Katja / Spec 2004:
The "Out Of This World" Litter
Periodic News Updates and Comments Page
(Read a profile on this breeding here, and
see periodic photo updates)
Sunday, May 23, 2004
New photos! In addition to some
earlier photos, photo
page two shows the pups at a little over six weeks. You'll enjoy their
official lunar landscape portraits.
Monday, May 18, 2004
The puppies had their first "road trip" as they attended the
GSPCA National Specialty Show with Steve and I and the other Shomberg
dogs in competition. They handled it in stride making the trip to
Lancaster, PA with no accidents; quiet remarkable for only 4 weeks old.
The entire length of our van became their resort and we made a "play yard"
for them and an area to bed down. They handled it so easily that it was
amazing to us how easily they adjusted.
Spec's owners and breeders, Dan Mack and Barb Booher
(also our 2004 National Futurity judge) evaluated them and found them to be extremely
nice in many ways. To say that Dan was a "proud grandpa" would be an understatement!
Also evaluating the newest Shomberg goodwill ambassadors were AKC breeder-judge
Besty Yates, breeders - Pam Brann from CA and Alice Richter of TX and numerous
other GSP breeders ad owners with years of extensive experience. We were given
many wonderful compliments on the puppies and it as noted that their half-siblings
who won so many beautiful awards at this year's Nationals, would certainly attest
to their ability to be wonderful examples of true GSP type and temperament.
The pups are now eating kibble food and mother Katja has been relieved of her
maternal feeding responsibilities though she still keeps a watchful eye and ear
open for them always. At 5 weeks today they no longer wobble -- they RUN.
They hear and see every little thing and their world has become ever so interesesting
If it is accessable to them, they're checking it out and nothing is considered
to be out of bounds for them. Once again the workload increases but it truly
is what I love to do more than anything else in the world. There is just
nothing better than puppy kisses and puppy breath as a reward for being loved!
Sunday - May 2, 2004
Yesterday (Saturday) everyone enjoyed their first taste of "food"
which amounts to baby rice cereal and Esbilac (artificial milk) and they enjoyed
it immensely. Later today they will have their first meal of gruel which will be
their puppy food and Esbilac ground to a mush in a blender. No doubt they'll
readily dip into this as well and will manage to smear it just about everywhere
on their little faces. A washcloth to the rescue!
Walking is a bit easier now and they are beginning to interact even more as they
can now see each other much better. Little eyes are focusing better and they easily
see me when I approcah their box. Their ears are open and so they hear as well
as see. It won't be long before they come running when I am close by. They still
sleep quite a bit but as each day passes, they will become more and more active
with longer times awake and playing.
Accidents still happen from time to time on their bedding but they now try to walk
into their "yard" to eliminate when nature calls. They are still sleeping
in clusters and Katja stays in the box with them all night and nurses them. Soon
she will begin to sleep outside of the box and return only to feed them when
necessary. This she does to begin to lessen their dependency on her though she
is still very attentive and protective. Katja is doing wonderful and as always
is a sweet and loving mother to her puppies.
Thursday - April 29, 2004
All the puppies eyes are wide open now and focusing on a brand new world around them.
Their voices sing loudly when dinner is late or when they want Mama's attention.
They now have a "yard" but are still a bit unsure about the paper and the
crackling sound it makes when they attempt to walk on it. Walking isn't easy
at this stage and it is still a bit more like a "wobble" though they are
getting better each day. Little trips for a potty call will become more common
now as they really prefer not to eliminate in their area for sleeping and
bedding down. Their yard will allow them a place to go for life's necessities
and also a place to move from within the confines of their box which they are
soon to outgrow.
I have seen more interaction among them as they now can see one another
and make small attempts to "play" and get noticed. Occasionally we hear a bark
or a small grumble though they have no recognition of it other than it is
simply a noise they can make.
Cuddling is an enjoyable thing and so they no longer seem to mind being
held and spoken to in a soft voice. In fact they quite often just curl up
against my chest and go back to sleep which is pleasurable to both of us.
Katja is doing wonderful and she is again an outstanding mother; patient
and ever attentive to their every need. She spends more and more time
outside of their box now and joins me around the house until the hungry
crew begins to protest for all of us to hear. To this point their needs are
few but in the days ahead life will certainly take an upward motion as their
bed and their new yard become ever more interesting and their siblings
find all manner of play interesting and fun.
Saturday - April 24, 2004
The puppies are thriving and growing very fast as they now attempt
to get their feet under them for a walk, which ends up being more of
a "wobble" around their box. This will continue for awhile
until their little legs become stronger and they are totally weight
bearing. As their eyes are not yet open, they cannot see where they
are going but instead rely on their sense of smell. Sleeping takes
up a great portion of their day and nursing isn't far behind in priority.
The white and liver puppies are now beginning to "tick in" and
are becoming less white and more roan in coloration, though some white
will remain when the coloration process is over. The solid liver puppies
are very dark liver in color and extremely handsome. "Cassini"
( the smallest female) has doubled in size now and though she will never
likely be as large as a few of the others, I have no doubt that she will
be standard size at maturity.
They are now more cuddly than before as they enjoy being held close and
spoken to in soft tones. "Mariner," the only solid liver male,
is quite gentle and loves to be held. "Apollo" and "Atlantis"
are far more concerned about their next meal than being held for any long
period of time.
Over the next few weeks I will begin to see even more of each individual
personality as they open their eyes to the world around them and discover
all the neat things they have to see and do.
Katja is extremely devoted to her brood and she genuinely enjoys them as she
stays very close and is very protective. Her natural nature is easy-going
but at this time she is still not keen on "visitors" who are not
within her recognized family circle. She happily allows Grant, our 2.5 year
old grandson to visit by the side of the box as he watches the puppies and
announces to all of us that "they are so cute." That always gets
him a big, sloppy lick from Katja.
Now ... we wait as their eyes will begin to open in the next few days and
they become even more adorable, if that is truly possible.
Monday - 4/19/2004
Katja and her crew of little rovers are continuing to do well. They spend
a great part of their days now nursing and sleeping. They are all growing
dramatically and round little bellies tell me that Katja is doing a great job
in the "supply" area. Already they are scootin' around their box
though they cannot see just where they are going. They follow their mother's
scent and instantly know when she comes into or leaves their box which is their
Katja is holding good weight and eating every meals plus occasional snacks and
treats. She cleans them and attends to their every need. You can often hear
little squeaks coming from their box as they begin to navigate and voice their
objections to continual cleanings from the "commander" (Katja). But she
definitely holds rank and so it happens just the same.
All is well and as these next few days go by, they will have doubled in size and
be well on their way toward the opening of their eyes and ears which will then
allow them to begin interaction with their siblings.
More to follow soon --
Shomberg proudly announces that:
The Mothership has landed and 10 new little "rovers"
have been deployed!
Headquarters has assigned their designated NASA
titles as they become a part of our successful program and a part of
Shomberg's history. No doubt they will all enjoy their own adventures
in the space they will hold in our future endeavors.
4 Males - 1 solid liver, 3 liver, white & ticked.
("Mariner," "Atlantis," "Apollo" and "Viking")
6 Bitches - 4 solid liver, 2 liver, white & ticked.
("Cassini," "Spirit," "Aurora," "Faith," "Gemini" and "Liberty")
Katja delivered us 10 beautiful, healthy puppies on Tuesday at approximately
1 - 1:15 p.m. as the entire process was by c-section. All went extremely well and
both mother and babies are doing wonderfully. All weighed in at about 1 lb. except
for one little girl who weighed only 10 oz. but still is very healthy and active.
Each and every little one is quite content and seem to always have full bellies.
Sleeping is their primary function at this time and Katja is being a most involved
mother as she continually washes and cares for them.
Their eyes and ears are still closed and will remain so until about day 11-14 when
they will open to see a very limited view of their world for the first few days.
Already they are able to smell and their sense of smell and natural instinct guides
them to their mom and the milk she provides. They seem to be growing rapidly
already and in no time will be traveling around their box. More updates to follow
in the days ahead.
Monday -- 04/05/04
Katja is doing great and getting larger by the day. She is eating well and
still is very active despite her sizeable weight gain. Her additional weight proves
to be somewhat cumbersome and yet she still enjoys being outside in the fresh air
for rather long periods. We now begin to go to smaller and more frequent meals in
an effort to make her as comfortable as possible during these last days when
weight gain is a really serious issue. This is a time when the puppies are
actually gaining weight themselves as they have been fully developed now for
She will be going in to the vet's office on Thursday afternoon ( April 8th.)
for an x-ray which will hopefully give us some insight into a possible number
of puppies to expect. Clearly it cannot be accurate but does give us some idea
as to an eventual number of new arrivals and how to adjust our plans accordingly.
The whelping box will be assembled and the floor covering laid. Time to sterilize
all of the items needed to have on stand-by and pull out the baby scales. We are
going into "ready mode" as the date approaches and we are quite sure
that perspective new owners are getting excited as well. Updates will follow as
time allows in the days and weeks ahead.
Monday - 03/08/04
A sonogram performed by our reproduction specialist, Dr. Norman Roskin, today
indicated that we indeed have a litter on the way. Tiny heartbeats could be seen and
everything looks great. Katja is in perfect health and is her usual happy self.
Though no numbers are discernable at this early stage, Dr. Roskin and we are
confident that a normal litter will result on or about April 15, 2004. Now ...
we're getting very excited and beginning to prepare for the arrival of an outstanding
litter that has been planned
for over 2 years.