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!
Things are a bit quieter around here these days since Tachi's 2018 litter of puppies all have joined their new families. Based on some developments in the goat pen, the quietness will be short-lived. (We are guessing that we may have some Nubian goat kids within the next 2 weeks!)
We have been receiving glowing reports of vet visits, crate training, and adjusting to new families. Some of the puppies have even learned basic commands already! We want to say a big "thank-you" to all the wonderful families we met through raising this litter of mini schnauzer puppies. We are grateful our paths crossed with each one of you, and we hope you have many happy years with a schnauzer by your side!
Below are pictures taken at the going home of each puppy. Thanks also for allowing us to share these photos!
7 weeks old! The puppies had an exciting week and their little worlds expanded even more! The unseasonably warm February temperatures felt like a heaven-sent blessing because I could take the puppies outside. They loved the outdoors, and they got to experience rocks, mulch, snow, grass, macadam, and, of course, children with riding toys! In addition, they showed a real preference for doing their potty business outside.
The puppies had a fabulous trip to the vet. They weren't too sure about the car ride there, but nobody threw up. At the vet, they were very well-behaved - no accidents or barking! Our vet said they are all in great health. King has a very mild underbite that we are keeping an eye on. As his teeth come in (he was a late teether), we will see exactly what his bite is going to do, Below are a few pictures from the vet visit.
The puppies are now eating dry food. I switched them over from softened food to dry food this past weekend, and they ate it like champs. I now feed the whole crew 2 cups of dry food 3 times a day. So, on average, they get 3/4 cup food per day. If you are taking a puppy home from this litter, I will have detailed feeding instructions for you.
As I did last week, I'm going to address a few more common questions I receive.
Will my puppy be house trained when he/she comes home at 8 weeks? No. Your puppy will be ready for crate training when he/she comes home. We do the Misty Method of house training for our puppies. They have a basic understanding of a place to sleep, play, and potty at 8 weeks old. They are ready to begin crate training at 8 weeks, but they are not house trained! This litter has been doing well with the Misty Method. They very faithfully keep their bedding area free of potty accidents (with a few exceptions). Most of their potty needs go into the potty box. We keep fresh newspaper in the potty box after they use it (preserving the scent but keeping it clean) and clean the play area frequently.
This past week I saw an example of how well the Misty Method works for beginning house training. As I prepared to take my puppies to the vet, I took them outside right before my half an hour drive to the vet. They did their business, and we drove to the vet. I waited about half an hour to see the vet. Once in the examination room, the puppies wanted OUT of the crates they were in. Since it had been an hour since their potty break, I assumed the puppies would have accidents in the vet's office. However, not one puppy had an accident! We drove home, and I let them out again and most went potty!
Is it hard for your children when the puppies go home? Yes and no, and harder for some than for others. My children understand the responsibility and the training an 8 week old puppy requires because we’ve had the privilege of raising all our adults from puppies. They do love playing with the puppies and are, of course, sad to see them go. At the same time, they get to see the joy a puppy brings to someone else. We try to encourage them as the puppies grow that we are helping get them ready for their new family. When our children ask, “Why can’t we keep a puppy?” we gently name off our adults and say, “We did keep a puppy.” Another thing that softens the blow of seeing their puppies leave is that new life is part of a homestead. We are expecting baby goats in the near future and hoping for more puppies in 2019. So, our children may or may not seem sad when you pick up your puppy, but they say their goodbyes before your arrival to limit any teary last-minute goodbyes.
What flea and tick products do you recommend? We do not treat our puppies with any flea and tick medicine. (We do deworm and vaccinate them, but no flea and tick medicine.) We choose not to use flea and tick products due to their small size. In addition, they live in a low-risk environment because all our adults are treated with Bravecto. You should discuss flea and tick prevention at your first vet visit.
Are you Amish? While I’ve never had this question from anyone interested in our puppies, I’m going to speculate that it was an unvoiced question in many people’s minds due to where we live and what we look like. No, we are not Amish. We are Mennonites. There is a difference, but rather than discuss doctrinal differences, I’ll just say that the most important part of our faith is believing in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. In Romans 10:9 the Bible says, “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God has raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” As Mennonites, we strive to know the Bible and live by it in our daily lives. We welcome any further questions anyone may have on our beliefs.
Well, this wraps up yet another journey from newborn puppy to home-going. There will be no blog post next Monday as we begin sending off our little ones to the next chapter of their lives. Thanks for joining us; we are blessed!
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