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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pup-date for Week # 2

"The Crew" - At times it looks a bit like a Chinese fire drill in this box with everyone heading in a different direction."Cabernet" - Now who couldn't fall in love with this face?

The Pup-date for 2 weeks of age.........April 25, 2009

The puppies are growing rapidly though their legs are still not quite in proportion to their chubby, little bodies. This is completely normal at this age as they are growing so fast that it often seems as if everything is growing at a different rate and dimension. They are still totally nourished by Cortina's milk alone and their weight gains reflect the fact that they are thriving and very healthy. Tiny voices convey absolute contentment and the understanding that all is right in their world.

Slowly their eyes are beginning to open; beginning as small slits at the innermost corner and then gradually opening as the days progress. At times this can take 24 to 48 hours and from time to time I have seen one eye open while the other remained closed for additional hours giving the appearance of a group of little pirates. Aay....aay Matey !!!
In truth they are because they can steal your hearts and plunder your best intentions - ha, ha. The fact of the matter is that when they take that first look up into your face as you hold them close, it is the most sublime feeling to know that you are witnessing one of Mother Nature's most wonderful experience. Cloudy and soft blue eyes will soon give way to clarity and a world they have come to know only by smell and feeling prior to this.

Ears are now beginning to open as well and though they are very sensitive to vibrations and smells until their ears are completely open and able to hear, they really don't miss much around them to this point in time. It is now that they'll recognize movement and hear the sounds within their box and within their pack of siblings. Occasionally a wayward bark is met with a very questionable "what was that ?" and it is almost too funny for words when you see it happen. In the weeks ahead their hearing and sight will become very acute and everyone will be amazed at their ability to hear you trying to sneak into the room while you
think they are asleep. In short order everyone will be scrambling for your attention and your touch and the quiet that once was.....will be no longer.

They are now beginning to raise themselves up on their wobbly legs as they explore their box and anxiously get to Cortina as she settles in to nurse them. She cleans them and they are forever falling over under the continual brushing from her tongue over every part of their small bodies. It doesn't deter the effort and they simply get up again and start once more to gain strength in their small legs as they become more experienced at walking and moving within their limited space. all of this is about to change very soon as the lower front board will be removed from their box and they'll begin to venture out of it and on to the paper surface provided to eliminate on their own. This is the first step in knowing that they go "outside" to potty; a noble effort that takes a few weeks to really become an easy and maneuverable feat.

Next week we move into yet another phase and they will soon begin to eat from a small saucer filled with puppy gruel. It allows for plenty of one on one contact with them as you must tenderly hold them and introduce them to a new taste and texture that they will very quickly learn to enjoy. This all happens for a few days prior to their introduction to a communal feeding pan and the world of slip 'n slide. Hopefully we'll be able to get a few photos of that experience to share with you. It's always makes for a true Kodak moment.

For now we just enjoy watching them and knowing that in a matter of only a few weeks these 9 little wonders will become little balls of energy that play hard and crash wherever they happen to be for a nap almost instantly. Growing up is hard work !!!

Stay tuned..................


Monday, April 20, 2009

1 Week Pup-date On Cortina & Duncan Litter

1 Week Old - - Saturday, April 18, 2009... Shomberg's Vintage Reserve


This week was typical in that most newborns sleep and eat - - eat and sleep and do little more other than pile up on one another and enjoy their mother's non-stop attention.
Cortina's puppies are doing just that under the watchful eyes and tender care afforded them by not only their mother but also Lona, Carol, Dan and Christopher.

Their tails were docked and dew claws removed on Monday, April 13th., at 2 days of age by Dr.Werner. All were examined and found to be in excellent condition and fully nourished.
The procedures went well and Dan and Christopher assisted Dr.Werner while Lona kept Cortina comfortable. Cortina was understandably anxious and everyone settled in again once home and back into the familiar surroundings of their whelping box. Their tails are healing fast and they now have the total appearance of German Shorthairs.

The theme for their litter has been chosen and will soon be displayed on the Shomberg web site. Names have been designated for the "Shomberg Vintage Reserve " Litter and each puppy has a name that reflects his or her personality as chosen by the Conicelli family after a week of observing them and beginning to know their personalities as they begin to emerge slowly. These beautiful little "grapettes" appeared at the peak of perfection and have become a perfect blend despite their individual variety and colorations :-)
Ideas for what will eventually become their AKC registered names are coming to mind and we think we'll have some very different and novel suggestions for their new families to consider when the time comes to register them formally with the American Kennel Club.

All of the puppies were weighed in on their 1 week birth date and they are rapidly gaining weight and thriving. Eyes will open in another week or so with ears opening soon after that.
They are easily finding their way about their box as their ability to squirm and wiggle allows them some mobility until they become weight bearing. Cortina is ever vigilant and knows where they are at all times. Lona & Carol have taken shifts in sleeping beside the whelping box so that no need goes un-met. Frequent potty breaks for Cortina throughout the night continue as she is eating and drinking more to provide adequate milk for the puppies now.
9 little appetites need a constant source of nourishment and falling asleep while suckling is a common occurrence as everyone stays "latched on" and supremely satisfied.

Cortina has taken a few trips from the box as we've had a few days of really lovely weather and she enjoys basking in the warm sunlight on the porch while on her "breaks". Never far and returning to the box she quickly counts each puppy and once again settles in for her duties. The puppies are continually licked and cleaned and she is gentle and loving in her every move with them as she rolls them around and encourages them to move about their box. It is wonderfully amazing to watch just how well Mother Nature has programmed her for motherhood and how easily she fills the role.

Though a bit sleep deprived the education and the rewards in watching this story as it plays out seems to be something that the entire family is enjoying. Often I am told that "it must be such fun to have puppies born and to be able to play with them for 8 weeks" and it actually is a very rewarding and wonderful experience. However it is w-o-r-k and I often find that people really don't have a true understanding of everything that goes into these 8 weeks unless they are privileged to experience it firsthand. It is a labor of love for sure and I am very sure that the Conicelli family is having an experience that none of them will ever forget and they'll be forever grateful that these 9 little "blessings" came their way.

Stay tuned for more pup-dates from the
Conicelli Vineyards and samples of the highly regarded "flight" yet to be enjoyed !!


Monday, April 13, 2009

Pup-date on New Cortina & Duncan Puppies

We are extremely happy to announce the arrival of the 9 Cortina & Duncan newborns that are wonderfully healthy and absolutely beautiful !!

It began with long hours through Friday and into Saturday which was both stressful and yet very exciting as we awaited that first arrival at 9 p.m. on Saturday night. Preparations in advance made for an easier time for everyone as we waited for that first magical moment.
It was not disappointing and the excitement in that room was palpable, overwhelming and incredibly touching for all of us. Emotional was the key word for the day but everyone was terribly excited to know that "they're coming".

Cortina knew her role and she handled it with an expertise that never ceases to amaze me as I watch how Mother Nature has instilled these wonderful dogs with an instinctive ability to know just what to do and when to do it. Carol, Dan & Lona were "wowed" as the first puppy emerged and took his first breath and first cry. Lona softly wished every puppy a Happy Birthday as they were born and each new puppy's arrival was met with happiness and a few tears here and there. It was an emotional event made ever so special by Cortina who lovingly attended each puppy as if they were the only puppy to ever be born. A mother's love is something that is truly special no matter what the species.

Carol Conicelli, Dan & Lona's daughter, was an invaluable member of our "team" and she worked tirelessly to make sure that Cortina had her walks and her every need met in the weeks and days leading up to this day. Dan, Lona and I are very grateful for her efforts and her willingness to put her own Easter plans on hold just to be there and support us as well as Cortina. Often times Mother Nature doesn't go by our schedules or plans and this just happened to be one of those times but it was truly worth every minute of waiting when these beautiful puppies finally made their entrance into the world.

The puppies are very healthy and we are blessed to have 3 solid liver puppies and 6 liver, white and ticked; a few with large body patches and very dark pigment underneath their white coats which will eventually darken. I suspect that 2 of the liver, white and ticked puppies will be a bit lighter in coloration though still "roan" while the others will darken considerably to be a very dark roan much like Duncan. For some perspective new owners who really were hoping to have a solid liver puppy, they might be surprised to see that a few of these will become almost as dark in color as a true solid liver like Cortina.
Hopefully new perspective owners will be very happy to have a beautiful Shorthair puppy with a sound temperament and a wonderful personality regardless of color patterning and that is why we choose our new homes so carefully. That is what we strive to perpetuate with every breeding planned and once again we are convinced that we have achieved our goal.

This morning Cortina continued to care for her puppies as lovingly as she has in the past 48 hours. She took a short respite this morning for a visit around the backyard where she quickly noticed the scent of the wild turkeys that have visited Dan & Lona's home for years for their daily meal of cracked corn. It was a welcome break but was soon abandoned to get back to maternal duties inside the whelping box where 9 hungry puppies waited. Attentive as always she washed and nursed them and settled in for a quiet and restful day after the commotion of recent days. Dan, Lona and Carol can possibly catch up on some much needed rest and I am quite sure that Christopher, Carol's son, will be most happy to take his shift next to the puppy box. Christopher is smiling broadly as he helps to care for the puppies; knowing that in 8 weeks there will be one very special puppy chosen to be his new companion and hunting buddy under the very loving tutelage of Grandpa Dan.

What a great family and what a beautiful litter of puppies !! We are excited and very proud to welcome these new lives into the Shomberg family and we are extremely appreciative to the entire Conicelli family for their dedication, their love and their great care of Cortina and her new litter. Every new owner who is waiting for a Cortina & Duncan puppy should know that this is a very special litter and they will be raised and deeply loved by a very special family.......the Conicelli's.

Congratulations to everyone !!!! And a special "Thank you" to an almost unheard of entity in this world, Dr.Werner, of Long Valley Veterinary Clinic who interrupted his Easter Sunday to examine Cortina and tell us that she is wonderfully fit and healthy after whelping this litter of large, healthy puppies.
How often do you find a Vet who does this anymore ?
We appreciate his dedication and love for his job and the animals he serves and he should be told. We just have :-D


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