October 18, 2018 – It’s been a busy week of trying to catch up with emails and paperwork. That’s what happens when the pups leave. 🙁 Lilly and Gunner’s puppies have all gone home to be with their forever families. We’re hearing wonderful reports! This makes all of us that have worked with these puppies so happy. One of the people that helped raise this litter and worked alongside me is our friend Joe, and he’s leaving this week too. For the Marines. Sadness in our hearts is doubled. If you think of him, please pray for his safety and protection. We can’t wait until he’s back! He lovingly cared for each and every puppy we had this summer and fall.
We’re thankful for all the families that supported us through this litter and found their new family member at Valley Vineyard Labradoodles. Because of these puppies and their new families, we were able to donate $1,500 from this litter to Amazima Ministries to support children in Uganda that can now eat, learn and simply LIVE. We miss these pups and love getting the messages and pictures back of how they’re doing. Sometimes even years later! We love staying in touch. We wish all these puppies great joy and a life of companionship and feeling loved. And we know they will give so much joy and love back! xo, Mary
And this is how it all started.
October 7, 2018 – Lilly’s puppies are seven weeks old now and this means we are in the final week and getting ready to say good-bye. This has been really enjoyable, not as hard as I thought, having Lilly and Katie’s pups side by side here in the puppy room. We’ve had lots of helpers, and even tonight, a friend stayed and held pups and took care of them while we had our marriage group gathered in the dining room. Thankful for all the helpers! And the pups enjoy every one of them, I can tell. Lots of socialization happens at our house. Experts say that pups should be introduced to one hundred unique people by the time they are four months old. We believe our pups hit that before even leaving our home! If families keep up the important socialization, they will have such an incredible dog. Aside from that, we’re winding down on all the training and conditioning this week. They’re comfortable on a leash and fairly used to crate time, although still inconsistent and whining in the crate a bit. We’ll keep working on that this week. Their personalities are just starting to show, but still so hard to see any real differences between them. Their personalities will continue to develop in their new homes as they pick up the energy level and atmosphere there and learn to adapt to their new families. Here they are at seven weeks old!
October 1, 2018 – Happy October! This means you’ve finally reached the month that you get to bring your new family member home.
We had visitors staying with us this week, which meant more socializing for the pups, and more people to hold puppies! The pups are six weeks old now and we’re well into conditioning and crate training. In fact, we’re finding that when we put on the thunderstorm or fireworks sounds, the pups seem to fall right to sleep. Today, we discovered that Coriander is so used to baths, that she fell asleep in the middle of her bath time. We’re liking what we see with their personalities. Their coats are outstanding too. Another great litter of pups.
Mostly, the pups are pretty quiet in their crates for short periods of time alone. As we continue to work on crate time, this will help them transition to the time coming soon when they will have to adjust to being away from their litter. They seem pretty comfortable with the blow dryer and all strange noises we’ve presented to them so far. We worked on leash training a little bit this week and it’s always weird for pups and takes time for them to get used to having something hanging from their neck. They did well though. We continue to work on sitting to get attention (it’s called “manding”).
They love to play, but settle down quickly when they’re picked up. Ginger has continued to be a little smaller than the rest of the litter, weighing a little over three pounds. Everyone else is almost a pound heavier than she is.
They sat nicely for their pictures. Here they are at six weeks old.
September 23, 2018 – It’s been a busy week for Lilly’s pups. An open house with lots of visitors here to see them (and help us socialize them!), crate training time, lots of baths, lots of holding and massaging time, and also their first taste of kibble. They have teeth and they’re eating well now. Starting to wean them from mama Lilly. We’re pleased with their progress and their temperaments! They’re doing so well. They’re using the litter box (most of the time) and beginning to show more interest in humans than in their siblings. These are all good signs. We’re working on desensitizing each day, along with building confidence. Their coats are filling in nicely and you can start to see their wavy fur. We love these puppies. They are five weeks old today! Here they are. 🙂
September 16, 2018 – Lilly and Gunner’s pups are now four weeks old. Time is moving fast, as always. They have hearing now and we’ve moved into the next phase of training and conditioning. We’ve giving them more obstacles in their pen for climbing, we’ve introduced them to a crate, and they’ll be adjusting to litter box training over the next day or two. They’ve had lots of baths and lots of visitors. Critical socialization is well underway. This week, we’ll be working on more socialization (family visiting from out of state and they can’t wait to spend time with the pups!) and we’ll also be conditioning them to “scary” sounds like fireworks, thunderstorms, shouting (Ha! We have a recording for this) and traffic noises. They’re beginning to connect with humans more and more and we’re really enjoying them. They look so much alike, so good thing we have colored collars on them! Here they are at four weeks old.
September 9, 2018 – Lilly’s puppies are growing and becoming much more active. They’re walking around now, climbing over small obstacles and becoming a little more independent of each other. Instead of always laying in a pile in the pen, we now see them sleeping separately and venturing out away from their siblings. Their eyes still don’t seem quite as open and alert as we know they will be soon, but they definitely are looking at us more now and tracking what’s going on in the room. We don’t see any responses to noises yet, but this week they will begin to hear. Once that happens, we become busy with exposing them to lots of different noises to start the next phase of emotional conditioning. More socializing will be key this week as well. They’re done with the Bio-sensor program, and they are very calm even when hung upside down (Ha! That’s one of the steps, don’t be alarmed.) It doesn’t even faze them any more. They’re all still the same color, it seems, and we’ll weigh them tomorrow to see if there is any gap in weights happening. We don’t expect much size difference in this litter because mama and sire are similar in weight. Here they are at three weeks old!
September 2, 2018 – Lilly’s puppies are two weeks old today. They are not trying to walk yet and still at a crawl, but their eyes are opening and that’s always exciting for us. They still mostly sleep and eat and Lilly stays close as we wait for them to become more interactive. They’ve had lots of baths and lots of holding and our next post will probably have a lot more to report. To us, this litter looks so much alike. Size, color and overall look is so similar. You can see by the pictures that their pigmentation is darkening, something that always happens at about this time. Good thing we have colored collars on. Here they are at two weeks old!
August 26, 2018 – Today Lilly’s puppies are one week old! We are always happy to see the pups move beyond that first critical week and become so much stronger. They are eating well and have nearly doubled their weights – now reaching around a pound each. They are all very close in weight and size. Lilly is an excellent mama, always listening and watching carefully and never wants to leave the puppy nursery where her pups are. We can barely get her to go outside to go potty and she runs right back to their side immediately when she comes back in. She carefully watches everywhere she steps in the pen, not to harm her babies, and goes to them at the slightest noise of discomfort. She watches closely as we do the bio-sensor steps with each puppy, and she looks on as we massage them daily. They already had baths as we like to get them used to the feel of that water and beng handled that way at a really early age. We are thrilled at watching Lilly as a new mama do so well, and we’re proud of these pups. Here they are, “The Herb Litter” at one week old.
August 19, 2018 – Today Lilly brought us five new puppies, and all are nursing and doing well. Lilly is turning out to be a great mama, as we expected, and she hasn’t left their side since they arrived several hours ago. We’re excited to announce that Lilly and Gunner brought us a litter of red and caramel pups, what we are calling “The Spice Litter,” and we welcome to our world, four girls and one boy: Basil, Sage, Parsley, Coriander and Ginger.
It was a busy weekend with Bella’s puppies playing in their new pen in the downstairs bonus room, Lilly delivering in the upstairs nursery-bedroom, and Katie delivering puppies with her guardian family at their home not too far away. Amazingly, our home is quiet and all feels in order, as it should be. Thankful for helpers, and a home that works perfectly for raising puppies! We’re excited to welcome these last two litters, our final puppies of the year.