Monday, May 31, 2010

The Three Who Remain: Bonnie, Chessie, and Pip

So we're down to three pups in the house (plus our gang of five grown-ups, too, of course).  And the pups are now 9 weeks old (well, more like 9.5 weeks old).

The three girls get along famously; they really seem to enjoy each other, and we don't have the pecking-order-kill-play happening much anymore (phew).  They all take turns being rough-'n-tumble and cuddly and playful and sleepy -- all as it should be. All three, without exception, adore their humans (yay!). :)

In case you didn't read the update earlier here's who's who:
  • Chessie (short for Chestnut): the female chocolate pup staying with us, formerly Miss Pink
  • Bonnie: the black female pup who will be leaving us on June 12th to live with her forever family a couple of hours' drive north from here.
  • Pip:  the black female pup (formerly Miss Yellow) who is as yet unplaced (and still available) who we've taken to calling "Pip" instead of "Puppy."
This week we'll be starting real crate-training (and house breaking), but for now they're doing wonderfully about pottying outside when we wake them and take them right out. Hehe...this is going to be a wee bit tricky with three (yee haw!).

For now, here they are (in random shots around the yard taken this weekend):

Pip watching Pinot, Elsie, and Tuc from her spot in the pool (Chessie is to the right of Pip's pool):

Bonnie (with a wet head!):

Wistful Chessie watching the big dogs in the yard from the puppy pen:

An observant Pip:

Bonnie (the wet-head is not dead):

Bonnie (left, facing camera) and Pip (right, watching the big dogs):

Momma Kenya romping with her kids (from l to r: Chessie, Kenya, Pip, Bonnie):

The three girls running (Bonnie colliding with Chessie, Pip galloping):

Chessie getting ready to pounce on Pip:

 Bonnie, Pip, Chessie, and Kenya (Kenya is yawning):

Bonnie and Chessie watching the neighbor's dog:

Chessie watching the neighbor's dog a little more closely:

Momma Kenya with little Pip:

Momma Kenya and Bonnie:

Pip, Chessie, Bonnie, and Kenya once more:

There they are, the three who remain, all at just over nine weeks old. :)

They keep us smiling and giggling, and we love 'em more than ever!

'Til next time,

A Few More Pics of Chessie

Here she is (today) in Aunt Jeanie's arms...

and on the deck with Pip (formerly Miss Yellow)...

and about ready to jump the indoor pen sides with Bonnie (formerly Miss Orange):

So there you have it for now, Chessie at nine weeks old. :)

'til next time,

Introducing Stoney Ridge's American Chestnut, aka "Chessie"

Yup. We've decided on a name for our new little chocolate Lab addition: we're calling her "Chessie" -- short for "Chestnut" -- which is short for her longer, AKC-registered name, Stoney Ridge's American Chestnut. :)

American Chestnuts (the trees) are actually quiet rare, though they used to be plentiful in the northeast US. It's a fast-growing, deciduous hardwood that produces nuts enclosed in a prickly casing.  The nut itself is very similar in color to our little Chessie girl, hence the name.

We're privileged to actually have a rare American Chestnut tree growing on our land near the lake where we take the dogs for water retrieving in the summer (my father planted it as a small boy in the 1920s).  And since Chessie seems to love the water, and the lake is where we all romp in the water, the name seemed doubly fitting (we almost called "Water Chestnut" instead of American Chestnut" but I just couldn't name her after a food we use in stir-fry). :)

So here she is, Stoney Ridge's American Chestnut girl (at nine weeks old):

I actually thought we had more pictures of her than we do!  :)  So I guess I'll just have to take a few more of the sweet Chessie girl and post them ASAP so you can start to get a sense of her personality.

In any case, there she is!  :)

And now training begins. :)

'Til next time,

Nine Weeks Old and Down to Three!

So sorry for the delay in updating.  Between our website problems and photo editing issues on the laptop I use for Labtails, it's been a frustrating week on the Internet front.

Ahhh... but we're up and running again (both at the website and on my Labtails laptop).  Yay!

Can you believe it?  The pups are nine weeks old already.  Wow!  Where did that time go?  Nevermind; don't answer that. :)

Here's the update on the puppies.


Masters Red and Blue, picked up just over a week ago, are settling in with their new families. That's as much as we know. We're assuming (and hoping) that no news is good news. :)  We were thrilled with their placements, though, so we're not worried.

Master Green, who went with his new family last Saturday, is being loved to pieces we're quite sure (lots of people to love him -- including older kids, and they waited a long time for this pup). It did my soul such good to see him in his new families' arms.  I still well-up when I think about it, but they're happy tears. :)  At the time of his pick-up, his new name was expected to be "Chester." We think it's a wonderful name.


Miss Sky, who also left us last weekend, is with her new family in NJ. We received a delightful phone call from her new "mom" letting us know how well she was doing and how delighted they are with her.  All seems to be going fabulously. LOL... DH took the phone call and got Miss Sky's new name, but he has since forgotten.  I'll try to find out and let you know!

Miss White (now called "Halle") seems to be very happy in her new home in PA (an hour north of us). Her new "aunt" e-mailed us to let us know how well things were going and how much they love her spunky little personality. Lol... it seems they have a whole team of family members tag-teaming to love, watch-over, train, and just be with the new pup. Halle also occasionally gets to romp with her "cousin" Sophie, a three-year-old chocolate Lab. :)  Like most of the others Halle has been with her new family for just over a week, and all is well. :)

Miss Lime just left us Friday, and she's gone all the way to the state of Indiana. Her new "dad" drove in to pick her up (long drive!) and seemed to love her the instant he saw her. :)   Her new "mom" had to see her first to settle on a new name (of course!), so we're waiting to hear about her new name. We're pretty certain we'll hear from them soon. They seem like wonderful folks, and we're sure Miss Lime will be loved and well cared for.

Miss Orange (now called "Bonnie") is still with us and scheduled to leave with her new family in just under two weeks. We know they're really excited to get her and will try to update here a little more about her so they can see her progress while they wait. :)  She's a sweet girl, and she, too, is doing just wonderfully!

Miss Pink (our new addition, the one making her forever home with us) is just fine.  I'll do a separate post about her shortly.

Miss Yellow still has yet to find her forever home, though as she grows and develops we're debating more and more about just keeping her.  She is gorgeous, and she's looking more and more like Kenya everyday (their pup pics are interchangeable).  She's also smart as a whip, very attentive, and eager to learn and please.  Hmmmm...she'd make a nice addition to the gang (yikes). We've taken to calling her "Pip" (because she is a little pip, and because we can't just keep calling her Miss Yellow or Puppy).  LOL... I can't believe I'm even considering it.  For now, however, she's still available and we'll keep trying to find the right placement.

That's the puppy update -- just the info.  Pictures will follow separately.

'Til next time,

Happy Memorial Day!

Before I get to finally updating again, I just wanted to say Happy Memorial Day (a holiday in the USA). To all our troops and their families, both present and past, we want you to know how grateful we are for your sacrificial service to our country. Thank you for protecting us and our freedoms. We'll never forget. :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Four Who Remain

The last week was full of preparing the pups to leave for their forever homes, and then, of course, meeting the families and sending our precious puppies off into the world.

I'm absolutely thrilled with the new families and am delighted with how well-suited each pup seems to be for each placement. Once again, we couldn't have asked for better and are tickled over the pups' new forever homes.

But I have to admit, it's bittersweet. We love these little ones as if they would be ours forever. We know they can't be; and, like children, we raise them to leave us and fly. But it's still difficult; I could never let go if I didn't value and trust the people to whom the pups were going. I do, so I can. And I can joyfully -- with only a little heartache. It really is a wonderful thing all-in-all.

Here's a final picture of the whole gang together (from l to r:  Blue, Lime, White, Green, Sky, Red, Pink, Orange, Yellow):

Here's DH saying goodbye to Mr. Green just before his family arrived:

Bittersweet, but all good. Just as it should be.

And now we're down to four.  Miss Pink (who stays with us); Miss Lime, who leaves later this week; Miss Orange who leaves in June; and Miss Yellow, who has yet to find her forever home.

All are lovely, sweet girls: confident, impish, affectionate, smart, active, and healthy.

And healthy is key. I'm still quite protective of the pups (after our experience 18 months ago), but am greatly relieved how well the litter has done so far. Relieved, but cautious.  And I will be.

So now we start training (they're 8.5 weeks old already). How time flies when you're having fun!

'til next time,

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Seven Weeks Old: We Love the Water! :)

The fun thing about a spring litter is that the warmer weather allow the pups more opportunity to explore the water. Labs are designed for water (they actually have webbed toes), but they do need to be introduced gently and before they have time to develop fear.

I'm delighted to report that all the pups, without exception, are showing interest in, curiosity about, and comfort with playing in the cool (not cold) wet stuff.  :)

Okay, so they play in a kiddie pool. But with each passing day, we're adding a bit more water to the pool and giving it less time to warm up. We started with sun-warmed water just barely covering their paw pads; now they've progressed to right-out-of-the-hose water (a hose that's been sitting in the sun, so it starts out pretty warm then blends with cold) encroaching on their hocks.

I've even seen Miss Yellow (who absolutely loves the water) lie down in the pool and hang there that way. :) Mr. Red and Mr. Green have done so, too. That's progress.

Miss White is fearless; just plunges right in without a second thought. Plays in the water, jumps out, then plunges back in again. She, so far, seems to be a little water bug.

Mr. Blue, Mr. Green, Mr. Red, Miss Orange, and Miss Lime seem to enjoy a crowd in the water (the more, the merrier); and all of the pups love to fish toys floating out of the pool to play keep-away with each other on the deck. 

What a bunch of imps!

Miss Sky seems very comfortable in the water, but seems to prefer it when the rowdy bunch isn't wrassling there. She's just a gentle soul.

And Miss Pink, of everyone, is okay with the water (jumping in and out), but is still a bit tentative about staying in (that will pass). :)

So here they are, all 7 weeks old, having a great time romping in or investigating the water.

Miss Yellow:

Mr. Blue:

Miss Sky:

The Herd (left to right: White, Green; Pink; ah...hmmm... then Red then Blue or Blue then Red):

Miss Lime and Miss Sky:

Mr. Red:

Miss Sky (rear) and Miss Pink (head in pool):

Miss Sky:

Mr. Blue:

Miss Yellow:

Misses White, Pink, and Lime:

Miss Pink and Miss Lime:

And good times were had by all! :)

'Til next time,