~ The Joki (River) Litter ~

Kassi is the 4th generation of dogs from the Lumikoira line - as you'll have read, she has the most wonderful temperament and disposition and, from seeing her with other Lumikoira litters, she is very caring to younger pups.

For these reasons, and that we were  hoping to add a 5th generation to  our pack, we decided to breed her. So we did ... 

At the suggestion of Liz Mowatt of TabanyaRuu we had agreed to try a mating between Kassi and TabanyaRuu Xuvi Teemu, who lived with the Hicks family on the borders of Hampshire and Wiltshire

 Teemu is a lovely dog,  a stunning black tri boy and he and Kassi looked to be a perfect match.

I booked into a hotel in Andover with the intention of spending a couple of nights there so that we could manage a couple of ties.

However It was a case of instant attraction and the two managed there first tie almost at first sight. We managed a couple more ties over the three days we were away so were hopeful for a pregnancy when we left for home

Louise was away for a night through work, but neither of us were worried as Kassi wasn't due to deliver her litter for several days.

We should have known better and checked that Kassi had read the memo as she started to deliver in the early hours of the morning - so it was just me on duty, a first.

Kassi was nestled on the bed next to me, in fact she was on the pillow. She was very calm and as I stroked her I could feel slight movement in her abdomen, I thought "it'll be today then - let's hope Louise is back in time".

However Kassi thought it would be a good idea to pop out her first born at 2.25 on Wednesday morning - she was conveniently settled on the Pillow next to me and I only knew it had been born by some soft squeaking noises - a black tri boy.

The new born pup procedure of cleaning his airway, administering some Puppystim and a weigh on the scales (295g) before popping in him the pre-warmed whelping box took all of 5 minutes.

Just as well it didn't take any longer as when I turned back to the Bed Kassi has disappeared under it - I bent down to encourage her out only to realise that puppy #2 had been born. I got it out from under the bed and freed it from the sac in which it had been born and after the post-natal administrations was weighed in at 190g

Once Kassi had realised that she should be in the box with them and had settled down to feed I felt comfortable enough to leave the room for a call of nature and to make a coffee - it might be a long night waiting for #3

It wasn't though! returning to the whelping room and checking the Box revealed that another black tri boy had been born, probably at 3.15 and weighing in at 270g

Kassi had been scanned for 3 and it was quite evident that she had finished - all done in 50 minutes.

Until we decided upon a theme (we do like our themes) we decided to refer to then as Pillow, Bed and Box.

Later that day we agreed on a name to follow on from our Spice Girls litter - a 3 piece all male group so the litter would be known as the Jam litter (this being our J litter) with the pups being Weller, Foxton and Buckler.

However during the next 24 hours it was obvious that Bed was struggling - we took him, along with Kassi and his brothers to the vets for a check up.

There was nothing evidently wrong with him and we arranged to return on Monday after supplementing his feed from that point on. I'm gutted to say that we won't be needing to go back; RIP Bed - a victim of fading puppy syndrome and the shortage, at that time, of the canine anti herpes vaccine which is known to protect against this.

With the litter now down to 2 we could no longer theme the litter after the JamVarious alternatives were considered including Wham! (George and Andrew were thought not to be cool enough names for Lappies) before agreeing on a names from one of the year's biggest films.

So Mario and Luigi from Super Mario Bros. it would be.

When the time came to register the litter we did in fact go with a J theme, choosing Joki (Finnish for river) as the pups were born just a hundred yards from the source of the River Cherwell.

Mara (was Pillow) has gone to live with Vish and Anneeka in Bedfordshire, whilst Obi (was Box) is now enjoying life in Essex with Nick and Julia & their boys Austin and Ellis.

Both boys have settled in well and we get the opportunity to see them, Mara because of the closeness to us and Obi as he is a guest he whilst his family holiday.

Mara is Vish and Anneeka's first dog and by all accounts they are loving the experience of seeing him grow from mischievous puppy (as they all can be) to a well balanced adolescent.

He loves his walks, invariably longer than planned due to the number of people stopping them and wanting them to know more about him, or because he is a favourite customer (with Vish of course) of the pub next door!

By all accounts recently Mara had a fabulous holiday with his humans when they visited the west country for a few days - he certainly seemed to approve of the accommodation.

There are some lovely photos of Mara here

Obi looking cute and as though butter wouldn't melt in his mouth - which may well be the case, however he has managed to get a few things in his mouth that he shouldn't including the TV remote and seal of the washing machine.

Despite this his family love him dearly and cherish every moment that they share with him.

We recently had the pleasure of looking after Obi for a week whilst his family jetted off on a skiing holiday.

Breeders always think that the pups they have bred are awesome and Obi totally justified that view - he was a joy to have in the house and with the other dogs we had here, we're definitely looking forward to when he comes back later in the year.