Posts tagged ‘parental neurosis’

Puppies have arrived!

Tuesday saw the arrival of our excitedly anticipated new generation of Belatarr babies as, right on schedule, Phoenix and Mingus’ second dozen were born.

The whole gang together

The whole gang together


Miss Orange was the first to arrive, at a very respectable 10:53AM, with 10 of her brothers and sisters duly following in quick succession and puppy number 11, Miss Lime, making her appearance at 15:15 that afternoon.

Miss Lime & Miss Orange.

Miss Lime & Miss Orange.

All of the births had been very quick and very easy, with just one or two contractions and then a new arrival. So far so good. However, after puppy number 11 things ground to a halt, although it was very evident that at least one more pup was still waiting to arrive. After a few hours of waiting and no signs of any further action we all decamped to the vets (11 puppies included) where two shots of oxytocin, a 15 min IV drip of liquid calcium, a vigorous walk up and down the road and 5 hours later puppy number 12, Miss Fawn, finally decided to put in an apperance, arriving (in the car boot) fashionably late to the party, but (despite our fears over the worryingly long wait) very fit, healthy and at a good weight.

Miss Pink takes centre stage.

Mr Red takes centre stage.

Now, some 48 hrs later, all 12 babies – 7 girls and 5 boys – are feeding very well and all are gaining weight at almost identical rates.

Random puppy pile-up.

Random puppy pile-up.

As with Phoenix’ first litter there are no tiddlers or weaklings amongst the bunch and all twelve are vigorous indeed! With mum having only 6 functional feeding stations we have, as before, divided the pups into two teams and feed them one team at a time, every two hours, night and day to ensure that everyone gets their share.

Team 1 take their turn.

Team 1 take their turn.

Whilst team 2 wait to be called into action.

Whilst team 2 wait to be called into action.

Phoenix herself has been a wonderfully attentive mother, as ever, but today she surprised us by deciding that she wanted to go out with the boys for a swim in the river and a quick hurtle around the land before thinking that she really should zip back up the hill to return to her offspring.

Mum forms a comfy resting spot for Miss Yellow.

Mum forms a comfy resting spot for Miss Yellow.


That’s the story so far.. .more pics follow below and watch this space for ongoing puppy antics and the ever-popular weekly puppy portraits too!

Mr Black and Mr Blue.

Mr Black and Mr Green.

Mr Blue hangs out his teeny-tiny ears.

Mr Blue hangs out his teeny-tiny ears.

Miss Purple.

Miss Purple.

Mr Bronze, who is so dark that his collar often looks as though it's disappeared...

Mr Bronze, who is so dark that his collar often looks as though it’s disappeared…

Mr Black, on the other hand, is the palest of the pups.

Mr Black, on the other hand, is the palest of the pups.

...and a good contortionist too!

…and a good contortionist too!

Miss Yellow.

Miss Yellow.

A snoozy heap.

A snoozy heap.

...and another.

…and another.

Everyone together once again.

Everyone together once again.










25/07/2013 at 21:22 4 comments

Belatarr: The Next Generation

We’re delighted and excited to be able to announce that we have a forthcoming litter, confirmed yesterday by ultrasound:

Phoenix Scan 3


This snapshot shows a few of the pups as they are now, at 31 days gestation, only around 1cm in size and each sitting at the top of a gestational sac (the dark, circular areas on the image). Amazing to think that these small marble-sized embryos will have grown to the size of  plump guinea-pigs in just another 4 weeks or so! We saw approx 7 or 8 pups, which is exactly the same result as our 2011 litter, which turned out to comprise 12 pups…

We have been absolutely delighted with the uniformly healthy, sound, happy and high quality pups from our 2011 litter and have been fortunate to be able to watch many of them regularly and at close hand as they have grown into the superb young dogs that they are today. Four of the pups from that litter have gone on to have great success in the show ring and several others of their brothers and sisters could undoubtedly have followed suit, so it was an easy decision to undertake a repeat mating, using Mingus as sire, when Phoenix was ready for her second litter.

After an initial mild panic when the progesterone testing lab that we were using had their machinery break down, resulting in a 3 day delay in getting Phoenix’ blood test results back (urghhhh!) we achieved 3 very easy matings, all with excellent ties, commencing on the same day in Phoenix’ season that her previous litter was conceived.

Phoenix’ due date is 23rd/24th July and we are now able to take enquiries from show, pet and working homes, about this forthcoming litter.  All puppy homes will be carefully selected to provide the best possible start in life for this next generation of Belatarr HWV’s.

If you would like to be considered for inclusion on our puppy list or would like to discuss Belatarr dogs and life with this wonderful breed in more detail then please do contact Tim directly at:


25/06/2013 at 12:33 2 comments

Finley – Belatarr Art Tatum

We’re extremely lucky to have the very handsome Finley living approx. 2 miles from us here at Belatarr HQ.  This means that, right from the get-go, we’ve been able to see lots of him. He and his brother Django (along with their parents) have enjoyed many romps together as well as both having been obedience trained by Tracey and her team over at Puppy Gurus, just like their parents before them:

Finley arrives home.

...and re-arranges his furniture.

Settled into his new bed.


It's a tiring life...Finley takes to the new sofa - the one that he wasn't going to be allowed onto 🙂

Another favourite snoozing spot.

Growing up.

Finley, now 5 months old, takes a seat at the kitchen table.

Who can resist!

19/04/2012 at 17:05 Leave a comment

Puppy Portraits – The Final Week!

Where has the time gone?? This is the last week for the Belatarr babies before most head to their new homes and start their lives away from the pack. Sadly the appalling weather (incredibly low-light levels, freezing temps, endless hail sleet & rain) meant that the final week head-shots were very tricky to get, and not very high quality and very washed-out when we did get them, with pups (and us) shivering and looking rather glum in the driving sleet…but at least we have something to represent them as they were at 7 weeks old and before they all change once again into mature young dogs.

So, dozens of refuse bags full of soiled bedding, weeks of missed sleep, much cuddling and hundreds of chicken wings later, these are Phoenix and Mingus’ dozen, all now with their Kennel Names (Jazz themed, to follow on from Mingus) just before they leave us:

THE BOYS (minus one)

Belatarr Art Tatum (Finley)

Belatarr Charlie Parker

Belatarr Dave Brubeck (Otto)

Belatarr Dizzy Gillespie (Gryphon)

Belatarr John Coltrane (Otis)

Belatarr Miles Davis (Huxley)

Belatarr Oscar Peterson (Digby)

Belatarr Thelonius Monk

(pic forthcoming…)


Belatarr Ella Fitzgerald (Ella)

Belatarr Mahalia Jackson (Billie)

Belatarr Nina Simone (Nina)

Final Week Shots from the Dog Sofa (whilst Mum & Dad are out for a walk)

A Snoozy Ella Fitzgerald, with her fabulous (fathers) coat.

...nearly asleep...

Under scrutiny.

A very intense Thelonius Monk.

Adam & friends.

Puppy Pile-up.

Twin-Level Puppy Pile-up.

Complete take-over.

Tim & co.


15/12/2011 at 17:25 5 comments


We’re absolutely thrilled to be able to announce the arrival of 12 (yes, you read that right, 12!) bouncing bonny Belatarr babies – 3 girls and 9 boys 🙂


Temperature monitoring suggested that Phoenix would deliver her pups on Sat eve or Sunday morning, and so it proved, with the first arrival showing up after one single contraction at 17:53 on Saturday evening. 3 more pups followed quite quickly, and then Phoenix decided it was all over and went into a kind of happy, grinning rest phase, as if to say “Aren’t I clever – look what I’ve done!” we knew that there were more puppy travellers waiting in the departure lounge, though, so after 2 and a half hours of inaction we all zipped off to the vets for a shot of oxytocin to speed things along.

Clever mum.

Everyone home safe and sound.

Puppy number 5 duly arrived at 22:50, and another 7 followed, with the final baby appearing at 01:49 on Sunday morning. Just to add to the fun, these last 8 were all born in the boot of the car, parked up at the veterinary hospital, with Tim as midwife and Adam and the vet zipping back and forth with supplies (clean towels, cups of tea – the essentials!)

Big pile of snooze.

With a litter as large as this you might expect a few weaklings amongst the bunch, but all 12 of the Baby Belatarr’s arrived kicking, and (quite literally) squeaking with vigour. They were all born at a good weight too, with relatively little variance between them. All drew breath within seconds and all were suckling within a few mins. Before announcing the news “officially” we’ve been anxiously waiting these last few days to make sure that all 12 were gaining weight nicely, and were developing as they should, and we’re delighted to say that they are all currently going from strength to strength, day by day.

All part of the snooze/eat/snooze/eat continuum.

Once they had all arrived, then the fun really began…with a litter of this size (and only 6 decent teats to feed from)  we have, from a few hours after the final birth, had to split the pups into two teams, and feed each team separately to ensure that everyone gets a good meal and that the bigger boys don’t muscle out the smaller girls. This we do every 2 to 3 hours, day and night, so sleep has become something of a fond and distant memory, but who needs sleep when there are puppies on board…

Team 1 hard at work.

Team 2 waiting to be called into action.

Phoenix is a quite wonderful, utterly attentive and completely devoted mother, answering her babies every squeak (of which there can be quite a chorus!)  and absolutely fastidious about keeping them all clean and content.  She was very anxious to be with them 24/7 for the first few days, but as of yesterday, has decided she also wants to come out for occasional short walks in the autumn sunshine with Mingus, and it’s wonderful to see her trotting around having fun again before deciding that she needs to head back to check on the gang indoors.

That’s the story so far…watch this space for regular updates.

It's all exhausting work.

Mr Red, the first born, blissed out.

Mr. Red again, with his (probably temporary) tiny white head-spot.

Mr yellow-and-black, impersonating a baby bat.

Mr Green takes a nap.

The Milkbar is open for business.


26/10/2011 at 18:08 3 comments

Expected Litter.

Phoenix’ previous two seasons, and the physical and behavioural changes that accompanied them, were documented, day by day, in the hope that we’d be able to clearly follow her progress through this crucial third season and see where she was. Those first two seasons followed a very clear pattern, but not so this one!

….to cut a long and somewhat nail-biting story short, our initial attempts at securing a mating weren’t met with much enthusiasm, particularly from Phoenix, who was much more interested in sleeping, but a few swift trips to the vet later, (and following much useful advice from Granny Diane & Aunt Emma – thank you!!) we discovered that she ovulated much later than expected (and well after the so-called tell-tail signs had indicated) after which things went a WHOLE LOT better. In the end we secured three very easy matings, all with good ties, and all without any distress from either dog, so patience (and blood testing) was the key!

So, all being well, we should be expecting the pitter-patter of tiny paws round-about October 25th – watch this space!

A baby Belatarr - Mingus at 6 weeks.

27/08/2011 at 18:23 1 comment

The Ever Changing Mingus.

When we first met (and show stacked!) Mingus at the tender age of 4 weeks he was very compact and stocky, beautifully and correctly proportioned. At around 3 months he looked very long-bodied and short in height, no longer stocky at all. By 4 months he suddenly looked very tall and giraffe-like, neither compact nor stocky. Then, at 5 months, everything started to come back together again, but he was all frame and no body. Now, at 5 and a bit months, he is once again starting to look compact and stocky as he gradually fills out – such are the ways of puppy growth – so we just wait for those deep ribs to spring to complete the picture.

Mingus surveys his kingdom.

This week at ringcraft everyone commented on how big he’d gotten and for the first time he was a fair bit taller than the adult female English Setter there. Judging by his knuckles he’s certainly going to finish larger than both of his parents, but still be moderate in size…which is just what we were hoping for.

A while back, whilst trotting around and investigating the pond, Mingus found himself on the opposite side of the water to us. Rather than trot back the way he’d come he simply plunged into the water and swam directly across to us (the pond is 6 foot deep and 150 foot long…) He’d never previously gone more than about ankle deep in water, so it came as something of a surprise to us – as well as to him – that he could indeed swim so well. On arriving at the other side he looked enormously pleased with himself and has been pretty keen to get wet in the pond and the river ever since.

The mysteries of the deep.

30/04/2010 at 12:58 2 comments

Mingus Touchdown.


So yesterday we journeyed far (well, to Southampton) to collect our new little lad. We packed the car for every eventuality, fully expecting howling, vomiting and other bodily expulsions en route home. In the event though Mingus took it all completely in his stride and slept silently for most of the journey, with occasional moments of rousing to check out the passing scenery – a stark contrast to Phoenix who howled and screamed like she was having root canal work for the entire of her 7 hour trip home!

With Adam.

As soon as he touched down in the kitchen Mingus burst to life, brimming with excitement and joy at all the new things to explore. After wolfing down his first home meal, wagging furiously throughout, he raced around like an energizer bunny on overload…so wonderfully confident despite his all-new environment and leaving his siblings behind, a really great testament to how well raised and socialised he has been. Eventually he crashed and burned and snuggled straight into his new cage for a good long snooze – perfect!

Favourite new toy....


Phoenix was beside herself with excitement, but was just too boisterous to play with her new brother just yet. Mingus seems perfectly happy to sleep on his own and settles down without fuss, so the first night went pretty well, punctuated with various trips out to the toilet, but with no screaming, howling or signs of any distress…all quite remarkable!


So now, after about 24 hours at Wolf Valley, Mingus definitely knows his name, and comes scampering every time you call him. He’s also mastered “sit” pretty quickly, thanks to trusty clicker and reward system. He starts his formal Puppy Gurus obedience training in just over 2 weeks, so we’ve practised a few “down” commands to get the ball rolling. Luckily Mingus seems to have an insatiable appetite, which certainly makes training much easier. He was also weaned straight onto on raw food by Mum Jacqui, which fits perfectly with Phoenix’ all raw diet too.

Sofa snuggle.

Phoenix has become less hyper around Mingus as the day has gone on, which has allowed them to interact properly, albeit under strict supervision, and even enjoy a 3-way-snoozy-snuggle together with Tim on the “dog” sofa this afternoon…


"You displease me Human..."


17/01/2010 at 16:59 7 comments

Bee Bee See.

Now, that much of the “testing” early puppy period is starting to fade into memory, albeit heavily blogged memory, we are now entering the stable period of our life with Phoenix. Of course the term stable is a relative one compared to say, mud slides in Latin America or erupting volcanoes in Japan, but the upshot of this is that the only things we have to report at the moment can really be filed under: “cavalcade of whimsy“….

…Phoenix inadvertently discovered bees recently, when our neighbour Eric took Tim and her for a trip around his apiary. One bee stung Phoenix on the ear and she sat down on the ground unsure of what had happened and emitting a very faint whimper. A second sting followed, and then it really kicked off and Tim, Eric and Phoenix headed rapidly for cover. Interesting fact alert: did you know that if one bee stings you it instantly communicates to all the others  in the hive via pheromones and they all come a-hurtling ready to lay down their bee lives in defense of the colony. No, neither did we, until all parties (minus the grumpy bees obviously) barricaded themselves into Eric’s house pending the return of calm.

Meanwhile, there was an anxious moment or two wondering if we’d have to rush Phoenix off to the Vet Hospital as we didn’t know if she would have an anaphalactic reaction to the bee stings.  This, thankfully, was not the case and essentially she barely noticed what had happened and had a “what’s all the fuss about?” look on her face during the inevitable faffing and panicking going on around her.

23/03/2009 at 11:56 Leave a comment

The Graduate.


Officially Socialised.

Phoenix graduated from Puppy Gurus tonight! She’s officially socialised. She is now the proud possessor of a purple rosette and a certificate. We haven’t attempted to pin the rosette on her crate because she would just chew it into tiny purple shreds. But it’s there in spirit.

Phoenix can now “do” – sit, up (which is stand), down (which is er…down), wait, come, stay, fetch, drop, shake paw, stand (which is stack), heel, off.



About two weeks ago she suddenly clicked into “learning mode” with a vengeance and is now at the stage where she can be taught just about anything and can pick it up almost immediately; so far we’ve taught particle physics (God don’t get her started on quarks), brain surgery and hatha yoga. We think this is because she has settled into her environment and is really happy and confident in every aspect of her home and routine. She knows what’s what and what’s expected of her. She’s also sleeping through the night now too.  Which is nice.

09/03/2009 at 20:31 Leave a comment

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