di-da GSD Companions (fka di-da Kennels)

German Shepherds for companion and show

Journal - Early Litters

life with the Rooster / Dakota pups born 28 May 2010

Posted by Susan Powers on June 7, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Note -- items are sequenced with the newest at the top. Events with ** are recorded here and duplicated in "prepare for departure" journal entry (anyone have a suggestion how to better handle?) 

23 July 2016 - It is with a heavy heart that I learn Ruger, f.k.a. Everest, has left us. His owners say he passed due to issues from seizures.

25 November 2011 - I forgot to turn the electric fence back on when we got home from the bike ride. Neighbor called to tell me the girls were running toward the cul-de-sac. Eeh gads, I thought, right toward the folk who said they'd shoot them if they came on their property.Thankfully, my daughter spotted them after 5 deer ran across the road to the church, out of breath and full of burrs, but home safe.

31 May 2011 - Dakota is now very open with Andes being with the pups. And Andes takes advantage of it -- walking into the whelping area and laying down. The pups sense her presence and cuddle up, some looking for nourishment. Andes is very gentle with them and freely helps clean and stimulate them. She's going to be a wonderful mother.

28 May 2011 - Visiting a beach, a yellow lab was retireving toys in the lake. Andes ran after him up to chest high then returned to him. I then entered the water and called her, walking backwards so she'd have to swim to me. I tried to play just long enough that it was still a game, taking a break after 2-3 swims to get some cheese to use as a reward when she swam to me. She's not the water dog like Sierra and Tim were, but I think she'll be just fine. Fun.

26-27 May 2011 - Andes and I get to practice a couple run-aways when visiting relatives in Hot Spgins Village Arkansas. She ran past where I was standing (next to the opposite side of the house), then corrected her track and found me. So much fun.

18-19 May 2011 - I took Andes with me to work so Dakota doesn't have to feel alarmed at all. Andes stays in a kennel in the car and I take her for a walk on my breaks. She stays close and in sight all the time. As she was ahead of me, heading to the car, I slipped between a couple cars, out of sight and once out of the path, and she found me in no time. I could see her actions through the car windows and saw her head back and make a decision to turn my way. So fun. 

15 May 2011 - Another outing with the SAR group. Three finds and she nailed all 3, using a combination of air scent and tracking. I even weaved and backtracked a couple times. My partner in training says she seems to have a keen sense. He also remarked how even tempered she was, and intelligent. Yeah! 

1 May 2011
I finally connected with a SAR group. Meeting a couple team members at the Keller Wildlife Refuge Area, I followed an open air scent team then a human remains team. Then Andes came out to play. The SMCSAR members suggested how to start Andes training, kind of like playing hide-and-seek. They held her while I walked away from the parking lot and into the prairie. I turned along a row of trees, then another right turn so I was for certain out of sight, and not in a straight line. I heard the team tell Andes to 'find'. In no time at all, she came charging to me. I could see her run a little past the corner turn, then correct herself and run towards my scent. She moved fast, and ran right toward me. Tim says for an 11-month old she did very well, as Andes discovered a rack of (deer) ribs, picked them up. Then dropped them when he commanded "leave it". I'm so proud. And this is going to be so much fun! The team tries to practice weekly. 

3 - 9 April 2011 -
Betz (yellow ribbon, Sierra) returns for a week visit! She is beautiful! She looks to me like a growing up / thin version of Dakota - with a thinner frame and face and great pigment. She's quite affectionate and very playful. 

Dakota and Andes were quite anxious to meet our visitor, but we phased the introduction in so as not to overwhelm Betz. 

Betz was quite curious of her surroundings when she arrived, smelling everything, especially the small hill we spent a lot of time on as a tiny pup. After her owners left, Betz spent her first 45 minutes watching for them out the window.

She was drawn to the culvert and to Buddy the beagle across the street. Once I saw Dakota and Andes sitting in the driveway, facing westward across the street. Looking the direction of their stare, I saw Betz playing with Buddy. She did come right back when I called her. Thank you. 

Buddy's owner says Betz looks like the perfect dog -- so clean and nice looking, that is until we walked back home and Dakota and Andes had her rolling in the fresh ash from the prairie burn I did one night. It's a good thing she still loves water -- she stepped right into share the shower with me, not minding at all getting wet.

The first day or so Betz was a little intimidated by her sister and mom, who scolded her if she went across their magic fence line. Scolded, rolled on the ground or not, Betz continued with a wonderful, happy smile and tail.

By the third day, Betz was holding her own and all three were playing very well together. Dominance had been established I guess (Dakota --> Andes --> Betz). 

Betz is more playful than either Dakota and Andes, who each decided that if Betz gets attention chasing a ball, then they want to do that, too. Betz came with a long tug rope. When Andes saw me playing with Betz with it, she joined in. I'm hoping to catch a picture of the two of them playing tug-of-war with it.

Her owners say she still pounces, just like what we noted on the Volhard assessment. I saw her pounce on things here, too. 

And the famous GSD head tilt -- it goes full force when you ask "do you want to go outside", or when you say "Vanna", the name of the 13-year old female white GSD Betz lives with. 

Her owners say she only had 1 accident when being house trained. Wow.

One night when I was in the shower, Betz was standing at the shower door. I opened it a bit and she confidently stepped in. The occasionjal splash of water didn't phase her at all. She wandered around the shower stall and didn't react at all to my wetting her head and rump to try to wash out the oil from the car (from her hiding spot under the jeep).

A very sweet, playful, feminine girl. I'm so proud.

19 January 2011 - 

More blessings .. This time the girls and I went x-country skiing on the lake/river off the Zumbro Trail. I'd gone there several times last year with Diamond and Dakota and enjoyed it a lot. Plus it was very close. About 1/2 hour down the river, I notice that Andes is floundering in a water hole, about 18" in diameter. She's fishing with her front paws, but doesn't seem to be able to get a grip. I call to encourage her "come on girl, come on girl". She's less than 20' away. As the world goes by my eyes, and thoughts about "after all this of having 3 girls at once, and now I'm going to lose Andes? should I have let her go to the therapy / service home before knowing if Diamond was placed? oh no, oh no ... I take my skis off and crouch down and reach out a ski pole, wondering if it's possible for Andes to grab ahold of the pole. I crawl forward and don't hear any cracks. The ice had seemed solid all along. There was a full moon, but this was 5:30 or later, so I couldn't really tell what the ice and snow looked like behind her. In any event, I reached out and grabbed Andes collar - thank God she had one on -- and pulled her out. She had been whining, just a little. Quickly I backed out and put my skis back on (darn them, what's wrong with the right boot? I don't need to be standing on this ice) and we started back, praising God the whole way back. I made sure Dakota and Andes were in sight the whole way back. Thank goodness I'd been close when Andes fell through, else I might never know where she was if Dakota couldn't lead me to her. Andes frolicked and ran as if nothing happened. Once home, I fed them. She later came into the house, her fur frozen stiff. She did shake off a couple of times, then laid down and is napping while I write this. Thank God. And thank God for the fur keeping the water away from her. I'm blessed, again.


15-16-17 January 2011 - 

Andes, Dakota and I go x-country skiing -- to Quarry Hill on the 15th then Chester Woods lake on the 16th and 17th. I didn't plan on going 3 days in a row, but my phone wasn't in my jacket pocket when I got back to the parking lot @ Chester Woods on the 16th. I had pulled it out of my pocket to note the time when we first got on the lake (4:02). I had taken my jacket off and thrown it over a branch while taking a break on the lake. So it had to have been one of those 2 places (either I missed putting it in my pocket after telling the time, or it flew out when I threw my jacket over the branch. So my decision was to either ski back to the tree to look, or come back the next day when it was light. I decided to put the girls in the car and ski back to the tree. (While I was skiing, I asked myself why I put them in the car. They would have enjoyed more ice time ...). No luck finding it. So thanks to a no-school day for Martin Luther King, back we went the next morning. Out to the tree with a child's snow shovel in tow, I shoveled a semi-circle. We'd gotten about 1/2" of new snow, so there was 2-3" of snow. But very light stuff. And walla, within 10 minutes of shoveling, I uncovered it. The screen was dark. I put it in my pocket, thinking at least the cell phone company could retrieve my contacts for me. 1/2-way back to the parking lot, I pulled the phone out again. Now it told me the time -- and it had 1 bar of battery. That in itself was amazing, as it was around 15 degrees all night ... I waited until getting back to the parking lot then tried to make a phone call to my daughter to report the success, but the battery was now dead. Charging it up at home, it still works. A letter to Sanyo is in order (smile). 


16 November - 

Intelligent or driven to play? Andes learns how to play fetch in a very short session. Or could she have learned by watching Diamond in the back yard? It was amusing watching them, Diamond became jealous and went after the ball, only to take it away. For awhile I was able to throw each their own. This was in the kitchen. Can't wait 'til the ground is drier to do some long throws outside. 


28 October -

As I was working near the south dog park this afternoon, I took Andes with me so we could try a few more stacking pictures on the agility bar. Dakota got into the crate with Andes, so she got to come along, too. Dakota's in heat and Diamond's just coming out, so it's nice to separate those 2 for awhile.

I let the 2 girls out to play on the baseball field during my 1 hour break. Dakota spotted a squirrel and followed it along the telephone wire, trying to figure out how to get to the other side of the fence. She's such a loyal friend, though, that when she followed the fence down some 40 yards and started heading back (to where the squirrel would be), I called her, and she came. Andes tagged along and really enjoyed chasing around in the field.

I put the girls in the 'secure' side of the south dog park and they ran and played. A younger black lab came to play, and boy was there chasing. How fun! I left Dakota on that side (the side for dogs who don't get along with others or those in heat) and tried some stacking on the other side. Andes did very well -- holds her rear foot back on a stay. Wonderful. Only the 2nd time on the balance beam and she confidently walks up by herself, actually prefers that to my leading her, same thing for coming down, though I pat the plank and she follows. She's stacking very well, except leaning in too far. Now if I can only figure out how to get her head up and take pictures at the same time.

A Collie came over to greet Andes while she was on the balance beam (see the pictures). Andes held her feet position and they got nose-to-nose. Just as I was letting Andes down to play with this collie and another, and a little fluff ball who also came over to greet us, Dakota came running over with a smile ... she'd opened the gate between the 2 dog areas. Time to go ... we'll try to go back soon.

24 October -

Oh what a sight -- The weight of Andes prancing around the top of the trampoline bouncing her up and down. She was running around in circles, juming ahead as if to pounce on something, looking beneath the trampoline and trying to stand still to take a better look through the mat ... and of course by the time I pulled the video camera out, she'd jumped off. I will try to set this one up again once we get some warmer weather back !

18-20 October -

Each day I have tried to do some new exposures with Andes -- playing in the leaves (check out the video I'll be uploading that shows her popping out of the big pile), and a trip to the south dog park which has agility equipment. I placed Andes to start up the slant board and coaxed her to walk up, which she did great,. When she reached the top / flat part, I stacked her. On the 3rd trial, she obeyed my 'stay' command so that I could back up and take a picture. Oh my ! She stayed  -- even in a stack position, and even when (somehow) the camera was set to take the picture in a 10-second delay! She is so trainable, and eager to please. What's to become of (my?) Andes ?

08 October - 

I'm proud (and surprised ?) to say it only took 2 "stay" commands for her to stand still in the bath tub so that I could take a "during" picture of her all lathered up. When I told her she could get out of the tub then dried her off, she ran around the lower level, slipping and sliding and smiling along the way.

30 September - 

A visit to the dog park., a 1st for Andes. Diamond was her usual, chasing balls, chasing dogs chasing balls, and exploring; Dakota was more outgoing than before, not instigating play, but exploring and not shying away from dogs that approach her. I was surprised that Andes didn't play and play. She didn't shy away from anything, approached a couple young kids and accepted their pets and smiles as though they were already family, yet kind of stayed near me for much of the time. Not outgoing (yet?) and not timid (good). She seemed very happy and content. We will try to go again to see if she stays the same or decides that it's play time !

18 September -

Andes was the lucky one to join a friend and I on a seed-gathering mission at Weaver Dunes (I would have wanted to take either Diamond or Dakota, but dogs are barred? certainly puppies aren't ... :-)) Any time we met up with people in the field, Andes ran over to them with a big smile. Except one -- seeing a man from a distance, she barked softly, sitting very still. Then decided to approach him, bouncing joyfully as he encouraged her greeting with playful posture and a pet. My friend commented how well socialized Andes is. Yes. A doll. 

15 September -

I look outside and see Andes sitting quite still and facing outward. I look farther and see the same posture from Dakota. Both stare, as if to wait for the other to move. Dakota finally moved toward Dakota and Andes charged her. So cute. Then later in the day, the scene re-played. Andes runs underneath the car and Dakota tries to follow, but alas, the space is too small. So cute. 

11 September

Andes was a happy little pup at the Bath and Clip fund raiser for the local vet tech school, and given that the water was cold, did quite well for her 1st shower. She nicely approached several of the other dogs, and didn't shy away from those who approached her. I was very proud. 

I still really love to watch her move :-)

2 September -

Andes and Dakota stay in with me last night. I awake and find the 2 of them on one of the dog beds, cuddled together. ... how sweet.

1 September -

A friend left a bag of black licorice in a work area in the garage. I find a piece of the cellophane in the yard .. uh-oh..

27 August - 

Andes and I watch Vertigo at the Historic Center Movie on the Barn. Under a full moon, warm lap, breeze, wonderful. The loud noises from the movie didn't disturb her at all. The only sound i heard was a soft bark when a small dog walked in front of us. I closed her mouth with my hands, told her no, and when the family returned, all was quiet. Several people commented how good she was the whole 2+ hours. She's such a doll ... I know she's going to find a very special home ...

25 August -

I LOVE watching this -- Dakota playing chase-me around the yard with Andes and K2 trying to keep up, all smiling. Dakota will switch directions once in awhile. I was certain Dakota would break out of the game if I showed up with a camera, but I was able to catch a video to at least catch the memory. Not the full effect of the game, but caught the concept. Will post soon. 

I also got to watch a long game of tug-of-war. Sometimes Dakota would pull a rope toy from K2 and Andes mouth, sometimes Andes would win, sometimes all 3 had ahold of it. And Diamond? Not interested ... until I went outside with a camera. What a little show off she is!

21 August -

Either Andes or Rocky find their way to the top of the trampoline. I grab my cameras and head out, now both are there. K2 Katy's beneath, trying to figure it all out. As I take a video (gosh, I hope it's light enough to turn out), Dakota joins them and they run about. Oh, how cute. I call to them from their stepping stone, the picnic table nearby. Andes steps down and now K2 Katy discovers the route so climbs up to join Rocky and Dakota. Dakota gives her a hard time (there's been quite a bit of that in K2 Katy's life lately), then they frolic and play on the top. 

Here's hoping they'll repeat the episode tomorrow when it's light so I can catch a movie before I leave to take Rocky to his new home.

20 August - I took K2 Katy to a garage sale, where 2 little girls and their mom fell in love with her. She followed along very well to and from the car. 

These pups are so much fun. I saw K2 Katy stalk her mom, and Dakota started a chase-me game with her, with Rocky joining in. The 3 of them hung around me and enjoyed the coolness beneath the tall weeds in the field as I did some field work. 

I so enjoy watching Dakota play chase-me. This litter has been so good for her, a chance to be alpha. And play. Diamond's helped raise and mother them. Dakota's teaching them manners and how to play.

Another funny thing today was watching K2 Katy prey a lightening bug. Would have been a nice video, but probably would have lost the moment by appearing. 

19 August - We hosted a Christian youth group tonight. The pups, led by Rocky, had been digging up the sand beneath the playset. Rocky got a spontaneous bath in the kiddie pool, I hosed Andes down in the shower, and K2 got a splash off. Actually, all were quite tolerant of being washed. Maybe it was the touch they liked and remember the reward of cuddling? Once Diamond realized we were having company, she did her happy dance across the yard. She spent the time listening to the youth talk at the foot of the leader. I am so proud of her. And even more special? the more Andes matures, the more I see Diamond's temperament in her. Now to find a good home for her!

17 August - Rocky went solo in a crate last night. He greeted me this morning with a smile on his face ... from the middle of the garage. Hmm ... did he figure out he could get out by pushing against the door? did Dakota let him out? 

13 August - Tornado sirens and flash flooding. Allison says Rocky howled and K2 did a little, too. She brought all the pups in to the downstairs bathroom. K2 ... unrolled the whole roll of toilet paper. She rolled it back up, only to find Fuji repeated it, with a look in her eye like "what's wrong with that?". 

13 August - The pups follow me across the street to Buddy's home to check out their garage sale. All 6 frolic with Buddy (where is my camera ... :-(), darn). The rest return home, except Rocky, who joins me in the drive, mingles amongst the patrons and articles for sale, choosing a stuffed animal or two from the basket and exploring the corners of the garage. Buddy joins us and they play together so nice. Rocky leaves independently and walks safely across the street. Yes, it's good I live on a cul-de-sac where only we who live in the development are here. And cute that they know their way home (or maybe they sense Dakota and Diamond waiting at the end of our drive for them).

10 August - I carried Diamond and Dakota's food to the back deck. We soon had a rush of puppies -- all 6 of them -- coming up the back steps to the deck. I sat mid-way up and blocked their progress. Little smartie Fuji didn't let that stop her -- she ran around to the stairs that led up to the middle of the deck and next thing I knew, Diamond and Dakota were sharing the last morsels with her (minor miracle in itself). As the littlest of the litter, I let her enjoy her reward. So is this a sign of intelligence? a hunger drive? or aptitude for tracking? 

09 August - 

The trip with Timmy was a positive and successful adventure. I have to admit I was nervous, but US Air didn't even measure the dimensions or weigh the carry-on. Perhaps their rule could be stated: "if you're OK, we're OK", which was my wish.

I'm glad Timmy didn't pick up my anxiety. He remained silent at check-in and on the plane with the exception of a little whimpering before take-off on the 1st leg. He settled just fine by petting him through the mesh window. 

I had to twist the carrier sideways on the 2nd leg to fit it beneath (the stewardess was also more attentive of cabin rules), so I couldn't see his face at first. But he turned around in the carrier and looked out at me from below. 

It was cute to hear the kids or people cry "puppy" when they saw or heard him as we made our way in the halls. I got to carry him through security, which of course drew lots of smiles. The TSA agents said he was the cutest passenger of the day. 

The only thing is ... now I'm bonded with him even more :-) If he wasn't in such a wonderful home, it would have been even harder to say good-bye. One of his first jobs is to help heal the loss of a beloved first pet the prior year (also a white male GSD). Guess I need a little pet therapy, myself.

07 August - 

Andes spends her night with me inside; she goes right to the bed Diamond and Dakota use, but then wandered to a couple other spots to sleep, including on my lap, which lasted only enough to pacify me. No wet spots

in the room come morning. Way to go Andes !

06 August -

Some of the pups watched me dig up a bush and plant a new one by the front door. Rocky especially was intrigued, barking at the rocks I raked away, and walking around the area. All of the pups became especially interested when I poured fish emulsion fertilizer on it. Sure hope they don't dig it up!

I took the 7 pups still here over to play with Buddy, and for Timmy to say good-bye. They had lots of fun, rolling and running. Dakota was right in there with me. I'll be loading a video of it soon. And here's a confession ... sometime this afternoon, 4-5 of the pups wandered over to play with Buddy on their own. Uninvited. Good thing we live on a cul-de-sac in a private development, and good thing they come running home when I call them!

06 August: Oh my, WHAT a feeding frenzy, both morning and night (the pups are on a 2/day feeding schedule now). They are always anxious eaters in the morning, but today was exceptional.

The big girls weren't interested in joining me in the house while the litter fed, so I left bowls of food by the door and went about my business. I look around at the noise in the entry and see Dakota had let herself in ... with 5 pups in tow, of course going after her food. Hmmm ... gonna check my books ... did I cut them back from 3 feedings a day to 2, too soon?!  Food driven today!

05 August: What a nice crew. I took some time this afternoon to rest on the trampoline and try to catch up on some reading. All of the pups lay in the shade beneath me, some napping. Dakota was off to the side in the grass. Some responded when I looked through the matting and called their names by looking up, some by trying to paw at the bottom surface of the trampoline mat. It is so nice to have some companions. It's like having a foster family ;-)

04 August: I take Timmy to the church to get used to the carrier we'll use on the airplane. Nobody knows he's there until maybe 30 minutes in. He cries a little and a couple of the kids and adults look up and ask "Is that a puppy?" And of course they go over and admire him. After we finish loading the backpacks, I take him outside to play with Peter, who of course tells his parents he wants one. Nice to train and do things with he says. I can't disagree! Maybe as a buddy to their dachsund, or someday ... 

Returning home, Timmy again follows me across the parking lot, then I load him in the carrier. No peeps at all, I think he likes the motion of being in a backpack while I'm on my bike. He didn't even make a sound when I took a tumble on the bumpy Rainbow Trail. 

03 August: I took Sierra, Timmy, Everest and Rocky with Diamond to the Boys and Girls Club. Dakota wanted to come too, so she piled in the car (I was planning on leaving her in the car 'cause she doesn't have her TDI yet, so isn't officially approved for therapy work). Alas, none of the 8 kids were there today. The director was confused. So since we were already loaded up, we went to PetSmart. Rocky and Sierra were admired by the staff while Diamond and Dakota had a big treat -- their nails clipped by a professional :-) I'm thinking I need to rig up one of those tables. They make it look so easy!

02 August: I have a feeling these pups will be easily trained. I just opened the gate to the kennel tonight and 5 of the pups just wandered over and found a comfy place to sleep. The last 2 hardly needed coaxing. 

02 August: Sierra rode with me to pick-up daughter's books at RCTC then off to one of my favorite stores, Fleet Farm, for guess what ... puppy food. She enjoyed the ride, preferring my lap (shh ... don't tell the officer). She has the face and delightful smile of her mom, Dakota. 

01 August: I took Fuji to the concert in the park tonight She sat on the bench beside me, or on the grass to the side. Didn't reallly care to be in my lap (maybe too hot). When a flock of geese flew over head, squawking, she looked up and followed them with her eyes. Quite an intent look in her eyes. Very cute.   

01 August: McKinley's owners for brought a big white teddy for Tessa McKinley to ride home with. Fits right in with the pups, same size and color (as most of them anyway). Dakota took a liking to it, picked it up and ran to the back yard. I called her name, she stopped, turned around and looked ... and did bring it back. How cute is this!Guess I know what Christmas will bring this year ... 

30 July: I took Andes to Leashes and Leads with her mom and grandma (Dakota and Diamond) for their Coffee with your Canine Hour. Unfortunately, no one else was there (maybe 'cause there was a Paws and Claws event outside.) Since we had the room to ourselves, got some brace practice in with the big girls and introduced Andes to a leash. She didn't like the leash while we were in the socialization room, but when we were outside, she walked very nicely at my side to see a couple horses grazing in the field nearby! No pulling, tugging, just happily walked at my side. How wonderful is that! All the way back to the car, too. Check the pictures for a candid of Andes watching the horses. She didn't bark or back off. She just watched, her mellow self.

30 July: Recovering from a potential crisis -- both Andes and McKinley slipped their ribbons. Spun through weekly pictures, checked temperament by picking them each up (McKinley's been calm these past couple days, so that wasn't foolproof). Proof positive are their nails -- Andes are pink, McKinley's front nails have black stripes. Sigh.

28 July: ** Timpanogos (Timmy) tries out the carry-on I will be taking him to his new family in. Loaded as a backpack, we bike to church. Not a peep from him, even biking over the Rainbow Trail and walking down the incline. I let him out as I check the flower gardens. He's curious about the new surroundings, but stays real close. Rather than load him into the backpack carrier again, he follows me across the church grounds and back up the hill where I left my bike. Probably a 1/4 mile hike for the little legs, but he kept up. And no complaints. Again, no peeps on the way home. As I unzipped the carry-on, he climbed right out with mommy Dakota greeting him with a kiss. 

28 July: McKinley and Everest join me to have lunch on the deck of a friend's house. Her 8-year old English Setter, Bennie, is being treated for a rare (non-contagious) disease, so I was extra watchful that there weren't problems. McKinley and Everest each checked Bennie out, then chose to take a nap. McKinley beneath the feet of my friend, and Everest off to my side. My friend commented on how calm they were, after the initial introduction. (smile)

27 July **: More crate training. Not sure who the partners are, but McKinley, Logan, Rocky, and Andes are paired in the two crates. 5 are in the outdoor kennel. Fuji stays with me inside. My daughter takes Fuji outside -- she does piddle as she's picked up and carried out, but the kitchen/family room where we slept, all's fine. The other 5 somehow got out of the outdoor kennel, and came running to greet us. The 4 from the crates are also eager to get out, but no accidents. You're welcome new owners :-)

25 July: After the rough afternoon playing round-up, I needed some puppy therapy. So chose Fuji to spend the night inside with me. Slept on the couch and Fuji sometimes laid with me, sometimes on a doggie bed beside me, sometimes on the floor. It was the first time away from her litter mates but I didn't hear a peep from her the whole night. She did have an accident, over near the door where she likes to lay and look out. Had she been confined in a kennel, she probably would have been just fine. Her new owners in Washington D.C. are going to love her so much. And I'll miss her!

25 July: I hear Diamond and Dakota bark and look out to see a couple kids in the gully area beyond the pine trees, with their bikes. They are playing with a group of pups -- I can see 3 white pups. Putting my shoes on, I go out to bring the pups back, as I'm afraid they would follow the bikers. When I get to the yard, there's no one and no pups in sight. Diamond and Dakota are within the boundary, looking out towards the Rainbow Trail. Dakota seems nervous. I count 6 in the garage area. Heading down the street along my lot line, I realize it would be good for Diamond and Dakota to come with me, as they certainly saw the pups leave. But they won't cross the zone. So I take their collars off and lead them off of the property via the driveway, their signal that it's OK to cross the boundary. They start to head the opposite way, thinking we were going for a run, I guess. But I call to them and they head now toward the trail area. Running fast.

I follow, slower. Not a sign of any of them. Then I hear what sounds like a pup. I make it to the end of the Rainbow Trail and I see two kids and an adult on bikes, 4 pups -- K2, Sierra, Bear, and Logan -- and Diamond and Dakota.

It doesn't end there. The woman said the pups followed (duh! I thought to myself). She asked if I was worried (double duh). I call to them and they come. But then they get distracted by Dakota and Diamond.

The woman was now headed back to our neighborhood, so I suggested she just let Sierra follow her. And ask she put Sierra in our yard. I then proceeded to round up the other 3. No sight. No sound.

I cross the poor lady's yard that expressed a concern that her border collie might not know what to do around pups. I call, but don't hear anything. At the other end of her yard, I hear yips. One yard over, the folks with the horses. Remembering someone say that horses are pack animals, and they might attack animals coming into their territory. I hurry.

When the 3 heard me, they gladly came and followed. Bear and Logan were dirty. I made them all walk home, actually I jogged. Wanting to finish wearing them out so they (and I) could sleep good.

Oh my.

25 July: After all of the evening commotion, I confine 9 pups to the kennel. I was going to take Sierra to the concert in the park with me, but figured she'd be pooped from the long excursion she went on today. So I took who was looking the cutest at me when I opened the kennel doors -- McKinley.

She was calm and admired by many. Didn't say a thing. Makes me wonder why sometimes she chooses to be vocal and othes not, as she's been rather quiet the last week or so.

24 July: I hear crying and the hard rumble of Dakota rushing across the deck. There are a bunch of puppies at the bottom of the stairs of the deck, one is crying. It's K2. She cries when she stands up or tries to walk using her left front foot. I carry her into the house for some extra attention. She seems OK after about 10 minutes and not tender to the touch. 

24 July: Caught some pictures or a video of 5 pups playing beneath a tree. Everest, Sierra, Rocky and Fuji were 4. Not sure who the other white pup was.

22 July: A very rainy day. I go into the garage to feed the pups and silence. I panic. Did someone come take the pups? I then see the garage door is open, and catch sight of the whole crew huddled together on the front step, out of the rain. Oh what a Kodak moment. Alas, now my digital camera is on the blink. But thankfully the pups are still in place, napping away, until I call out to them and they awake, their little black eyes peering up from the midst of the fur. So cute. And caught some of it on video, yeah! The 1 pups who was sleeping off to the left was either Sierra or K2. I don't think they were pushed off, the space was just limited. Or perhaps she decided to take a rest stop. So cute! I'm going to miss these boys and girls!

20 July: Andes ribbon got caught on a part of the bicycle in the garage. She couldn't wander beyond maybe 10 inches. I cut it off, then found it had cinched her neck very tightly. Very scary. She could breathe just fine, but barely a wimper. I discovered this when I called for the girls and boys walking into the garage, and only counting 9. Calling a little louder and with more feeling, and I hear poor Andes trying to reach me. Perhaps I'll let her be naked. I can tell her from McKinley, the other long coat,. Just will be harder to identify her when I'm looking at the tops of their bodies.

17 July: I was so pleased to see Jasmine and Brinkley at today's UKC conformation shows. Brinkley remains as happy, playful, but laid back as always. He looks like a junior Atlas, only better looking (friendlier, happier). And Jasmine -- prettier than Dakota, is that possible? I'm also delighted to hear she loves the water. She'll jump from the driveway into their boat, with no stopping in between. She enjoys baths and being showered off.

So maybe introducing the pups to water has a life-time affect? It can't hurt, so I will continue this.

Neither Brinkley nor Jasmine like to be kenneled ... that one I should work on. Perhaps too much freedom in our large yard ...

15 July: No escapees to the culvert today or yesterday. Allison blocked the entrance with bricks so it seems the pups have lost interest. They now like the long grass beneath the playset.

15 July:  I toss an "empty" peanut butter jar into the drive-way. The pups become alert, but none move until the jar stops rolling. Then 5 of the pups approach it, poking at it with their paws. Fuji is the one who grabs it with her mouth, turns around and with head held high, trots back to the garage with her claimed prize.

I look out about 10 minutes later and the jar is now beneath my car. There's one puppy crouched down talking to it ... yes, it's McKinley.

Oh, hurry up video camera, you were supposed to arrive yesterday ...

14 July: Logan takes a tumble from the deck at top of the stairs dwnward. He sobbed in my arms for quite awhile and seemed tender on his stomach when I 1st put him down. He seemed fine walking around about 1/2-hour later. I will keep a close eye on it.

12 July:

What is it with the culvert? 7 of the pups needed a bath before loading them into the car to go to their dr. appointment. I took pictures of the 7 when my daughter helped me spray them down in the kitchen sink. Some of the pictures I'll add to the candids photo album. 

With that spontaneous activity, we arrived at the vet's 15 mintues late. I carried them in 2 x 2. The vet technician weighed the pups and Dr. Morath began the exams. He remared what a mellow crew they were. As each each was brought in, they stood on the counter where the office cat came to visit. A little bit of spontaneous socialization here.

Bear is the heaviest this week, weighing in at 11.25#. Fuji remains the lightest at 8.75#. I left a picture of two of them for the office greeting board, hoping to catch the attention of some potential homes close by. I'd remembered that Dr. Morath last year had suggested posting a picture, as many people come in just to check out what's going on, whether they were a patient of the clinic or not.

11 July 2010 9:30 a.m.:

Allison calls me on the phone from her cell phone. She's at the end of the drive, ready to go to work. ALL the puppies are in the culvert. And Dakota's trying to retrieve them. Time to confine them to the garage or kennel area when we're not out ... what is the attraction of the culvert? Crazy.

Would really have liked to capture a good video of this. Darn. Might I need to stage it when my new camera arrives this week?

5 Jul:

We've had some terrific storms and a tornado touch down here. All of the pups were calm, Mommy Dakota and Diamond were quiet but nervous.

2 July:

Many visitors today. The pups helped Mollie (Tom Gray's granddaughter) feel better about being around dogs. And Molie even approached Diamond to pet her. And of course Diamond didn't give Mollie anything to be worried about (other than being pretty big for a 5 year old girl). Aidan their son was quite precocious. Dakota nursed some of the pups while we visited.

More company in the afternoon with Doug.

It's nice that there's a mix of kids and adults visiting, male and female.

One of the funniest things that happened today was the talking session with McKinley. After feeding the pups puppy chow softened with soy milk andmixed with scrambled egg (this feeding, by the way, is the first time they all seemed to have enough to eat when the food was gone), McKinley approached my feet. As I looked down, she started talking. It made fora darling video.

Also got their 5-week weights.

Looked into getting the pups tattooed, as it would be nice to have a permanent ID ready when the MDR1 tests are sent in. Judy at Washington State Lab was wonderful and pointed me to a microchip site that sold a set of 5 that she's familiar with. We also discovered a similar set with less do-dads for less cost. Can I give these pups a shot myself? Or perhaps my friend Mary the nurse could help.

1 July:

Two of Adrianne's best friends came over to play withthe puppies today. Alexa took close-ups of Rocky and Logan, trying to get better pictures of their paws.Hurrah!

I noticed Bear has a little bit of white showing on the bottom of her ear where the ear intersects the head, in the front. And maybe a little brown between the toes. Is she not called a solid black anymore? Will more color come?

30 June:

Everest and K2 Katy travel on a soft blanket to a friend's house. They hang loose in the front yard, are admired by a couple paper boys. So sleepy when I put them in the car that one stayed in an downside awkward position for the ride home. So gentle.

Puppy mash is a hit. I don't notice anyone monopologizing the gruel or being left out. Anxious to weigh them to see the change from week 4.

30 June: 4:00 a.m.

I was awakened by a puppy cry. Pronounced and insistent. Rocky was crawling into one of their favorite resting places and got stuck, half of his chubby little body in and the other half out. He couldn't clear the space between the leg of the saw horse and kennel anymore. I lifted him out and held his shaking body against mine. He seemed relieved, pressed against my chest and looked upright into my eyes, eventually giving mea kiss on the chin. I rubbed his fur, so soft and full (yes, I do believe "he's a coat!"). I sat down on a chair with him in my lap and many of his litter mates now biting at my ankles or getting caught up in my robe.

29 June:

What a fun day at the Boys and Girls Club. It's Diamond and my 2nd week there. 7 girls have now turned in there "not allergic to dogs and OK to read to them"slips. I took Bear, Logan, and McKinley with us, which worked out perfect. One-by-one the girls read to Diamond, while the other 6 girls paired off and read to a puppy. We were spread out across the grassy playground area. The coordinator took lots of pictures. I hope to get a copy of at least a few.

About 1/2-way through, when the pair workingwith each puppy had probably each finished their books, I looked acrossand saw 6 girls being chased by 3 puppies. Oh, so cute. I wanted torecreate the scene so I could video it, but the pups were worn out andsleeping at the end of the hour.

Then this afternoon, I was meeting with a prospective puppy-family member in the front yard. Parking in the street, he walked toward the house while Diamond and Dakota advanced toward the fence boundary (we have an underground fence), giving their warning bark. I could tell he'd been around dogs, because he didn't seem to pause. Diamond and Dakota then revealed their gentle self, wagging their tails and hoping for company to come on in.

Attracted by the motion or noise, all 10 pups ran towards us, minglingbeneath our feet or in the grass nearby. Oh so cute. 

Funny that this visitor had seen his 1st white GSD only a few days before this. Then Bear, the solid black female, seemed to catch his eye now.She is a stand out, not just 'cause her color is so different.
As we were visiting and observing the pups, I heard a call of my name. It was Michael, the 3-year old from across the street. I called his name and then saw him start to cross the street, followed by his mom carrying his 2-year old brother. Patty explained she'd told Michael he could only come over and see the pups if I was outside.

So now we have a spontaneous view of two little boys playing with the pups. Dakota walked around for awhile then laid down kind of in the midst of the commotion. Some of the pups nursed, others seemed to sleep at her side. The pups teeth are in (they were 1 month old yesterday).

I feel bad that Michael was the recipient of some of their mouthing which erased his smile for awhile. I've captured some of this on video (see"video clips").

Patty says they'd like to come over to play every day this week. We look forward to it.

28 June: Nursing periods are shorter now so test the pups out with their first serving of puppy mash this morning. I put the food outin 6 individual bowls and 2 larger bowls. Oh my, there's no need to learn how to eat food here!I

I was the most curious about Fuji, as I wondered if her laid-back personality was why she was the smallest. Oh my, she went right at it. More eager than a turtle, but just as steady!

Everest was a VERY eager eater, as was Sierra. Rocky fell asleep, though I'd have to mention that he was asleep when I served the food. McKinley kind of growled at K2 for looking at her food.

Bear, Logan and Timmy were eager but polite eaters.

27 June: I take two at a time for a ride on the lawn tractor. They sat calmly in my arms. One (check my notes for which one)barks at the mower when I put him down.

27June: We had an inch of rain last night. I decide to introduce the pups to water and place them all in the kiddie pool. Most seem to step rather gingerly. Some stand on 3 legs at a time as they sense what's going on. Some try to get out sooner than later, especially when Dakota walked by.Timponogos, then Andes climb out. Sierra was last.

26 June: We have to park down the driveway to avoid running over the pups. I confined all of them to the kennel while I pulled the car into the garage out of the storm. Two of the pups escaped before I could get thecar pulled in.

26 June:Andes Andy falls down the stairs from the garage landing. She hangs onto one of the stairs and is frightened, but seems to bounce back just fine.

25 June: Sierra and Andes take a nap with me. Ahh ... bonding is so sweet.

24 June: The pups will all come greet you when you enter their zone now.

24 June: K2 Katy takes a tumble and seems shaken. She acts frightened when I pick her up the 1st time. I set her down a couple times and after the3rd time or so, she seems all better.

23 June: Moving from tippy toddler to little sprinter's.

22 June: Timmy and Logan get into Dakota and Diamond's dry dog food. Better watch for tummy aches!

21 June: I can't find some ofthe pups in the back yard! I panic. Then I hear a couple squeaks and notice Bear and Everest in the violets behind the kennel, and Andes.But where is Fuji? I look and call. Dakota finally stands near another part of the area outside the kennel with her nose in the violets.There's Fuji, peacefully sleeping

20 June: McKinley's teeth are definitely in. I can feel Timmy's teeth, but aren't as developed as McKinley's.

20 June: I held 3 of the pups while mowing the grass. All were very calm. Everest gave a couple puppy barks when Istopped the mower. Mowing nearthe pups, all recognized noise but noneshied away (unlike Dakota).

22 June: K2 gives me such nice kisses. 

19 June: McKineley's front teeth are coming in. Ande also, but not as much.

18 June: I find Everest outside whelping pool mid-morning. I guess my daughter hasn't been making up stories. Are they crawling up their littermateswhen nursing, then get dumped out of the pool if Dakota gets up? Timmy is next out.

18 June:The puppies ears are working. They perk up when I enter the room (or maybe they are going by smell?), but also react to the noise of thegarage door and voices.

17 June: two more are out

17 June: Andes plays with a toy. Rocky gives me a kiss on the chin when I hold him.

16 June - Let the games begin --Allison left a note on the kitchen counter: "On my way to work. 2-3pups were out of the pool thismorning."". A little later she sent a text message: black ribbon (Rocky)was on the stairs, red ribbon (McKinley) was under the trampoline in back yard, and purple (Andes) was outside the pool. Go figure. These pups are less than 3 weeks old.

They're all toddling on all fours, but climbing out of the whelping pen? creeping that far away? did they climb over a two-deep stack to getout? Or ...did Diamond or Dakota move them? why?

I movedthewhelping pool to the driveway in the sun. This seemed to upset them. So moved it over by the tree. It wasn't as bright there. And maybe cooler, 
When some were calling out, I put all of them in the grass. It seemed to calm everyone down and they stayed there over an hour, creeping, crawling, and dozing.

I carry Fuji to pick our cherries from the trees and she lays in my arms so calmly, little legs just dangling down. So gentle.Not sure who's calmer, she or Bear.

Moving the pool back into the garage for the night and putting the heat lampon, the puppies really seem to be playing with each other -- biting each other on the mouth, pawing at each other. Some seem to scratch themselves, too. When they're placed back into the whelping pool, they seem to move towards their litter mates.

11 June - ALL of their eyes are WIDE open ! And all seem so calm, even when it's been awhile since Dakota's fed them. 

7 June -  As I walk to the back yard to meet a new friend of Allison's, I note one of the 10 pups is unhappy. It's the light blue male. I pick him up, and he quiets down right away. Then falls asleep in my arms. I tried holding him on his back on my lap. He's very settled. So sweet. So comforting, for  both of us. I think I'm in love ...

But the bad news is that when I see Dakota, her right eye looks different. Looking closer, it's swollen beneath the eye and looks like it has an infection. Did she get hit? walk into a stick? I'll use a warm cloth and wipe it off, apply some bactiracin zinc ointment and look to take her to Dr. Morath tomorrow. I never have health problems with my girls! Poor Dakota.  

3 June - Timponogos (Timmy)'s little legs are strong.

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