They are here, and they are black! Jolly has always had all-black puppies, but they usually have white markings on their chests and toes. In this litter, the puppies have very little white markings. Oh, the fun we are going to have telling them apart because there are 6 gorgeous puppies! So, without further ramblings from me, here they are!
NOTE: Be sure to click on their names or pictures to go to their individual pages for more details & photos!
Meet Ranger! He is named Ranger because he is a "Lone Ranger" in that he is the only male in the litter. He was born 5th of the crew, and after 4 girls, I was wondering if we were going to have any boys! He is also named Ranger in honor of the old radio drama "Ranger Bill" that my husband and boys adore. We hope Ranger will have a dose of courage and bravery like Ranger Bill.
Here we have - Charity! Charity was the last born in the litter. She has a small white mark on her chest. She is named Charity because our 3 oldest boys just finished memorizing the majority of the love chapter in the Bible (1 Corinthians 13), and, in the King James Version of the Bible, love is called charity. We always name one of our puppies a Bible name to honor God as the Creator and Sustainer of life. We are grateful to HIM for allowing us the privilege of a healthy litter of puppies.
Next up is - Ebony! Ebony is an all-black girl. She has a tiny, barely visible dot of white on her chest. She is named Ebony because, in a litter of 6 black puppies, one HAS to be named Ebony or Midnight or something along those lines! (If JJ would've had his way, she would've been Blackie, but we persuaded him to name her something a bit more eloquent!)
And this little gal is named Jewel! Like her sister, Ebony, she is completely black with a very tiny dot of white on her chest. She is named Jewel because jewels are precious and beautiful. In addition, we studied jewels in our homeschool this year.
Meet Pollyanna! Our little Pollyanna has 4 white tipped feet. She is named in honor of the book Pollyanna, which we are currently reading aloud as a family. We hope our puppy Pollyanna brings much gladness into a home just like the storybook character Pollyanna.
And here's dear Sasha! Sasha has 3 slightly white-tipped feet. She is named Sasha because as we tried to name 5 girls, we had to resort to the online lists of names. Sasha jumped out to my husband and son CJ. It means "helper of mankind." We hope Sasha will be a helper to a family in a special way in the future.
If you're new to Russell Homestead, let me tell you as well that each of our children "adopt" a puppy as "theirs" for the 8 weeks they reside here. AJ (age 6) picked Pollyanna because he wanted one with white feet. CJ (age 5) picked Sasha because he liked the name right from the start. JJ (age 3) didn't have too much of an opinion on which puppy, except he wanted "Blackie." So, after persuading him to name his Ebony, she's now his. We gave Charity to MJ (age 2) because she's the easiest to pick out from the litter. And, never fear, Ranger & Jewel will receive lots of love & attention as well! The children love them all; it is just fun to claim one.
All the puppies were 8 oz at birth, which is somewhat unusual to have such uniform sizes with 6 puppies. 8 oz is a perfect, healthy birth weight for mini schnauzers. Perhaps their uniformity in size AND color AND gender (almost) is what makes it a bit more difficult to tell them apart.
So, how are we planning to tell them apart? Obviously, Ranger is a given. Charity, too, with her larger white patch is easy to pick out. Pollyanna and Sasha are our 2 white-toed gals. Pollyanna has 4 white feet, and Sasha only 3, but Sasha's fourth foot has a few white hairs, too - making it quite difficult to tell them apart. To tell these two apart, I marked Sasha's front toenails with a red sharpie. I want to apply as little as possible to her skin. Ebony and Jewel are also difficult to distinguish. So, I put red sharpie on Ebony's back toes. We shall see how well it stays on. We will put collars on them in a few weeks, but not yet.
You may be curious as to why we want to tell them apart at this young age before families have picked them out. The reason is we weigh them at least twice daily at this young age to ensure they are gaining weight. Weight gain is one of the best ways to make sure the puppies are healthy at this stage. We need to know each puppy apart from the other to make sure each one is gaining weight. In addition, we like to take a personal approach to each puppy and each family taking them home. We want to learn to know each one in a special way.
And let's not forget about Dad! He is not allowed to be with the puppies yet. He can see and smell from outside the whelping area, but not play with them. He knows they are there, and he knows his buddy, Jolly, isn't out to play. Yesterday afternoon, I found Cooper all cuddled up with EJ on a blanket in the yard.
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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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