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).
I kept thinking “Catch that nap while you can, Zen. You’re on the hook for at least 8 more weeks….”
Hi folks- This is Chelle Griffith, guest blogger and official Aria Borzoi Hound Hugger dropping in to share some exciting news!
There has been a new litter of gorgeous borzoi puppies born at Aria, and while I wasn’t there house sitting (darn it!) I get to be the one to chronicle their journey from itty-bitty speed jelly beans into a small horde of gleeful galloping goofhunds, ready to begin their lives with their new families. We will be not only sharing photos, and updates, but also talking about the strategies and timetable of raising a vibrantly healthy, well-adjusted litter of puppies. There will be fun flashbacks to other Aria litters, stories from the whelping box, discussion topics, candid photos, and a double helping of all things borzoi. So, stay tuned! Thanks for reading!
goofhund– (noun) Any of a breed of juvenile sight-hound puppies, gleefully bent on cheerful mischief and/or destruction. See also galloping goofball, terror teeth, puppy Destructo.
This post brought to you by Author C.T. (Chel) Griffith, guest blogger, borzoi enthusiast and hound hugger.
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?
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.
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…
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.
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…
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.
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.
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…
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:
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.
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.
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!”
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.