Saturday, December 28, 2013

Upcoming Litter Plans

UCD Ch Neigenuveaux Fleur d’Northrock WC CGN “Sophie” has been bred to MBIS GCh Treebeard’s Galileo CGN “Oreo”

Oreo flew out to Toronto from Calgary, Alberta at the beginning of December with his owner Heath Kenyon.  We had a wonderful visit and our family adored Oreo.  He is a delightful, easy going boy who fit right in like a dirty shirt.  He got along great with all of the dogs which was no big surprise. What was extra nice was that he was totally fine with our cat!  Oreo doesn't live with a cat so this was a pleasant bonus.  The children adored him and he did very well walking to school with them in the morning and hanging in the elementary school yard.  It was hard to say goodbye when their visit was over but we are crossing all of our fingers and toes that Sophie is pregnant and that soon there will be Oreo x Sophie pups for us to love and cuddle.  We are enormously grateful to Heath for making the trip to Ontario with Oreo.  If all goes well puppies will be due at the beginning of February.  More information about this breeding can be found on our website.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Cheerio "C" Litter!

The Obie and Mona puppies have left for their new homes.  These puppies have been a complete joy and our time with them has gone by so quickly.  Mona was a wonderful first time mom to her puppies and she and Obie produced some very special pups.  They are confident, friendly and ├╝ber affectionate.  Their new homes are head over heels in love with them.  I am enjoying the updates that are coming in from their families.  None of these puppies have ventured too far from home and I look forward to meeting up with them again in the future.  

Thank you to their new families who have opened their homes and their hearts to these four wonderful puppies.

Chewie went to live in Toronto with Maren, Paul and their daughter Lilly and they named him Barnie.
UPDATE:  Sometimes despite careful preparation and planning things don't go as expected.  It turns out that after living with Barnie for a number of weeks, Paul's allergies became unbearable and it was decided that it would not be possible for them to continue to keep their puppy.  The way a person experiences allergies can vary from one individual to the next.  In Paul's situation the visits to the breeder's home (even with multiple dogs present) weren't the same as living with his own pup and having constant daily exposure to the allergens.  We will always be grateful to Maren, Paul and Lilly for the love and care they gave to Barnie during the time that he was with them.

At the beginning of January Barnie went to live with David and his wife and their two children in Markham where he is much loved and now goes by the name of Alfie! His registered name is Northrock's Charlie Brown.
Leia has gone to live with Banny and Kim and is staying in Toronto.  She now goes by Sadie and her registered name is Northrock's Chocolate Kiss.
Luke is now Northrock's Caped Crusader aka "Baxter" and lives in Toronto with April and her  son.
Amidala is now Northrock's Calypso Rose and goes by Suzie.  She lives in Whitby, Ontario with John and his family.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Obie x Mona puppies - 4 to 9 weeks.

From four to nine weeks we were kept very busy with the puppies.  Lots of visitors came through the house to help socialize the puppies. 

The pups spent plenty of time outdoors, mingled with the big dogs and met the cat.  They all agreed that fallen leaves make wonderful toys. 

Puppies cavort in the yard on a sunny autumn day while Quincy supervises their play.

Sophie and one of the pups share a tender moment.  Kelly's exuberance is contagious and she quickly convinces the little puppies to play with her.  She was very good at being mindful of their small bodies and adjusted her play style accordingly. 
         Snowy days added an extra element of fun for the puppies!

We do our best to offer the puppies lots of interesting things to play with in their indoor puppy pen.
The puppies have had solo expeditions to other homes so that I can observe them in unfamiliar surroundings away from their litter mates.  They did great and were confident and outgoing each time.  

We did temperament tests on each of the pups when they were seven weeks old and were very happy with what we saw.  They are truly a delightful bunch and performed well during the test.  These Obie x Mona puppies were wonderful and we had a fabulous time raising them during their first weeks with us.  

Monday, November 4, 2013

Obie x Mona puppies are now 4 weeks old!

Obie and Mona’s puppies are now 4 weeks old.  The time is flying by but we are careful not to waste these important early weeks.  Our last post celebrated the puppies turning 1 week old.  Since then they have completed the Neo-Natal Period (1 - 14 days) and we wrapped up the Bio-sensor and Early Scent Stimulation exercises.  The puppies begin their time with us in a guest bedroom and they remain there during the Neo-natal Period and through the Transitional Period (14 - 21 days).  They are handled frequently not just by our own family but by friends that stop by to gently hold them and cuddle with them.  We are always very careful to practice germ control but we do feel that socialization should begin even when they are still very young.

During the Transitional Period the puppies eyes open and their hearing develops.  We keep the lights low in the room during the days when their eyes are opening.  Once everyone’s eyes are open, shortly thereafter normal lighting resumes.  We have a television in the room which we use as the low level of changing light that it emits has been said to help the brain to develop.  It is the same with low level sounds, so we have classical music playing at a low volume to facilitate auditory stimulation.  We add some novel items to the whelping box such as soft stuffed animals, little balls and different footing for the puppies in the form of bath mats and small carpets.  

During their third week the puppies enter the Awareness or Identification Period (21 - 28 days). [For more details about these periods in a puppy’s development see Pat Hasting’s book Another Piece of the Puzzle: Puppy Development]  Now the pups make the big move downstairs into our dining room which is adjacent to the family room and kitchen and right smack in the heart of our home.   Since they now can use all of their senses they are exposed to all the sights, sounds and smells of our home. They are still using the whelping box but we have added a potty box. We have found this to be very helpful in encouraging the puppies to eliminate in a separate area.  We also add a small play area that over time gradually is enlarged to accommodate their growing needs.

Pups have dangling toys, and noisy toys, toys that roll and squeak, toys that they can pick up and toys to climb over.  The radio is often set to the classical music station because we like all the different sounds that the many varied instruments make.  We also play a few different cds of various sounds to help further expose the pups to noises that they might encounter outside the home such as thunderstorms, fireworks, gun shots, airplanes etc....

The big dogs in the house are now invited to meet the puppies and interact with them through the puppy pen. Even our resident cat Daphne has come to check them out!  

When the puppies turned 4 weeks old we introduced them to their first meal of solids. Which was ground turkey with bone and goat’s milk.  They enjoyed it immensely.  

Visitors are now coming over on a regular basis to help socialize the puppies.  We aim to have them have many positive interactions with a myriad of different people by the time they leave for their new homes. 

These are truly such delightful puppies. Mona continues to be a wonderful dam to them and we are enjoying our time with these little sweethearts while it lasts. Here is a brief video of the pups taken on November 3rd. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving! Obie x Mona Pups are One Week Old Today.

Today we celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada and we have so much to be thankful for.  We are extremely grateful for our good health and happiness and that of our friends and family (including the four legged ones) and we are extra thankful for our beautiful litter of Barbet pups that were born last Sunday.

Mona and her puppies continue to do very well.  The pups are in the neo-natal period of their development.  They are extremely vulnerable in these early days since they cannot regulate their own body temperature and they need help eliminating.  The puppies spend an enormous amount of time sleeping and nursing.  They are getting better and better at moving around the whelping box but are not yet up on all fours.  Their eyes and ears are still closed.  The little noises that they make are ever so endearing and Mona is very attentive to their needs.  

We have started the Bio Sensor program of early neurological stimulation exercises which began on day three and will continue until day 16.  It's a series of 5 exercises.  We have also introduced the puppies to novel scents. You can read more about how we do these exercises in one of our past blog posts  Early Neurological Stimulation & Early Scent Stimulation 

Of course in addition to these exercises the puppies are weighed daily, receive regular nail trims and lots of gentle handling.  They are terrible time wasters and I find myself crawling right into the whelping box along side Mona and her pups for lots of snuggles and loving. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Northrock's "C" Litter: The Obie x Mona Puppies have Arrived!!!

We are delighted to announce that the eagerly awaited Obie and Mona puppies have arrived safe and sound at Northrock.  On the morning of October 6th Mona whelped 4 beautiful puppies.  

Mona and her pups are all doing well.  Our children are huge Star Wars fans and they wanted to give these puppies special names in addition to their collar colours. Please join me in welcoming these little darlings to the world:

Mr. Blue "Chewbacca" born at 7:50 am  14 7/8 oz. - Brown
Miss. Purple "Amidala" born at 7:58 am 14 1/4 oz. - Brown
Miss. Red "Leia" born at 8:56 am 14 3/4 oz. - Brown
Mr. Yellow "Luke" born at 10:02 am 13 1/4 oz - Black

  I am looking forward to all the fun that we will have watching these puppies grow up.  We're very grateful to Chris and Ula Pepper at Nappyroots Reg'd and Paul Hunter (Obie's owners) for letting us use him with Mona.  They are lovely puppies and we are thrilled.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Upcoming Litter: Obie x Mona

We are very excited about our upcoming litter here at Northrock.  Mona has been bred to Obie and she is expecting puppies the first week of October.  Details about the breeding can be found on our website.  Mona is such a sweet Barbet and her pregnancy is going well.  Pregnancy was confirmed by palpation at the end of August and the positive palpation combined with other signs that Mona has been exhibiting  (an increase in lazy behaviour, her nipples are pinking up and getting larger and she had experienced morning sickness) all point to pregnancy. 

Photo credit: National Geographic, fetus at 39 days

Here is a link to a past post that has some information about how puppies develop when they are still inside their dam.
If you would like a further glimpse into the canine womb to see what exactly is going on, National Geographic has created an incredible video called “In the Womb: Dogs”.  It is a fascinating documentary about the fetal development of 3 different breeds.  If you ever get the chance to watch it I highly recommend it.  Here is a little teaser. 
To view more of this documentary check out these links:
Mona - Day 47
We are very much looking forward to meeting these Obie x Mona pups.  Obie is a really nice Barbet and together with Obie's owners Paul Hunter and Chris and Ula Pepper of Nappyroots Reg'd we are counting down the days until these precious puppies arrive!

The Barbet at PawsWay Toronto

This past weekend myself and a bunch of Club Barbet Canada members and their dogs spent the day at the PawsWay which is located on Toronto's waterfront.  It was a gorgeous day with blue skies and sunshine.  The PawsWay held the event in order to show the public a variety of puppies, what they will look like as an adult, and to give educational information that will help them to make an informed, responsible decision about which breed would be a good match for their needs.  It was an excellent opportunity to promote the Barbet, and demonstrate the predictability and advantages of purebred dogs. All of the dogs were very well behaved and wonderful ambassadors of the breed. We all had a great time chatting with the public.  It was obvious to everyone how much we love the Barbet!  

Club Members Brian, JoAnne, Anna, Stephanie and Gene with Barbets Josie, Cooper and Bentley

Barbet puppies Josie and Cooper

Club Member Daniela with Napoleon

Zoey (owned by club member Stephanie and her hubby Russell) and Bentley
What made the day extra special for me was that it was also a reunion of sorts for Northrock families who have puppies from the Dougy x Coco litter (Zoey, Napoleon & Bentley) as well as the from the Chmurnik x Sophie litter (Josie & Cooper).  I feel so blessed that these puppies are in such loving and wonderful homes.  I am also very appreciative that their owners were excited to come down and volunteer their time to support the Club and the PawsWay and help to promote the breed.

Summer Memories at the Cottage

It has been a great summer here at Northrock.  We had lots of fun weekends up at the cottage with the dogs and I wanted to share a few photos...   

I can't believe how quickly it went by and now that we are into September we are enjoying the cooler temperatures.  Fall is my favourite season and we are all looking forward to long hikes in the conservation areas with the kids and dogs.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

New WC title for Kelly!

Delighted to share that our keeper puppy from the Dougy x Coco litter, Kelly earned her WC today at the Flat-Coated Retriever Society of Canada’s Working Certificate test in Merrickville, Ontario.  Kelly was the only Barbet entered at the test and there was plenty of curiosity about the woolly black dog running!  She did great on both the land and water marks.  I am so appreciative of the wonderful job my friend Donna LaHaise did training her and handling her today at the test.  Kelly turned a year old on August the 4th and is now Northrock’s Anchors Aweigh WC !!!!!  What a fantastic way to celebrate her birthday month.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Farewell to the Fab Five!

Well as I sit down in my quiet house to type out this blog post I can’t help but feel a little sad about how quickly the last 10 weeks have gone by!  All of the Chmurnik x Sophie puppies have flown the coop and departed for their new lives.  I feel very blessed that they are with such wonderful families who are already doing such a great job with them.  It is definitely with mixed emotions that I write this send-off post.  My entire family really enjoyed having these little hooligans underfoot.  They were such a delight and a joy and I had such a fun time socializing them and getting to know their unique personalities. 

Now they are beginning a new chapter in their lives and it is with much happiness that I present in order of departure, the Fab Five and their new families.
Mr. Blue….Northrock’s Belvedere Sullivan “Sulley”
Sulley is now living in Texas and has taken the transition to a new country and climate all in stride!  Denis and Trey and their two boys James and Jack are delighted with their new addition.

Mr. Green …… Northrock’s Bodan Spartacus “Cooper”

Cooper has become the new companion of Bob and Anna.  Since he will be living close by in Mississauga I will happily get to visit with him from time to time!

Ms. Red …. Northrock’s Black Seal “Josie” 

Josie is also not very far away and she now makes her home in Milton where she has stolen the hearts of Brian and JoAnne.  
 Miss. Purple …. Northrock’s Beatrix de Beziers “Beazie”

Beazie has travelled to Rhode Island.  She’ll be living with her older housemate Charley, a Portuguese Water Dog.  Her new owners Mary and Paul are delighted that she has joined their family.
Miss. Orange …… Northrock’s Bella Sera “Dafny”
Dafny journeyed to New York State where she is now living happily with Paul, Licia and their son Aidan.   

 And so just like that they are gone, off on new adventures and bringing joy to their new families.  I will miss their silly little selves and I look forward to hearing all the updates about how they are doing in their new homes.  I am so grateful to the wonderful families who have welcomed these fabulous puppies into their hearts!

Sophie and her daughter Dafny shortly before Dafny departed with her new family.