Wednesday, 31 July 2013

happy 5th birthday

... to the Monta litter, Sybil, Tarmo, Jaska, Maija, Rauhan, Kaija, Viivi, Tarkka, and Inko.  They were named "Monta" (Finnish for "many") because they were (and still remain) the largest litter of Lapphunds ever born in the UK.  I had quite an eventful time raising these puppies, and this blog was started in their honour.

I cannot believe not only that this blog is now 5 years old, but that my own little Maija, who until quite recently was the baby of the family, is 5 whole years old.  I'm pretty sure we shouldn't still be calling her puppy-Maija, which is her nickname.

Here are some before and afters of this enormous brood, in birth order.

 SYBIL (Infindigo Monta Jaana) - at 5 weeks & at 3 years

 TARMO (Infindigo Monta Tarmo) - at 5 weeks & at 5 years

 JASKA (Infindigo Monta Jaska) - at 5 weeks & at 1 year

 RAUHAN (Infindigo Monta Rauhan) - at 5 weeks & at 5 years

 MAIJA (Infindigo Monta Maija) - at 5 weeks & at  5 years

KAIJA (Infindigo Monta Sulo) - at 5 weeks & at 5 years

VIIVI (Infindigo Monta Viivi) - at 5 weeks & at 5 years

 INKO (Infindigo Monta Aurinko) - at 5 weeks & at 5 years

TARKKA (Infindigo Monta Tarkka) - at 5 weeks & at 5 years

Tuesday, 23 July 2013


Nature is a funny thing.  Somehow it intervenes from time to time and takes necessary action that we, as puny humans, may fight and rail against in the hope of gaining our own selfish desires.  But nature will have its own way, and I find it's usually right and therefore pointless to struggle against it.

Take, for example, Keksi's last litter.  One puppy was born much later than the others and was unable to suck.  Keksi just didn't want him.  I kept him warm and kept trying to get him to feed, but Keksi would just push him away with her nose.  In the end I gave up trying and accepted what nature & Keksi somehow knew.  I cuddled him up next to his brothers and sisters so that at least he had some comfort but I didn't try to save him.  He only lived for a couple of hours and Keksi obviously knew that he was not a viable puppy.  Perhaps if I had tried harder he would have survived, but who knew what problems he might have had as an adult.  Keksi knew and nature knew so I left it to their better judgement.

And now I think nature is playing similar tricks with Tuuli and her elusive season.  (In case you are wondering, no, she STILL has not come into season.  Sigh.)  This is my logic:  if Tuuli's season had started on time, or even a week or so late, then the puppies would have been born approximately now or a week ago.  And in case you don't live in the UK, I will point out that we are smack in the middle of an official heatwave.  30°C in the daytime and not much cooler than that in the bedrooms at night.  It's tough stuff for we unaccustomed humans, and it's even tougher for Lapphunds who, let's face it, would prefer it to be minus 30°C.  

I find that Lappies struggle with being too warm when they have puppies anyway, regardless of the weather.  Neither Keksi nor her mother Neka enjoyed lying down to nurse their puppies because they just got too hot.  And the blog archives are full of photos of puppies spread out as far apart from each other as they can get in an effort to keep cool.  So if Tuuli had had her season on time, and her puppies on time, then it would not have been much fun at all for her or for the puppies.  Or me, frankly.  Nature strikes again.  

But I would just like to point out to nature and Tuuli that if her season were to start, say, tomorrow, then the puppies would be born in late September and I'm fairly certain that the weather would be just about perfect for puppies.

                               *                   *                   *                   *

On a completely different note, what do you think about kennel Facebook pages?  Many kennels have their own pages where breeders and owners alike can post photos of their dogs and keep up-to-date with what's going on.  I haven't yet done this.  Is it something you would like to see?  Particularly for the owners of Infindigo puppies - would you like me to set up a page?

In the meantime, there are other ways you can follow what's going on (or what's not going on, in the case of Tuuli's season) apart from on the blog.  There is the website and it's news page, of course there is also Twitter, and you can also follow on Instagram where you will see not only pics of the dogs, but also other frilling fings like food, flowers and fashion.  You can find me here: @infindigo_jennifer

Here are a few recent shots from Instagram.

Neka squished into the corner for a snooze
Tuuli looking gorgeous
Tuuli looking like an insane cartoon dog
Tuuli (right) visiting Emmi & Miika
Keskiyo, Maija & Tuuli all want the funny-shaped stick
Funny Keskiyo with no ears

Monday, 1 July 2013

waiting, hoping & more waiting

Tuuli watching the blackbirds feeding their babies

You may or may not be aware that we've been getting mighty broody for puppies around here for the last few months.  And you may or may not have seen on my website that we are planning to have some puppies this summer.

I say 'planning' because that's all you can ever do with dogs.  You hope they will come into season on time.  Then you hope the male is fit and man (dog) enough for the job.  Then you hope you get at least 1 good mating.  Preferably 2, but 1 will do when you're living on hope.  Then you hope that the mating works and the bitch gets pregnant.  Then you hope for healthy puppies, all born easily and alive.  And more than, say, one.  Or two.  In fact, you hope for at least enough of them to fulfil the additional hopes of all those families patiently waiting for their puppy to be born.

In the meantime, Tuuli carries on her normal daily routine of playing, eating, walking, running, more playing and more eating, completely oblivious to all these hopes pinned onto her tail.  And completely oblivious to the fact that her season is now officially LATE.

Now I don't want to alarm anyone, but it is not unheard of for a bitch to have irregular seasons.  In fact, it's not unheard of for a bitch to have only 1 season a year instead of the expected 2.  I've warned Tuuli that if she plans to be one of those once-a-year kinda girls, then she can go back to Sweden where she came from.  Just kidding!  You didn't believe that, did you?  No?  She didn't either.

And so we wait.

And the great irony is that she is now not allowed to start her season for at least 2 days.  You see, I'm going away for a mini-break with a good friend and Tuuli simply cannot be in her fertile period while I am away.  So although she is now acting suspiciously subdued, and although Keskiyo is showing a bit of non-brotherly interest in her, and although we really, really want her to be a 2-seasons-a-year girl, we now hope that she will wait just a few days before starting her season. 

Snoozing in her makeshift den with her duck

Cuddle time

In her favorite spot with Maija behind in her favorite spot

After a run in the long, damp grass.
No wonder all the dogs have hayfever!

Tuuli playing in her favorite river & taking a little swim