Above is a picture of our unexpected early Christmas gift. If you aren't sure what it is, it is Cocoa's ultrasound showing one of several puppies! We are delighted to announce that Cocoa is due in early December with a litter of puppies sired by our own Cooper.
So, why do we call this an unexpected early Christmas gift? Well, let me begin by saying that I'm a planner by nature. And I had everything PLANNED out. Cocoa had puppies in May of 2016, and we were planning to skip her heat cycle this fall to then breed her for a litter of puppies in the spring. We planned this way because we like to keep our girls to one litter a year in order to give them some time "off." We also wanted to use Cooper as a stud, and we knew he was still a bit young to begin his "fathering career" in the fall of 2016. In addition, we knew that Jolly's next litter would likely be in the spring of 2017 because we skipped her heat cycle in July 2016. It is convenient to have our puppy litters close together when it comes to planning family vacations, etc.
So, when Cocoa came into heat in October 2016, we dutifully kept her and Cooper separate - no easy task for two dogs used to always being together. Even before we had Cooper, we had to watch our females very closely during their heat cycles while outside due to neighborhood dogs. (We do not have a fence and our dogs roam "free" with our in-ground fence in the backyard.) One morning, my dear husband was watching Cocoa while she did her business outside. Cooper was in the house, and when my husband opened the door to call Cocoa inside, Cooper slipped out. No problem, he thought, since he was calling Cocoa in. He assumed they would both just run inside. However, Cooper showed us that all he needs is a 3 second window to begin his "fathering career." (Translation: The breeding happened very quickly with no time to intervene even though my husband saw the whole event.)
Despite my carefully laid plans for two spring litters being derailed, we are delighted that Cocoa is carrying a healthy litter of puppies due in early December! She was at the vet for an ultrasound. Our vet said there are several puppies with good heartbeats. We are very eager to see what Cooper's first puppies will look like. We can only guess at the colors these puppies will be with a liver parti and black and silver as parents.
Though we wanted to give Cocoa time off, she is in perfect health with no reason not to breed her. Cooper, too, though he is young, is in excellent health. He visited the vet this fall for a health check, and he is doing fabulous. So, there was no physical reason not to breed them, but simply our preferences for the timing of everything.
If you are on our waiting list, you will be receiving an email from us in the near future. If you want to join our waiting list for these puppies, click here. To see pictures of the parents, visit their pages here and here.
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