December 19, 2007 - Birth Day  
Winter Wonderland

Look what Santa Claus brought EARLY to my house!!!!!   11 little bouncing baby Ridgebacks!!!  Beautifully wrapped with lots of bling and a ridge on every back!!!    The parents are KKR Baila Merengue (Meg) and KKR Kengali Charleston (Charlie).   As usual, Meg has outdone herself and had 11 pups, 5 males and 6 females with no trouble whatsoever.   All have ridges, no dermoids so far, no cleft palates.  A couple have only one colic or crown in their ridge and a couple have a little ‘kink’ in the tail (just too crowded in there!).  Two little girls have front feet that are ALL white making them very easy to pick out in a crowd!!!!   Other than those distinctive features, they are all dark, dark red, all with varying amounts of black masks, and some with no white anywhere!!!  

All are fat and sassy already - Meg is a great milker!   We do have one little girl with lots of white that is very fat and VERY sassy, but she is really tiny.  All the pups weighed at birth between 14 and 20 oz’s except for our little miracle who weighed only 8 oz!!!!    She is a scrapper though and has a will to live like no other!!!!  

Dewclaw removal went very well and as always Momma Meg appreciates the weekly clipping of all 176 little daggers on the rest of their toes!!! !!! All belly buttons have healed up very nicely so far. 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

The winter litter arrived with a blast and in a blurrrr……..  less than 6 hours from start to finish!!!!  11 little snowflakes with no two alike!!!!

January 9, 2008 - 2 and 3 Weeks
Let it Snow, Let it Snow!!!

Well our eleven little “Snowflakes” have REALLY grown this first few weeks!   They are at least twice as big as they were on their Birth Day.  They have eating and sleeping down pat!!!  The last couple of days they have been trying to give up on their “snow boarding” and therefore do a LOT of rocking back and forth trying to get up on their “ski’s”!!!    They have started to play with each other and spend the majority of their time slipping, sliding, wrestling, and rolling around chewing on each others ears and tails!!!

Their eyes are almost completely opened already!!!   I don’t think they really see to well yet though!!!  Their eyes are very blue and will stay that way until they are almost ready to come home when they will have slowly turned dark brown to nearly black.    Their little ears have started to flip down too and will open soon as well.   They are pretty quiet for the most part except for tiny little whines and whimpers followed by enthusiastic sucking!!   They definitely do their little ‘trilling’ which is sort of a pre requisite to learning to growl.   Once in awhile, we hear a rather pathetic attempt at barking but then they look surprised like they have no idea where that noise came from!!!   

We are still working on knowing who is who, but our list of names includes Snowflake, Snowball,  Snow Storm, Snowman, Snow Angel, Shiver, Icicle, Blizzard, Frosty, Flurry, White Out and Winter. They are all just fat little sweeties right now but they will soon be telling us which name fits them the best!!!

All is well with the Winter Wonder Land Litter!!!

January 16, 2008 – 4 Weeks 
Snow Angels

Oh! Have our little “snow Flakes” grown up so much again this week!!!     It is amazing how much they change in only one short week.  each one is beginning to be just as unique an individual as a snowflake!!!!

They are up and walking, no more GI Joe crawl either, real walking!!  Well at least toddling, cause they do tip over a lot yet!!!  They have barking and growling down pat and really enjoying Batting at and rolling each other around along with lots of practice using their new voices!!!

Another toenail trim and first worming was this week’s events.   The wormer apparently tastes good to them cause they don’t mind the banana -ish flavor.   Don’t ask me HOW I know it tastes like bananas!!!!    Let’s just say I probably don’t have worms!!  For that matter I probably will never get Rabies or Distemper either!!!  Stuff occurs!!!  

Meg is getting a little bit sick of them now and has a tendency to lie outside the whelping box more and more.   When she does feed them she tends to NOT want to lay down which just makes how miserable she is seem worse!!   11 little monsters hanging off you does not look pleasant to me at all!!!!   She is starting to have trouble keeping up on the milk demands so I will probably start supplementing them soon too with our famous puppy mush!!!  What a mess!!!   Thank goodness Meg cleans up their messy little faces for me!!!

As you can see by the new pictures, they have NAMES!!!!  
The boys with no faults at this time are:  Snowball, Stormy, Frosty and Freezer
Our pet quality boy (due to his one crown ridge) is Blizzard
The girls with no faults at this time are: Shiver, Flurry and Winter
The pet quality girls are:  Snow Flake and White Out due to all that pretty white on their feet.  Icicle might have a ridge that is just a titch shorter than I like, but I will watch her grow and see how it comes along.  

None of their ‘faults” are anything other than cosmetic flaws that usually one would not want to show in conformation nor breed of course, but will NOT affect their lives in any negative way what so ever.

The pictures definitely reflect how unique each of our “Snow Dogs” are getting. Next will be their personality differences!!! Each is as unique as a SNOW FLAKE!!!

January 29, 2008 - 5 and 6 Weeks     

The ‘Snow Angels” have turned into Snow PUPPIES this week!!!   They are soooo much fun and oh so sweet!!!!  They can run pretty well now and lots of jumping and hopping occur frequently as they pounce on each other!!   All are just little sweeties who like to crawl into any available lap for belly rubs.   Most days they get to play in the puppy playpen where they have lots of toys to tempt each other with.  Catch me, Catch me and Keep Away are favorite games!!!

Meg just couldn’t keep up anymore with their ravenous appetites so we started feeding them puppy mush this past week.  They are voracious!!!  And messy!!!   It most resembles snorkeling!!!   Their teeth are just starting to come in, so I expect Meg will say ENOUGH for sure very soon.   She only nurses them a couple times a day anymore, but still really likes to play with them.    I sound like a broken record but ANOTHER toenail trim and another worming!!

This week they were introduced to the litter box and are starting to get the hang of it pretty well.   I use the lid of an under the bed storage unit filled with the pressed saw dust pellets you can buy for your wood burning stoves.   Not dusty, absorbs VERY well, biodegradable!!   It REALLY helps keep their whelping box and play area much cleaner and teaches them that they need to go potty in the same place all the time.  I’m doing everything I can to help you with that housebreaking project coming up!!!

I gotta tell ya, it is TUFF to tell some of these little Wonders apart!!!  I can, but I’m still working on trying to help you tell them apart!!  Personalities are starting to show too so that will help a lot.

The easily identified females are:

Icicle – ridge is just a titch short, light mask
White-Out – excessive white on feet, dk mask white, big
Snowflake- excessive white on feet, dk mask, smallest female

The NOT so easily identified females are:

Shiver - med. masked perfect girl, no white
Winter - med. masked perfect girl, largest female
Flurry - med. masked perfect girl, no white

The easily identified males are:

Blizzard - 1 crown ridge, light masked, no white
Stormy - dk masked, outy belly button

The NOT so easily identified males are:

Freezer - light masked perfect male, minimal white
Snowball - light masked perfect male, largest male
Frosty - light masked perfect male

Still no dermoids showing up, no kink tails, no mega esophagus, teeth are comin’ in!!!

The weather outside is frightful, but here in the house The “Wonders” are DELIGHTFUL!! 
Let in snow, let it snow, let it snow!!

February 13, 2008

7 and 8 Weeks Old - Winter “Wanderers”!!!!!

Our little Winter Wonders are ready now to explore their new world and lives and become the Winter “Wanderers”!!!!

They are full fledged wild child puppies now!!!  They love running, jumping, climbing and getting in to everything 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 microchipped for permanent identification (BIG OUCH!!)   Considering the size of the microchip needle, it is pretty impressive how well our little Wonders 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!!!   They are fat and sassy and growing like weeds.  Their final vet check on Saturday held no surprises.   All passed with flying colors despite the rather intensive poking and prodding that goes on!!!   They weigh between 14lbs for Icicle and 19lbs for Snowball, except for little Snowflake who only weighs a whopping 6.5lbs.   She is tiny, (we don’t use the ‘runt’ word !!), but scrappy!!!  No heart murmurs, lungs all clear  – a wonderful, healthy litter over all.  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 health check has been done and documented.  A copy is included with all other health documents for each puppy when they go to their new homes.

It will be interesting and challenging for the puppies to wander into their new lives!!  They have no idea what grass or dirt or really “outside’ is as they were born in the COLD and have grown up in the COLD!!!   But they have warm little bodies and warm little hearts and are ready to ‘wander” into their new lives and become Winter “Wonders” for their new families!!!!