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?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

5/9 Update

Good morning all! The puppies are two weeks old today and doing very well - they have almost doubled in weight. The Blue Merle Male opened his eyes this morning and the Red Merle Female looks to be close behind. I will post more pictures as soon as they are available - Mark H is planning more as soon as all of their eyes are open.

Here is an updated chart on all of the puppies:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

May 3, 2012 Update and Pictures

 All five of the puppies are doing very well. They have gained 65% to 97% of their birth weight. They now weigh between 30.5 and 37 Oz with the Blue Merle and Red boys leading the way at 34.3 and 37 Oz. Mark H says he can almost see them growing. 

They are all up on their front legs pulling themselves around the whelping box. Making lots of tracks and lots of muscle.

First, following is a link to an updated chart on the puppies showing their stats up to and including this morning:

Here are pictures taken of the pups taken at one week.

Red Merle Female:

Blue Merle Male:

Red Female:

Red Male:

Black Female:

Lastly, here is a picture of Mark and Anne's Grandaughter Geneva holding the Red Female pup: