Saturday, November 19, 2005

Fun on a Sunny Day

It may be cold outside but when the sun is shining, it's time to get out and see the world. And that's what our guys did this morning. "Mammoth", a.k.a. "Collins" and "Bryce" discovered the chicken coop for the first time. Both hen and pups eyed each other curiously for a few moments. If only these digital cameras were more responsive (need fresh batteries, I think).

When out together puppies waste no time finding mom, and today was no different. As the weening process progresses the mother dog becomes more tolerant and eventually gives in to the play atmosphere. Mingus isn't quite there yet but, as you can see, she doesn't have much choice.

Meanwhile, here's a look a few other little guys from this litter:
That's "Zion", (M) and "Yellowstone" (F)

We still have three pups available... why not bring some playful joy into your home this holiday season?

Wow! Six weeks already?

Hard to believe how fast time goes by, and how quickly little pups become big pups! At six weeks it's time to see the vet for first shots. In customary fashion, our litters arrive in the office as little snoozers. What a mellow bunch!

We've been very pleased with the temperment of Mingus' litter, especially with people. You can pick up any puppy and hold it on its back and it will just stare into your eyes (or give you a lick!). No thrashing or flailing about with these guys. Why? We think a lot of a dog's temperment is derived from how it is raised early on. From the very beginning we work with our pups to condition them to human contact. They're very comfortable with us now. So when they arrived at the vet's office, this is what he saw:

Don't get us wrong, they're not always like this. In fact, they're reaching the stage where they like to play for up to 45 minutes before hitting the snooze button. There's a fair amount of puppy snarls as they chase each other's tails and romp with their Aunt Bromley and Cousin Sedona.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Online Store Open!

Whew! We did it! Our NATURALS business (soaps, lip balm, honey, etc.) got off to a good start this summer as we expanded into shows and fairs. Now, our website is up and so is the
online store. All of our products, from our organic honey to handcrafted soaps are available for purchase.

We have some exciting new soaps, and even gift "Bath Tubs".
Customers have a variety of shipping options (though we're still working out the kinks for the USPS option), or can arrange to pick up their items.


Saturday, October 29, 2005

Play Time

At four weeks, our little guys are starting to show some personality. We don't have a kennel mentality so our adult dogs share our house (and sometimes the furnishings: "Get off the couch!") and really enjoy having new "family" members to interact with. When the pups are this young we like to give them their own space as the bigger dogs can be a bit rough in their play, thinking nothing of "pouncing" on the little furballs. But it isn't long before the two groups become one extended family pack.

Monday, October 17, 2005

First Steps!

Two weeks and paws ahead! The little guys are finding their footing, literally, and have begun the transition from rugrats to puppydom. Right around the time their eyes begin to open the pups begin testing out their legs with brief sojourns (sometimes in circles!) as they awake and search for a meal from mom. That's where we're at! A couple of the pups are beginning to open their eyes.

These pups are our most gorgeous yet! What a combination! Big W-I-D-E heads. We're amazed at the distance between their eyes. Of course, it's still very early in their development but these pups seem to be on their way to having big blocky heads with great coats. Our Mingus is a beauty and her best qualities appear to have blended with the best Jonathan has to offer, with the result being the classic English line labrador retriever.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Beautiful Pops

We've been fortunate in breeding our labs to select quality mates for our females. Starting with Broad Reach Ruff Stuff, a.k.a. "Colby", the 2000 and 2001 AKC #1 ranked labrador retriever in North America, and continuing with this litter, Willcare's Prestige, a.k.a. "Jonathan", our pups have stellar AKC champion credentials.
For a photo of Jonathan, check out this site:

Colby sired our Mingus, mother of this litter. A great article about him and his owner, Kevin B., can be found with this link

Although it's still quite early to tell, we believe these pups have the potential to be our best yet. They are shaping up to be gorgeous!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Nine Days Six Pups

Mingus' babies are growing fast! And Mother-of-the-Year award goes to Mingus. Wow! We've been somewhat surprised at how good a mom she is. This is her first litter and she'd not shown the same interest in pups as our other dogs had so we were uncertain how she would handle the job herself. But she's shown herself to be perhaps the most attentive mother of all. She rarely leaves the whelping box and has been quite selective when it comes to allowing the other dogs near her brood. In fact, only Grandma Caicos is allowed in the whelping box. As with Bromley's litter, Caicos feels it's her duty to check in on the grandkids from time to time. She cleans them and then settles in to to let the little 'nes try to nurse on her. Guess she misses the days of motherhood...

Sadly, we lost one of the male pups on day four. "Little Big Horn" stopped eating after the second day and would not respond to our handfeedings either. Always difficult to lose a puppy, but perhaps it was best that it occurred early on. It's not uncommon for such an event, although we've had extraordinary luck up until this point. We now have six pups--four blacks and two yellows. These young 'rangers', Yellowstone, Bryce, Zion, Jewel Cave, Mammoth Hot Springs, and Rushmore, have doubled in size and are just beginning to try to stand. Another week or less and their eyes will be open and they'll become little hikers!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

New Pups! Mingus' first litter

Our black lab, Mingus, gave birth this morning to seven pups--five black and two yellow, four males and three females. All are pretty uniform in size (about 11 1/2 oz). They remind us of little chipmunks! Mingus surprised us with the first pup about 7:45 AM and was finished birthing by 10:30 AM--a very quick delivery, indeed.

We've named the pups after national parks we visited this summer. Our tradition with our litters is to give them temporary names around a theme. Past litters were given patriotic (all born on July 4th) names, or after Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Lord of the Rings, and Vermont ski mountains. It's a fun way of keeping track of individual pups until they're placed with their new owners.

These pups were sired by 3-year old CH. Willcare's Prestige of New Hampshire. He's a gorgeous yellow with terrific show credentials. Our Mingus descends from AKC champion and former #1 ranked lab (North America), Broad Reach Ruff Stuff. She's a beauty and is turning out to be a good mom.

Look for pictures in the coming days. We currently have three puppies available.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

NATURALS - Debut is a success!

Recently, we started a line of soaps and creams we call "Three Sisters Farms NATURALS". All are handcrafted and made with only natural ingredients. We've been met with enthusiastic reviews from our early adopters that have found us at recent fairs and farmers markets in the area. Our Gardener's Hand Cream, made with shea butter, avocado oil, honey and other fine ingredients is a hit. It really works, especially on dry, cracked skin (wonderful for feet, cuticles, etc.).

To learn more please visit our website at

Thursday, July 07, 2005

NATURALS - Incorporating our Honey into new products

We're busy working on a new line of Natural products using our award winning honey as one of the ingredients! Handcrafted soaps, lip balms, and hand creams will debut at the Market En Plein Aire at the Florence Griswold Museum during Old Lyme's Midsummer Festival on July 30th.

We are producing three soaps: Honey, Honey Oatmeal, and Honey Lavender. Ingredients include saponified olive oil, sweet almond oil, coconut oil, palm oil, and beeswax. It takes 3-6 weeks to cure cold process soaps. Lightly fragrant from the key ingredients of honey or lavender, the soaps have an added sweet smell from the sweet almond oil. The ingredients were selected for their skin conditioning and lathering abilities. Lavender has antiseptic and stimulating qualities. The typical soap bar has a deep honey color, while the lavender bars are flecked with lavender we collected from Provence in southern France.

Currently, Stasia is finalizing the formulations of several lip glosses/balms ('blosses'?). One favorite has a sweet scent of orange. The glosses also contain the finest natural ingedients including beeswax, jojoba, castor, and coconut oils, as well as vitamin E. Easy to apply and longlasting! The hand cream includes aloe veraShe remarks that getting the ingredient mix just right is a challenge--but a lot of fun as well.

We've designed new labels and hope to have them printed by next week.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Home Free!

For those of you who've followed this litter, you'll be happy to know that "Stowe" has a home. Barbara, who lives near Binghamton, NY, took her home this past week. Stowe is now "Jenny" and will be romping with six house cats, as well as Barbara's husband.

Now that we're down to one, it's fun to finally enjoy OUR puppy. Sedona, as we've named her, has rapidly integrated into the pack. She's much mellower now that she's not competing with other litter mates for attention and food. It makes us think of the other puppies, and we wonder how alike (or different) their experiences have been since going to their new homes three weeks ago. My how time flies!

It's a bit of a challenge feeding four dogs! However, Sedona has quickly learned to sit and stay while we put her food in front of her. She still has a tendency to leave her (still filled) bowl to try and grab from the others, but with a quick redirect from us she is learning to stay and finish her own portion before heading over to another's. And besides, she's usually met with a growl warning from the neighbors, who have no problem reminding her of the pecking order.

We're anticipating another litter in the Fall, this time from our black lab, Mingus. Inquiries are welcome. We have started a waiting list... contact us if you know of someone who has an interest.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

My How They Grow!

Those of you who have followed this litter may remember the first picture taken on the day the pups were born. Little 'Mt. Snow' and his siblings were so small you could sit them INSIDE a coffee mug. Now nine weeks later, they tip the scales at about 12-14 lbs. and they can now DRINK the beverage. No stunting of growth here!

Alas! We have but two little ones left. Kevin picked up 'Haystack' on Monday. For a moment he thought about taking 'Stowe' instead but decided it was best to stick to his first choice. Stowe's almost a carbon copy of her sister. She's very personable--it will be tough to let her go!

Monday, May 09, 2005

Smuggler Stays Home

The cute little girl you see there is now called Sedona, after the beautiful red rock country of Sedona, Arizona. This pup was a real standout thanks to the vivid reddish tinge across her muzzle and across her back. She's a bit feisty but has already found her niche with the adult dogs. She'll find herself more at home with us after the last of the remaining pups go to their new homes. We're looking forward to her next two years as she transitions to an adult, and are wondering if she'll retain that striking red coloration.

And then there were four

Whew! What a difference a day makes. Saturday was filled with new puppy parents/families arriving to pick up their pet. It was exciting and a bit melancholy at the same time. Eager families scooped up their puppy and returned home for a night of fun, clean up, and occasional long nights next to the puppy crate.

When it was all over, we notice Bromley sitting next to her remaining family. She seemed a bit perplexed, and somewhat forlorn over the quick exodus. Still, she's got four girls to ease the transition, at least for the next few days.

Placing our dogs with their new owners is a rewarding experience. We love seeing happy and satisified puppy parents, and certainly enjoyed receiving emails the next day highlighting the first night's experience. Good luck to all!

Friday, May 06, 2005

Bedtime Snack

Yep, they still love their mother! It's almost Mother's Day and Bromley's gettin' 'em ready for bed. For fun, go back to some early photos (see to see the before and after of just two months.

Snow's Homeward Bound

"We want to go home!" the pups seem to be saying. They turned eight weeks old on Thursday (05/05/05). It is TIME. The past three days the pups have found their comfort zone and feel free to wander away from the pack to explore. Once the puppies have reached this stage, they're ready to go to their new homes. There are always three or four who go into and through the woods (to grandmother's house???) and then down the hill; another couple have discovered our vegetable garden. More specifically, they've learned to feast on the compost. Indeed, we caught Stratton running around the back yard with a watermelon rind trophy. Wish we'd had the camera!

Everyone's favorite little male, Mt. Snow, was the first to leave, on Friday. No longer fitting in a tea cup Snow, along with his mates, is nearing 10 lbs. in weight. His new owners, Jim and Jennifer, gave him "Okemo" as his new name--what a great name for a dog! They liked the female by that name--this way they got a little of both... We wish them all the best!

Bromley and Caicos said their goodbyes with nuzzles, though Bromley seemed to be thinking more of food at the moment. Still, it will be interesting to see how Bromley does once the litter is pared down considerably...

The rest of the gang is awake much more, and play often, sometimes getting boisterous and a bit testy with one another. Then we know it's time to get them back outside where they have more room to run and energy to burn. Otherwise, king-of-the-cat-bed is a fun game.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Earth Day is Vet Visit Day

Today, was FIRST SHOTS and EXAM day. All nine pups were loaded into the crate and made their way to Madison Vetinerinary Hospital with little fanfare. They promptly fell asleep upon arrival. What a mellow bunch! 'Smugglers Notch' was the first to be examined and she slept through the entire exam. Dr. Ouellette assured us she had a heartbeat--and all was well with her, and with her eight siblings. Not a peep out of any of them. A few were content to stand (even on the COLD stainless steel exam table) but several just snoozed. The Doc said he'd never seen anything like it.

Of course, to be fair, it has been a rather long day for them. We've had a couple of visitors today and the pups got lots of playtime with them. They'll sleep well tonight for sure.

As for their shot, they got a dose of Duramune Max (DA2P-P), an innoculation against three viruses that afflict dogs. The series of three shots, administered about 3-4 weeks apart, will boost immunity that until now has been provided through mother's milk. Otherwise, over the course of the next 20 weeks their immunity would gradually disappear.

Six Weeks -- Time for Fun and Play

Now into their sixth week, the pups have a lot more energy than even just a few weeks ago. They're showing more self-confidence and some will roam into the woods to do their "business", for the sake of privacy, I guess (after all, don't we all hate someone else watching while we go?!). Each is now eating nearly a half cup of kibble three times daily (still moistened). Bromley eats five times daily but all her extra calories are still being transferred to her young.

At six weeks, playtime includes mom, who is showing more interest in joining her litter in romps and rassles. We've noticed this with our past litters as well: at about 6-7 weeks the mother begins to experience the joy of her toddlers and "loosens up". The earlier worries and close watches of early puppycare are behind her. The pups still nurse sporadically but because it's nice, not because it is necessary. The pups will chase after mom, pull a bit on her ears, get under foot and, once mom lays down, will crawl around and over her. Mom enjoys the attention and interaction--until she is distracted by something else. This is the most joyful time to watch a litter and its mother.

After the fun, it's back to the business of sleep...

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Three Squares and a Cot

Now into their 5th week, the pups are eating softened kibble three times daily. A ring of a set of keys and a familiar call of "Who's hungry?!" brings them charging out the door onto the patio (much less mess to clean up out there now that the weather's warmed up!). They swirl about whoever's feeding them with their noses pointed upward anxiously waiting for the three cake pans of food to descend to attack level. It's survival of the fittest as the pups work their way through, across, and around each pan competing with two siblings to vacuum up every morsel.

Meanwhile, anxiously waiting in the wings are the three adult dogs, each hoping they'll get a turn at scarfing up any leftovers. Ahh, in the first few days they could count on success but no longer... the pups have figured out how to scavenge any grain of kibble left.

Playtime comes next, and the pups are becoming more adventurous and self-confident, exploring an ever widening field of new sights and smells. This is where the set of keys comes in handy. A ring of the keys brings them back pell-mell, ears flapping, eyes straight ahead. Once back inside, one or two immediately crash into sleep while the others continue their exercise and play for a few minutes longer, until their full bellies dull the senses and they wander off to a cozy spot to doze and grow...

Monday, April 11, 2005

Romp & Ready

Spring weather brings to sights, sounds, and smells for the little guys. The warm weather of the last few days allowed us to let the pups explore the backyard. Tentative and somewhat reluctant to test the great outdoors on their own, we nudged them across the door's threshhold, only to realize that their first action on a new surface was to pee...

Dry leaves, flower stalks, and even dirt were met with curiosity and quickly turned into instruments of play. Freed from the confines of the whelping box, there was a tendency to try out the running legs. One pup, "Stratton", enjoyed bowling over an unsuspecting mate--anyone within range. All part of the exploration of pack play and personality development. These guys still have limited energy. After about 10 minutes they one-by-one drift to a corner of the steps, a pile of leaves, or under our seated legs to lull back to nap.

Friday, April 08, 2005

First Kibbles

Yum! Or yum?

We continue to be fascinated by the differences between litters. This group continues to teach us new things. Unlike previous pups we've had, these guys were a bit more tentative with their first nibbles of all things kibble. None were truly voracious, no attacking the bowl or muscling each other aside. Instead, most were content to give there first taste a polite lick. A couple of pups even wandered off after a minute (to do some private "business") only to return a bit later to see what all the commotion was about. However, by day three of these supplemental feedings, they now seem to have found their appetites. All stay at the trough, licking up every morsel, to the point that we added a small second helping.

Playtime -- The Joys of Puppyhood

These guys are finally coming to life. Following mealtime, the pups have an extended period outside the whelping box to explore their surroundings (in this case, our kitchen), and to interact with each other and their extended pack (Mingus, Caicos, and mom Bromley). Tugs of war, pawing, and romps are becoming the norm.

Such play time is increasing in length. A few days ago the pups would run out of gas after 5 minutes. Now, they keep it up for 15 or 20 before individually drifting away to find a quiet corner to sleep.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

First Tier AKC pedigree

Our puppies come from good parents. Our dam, Bromley, has proven to be a first-rate mom. Even before her first litter she was helping out with puppy care. With previous litters, Bromley would corral the little ones when they strayed, intervene in puppy spats, and generally keep tabs during play time. She was sired by Broad Reach Ruff Stuff, a.k.a. "Colby", who had the distinction of being the #1-ranked AKC Champion Labrador Retriever in the U.S. and Canada for 2001 and 2002. Do an internet search on him, and you'll get an idea of his success. Check out this article. His legacy can be seen in our Bromley. We're proud of both of them.

Bromley's mother, Caicos, has AKC champion lines as well. Her pedigree includes the LoBuff kennels, a champion line extending back over 50 years. Caicos was born in Otis, MA, and her parents were bred for hunting skills. She's a relentless retriever and lover of water, qualities we feel she inherited from her mother.

The sire of this litter is AKC Champion Blackdux Daily News. He's known for his gentle disposition and has been used in the Guiding Eyes breeding program. He lives in Aniston, CT.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Honey Season Begins!

Yip-bee! Spring is here and warm weather is finally arriving. Look outside and you're likely to see honeybees foraging for the first morsels of pollen and minute drops of nectar. The maples and willows are in the early stages of flowering and the bees are right there with them.

We harvest and sell honey from our hives. It tastes great! Usually fairly light in color and taste, our honey is derived from local wildflowers and trees found here near the Connecticut River, about 5 miles up from Long Island Sound. And it's won first place awards two years in a row at our local fair. Stay tuned throughout the season as we bring you our story of Three Sisters Farms Honey...

Enjoying the Grandchildren

We continue to marvel at Bromley's mother, Caicos, and her desire to share in the revelry of Bromley's litter. Caicos enjoys filling the vacancy in the whelping box when Bromley's away. The little ones scamper over and around their grandmother, enjoying the attention, but also looking for dinner. Alas, they come away with empty stomachs. Caicos, on the other hand, appears content to bask in the glow of her pride's offspring. The interaction is good stimulation and socialization for the younger dogs and just plain FUN!

Good Reading for Puppyhood

If you haven't done so already, consider picking up a book on puppies. We like The Art of Raising a Puppy by the New Skete Brothers. This monastic order has some 25 years experience raising and training dogs, and has a wonderful series of books and videos. You can find their books at many online book sellers, or visit their website at

We also prepare a packet for our new owners that provides details on care/feeding/shot schedule/choosing a vet, etc. And, of course, we're always a phone call away. The first few days and weeks can sometimes generate "what do I...?" kinds of questions. We're not veterinarians, but we can share our experience and knowledge...

Just About Four Weeks!

Eyes have been open since March 24th, and now our little guys are much more active! This is by far the best litter we've had.

Gentle and content.
Bromley's a terrific mom and we've been surprised to see Grandma Caicos stepping in as surrogate on a daily basis. Caicos will go in and clean the pups, even settle in to let them nurse. Bromley doesn't mind, nor do the pups, though it would seem they'd figure out that Grandma just isn't the right food source!

Very quiet litter and so far no give-and-take tussle between littermates. This is one mellow group!

We plan to introduce solid food, beginning tomorrow (Tuesday). Three to four weeks is the target age, and they're ready. For up to date pictures, be sure to visit our website. We'll update the site at least weekly.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Lab Report

Now two weeks old, our beautiful labrador retriever pups' eyes have opened. Really fun stuff, if you've never done it. We have three daughters and this is our fourth litter. This time all the puppies are yellow.

So what do pups that open their eyes for the first time do? They gaze, of course. Eyes are initially a brilliant blue. They love to stare and blink. It's all a wonder to them for, at the same time, their little ears begin to open and they become mobile as well. Ahh, nature! The volume of noise from the whelping box goes up exponentially at this stage. Each pup begins jockeying for position in the litter pecking order, probably from this stage.

Our pups are first rate, and I'm not saying that because they're cute! Really. Great AKC lines--#1 ranked US and Canada on our female, Bromley's side, and AKC champ lines on the sire as well, Blackdux Daily News. Will provide more in a later post.