Saturday, February 21, 2009

Puppy pictures!

I finally managed to find a camera in the house with fresh batteries, a media card, and a working light meter, so we were able to get photos of Honey's pups. It is really hard to photograph wriggly, squirmy puppies! But here are a couple- the rest can be seen on the farm website.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Boys

Lately I've been focusing on the "girls" at the house. With good reason of course! But it's a lot like kids- the more you have, the less pictures you take of the older ones. So when I stumbled on this picture of the boys, I had to post it. This was taken by a friend when we had taken the boys to a walk/run fundraiser.

On the left is Tucker, our yellow lab; center is Bubba, our male English Shepherd; on the right is Cooper, our German Shorthaired Pointer.

Tucker is from Westview Kennels in Elkhart Lake, WI. Both his sire (Calcutta) & dam (Candy) are Champion field Labs- both have fantastic abilities on scenting birds. They definitely passed that on to Tucker. Tucker is an incredibly smart dog; he was evaluated to be a service dog- and was only passed on because the group could only take one pup. He opens doors into the house, figures out how to get out of just about any kennel, and is very agile. He can find a tennis ball in about 15 seconds if he's really trying. One of his favorite things to do is to bring me all the dinner bowls so no one gets left out....

Bubba is from Ann & Jim Beebe in Scales Mound, IL. He came to us from another family who purchased him from Beebe's. They were an older couple who had some health issues and couldn't care for him at the time. I had been researching ES for quite some time, and since we do like to support rescue/rehome if we can, it seemed like a perfect thing to do. Bubba's pedigree goes back to Mohns, Beebe's, Anderson's, and beyond. He's been a great dog for us, although I do wish we had gotten him younger. He loves to take care of the lambs, keeps the rams off me when we're in the pen, and announces when we have visitors.

Cooper came to us from WI GSP Rescue at 11 months. He was turned over to the rescue group because his family couldn't control him anymore. His only problem was lack of appropriate supervision and proper pack order. A word of advice: don't buy a puppy for a child at the beginning of summer, let that child spend all summer playing with it, and then wonder why when the child goes back to school the pup gets naughty..... Cooper is a delight to have; he's very smart, very loving, but typical Shorthair, very demanding. Now that's he's 8, he's starting to slow down a little.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Last quarter moon...& puppies!

Lola popped this morning! And she's pretty darn efficient- 9 pups in 6 hours. Not bad for a first time mom. But we aren't quite done. As I started writing, there was the surprise 10th pup that didn't show up on the xray.

So far the litter consists of 5 Tri males, 3 shaded sable females and 2 Tri females. All the pups are just under 1 lb each. They were all nursing within moments of being cleaned. Lola is doing very well. That's a lot of puppies for her! Thank goodness we feed well!

Let's hope there aren't more surprises.....
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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

First photo of the new family

Honey had no problems popping out 11 puppies during the day. She started labor around 12:30 am and first pup arrived at 1:45am. The last pup arrived at 3:30 pm. She had a LONG day! We will get photos and weights on the pups tonight. They are busy pups already! One pup in particular is crawling/pulling/dragging itself all over- it even managed to crawl out of the whelping area and climb about 4" up the side of the blankets that were set aside to be washed. This one could be trouble! ;)
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Monday, February 9, 2009

Full moon, a lunar eclipse- and puppies!

Apparently we have this "thing" for birthings on special nights. Honey was born on the March19, 2007 new moon solar eclipse; she was bred 2 days before the full moon in December; and her pups are being born the morning of a full moon with a penumbral lunar eclipse.

First pup arrived at 1:45am and so far we are up to 6. Three males, three females. Mostly black & white although one does appear to be a tri. Won't know until later. Lots of "Irish markings"; 1 white factor pup.

Honey's calmed down a lot since it started- taking a break right now. She can use the rest. Me too... She's not done yet- looks like there might be 1 or 2 more.


It's noon and we're at 9. 4M/5F. Mostly B/W; a couple tris (although light on the tan like Bubba); 2 mostly black dorsal/white ventral with tipped tails and socks. And good ole Sparky had to throw in one white factor pup. It's a female with what looks like a "hoodie" of white (except her ears).

I think we're both getting tired.

~~~~~~~~~Update Again!~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well, we weren't done at noon... Honey delivered 2 more pups- 1M/1F. She finished up at 3:30pm. So the total count for today is 11! 5M/6F. Looks like we'll end up with 2 tri's, 2 mostly black with some white, the remainder are black & white with the "Irish" markings.

Honey finally relaxed and had something to eat & drink and then wolfed down some cottage cheese and venison.

I need a drink....

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Lambing has begun!

Our first lamb arrived on Saturday. We had Family Learning Day for 4H and our club serves lunch. So after serving about 200 people and a quick trip to the hardware store, we drove home, past the pasture. Sure enough, I could have sworn I saw a lamb.

Pulled into the driveway, got the farm boots on and headed out to check. A little ewe lamb born at some point in the 50F morning. Definitely a better day to be born than the week before! Made sure she was up and nursing, threw a coat on her and let her stay out with mom. Checked a couple more ewes and we'll probably have a couple more lambs this week.

Honey is getting VERY uncomfortable! I had expected that she would have whelped this weekend- she was restless on Saturday night and didn't sleep much. Pups were doing somersaults and moving all around. But Sunday she either napped or had to pee. Pups must be putting some pressure on her bladder by now. Oldest DD is here now so there will be someone home with her this week. Day 63 is Tuesday. Could be tonight....barometric pressure is just never know.

Lola isn't far behind. She's somewhere between 7-14 days behind. Tough to say with right now. Since she is apparently an induced ovulator, we know WHEN she was bred, but we don't know where she was in her cycle. So- we'll just see how it goes and keep an eye on her.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Bailey pays it forward...

Bailey is a purebred ES whose owners had to give him up due to the economic downturn. He's been adopted & ended up in a GREAT! home though and is now trying to help the Montana ES.

Please take the time to go vote for Bailey. And forward this on to anyone you think might vote. The contest is one vote per person and just this week.

Here's some info from his new owner:
I adopted Bailey from the National English Shepherd Rescue, and I want to "pay it forward." There are 200 English Shepherds that were seized recently in Montana (you can read about it here: and NESR is going to need help with their care. This contest has a first prize of $10,000 to an animal related cause, second is $5,000, and third is $1,000. None of those amounts are something to sneeze at and would greatly help these dogs in need. To help NESR, I entered Bailey in Bissell's 2009 MVP contest. Please vote him into the next round and Spread the word!"

Since the seizure, a fair number of the females have given birth and a dozen or so are still due to whelp soon. So we're heading toward 300 English Shepherds who will, if all goes well, need homes eventually. The trial may not be for a few months. Meanwhile the dogs are in the care of Yellowstone County and a team of hard working volunteers. So the county is on the hook for the care and feeding of all these animals.

National English Shepherd Rescue (NESR) has been helping with donations of food and supplies, plus advice about the peculiarities of English Shepherds in general and feral dogs in particular.

Please Vote For Bailey!