Kennel Patio

Recently we have been fostering a new plan to; ease mowing, avoid mud pits at the entry, deter digging and make our outdoor kennel more appealing to the eye. While we are grateful for the functionality, we’ve felt the need for improvements. Presently, we do have the ability to lock the dogs in the very large concrete area of the indoor/outdoor kennel. While, if we allow, the dogs can have access to a safe grassy play area when we are otherwise engaged. Now is the time for an upgrade.

The take down

Fortunately for us, we have Brian who is our workhorse that gets things done. I on the other hand, conjure up all kinds of plans to keep him busy.

Puppies ready for expansion

We have been blessed by a beautiful spring. Unfortunately, all good things do have their limits and that includes temperate weather. The puppies have figured out that air conditioning is preferable to heat and humidity and beg to be back inside. Considering there are fourteen, there is not enough play space in the living room for them all day. What these pups really need is a safe space where they can run and play or rest safely in the shade when supervision is unavailable.

Laying the blocks

Tomorrow, if the weather holds, Brian will reassemble the fencing while Cara and I will be traveling to pick up her Haflinger, Sonya after getting bred. Stephanie will be in charge of puppy duty. Thankfully, she has really begun to take initiative in the care of the pups, which frees others to pursue other tasks.

Puppy Bath Time

Mesa is doing a great job with the pups, but some days 14 can be a bit much. Today we decided to assist with the bathing. The puppies are pottying on their own and when we have them separated in two groups Mesa can’t get to some for clean up maintenance. So, Hannah, Stephanie and I bathed the whole brood. They were very good and only a couple fussed a little when they were getting their clean Velcro collars put on.

Hannah and Stephanie enjoying the process.

Below was the reaction by nearly every single puppy.

Foundations of Character Litter Mesa x Hank Two Weeks

Today we celebrate Memorial Day, remembering those who have given their lives that we may be free.

As I reflect on the state or our nation; the turmoil of the season we’re in, I think of what we were built on. Nation’s without moral character have never stood the test of time. John Adams once stated “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Ultimately, our foundation is in Christ. Raising and selling puppies has been a joy bringing both believer’s and nonbeliever’s into our lives and for that we are very thankful.

Faith 1#9.6 oz Black and Tan Female
Virtue 1# 11.8 oz Sable Female
Purity 1# 15.3 oz Sable Female
Joy 1# 14.1 oz Sable Female
Patience 1# 14.3 oz Sable Female
Wisdom 1# 15.8 oz Black and Tan Male
Honor 2# 1.4 oz Black and Tan Male
Perseverance “Percy” 1# 14.5 oz Sable Male
Loyalty “Loyal” 2# 0.7oz Black and Tan Male
Temperance 2# 1.5 oz Black and Tan Female
Humility 1#13.9 oz Black and Tan Female
Courage 2# 1.7 oz Black and Tan Male
Charity 2# Sable Female
Hope 1# 15.3oz Minimal Tri-color Female

Early Neurological Stimulation

We are again trying to utilize the Puppy Culture program to best prepare the puppies for their futures. The first couple of days all we do is weigh the puppies ensuring they are obtaining adequate growth.

Beginning with day three we institute the Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) protocols. Below is a video explaining why and how we perform this on each puppy.

We’re Back

I am sorry for my very long absence. My mother unexpectedly became ill and I had to drop everything to assist in her care. With her passing and the settling of her estate, I forgot how to even access the login page. Now, with the wonderful assistance of my website builder Tony Bierman, I am back!

I will try to update some of the happenings in our absence as I become more proficient. In the mean time the big news is the arrival of Mesa’s new litter. Here is the most recent photo of all the English Shepherds. Well, that’s not working for me right now, but I’ll keep trying!

Our Girls

Hog Butchering

Saturday morning we butchered our first hog. Brian stunned the pig, he and Sarah got him tied to the bucket of Sarah’s tractor. Then Brian lifted the bucket, Sarah slit his throat to have him bleed out.

Hannah and Sarah washing and scrubbing the pig.

We had hoped to do a hog roast, but we don’t have the right set up or knowledge. None of us wanted to risk the pig catching on fire and we couldn’t locate any experienced help. So, we opted to just skin the pig this time.

Sarah readying the pig for gutting.

After gutting and setting aside a bunch of goodies for the dogs. Sarah set to work skinning the pig. Then Brian lowered the pig for cutting.

Sarah cutting off the hocks.

Then we set to work cutting out the pork tenderloins and removing shoulders, belly and hams.

Sarah prepping cuts for Brian and the Sawzall.
We cut and cleaned the meat into portions for roasting.

We cut up some scraps for the dogs and took the organs and other delicacies to the house to cut up and freeze for the dogs in the future. We also washed the pigs feet, head, and ears for the dogs. The English Shepherds will get some along with the big dogs on Raw Tuesdays, our regular raw feeding day. The Livestock Guardian Dogs all got a foot when we finished. We were very pleased to have everything cleaned up by 11 a.m.

Roxie enjoying her pig’s foot in the privacy of the porch.
Moof the hoarder, after I returned the others to Baron and Nova.
Nova enjoying her returned prize.
Harry Wonder “Baron” munching away.

I couldn’t stand how much blown coat was matted on Baron. So, after a visit from a friend to socialize puppies, poor Baron’s number came up. He was so very good with all the brushing. It really came out nice and thankfully Sarah joined me later for the better part of an hour.

One trimmed, defloofed dog ready for a party this coming Saturday.

Gizmo/Mesa “Faces of America” Week Three

Wow, three weeks already! Fall is upon us and the decorations are festive. May our hearts rejoice in the bounty and privilege we have in this beautiful country in which we live.

Mesa, Gizmo, and their brood
Sojourner Truth “Journey” 2# 9 oz Sable Longtail Female.

An abolitionist and women’s rights activist who won her son’s freedom as the first black woman to succeed in court against a white man.
Rosa Parks “Rosa” 2# 5 oz Tri-color Longtail Female

Named by Congress as “the first lady of civil rights and the mother of the freedom movement”. She is most well known for refusing to give her seat on the bus in Montgomery Alabama to a white passenger.
Katherine Johnson “Katherine” 2# 11oz Tri-color Longtail Female.

One of three black students to be the first to integrate West Virginia’s graduate school. After much work at NASA went on to supply the calculations necessary to link the Apollo Lunar Module with the lunar orbiting Command and Service Module.
Sacagawea 2# 5oz Sable Bob-tail Female

Her vast knowledge and ingenuity was the saving grace of Lewis & Clark’s expedition.
Clara Barton “Clara” 2# 12 oz Sable Bobtail Female

A hospital nurse during the Civil war who went on to be the founder and first president of the Red Cross..
Mary Musgrove “Mary” 2# 4oz Sable Longtail Female

A pivotal biracial English/Native American woman that used her mixed heritage and language skills to help negotiate between Native American and English communities in Colonial Georgia.
Booker T. Washington “Booker” 2# 11 oz Sable Bob-tail Male

Last of a generation of Black American leaders born into slavery that was the voice of the former slaves and their descendants. He served as advisor to multiple presidents of the US and was an educator, author and orator.
Abigail Adams “Abigail” 2# 10oz Sable Longtail Female

Abigail is sometimes considered to be a founder of the United States of America due to her vast written interchange on government and politics in her copious letters to her husband, the second president of the United States, John Adams and mother of later president John Quincy Adams.
Harriet Tubman “Harriet” 2# 9oz Tri-color Longtail Female

An escaped American slave who worked as an abolitionist freeing approximately 70 slaves through the Underground Railroad.
Pocahontas Sable 2# 10 oz Bob-tail Female

Pocahontas and her people were instrumental in helping the people of Jamestown establish as a colony.
William Bradford “Bradford” 3# 5oz Sable Longtail Male

Bradford was one of the framers of the historic Mayflower Compact, a set of rules for self-governance established by the English settlers. Bradford knew life without laws could prove catastrophic and to ensure a functioning social structure for society his leadership was instrumental in forming the precursor of a government for the people and by the people.
Chief Joseph “Chief” 2# 12 oz Sable Longtail Male

The Nez Perce chief who replied “From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever” as his dilapidated tribe of mostly women and children surrendered to the U.S. Calvary. Chief Joseph lead one of the most noted trails of battle. For three months the Nez Perce out maneuvered the US Calvary traveling over 1,170 miles and ending only 40 miles from the Canadian Border.
Easier said than done!
Rosa, Sacagewea, Abigail, Mary, Bradford, Clara, Chief, Harriet, Katherine, Pocahontas, Booker,and Journey.

Mesa and the Struggles of a New Mom

Well, Mesa’s impatient brood had her in a pickle last night. We had to put a little taller entrance into the pen due to the puppies pig piling and making a near breech. This made it a bit awkward for Mesa to get in and situated without stepping on her puppies. She was just too slow and they mobbed her, poor girl couldn’t figure out how to get situated.

Poor girl doesn’t know which way to go
“Help!!!! I just want to lie down to feed you?!”

Puppy Culture Firsts: Lapping From a Bowl

“Katherine Johnson” was struggling with her bottle feeding when the nipple got plugged from the yogurt in the formula. We had been planning on introducing the litter to the bowl later in the day, but this was a good first opportunity for us. With Hannah’s assistance, Katherine caught on quickly.

“Katherine Johnson”

We were encouraged by several more experienced breeders to use The Leerburg puppy formula over The Puppy Culture recipe. We have been blessed to find a local goat farm that we are bartering our homegrown pastured raised broiler chickens for raw goat milk. We use whole milk yogurt, raw egg yolks, Karo Syrup and the raw goat milk, the puppies love it! I’ve been wanting the stainless puppy feeding pans, but I felt they were quite large for such young pups. Providentially, I was at Menard’s the other night while the girls were in town for youth group and I found these smaller feeding pans; The two smaller pans cost less than one large one and have the rubber rim to help hold it in place. Honestly, the stainless is plenty heavy and should last for a long time to come….,with care; not if we run them over with the tractor! We use the regular Leerburg stainless dog bowls, but tractor abuse is not covered under warranty.

Formula supplies

We were so successful with Katherine we decided to give the whole litter a chance during outside time.

Stephanie basking in puppy kisses while I warmed their formula.
Puppies trying to find the goods all over Hannah
Drawing the puppies to the milk formula
Puppies eating their fill

Well, what a successful mess! We were glad to feed them outside, but as much as I had hoped with the smaller bowls the puppies still were a sticky milk covered mess. So, a bedding switch while the puppies were out, then a sponge bath before they were settled.

Clean content puppies all snuggled in

Puppy Culture Firsts Going Outside

The weather has been absolutely delightful. Very cool nights with warm sunny afternoons. So, after a busy, fun filled weekend and a exhausting day trip, I needed some grounding time. What better opportunity to take twelve busy sweet bumpkins for their first exposure to the great outdoors.

Out we go!
Rosa was the first to tumble and toddle off the blanket.
Cat giving all the pups a chance to experience the grass.

Quickly, we found the stress a bit much, and helped the pups back to the familiarity of the blanket. All this could not be done without the help of the girls! Hannah and Stephanie were off screen and Cat is a wonderful assistant.

Puppy cries for comfort

Well, then the hard part came, for a good 45 minutes we talked and cuddled puppies in the sunshine. Cedar came by a couple of times and tried to mother the puppies, but Mesa has no tolerance for her right now. After her banishment she begrudgingly gave Mesa the safety bubble she demands and we all settled in for some deep relaxation. Even Sarah and Cara were able to join us when they got home from work for the day.