The Kirk ladies are back in puppy season 🙂 This is our third puppy season that we have had the opportunity to share together. In a previous blog on animals, I shared how I grew up in a family that was having german shepherd puppies when I was young. It was always a happy season for us, and I have special memories of playing with the little puppies as they grew when I was young. I am very glad that I have been able to enjoy puppy seasons also with my two girls.
After the death of my husband in August 2011 from a work related accident and then the death of my only son PK who was instantly killed in a car accident at the age of 18 in June 2013, I have been searching for joyful times to have with my two daughters. Our first group of puppies came from our two golden retrievers, Max and Addie. Seven puppies were born, and this group of puppies were very special to me because PK knew and loved both Max and Addie. It was also very special because one of PK’s best friends Jackson got one of those puppies because the puppy came from PK’s dogs. Addie had seven puppies in that first group, and the girls and I had so much fun holding them as soon as we could and then running through the yard with the group as they learned to walk and run. Oh what fun we had! Sadly, one of the little boys died a few weeks in. I was in a panic and scared that we might lose more puppies. I brought the puppy to the vet where I was told that there was nothing that we could have done to help him. He even did an autopsy on the puppy to calm my anxiety. We also had the other six puppies checked and thankfully, all six were in good shape and stayed that way. We were so thankful for each loving family that got those puppies, and we still enjoy seeing pictures of them to this day.
Max, our male golden retriever developed epilepsy after that first group of puppies. Because Max had developed this, then I had him fixed, and so that first batch was Max’s only group of puppies. In the meantime, we added a third dog to our family. MiKayla really wanted a puppy for her birthday, and she was given a Goberian (half golden retriever and half siberian husky). I cannot even describe what a sweet loving dog that our Kya is!! Because of how wonderful she was, then we decided to find a siberian husky to be the dad of Addie’s second and last group of puppies. Thankfully, our friend Quan had a Siberian Husky and let Ace come over for the time. Ace became the dad of Addie’s second group of puppies. This time Addie had 9 puppies and all lived and did extremely well. The top picture is MiKayla with some of Addie’s second group of puppies. MiKayla would come home from school and would have the puppies laying all over her which is how we were able to capture one of those moments in this featured picture on top. The girls and I again had such happy memories with those puppies!! As we did with the first group of puppies, we held them as soon as often as we were able to, and again had a blast when they were able to run around the yard and play. We again were so very thankful for each loving family that got those puppies, and we love to keep in touch and see how those sweet Goberian dogs are doing!!
The joy that we had in those first two puppy seasons was so great! We loved on each of them so much! After Addie’s second group of puppies then I had her fixed as my dad had cautioned me that two rounds of puppies were enough for a female dog. He believed that puppies after that second round would be hard on the mom dog so we only had Addie have two rounds. However, I excitedly developed a plan for Kya and puppies with her! Because we were so in love with our Goberian then I thought it would be fun to see if one of the owners of the male goberians from Addie’s second batch would let their male be the dad to Kya’s puppies. There were four males born in Addie’s group of nine of the goberians. When it became time for Kya, then my plan was to hopefully use one of them. Sadly, two of them had been run over, one of the males had been fixed, and the last one the owner was not interested. I did not know of any other male goberians around so I had to develop a new plan. A family friend of ours had a siberian husky, and Brett agreed to let us use Zeus for Kya’s first round of puppies.
Because we did not receive Kya’s papers from Kansas as promised, and Brett had not received Zeus’s papers, then we decided to genetically test both dogs to make sure that we were advertising correctly. Kya’s test arrived back as Goberian (half golden retriever and half siberian husky). When Zeus’s test results arrived then Zeus had a few surprises. Zeus tested as 50% siberian husky, 37.5% alaskan malamute, and 12.5% samoyed. That means our puppies that are a week and a half old as of today are 50% siberian husky, 25% golden retriever, 18.75% alaskan malamute, and 6.25% samoyed. They are pictured in the bottom of the featured picture and were born on March 14th.
The girls and I were so excited as Kya had 9 puppies! Whoot Whoot! We were cheering! So many to love on! However, our joy was quickly dampened as two died fairly quickly. These two precious puppies died so quickly after they were born. I talked with the vet, and he shared that unfortunately it was common with first litters but all of the rest of the puppies seemed to be doing well. Every time I was checking on them they seemed to be content and eating those next couple of days. Kya is a very protective dog, and she will “guard” her toys and her food. I had shared with the girls that Kya might be a different kind of mom because of how very protective she is. My guess was that if she was that protective of her food and toys then she might be even more protective of her puppies. Kya was definitely demonstrating those behaviors the first few days. When I would go and check on Kya and the puppies, then she would try to cover them with her head and leg. I told MiKayla that it might be awhile before Kya would be willing to let us hold her puppies. When the puppies were three days old then we had another puppy die. I was in another panic and was contacting the vet. I told him that it did not seem like she was producing enough milk, and he told me to start feeding the puppies.
MiKayla, her boyfriend Ty, and I set out on a feeding adventure. I ran to the store and got what I needed for the puppies, and the three of us began feeding them. I woke MiKayla up for a very early feeding, and we fed puppies all day Sunday. We would feed some and keep some of the puppies with Kya. I was tracking their feedings on a spreadsheet by their collar colors. I was weighing puppies and everyone was gaining weight. I was greatly amused at one point when MiKayla asked me how often did I have to feed my own kids when they were babies. I could tell the continual feedings were causing her to analyze how life would be once she had her own baby to feed. It was really sweet and funny to watch how this feeding of the puppies seemed to be giving my baby girl a dose of reality therapy.
On Monday morning after some additional feedings, then we loaded up Kya and the puppies and headed to the vet. He had a shot that he was able to give to Kya to help with her milk production and after he checked her then he felt like she was producing enough milk and told us that we did not have to feed the puppies anymore and to leave them with Kya. Throughout Monday and Tuesday, all the puppies seemed to be once again eating and content. I am sure most of you have heard of the runt of the litter. Unfortunately, we had one little guy that we were watching. I continued to check weights every day, and unfortunately we noticed that he was losing weight and was still so small. We went back to feeding him, but so sadly he died on Wednesday. This led to another spike in my anxiety. We now had 4 puppies die out of the nine. I did not think that we could emotionally deal with losing anymore puppies.
Needless to say the vet has spent a great deal of time talking with us and seeing us. On Friday morning, our remaining five all got great reports and are steadily gaining weight and displaying the normal puppy behaviors for their age. The vet shared with me that being Kya is a smaller dog than Addie (Kya has more of the medium size of a husky compared to the large size of a retriever like Addie) that she maybe was just not able to handle that many puppies. Also because of the way that she is producing milk then he recommended that this be Kya’s only litter of puppies. While we were saddened for the news, we are thankful that the remaining five are growing and developing well. I want to give these five some sort of cool group name so if you have any ideas then please let me know!! The girls and I are greatly hoping that our remaining 5-6 weeks with these sweet little puppies will be filled with lots of happy moments as we were so blessed to have with our first two groups of puppies. We look forward to many puppy snuggle times and to lots of puppy playtimes in the yard.
As I look back at our puppy seasons tonight and reflect on all that has happened, I am so thankful for each puppy that we have been able to love on and have time with. I did not like that this third puppy season started with so much sadness as I have been committed to puppy seasons as a way to bring joy to my daughters. However, I guess even though we did not want to that we have learned things about life seasons even in this first week of puppy season for Kya. I am hopeful that these remaining five bring much joy and love throughout the rest of the weeks that we have with them and that they all end up in very loving homes. We are determined to enjoy and love on each puppy and be thankful for each moment that we have with them.
“We all know that if the seasons were the same, there would be no growth. We know that without winter there would be no spring. We know that without frosts there would be no bulbs and without the monsoon there would be no rice harvest. In the same way, we also know that without sorrow there would be no joy. Without pain there would be no healing. I think that’s precisely where the beauty comes in. It comes in through the fruit of the seasons. He has indeed made everything beautiful in its time.” Naomi Reed