Welcome to the ATB blog "J & A's Brittanys" where we love to write about, share stories, post videos and pictures featuring our beautiful, well bred Brittany family bird dogs. With their established and recognized hunting heritage our dogs also measure up to the breed standard regarding health, appearance, movement, and temperament. Enjoy the stories of whelping puppies, tips on field training, bragging rights on accomplishments, sharing joys and sorrow, announcements and as the name implies - ALL THINGS BRITTANY! With a love of God, family, friends, and dog we welcome you.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

J&A's Wonderful Hunt Test Weekend

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Things are finally opening again and the events we longed for last year have been taking place once again. This past weekend was CMBC’s hunt test, and it did not disappoint!  All our fun outdoor times in the field last year evolved unintentionally into preparation for this event, an event where our ATB extended family was well represented! (Click on name for photos)

J&A’s Golden Abundance of Life JH, NA Prize1 
Sire: J&A’s Apple Jack of Acton JH - Jack
Dam: J&A’s Carry the Dream of Acton JH, NA Prize1 – Holly
Loved, bred, handled, owned by John and Ann.
(She earned perfect 10's on Saturday with her overall average score a 9!)

J&A’s Country Boy’s Prayer JH 
Sire: J&A’s Keeper of the Stars of Acton SH – True
Dam: J&A’s Birch Spring Breaking New Ground JH, NA Prize1 – Toph
Bred by John and Ann Short
Loved, owned, handled by Jeff Patry.
It's been rewarding to see Jeff and Franklin become a great handling team.  Franklin, Revere's full brother and littermate, has had great success hunting grouse and woodcock in Rangeley Maine.
NEW Junior Hunter QUALIFIER (1/2 way there!)
J&A’s Treasured Autumn Dreams Remi 
Sire: Son-of-a-Gunn – Oly
Dam: J&A’s Carry the Dream of Acton JH, NA Prize1 – Holly
Bred by John and Ann Short
Loved, owned, handled by Steve & Charleen Parker
It has been a lot of fun to work with the Parkers and 7 month old Remi. She was Breezie in the Autumn's Treasures and has come a long way in a short time. 
 Master Hunter QUALIFIER (Almost there!)
(uncertain of actual registered name!)
Sire: CH J&A’s Quiet Courage MH, NA Prize 1 - Wilson
Dam: Merrymeeting’s Morning Skye of Birch Spring SH, NA Prize 1 - Skye
Breeders: Walter Longley, Christine Longley
Loved, owned, handled by Dave Molyneaux.
What a joy to see to see this pretty two-year-old pup from New York again.  I saw her at 7 weeks old at the Longleys when John and I did her P.A.T. evals.  Reminding me not only of her sire Wilson, but of her grandmother who was Treasure, Emmy is closing in on her Master Title! 

 Honorable Mention

J&A’s Rubies Are Heaven Sent SH - Ruby
Sire: J&A’s Soaring White Sequoia -Scooby
Dam: KJ’s Ramblin’ Molly Rose – Molly
Bred by: John and Ann
Loved, owned, handled by Roger & Marilyn Gilman
It was a wonderful surprise to see Ruby at the hunt test!  She had just had her birthday the day before. Already an AKC Senior Hunter, she is currently testing for her AKC Master Hunter.

There's one more young pup who has also come a long way with his owners. They had planned to participate in the hunt test last weekend but it didn't work out for that to happen. Wesson already has one bird season behind him, and will definitely have his day! 

Thanks to the 'rona, most dog events we enjoy were cancelled in 2020.  Ginja however did participate in a NAVHDA pre-test clinic followed by the actual NAVHDA test, where she earned her NAVHDA Natural Ability Title – NA 110 Prize 1.  Later in the year, Revere finished up his AKC Junior Hunter title at the same hunt test where Ginja earned her first two ‘legs’.  (The Central Maine Brittany Club aka CMBC cancelled their hunt test, dog show, and field trials as did many other specialty and breed clubs.) We were immensely proud of Ginja and Revere’s 2020 accomplishments!  We continued with field training throughout 2020 several times a week spring through fall and early winter. John did a little bird hunting in the fall. I was very content to remain at home raising “Autumn’s Treasures”! 

I will not belabor the point but by the time Mother's Day 2020 rolled around, I was fed up with the pandemic, self-quarantines, social distancing, mask mandates and more.  Unwilling to accept the situation as the ‘new normal’ I reclaimed my personal responsibility, set my mind on things above and began to look forward to what 2021 would bring with friends and family.  I was determined not to succumb to the oppression which tried to permeate all aspects of day-to-day life. It was bad enough that numerous personal situations broke my heart in 2020. But I digress! 

In closing, I just want to give a shout out to John who always remains as a valuable resource for our puppy people and our friends.  John understands the best path to a finished and happy Brittany gun dog. While remaining modest without pretense he knows this breed and particularly our line very well. He discerns how to bring the best out in them no matter their age or level of training, if any! John's methods utilize the 'slow but steady wins the race' approach. He has been referred to as a 'Brittany dog whisperer' but also has had success helping owners of English Setters, Gordon Setters, Pointers, even Field and Clumber Spaniels! John can recognize the precise timing of each level of training according to an individual dog's readiness. We are never in a hurry and do not encourage rushing through any process for any dog, no matter the age. Not a fan of harsh methods, John counts on praising the dogs to be the best motivator and always ending on a positive note where the dog succeeds in the task being asked of them.  Pleasing their owner is a Brittany's reason for living so that is not too hard to figure out!  John informally and naturally shares his years of experience with Brittanys with those who come to the field to run dogs with us. During the summer early mornings in the field are enjoyed on a regular basis. And yes, I occasionally rise at sunrise to join everyone! 

Perhaps the biggest takeaway here is to remember it takes time and there are no shortcuts on the road to a well-mannered, finished gundog for the walking upland game hunter! Again, the first year in our opinion should be about fun, developing teamwork, learning about and loving each other. A dog should be going through the paces with a happy demeanor without being mechanical. There is all the time in the world for a Brittany's obedience training beyond basic puppy manners. Here is to the summer of 2021 with our ATB family of all ages!

As always thanks for your interest in All Things Brittany! Take care and God bless you and yours always,  John, Ann, and our canine crew!


Sunday, April 11, 2021

ATB - Speaking of Peeps!

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“You know you got a one-of-a-kind gundog, when you grab your gun and vest and head to the front door and your dog is already waiting there with the keys to your truck.” Steve Reider

Spring truly has sprung here in Maine!  It was predicted to be in the 70's today which meant a much earlier start to our usual Saturday field work with the crew.  John is getting into a regular schedule now which means the dogs are enjoying at least three days during the week in addition to Saturday mornings.  It has really been nice getting a later start as we all know mornings can be a struggle for me.  From now on we will exercise/run/work the dogs before the heat of the day is felt.  By mid-summer this means starting as early as 6:30 a.m.!  (That's when John left the house today. I came to the field a couple of hours later with Revere.)

As I turned onto the dirt road leading into our training area this morning Revere, crated in the back, immediately recognized where we were and joyfully expressed in no uncertain terms his delight at being there.  Likewise, a couple of hours earlier at home, he had not so joyfully expressed his discontent at staying with me when John left.  Revere's registered name "Awaken The Dawn" has significance of varying levels.  Driving in and approaching the johnny house I was so happy to be greeted by several familiar ATB 'family' faces who had brought their Brittanys. Yay! 

One thing that has been constant over the past 16 years is understanding the importance for Brittanys to have frequent opportunities to run freely in an open area. Early on, we were really blessed to have use of wonderful fields less than 4 minutes down the road. It was so fun to meet with a few others and their dogs for a great morning of running dogs.  Not just Brittanys but English and Gordon Setters, Pointers, and others. Several years ago, those fields became unavailable to us and the search was on! Thanks to a good friend we were introduced to the owner of another property who has been just wonderful to us. It is worth the extra time it takes to travel there. I simply must get up early enough to go!  

Today the liver and white Brittanys and their owners rocked! They were in the majority. How wonderful to see little Remi for the first time since leaving last fall. For such a young puppy she is doing exceptionally well on her birds.  I loved seeing Franklin there this morning too. An outstanding grouse and woodcock dog he is full brother and littermate to my Revere.  It also was a joy to see Wesson today. He has really come so far and makes me smile.  One thing these owners all have in common is a commitment to consistent, ongoing training suitable for the age level of their dog.  The goal is to tap into the dog's inherent natural instincts, recognize and gently nurture them to eventually result in a skilled and effective gundog. To understand and learn to 'read' your dog takes time, practice, experience and a whole lot of birds! 

John enjoys setting new owners of gundogs up to succeed.  He does not train the dogs belonging to others but instead provides an opportunity to observe him working our own dogs. Offers support and guidance when they handle theirs. He works our dogs according to their specific and various skill levels. John knows each one is different and proceeds accordingly with them. Through the years he has been called a dog whisperer, or more specifically, a Brittany whisperer.  I do not think it is possible to explain it, it simply is.  I have seen my husband help develop confidence in people of their own abilities to train their own dog. Even folks previously frustrated with their gundogs, or who have never trained a bird dog before. Ultimately, they have reached a satisfying level of success for the next bird hunting season which is, as far as I am concerned. what it is all about. Simply said, the emphasis is on fun while kicking the obedience up a notch as needed. When it comes to the younger pups, John is cautious about giving them too much to do too soon. He keeps the skill list short for them, recognizing it is so easy to break the spirit of a Brittany. 

There is often an understandable tendency to try to do too much too soon. Especially when we know the potential that rests in that beautiful, intelligent being in front of us. But to a young pup what we call 'gundog training' is still just a game to them.  I remember a phone conversation I had with Frank Pride of Pride & Joy Brittanys about 20 years or so ago. I was asking what I should be doing with my 12-week-old puppy as far as training.  He basically told me "keep that first year all about fun. Go easy on the obedience. There is plenty of time for that. Let the pup learn about the birds on his own while providing the necessary guidance. Observe the pup's body when he is 'birdy' or has hit the scent cone." 

Tonight, is a perfect early spring evening here in Maine. It is approaching the midnight hour, the windows are still open and the sound of peepers singing 'cold feet, can't sleep' can be heard outside.  The sun is setting later and later. Earlier this evening the sound like that of a woodcock was heard but I cannot say for sure.  In the past we have been surprised to find them here and refer to them as resident woodcocks. This is the time of year where they will begin their mating ritual and if you'd like to read more about it this is a link to a great article called "Dances With Woodcock".  

Speaking of "PEEPS"!  I sure do love all of ours and enjoy the times we are together.  You know who you are, near and far, recent or otherwise. Our wonderful All Things Brittany 'family'.  We thank God you are in our lives. 


Take care and God bless, 

John, Ann, and our canine crew

Monday, April 5, 2021

ATB - Importance of Small Beginnings!

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As we begin your 14th trip around the sun, it is fun to recall the years we have already spent together.  I remember when you were born as if it was yesterday. You were the first born and alas! You were also the last and only puppy born.  Back then, we did not do ultrasound or x-rays such as is typical now, so it truly was a complete surprise that you were a singleton.  Your sire (CH Hills Blazen’ Jac JH) was also a singleton so we had the benefit of helpful tips from Hills Brittanys, in Coventry CT.  You were a little piggie because you had the dairy bar all to yourself.  From the beginning, you were a delightful challenge! No littermates meant no competitive nursing from your Chrissy (KJ Requet’s Bouncin’ Crysta). Your weight gain was rapid and because you had no littermates to play with or crawl over, you lacked opportunities for natural exercise.  We used to roll up towels, stuffed toys, and other methods to encourage you to crawl up and over them.  In addition to the deliberate stretching exercises for your legs that we had to do once a day you were gently hobbled to prevent your little legs from slipping beneath your weight. And believe me, the extra work all paid off and you were more than worth it.

One of my favorite puppy pictures of Pippin!
Your personality burst wide open to reveal a spunky spirit, full of sass yet abounding with affection! When you were finally up on your legs and moving well there was a clear bounce and spring to your step. Your movement was stunning even from an extremely young age, your gait near perfection. You made training for a natural free stack effortless for me! We went to handling classes and you quickly understood the game. As much fun as you were, at the time your show career began, I was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis. I never completely gave up showing you though and when we were together in the ring I was so proud of my happy beautiful spunky Pippinator!  As you matured it was clear you would eventually finish your AKC Championship and with the help of so many others, you finished!

Pip you have always been so much fun in the field too. Just last week you showed once again that your hunting instincts and stylish points are not lacking. As your body desires to slow down now, take things at a much slower pace, your passion for zestful living is still at an all time high.

Bred twice, your amazing legacy will abide as it still passes down through each successive generation of your progeny. Your impressive heritage includes many show champions, a multitude of titled hunting dogs of both AKC and NAVHDA at various levels, and other accolades which will clearly continue to be improved upon.  We are blessed and appreciate knowing this is not only through our program but through the programs of other likeminded breeders recognizing the importance of the versatile, dual Brittany. As a singleton sweet Pip, you are a perfect example of never underestimating small beginnings on several levels. My hope is that you, my little ‘heartfelt legend’, will continue to be seen in many pedigrees yet to come! 

At 13, you are our next to the oldest Brittany here at All Things Brittany. (Scooby turns 14 next month and your son Hemi turns 10.)
 Last year, your heart was broken along with mine when Treasure died. The two of you were inseparable from the very beginning.  I remember the many times when the song “My Girl” came on, dancing and singing with you and Treasure, being so silly.  And all those early morning trips to Dunkin Donuts together, the three of us having breakfast together at the water’s edge. I should apologize Pip, for not continuing that as much in 2020 but I will do better this year. Because after all, like Tigger – you’re the ‘only one’!

We will celebrate quietly today Pip-pip.  You will have belly rubs and snuggle times, and we will play a game or two of catch.  Your vision is cloudy, you have some lumps and bumps, a little arthritis but you are still and will forever more will remain a heartfelt legend.  Each day and every night begin and ends with your sweet little face next to mine. Your incessant, sometimes annoying pawing is something I will always yield to as you gently draw my hand towards you to kiss. 

I love you sweet girl, thank God for the joy of your life, and look forward to much more time together! Happy 13th birthday Pippinator!

Saturday, February 20, 2021

J&A's Brittanys - A Lifetime of Love

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What we have once enjoyed we can never lose;
All that we love deeply, becomes a part of us.
Helen Keller

I finally finished my Tribute to Treasure video and posted it on YouTube last night. It depicts a lifetime of love, both given and received. I started to work on it shortly after her passing last March. The completion of this has brought me a sense of peace, a near closure. If you follow All Things Brittany - J&A's Brittanys on Facebook, you may have read about the dream I had a few nights ago about Treasure, and how she 'came to me'. I cannot explain such things, I only know that it happened.  As difficult a year as it was, it seems that once I pass the first anniversary of my Treasure's passing it may be easier. It is not so much that I have dwelled on my loss, it is simply that I was not prepared for how deeply that loss would affect me.  I embedded her special video at the end of this post.

Tonight, Revere sits across the room from me, leaning on the couch barely able to keep his eyes open.  Just a few inches away from Mr. Sleepy Head lies his great grandmother, Pippin.  She is on the couch itself and out like a light. Oops! I spoke to soon. Revere just slid gracefully down onto the floor.  That's the excitement of this Friday evening.  John has gone to bed already, accompanied by his entourage.  All is well this night in our humble abode.  

The forecast of occasional snow showers throughout the past few days resulted in continual light snow from morning through the evening.  The town plow just went by a few minutes ago.  Our Brittanys love to play in the snow.  Our yard reminds me of the elementary school playground at recess after a storm.  A beautiful blanket of freshly fallen snow is quickly transformed into paths and pawprints where they romp with glee.  John creates several humongous mountains of snow as he plows and makes paths for the dogs to run in.  Just like children who love to romp and play in the white stuff, so do the dogs delight in playing 'king of the mountain'! 

Toph has not come into heat yet!  There's not much anyone can do to jump start the process so this is a season to practice patience instead of impatience.  I'm doing my best. And I know everyone waiting for a future pup is doing the same.  Can't rush mother nature, right?!  Toph is staying in shape with regular use of our daughter's treadmill in their home. Pictured here is my granddaughter, Toph's co-owner/breeder.

I'm a little (a lot!) excited because I am soon going to enter Revere into a spring show. In as much as I would love to show him myself, the injury I sustained when I fell in the ring is not 100% resolved. All of his points including his major were won in the Bred By Exhibitor/ Owner Handler classes.  My desire was so strong to continue, to overcome the physical challenges that now are part of my daily life. It's all good though, as I am blessed with a wonderful trainer who Revere absolutely adores. She's pictured here with him. I love how she "gets" him and makes him shine. (My granddaughter also is an exceptional handler.) So unless the show(s) I am looking at get cancelled, we're going to go for it! Revere is such an enjoyable Brittany even though he can be a handful at times. I love his intelligence and zest for life, his comical ways, and the sweetness of his personality.  This very handsome boy makes me laugh a lot!

We are looking forward to getting back into hunt tests and field trials this spring as well.  Last year the tendency was strong to cancel everything.  I hope that tendency does not continue into this new year. Already too many New England shows have been cancelled that were scheduled for May and beyond.  Yet across the country they continue to go on.  Sigh. (We hope to see YOUR J&A's Brittanys at this years' tests, trials, etc. just to give things a try! Plus it's fun.)

I'm hoping to refresh our puppy room and whelping box.  Maybe a bit of a facelift through fresh paint and new curtains, we'll see!  It's just a small room off the garage but the atmosphere of this special room changes when pups arrive. Life as we know it goes on hold and time stands still as the world is locked out.  All that matters are the precious lives of momma and her puppies.  

I'm working from a new laptop tonight and have yet to master it.  Along with the laptop there are a few new photo editing apps which I totally enjoy doing.  Additionally, perhaps this will be the year that I find a way to download, save and print all of the posts I have ever written here. I would like so much to put them into some kind of book form. A pipe dream but a dream nevertheless.  I even have a title in mind for the book! Writing is something I've always loved, that seems to have come naturally to me. (Thank you Lord!)

In closing, I would like to ask you to continue praying for our country.  Please also pray for Texas as they experience a devastating weather catastrophe. There are so many needs tonight that I am aware of personally.  The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. 

As always thank you for your ongoing interest in All Things Brittany. We appreciate each and every one of you who follow our blog. Hopefully soon we will all begin to chronicle a brand new journey together! Take care and God bless,
John, Ann, and our amazing canine crew.

Here's Treasure's Tribute video:

Saturday, January 23, 2021

J&A's Brittanys - Something To Chew On

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Quincy - CH J&A's Heart of Seumas JH in a playful moment!

As I write I am surrounded by my wonderful family of Brittanys.  Some lay nearby, another looks out the window for John to return. The youngers dart back and forth from one window to another watching the birds and squirrels. Every day is a new delight for them.  The dogs are unaware of those things that are on most of our minds.  

This winter has been kind weather wise  So far anyway. There have been a couple of significant snowfalls here in Maine. One of them left us with over 30" of snow!  The other only about 12".  The temperatures are certainly not warm but compared to prior years could actually be considered mild.  Heavy rains and winds washed most all of the snow away. 

My heart and my spirit are heavy so I'm very thankful to have my dogs.  Let's take a bit of a detour here before focusing on what's coming up with J&A's Brittanys for 2021, shall we?

Above all, I am thankful to have strong faith in the Lord. A faith by the way, which has only grown stronger through my life from each disappointment, sadness, and yes, each miracle I have seen.  Did you know that the definition of faith is "the EVIDENCE of things not seen, things that are hoped for"?  It is complete trust and confidence in God alone.  For me, it's not faith in a 'higher power' nor is it in people, places, or things.  If you've followed this blog for the past 11 years or so you are familiar with some things which have increased my faith.  Many prayers of faith have been prayed and there have been many answers.

I'm thankful to live where we do, and to be retired.  I see the weariness in the faces of family and friends whose jobs and lives have been so negatively effected by the virus. There are those in our life who have had it and fully recovered. It's so sad that life as most know it has been shut down. Fear has encroached and intruded into the normal every day life and routines of far too many.

And then there is all that occurred surrounding the elections. As if the virus and the resultant shutdown have not been hard enough to deal with. Hypocrisy abounds in our government. Our leaders display the same behavior that they disdain in others. They set rules up for us to conform to yet fail to follow them. While not dwelling on that which some may say "it is what it is", I definitely have strong feelings about what happened November 3, 2020. If the integrity of the election was not so questionable it would simply be just one president I voted for that didn't win.  I've voted in every presidential election since 1972, and believe me not all my candidates won. But life went on "as usual". And life will go on this time too, however I have grave doubts that it will be  "as usual". 
Paying attention to the current political scene which, by the way, also effects the virus, means also paying attention to random and unsupported claims. It means honing those critical thinking skills, using logic, researching sources of information, analyzing for ourselves what is boeing reported over the vast expanse of social media, the Internet, cable news, network news etc.  This only needs to be mentioned once but in an attempt to silence all conservative voices, critical thinking skills are now needed more than ever.  (But not as much as having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, a relationship that begins the moment of realizing our need for Him, admitting that we're sinners, and by faith receive Christ.)

Now to a subject near and dear to all of us - Brittanys!  Oly & Holly's puppies are going on 5 months old already.  There are frequent photos and updates from most of their new families which are so enjoyable for us. The pups are not only beautiful and in great homes, but new friendships as well as prior ones continue to strengthen and grow. ATB really is like a family! A friend of ours says to "love what you do and do what you love".  In the case of our breeding program of close working gundogs that sentiment is especially relevant! 

Consider for a minute how much advance planning occurs prior to an anticipated breeding of two animals. First the purpose of bringing a pair together should be clear to the breeder. What do you intend to accomplish and why? This is a decision left up to each individual breeder however the overall reason should be to improve the breed; either upon your own line or the breed in general. Once that's decided and among other things, there is the inevitable waiting for the future dam to come into heat.  That's actually where we are right now with True and Toph.  Toph has yet to come into heat but I have to say I'm thankful for that! 

Last fall when the Autumn Treasure's went home I was exhausted emotionally, spiritually, and physically.  This was not because of the work involved with meeting their needs. In fact, having them to focus on really did help me through. My sister passed away unexpectedly in October. And of course I was still missing my girl Treasure. Not to mention that it was very hard for me to say goodbye to our son and his entire family as they moved to North Carolina. Some of you seemed to really understand what I was going through and blessed me with so much kindness through your beautiful flowers, unexpected gifts, cards, thoughtful notes and your prayers. 

God is good and the timing is now right to actively prepare for and anticipate our planned breeding with True and Toph. We're all looking forward to spring puppies so Toph, it's all up to you now! By the way, "Aunt Julie" has already started to crochet her beautiful puppy blanketsAnd granddaughter Alana has already made plans for remote learning from our house so she can stay with us and help raise the pups. 

My personal hopes are high this year for getting Revere back in the ring and finishing his bench championship!  I also hope we can get him back into field trials. Each one in our crew will be busy with various interests based on their level of training and age. Our Brittany club here in Maine is moving ahead with plans for a hunt test, a show, and field trials. Even so, I'd have to say one of my favorite pastimes outside of hunting season, is simply spending time with the dogs down to our small farm pond, weather permitting. As I always say, there's nothing fancy about us.  What you see is what you get! 

Thank you for your interest in All Things Brittany. Take care and God bless - John, Ann & crew

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

J&A's Brittanys - From the Archives (True & Toph pups)

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J&A's Keeper of the Stars of Acton SH - "TRUE"
J&A's Birch Spring Breaking New Ground JH, NA 107 Prize 1 - "TOPH"

"The Patriotic Litter" 2018

Hamilton - 6 Weeks 

Banner - 6 weeks

Patriot - 6 weeks

Betsy - 6 weeks

Rocket - 6 weeks

Hope - 6 weeks

Revere - 6 weeks

Spangle - 6 weeks

Sam - 6 weeks

Franklin - 6 weeks

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

J&A's Brittanys "Autumn's Treasures" - 6 Weeks Old

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Here's a few random candid photos of the pups at 6 weeks old!  Update follows the pictures.

In two weeks the Autumn Treasures will leave their first family here and begin the first day of the rest of their lives.  The time has flown by and the pups have undergone tremendous changes on many levels.  

At 6 weeks old they are fully weaned and eating 3 meals a day.  Holly still interacts with her pups and enjoys playing with them.  She also will correct them and remind them that nursing is pretty much off limits although she will sometimes let them have a little snack!  We let her lay the ground rules as far as how much interaction she wants with her puppies.  Our experience has been that the pups greatly benefit from spending time with their mother.  She can teach them things that will benefit for them during their entire lifetime. Things such as bite inhibition, respect, and more. When she has been away from them for an extended time and returns, Holly will carefully go over each and every puppy.  

The pups have been exposed to so many things!  They enjoy playing with each other as well as with their toys.  They are entertaining with their 'crazy puppy spurts' otherwise known as the 'zoomies'!  Recently John put up the outside puppy play area for their enjoyment.  Covered with artificial turf and safely enclosed it includes a puppy activity center, a tunnel, crates to crawl through, and a raised dog bed.  

This litter is absolutely beautiful and if our situation were different now I would definitely keep a puppy.  But wisdom and common sense must be applied above all because we have our wonderful senior dogs who are more than deserving of the time and attention that otherwise would have to be poured into the life of a young puppy.  They don't realize they are seniors and on any given day they are running around, playful, and spry.  Most are still actively hunted and all enjoy time in the field.  They are all really still puppies at heart!

It's going to continue to be extremely busy between now and when the Autumn Treasures go 'home'.  We have the puppy aptitude tests, microchipping, vet visits, introduction to quail and more.  They are learning to go to the bathroom in one area although far from perfect.  Suffice to say, they get 'sponge baths' frequently! They respond to my voice and are learning to sit and wait instead of jumping up.  The foundations are being laid for their continuing education which is so important.  

On a personal note, updates and photography have taken a backseat the past couple of week.  I am sad to say that my sister recently passed away at home after a brief illness. I was fortunate to spend some special moments with her prior but it's still a shock to all of us. She is at peace and for that I am thankful. Having 11 beautiful puppies to snuggle with and to keep my focus on has helped my heart and been a blessing in disguise. 

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Sunday, September 27, 2020

J&A's Brittanys "Autumn's Treasures" - 2 Weeks Old

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Each day brings something new to discover about the pups, even at 2 weeks old!  Several puppies of Autumn's Treasure's have started to open their eyes and I suspect by mid-week they will all be open. They always remind me of little panda bears at this stage. It won't be long before their vision becomes clearer and they will start to be aware of their surroundings for the very first time. Their reactions are so funny as they look around. Sometimes they are quite baffled at what they see. 

As the first two weeks of the puppy's life concludes, so will the neonatal stage. They entered the world blind, deaf, and neurologically undeveloped. There is very little difference between their brain activity from the time they sleep or when awake. I have followed the early development exercises which actually help their nervous system mature quicker and also to enhance certain learning skills. 

With eyes opening the Transitional Period begins. This is from 14 - 21 days of age and these pups are on schedule! Right now, coordination is NOT their strong point but that will come with time. That's fine with me though, they are comic relief in a time when it is needed most. All of the puppies are up on all four of their wobbly legs and trying to figure out how to make it all work together. They bump into each other, roll up and over their littermates bodies, and when their energy runs out, they collapse wherever they happen to be. There is increased brain activity right now in contrast to the quiet near reverent first weeks of life in neonatal puppies and their bodies are responding!

Of course one of the best things about having puppies is when you can sit on the floor with them and be in the middle of a puppy pile! They are very close to climbing up and over and I expect at anytime to see a puppy out on the floor. When that happens it's our cue to extend the height of the sides to contain them just a wee bit longer. As the puppies have started to move about more in the whelping box they also are beginning to eliminate on their own. I put a puppy pee pad down today just for curiosity sake in the box. I was pleased to see evidence of a few puppies peeing on it already. 

In about 5 days or so their ears will begin to open. As we approach this period we are mindful of loud noises around the puppies. The first time that I notice their reaction to sound is an exciting one for me! I begin to gently clap my hands to see if they will turn their heads in the direction the sound is coming from.

I have loved the neonatal stage. Spending hours observing the puppy's every move with just the glow of the overhead heat lamp is one of my favorite things to do. Listening to their breathing, weighing them, making sure Holly is settled in her duties. Our care for them will continue increase and Holly will eventually 'hand off' her duties and the real work begins. Even so, it's a labor of love and I knew what I was getting into. I am hopelessly devoted and look forward to each and every stage of the next 6 weeks.

As always thank you for your interest! Take care and God bless you and yours. John, Ann, Holly and pups, and the entire ATB crew.