Photo Flashbacks – Zen, A Lady in Waiting

On July 5, 2016,  Encore x Zen had a litter of  borzoi puppies here at Aria Borzoi, with Rita L.Rice. “Zen,”  the dam of the “Firesongs” litter is pictured below, heavily pregnant and just hours from delivery.  As part of our “Photo Flashback Fridays” we’ll be showing photos of the Firesongs litter at about the same age as the 2017 “Van Morrison” litter (Seamus x Melody) we’re featuring, just for fun and the sake of comparison.  Every litter is a little different and there can be a quite a range of “normal” for strong, healthy pups.  Over the next few weeks, we will  be doing a series of posts about early puppy development  here at Aria, using photos and examples from the current  2017 “Van Morrison” litter (Seamus x Melody), the 2016 “Fire Songs litter (Encore x Zen) and the 2015 “Irish Airs”  litter (Lancelot x Bridget).   

Poor Zen, full of puppies! Every so often she’d look at me like, “When will this be OVER?”

 

I kept thinking “Catch that nap while you can, Zen.  You’re on the hook for at least 8 more weeks….”

That’s one BIG belly for such a svelte little girl!

 

The Puppies Eat Solid Food!

Well, their first day of solid food on Monday was a good start… Light Blue, Orange, and Blue were my big champion eaters!  Which is great, since they are some of the smaller pups in the litter.

Zen jumped in the box and started nursing them immediately after I set the food down – what timing, huh?IMG_20160725_104808

So it was a nice low pressure introduction to something new, and every puppy investigated a little.  Some did more than investigate a little. Red, Purple and Orange all ate a surprising amount, considering they’d also just nursed.  Light Blue and Blue REALLY chowed down, by the time it was all said and done. Light Blue immediately dozed off into a carbohydrate coma, sleeping on his back like a little Buddha.  Poor Blue’s over indulgence led to him urping up a little and having an upset tummy.

Then, everybody needed to sleep it off.

On Tuesday, when I offered solid food again, Light Blue was once again at the front of the line.  As I write this now, he’s gaining weight faster than he ever has before.  Almost at twice the rate he was before.  I think this is going to really agree with him!

The collective of pups ate everything I put out for them, and then most everything I refilled their bowls with (I’d made extra to set aside for a second feeding later).

Today is Wednesday, and they’re still nursing a regular schedule, though Zen is less and less interested in spending time with them when she’s not feeding them.

Continue reading

Solid Food! How to Make a Mess of Mush

All right, I’ve been promising to get into this solid food thing for a while now, so it’s time I put up or shut up.  So, hold on… here we go!

Remember our new partners from last week?  Those sad sacks that still had something valuable to offer those pups?  Well, those guys get to go to work NOW!

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All right there, DuMor and BilJac. Time to get to contribute!  

When DuMor powdered goat milk and BilJac Large Breed Puppy Food work together, they make absolute MAGIC!  Palatable, digestible mushy food that even very young pups can ingest and keep down.  It even smells nice.  Kind of like a creamy vanilla milkshake.  NOTHING like Zen’s nasty Green Tripe!

First, figure out what you’re going to serve it to the pups in, and about how much you’ll need.  Little serving dishes are good. I shamelessly looted around in Rita’s kitchen, looking for likely candidates…

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This one’s about 2 1/2-3 inches across and just a little too small for the pups.  Instead, I set it aside and put some gelato in it, for ME!  

These 4 inch ones are just about right.  There are 9 pups, and their noggins are still pretty little right now, so they can eat 3 to a bowl.  I was thinking. “This should work for my crew.”  Your mileage may vary, depending on the size and number of your pups.

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I only put a couple handfuls of BilJak food in each bowl… and my hands are kind of small. I knew this was probably going to be overkill for the first time feeding any kind of solid, but I come from a long line of Ladies Who Cook.  It’s in my genes to try to stuff small helpless creatures full of food.  I can’t fight it.

Next, I whipped up the DuMor goat’s milk.  And I do, literally, mean “whipped.”  That nifty little gadget is a milk frother… also purloined from Rita’s kitchen.  One of my friends told me once that if I ever did a cooking show, I’d be half Martha Stewart, and half Dexter’s Lab.  Now, I kinda see what she meant by that…

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I strongly suspect this is an “off label” use for this kitchen tool.  

Well, it may be weird, but it sure gets the job done.  The goat’s milk reconstitutes nice and smooth and has a sweet, appealing smell.  Puppies should like this a lot! Go ahead and pour it over the BilJak food, covering it up good.IMG_20160725_101526

As it soaks, it will expand.  Remember, we’re not just trying to soften it up, we’re really trying to dissolve it. These pups have NO teeth at all.  They’re just gumming it, at this stage.  So we’re looking for something that will go down easy.

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Enlarged, to show texture!  Ha!  Look at how it’s starting to break up.  A little mashing around with a fork, a minute and a half in the microwave, and it’s warm and ready for their first taste-testing…

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Tune in next time to see how it went. Muahaha!  Mine is an evil laugh! You are my captive audience!  You read this far hoping to see a puppy picture… you addict.  Ok, well, here you go!  Consider this a preview:

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All right.  I set them out.  Do you think the puppies noticed, with mom in the box providing drinks at the nipple bar?  Find out next time!

This cereal, er, serial story installment was brought to you by guest blogger C.T. (“Chel the Chef”) Griffith.

 

Your Daily Cute- Wednesday 7/27, Aria Borzoi Encore x Zen Litter

Happy Three Week Birthday, Little Puppies

Tuesday July 26th, 2016

Well, today’s the happy day!  It’s the day the pups turn three weeks old.  Everybody’s eyes and ears are working and in fine order, everyone can scamper around and get into trouble, and life is starting to get VERY interesting here!

Please consider this video an attempt at a “Group Family Portrait.” I actually shot individual photos of each of the pups to commemorate the special day.  To tell the truth, I was a little intimidated and dreading it because I know what little hell raisers they can be, but they completely surprised me… and I have a surprise for you, too.  I’ll be starting a new more on that when I start the new special feature called “Cast of Characters.”  Tell you all about it tomorrow.  

My goodness they are HUNGRY!  

This Three Week Birthday Celebration was brought to you by guest blogger, house sitter and fantasy author C.T. (“Chelle”) Griffith.  Nothing silly to say here today… just honored to be part of the experience.  There are very few things in life better than a borzoi.

A Big Bowl of Ewwwww…

Over the years I’ve had to field a lot of questions about my borzois, and what they eat. In the early 90’s when I had my first borzois,it was usually just curiosity on the part of the asker, plain and simple.  But in the last few years, with people going so rescue-crazy and people wanting to see villainy where none exists, there have been a lot of nosy questions about what I do – or do not – feed my dogs.  I’ve even been accused of “starving my collies”… you know, for fashion.

People can be astoundingly dumb.

So, when I’ve had a few people writing in and asking about Zen’s diet the last couple weeks, it’s been a real pleasure to see that spirit of curiosity take back over, and get nice questions from nice people who are really just wanting to know what the nutritional requirements of such a beastie are – especially one that’s eating for ten!

Zen’s a petite girl, but man does she love to EAT – especially when I break out the good stuff! For the first couple weeks after the puppies were born she was kind of picky about finishing her meals, but that has really changed this last week. I’m sure part of that’s the demands of milk production, but I think the big change is that we added raw back into her diet.

At first she was getting a premium quality kibble, top dressed with a similar quality canned food, whole milk plain greek yogurt, a canine probiotic and an all-around mineral supplement. She also got a calcium supplement right after the puppies were born, and Fenugreek (an herb, in tablet form) to help her milk come in and keep flowing.  She’d eat, she’d even clean her bowl, but it seemed kind of dutiful and not particularly joyful.

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“Yeah, I suppose I can eat something.  Whatcha got?”

But then…

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Oh man I hope Rita forgives me for defrosting this on one of the good plates!
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“Is that what I think it is?  Really?!? Oh boy oh boy!”

Oh yes, Zen… you’re not imagining that distinctive stench emanating from the kitchen.  You’re having Green Tripe for dinner tonight!  And breakfast, tomorrow!  Green Tripe, an important part of YOUR balanced diet!  Along with other totally gross stuff, like raw turkey necks and chicken backs.

Here’s what it looks like all mixed up.  Hey, misery loves company.  Enjoy the view.  At least you don’t gotta smell the “phew!” IMG_20160724_110657

This big bowl of gross brought to you by housesitter, hound hugger, guest blogger and fantasy author C.T. (“Chelle”) Griffith… who is really considering a genre change to Horror after this particular post.