"Coming Home to Westcliffe"

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Coming Home to Westcliffe

New Life at Foxhaven -- Puppies!

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring – it was peace.”
― Milan Kundera

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(SIRE – Reason: CH Wild Wind’s Something to Believe In)

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(DAM – Rose: CH Wild Wind’s Run for the Roses)

In the wee hours of Tuesday, August 11, 2020, Rose’s puppies were born. Three perfect male puppies (three tri-colored puppies) and three perfect female puppies (one tri-colored and two blue merle). Once Rose delivered the first 14-ounce boy, the rest of the whelping was smooth sailing. The boy puppies all weighed close to 14 ounces; the girls, 11-12 ounces. I have observed it is a little like sumo wrestlers and ballerina vying for the spotlight (aka, best nursing spot). I give the girls some time alone with their mother several times a day.

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We strive to raise properly socialized, self-confident and healthy puppies. We take time to research pedigrees, health test (genetic, eyes, hips/patella/elbow radiographs) and rely on breed mentors to enrich and inform the process for the best possible match, as well as utilize specialized veterinary care. We take pride in following the Code of Ethics established by the Collie Club of American and participate in All Breed Shows, as well as performance events.

We have chosen to use the protocols laid out in Puppy Culture (Jane Killion). Puppy Culture is a socialization and training program specifically designed for the critical period for puppies 0-12 weeks. The program is well organized sets of lessons, and more. It is a program that teaches you to watch your puppy and by doing so, tease out the best qualities in the precious individual puppy. This is done by presenting lessons and challenges appropriate for that particular puppy. As a professional educator and retired teacher of 30+ years, I resonate strongly with this approach.

Puppy Culture is based on the premise that the puppy always leads the learning, and puppies learn best by appropriate experiences at the appropriate time. So what we are doing is teaching you to observe the puppy, and, based on the behavioral markers you see, serve the puppy the experience or lesson that is optimal for him at that moment in time.

 By letting the puppy lead, we are:

 •maximizing the benefit of any given protocol or lesson,

•minimizing any danger of over-facing or scaring the puppy

•creating confidence and self-efficacy by presenting the appropriate level of challenge that the puppy CAN do without failing or presenting a danger to himself.”

During this first week, we strove to create a nesting place Rose that was both comfortable and emotionally safe for Rose. Since we are remodeling our house, the ‘master to be’ space proved perfect. With the whelping box in the corner, there will be plenty of room to expand the space to a weaning area, then indoor play area as the puppies grow and mature. They will also have several safe outdoor play areas, that we will use as they get older. Puppies are weighed two times a day the first week to ensure they are doing well, nails trimmed (yes, already little needles!) and their first vet visit for postpartum exam of mom and pups. I slept on a camp cot in the ‘nursery’ this first week to ensure all is well, and to get my full dose of the music of puppy nursing and maximum cuteness.

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Beginning at day three, we do a protocol known as Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS). ENS is a process we started doing that introduces mild stresses to very young puppies in a controlled way. These stresses help stimulate the neurological system which improves the growth and development of the pup’s immune system, cardiovascular system, and stress tolerance.

HAPPY ONE WEEK BIRTHDAY!

Today, the puppies turned ONE WEEK old.  We will be posting here weekly, and sharing our journey with these precious beings. Their puppy names are based on their markings. The theme of this litter is the John Denver song, “Rocky Mountain High”. The lyrics have rich meaning to us, and the puppies’ registered names will be taken from verses in the song; perhaps, call names, as well. So far, we like the verse ‘grace in every step’ for the girl, Grace, we will be adding to our Foxhaven family. 

 The Girls:

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The Boys:

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Ten weeks will fly by and I treasure each moment I have with them. It is a bittersweet time, in some ways, but I keep the goal in sight:  blessing a family with a healthy socialized enrichment-seeking puppy; a puppy that will grow up to expand their family’s heart spaces and bring much love and laughter for many years to come.

Posted 120 weeks ago