Bittersweet is a word I rarely use, but, when I do, it accurately sums up a situation. Sending puppies home is always a bit bittersweet. Bitter because we are saying goodbye; sweet because someone else is saying hello. Bidding this litter goodbye was a bit more bittersweet than usual because this is Jolly's last litter of puppies. It feels like the end of an era for us. Jolly is the first mini schnauzer we ever had in our family, and she has the most delightful, laid back personality. We feel very blessed, indeed, to have raised this litter and watched them go to loving homes. We say a big "thank-you" to all the families who now have a piece of Russell Homestead in their homes. We wish you many happy, healthy years with your new puppy! Below are pictures of each puppy going home.
The puppies are full of life at 7 weeks old! Getting them to sit still for photos is a bit challenging, but I strategically timed the photo shoot after lunch, potty time, and play time. They were somewhat tired, but still wanting to explore the world. Below is Chase ditching photo time for plant chewing.
The puppies’ world expanded quite a bit in the past week. They visited the vet for a health check up. We had a fabulous visit - all the puppies checked out to be healthy! To top it off, they were super well-behaved. No whining, barking, or crying! And not a single accident on the way there, at the vet, or on the way home, which is a real indication they are on their way to being crate trained. Below are some photos from the vet visit; I had some handsome helpers along as well.
We also continued to give them lots of new experiences. Many of these happened without any staging on my part because the puppies are part of our family life right now. The puppies explored our play area outside, felt mulch beneath their feet, and saw swings (complete with children swinging), a picnic table, and a play house. They also heard, smelled, and saw a children’s riding toy. One dear puppy even experienced a short (and supervised) ride on the toy while being held by MJ. They saw someone climbing on a step ladder, heard a helicopter overhead, and listened to a weed eater through the window. And lots more things that I likely didn’t even think about! We believe early, positive experiences with new environments and objects can help in having a confident adult dog who isn’t fazed by new things.
They already met cats; this week it was baby chicks. The puppies had little interest in the chicks, a reaction that I like to see. They weren’t frightened or compelled to chase.
On a house training note, this litter is doing excellent with going potty outside and in their potty box. As I mentioned above, they are well on their way to being crate trained. I tell our new puppy families that their puppy won’t be house broken when she/he comes home, but the puppy will be very ready for crate training. (For more on how we prepare for crate training, read my past blog posts – Part 1 and Part 2.) One product we do put to use several times a day to keep the puppies’ whelping area clean is Life’s Abundance Biodeodorizer. This is hands-down my husband’s favorite Life’s Abundance product. The best part is how far it sprays, which means he can stand back far from any mess and spray on the good-smelling liquid to make clean up waaaay more pleasant!
We like the Biodeodorizer because it works naturally to eliminate the source of bad odors. Using only water, alcohol, and unique digestants (i.e. bacterial cultures that are hungry for odor-causing debris), it will effectively clean up any mess your pet might make. It has no dyes, VOCs, phenols, glycol ethers, or phosphates, which means it gives off a pleasant smell rather than a noxious odor. It is safe to use around puppies, and we feel it is the best way to deep-clean potty accidents (especially in carpet).
Before I share the snapshots from the week to close the post, two pictures warranted special note. I caught MJ "reading" to Peanut this week. It was adorable, and Peanut was just hanging out listening to her every word.
This blog post concludes my weekly updates for this litter. Next week, we will be busy getting them ready to go home to their forever families. Check back mid-September for going-home pictures from this litter (or subscribe here not to miss any updates).
Thanks for following along on our 8-week journey with these puppies. We feel very blessed to have the privilege to raise them at this crucial time in their young lives. We hope they will bless many more lives as they move on from here.
**Click on the above pictures for more photos of each puppy. Scroll down on their individual pages for the most recent photos.**
The puppies are really "coming alive" at 5 weeks old. Although they still need long naps, it is not unusual to look in their whelping area and see everyone awake and playing. The children are able to handle them more and spend longer periods of time snuggling with them.
The puppies had lots of new experiences this week - milk, food, collars, outside time, bath time, and a grooming brush. They also briefly met our other adult dogs. Their world is expanding everyday, and we are so pleased with how they are all growing!
We put collars on the puppies this week. They spent lots of time trying to scratch them off, but soon realized their fate was sealed. We use Lupine collars because of their high-quality and their chew guarantee. Lupine will replace any collars that your dog chews or scratches. We've used this guarantee only once before this litter. This time around, Liberty and Miracle scratched their collars enough to damage them and require new ones. Lupine graciously replaced them for us.
Above, the puppies are having their first taste of goat milk. They transitioned quickly from lapping milk to eating softened pieces of food. They still receive a few feedings from Mama a day, but their main source of nutrition is now food. We soak it in goat milk to soften it, but we will gradually lessen the milk amount and softening time. All the puppies love feeding time! We also have started to take them outside to do business after eating.
A big new life experience for the puppies this week was bath time! Above, Liberty is all snuggled up after her bath. Since Jolly doesn't spend time cleaning them anymore, it is now our turn. The first bath is typically easy because they are too shocked to respond. They smell wonderful after the bath with Life's Abundance Revitalizing Shampoo with kiwi and mango scent. After they dried off from their baths, I gave them a very brief brushing session to simply introduce them to the idea.
To close this week, I'll include some photos with the children and the puppies. As you can see, these puppies are well socialized with children! Children (and all the noise they make) are simply a part of their lives. As I've watched my children interact with puppies over the years, I've decided there is a balance when allowing young children to play with puppies. On one hand, the child needs to learn to be gentle, and, on the other hand, the puppy needs to learn how to tolerate hands that don't always know the best way to hold them. We have to be constantly monitoring our children as they handle the puppies. As I think back, when we had our first litter of puppies here at Russell Homestead in 2014, AJ was 4 years old. At age 4, we could not trust him to be alone with the puppies. Now, at 8 years old, he has earned our trust to play with them independently along with CJ, age "almost" 7. They both do a wonderful job of handling the puppies and giving them lots of snuggle time.
Vanessa from Russell Homestead. Follower of the Lord Jesus, wife of my knight in shining armor, mother of 5 wonderful children, and joint-keeper of the Russell homestead. Thanks for stopping by!
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