The United States Military is a vital part of our countries defense and the men and women who serve in the Armed Forces sacrifice on a daily basis with their time, health and many times their lives. Military families, wives, children and parents worry about their safety at home and abroad. It is a duty often overlooked, but one business is going the extra step and making sure their military employees and customers are recognized and honored.
Jefferson Bank decided to use RED Friday on May 6th, the official Military Spouse Appreciation day, to kick off Military Appreciation Month.
I learned about this story when I received an email from the bank Vice President who wanted to purchase a very large order of buttons. Naturally I was curious, being a Marine Mom I designed this button with the hope that it would inspire people to wear it on Fridays and show their support of the military. I have had a son deployed in the USMC to Afghanistan and will most likely have another, since I have three Marines. When I found out more I just had to write about it and share.
The R.E.D. Friday buttons are a reminder to Remember Everyone Deployed and has become a national movement in the military community.
How Jefferson Bank Supports the Military
I found out that an employee, who is a military spouse, first brought RED Friday to the attention of her fellow employees. They wore RED shirts to Friday softball games and it became a tradition. The bank is located in an area with a strong military presence and several employees are either military, military spouses, veterans, or have family serving in the military.
But the bank wanted to do more, so the buttons were one step. There are many activities planned for the month, but one of the things they did was purchase RED Friday buttons for all of their employees and provide to their customers. Each Friday in May they will pay tribute to the individual employees who will tell their military story. Please, if you are in the area come into one of their branches, pick up a button and tell them thank you for their support.
Jefferson Bank, has eleven locations in the Houston area and is an independent, family owned bank going back three generations. How often do you hear of a family owned bank anymore. They sincerely care about not only their employees, but their customers, and it shows by their Facebook page.
It is nice to see a company adopting RED Friday of recognizing our soldiers, Marines, sailors and airman and I hope the trend continues throughout the year. I salute Jefferson Bank on this initiative and hope it becomes an annual tradition. I also challenge other businesses to show your support of the military, not only during Military Appreciation Month, but all year.
All it takes is a little button. Imagine if your waitress, or flight attendant on Southwest Airlines wore a simple RED Button and it started a conversation, a dialogue, and an appreciation of our military families nationwide?
Send your friends to the Jefferson Bank Facebook page and tell them thank you. Spread the news and let’s show everyone we love, honor, respect, and support our troops.
Origins of RED Friday
It is said that R.E.D Friday started in 2006 by two wives of Canadian servicemen as a way of showing solidarity to our troops deployed in Afghanistan. But many military wives have been wearing RED shirts for many years before the “movement” was announced. RED also in remembrance of the American Legion Red Poppy Campaign.
It is a small way to let military families know we are thinking of them and salute their service to our country. Although it is mainly a red shirt tradition people who have company dress codes choose to wear ribbons or buttons. If you would like to be a part of the RED Friday movement I have several shirts, buttons and items in my Zazzle Store. Let’s spread the word and get more companies on board.
Support our troops is a slogan commonly used in the United States and Canada in reference to … Groups have advocated the wearing of red on Fridays, in an event known as Red Friday, to show their support for all members of the armed …
The personality and temperament of your dog is dependent on several factors. It starts with breeding, you want to make sure puppy parents are even tempered, gentle towards people, kids, dogs and various social situations. But it’s not just breeding it’s environmental. It’s how well the breeders took early puppy training.
Early Puppy Neurological Stimulation
It has been proven in both human infants and newborn puppies that early stimulation of the neurological system (the brain and nerves) can influence intelligence and future ability to learn and process information. The military and service dog organizations have various puppy training programs to develop highly intelligent working dogs and responsible dog breeders take this phase of life very seriously.
I majored in Animal Science and the same philosophy is true in raising horses. Handle newborn animals often and all over their bodies. The military developed a Bio-Sensor program which consists of exercises performed on each puppy every day through the first three weeks of life. Each exercise is performed for only 3 to 5 seconds. They are as follows:
Tactile stimulation: Hold the puppy in one hand and tickle it between the toes on any one foot (a cotton swab can be used)
Head up position: Using both hands, hold the puppy perpendicular to the ground so its head is directly over its tail.
Head down position: Holding the puppy in the same position as in exercise 2, gently bend the head down so the nose is pointing toward the ground.
Supine position: Place the puppy on its back in both your hands, so it’s parallel to the ground.
Thermal stimulation: Cool a damp towel in the refrigerator for five minutes, then place the pup on it, feet down.
Studies showed that not only could puppies cope with stressful situations better but they could also problem solve better than other puppies. In addition they were also physically healthier with higher cardiovascular performance, stronger immune systems, adrenal glands and heart beats. Assistance dogs are well mannered and good manners don’t magically appear.
We encouraged our puppy families to visit and to hold all the puppies. At least twice a day each pup was handled, cradled, and their little feet, ears and bodies stroked and manipulated until they were comfortable, relaxed, and yielded to the touch. Each pup learned to fall asleep on their backs with either their belly, head, or chest stroked. Puppy paws are cute and irresistible to play with and each one of the pups were spoiled with attention.
Create a Complex Stimulated Puppy Environment
Our puppies had a 8×12 foot room in the basement connected to the back door, it really is a back entry “mud room” area which we converted to the puppy room. They had access to assorted blankets of different textures in the nursery and as they grew a kennel crate was then provided for Mom and puppies to sleep and nurse. As soon as they opened their eyes, and became mobile, I added balls and toys. I made tiny fleece tug toys and would encourage them to follow the toy in my hand and grab for the end to play tugging games.
The puppies were more interested in playing with each other than the toys the first few weeks. They had plenty of room to learn to jump, climb, and ample space to sleep together in a giant puppy pile or apart.
You can see the pups here inside their kennel crate. As soon as they started climbing out of their nursery pool the kennel crate was placed in the area. I really like using bath mats and large quilted pillow shams as bedding. It’s soft, easily washed and fit perfectly inside the crate. At the front of the crate was a thick layer of newspaper to give them a distinctive place to pee and poop.
I’m not going to say they learned house training this quick, the newspaper was there as a suggestion. We did place newspapers outside the crate, all around it at first, and gradually newspaper was only by the door. By the time they were 6 weeks old most of them would pee immediately after letting them outside in the morning. At 9 wks of age the pups did their business on the newspapers 95% of the time.
Importance of Crate Training
I’m a firm believer in crate training and getting pups comfortable with going inside a kennel. A crate is a place to call their own, it’s a safe place, it’s their den. Dogs don’t like to soil where they sleep so it becomes a housebreaking tool when they go to their new homes. Puppies can also be very mischievous and get into trouble. If you work you during the day there is no way you can be supervise all the time, and coming home to the kitchen trash all over the house is NOT enjoyable.
A crate serves as a short-term “time out” training tool. If dogs learn at a young age that a crate is not scary or dangerous it makes transporting your dog less stressful. Even after your puppy is house trained it’s a good idea to keep the crate door open with a comfortable bed inside. Many dogs love the security a den provides and will go in voluntarily to take a doggy break from the ruckus of an active household.
Puppies at 3-4 Weeks of Age
At this age the pups were not only learning balance and starting to bounce around but were also starting to eat solid food. They followed Mom to the food bowl and started nibbling and soon they were eating like pros. I softened their puppy food at first but it didn’t take long for their teeth to come in and they soon were eating more food and nursing less.
I love puppies. I love taking photographs of puppies. I’m not going to say how many pictures of the puppies I took, but it was hundreds. There seems to be a “magic” age to take photos of both puppies and babies and that is 4-5 weeks for pups and about 4-5 months of human babies. At that age they are alert, curious, but still don’t move around very much.
Educating the Infant Puppy
We didn’t set out to “educate” our puppies, but in using common sense we were assuring our pups to had the best start before going to their forever families.
A well raised puppy makes not only a wonderful companion dog, but if you are looking to train a service dog ask the breeder about their puppy raising program. Assistance dogs aren’t born, they are raised and specially bred for a job first, then a companion next. It is our hope that our puppy families would have a good foundation to continue training and have
Learn More About Puppy Training for Service and Assistance Dogs
Some parents read all the child rearing books and do everything by the book. This was not our philosophy in puppy rearing. But, we did expose our pups to a myriad of environments, people, stimulus, and I was very proud of them when they went to their new families. If you want to read more on newborn puppy training or training a pup for a future as a service dog these organizations below are a wealth of information.
Merry Christmas to everyone, I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season. As you eat prime rib, turkey, and open gifts from your family and friends are you thinking this Christmas is not meeting expecations? Is it different, are your traditions changing? My are and it’s not a bad thing, it’s an adjustment.
Due to outside family obligations we have “our” Christmas on Christmas Eve-Eve on December 23rd and open presents at 12:01 am on Christmas Eve. Long story, but it’s become a tradition. Normally I get the 23rd and or the 24th off, but this year I had to work and it really put my Christmas season out of whack. We had the dinner, which was AMAZING, but then can prime rib roast NOT be amazing. My husband was wonderful in getting dinner prepared while I was at work and Christmas program practice. I basically showed up and ate, which wonderful and odd at the same time.
It’s now Christmas Day, it is just the two of us, and the house is quiet. This give me time to reflect on the year and where I’ve been and where I’m going.
This year I “let go” during the Holidays.
I didn’t get every Christmas cookie made.
I didn’t get cards mailed, ok that’s several years in a row.
I didn’t stress about all the presents under the tree being adorned with bows, ribbons and looking fancy.,,,in fact
ALL the presents were with the SAME wrapping paper, and not a bow to be seen (OMG!)
Not all the Christmas decorations were put up this year.
I shrugged off the fact my “extra” presents for people didn’t happen this year.
I didn’t cry when all the kids couldn’t be home during dinner. (traveling from out of state isn’t predictable)
I didn’t stress about the “yearly” family Christmas photo in front of the tree where everyone is dressed up for church. (didn’t happen this year)
I didn’t freak out that everyone couldn’t make it to Christmas Eve service. (my daughter had to work late)
I didn’t go into a panic trying to find that present (ornament) that got “lost” this year. It will show up this week I’m sure.
What I did do this year.
I was thankful for the present, now and today.
I sat on the couch, watched the Christmas tree lights and listed to Christmas carols on Pandora.
I hugged my adult kids when I could, much to their dismay.
I snuggled on the couch with my husband watching Christmas movies.
I played the piano during the church Christmas Eve program and listened to the pure sound of the kids singing Away in the Manger.
I teared up singing Silent Night at the Candlelight portion of the service.
I am grateful to be alive and have all my grown kids healthy, happy and all together today. No matter where they are spending the day.
Does it feel different? Yes, and it feels odd. But,…Christmas is not about the commercialism, the wrappings, or the gifts. It starts with Christ, a baby born a humble birth, in a time of turmoil, who was sent by God to save His people and world. The Peace of God, the ever lasting forgiveness who washes away our sins, cleans us and makes us new. To think over two thousand years ago a simple baby, a child, a man, was able to change the world. All of this without social media, just word of mouth from one person to another.
Merry Christmas Everyone and Remember the Reason for the Season!
TheElf on A Shelfcraze seems to be everywhere, but Santa’s little helper isn’t new. My grandmother gave me a small knee hugger elf to hang on the tree in the 1960’s, it is one of the few things I have from my Dads’s Mom and I don’t even remember meeting her. All I know is the little pixie with the bell on top was one of my favorite ornaments.
My Mother in law really got into the Christmas elves, and sitting on the kitchen shelf are about 20 knee-hugger Christmas elves in various poses around miniature Christmas trees set up in a Christmas scene.. These little guys don’t get into mischief and they don’t tattle to Santa. They are just cute and whimsical.
They came in various sizes, the large ones were 14″ and designed to sit on a shelf, but the small ones were meant to hide on the Christmas tree and sometimes they moved around. I love the faces on these vintage Elves, the new ones just don’t have the same personality. You can almost see the mischief in his eyes below.
Elf on a Shelf Craze
Retro is in, what is old is new again and the famous fairy became popular again with the 2004 book and posable red and white costumed figure that moves around the house causing mischief while reporting to Santa whether the kids in the house have been naughty or nice. It’s more of the elf being naughty when he’s away from Santa though as I’ve seen photos of the pixie making a mess with cereal, unrolling the bathroom tissue, and getting in compromising positions.
My friend Andrew gets into the holiday spirit not just during Christmas but his costumes are famous all year round on airplanes, hotels and out and about in Omaha. This December he dressed as a life size Elf on the Shelf and was greeted by smiles by kids young and old. Parents took pictures of him with their kids, and he heard whispers and giggles at airports.
You may find this cute, but naughty elf pushing all the buttons on the elevator, ot getting trouble with the bubble wrap, but mostly he’s just bringing smiles to people from the photo lab, to those in his condo. But I really believe he just has fun himself and enjoys everyday to it’s fullest, whether he is an elf or cupid.
I don’t know how popular this new craze will become. I’ve seen a post about “renting a Elf on a Shelf” for your party (I’m sure Andrew would do that), and I’ve seen the baby Elf posed in various places by his Father who is a photographer, but there will be only one true live Elf on a Shelf for me and that’s the one above with the over sized imagination and love of life.
Elf on a Shelf Costume
If you, or your friends want to bring the Elf on the Shelf magic and fun to your Holiday season the costume can be found on Amazon. I would love to see pictures of your adventures, or even photos of a vintage elf from your childhood.
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Every Veterans Day I add a little bit more to the story of my Dad that I never heard when he was alive. Like many World War II veterans they rarely talked about their war time years. My Dad was one of those veterans. The terms shell shock, war fatigue, and PTSD was just not discussed, yet emotional withdrawal, depression, and a disconnection of life is now something I can see when I look back on my childhood.
After both of my parents died I found a single photo of my Father from the World War II era. From this photo I started searching records, learned the names of the Navy Destroyers on what he served and this is just the beginning.
I had an AMAZING phone conversation with not only a WWII veteran who wrote the book Joining the War at Sea, and served on the same ship as my Dad, BUT he was my Dad’s Gunnery officer on the USS Edison destroyer. You can read the story of how it came to be here, but on this Veterans Day I want to chronological list my Dad’s service records in hopes there are others who served during those time periods or have fathers who served on the same ship or during the early 1950’s when he reenlisted in the 82nd Airborne with Leo Tyrrell.
I would love to hear from anyone who had family serve aboard these ships and learn more about my Dad. Maybe your Dad or Grandfather told stories of the days escorting battleships across the Atlantic, firing against the German Nazi’s or dodging the Kamikaze planes in the Pacific.
The dates and locations below are taken from the book Joining the War at Sea 1939-1945 written by Captain Franklyn Dailey. Today he is 95 years old and I am so honored to have found him and spoken to him several times. To think he knew and worked with my Dad as his Gunnery Officer gives me chills.
Leo T Tyrrell- Date of enlistment branch USNR Sept 23, 1943
The other pins and patches above are from my Dad’s time in the Army Airborne with the 82nd Airborne, he earned his glider patch and was not only a parachute packer but a quartermaster at the end of his service. I am a little confused about this glider patch though. I vaguely remember my Dad saying he started planes on the deck of a ship by flipping the propellers. This was while watching the WWII television series. While doing history on the patch it seems to be a WWII era patch, but maybe someone can clear it up for me.
Below is a running chronological listing of dates, coordinating them with the ship of record. I will continue to update this list as I find specific dates and events. If you have any information you can add please send me a message at the bottom of this page. Records in bold note a military record which documents a time and place where my Dad was present. If you click on the date it will bring up a PDF report from Fold 3, part of my Ancestry.com subscription.
USS Kendrick DD 612 : The Year 1943
December 3: L. Tyrrell arrives on the USS Kendrick Benson class destroyer from RecS NYK, Auth CSF Ser. 24043 if 11/20/42 rating S2c from Rec Station NYK, Auth: CSF Ser 24043 of 11/20/43
December 28: Kendrick L.Tyrrell AWOL since 11/26/43 Trans. to R/S Pier 92 NYK. Auth BuPers Cir Ltr 160-42(this appears to be a typo in the records, or they didn’t know he had been transferred to Edison on the 3rd)
My Dad stayed aboard the Kendrick from December of 1943-April of 1944 when he went aboard the Edison. From what I have read the USS Kendrick was also involved in the
USS Edison Combat Awards The Edison won six battle stars and my Dad received four of them aboard her.
1 Star/Sicilian Occupation 9-15 July, August 1943
1 Star/Salerno Landings 9-21 Sept 1943
1 Star/Anzio-Nettuno Advanced Landing 22-13 Jan 1944, Feb 1944 (L. Tyrrell served)
1 Star/Invasion of Southern France Aug 15-Sept 1944 (L. Tyrrell served)
Navy Occupation Service Medal from Sept/Oct 1945
USS Edison DD 439: The Year 1944
52,855 Nautical Miles
I always thought my Dad was at Normandy, he mentioned participating at D-Day, I just didn’t know there was more than one D-Day. For Normandy to be successful, the Allies had to assure a supply line to the British Isles and then wrest back control of the Mediterranean from Germany. He earned four service stars participating in the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaigns, two aboard the Kendrick and the other two on the USS Edison.
February : Edison- Algiers, Oran and Casablanca
April : Edison- Mediterranean as a decoy for the German spotters in Algeciras to draw attention from the English Channel
Log record notes first received on board April 17, 1944
My Dad is seated in the middle
August : Edison- Operation Dragoon, Southern France for the 3rd D-Day (didn’t know there was more than one)
August 17-22: Edison- Operation Anvil
September 15: Edison- Cape Mortola took out a bridge
September 16th: Edison-at work five separate time, gun emplacement, supply warehouse, storage tank, troop concentration
June: Edison- Training with USS Eberle Guantanamo Bay
June 27: Panama Canal
July 6: San Diego San Diego
JULY 24: Dad reported declared straggler after being absent over liberty July 9-13, BNP 60 issued, BNP 641 submitted, published deck court. (Appears he was gone the same time as William L Roden and had some fun in San Diego) Information obtained from Ancestry.com military records
August 2: Pearl Harbor engaged in Pacific Fleet training exercises
September 1: Sailed for Saipan
September 12: Rescued a man overboard from USS Dawson
September 13: Arrived in Saipan
September 16th: Tanapag Harbor
September 22: Sasebo Japan
Between September and November made port at the following cities
Stars & Stripes “WWII Peace at Last”
October 1: L.Tyrrell present on muster roll Slc SV6 rating
October 25: Battle for Leyte Gulf (reclaiming the Phillipines from Japan)
November 3: left for Adak Alaska, served as North Pacific weather station
I am looking for additional stories of the USS Edison and Kendrick. There is a small community of family members of Edison veterans who would like to hear anecdontal stories aboard ship. If your Dad, Grandfather or other family member kept a diary, photos I would love to hear more. Please send me a message below.
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The Marine Corps birthday is just around the corner and once again I begin my Marine Mom letter to the Marine Corps. My first letter was a request, last year was a letter of thanks and this year is emphasizing a Marine parents concern and an appeal for future Marines. Tonight I wait for photos from my second son’s Marine Corps Ball, to all Marines active, retired, or inactive, I wish you the best on this 240th Marine Corps birthday.
For the first time I have a family member in every phase of the Marine Corps journey. My oldest is using the Post 9-11 GI Bill to attend college, my youngest son is still active duty with less than a year left before he obtains his DD214 and begins a new chapter in his post USMC life, and my stepson is currently at boot camp. So another trip to MCRD San Diego is in the near future.
2011 Marine Corps Graduation, San Diego CA
So this year my letter is to Commandant General Robert B Neller, why not go large and speak right to the head person in charge. Here is his official Marine Corps birthday message and below is mine.
Dear Commandant General Robert Neller,
This year another member of my family enters the United States Marine Corps and I want to impose on your to listen to a Marine Mom and our concerns as parents. Like our Marines, we come from different background, different ethnic groups, and different social economic backgrounds. Each one of us is unique and different, but there is a common thread, we love our sons and daughters.
Please continue to stress to NCOs that they are leaders and they should hold themselves to a higher standard. Junior Marines not only want good leaders, they NEED good leaders. So many young men and women enter the fleet barely out of high school and immediately leave for boot camp. Many times I hear of young Marines with money problems, girl problems, drinking problems and even bigger ones that land them in the brig or worse.
In no way am I blaming the USMC, I recognize this is often the result of gathering young, hormone, gung-ho, “invincible feeling” men together in one location who have expendable income for the first time in their life. However, I know from listening to my sons, the Marine Corps offers continuing education opportunities, volunteer opportunities, and various activities with the Single Marine Corps. Please continue to strongly encourage these men and women to take up a hobby, stay busy, and stay involved in not only the base community but the surrounding town in which they live.
I am very lucky to have two Marine sons who listened to good leaders and are the best examples of what it means to be a Marine. I have watched as they serve their community, I have watched how they respect others, and notice their surroundings in order to respond quickly and lend a hand to someone in need.
This year I will be attending my third Marine Corps graduation and as I watch the chaplain lead off the ceremony with a prayer, I pray the emphasis and dedication to God and country always remains an important part of the United States Marine Corps.
You may be interested in reading my previous letters to the Marine Corps, here is last years and the first one I ever wrote. They are very popular this time of year and I welcome your comments below.
This year I’m adding a new Marine video I just found and it’s quickly becoming my favorite. Performed by Madison Rising and with an introduction by R. Lee Emery, the actual Marine Drill Instructor in the movie Full Metal Jacket.
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Newborn infant photography is very popular, and the concept is the same for newborn puppies. At this age the pups are very accepting to being posed. Taking photographs of the pups was my summer project and I’m a little embarrassed on how many I took. So I just won’t say. I did have a few goals in mind with the photographs, I wanted to document the puppies journey from birth and give a CD of photos to their new families.
My other goal was to learn how to use my new Canon 7D camera which I bought the week before the pups were born. By the way, this camera is now discontinued by Canon so you can get a GREAT deal on it now. But it’s in limited quantity. It’s a legitimate pro camera, several steps up from a Rebel, but at the same price now. I loved my Rebel and I got some amazing photographs from it, but due to an unforeseen event a replacement was necessary. (I may get into that later, but not ready yet)
Here are just a couple of my favorite photographs. I actually won a purple ribbon at the county fair with the brindle Boxer puppy below. At this age cradling a pup in some very masculine hands brings out their baby characteristics and vulnerability. The big friendly looking guy above is six-foot eight inches tall, he’s a big teddy bear himself.
I wish I had a studio set up with box lights, but this time I only had a basement with limited lighting. Mama at this point didn’t want her pups taken very far. So the ISO was pretty high at 1600. My human models were wearing solid colored shirts (for the most part) so the background didn’t compete with the subject. At ten days of age puppies spend much of their time sleeping so photography was a matter of more posing and trying to get proper lighting. Next litter I will be more prepared.
As they grew puppy photography got more challenging. I cranked up the shutter speed and hoped for the best. It was like taking photos of toddlers, but with four feet instead of two.
Puppies Open Their Eyes
Unlike humans, puppies and kittens are born with their eyes closed, their eyes don’t open until around ten days of age. Until then they rely on smell and touch. That’s why it’s very important to get new puppies used to your smell early. They crawl to Mama by smell and hearing. I was very curious to see if the white Boxer pups would have blue eyes, and was ecstatic when they did, but like many human babies their eye color changes with age.
Much like Dalmatian puppies, most white Boxer puppies don’t have any markings when they are born, but as they grow their black spots and black noses appeared in place of their pink noses.
Sweet Puppy Breath, or Not
The term sweet puppy breath is a nice thought, and true for the most part, but while the pups were nursing they have what I call “milk poops”, it’s creamy yellow, it stinks, and Leah, being the good Mother licks their bottoms and cleans it up. Yuck! It’s completely normal, natural, and a sign of a good mother.
During the first week I barely noticed any yellow poops on the sheets and blankets, however as the weeks progressed bedding was changed and washed twice a day, AND the air purifier ran all the time. I LOVED my water air purifier. I did not want to walk into the basement family room and have it smell like a kennel.
Boxer pups at two weeks of age are much like 8 month old babies, they are semi mobile, can scoot around a little, exploring their immediate surroundings is high on their priority list, but they don’t know a world outside of two feet yet.
So for now the baby pool still acts as their nursery area, just like a playpen or a baby gate works for a human infant. Next week, watch out! Puppies are active and playing! They also begin nibbling on solid food. Where is the time going?
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Climb a Tree. No, not your dog silly. You! Climb a tree (preferably a sturdy one that is bigger than Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree). Bring a treat and your camera. Take a picture of your pup looking up at you or drop a ball from the tree. Turn up …
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The puppy adventure continues and the during the first week of their life the Boxer puppies were blind and wiggly and didn’t do much else other than nurse. Leah was a very good mama. She had plenty of milk, and was very attentive to cleaning the pups and attentive to their little grunts and squeals. Our goal this week was to get Leah comfortable with us handling her puppies and convincing her to go leave them to outside to the bathroom. Several times I picked her up and carried her out the door,only to have her look through the screen window three minutes later with a look of fear that her babies were going to be harmed in some fashion.
Leah continued to get a raw egg added to her food after whelping, just like she did during the end of gestation when we gradually changed her over to the high protein puppy food her pups would be eating. Like normal dogs, she ate very little leading up to labor and very little for first few days after whelping. This is why allowing the mother dog to eat and consume the puppy sacs and placenta of each pup, yes it sounds gross, but is natural and normal and necessary for protein and energy supplementation.
I was more worried about her drinking enough water so she would produce enough milk, so several times a day I would place the bowl of water right under her nose and she would drink about a cup at a time. It took about two days before she would stand up and go to the edge of her whelping pool to eat and drink the food I placed in her elevated food dish.
Although I immediately announced the arrival of our puppies on Facebook and the Boxer forum we restricted visitors to just immediate family the first week. She loved having her human family visit, but wasn’t quite too sure about us picking up her pups. We would sit by her whelping pool and hold them very close to her because she didn’t want them more than a few feet from her.
However every day each puppy was handled, stroked, and placed on it’s back in our hands. With the exception of my own kids when they were babies, there is very little that is cuter and and more relaxing than holding and cuddling a puppy.
I totally believe in imprinting and socializing puppies early, starting at day one. This accomplishes a few things, our scent is on each pup, thus they got used to our smell and Leah got used to our smell on them and this in turn I believe made her more relaxed. After about four days we could sit back in a chair in the room and cuddle a puppy while Leah stayed with the rest of her litter in the whelping pool. We were always careful in the early stages to only hold one to two pups at a time and made sure each pup got held an equal amount, although everyone in the house had a favorite.
Boxer Puppies and Their First Trip to the Vet
We love our veterinarian, he’s a very practical large/small animal vet with very good bedside manner. He reminds me of James Herriot and for that reason alone that’s enough reason for us to use him as our vet.
Leah had seen him for routine vaccination, dewormings and her pre-breeding examination. We kept in communication with him in regards to the breeding date and expected whelping date and scheduled an appointment the Saturday morning of Leahs due date for her postpartum exam, puppy exams, dock their tails and have dewclaws removed.
We worried how Leah would react, so the puppies first car trip was done with purpose and with a plan. Firs,t let Leah out to go to the bathroom. Second, have a small box with a heated rice bag under a blanket and close the top. Third, carry the puppy box into the back seat of the car where Leah would follow. This worked like a dream, the warmth kept the puppies comfortable and I would occasionally lift the lid to reassure Leah her puppies were fine.
Why Dock Boxer Tails
Boxer pups get their tails docked and dewclaws removed at three days of age. Many people ask why Boxers tails are docked and if it’s cruel or even necessary. While some believe it’s strictly for cosmetic purposes we talked to several breeders and forums and chose to dock the tails more for safety and health reasons. Boxers have had their tails docked for over a hundred years. Therefore breeders cannot tell by looking at a dog if they have a strong hefty tail, or a skinny very long weak tail. Since Boxers are VERY energetic tail waggers there are stories of undocked Boxers breaking or injuring their tails. Leah is a “wiggle-butt” and her 4-5″ tail goes a mile a minute when she comes to greet us, I could just imagine what her tail would do if it were two feet long.
We arrived at the vets and I brought the puppies into the exam room and Leah stayed in the waiting room with my husband. I expected the puppy squealing to make her very anxious and worried. However everything was over and done in 10-15 minutes with Leah being very calm and relaxed. Dr. Gigstad had everything ready, I held and firmly cradled each pup in my hands on their stomach with their head facing me and their tail towards “Doc”.
The everyday holding and cradling of the pups, or imprinting since birth, I do believe had an effect on how easy and calming it made the procedure. Two stitches in their tail, then turned them over for dewclaw removal and back in the warm box they went. Only two pups let out an initial squeal and all were asleep by the time Mama came in 10 minutes later. She looked her puppies all snoozing, looked at me and “Doc” and almost smiled, yes she almost smiled, as if to say “I knew I could trust you.”
Post Whelping Vet Check
Then Leah had her post whelping vet check. She had lost about 5 lbs from her initial breeding weight and had a low-grade fever, so he gave her a general antibiotic as a precaution, gave her a Vitamin B shot and about a dozen cans of canned dog food to stimulate her appetite. He asked about her discharge, the rate of labor, how she was nursing, and examined her teats for mastitis or infection. She was doing just fine he said, “.. just encourage her to eat like you’ve been doing, the pups look great, and let’s schedule their vaccinations”
We brought Leah and her pups out to the waiting room where several visitors oohed and ahhhed over them. The ride home was very uneventful, the puppies slept and even Leah was more relaxed and laid down in the back seat and didn’t even look at her pups. This was a lesson in trust and one more important step in the puppy maturation process. After this Leah was more willing to go outside and leave her pups, and by day seven she was willingly getting up and going out.
Want to learn and hear more about Leah and her puppies? Stayed tuned for the next article and week two of a puppy adventures where they open their eyes.
Libby also sent us vet appointment updates as well as information and tips on raising Boxer puppies. Download free docs pdf, doc, ppt, xls, txt online about How To Feed Your Boxer Puppy Preview the pdf eBook free before downloading.
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We had Boxer puppies this summer, ok, our Boxer “dog” had puppies and now that our puppy grandchildren have pretty much gone to their new furever homes I have some time to sit down and write about our puppy whelping experience. You see our two legged children are all grown, or mostly grown, and we are pretty much empty-nesters. Our dogs have become much like our kids and they have actually given us grand-puppies, unlike our adult offspring. Not that I’m rushing my children, I’m just saying we’re ready.
Leah our Boxer
We had been thinking about breeding Leah for several years, but didn’t want to breed her just for the sake of “experiencing” puppies, no matter how cute they are they are a lot of work. She is a four year old AKC registered Boxer and not only did people comment on how pretty she is, and what a nice confirmation she has, but total strangers come up to us and remark on how gentle and calm she is for a Boxer.
Supposedly Boxers are hyper, bounce a lot, are mischievous, and high maintenance. Nope, not Leah. She rarely jumps, doesn’t bark, and won’t push you over when she leans. She is wonderful with kids, a friends six month old baby one day grabbed her jowls and literally put her hand in Leahs mouth and Leah doesn’t move. People in our town would randomly come up to use when we took her for a walk and ask us if you ever breed her we would be very interested in a puppy.
Choosing a Stud Dog
The first thing we did was bring her to the vet had have a health exam, make sure she was current on all her shots, and get x-rays for hip dysplasia.
So we started looking around for an AKC (American Kennel Club) stud Boxer and interviewing people on the local Facebook Boxer Classified page. I wanted a match for her that complimented her coloring, body style and most of all her personality. We were looking for a gentle male and a breeder family that had the same goals of matching pups to families who would appreciate the Boxer breed and personality. One we could trust with our Leah for a week where she would be treated as part of the family and not just another “bitch” and kenneled.
Theo and Leah
We found Theo online (yes doggie computer dating) and in January, before Leah went into heat, we visited his home and introduced the dogs. It was a doggie match made in heaven. Theo was just as gently as Leah, he didn’t bark or jump at visitors and didn’t jump or rough house with his future canine girlfriend. The Surghoe family lives on an acreage in central Nebraska and have two young boys who are VERY involved in caring for the dogs and have the main job of socializing puppies.
We compared papers, which in our case was really important because Leah was born about 40 miles away, and found no relation. We also inspected each others health records. I posted our “match” on the site announcing an expected birth date and had a lot of inquiries. One particular person who had shown and bred champion Boxers even felt the need to message me privately and complement me on Leah and her head confirmation and was very impressed with Theo as well.
She spent a week in April with Theo and at the end of the week they didn’t want to let her come home. They too had fallen in love with her. In fact within three days Leah was sleeping in bed with them, even though she doesn’t sleep in bed with us at home. She has her bed on the floor by my head.
There is a lot to raising puppies the right way and fortunately we did have the time, and we also had the perfect whelping area in our walkout basement with a 10 x 8 foot entry with a concrete floor and a hallway we could close off with a baby gate. We gradually added to our supply shelf items we would need when it cam time for Leah to have her pups.
Many people use a baby wading pool for a puppy whelping pen and that is what did and it worked fantastic for the first couple of weeks. Then the Boxer pups got big enough to crawl over the side. However if you have Yorkie puppies I imagine they could stay in the pen almost until weaning. This idea has gotten so popular you can buy circular whelping pads made specifically to fit. These are great and I will probably be buying a couple for the next litter. They are washable and won’t bunch up like blankets or sheets.
Leah and puppies a few hours old, labor in in progress
We were alerted by our daughter that labor started about noon with heavy breathing and pacing. She took Leah’s temperature and stayed as long as she could, then my nurse friend came over and served as a puppy midwife, or doula, until we could get home after work. Since this was Leah’s first litter she was nervous, so we sat quietly in the nursery area so she could get her head scratched on demand.
Active labor didn’t start until 11:00 pm and Leah let out a scream as she stood/sat and the first pup arrived. This initial pain and shock lasted only a few minutes as she turned her attention to her new brindle puppy. She started licking at the umbilical cord and the “backside” of the sac. I knew the puppy needed to get her head out to breathe so I broke the sac around the puppy’s head and pulled the sac off as Leah continued to clean.
Boxer puppies hours old
The next few puppies came slowly throughout the night and in the end we had six puppies; two white, one fawn, and three brindles. Each puppy was lively and nursed very soon after being born. It was amazing to see these blind little pups crawl instinctively to Mama’s teats to feed.
I went to bed about 4 am for a couple of hours of sleep before going to work. The next morning I went down to the nursery to find Leah curled around her pups protectively and she looked up almost with a smile and a look that said “Look, I made these!” She seemed very proud and very protective. Getting her to go outside to go to the bathroom and relive herself was a challenge. She didn’t want to leave her pups, and often the first few days I almost had to carry her outside.
The same was true for eating. She didn’t want to leave the nursery whelping pool to drink or for food so I would place the bowl in front of her in the pool. Later she would stand up and drink from the bowl next to the pool, but for a week to ten days she was reluctant to leave her pups.
Stay tuned for Week 1 of Boxer Puppies as they have their first veterinary visit and get their tails and dewclaws done.
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I don’t understand why people are afraid or depressed about turning fifty. Yes, I will be 50 years old in just a few days and thanks to my hair dresser I don’t have a gray hair on my head. This is my half century mark and I’m more comfortable today than when I turned 40 or even 30.
My husband hated turning 50, he didn’t even want a cake, and even the mention of his birthday made him growl. I don’t know why men have a harder time with age than women.
Just think about it, if only I knew then what I know now. I would of been a more relaxed, enjoyed just being in the moment and not so stressed. So at age 30 I was a new Mom with a baby daughter and two boys under the age of six. I didn’t even have time to take a shower, much less “do my hair”. Ten years later my boys were teenagers and life got complicated to say the least. I started off on a journey of being a single Mom and it took many years for the insecurities and self doubt to fade.
I not only welcome 50, I’m embracing it!!! I am on the cusp of the 2nd phase of my life, and can see retirement just over the horizon not only being a goal, but a way of life. With age comes confidence and the wisdom from years of making mistakes. My children are raised and on their own and our relationships are changing to the next phase. I have never been more proud of my kids, whether it be the confidence of taking on a new job, juggling finances and not asking for help, or buying their first car on their own.
What I am VERY much looking forward to is the Grandma stage, I hear it’s wonderful and I’m ready.
Life after 50 is carefree, it’s doing what you want to do because it’s your choice. Ever see people in their 70’s that aren’t afraid to say anything, they do and they get away with it. Perks of getting older is saying (pretty much) what you want because you don’t care what people think, you are bold, and an “elder” and all of the sudden you are wise. Ok, people listen because you’re old, possibly out of respect, but they still listen. It’s not that you’re rude or mean, in fact the opposite is true, you’ve learned how to communicate better, what “words of wisdom” work, and how to shock a teenager and get attention.
I have decided I’m not only going to celebrate on my birthday, but all year round. You only turn 50 once in your life so you better make it a good one.
I actually have an excuse for walking into a room, standing in the middle, and wondering why I entered. Senior moments, shoot I’ve been having them for years from forgetting words, looking for my phone, while I’m talking to my daughter, ON MY PHONE, to where are my sunglasses, oh yes, on my head.
So I need some ideas, a bucket list, or check list of sorts to say “When I was 50 I did….” I’m not one for tattoos, so that is out. But, I think this milestone is one to be documented, recorded, and remembered for what it is, the first day of the rest of your life. I do know I’m going to have some Rumchatta, be with my family, laugh, and eat some cake!
As a writer and sharer of very personal things, I decided that the best way to deal with turning 50 is to list 50 things I’m thinking at this point in my life. So, here goes: 1. Why couldn’t I have the confidence I have now 20 years ago? 2. I could …
And for those who are turning 50, as I will this October, it’s not about consolidating our victories and polishing our trophies. It’s often about radical reinvention. Words from Bruce Springsteen come to mind (sorry I don’t have anything more current …
FAR from feeling past it, the over- 50s are much more likely to try out online dating, go to Glastonbury or get their first tattoo. By Geoff Maynard. PUBLISHED: 18:33, Mon, Aug 31, 2015 | UPDATED: 11:32, Tue, Sep 1, 2015. Helen Mirren up close GETTY.
I don’t feel any older, but I meet people in their 20s and 30s, and I find myself looking at their faces and thinking, wow they look young. I have had, over the past two years, my own quasi midlife crisis before turning 50. I closed …
Turning 50, Tattoos, Parties, and Proposals. I think I want to turn 50 every year. Seriously, I have been blown away from the overwhelming affirmation and love from everyone in every part of my life. So let me share with you a …