Four Weeks Old

Happy Saturday! This week, the puppies passed the four week mark! They have been growing so much, and many changes are taking place.

The biggest thing to happen this week is solid food. I started the puppies on one meal a day of softened Life’s Abundance Large Breed Puppy Food. Over the next 2-3 weeks, I’ll gradually increase the amount of food they eat until they are getting all the calories and nutrition they need from solid food instead of momma’s milk. For now, Nova is still nursing them quite a bit, but her milk supply will quickly begin to drop as the puppies’ demand less from her.

We had a few warm days this week, so the puppies got to enjoy some of their meals outside in the grass. As you can see here, they are very eager! It only takes a few minutes for them to devour a yummy plate of food!

The puppies are beginning to explore and be more interactive, but they still sleep a lot. This is when socializing begins in earnest. This week the puppies got the chance to see and explore the outdoors. My children get to play with them. In the next few weeks, they will be exposed to a variety of different household sights and sounds. When they are exposed to a wide variety of things as young puppies, they tend to develop a calmer and less timid approach to new things and situations as adults. Of course, every dog is a unique individual, but I give the best foundation I can for a well-rounded and even-tempered dog.

Check back next week for updated pictures!

The Quiet Weeks

The last two weeks have been quiet, and that’s the best way to start off a litter of puppies. Nova has been an excellent mother, and the puppies have been eating, sleeping, and growing. My work has been very minimal. I take care of Nova, monitor the puppies’ growth, and keep their bedding clean. This will change, of course, as the puppies grow and begin to explore their world and begin to wean from mom. But for now, they are solely dependent on her, and she has been doing a great job. Their eyes are open, and their sharp, little teeth are beginning to grow in.

The best thing I can do for the puppies in the first couple weeks is keep their momma healthy and happy. Good quality food is the number one way to ward off infections and disease and ensure mom is healthy and has plenty of milk. Nova is eating Life’s Abundance All Life Stages dog food and is getting one NuVet Plus supplement a day. Currently, we are free feeding her, which means she can eat as much as she wants, so her body can make plenty of milk for her growing babies. Life’s Abundance food gives a great foundation of high-quality proteins, probiotics, vitamins, minerals, and everything else she needs. NuVet Plus is a supplement that gives an extra support to her immune system. This is important, since a momma’s immune system often gets stressed and run down during pregnancy and while nursing puppies. Because her body is working extra hard, it makes her vulnerable to illness, so we take care to give extra immune system support to keep her healthy.

In the coming weeks, the puppies will begin to explore. This is when the socialization really begins to kick in! Right now, the puppies get handled very gently a little every day. I usually pick them up, hold them on their backs, tickle their toes, and of, course, snuggle them close. Soon, they will get to experience all sorts of things including new sights and sounds, food, toys, outdoors, etc.

For now, though, they remain quite sleepy and peaceful. From left to right is Bailey, Paddy, Lucky, and Clover (female).

My children are very excited for the time that the puppies will be able to play with them. They enjoy petting them and holding them, but they know the real fun is yet to come!

Have a blessed day!

Winter 2023 Litter is Here!

Hello, everyone! I am happy to introduce Nova’s litter of Golden Irish puppies. They were born on January 19. It feels like a long time since we have a litter of puppies, but it’s exciting to get back into the swing of it. There are three males and one female, and they are all doing well. Nova is a great mom and is highly attentive to her little babies.

There are deposits pending on all of the puppies, but if you are interested in a Golden Irish puppy, please get in touch with me or Zach, and we can chat about matching you with a future pup!

Now, let me catch you up on life at our place. My last blog post is dated summer of 2021! Yikes. That’s a long time. So, here’s a recap of our last 18 months.

Duchess and Mia both retired. They are still here, living the cushy life. Timber is semi-retired and will likely fully retire this year. That is our first generation of dogs that have aged out of the breeding years! The last 18 months was a transition from our first generation to our second generation of dogs.

Our breeding schedule now is working with two younger females- Nova (Irish Setter) and Oakley (Golden Retriever). Nova had a single puppy litter last summer, and we are hoping to see a first litter from Oakley later this year.

While this 18 month transition was longer than expected, it came at a good time. Soon after our 2021 litters headed home, we found out we would be welcoming a third baby into our family. During my pregnancy and the first half year after our baby was born, we didn’t have any large litters of puppies.

And that’s just about it! New baby. Retiring the older dogs, and starting the young ones. You will probably see more of us and our dogs on social media again and here on the blog now that we will be having litters more regularly again. It’s shaping up to be a fun year for puppies!

Have a blessed day!


The last couple of weeks have been a flurry of activity around here. It’s time to get you caught up!

First of all, Mia’s puppies headed off to their new homes! My kids enjoyed getting a few final snuggles in.

Reese is a pro puppy handler by this age.
Reagan, meanwhile, still employs the occasional chokehold. But, I assure you, no puppies were harmed or frightened during this process. 🙂 This puppy, as uncomfortable as she may have been, was completely calm and relaxed while Reagan figured out how to hold her. One of the benefits of being raised around young children is that puppies become very tolerant of inexperienced hands.

It was a little bittersweet seeing Mia’s last litter leave. Mia was the best momma dog we could have ever asked for, and she has blessed so many families with her offspring. I’ll miss having her adorable fluffy babies around, but I am also looking forward to having Mia enjoy her lazy, golden years.

Next up is an update on Duchess’s puppies. These little ladies have brought some unexpected challenges. The puppies developed a dry, itchy fungus rash on their skin. I am not entirely sure where they picked it up, but fungus and yeast rashes are more common this time of year with the heat and humidity of summer. Thankfully, this type of thing in puppies is very temporary and doesn’t cause any problems. I simply need to treat it and give the skin time to heal. This usually takes 2-3 weeks, and then things go on as normal!

The unfortunate part is that it means I will not be releasing the Irish Setter puppies to their new homes at 8 weeks old, like I usually do. My goal as a breeder is to produce healthy puppies- physically, mentally, and socially. When I hand a family a puppy, it is a culmination of weeks, months, and years of intentional work. I have striven to make this puppy as perfect as possible. So when my puppies develop a problem, even one as minor as a skin rash, I see it as my responsibility to take care of that before I am able to send them to new homes. I don’t feel comfortable releasing a puppy from my care that is not in its best possible physical, mental, and social condition.

That’s why we have decided to keep Duchess’s puppies two additional weeks in order to make sure the rash is completely cleared up before we allow families to take them home. That way, I can hand off the puppies to their new families knowing that I have done everything necessary to provide them with a healthy and happy puppy.

So my children and I will be enjoying these sweet ladies for two more weeks. Two more weeks of soft, wiggly puppies? It certainly could be worse. 🙂 Besides having small spots of dry skin, which are now well on their way to healing, the puppies are growing and playing and developing as they should. They are very active, social, and delightful. There are still two available puppies from the litter. If you have interest in adding a spunky Irish Setter lady to your home and you don’t mind waiting two more weeks to bring her home, please get in touch with me.

The puppies continue with their normal training, which includes an introduction to crate training, sound desensitizing, and socialization. They are doing excellent on the potty training front, and they have handled the crate very well so far. July is proving to be an good month for sound training opportunities. The puppies have been exposed to many different sounds, such as fireworks, thunderstorms, lawn mowers, etc.

I hope to get some updated pictures of the girls this week, so you can all see how much they have grown. Until then, here is a candid shot of Liberty, sprawled in the grass on a hot afternoon.

And that’s it for the pups! We’ve got some other things happening behind the scenes here with our dogs, so you can expect some updates on them in the near future. For now, our attention is on our five little red ladies.

Have a blessed week!

Three & Four Weeks

Time continues ticking by, and all the puppies continue growing. Here’s a quick update on both litters!

Duchess’s Irish Setter puppies are now three weeks old. At this point, Duchess still fully cares for them, but I will be introducing solid foods in the next couple days. All five girls are doing well. There is one that is a bit smaller than the others, so I’m supplementing her to help her pack on a little more weight. She’s feisty and active, though, and otherwise has no trouble keeping up with her big sisters.

Duchess healed very well from her c-section. Her staples were removed last week, and her incision healed very well. She is now back to normal activity, and she was cleared by her surgeon to have a future litter. We are grateful for her quick and easy recovery!

Mia’s Mini Goldendoodle puppies are becoming much more fun and interactive. They have begun to show interest in a few toys that I added to their pen, and I hear all sorts of yips, whines, and play growls throughout the day. Mia is being a wonderful and attentive mother, and I couldn’t be happier with how they are all doing.

Remember the little male puppy I shared about previously? He was born very weak, and I supplemented him for several days to keep him alive. That extra love and effort has paid off! He is fully thriving, and he is now the biggest of the litter. Seeing him growing and thriving makes my momma’s heart happy!

In the last week, Mia’s puppies got to start two very fun things- solid food and potty training.

They got to start solid food last week, and the weaning process will continue slowly until about 7 weeks old. Right now they get two meals a day of softened Life’s Abundance Small/Medium Breed Puppy Food. The food that puppies (and adult dogs) eat has a HUGE impact on their health. Puppies have young digestive and immune systems that are just beginning to develop. The immune system, in particular, doesn’t fully mature in dogs until 18-24 months old. It’s very important for puppies to have a food that is gentle on their digestive system and full of essential nutrients. It’s also important that the nutrients come in forms that the puppies’ immature digestive system can absorb. Many cheap and low quality dog foods contain corn. While corn does have nutrients in it that fill in the boxes for the nutrition label, dogs can NOT digest corn. Whatever nutrients are there come straight out in their poop, completely useless to them. Low quality foods are harsh on the digestive system, leading to more bouts of diarrhea and a weaker immune system.

This is why I feed my puppies Life’s Abundance. Here’s a quick summary of the good things that are in the food and the bad things that you will never find in Life’s Abundance products.

• A proprietary blend of vitamins & minerals
High-quality, multi-source proteins for growing muscles & healthy development
• An antioxidant system with vitamins C & E
Prebiotic fiber & guaranteed probiotics
Omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin & a shiny coat
• Enriched with DHA
Dietary fiber to help maintain a healthy digestive tract
NO artificial flavors
NO artificial colors
NO corn or corn glutens
NO wheat or wheat gluten

Life's Abundance Small/Medium Breed Puppy Food

Around the time I introduced food, I also started potty training. This is a later start than usual for potty training, but this litter is doing exceptionally well, despite the late start. I start the puppies on paper training, which teaches them the basic skill of recognizing a “potty area.” This foundational knowledge helps so much for later crate training and house training. What I teach them is that there is a specific place to do their business. They usually are quick to catch on to this concept, because dogs and even young puppies instinctively want to keep their sleeping area clean. In the next couple weeks once the puppies outgrow the indoor pen, they will get to move to our outdoor pen. Then they get to transfer this knowledge and learn to do all their pottying outside. I do all of this potty training work for two reasons. First, it’s so much easier for me to keep the puppies and their pen clean, neat, and sanitary. Second, it’s training I provide as a service to help puppies adjust more quickly once they head to their new homes. With this foundational knowledge, most families find that crate training and house training go much easier.

And that’s about it! Our weeks have been full of puppies and all sorts of other summertime things like picking strawberries, splashing in the sprinkler, and enjoying cookouts with our friends and families. Enjoy your upcoming week, and check back later this week for updated pictures of the Mini Goldendoodles!

Puppies, puppies!

Good afternoon, everyone! It’s time for an update on all the babies that have been showing up around here!

Many of you saw on social media that Mia had a litter of seven puppies on May 7th. They are now a week and a half old, and they are all doing so well! I’ve been having some trouble getting pictures on my website, but I hope to have a new computer set up by this weekend. So hang in there, and you’ll get to see the puppies soon!

Mia has a litter of six girls and one boy, and there is a beautiful variety of colors. There are several dark red puppies, a couple medium red/golden, and one or two apricot. The male puppy is the lightest and curliest of the litter, and for the first few days he struggled a bit. In the first hours after birth, he was dehydrated and sluggish.

After puppies are born and are cleaned off, they should do a fair bit of squirming and squeaking. They are constantly seeking the warmth and comfort of their mom. If she moves away, they start squeaking and moving around, searching for her. However, the male puppy did not do this. While all his siblings were moving about and making noise, he lay on his side and was quiet. If I helped him latch on, he would nurse. Then he would soon get pushed away by another puppy, and he was too weak to push his way back in. For the first few days, I supplemented him with 2-3 bottle feeds a day of fresh goat’s milk. This helped him stay hydrated, and he quickly got stronger and more vigorous. Now, his weight has passed up some of his sisters’ weights, and he is fully back to nursing from mom. Success!

Mia has been taking excellent care of her babies. I have been checking her temperature daily to watch for any signs of infection, and I’m on the lookout for other things like mastitis, etc. Mia is my oldest girl (she just turned seven in April), and with age, comes a higher chance of complications. Also, I’ve definitely been feeling more anxious just because what happened to Jade is on my mind. So I feel like I’m on double vigilance right now! But Mia has been easy on me, and she is doing very well.

I am really trying to soak in the joy of these puppies, since this is Mia’s last litter. She will be entering into a well-deserved retirement after this. If anyone is hoping to get one of my Mini Goldendoodles, definitely get in touch with me soon! There are some available puppies from her litter, and it will be a few years before we have any more Mini Goldendoodles.

While Mia is doing her best to go easy on me, Duchess is keeping me on my toes! I am beginning to think she enjoys doing that. 🙂 I had guessed that she would have a litter at the end of the summer, but she surprised me by coming into heat a week after Mia did. We knew this would mean having two litters at the same time, but we did it once before, so we decided we could do it again.

So here we are! I’d like to introduce you to our Summer 2021 Irish Setters!

Not only was Duchess ready to have puppies several months earlier than I expected, her delivery brought some challenges, as well. Her labor started Thursday morning, and she very quickly had three puppies born. Then there was a fourth puppy born that didn’t breathe and was unable to be revived. (This is always sad and unfortunate, but it’s simply something that happens at times. Nature isn’t always kind!)

At this point, when I felt Duchess’s belly, I could still feel some puppies. So I waited, fully expecting them to be born within an hour or so. But several hours passed with no more puppies being born. During this time, I was giving Duchess oral calcium paste, which is something that gives energy and helps the uterus to have strong, efficient contractions. Sometimes, low calcium levels can lead to slow, difficult labors because the uterus muscle is tired and weak. After four hours of waiting, what appeared to be a retained placenta was passed. (Usually a placenta is born with or right after a puppy. On occasion, it can be retained in the uterus, which is not a good scenario.)

I thought perhaps the retained placenta had been the reason for the stalled labor. At first I was encouraged, because I began to see more contractions. I was very hopeful that this meant the remaining puppies were finally on the way. I don’t usually get too worried about my dogs during labor. I’m always watchful, but the vast majority of the time, dogs can deliver puppies naturally on their own. They are truly amazing creatures. Even when complications arise, some quick intervention at home can often avoid the need for emergency veterinary care. Often, but not always.

Two more hours passed, and there were still no more puppies. I was able to feel at least two more puppies, and I decided I had tried everything I could and I had given nature as much time as I could. Now it was time to get to the vet and get those babies out. I was still hoping that Duchess simply needed a shot of oxytocin (a drug that starts contractions- very similar to pitocin that’s sometimes given to women in labor). When labor is stalled due to the uterus tiring out, oxytocin can help finish labor naturally.

Once at the vet, they did an x-ray to assess how many puppies were left and where they were positioned. The thing with oxytocin is, you can NOT give it if there is a stuck puppy. The x-ray showed three puppies. There were the two that I had felt at home, and there was a third one, hopelessly stuck (the vet describe it as “folded in half”) at the top of the birth canal. This meant the only option was a c-section. There was no way that this puppy could be born naturally. I made the guess that this puppy was likely already dead, but I hoped that the c-section would save the other two puppies.

I left Duchess at the vet and went home to wait. After a few hours, the vet called. Duchess had done great through surgery, and they were able to save two of the puppies. The stuck puppy was indeed dead already. I’m not sure if the puppy was dead because it got stuck or if it got stuck because it was dead. Sometimes, for unknown reasons, a puppy dies in utero. Those dead puppies are notorious for causing problems in labor, and they often get stuck. I don’t know if this was the case, but it’s very possible. It’s also possible that the puppy somehow entered the birth canal sideways and died as a result of being stuck for several hours.

Whatever the case, I was very grateful to be able to bring home a tired, but otherwise healthy mom and five sweet puppies. Losing two puppies is sad, and c-sections are no fun. But, like I said, nature isn’t always kind. All things considered, everything turned out as well as it could have.

On a rather funny note, Duchess’s puppies are all girls! So I have a litter of 6 girls and 1 boy from Mia, and 5 girls from Duchess. I’m not sure what’s in our water, but we are bursting at the seams with girls!

Thank you all for hanging in there and reading all of that! It has certainly been a busy and unpredictable week over here, but a week full of many of God’s blessings. I’m hoping my next week is a lot less eventful than this one, but we shall see!

Also there are puppies available from both litters. If you are interested, please get in touch with me!

With a Heavy Heart

This post was supposed to be a wrap up and farewell post for our Spring 2021 Golden Irish puppies. However, the farewell is much more bitter than sweet this time.

It is with a heavy heart that I am sharing about the very unexpected passing of Jade, our dear Golden Retriever and mother of the litter that just left for their new homes. She developed a uterine infection nine weeks after delivering puppies. By the time I realized what was wrong, the infection had already spread to her bloodstream, and we were not able to save her.

She passed last week on April 20, and I can still hardly believe she’s gone. Here’s a brief summary of her last days.

On February 17, Jade delivered a healthy litter of seven puppies. It was a very smooth and easy labor, and both she and her puppies thrived in the days after delivery. In the weeks that followed, she was a textbook perfection mother. Her puppies were all similar in size, and they gained weight quickly. She took excellent care of them, and I thought that she had recovered wonderfully.

In the first couple of weeks after having puppies, I keep a close eye on momma, because infection is always a possibility. In my experience, the risk of uterine infection is highest in the first week after delivery. By week two, it’s still a possibility, but my concern begins to ease. Then after two or three weeks, I always assumed the risk of uterine infection was over.

After the first two weeks are past, I mainly watch outward signs from momma to make sure her body is coping well and is not stressed from the work of raising puppies. Jade was eating and drinking well. She was acting normal. There was no throwing up or diarrhea. I also watch momma’s weight and coat. Being overworked by nursing puppies often manifests in weight loss and hair loss. Jade maintained her weight while producing plenty of milk, and her fur remained thick and beautiful. I took all of this to mean that her body was healthy.

The puppies were weaned after 7 weeks old, and her milk supply dried up nicely. At 8 weeks old, the puppies began leaving for their new homes. Jade was her usual, calm self, and she gently greeted each family and tried to soak up attention. There were absolutely no signs at this point that anything was amiss.

Then, on the morning of April 20th, Jade didn’t want to eat breakfast, and I could tell she wasn’t feeling well. By lunchtime, she was lethargic. I took her temperature, and she was running a fever. I called my vet, and scheduled an appointment for that afternoon as soon as my kids were up from their naps. At this point, I still had no idea how serious it was.

However, once at the vet’s office, they confirmed by ultrasound that her uterus was badly infected and that she was already septic. I was totally blindsided as I spoke to the doctor. I went from having a normal dog to discussing emergency surgery to remove her uterus or euthanasia in less than 24 hours. Jade was anemic and septic, and the odds of surviving emergency surgery were not in her favor. I struggled to take this all in. How could she be so sick? How was she already this far gone, and I hadn’t noticed anything up until that morning?

I asked my vet, “How could have I missed this?” His answer was the I probably didn’t miss it. These infections hit hard and fast.

We had two options at this point. One was an emergency spay. This would mean a transfer to another facility for overnight care. Because of her anemic and septic condition, she would need to undergo treatment to stabilize her before even attempting surgery- blood transfusion and antibiotics. If she could be stabilized well enough, they could do emergency surgery and remove the infected uterus. Then, she would have been hospitalized for several days to try to treat the blood infection. There was no guarantee that she could be stabilized for surgery. There was no guarantee she would survive surgery even with a prior blood transfusion. And there was no guarantee the sepsis could be treated afterwards. As much as I wanted to believe in any possibility of saving her, the odds were not promising for her survival.

Jade was always a very dependent dog. She hated being away from home and away from her “pack,” even for short periods of time. The thought of her being hospitalized for so long, away from her people and her pack and very possibly dying without anyone around her that she knew was very difficult to consider.

The other option was to euthanize her that evening at my vet’s office, a place she was familiar with and where I could be with her.

I was still in shock to be having to make this decision. To make matters worse, my husband had been away for a few days and was driving home and only due to arrive back around midnight. I called him and we discussed the options, and we both agreed that euthanasia was the wisest and kindest choice.

In the backyard of my vet’s office, Jade and I spent a few minutes sitting together in the grass. When she was given the drugs, she passed very quickly and peacefully, lying beside a friend and listening to a familiar voice.

I’m still processing everything; and at times, I’m still struggling with guilt, even though there’s likely nothing I could have done that would have changed the outcome. I’ve looked back over everything, wondering if there was a sign that I missed in the days prior to her death. Did I miss something because I was living under the false assumption that after 9 weeks, the risk of uterine infection is long passed?

However, even in retrospect, I can’t see anything that indicated she was sick. She happily greeted me at the door whenever I came out. She greedily ate her food at mealtimes. She napped in her favorite places.

It’s likely that in the day or two before I noticed she was ill, she was running a fever. There were probably no other symptoms, and dogs mask illness and injury. It’s part of their natural will to survive. In the wild, if an animal appears weak, sick, or injured, it quickly becomes a target for other predators. I once read that if you would rate a dog’s pain level on a scale of 1 to 10, it would be 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Meaning, they don’t show minor pain and discomfort. Once a dog is showing obvious signs of illness or injury, their discomfort level is already a 6. Because uterine infections come on so quickly and ferociously, Jade masked the mildly ill feeling and then got rapidly worse and by the time she felt sick enough to stop eating and lie on her bed, it was simply too far gone.

It’s been hard, and I miss her. But I am grateful for the five years we had with her, and I’m grateful that Jade’s memory will be alive and well for many years through the lives of her beautiful puppies. If you are one of the lucky families with one of Jade’s puppies, please know that you hold something very special and dear to my heart.

If I’ve learned anything through this it’s that life can change quickly. We never know what the future holds. But God does. God knows. He cares, and He provides. The most any of us can do is be faithful wherever we are today and spend time loving on those God has placed in our lives. You’ll never regret the extra snuggles with you kids, the late night chat with your spouse, or the extra game of fetch with your dog.

Goodbye, Jade. Your sweet, gentle nature was such a blessing, and we all miss you.

Four Weeks Old

Happy Friday! We had a busy, but very good week, and I hope you all are looking forward to your weekend!

One month old unofficially marks the end of the “newborn puppy” stage and the beginning of the “little puppy” stage. The puppies are fully mobile, their eyes are open, and they are ready to begin learning new things and drift away from their dependence on their mom. Here are the things we have been working on this past week.

1- As the puppies gain their mobility, it’s time to begin potty training. In the puppies’ pen, I have a removable and washable liner. This get changed and washed daily to keep it smelling clean. This is done, obviously, for general cleanliness and sanitation. However, it serves another purpose. By keeping the nest area clean, it works in favor of a dog’s natural instinct not to soil the area where they sleep. As puppies begin to walk, they naturally seek a different area in which to do their business. When I see this happening, I add a “potty area” to their pen. I usually use newspaper in the potty area, and I add a clean layer on top several times a day. This keeps the potty area sanitary, with clean and dry paper on top, but it maintains a faint smell, teaching the puppies where they are supposed to do their business.

At this age, I do not expect full success. I would say, 70% of the time, the puppies make an effort to go to the right spot, even though only half of the time they actually get there. But, it gets better every week! And soon, the puppies will be big enough to begin pottying outside. Once this happens, they really start to catch on. Usually, by eight weeks old, the puppies are pottying outside successfully 99% of the time! (They certainly are not house trained at 8 weeks old, but they have a foundational knowledge that usually makes the house training process easier in their new homes.)

2- This week began the very exciting weaning process! This starts very slowly with only one small meal a day of Life’s Abundance Large Breed Puppy Food. I soak the food in water or goat’s milk for the first week or two. I do this until the puppies’ teeth are fully grown in. The soft food is easier to chew, and it also provides a source of liquid to prevent dehydration for the puppies that may be slower to learn to eat and drink from bowls. Over the next two to three weeks, I will gradually increase the amount of solid food they get and decrease how much time mom spends nursing them. I will also begin to limit mom’s calorie intake, so that her body is encouraged to slow its milk production. That helps keep her comfortable during the weaning process.

Excellent quality nutrition is the number one thing that keeps puppies healthy at this age. As they begin to wean from the protective antibodies in mom’s milk, puppies can become more vulnerable to illness, digestive upsets, infections, etc. Their young immune systems and digestive systems don’t fully mature until 18-24 months old. To keep puppies healthy and allow their growing bodies to develop properly, it is very important to provide them with excellent quality nutrition.

Not all dog foods are created equally. For example, while all dog foods contain protein, the kind and quality of proteins vary significantly. Foods like Purina Dog Chow, rely heavily on corn to add protein. But dogs don’t digest corn, and therefore, all the protein in there is useless. Life’s Abundance food uses chicken meal (a highly concentrated protein source) and eggs (a source of not only protein, but also essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats). All the ingredients in this food are of excellent quality and high nutritional value for dogs, and they work to keep puppies healthy and growing well from the inside out!

Large Breed Puppy Food

The puppies have been very excited by getting to eat solid food this week, and they have needed no encouragement! I place the plate of food in the pen, and it is usually devoured and licked clean in less than a minute.

3- Probably the most fun part of this stage is the socialization training! Basically, this means daily interacting with the puppies and gently exposing them to new sights and sounds. I personally think children provide some of the best socialization. The puppies become very accustomed to children’s loud and shrill voices, sudden and unpredictable movements, and over-bearing love in the form of rough hands and tight cuddles. I also bring the puppies into a small pen in my kitchen to help them get used to normal household sounds, like pots and pans, vacuum cleaners, ect. I also play music and other sounds for the puppies most of the day. This gets them used to a variety of sounds. Right now, I am mostly doing just music. Soon, I will start sounds like thunderstorms, traffic, fireworks, etc. This helps give them calm and positive experiences with these sometimes scary sounds, which sets them up for success later in life when they hear these noises for real.

This socialization will continue daily until the puppies leave for their new homes! Each week, they will get to experience a few new things, and I do my best to give them a good foundation for their new families to continue to build on.

And that is what four weeks old looks like at our house! It is full of soaking puppy food, washing bedding, and snuggling puppies. I am excited for the next weeks, since the weather is turning warmer. The puppies will be able to spend more time outside, which is always fun for them and for us!

Hello 2021!

Hello friends! The last blog post I shared was from the beginning of December, when we had two litters of puppies getting ready to head to their new homes. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year, and I hope the beginning of 2021 has been treating you well!

This year has been just rolling along quickly for me. I can hardly believe March (and then spring!) is just around the corner! Since winter is not my favorite time of the year, I am more than happy to see the end of February drawing near.

Having a litter of puppies in February certainly does brighten the time and help pass these winter days. I’d like you to meet Jade’s newest babies!

She blessed us with seven beautiful puppies- four females and three males. They were born last week, and this first week has gone exceptionally well. Jade is a very fussy, attentive mother. She can hardly be convinced to leave her babies, even for a few moments, but she takes excellent care of them.

During the first week, my main concern is taking care of Jade. I make sure she is eating and drinking plenty. She is also on the NuVet Plus supplement, since nursing and caring for puppies is a time when mommas have very high nutritional needs. It also supports mom’s immune system, which works extra hard during this time, as well.

For the puppies themselves, I have had to do very little so far. I keep the bedding clean in their pen, and I make sure the room is warm. Other than that, I simply observe them to make sure each of them is growing and gaining weight. When I walk into their pen, I like to see all the puppies either vigorously nursing or snuggled together on a pile. They pile on each other naturally for warmth. (A puppy that doesn’t seek out the warmth of its siblings is likely weak or sick.) When I pick them up, I like to feel full, round bellies. And these guys have all been doing very well. While there is a range of weights, they are all very close in size, none of them significantly larger or smaller than the others.

It’s looking like there will not be any available puppies from this litter. When we had our first litter of Golden Irish in 2018, I never imagined they would become as popular as they are! I am blown away by all of the support and interest we have had for these puppies. So thank you to all the families who have purchased one of our puppies in the past and recommended us to your friends and neighbors. I am very grateful for the connections and friends we have made, and I am very excited to get to know the new families that will be blessed with one of these sweet puppies!

Check back next week for some more pictures!

Six & Seven Weeks Old

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. No matter how your holiday was spent, I hope you experienced joy and thankfulness for God’s many blessings, large and small.

For me, and probably many of you, as well, the holidays are a time of family. Of anything in my life, I am most thankful for the gift of my family- for my immediate family and for the heritage and blessing of extended family.

It’s humbling to look at my family and see the amazing blessings God has given me, especially knowing I don’t deserve them. I haven’t done anything worthy of God’s grace and goodness, yet His grace and goodness are evident every day. And while I am certainly very thankful for the “good things,” God’s goodness is also evident in the bad days, too. His blessings aren’t limited to peaceful, prosperous times. His blessings abound in all times and circumstances. And knowing God is present at all times is truly the greatest blessing of all.

And I’m also thankful for these ten bouncing balls of fur! Can you count all ten?

You guys, these puppies are adorable. Every one of them. They are each so different and so much fun. And it’s great knowing that there are going to be so many homes enjoying a new puppy this Christmas. I’m so excited to share these sweet pups with you!

Here’s what we have been up to! I don’t feel like there is too much to report. We’ve been practicing a lot of the same things as last week, but the puppies certainly have been learning and maturing.

Potty training: Woohoo! Potty training is going so well! I haven’t cleaned up any poop accidents in an entire week! You don’t realize how exciting that is until you have raised a litter of puppies. But when all the poop ends up in the proper place, wow, it’s AMAZING.

Crate training: Mia’s puppies are doing well in the crate. Duchess’s puppies still cry quite a bit, but this is very normal at this age. None of the puppies have had accidents in the crate, but not all of them enjoy being crated… yet. Some puppies immediately love the crate. It’s safe, secure, and quiet. But not all puppies like it at first. However, I think all puppies can be crate trained. And crate training is hands-down the BEST way to begin house training. If you don’t have a crate for your puppy yet- get one. It is absolutely worth it.

Weaning: Both litters are now eating unsoftened kibble. Mia’s puppies, now fully weaned, are also enjoying the NuVet Immune System Supplement. I start this after the puppies wean from momma’s milk, because their young immune systems take a dip. Having good immune system support goes a long way in keeping a puppy and young dog healthy. NuVet is made with human grade ingredients in an FDA registered facility, and it’s specifically formulated to boost the immune system. I use it for my puppies, young dogs (under 2 years), and my pregnant and nursing mommas.

Play: One of the most important things I can do with the puppies during these last couple of weeks is play with them. They love to interact, and getting lots of attention, love, and play is so good for them. So the children and I are doing our best to soak up the last days with these two litters! Having such mild weather recently has been great, as the puppies just love to play outside. I have a large play yard set up with lots of toys inside so that they can all play together on the nice afternoons.

Vets, vaccines, & deworming: The puppies get a vet check and their first puppy shot at 7 weeks old, and they also get one last round of dewormer. Once that is done, they are all set to go to their new homes! Mia’s puppies went to the vet this week, and Duchess’s will go next week. The time is really winding down fast.

Have a great weekend!