Friday, November 24, 2006

Happy Birthday, Alaska!

6 weeks old

8 weeks old

7 months old

8 months old

Alaska is our puppy, born to my other two dogs, Sasha and Harpo on November 24, 2006. Our "parent" dogs have had 4 litters together in total, and Sasha has given birth to 23 puppies, with only one still birth in all of that! She's an amazing "mommy" dog and since I've been able to average about $325 per puppy, she's brought us a lot of extra income. This income has helped to replace my loss of income as a result of not working outside of the home.

Raising dogs has brought many challenges (by the time the litter is 6 weeks old, I've cleaned up more puppy poop than you can imagine!). And they can be noisy. Each litter has been different in the way that they've behaved. Our first and last litters were the best puppies in that they were the most contented puppies. Our second and third litters were more challenging (Alaska came from the third litter).

The time of year the puppies were born played a big part in how successful we were at trying to sell them. Based on my personal experience, and having had one litter in each of the four seasons, the puppies that were born in summer and needed homes in early September sold the quickest and easiest. The puppies born at the end of November (Alaska's litter), which were ready for sale at the end of January, were the most difficult to sell. I actually ended up giving away two of the puppies from that litter, plus we kept Alaska for ourselves. We were planning to keep a puppy from a litter at some point, and it just made sense to keep one from litter #3, since January is a hard time to try to sell puppies.

It's hard to believe that Alaska is already ONE. She's been a great dog so far, and we love her to pieces! She's got lots of personality and is playful, fun and energetic. And for the most part she is obedient. We're still having chewing issues, but by her next birthday that should be under control. Alaska didn't grow to be as big as her parents, which is what we were hoping for.

My puppy-raising days are over for the moment. But once we settle in at the acreage and my memory starts to fade as to all the work that puppies can be, I might consider raising puppies again. Probably not Bichon Frises, but perhaps something else. Sasha's days of puppy-bearing are over and I don't really intend to breed Alaska, but we'll see what the future holds . . .

I love my dogs!

P.S. We're in negotiation with the current owner of the acreage regarding the dog that resides there now. Her name is Cooter, and she's a beautiful amber-colored Coonhound. When we went to check out the acreage back in September, she followed us all over the yard and I immediately fell in love with her. When the owner asked us if we'd consider keeping her, it was a no-brainer for us! Of course we'll keep her!

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