Saturday, June 30, 2012

All of the pups in their new homes tonight.

This morning, Caroline Gordon flew in from New Jersey to pick up the last pup from the 4/24/2012 Viper/Cougar litter. Below are pictures of all of the pups and their new owners.

First to go home was DreamShot Ghost Rider, call name Tracer. She belongs to Kathy and Dan Roeder of Barnhart, MO. Kathy is very involved in Gateway Search Dogs and Tracer's primary job will be Search and Rescue. She is planning on some agility to supplement her activity.

Next to go home was DreamShot Sundown, call name Sunny. She belongs to Jan and Alan Craig of Weatherford, TX. Jan raises and trains horses and is planning on training Sunny to herd and will dabble in agility as well. She hopes to add cattle to her farm. She has been waiting for one of these little pups for four years after meeting and spending time with one of Viper's brothers.

The as yet unnamed Blue Merle boy was picked up by Ron Giles. He will be Ron's companion while doing his day job and will work with his cattle and horses when Ron has time to train his horses to Pen.

Mark Hodges and Anne Owen are keeping Ad Astra DreamShot, call name Gracie. Gracie will help Mark with chores and Mark will train Gracie to herd ducks and sheep at Ad Astra Farm. In her spare time she will be Anne's therapy dog at her practice.

Last to go home, just this afternoon, was the Red Tri Male. Caroline Gordon of Dunellen, NJ flew in to St Louis to pick him up. He will be doing his foundation training and some agility with a very well know trainer very close to his home but Caroline's primary goal with him is herding. He will have the great pleasure of training at Diane Sobel-Meyer's Outback Farm with his Uncle Magnum, Aunt Jaz and niece Lark.

Thanks to all of the new owners for providing outstanding homes for these quality pups. Welcome to the extended family. I am very much looking forward to following their exploits and vicariously living through your reports.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Almost time to go home!!!

The pups were weighed again today and have almost doubled their weight in the last two weeks. Here is a link to an updated chart:

The pups received their first set of shots and were wormed last Tuesday. Their eyes will be CERFed on Monday and they will be ready to go.

All of the girls will go to their new homes on Tuesday and Ron Giles is planning on picking up the Blue Merle shortly thereafter. While we've had several inquiries on the wonderful Red Tri Male, his home is yet to be identified.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Viper/Cougar pup newly available

Yesterday, with the pups six weeks old, one of our approved homes who placed a deposit on a pup, has backed out due to a change in living situation.  We have a wonderful red tri male pup to place at this late date.  This little boy is a standout pup.  He is very people centered, responsive, and fearless. He has excellent athleticism and his structure is excellent.  His coloring is very much like his dam, Cougar.  We selected him for a home that wanted a high drive agility and herding prospect for their next companion Aussie.

If you would make a great home for this pup, please let us know @ He could be going home as soon as next week to the right placement. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

More pics from puppy visit

Dan and Kathy Roeder who will be owners of one of the girls from this litter took these pictures last Friday when we visited the pups in Lawrence.

The pups are 6 weeks old today and will be getting their first shots this afternoon. CERF exams are scheduled for Monday and they will start going to their new homes next Tuesday.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Puppy Visit

Yesterday Kathy and Dan Roeder and I went to visit the puppies. Mark H brought them to the his grammar school gym and then took us out to Ad Astra Farm so that we could see how the pups reacted to ducks. The neurological and physical development of the pups at age 5 1/2 weeks was predictable based on the last two litters of the same breeding but still astonishing. I found them to be very outgoing, active, brave and responsive to us humans. Their behavior was also terrific with Stinger and Maverick who joined them in the pit for playtime. They were lots of fun, not to mention unbelievably cute.

Here are some of the pictures that I took of them:

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Let us in!!

The pups spend most of the time out to play and be potty trained in the backyard but still go out occasionally to the basement window well that is lined with sod. They are put out in the window well, do their business and then come back to the window and bark when they are ready to get lifted back in. Here are a couple of pictures.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day

As of last Friday the pups weighed between 5.6 and 5.9 pounds. Here is a link to an updated chart who now weigh 4 times their birth weight.

Mark was able to be patient enough to capture all of the pups in individual face shots. 4 1/2 weeks old. What more needs to be said.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Four Weeks Old

Yesterday the pups celebrated their 4 week birthday by visiting Mark H's grammar school.  This is an event that Mark has arranged for the previous Ad Astra litters as well. The gifted "older" students have been studying genetics and the entire breeding process for several months and were rewarded with a visit from the pups yesterday.

For the next hour and one half the pups were visited by several kindergarten classes that had been following Cougar's pregnancy, whelping and the growth of the pups. A total of 86 additional kids were allowed to interact with the pups. Mark reported that both the pups and kids handled it very well. What great socialization for the pups and exposure for the kids!

Here is a picture of the litter taken on Sunday.

Mark has agreed to take individual pictures of the pups later this week so that we can all get a close up look at each of them.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Four weeks old tomorrow!

As of yesterday, the pups weighed between 4.6 and 5.1 pounds. Here is a link to the chart showing their stats since birth:

As part of their exposure to the real world the pups have all been introduced to the four legged members of the Hodges' household.  Scout is the Aussie old man of the family, Rory is the grandmother of the litter (Viper's mother), Hallie is Viper's sister/littermate, Beenie and Piglet are the family cats. Here are a couple of pictures Hallie with the Red and Blue Merle Males.


New visual, audio and tactile stimulation items are being introduced to their environment. Here is a picture of the Black Female exploring the tunnel.

Last Thursday the pups had their first outing to Ad Astra Farm and were the center of attention for Anne's Tennis group. Over the weekend there were lots of visitors including son-in-law Tim pictured here with the Black Female.

Here is what their box looks like now. They have one side to mostly explore and play in while sleeping the side with "pig rails." Yes, they are big enough to climb back and forth between the boxes now.

This is piglet observing a couple of the pups roaming the basement. Look at the Red Female's left rear leg marking. It is identical to Stinger back leg markings.

On Sunday evening the pups were given solid food for the first time. Now the fun will really begin.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

5/16 Catchup

The Pups continue to do thrive. They now weigh between 3.8 and 4.4 pounds. Yes, we have switched over to weighing them in pounds as they no longer fit on the ounce scale and we're only going to weight them every few days as they are far enough along that it is not necessary to monitor them that closely. You an view a current copy of the progress chart at the following link:

On May 10th, Mark H's daughter and granddaughters visited. As you know, our philosophy is to provide lots of socialization and stimulation. The objective being to develop them mentally, physically and socially. Their future temperaments are very much predicated on the situations and people that they are exposed to during the first few months of their lives. As they grow with us, they will be exposed to large groups of children at Mark's grammar school in addition to as many people as possible at home and on outings.

The next  picture was taken on Mother's Day.  Cougar is once again doing a great job as a mother, patient with the pups and visitors alike, keeping them clean and teaching them to play. The pups are now really playing with each other, rolling and trying to escape the whelping box. They are experimenting with the various toys, wobble boards and noisemakers rotated through their box. They now respond to voices and sounds and, of course, our objective is to take them to the point where they will be comfortable with all manner of sounds and movement. All in all, they are developing at an excellent rate.  The pups are taking a break after another round of playtime.

This last picture for today was taken on Monday. The pups are beginning potty training. Mark puts sod in a window well just outside of the basement so that he can potty them by just passing them outside the basement window. This will become a regular routine several times daily. So nice that these pups were born in the spring - much easier than the previous two litters that he and Anne raised in the winter.

The pups are beginning to show personality and establish pack order. The next couple of weeks will tell us a lots about their temperaments and drive and allow us to select which pups belong in which homes. No, don't ask yet, as the process is just beginning and we're not ready to speculate.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

5/10/2012 Update and Pics

Good afternoon. The pups are now 2 weeks and 2 days old and I have a number of things to report. As of today all of the pups have their eyes open to some degree. With the opening of their eyes, we will now introduce lots of stimuli to get them acclimated to the world. Various noise sources as well as textures, mirrors and moving surfaces will now be introduced. The objective is to make them comfortable with all sorts of sounds, textures and movement.

They all continue to develop by leaps and bounds. They have discovered their voices and now do various versions of barks, yelps and growls. They are up on 4 feet moving around the whelping box and will soon have it doubled in size to allow them more room to use their extended mobility. This weekend, weather permitting, they will be taken outside to motor around the grass. Following is a link to a current chart showing that they all weigh over 3 pounds:

Mark has inspected them all closely at this point and the only one showing copper is the Red Male (4). He has copper on both front and back legs. The others all appear to be Bi Colored. Of course all have blue eyes which will change to their final color over the next several weeks. 

Here are a couple of pictures taken this morning - during and after breakfast:

Can you believe they're starting to look like real dogs?