Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Six Weeks of Fun

Finally, the weather has improved enough to give the pups some outdoor fun. It's a chance to learn new sights and smells, whether an oak leaf (great for playing keep away from your mates!) or a large rock. Each is a new experience for the puppies. It gives us a chance as well to evaluate each pups' level of confidence and curiosity.

You'll notice the purple coloring by the tail of the little guy on the left. It's made with a Sharpie pen and allows us to keep better track of each individual. A lab's coat (no pun intended) is naturally repellent and we must recolor with permanent market each puppy on a daily basis.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Puppy Chow Time

Four weeks old last Saturday and it's time to graduate to 'big dog' dining. Actually, nature took its course in making the decision. Mother Sedona went to nurse her puppies and the suckling of the pups stimulated her to regurgitate her food, which the pups quickly ate up! As in nature with wolves, birds, etc., this is a naturally occurring phenomenon. In our case, it signaled it was time to begin transitioning the puppies to regular dog food.

We feed our dogs Canidae brand dog food. We like this premium brand because its an all ages formulation, meaning dogs from puppy to senior can eat the same food. This eliminates the transition period that some puppies experience going from 'puppy chow' to adult formulation and eventually senior formulation. It's also one of the few dry foods in the marketplace that has high marks for quality and completeness.

So from here on, the pups do the daily dance around the feed bowl--ours is designed for feeding several at once. Most dive in paws first but eventually learn they don't have to stand in their food in order to eat!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Breeder or Pet Store

Recently, we were in a pet store in West Hartford and noticed it had puppies for sale in the $1,700 to $2,500 range. We were curious... where do the puppies come from? What is the pedigree of the parents? What environment were the puppies raised in? What kind of service does the pet store provide once the puppy has been sold? If one is going to invest in a new family pet a new owner should have answers that they can be comfortable with--and have confidence in.

Our puppies come with an AKC registration which verifies their pedigree and lineage. The parents have had their hips and elbows certified by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, and their eyes have been checked and registered with the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF), meaning our dogs have a low probability of genetic defects such as hips dysplasia or ocular disorders. We hand raise our puppies, giving them stimulation and loving care from day one to the day they go to their new homes. They're exposed to other dogs, cats, children, vacuum noise, and other household stimulations which help them to become a well-adjusted adult.

We take pride in providing help and advise to our new owners as well as a one-year health guarantee (against genetic defects). The first few months of puppyhood often generate many questions from new owners ("My puppy threw up, what do I do?" or "How do you stop the biting when we try and play?"). We're a phone call or email away. We're proud to have several repeat customers and love getting birthday and holiday cards and pictures from puppy owners!

As breeders, we've invested considerable time and treasure into raising our adult labs and their offspring. We've been breeding since 2002 and have a wealth of experience that goes into each and every puppy.

We do not sell over the internet and we take the time to interview prospective owners to see if our lab puppies are a good fit for the owner and dog both. Labrador retrievers are wonderful dogs but they're not for everyone, and sometimes it takes some reflection upon the prospective owner to understand what's best for them. We monitor the growth and development of each puppy and give guidance as to what family circumstance may be best for each.

Can you get this service from a pet store? Let us know!

Friday, March 11, 2011

First week changes

When the pups are first born we've got to admit... they look pretty ugly! Little moles with pink faces and feet and slug like in their movement. Now, nearly a week later, these features are turning dark and the pups are looking more 'dog-like'. They're also putting on weight, nearly doubling in size since they were born. Snoozers all, even mother Sedona spends much of her time in the whelping box sleeping, with puppies attached nearly constantly.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Seven "Gems" - Sedona's litter

Our yellow lab, Sedona, gave birth to seven puppies on Saturday, March 5th. Sired by Legacy's Willcare's Nicholas of Carmel, NY. First pup born at 6 AM, quickly followed by four others in the next two hours; then a long and challenging afternoon of on-again, off-again labor that produced two more healthy pups, for a total of four girls and three boys. All pups are yellow in color, with some having the darker markings that are characteristic of Sedona.

As is our custom, each litter has a theme for which each pup is named. This litter's theme is gemstones, so we have names (and sex) as follows: "Diamond" (M), Amethyst (M), Ruby (F), Peridot (M), Aquamarine (F), Amber(F), and Tourmaline (F).

To learn more please contact us via email or phone.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Frigid Temps are Tough on Bees

As we look forward to spring, we anxiously await news of the bees' survivability over this long, cold winter. Although honey bees are native to Europe most of the honey bees in Connecticut are sourced from a supplier in Georgia. That means the bees are used to more temperate winters than ours here in New England and many don't adapt (i.e., survive) to the Connecticut cold. Ideally, the bees that DO survive can be propagated the next year so their cold hardy genes gain prominence in our apiaries.

There are several races of honey bees, the most common here are the Italians. We like the Carniolans, which are originally native to Romania and Bulgaria, and thus tend to survive winters better.

Puppies Expected!

Our yellow (red) labrador retriever, Sedona, is expecting her second litter of puppies, in early March. The pups will be all yellows, as the sire is the venerable Legacy Labrador's Nicholas. He's produced beautiful puppies for us in the past and we look forward to his newest huggables.

If you'd like to learn more or are interested in our puppies please feel free to contact us.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

New Bees!

Another Spring, another year to replace bees lost to winter weather and the mites. This year eleven year-old Nadia helped empty packages of bees into the hives. Each package contains about 3 lbs. of bees and an isolated queen. They'll quickly take up residence in their new hive and within 2-3 days will free the queen from her candy-plugged cage. She will then begin laying up to 1,800 eggs per day as the hive prepares itself for the spring bloom.