joy, miracles, no sleep and heartbreaks – Being a breeder


I am so exhausted right now – mentally and physically. It still amazes me that something can be a part of your life for such a short time and yet the love is immeasurable.

Breeding is not for the weak.

As hurt as my heart is right now I know that the joy and pleasure far outweighs the pain and sorrow. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

I will do it again because it fills my soul.

I also know that every soul has its own path and while I do everything in my power to try to keep them safe and help them in every way I know – They still have a choice to make – and I respect that. I am ever grateful for them choosing me to share their love and life with for how ever long they are on this earth. I truly count them and the time as blessings. I am also open to whatever lessons or new things I might learn during our journey together.

One of the things I love about Facebook is the immediateness of connecting with others. Sharing the joy and the sorrows. In essence letting each other know that we are not alone but the thing that a blog does better is offer the ability to share the entire story in one post and not in snippets. So here is the story of Kix.I have added Links to the things I have found useful  and I hope you find it helpful if you are ever in this type of puppy situation.

There is nothing in the world like having a dog that would walk through fire for you. That there is this incredible connection between the both of you – this mutual adoration. It is just heaven on earth. It really has nothing to do with any sport or even if the dog is really good at anything more than just loving you madly and being able to look into each others eyes and see each others souls. It is amazing and I try to convey this feeling to puppy people and anyone looking for a dog. Don't settle – the "right" dog is looking for you as you are looking for them. You will feel it.

I am so very blessed to have several of these heart dogs and in 3 different breeds. In Papillons one of these special connections is Aiden. I did not raise Aiden and he is not the bravest boy on the planet but he has the most heart. I see him push past his comfort zones all the time to try to please me and he trys so very hard inspite of his limitations. He means the world to me. He could do nothing more than sit on my lap and just be Aiden and that would be fine with me. I dabble with him in agility and with as little as I actually train he just amazes me. I can only imagine if I had raised him from a puppy with the socialization and confidance building we do with our pups and actually trained him with any regularity. He is a great dog!!

The joke around here has always been that " Masher, Masher, Masher" (said in the Jan voice from the Brady Bunch) always gets the girlfriends and poor Aiden will never get a girlfriend. So a couple of years ago I bought a huge stuffed raccoon and called it Aiden's girlfriend. He loved it!! When you tell Aiden to go get your girlfriend he runs around the house frantic until he finds her then he drags her on the sofa and chews on her. It's very cute.


Aiden with his first girlfriend 🙂

Well Aiden has a lot to offer. He is dead sound and is very well put together. He is a little bigger than the standard calls for but
that is ok. He has a wonderful pedigree and a huge heart. I decided that he would compliment Shimmer who is beyond cute and smaller and typey with a killer pedigree.

So I bred them. I never got a tie so I thought maybe we missed it. To my delight Shimmer was pregnant and the X-ray showed 3 pups.I was so very excited about this litter because they were Doody babies!!! Doody is Aiden nickname that came down from ADD Doody.


I remember looking at this x-ray and thinking those heads look like football helmets!!! Little did I know how TINY these pups were.

I moved Shimmer and her whelping box to another bedroom so I could sleep next to her pen and keep an eye on her and the pups and as she is a first time mother she would not have to have the extra stress and worry of other dogs near her pups.

The pups were born on June 24th with no complications and Shimmer did great.The pups were born smaller than any other pup I have ever whelped. 1 girl and 2 boys and the boys came in just over 2 oz. Daneen handles anything to do with numbers so she started the weight chart on the pups. She recorded everything in ounces as soon as it was apparent that I was going to have to do the rest of the weighing of the pups and the fact that I am afflicted with the dreadful Julie math disease – I switched the scale to grams – much easier for me to figure out if the weights are up or down at 3:00 in the morning 🙂


Sugar Pop, Kix and Cap'N Crunch- The size difference is huge

On the 25th of June the girl, Sugar Pop, was 146 grams- The darker boy, Cap'N Crunch was 88 grams and the other boy, Kix, was 74 grams.

I gave all the pups some liver juice drops, Fading Puppy Formula and some sugar water throughout the day. I made some milk replacer and put it in the fridge just in case I needed it. I had seen this method of feeding a puppy with a cosmetic sponge and it looked really neat and it all made sense…. it certainly looked "better" than the old tube feeding method so I tried it. It didn't work so well for me. Maybe I need more practice at it or maybe the pups need to be a little older. Not really sure.

Puppy Milk Replacement Recipe

  • 10 oz Evaporated Milk
  • 3 oz Sterile Water
  • 1 cup Mayonaise
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp Karo Syrup

Blend but don't whip so that you get lots of bubble. Refridgerate unused portion and it will keep for a week.

Leerburg's Bottle Feeding & Amount to feed Information

Fading Puppy Formula

Liver Juice For Fading Puppies Recipe

Large piece of beef liver and boils slowly for 5 minutes in a little bit of water. Let cool and drain. 4 drops of liver juice every 2 hours for 12 hours then every 4 hours.

Great Book by Myra Savant Harris on Newborn Pups

I moved Shimmers whelping box from her pen next to my bed to actually on my bed next to my pillow.

All the pups were nursing well and every 4 hours I was taking the two boys and watching them nurse without the girl pushing them off. Kix was still not gaining as well as his litter mates and not holding what he was gaining very well. I started to supplement with a milk replacer every 6 hours as he was still nursing well.

He soon started to not have any interest in nursing off his mother. I then changed to hand rearing him which meant feeding him every 4 hours. Still doing the liver juice and the Puppy Fading Formula from Nature's Farmacy.


Kix spent his last day here where he was most comfortable.

By July 1st p.m. Sugar Pop = 250 grams, Cap'N Crunch = 132 and Kix = 98

I am sad to report that Kix crossed the bridge on July 2nd as I am guessing he has other important adventures.

I lay on the bed crying with Shimmer and her 2 remaining pups in the whelping box next to my pillow. I am sad beyond words and Shimmer looks at me and comes out and lays on my chest and stares into my eyes then gently licks the tears from my face. So very sweet. Sorry momma. We tried.


Godspeed my handsome and sweet boy – Until we meet again

They say if you have been breeding long enough you are bound to see almost everything. I am blessed that I have not had too much trouble in the first 8 weeks when pups are still in the whelping box. In all the litters I have had I have lost Zero Dalmatian pups, 6 Collie pups and 1 Papillion pup. (The 6 collies were from 3 different litters- 1-mother squished, 1- birth defect, 1 born stillborn, 3 lost due to mothers milk bad before I realized) It is still horrible and you can't stop the tears when it does happen. I do take comfort in the wonderful dogs I do have and hug and kiss them everyday. I feel very badly for the people that lose a dog and it is their only dog. I can not even imagine the awful feeling of an empty house.


So much has to go right that I can not help but think every one of them is a miracle ~ Cap'N Crunch and Sugar Pop

Now to go and tend to Cap'N Crunch and Sugar Pop and the rest of the pups and count my blessings.


2 Responses to joy, miracles, no sleep and heartbreaks – Being a breeder

  1. Reply Gina Edwards says:

    Simply a beautiful and love-filled saga. Thank you for taking the time to write this and share with all of us.

  2. Reply Kathy Simons says:

    Well said, Julie. Well said.

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