Samantha was bred to our handsome Jackson via Frozen Semen on March 10th. We hope for and expect puppies around May 9th. The "Sammy Jackson Litter" is a play using both their
call names - we call her Sammy. The puppies will have registered names that are titles of movies that feature Samual L. Jackson ... it was too good of a theme not to go forward. LOL Expecting OUTSTANDING
structure and temperment from this combination. Please follow the links to read more about the sire and dam of this litter.
Week 1 - May 8th
This first week was quite eventful. The babies were born on Sunday May 8, 2016. Sammi went into her initial first stage of labor around 7 pm… beginning to be restless, digging up the box and panting a bit.
No contractions and no distress though. She was fine. Around 9 pm, she started into her real labor… She was whining, panting heavier and very agitated… I knew it would be a long night.
This stage lasted for about an hour and at 10:04 pm the first baby was born. The last baby was born at 12:49 - so not too bad. The growth chart includes the collar colors, their birth weights,
weekly weights, birth times, etc… All the babies were vigorous at birth. They all were quite willing to nurse and were of similar birth weights. I had high hopes that we’d have 3 boys and 3 girls.
With all the babies vigorous and nursing – I laid down to get some sleep.
Monday morning, May 9th – we started with some challenges. Sammi didn’t want to eat. She had been drinking water and had some ice cream during her whelping –and did great.
But, Monday morning, she was running a temp and didn’t want to eat or drink. Off to the vet we went. The vet said her vitals were good but she was running a temp - she thought probably a
bit of a uterine infection – so we put her antibiotics and gave her a shot to kick it off. Within an hour, Sammi had settled in the with the babies and was taking great care of them.
She started eating chicken and yogurt by that afternoon and the babies were all still vigorous. I felt good.
On Tuesday, May 10th, I stated to notice that Aqua girl and Yellow boy didn’t seem to be doing as well as the others. They were all still vigorous and it’s not uncommon for newborns to
lose a little of their birth weight initially, and then gain it back. So I watched them. No one was lethargic and Sammi was eating well and taking great care of the babies – so I decided
to just continue to monitor them. As long as the mother is taking care of the babies, I really make an effort to be fairly “hands off” the first few days. I don’t want to stress her out and
if the babies are doing well – I don’t need to help… I just need to give Sammi lots of pets, and chicken and yogurt. I am still sleeping in the puppy room with Sammi and the babies – she
is getting the hang of going in and out and not stepping on them. And she’s getting in rounding them up to nurse.
On Wednesday, May 11th, Sammi woke up with a fever again… the meds weren’t taking care of things like they should…so back to the vet with Sammi I went first thing. While spending more time
with the Sammi and the babies before heading off to the vet, I noticed that Aqua girl was very noisy when she nursed – she was aspirating milk too. I looked closer and unfortunately –
She had a cleft pallet. I hadn’t noticed it initially. She wouldn’t do well… So, when I took Sammi in to see the vet, I took all the babies too. Sammi got a different antibiotic
shot and some different pills. If these pills didn’t kick this infection… this could get bad. My vet checked all the babies over, and took their dew claws off. She confirmed Aqua did
have a cleft pallet. Sad. The last time I saw one of those was 16 years ago – in a total outcross breeding. It sucks – but we said Good Bye to Aqua girl that day.
Cleft pallet puppies can live if you tube feed them and if you do surgery around 7-8 weeks, etc… but they can still have other problems. I made the choice to let her go.
We went home with 5 babies, Sammi on two antibiotics and hopes that things would get easier soon. Also on May 11th, I started the "Early Neurological Stimulation" protocol. I’ve done
this with my last few litters and think that it makes a difference in helping the puppy learn to cope with stress and stressful situations. Follow the link in this email to learn more
about the program. By Wednesday afternoon, Sammi was eating again and settled. Fingers were crossed that things were getting better.
Thursday was uneventful – Sammi was eating well, pups were all vigorous and nursing. All growing, except for Yellow Boy who just wasn’t. I decided to focus on yellow boy for the next
few days. I got a great – high caloric – puppy milk replacement recipe from a good friend and made up a big batch of that for the weekend… I would supplement yellow and try to help him
catch up as we went into May 13-14.
Week 2 – May 15th
Sunday, May 15th – we were on Day 5 of the 13 day Neurological Stimulation process – the babies were doing well. They were starting to get used to my antics and were not protesting as
much during the process. Sammi was not as concerned with my antics as she was initially, but she watched me like a hawk with each baby. I had been working with yellow boy extra all
weekend and could only manage to get him up 1 oz over his birth weight. The other puppies dwarfed him…He was vigorous, he wanted to nurse – but I noticed all weekend, that he would
aspirate as well after nursing. I looked – but couldn’t see any cleft issues in his mouth… This was tough… Sammi was doing well – no fever in several days and she was being a great
mom. The puppies and box were spotless and really very content. At this point, I decided that she had the mothering thing down and started sleeping back in my bed! YEAH!!!!
Continued from Sunday, May 15th – We had to take Vidarr, our Irish Wolfhound to the Emergency Vet at 10 pm that night! HE had started coughing up phlegm and was feeling crappy.
The bad part with wolfies is that Kennel Cough can turn into pneumonia quickly … so we jumped on this. Luckily, he did only have kennel cough – picked up from the dog shows the end of
April. We had chest xrays done and he was put on antibiotics for a week. So, now – we have a kennel cough wolfhound in the house with new babies and a 14 ½ year old senior…. UGGGGHHHHH
I was trying to stay away from Vidarr too, so that I wouldn’t infect the other dogs that were under my watch… what a DAY!
Monday and Tuesday continued on with me giving extra help to Yellow boy. The other babies (Pink and Green are the girls, Red and White are the boys) were growing by leaps and bounds.
Sammi is eating 1 ½ bags of chicken a day, plus a large container of whole milk yogurt AND now eating some kibble too. She is making enough milk for 12 babies… So the four “Moose Puppies”
are doing great! Little yellow just isn’t growing… I make the decision on Wednesday, May 18th to have Yellow put to sleep. He is not growing… and I don’t know why. After our vet
puts him to sleep, she takes a better look and he does have a cleft pallet – way in the back. poor pup… he didn’t have a chance. So, it was sad and hard to do - but the right thing
for the baby. Now we are down to 4. I am still continuing the Early Neurological Stimulation - I’ll go through May 23rd with that. Sammi is now off all her meds and doing well.
Eating well, no fever. Drinking well – producing LOTS of Milk! Red, White, Green and Pink are very content. They eat and sleep. We really don’t hear too much out of those 4 as Sammi
attends to their every need. Good Momma dog!!!
Saturday, May 21 – eyes are starting to open and we have our first escapee! Red boy is out of the box! He is un-happy about his situation and Sammi is having a fit! She can’t figure
out how to get that baby back in the box! There is trauma in the land! Mike goes in and saves the day by picking up Red boy – putting him back in the box and putting the half door
up on the box entrance. LOL The FINAL FOUR are doing great though. Vidarr has stopped coughing and none of the other dogs seem to have caught his cough either, so that’s a very good thing!
Week 3 – May 22
Sunday, May 22nd – The babies have their first outing. We take them out on the puppy room porch for a few minutes on a blanket… just to let them start to smell the outside. Sammi is
right there with them and they are OK. They are stressed a bit – but OK.
Monday, May 23rd – we finish the Early Neurological Stimulation protocol. By this time, the pups are used to these strange positions… and fairly compliant. They have come a long way from
flailing about to know hardly putting up much struggle. Sammi will now lay outside of the box at times and just watch them. She does not feel that she has to be in the box every minute
of the day. The 4 puppies are quite content and are doing well. They got wormed today for the first time. That was yucky…but more got in the puppies than on the puppies…so it’s all good.
We have not heard Vidarr cough since Saturday, but we pick up another week of antibiotics for him and get his lungs re-Xrayed…. They still look clear. It appears that we treated his cough
quickly and staved off anything more severe!!! YEAH!!!!
Tuesday – Saturday – Life is good. Babies are eating, Sammi is eating. Everyone is content. No more puppy issues and we are getting the kennel cough addressed… We MIGHT make it through
this litter… LOL The weather has been hot and somewhat wet – but we get the puppies out for just a few minutes each night. We will work on the puppy porch this coming weekend.
Monday – May 30th – The puppies world just doubled. I put their expanded pen on their box. So now they have a nice soft fleece covered area and well as a paper covered area. I removed
their pig rail and added some new toys for them to start to interact with too. I will start offering them water this week and will begin to offer some gruel. I will use Gerber Rice
baby cereal with powdered goats milk and a dollop of greek yogurt to start this week. Their ears are open, they can see now too. And they are starting to play and interact with each
other. This is the beginning of the really cute age. I will post more pictures, more frequently to FACEBOOK – so please do look there. I will try to get some up daily now that they
are doing more than just sleeping.
Sammi is doing great as are the four babies. Vidarr is well and fingers crossed… we are heading into a busy – but much easier time with this litter.
Week 4 - June 5th
What a FUN Week!! The babies are really starting to get fun now. Their personalities are starting to come through and they are beginning to act like little dogs. :)
This week they have started to get their teeth in and typically during this week, I begin to introduce goats milk/baby rice cereal gruel and start the babies on weaning. I don't take
the momma away - but as their teeth come in, the mommas typically will start the wean the babies on their own...... Well, not this crew! They have NO interest in my gruel offering and
Sammi has NO interest in letting them do anything but nurse still. She is being a SUPER MOMMA!!! She loves these babies and keeps them pristine. I still have not picked up/seen
any puppy poop. Samantha stays in the Puppy room with them,,but spends a good part of her time just laying next to the box watching and supervising their antics. I will continue
to offer gruel and mix in some pulverized kibble this week. But, I don't plan to remove Sammi from them for quite a while.
The babies have lots of toys now to play with and both sides of their whelping box - they will likely be in their box for another week or so and then I will move them to an ExPen. They have
outside several times this week and as you'll see from this weeks pictures, we were able to be out on the grass this afternoon. The humidity broke and we had a lovely evening.Today, they had
their first visitors Nadine and Scott - our wolfhounds co-breeder - came to visit today. They commented on how coordinated these 4 week old babies are compared to wolfhounds. :)
In a week or so, I will add in a tunnel to their world. I also have a little mini dog walk out in the puppy yard and will offer other interactive toys as they get bigger.
Sammi did great as a first time mom with strangers visiting her babies. She watched and monitored the whole time, but was absolutely fine with visitors holding her pups.
The pups were out of the box, running around on the tile floor.... playing, hiding, growling and barking at each other and all the people. It was a great time.
Now, a little about the babies:
Green Girl: She is smallest of this litter - but still very good sized. She has a longer muzzle and a coarse, straight coat. Green girl is bossy and will bark and growl a
you to pick her up. Then, as soon as you do that she struggles and growls to get down. She is happy to go off and play by herself and loves to pounce on her brothers and sisters.
Pink Girl: She is the biggest girl. She has a shorter muzzle and will have long, ample coat. Pink is the snuggle puppy of the litter. Pink will come up and crawl into your lap
and then site there sweetly to get petted. Pink is photogenic and very people oriented.
White boy: White boy is the biggest of the litter. White is the explorer. He is fearless and runs to see new things. White is a sweet baby too. He will cuddle up for pets and
is perfectly fine to sleep on his back in your arms. White has a coarse straight coat.
Red boy: Red Boy is Mr. Outgoing. Red is very people oriented and the first to seek out people for interaction. Red will crawl up in your lap and paw to get your attention
He loves to be held and will chew on your finger or your nose quickly. Red has a straight, coarse coat too.
I am very pleased with the outgoing and confident personalities of these babies. They are all very people oriented and I think everyone will be very happy with their puppy!
Week 6 - June 19
What a fun couple of weeks we've had! The babies are doing great!
They all have a full set of needle sharp puppy teeth and I can't imagine how a Sammi is doing it - but she still wants them to nurse. I am starting to wean them off of her somewhat
by separating her from them from time to time. They still have not been very interested in my puppy gruel - so I do keep hard kibble in their pen (which Sammi eats most of it).... but today,
I warmed up some chicken cubes and they were HAPPY to eat the chicken... so that's what I'll use in the kibble.
The last two weeks have seen the babies up on their feet and using themselves well. I have been able to see movement and structure this past week the most - as they are now
not sliding around... they actually move in a straight line. There is not a bad rear in this bunch nor is there a bad front. I am very pleased with their structure.
As you look at the photos - please keep in mind that these 6 weeks photos are their first time on a grooming table. They were not pleased with being up off the ground so high and
were not very interested in the yogurt. Pink girl is NOT as wide in the front and rear as she looks... She was just not being cooperative. The stacked photos will improve as
they get more used to the table.
White: Still quite the confident boy. Yesterday he was carrying around a stick that was probably 2 feet long in their outside pen. I am surprised he didn't close-line himself.
LOL.he loves to be petted and is very people oriented, but he also is very confident and goes out exploring quite frequently. White has full, longer coat.
Red: Red is the sweeter, more cuddly boy. Red is confident as well, but he would rather sit next to me and chew on my shoe strings then to venture off on his own.
Red has a more coarse, straight coat still. Red has a bit more length of muzzle then white.
Pink: Pink is the sweet cuddly girl. She is very sweet and loves to be with people. She has TONS of coat and a bit shorter in the muzzle. She has more of a wedge shaped head.
She has a lovely eye shape. Again, she is NOT as wide in the front and rear as her photos would have you believe.
Green: Green is the sassy girl. Green has coarse, straight coat and this past week, caught up to her sister in weight. Green spent several evenings last week telling Tinker
how she was gonna tear her up through the horse board fence. Green is fearless. She is confident.
This has been the first week that I've really been able to see structure and movement and they are starting to develop personalities. Like I said before, there is not a bad
rear or front in the litter. They are very consistent. And, they are having more trips out to the big yard and into the house. They are in an Expen at night and spend a
good amount of their days loose in the puppy room. I have a small hard sided crate in their expen now , in a few weeks I will start to get them used to crates too.
Week 9 - July 10
This was a really fun week - with decisions made and names finalized. These babies are really so much fun and they have been very easy to raise. They had their first visit to the vet this week.
All puppies were examined - all hearts sound good, no hernias, patellas feel good, bites are good shape (meaning no overshot or undershot), ears - coming up, eyes clear - all in good shape.
They received their first DA2PP vaccine, their bordetalla vaccine and each pup was microchipped with a Home Again chip. No vaccination reactions occurred on any pup. Stool check was
negative, and I will do another one before they leave. I don't personally vaccinate against lepto here in Ohio - but if it is prevalent in your area - consider doing it separately from
the other vaccines. Some dogs can have reactions to that one - so keep it separate. Also, I don't do Lymes or Corona vaccines here either. Those are two other vaccines that you should
speak with your vet about and set up a schedule if needed.
I typically do 3 - DA2PP vaccines at 8, 11 and 14 or 16 weeks. I typically do rabies somewhere in the 5-6 month range. I will also usually do JUST a PARVO booster at the 9 -10 month time
frame too the first year. Then annually - as you and your vet agree.
Puppies weights at their vet visit were:
Batiste (White boy) - 16 lbs 11 oz
Flynn (Red boy) - 13 lbs 15 oz
Sasha (Pink girl) - 12 lbs 7 oz
Jules (Green girl) - 12 lbs 6 oz
We have spent quite a bit of time with the babies this week... They are very interactive and love to be with people. They have spent time with both of their Grandmas (Cara and Bacardi)
this week too. Both of those girls LOVE puppies and are great with them - even though Bacardi will be 15 in August...she wanted to be out with the babies. Cara loves them too. The pups
looked for teats on both the old girls and then decided that was a futile effort and just ran around and licked their mouths. The pups have been out in the big yard quite a bit too this
week and love exploring the grass and trees, under the deck too! They do well with short sets of steps (like 2 or 3) - haven't done a full set. So, if you have stairs, please do watch
them as I will not be encouraging them to do full sets of steps at this time.
They have been on tile and hard wood inside, have had bedding in their inside pen. Have been on cement, cement blocks, gravel, grass, dirt, etc... outside. They have not spent time
on carpet - so watch them on your carpet. That will probably seem like their sheepskin bedding - which they will urinate on...So , keep an eye on them on carpet.
Some personality traits that we've noticed are:
Batiste(white) - he is the biggest and a lap dog. He LOVES to squeak toys and is the best at finding the squeaker in all of their toys. He will run full on to you and jump in your lap -
so be ready. He will be a big, easy going dog. His white tip on his front foot is almost all filled in. He will always have the white blaze on his chest though. But it's not DQ by any means.
Sasha(pink) - Sasha feels it is appropriate to have at least one front foot in the water bowl when she drinks from it. I would advise putting a water proof mat under the water bowl and
making sure the bottom is non-skid. Given her choice - she loves to dig in the water bowl too... When she was younger, she was a bit reserved... I thought that would be a better
fit for your "new to Belgian puppy family".... sorry, but she has become very outgoing, loves to roll around and tumble with her sibs and is not demure at all. :) She has needle sharp teeth
- and we are working on bite inhibition with all of them,,,
Flynn (red)- Flynn is a thinker. He loves toy that squeak and toys that crinkle - he loves empty water bottles and rope toys. He loves to chase and catch the toys and then he runs
over to the wolf hound bed or to a crate to chew on the toy. He will sit on your lap for a minute, but then he is off to explore. As soon as he hears "PUP, PUP, PUP"
he is running back to the person for pets.
Jules (Green) - she is the pip squeak of the bunch...She has always been very confident and self assured. She runs and jumps on the other puppies, tumbles and rolls with all of them.
She is the puppy that stands up on her back feet to try to look the big dogs in the eye when they are on other sides of the fence.
All of these babies are confident, love to be with people and respond to "PUP, PUP, PUP" in a high pitched voice right now. They are not lead broken yet, never been on or seen.
We'll see if that is a priority before they leave. They are all working on getting their ears up.
We are feeding Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy - Chicken formula at this time.