Some new life arrives quietly without anyone noticing, such as was the case with the calla lily outside my window. Other new life arrives with much fanfare and excitement - enter 10 new mini schnauzer puppies into the world!
Yes, you read and counted correctly - TEN! Tachi and Cooper had 10 puppies on August 8, 2019. Tachi had an ultrasound during her pregnancy that simply revealed she was having multiples. (It is difficult to count puppies on an ultrasound.) As the pregnancy progressed, I estimated she was having 6 or 7. However, in the last week, based upon her size, I knew it was going to be a large litter. But 10? That's almost unheard of for mini schnauzers.
Here they are with their birth weights and name stories. As holding with our tradition, each of our five children gets to name and claim a puppy as "theirs" while they are here at Russell Homestead.
Chester is a salt and pepper boy that weighed 8 ounces at birth. He is named after Chester the cricket from A Cricket in Times Square (a book we recently enjoyed as a family read-aloud).
Tracker is a salt and pepper boy who tipped the scales at 5 ounces (tie for the smallest in the litter with his brother, Zuma). CJ wanted the smallest puppy, as did his brother, JJ. I told them there are two little "twins" they can have as theirs for 8 weeks. CJ named him in honor of the Chihuahua on Paw Patrol.
Zuma is a salt and pepper boy who entered the world at 5 ounces (tie for the smallest in the litter with his brother, Tracker). JJ named and claimed him because he also wanted the smallest puppy. He chose Zuma in honor of the chocolate lab on Paw Patrol.
Zeke is a black & silver boy who weighed 8 ounces at birth. He is named in honor of Ezekiel, the prophet in the Old Testament. Out of every litter, we choose at least one Bible name to recognize God as the creator of life.
Amelia, the only salt & pepper girl, came into the world at 8 ounces. AJ chose her as his and named her in honor of Amelia Bedelia.
Ivan is a black & silver boy who debuted at 8 ounces. He is named after his sire, who we affectionately call "Cooper Ivan" at times. He is EJ's puppy for the 8 weeks we get to enjoy them.
JD, a black & silver boy, tipped the scales at 8 ounces. Unlike his 3 black & silver brothers, he has no white on his chest at all. He is named after John Dennis in the Great Brain series that we read as a family.
Auggie, a black & silver boy, joined the family at 7 ounces. He is named for being born in the month of August. (Isn't his pink nose adorable?)
Faith, a black & silver girl, came into the world weighing 7 ounces. She is named after her dam, whose full name is Tachianna Faith.
Everest is a black & silver girl who weighed 8 ounces at birth. She was named by MJ in honor of the husky from Paw Patrol.
Tachi's labor and delivery went well, and all 10 puppies looked fabulous at birth. We are monitoring Tachi and the puppies closely. We keep her whelping area as clean as possible by changing the bedding several times a day. We take Tachi's temperature at least twice a day and make sure she is getting lots of food and water. We weigh the puppies 3-4 times a day. With such a large litter, we are ready and waiting to supplement any that show signs of needing extra. Thus far, they are all maintaining or gaining without supplementing. Only Faith dipped a bit under her birthweight, but came back up within hours. All the puppies show healthy signs of swimming (propelling themselves around looking for food and warmth), twitching while sleeping, sleeping in a pile, and making adorable little squeaks and squeals.
Out of the litter, 4 are salt & pepper like Tachi and 6 are black & silver like Cooper. We can tell this by looking at their ears and their sides. The salt & peppers have tan/silver hair on their ears and sides, while the black & silver do not. Below, Ameila on the left is salt & pepper and Faith on the right is black & silver.
We feel overwhelming blessed! Thanks for stopping by and enjoying new life with us today.
The days roll by and blog posts don't just appear here! We are still here at the Russell Homestead, despite the silent blog since Tachi's litter of puppies went home in February. Over the next few weeks, I'm going to endeavor to give several updates from around the homestead - starting with the dogs today! To begin, there's a new schnauzer around here! Truly, she's not new to our family - just new to the website and blog. Her name is Sheerah Grace.
Above is a picture of us bringing Sheerah home as a puppy in January of 2018.
We waited a long time for her after deciding that we wanted a black and silver girl to complement our black and silver boy - Cooper. We searched around for just the right fit, and chose Sheerah's breeder because of her planned breeding of a black and silver male and female. Since both Sheerah's parents are black and silver, their offspring were likely going to be black and silver. We eagerly awaited her birth. When her litter arrived in the fall of 2017, we got a call saying there are 7 puppies, but only 1 black and silver girl. We knew instantly she was meant for us!
We brought her home on icy roads, and she fit right into our bunch - adding some extra spunk to the crew! She is very smart. She excelled in puppy kindergarten and basic obedience - passing both her classes with ease. She is great with our children and visitors.
We get questions on her name and how we chose it. One day, long before Sheerah was part of our family, I was reading from my Bible. (I'm reading through the Bible a chapter at a time.) I was reading in 1 Chronicles 7, trying to stay focused as I read through the genealogy listed there. Suddenly, verse 24 jumped out at me. It says, "His daughter was Sheerah, who built Lower and Upper Beth Horon as well as Uzzen Sheerah." (NIV) This verse struck me as unusual in many ways. First, few women are mentioned in genealogies. If they are mentioned, they are most likely the mother of someone. Sheerah was a daughter - and no ordinary one! She built 3 cities. To top it off, she named the last one after herself. I loved the name, and told my husband, who agreed we could name our next female mini schnauzer after Sheerah in 1 Chronicles 7:24.
Along with adding Sheerah to our family came some paperwork. Our township does not allow families to have more than 3 dogs, unless they are a kennel. (For my long time readers, you know we have 3 mini schnauzers already - Jolly, Tachi, & Cooper.) Since we are a family breeder of mini schnauzers, and not a kennel, our limit was set at 3. We met with our township and explained how we raise our own dogs and our puppies. We explained that our dogs are all raised in our home, trained in basic obedience, and well socialized. We shared with them how we give our puppies the best start in life and find wonderful homes for them. They heard our case and graciously allowed us to add a fourth dog to Russell Homestead.
Sheerah has been a great addition to our family. We've enjoyed watching her grow up, and we are eagerly anticipating her first litter of puppies in late 2019 or early 2020! Below are some snapshots of her as a puppy.
So, that's Sheerah - you can see more pictures of her on her page. What about the rest of the schnauzers?
Above is Jolly - looking stunning at 6.5 years old. Jolly was spayed and retired from breeding last summer after gracing us with lots of all-black puppies. We get so many inquires for black puppies, but we have none to offer at this time. Jolly is enjoying her retirement days here soaking up her role as matron of the pack. We often get complimented on how beautiful she is.
Above is Tachi at 2 years old. Tachi had a speedy and graceful recovery from her Christmas Eve litter, and we are looking forward to her next litter - due in August 2019! She continues to be a mild-mannered sweet presence around the homestead. I often tell people she has a very un-schnauzerlike personality. She's submissive and calm, but yet smart too!
And, we can't forget Cooper! Cooper is doing fabulous at 3 years old. He's quite the love bug and a definite favorite of the children around here.
Well, that's the news from the schnauzer corner of the homestead. Stay tuned to hear about goats, homeschooling, and chickens! Thanks for stopping by!
2018 feels like our holiday puppy year! We welcomed 2 litters to the Homestead this year - one on the day after July 4th and one on the day before Christmas. Blessed indeed, we are!
Christmas Eve evening found us welcoming 8 new puppies into the world - 4 boys and 4 girls from our very own Tachi and Cooper. We knew from Tachi's ultrasound that she was carrying a large litter. However, we were still a bit surprised when she had 8!
If you're new to Russell Homestead, let me introduce you to a few of our traditions with puppies. First, we allow our children to "name and claim" a puppy for the 8 weeks they live with us. Our children go by initials on our blog - AJ (8), CJ (7), JJ (5), MJ (3), and EJ (2). MJ is the only girl in the bunch.
Secondly, we always pick one Bible name per litter to honor God as the giver of life. With this being a Christmas Eve litter, we picked all names relating to Christmas.
Lastly, we do weekly updates for each litter. Each week, I add pictures and give you a glimpse into what life looked like for the puppies that week. (If you want to subscribe to my blog, you may do so here.)
Below, you will find their newborn pictures. Click on each one for more details on each puppy.
And I can't resist sharing some sweet sleepy pictures...
Check back on Monday for my one week update! Thanks for stopping by!
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!
Independent Field Representative