Graduations are so bittersweet. It's one of our last chances to "play" with each pup -- the time they make their special paintings (one for owner, a master one for us with ALL the paw prints of pups we have bred over the years, and one to raise money for animal rescue) -- and the last chance to savor staring into their little eyes and souls. It's also a time to rejoice for their exciting lives ahead of them, with their amazing new families, and to give thanks for their lives, health, special personalities, and the fact that they MADE it to this point! Wahoo!! When they are those tiny, fragile newborns (about as long as your pinky!) taking their first breaths, you always wonder if they'll make it to this point in their life. But then, their eyes open, and then they take their first steps, they discover their bark (yes, sometimes it takes a few "tries" as they find their voice) .... and, suddenly, they are 12 weeks old! But even though the time flew by with us, the memories we made during this short time will travel with us for the rest of our lives. God speed little ones! We will love you always.
Rosalina (formerly known as Holly), AKC Registered name of "Pickwick's Protector of the Cosmos", is now living with an amazing family in Georgia. She has already settled in as a new member of their pack consisting of mom, dad, and other 4-legged and 2-legged siblings ;) and plans to also participate in conformation and AKC Juniors.
Buddy (Pickwick's I Just Like to Smile ... new call name, Murphy) has moved to live with an incredible family in North Carolina. He will be joining his mom, dad, and some furry cats, and older human brothers who just graduated H.S. Maybe he will help prevent too much "empty nest syndrome" and bring LOTS of smiles to his new family with his sweet, gentle, KIND soul (and super soft coat ;) . . . .
Dottie (new name Stella) gets to go to a home ALONG with quasi-littermate (well, he's one week older and a cousin, but they spent plenty of their first months together in the same playpen). Nic (new name Hooch) graduated the same day, so Stella and Hooch (isn't that awesome?) have now moved to live with a wonderful couple in Florida. Stella is a party girl and always ready for fun and Hooch is a sweet, gentle soul so their personalities should complement each other. Blessings to both of these special pug puppies as they begin their new lives. (Nic/Hooch's video is coming soon . . . .)
Nic/Hooch --- video coming soon . . .
Lil Riccie (formerly known as Mr. Jingles) graduates with honors! AKC registered name, Pickwick's Bama Lama Bama Loo, is because his new mom is a blues artist and performs all across the country (and even in Europe). Lil Riccie was always so fun to teach but now his new mom and dad can have fun continuing his "piano lessons" in New Orleans. Perhaps you might even see him perform in one of her shows one day? Look for his awesome red/blue/green piano and his sweet face. ;)
Bell (new name Luna) has moved to Colorado to live with her new incredible mom (a nurse) and dad. She did great on the flight and has already even been on a "hike" (in quotes because she was carried to keep away from Parvo and such until she's completed her final vaccinations). Luna will be enjoying a wonderful life high in the mountains in the best ski country and perhaps even enjoy eating at lots of restaurants ;)
Lulu (new name Machi Maru), AKC registered name "Pickwick's From Morning Sun till Dine" graduated with highest of highest honors. She will be moving to live in Atlanta and her new mom is actually a vet which is comforting to know there will be no problems with future medical care. This precious pug is SO smart and she LOVES to learn. It's SO FUN watching her "think" .... staring at you until she figures out what it is you're asking her to do. But she is also kind. None of the "Talk to the hand" and only "how can I please you today?" With the softest coat, dead level topline, nice neck, gorgeous face, and so much more, it's hard seeing these pugs go that are amazing inside and out and could very easily obtain multiple championships, Best of Breed and such. But, knowing these pups will be in incredible homes, cherished, and living full lives, is the important thing to focus on. Jeff and I can only afford to cherish, care for, pay for, and train a limited number of pugs so, as the saying goes, "The next best in show is sitting on someone's couch" ... that's the case with so many of these pugs from these last litters. God speed little Lulu. Shine bright and spread your love all around!
(video coming soon . . .)
Risa (new name Amber) recently left to fly to her new home in Colorado. She is one of the smartest and most independent pugs from all the Spring litters and we'll miss this little stubborn spirit. She has met her match with her new owners, though, who have owned pugs all their lives. And smart pugs ;) God speed Sweet Risa! We will remember you always.
Griffin (Pickwick's Whisper Your Legends) will be joining his half-brother from last year's Diamond Litter, Teddy, to live with an awesome family in Auburn, Alabama. It should be fun for the 2 of them to have each other and they are both very sweet boys so they should get along fabulously. Griffin such a handsome boy and could easily have finished his championship but, alas, we can't keep them all and it made more sense for us to keep his sister, Bridget as our pick. We will miss this gorgeous and sweet boy!
Whitaker (new name Bumi) Pickwick's Heartbeat of the Night Stars is now living in Athens, Georgia with an amazing owner who is a vet tech plus also an agility competitor and instructor. Whitaker and Griffin both "auditioned" to be her next agility rock star and Whitaker won .... but she said it was a tough choice! Look for this little spitfire in the agility rings. He's going to be a superstar!
There's more detailed information on the webpage for new owners but here is a quick video of the pups' breakfast for today. It's a great idea to continue with the diet they are used to for a period of time and I recommend this specific diet for the first year of life at least (or just strictly raw Primal nuggets with some marrow bones and such to chew).
1) Farmina N&D Ancestral Grain (really any flavor but we've been using the Lamb mini bites).
2) Probiotic chews
3) Raw Goat's Milk (or checkout Hollywood Feed or other better pet stores in your area)
4) Multiple Vitamin
5) Esther C
6) Primal Raw (they also really like the Turkey Sardine version, or lamb, or duck, or beef - or you can get the frozen version, not dehydrated at stores like Hollywod Feed).
One nice thing about being a piano teacher is that the puppies always get to meet so many different people, including children of all ages. There were a few 'no shows' this teaching day, so I had some fun playing different sound effects and styles of music for the puppies. It was so fun seeing their responses. The human laughter sound effect definitely received some reaction!
The New Year's Eve Litter girls got to visit the vet today for their 2nd round of vaccinations (sans lepto) and their microchips. All the pups are also now officially AKC registered with their new owners contact info on their AKC reunite paperwork as well. It's so hard thinking about the gotcha days ... bittersweet for us because we will miss the pups but we also know how amazing all of their new owners will be. During the daily training sessions we tell each pup all about their new family and parents. I was saying "Good Boeya" for "Boy" (think southern diphthongs) and Jeff teased me saying I need to neutralize my accent so the pups will understand their new owners ha.
We are getting as many outings and adventure trips as possible these days. It is so fun to watch their eyes as they see new colors and sights and experience new sounds and smells. We don't walk around in public places but they are carried or ride in their stroller.
A few out-takes from some recent training sessions.
Noel showing off "drop it" . . . . .
Lulu having a blast with her training . . . .
Lil Riccie showing off his piano playing skills .....
We made some 'tracks' to use for training sessions to keep us on schedule (with 14 puppies it can take all day with 2 training sessions and it's so easy to get distracted with their puppy cuteness!). Music makes everything more fun (thank you Garage Band), too! Here's one of the shorter tracks which is just about 11 minutes ... with a 3 minute buffer this means 4 puppies per hour so about 4 hours when all is said and done. Then we repeat sessions later to train things they need to work more on. Keeps their minds working!
Lil Riccie (formerly known as Mr. Jingles) is getting much better at his piano playing. In the early training sessions, the sound of the piano would startle him a bit but now he offers the behavior on his own sometimes without any prompting!
This post is a few weeks old but the pups did such a great job in this training session I just had to share it! Of course my phone died so I only got a few of them on video.
It was such a struggle selecting our pick of these litters because, quite honestly, there were so many amazing choices. I could see almost all of them going on and easily earning a championship and the temperament was so incredible on all. While Dottie doesn't have Noel's length of leg, neck, movement ... or Risa or Holly or Mr. Jingles gorgeous face, her mink coat and bone somehow stole our hearts. (Jeff's heart especially ;) So we will have to see how she grows out and cross our fingers that her pigment will come in more (her dad Robert's took some time to darken).
After the puppies are 7 weeks old and their beautiful brains are fully developed, training takes on a new meaning. It is fun watching them think, trying to decide what behavior you want them to do. After Dottie's evening training session, we snuggled and had our "cool down" but then I sat on the floor with her and edited this video. I guess she wasn't ready to end the session because she was romping around trying out everything we had worked on (ramp, tunnel, paws up etc.). I was ignoring her since I hadn't asked for the behaviors and just allowed her to have some fun, solo playtime. But then I heard a little "ping" after she went to the piano and played voluntarily. Of course I had to praise and treat that! I mean, as a piano teacher, it's a BIG DEAL when a student practices on his own initiative!
Amy - Concert pianist, composer, lecturer, teacher, adjudicator, pug lover, dog trainer, soap and candle maker, owner Unique Boutique for Pet Owners, and co-owner Pickwick Pugs along with her husband, Dr. Jeff McLelland, concert organist, music director, and awesome care giver of the grumble.