Trace belongs to my friend Dionne Franklin, of Revolution Havana Silk Dogs. (see www.revolutionhavanasilkdogs.com ) Trace was actually born here, daughter of Lark (CH Elfin Eye On The Sparrow) who is Karma's full sibling. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Dionne could not be home when Trace was due to whelp so Trace came back to "first home" to have her babies here. Trace was bred to Crosby, son of CH Starborn Black Tie Affair x CH Hurricane Ridge's Tyburn Woods Ms. G. This pairing not only brings genetic diversity to the Silks but also represents the first 2nd generation litter in HSDAA. A 2nd generation litter is defined here as one out of two non-dual registered parents. When we split from the AKC Havanese in 2007, of course all of our dogs were dual registered. Dual registration was banned in 2011 so that we could build a population of dogs registered solely as Havana Silk Dogs. It is necessary to build a population of these dogs before we can consider applying to AKC for recognition as a unique breed and this litter is another step along that path.
Trace's Crime Team makes their debut...December 7, 2013
Trace's due date came right before an impending ice storm was predicted to seriously impact our area. I waited all day for her to begin labor but she was still in Stage 1 at 6:30PM. Stage one is the time before true labor when the temperature drops, nesting begins and the bitch's body gets ready for true labor, when contractions begin and puppies are born. I made a decision at that time to take her to the ER in Richmond for an elective C-section because I did not want to risk complications during an ice storm. Trace is small and a maiden bitch so I could not just 'assume' that she'd be fine. Our friend, Tommy Ransone, another Silk owner/lover, volunteered to drive me there so I could be with Trace in case she did go into labor on the way. We got to the ER at 7PM but it was closer to 10 before they were ready to begin (Paul Howard, the owner of VEC came in to do the surgery...thanks to Paul!) Surgery went well and within a very short time Tommy and I were elbows deep in puppies as we worked to wake them up (anesthesia crosses the placenta so the pups arrived sleeping soundly) but, one by one they all started squeaking and soon were moving around and lively. We got home after 12:30, put Trace into the whelping box and then brought out a puppy. Her reaction was identical to my Mom's when she sees a mouse...Eek!!!!!! Get it away from me! She was a little confused. I laid her down and put the puppy with her to nurse, along with the other three, and she accepted them. Tommy went home and I spent the night with Trace and the puppies, doing the 'stimulation to pee/poop' thing as Trace was pretty much ignoring them except for allowing them to nurse. This morning she had an epiphany as I was stimulating a puppy, sniffed the cotton ball, then started licking the puppy herself. She rapidly progressed from 'take it away' to 'get away they are MINE, MINE, MINE. She wolfed down a 1/4 lbs of Darwin's chicken and is now being a hovering, curling up around her puppies little mother. If she was a hawk, she'd be mantling (when a hawk spreads its wings and covers its prey.)
The baby names have been taken from 'crime fighter' TV shows following in their mother's footsteps whose litter theme was mystery book characters.
We have a:
Black/Tan Female - Watson from "Elementary"
Black Female- Isles from "Rizzoli & Isles"
Gold Sable Male - Castle from "Castle"
Black Male - Hodgins from "Bones"
Here are Trace and her babies when we got home. Below that are their first portraits, at 36 hrs of age. Trace has settled down beautifully, caring for her puppies, eating great and pretty relaxed now for a new mommy.
Trace & her crime stoppers!
Trace's Crime Team
Crime Team - clueless...Scene 1 -
So, the Team is in pre-training mode, where exercises consist of nurse/sleep/nurse/sleep...superpuppy exercise...nurse/sleep! But, they are growing well, and Trace is an outstanding mother. She has completely recovered from her section and is back to dashing out the dog door to tell that pesky horse, in no uncertain terms, to stay away from HER babies! The Team's size is very consistent, from 10-11.5oz. Friend Barb was visiting Fri and I put her to work...holding babies while they had their first nail trim. Trace was watching us like a hawk to be sure we did a good job. Been enjoying the puppies so much with both litters being in the 'mom does all the work' stages...all I have to do is feed moms ALOT, change the linens and they do the rest!
Pre-school Crime Team
Crime Team - Scene Two...
In some ways, watching the Crime Team develop is like watching and instant replay of last week's Free Spirit show. The Team's eyes opened at 10 days, right on schedule. They have lovely almond eyes! Castle continues to lighten while Watson's points are intensifying and quite bright with red tones. Hodgins and Isles are like the Bobbsey twins, shiny, soft, silken black. They are harder to photo graph than the Spirits as they tend to take off at Portrait time...harder to focus on a moving target! They are a quiet and content litter, though and Trace is an attentive and alert mother. In the last couple of days Trace has joined the other dogs for brief social outings to the backyard (which is finally available again after being offlimits due to construction of a small addition to the house.) Until recently she was not willing to leave her babies although in nice weather she loves to sit out on the side porch and watch for Smokey Joe, the resident quarter horse so she can tell him off! She has a big bark for a little girl.
Crime Team on the scene!
Trace's Crime Team - 12/28/13 Scene Three...
Trace is a really good mother and, like a similarly colored Jersey cow, she may be giving extra rich milk because the Team is growing and very plump! They are starting to work together as a team, hunting for clues and trying to solve problems such as 'how do we get OUT of this box...give me a boost, will ya?' Trace likes to lie in a bed next to the playpen now...just out of reach...tease! On a couple of occasions, a member of the team has gone on an adventure, dropping in on the Spirits, trying to blend in. Sooner or later we will try to integrate the Team with the Spirits but will be closely supervising to be sure the younger Team mates don't get bullied. The hope is that they will 'team up' to present a united front and be able to hold their own. They are practicing their self defense skills, wrestling and grappling matches daily! They are pretty uniform in size....Watson & Hodgins are 1.75 lbs, Castle is 1.68, and Isles is 1.6lbs today. I'd tell you that they are super cute but I think you can see that for yourself! We'll be back next year with our 4 week update!
P.S. Found out the other day that Hodgins is spelled with an 'i' not an 'e'...so, from this day forward...
Tracking down the New Year!
Trace's Crime Team - 01/04/2014 - Scene Four...
The little criminalists have been busy this week. They have a divided box now, with potty area and sleeping area and they are using the potty area well. They also got their first taste of solid food in the New Year. Interesting! Stella & Chewy's rabbit...yummers! They've made several excursions to the 'big house' to visit the Free Spirits but it's still a bit overwhelming for them. Speaking of freedom, there is much more of it here as gates are open so all the dogs can mingle and visit. Trace is an attentive mother but has been tolerating visits from the other dogs and she has been very interested in visiting Karma's Spirits. Karma is mostely interested in seeing if anyone has left any food laying around. This week, the Crime Team will move into an expen to expand their horizons...they are growing coats and have found their voices...woof. Isles even did a bit of HOWLING tonight! Wooooooooooo. Castle's coat is very soft and his color changes daily. Hodgin's is very funny...he will jump up and woof when I walk in the room and then, "oh, it's you...hi hi hi!!" Watson likes to sleep on her back...and those eyebrows...hoot!
Crime Team investigates...1st Meal!
Isles...looking for clues!
Crime Team says...Wild New Year!
Trace's Crime Team - 5 weeks 01/11/14 - running with the big dogs...
The Crime Team has moved into the burbs full time now and are running with the 'big' dog Spirits. And they are holding their own just fine. After a single day of intimidation they found their big dog Grrrrrs! They have learned to dive into dinner and get their share. And they are catching on to pottying in the right place. The first few days were a little dicey with accidental pee places as the big pen was so different from the whelping box but I added a couple of extras and now we are working back to just two. And today Watson made it all the way to the top of the Potty Park to pee...Gooooooo, Watson! Castle got enough of his body on a piddle pad to catch the pee...yeah, Castle! Isles and Hodgins do their best to blend in with their cousins Miracle and Blake but there are two things that give them up. First, Hodgins & Isles are pudges and, second, they lack the white chest blazes. They have the cutest faces! They are quite consistent in size, ranging from 2.4 to 2.75lbs
5 weeks and running with the big kids
Trace's Crime Team - Scene 6 01/18/14 - finding solutions...
After being 'thrown to the wolves' last week, the Crime Team has figured out how to seamlessly meld with the week older Free Spirits. They have done this on two fronts. First, they have learned to stick up for themselves...the Crime Team is like John Wayne Toilet Paper...rough, tough and don't take no crap offa anyone! Ok...that's an exaggeration...they are soft and sweet and cuddly but not sissies. Secondly, they know how to use their weight...they are a stout little team so are not easily shoved around. They are on the same weight page with their older cousins not because they are bigger, but because they are proportionally more dense...ok, little pork chops!
They are doing much better with pottying appropriately even with the pen expanding and potty area shrinking (See Karma's Spirits page for pen photo.) Watched each of them today, very carefully making their way to the piddle pads to piddle. Go, Crime Team. They, like the Spirits, have been unceremoniously dumped by their Mom...when we all went outside, Trace was like a cross between the Flying Nun and a Whirling Dervish, running, jumping, spinning to get away from their breast lusting mouths. She is SO done. Bless her heart she did a great job for a first time mom and even put up with all 10 little teat seeking missiles in the last week.
The Crime Team got their first baths yesterday and did great. Expectant puppy Mom, Barb, bathed Watson, Hodgins, and Isles...thanks, Barb...good job. They are such a cute bunch of babies...caught Castle and Watson sleeping flat on their backs like little human babies (see below) They enjoyed our company today, very much, and will have more tomorrow as family comes to visit (including my grandkids who love and are loved by the puppies!
Crime Team On the Case
Trace's Crime Team - Scene SEVEN 01/25/14 - Thug hunting...
The Crime Team has become crackerjack at self defense. Running with the 'big' dogs will do that for you. The only place their week less of experience shows is with potty training...we are working hard on getting it 'right' though. They continue to be a pudgy group on the whole so they are on an even playing field when it comes to throwing their weight around. They, like the Spirits, have thoroughly enjoyed the visitors this week (see Karma's Spirits for details...since they are all together, updates apply to all.)
Our friend Susan, who visited yesterday, is a wonderful photographer so be sure to scroll down to the bonus pix below the portraits!
The 'little' kids'
Watson's eyebrows shine through
Trace's Crime Team - Scene EIGHT 02/01/14 - Passing all tests & graduation looming...
This week's update has been consolidated under Karma's Free Spirits as both litters shared all the same testing and experiences so please read the update there. The integration of these two litters has been relatively seamless. When the Crime Team first moved in, their immaturity was evident but they really stepped up and the week difference in age is really not the least bit apparent any more. Running with the big kids has not been a problem for the precocious little crime team. I don't know if my perception is biased by the themes or if the themes have influenced their development but the Crime Team really does appear to be a thinking oriented group. They are smart...fun.
Crime Team...studying escape mechanisms!
Trace's Crime Team - Scene NINE 02/08/14 - Clues Come together...
This was a big week for the Crime Team...lots and lots of visitors and lots and lots of 'outside time'. Because they've been running with the 'big kids', the update is the same for both so please go check Karma's Free Spirits, week TEN for the full update. They were excellent for their microchipping and vaccination...I was impressed with their stability and resilience. Next weekend will be their last update as they will all be leaving for new homes...it's going to be quiet here in Elfinland...til next time.