpkin is just a little “punkin” - she loves to sit in my lap and snuggle, no matter where I put her, how I arrange her, she just stays put!!!!

This age is just SOOOOO much fun.   They are truly just little sweeties, so innocent, so affectionate, so huggable!!!   Don’t let all that witches and warlocks stuff fool ya!!!!    Enjoy the pictures!!!

December 1, 2007
- 5 and 6 Weeks Old

The Trick and Treaters have turned into their own little selves !!!!  Personalities are definitely starting to show and I hope that I was able to capture some of that in their newest pictures!!!   At this age, the picture taking has become a 3 person job.   1 cameraman, 1 props and set dresser, and 1 puppy wrangler and noise maker!!!   It is a production, believe me!!!   The outtakes are hilarious and much more numerous!!   Not suitable for public viewing however!!!  It is such great fun!!!

Hopefully, the pictures give you a better idea of the individual coloring of each pup.  Some are darker red than others (Black Cat, Witch, Ghost, Goblin & Frankie), some have more black mask (Witch, Ghost and Black Cat), some have big white spots (Witch, Frankie, Bat, Cat, Jack), and some have almost no white on the chest(Ghost, Goblin and Spook).   As their personalities continue to develop, I can tell that Goblin, Black Cat, Witch and Bat are my ‘adventure’ pups and Pumpkin, Jack and Boo are just as happy being my lap lovers!!   Obviously, most of them are sort of in between on everything!!!   Only Boo has a notable fault and that is his one crown ridge, all other pups are faultless at this time.

Weaning has gone very well.  Mini Me is done nursing them but likes to play with them and sleep with them still.  They are VERY good at eating their puppy mush.   I have switched them to chicken and rice as I just can’t take the smell of that lamb anymore!!!  Yikes!!!  It is bad going in and HORRIBLE coming out!!!  Just as a point of reference, the ice cream bucket that I use to soak their food is no longer big enough to hold what they eat at one meal!!!!   I had to switch to a larger bucket!!!  I’m telling ya, they are GOOD little eaters.  And nice and chubby!!!

Another toe nail trim of course!!   This week they also got wormed for the second time – still that good tasting banana stuff!!!    Their teeth are coming in nicely and they are beginning to know how to use them!!!  No wonder Mini Me has ended the nursing sessions!!!!

I have started to have them sleep in a big crate so that they are getting used to the idea that a crate is their den or bed.  This should help crate training go better later.  I also have them use a litter box which helps them understand that there is a correct place to go potty and they need to go THERE!   I believe this helps them understand housebreaking later as well.   Plus it is easier to clean up after them!!!

They are really into abusing their toys!!!  I try to give them something new and interesting to play with every day or so.   Actually, that is about all the longer the toys last!!!   Kongs and ropes are the best.   All little ‘Tricksters”, but what a “Treat” when they all crawl in my lap for nap time!!

December 9, 2007

7 Weeks  Old - The Lion Kings

The Trick and Treaters have turned into sweet little MONSTERS!!  They love running, jumping, climbing and getting in to every thing they are NOT supposed to be in to!!!   It is nearly impossible to keep track of them at the same time OR keep them from getting each other in trouble!!! 

This was a BIG week!!  They got their first puppy shot (OUCH!), wormed AGAIN (yuck!), and miicrochipped for permanent identification (BIG OUCH!!)   Considering the size of the microchip needle, it is pretty impressive how well our little Tricksters took it!!!  No crying!!!  It helps that we rather quickly give them the good tasting wormer!!!  Don’t ask me how I KNOW that it is good tasting!!! Momma plays with them a few times a day, but she is REALLY pretty much over the whole idea of puppies!!!  They are fat and sassy and growing like weeds.  Their final vet check today held no surprises.  All passed with flying colors despite the rather intensive poking and prodding that goes on!!!  They weigh between 12 # for Lil Pumpkin and 16.5#’s for Black Cat.  No heart murmers, lungs all clear, all testicles down – a wonderful, healthy litter.  They like going to the vet because everyone takes their turn holding and playing with them so they get lots of attention and treats.  My vet fills out a LONG checklist for each pup, so that every possible heatlh check has been done and documented.  A copy is included with all other health documents for each puppy.

This has truly been a litter full of “TRICKS” that has made it tricky for me to stay on task!!!  Between the knee surgery, the sudden stop my ‘dog mobile’ mini van made with a bridge on icey roads, the unfortunate incident of my furnace deciding to take a time out and therefore freeze us out!, I am READY to turn the little TRICKSTERS over to their new families and have them be the BEST TREAT any family could ever hope for!!!

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