Welcome to the
2012 Rain Mountain
Zen Litter

In the Beginning

The Rain Mountain Zen Litter has been bred primarily because the dad and mom have such darn good personalities. Sure, they complement each other physically and their pedigrees are diverse and look great on paper. I would have bred them even if it weren't for their personalities.  But there just aren't two dogs more friendly and sweet than Kodi and Salishan. Salishan has known Kodi (who's about six years older than her) since she was a baby and first arrived here from her original breeder in Ohio. As she grew up, she practiced flirted on him. You could see her teen aged crush as easily as if she were a 13 year old human girl. So this has been a fun breeding and litter to raise.

This is the second litter for both. Kodi produced a litter in 2006 with Ch. PR Thunder Paws Nany and Salishan had her first litter this past summer (the Serenity Litter) with Frontier Brick Raferty. She came through in such great shape that it was decided to have a second litter right away, then give her a few years off for some competitive sports.

Individual pages for Kodi and Salishan are in process so check back often. Kodi is also available at stud to approved females. Contact Ginger Corley for more information.

Click Here For Zen Pedigree

UPDATE: Though I thought all the pups in the Zen Litter were committed to new homes, a couple families had to drop off. So I do have two pups available from this litter as of March 28th. One female and one male.  Contact Rain Mountain for more information. 

Kodi plays kissy face with Salishan

Salishan is ready to take off and fly. No,
her ears are not like this all the time; they hang
down in a polite & acceptable Chinook fashion


 Here They Come!

Pups were born January 21st, nine very big, fat and healthy kids considering the size of Kodi and Shani. This explained why she was so very large the last few weeks of her pregnancy.  Just as with her first litter, she had a very easy delivery, all nine arriving withing four hours. She's an excellent mom, spending every minute with her babies other than the most brief trips outside a few times a day. The first few weeks while she is still nursing full time the other adult dogs long for some of Salishan's extra rich diet.  Though she normally gets by on 2 cups of kibble a day and a few random treats, she's eating up to 10 or 12 cups of kibble, extra yogurt, cottage cheese, meat, soups, and stews that I cook for her.  Nine pups will need a lot of calories to go from nothing to the 4 or 5 pounds they will weigh when she weans them.  The youngsters of our pack, Quileute (2 years old) and new addition Elizabeth (7 months old) are interested in the food but they are also quite curious about the squeaks and peeps coming from the whelping box. Quileute helped with the litter last summer but Elizabeth has never seen babies and in fact, when I tried to show her one (Salishan was outside or it never would have happened) she was a bit frightened and decided to throw her gear shift into reverse. Later when the pups are weaned and able to play outside without Shani watching their every move, it will be Quileute and Elizabeth that are their babysitters.

Above, Salishan, with two weeks still to go before the pups were born, is huge when standing next to Quileute, who's usually close to her size.

UPDATE: Evaluations are now scheduled:  Melissa Knapp will perform a conformation evaluation evaluation here at the Rain Mountain Slug Ranch on Saturday, March 10th.  Melissa has evaluated every litter I've had beginning with my 1995 Heatwave Litter; she's learn the major bloodlines and our standards, both UKC and AKC as well.  She does and excellent job with the puppies.  She herself grew up doing dogs in 4H and has a Master's degree in Genetics, along with breeding dogs, primarily Herding breeds, for many years until she retired from breeding dogs to raise her three sons. She taught conformation handling and handled dogs for several years as well and was probably the top handling instructor in the greater Seattle area. Now that her sons have grown up, Melissa teaches Special Education for Monroe Christian School and does Agility, Tracking, Rally, and other fun stuff with her Smooth Fox Terriers when she's not teaching. In her spare time, she like to catch whatever movies are playing at the Monroe multiplex theater. 

Puppy Temperament Testing will take place at the Academy of Canine Behavior (www.aocb.com) on Tuesday March 13th. The Senior Trainers will perform the test and will have the apprentices assist as a training exercise for the apprentice trainers. This test will help us determine where the pups are in areas such as Social Attraction, Social Dominance, Restraint, Willingness to Follow a Person, Elevation, Retrieving, Sound Sensitivity, Touch Sensitivity, Sight Sensitivity, Stability. Each dog will be slightly different than its siblings and each breed will have a different general response pattern. For example, a Setter or Pointer will be far more ready to retrieve than a sled dog. So the lower score of the sledding breeds should be considered normal for them. 

I don't like to let pups leave until they are at least eight weeks old at the minimum and I know that I personally don't like to bring home a pup until it's about nine weeks old. Here in Washington State it's actually illegal to sell a pup before eight weeks old. The Zen Litter will not leave here until sometime after St. Patrick's Day, which is when they are eight weeks old. So they will be leaving no sooner than the 18th of March and most will be gone by the 24th when they are nine weeks old, which I think is the perfect time to bring your pup home. (I have a family event on the 25th of March so no pups can be picked up that day.)

I plan two more litters this year as well.  Next will be Lolo bred to Frontier Jackson, a proven stud who contributes excellent size.  This is a very distant line breeding but emphasis on the "very." This will be Lolo's last litter. She was in season in late February so I anticipate her being in season again in late August or early September but really the timing is up to Lolo and Mother Nature. The second Litter will be our "Ootie" -- Granite Hill Quileute Rain -- pending all her health tests completing favorably.  The stud to be will be Lolo's son from her first litter, Harry, also known as Grand Ch. PR Rain Mountain Skookum Tum Tum. There are also other litters coming from Moonsong and Frontier Chinooks from bloodlines that closely parallel my own.  Both these breeders are also located here in the Northwest.

If you're interested in a pup from any of the above litters, fill out the Rain Mountain Prospective Owner Questionnaire and return it to info@rainmountain.net if you're introduced in a Zen pup or one of those later litters.

Remember litters can't always be timed to our human convenience.  First we sit around and wait for our girls to go into season.  And wait.  Then wait some more.  Just when you are ready to breed your girl at last, the dog who has always been perfectly regular with her seasons will decide to be late.  She will be the watched pot that never boils.  After the breeding, we wait about a month to find out if the breeding conceived or not.  Is she acting different?  A bit sleepy?  Eating a bit more or perhaps a bit pukey during the third week?  Finally the vet can check her at about the 26th to 28th day after the breeding. The total gestation period is nine-weeks, compared to nine months for humans. After they are born the pups are given plenty of time with their mothers since they are born far less developed than humans; for example, both their eyes and ears aren't open at birth and take a few weeks to open and begin working. Then we like to allow plenty of time for their unique personalities to develop, as well as their muscles and coordination. Here at the Rain Mountain Slug Ranch they have plenty of opportunities to run, jump, dig, and dance before we start performing Puppy Temperament Aptitude Testing and conformation evaluations when they are 7 to 8 weeks old. This along with the questionnaire you have filled out gives us the information we need to match each pup to the right home. 

So please enjoy following the Zen Litter as they grow. I know we'll enjoy having them here. Stop back often for new photos and check the Rain Mountain Facebook page too.


We're Here!

As with her first litter, Shani had an easy time with the delivery of her pups. All nine arrived between 4am and 9am on Saturday morning. There were only two difficulties: First was that the whelping box which Kodi's owner Scott had just built for me over the summer in time for her previous litter had been stored in the pump house, the only outbuilding that is mostly water proof. But water proof doesn't mean damp proof. I had meant to get it painted before I put it away but forgot. Then when I went to pull it out I found it inoculated with mold. Plus I was stuck at home with a foot of snow topped by frozen rain and dusted by ferocious winds. So no whelping box for the babies.

Second, since she was so absolutely huge this time with about 15 to 20 pounds of babies inside her, the last few days were difficult ones. Consequently she kept me awake those last few days to share the experience. I didn't have the heart to lock her in a crate at night and she had a "Get Out of Jail Free" card for any accidents in the house since those pups were squishing her bladder so much even though it was taking a lot of fluid to keep them all going and growing. So by the time we'd had minimal sleep on Wednesday and Thursday nights and no sleep at all on Friday night, by the time the pups started to arrive, I was very glad that she was such a capable mom. Especially when Richard was born. After having the first two pups (Nancy and Chadwick), Salishan went outside to the bathroom.  I was going to go grab the dirty laundry but something made me stop halfway there and turnaround to go back and open the door.  Running towards me at full speed was Shani, carrying her newborn pup at full speed in the pouring rain, so cold it was barely above freezing.  It speaks highly to the sturdiness of Chinook pups that once he was dry and warm, he was just fine.  Salishan knew exactly what to do, carrying him and the placenta perfectly despite her speed, so that the umbilical cord wouldn't tear and injure him. I heaved a huge sigh of relief as we both hustled back to the nursery in my office.  It really wasn't any surprised to me in my sleep deprived state that I mixed up the genders of the pups.  It wasn't until Monday or Tuesday that I finally figured out that I had seven boys, not five, and two girls, not four.

Above right, about 6:15am Saturday morning, the first five pups.

By 8:45am the last of the pups was born and it was time to clean up and get some rest. The pups and Shani stayed on a big dog bed in my office until Monday when I could get out to a UHaul store for a huge wardrobe sized box. That meant that I spent virtually every moment right next to them, including sleeping next to the box. Let me tell you, they may be deaf and blind, and can't walk but those little dickens can really get around! They would be off the dog bed and under my desk in a heartbeat if Salishan fell asleep for a moment and I was working or just reading emails. Sunday afternoon Susan Shemeta stopped by to see the new babies and most of all, play with the other dogs who'd been sadly neglected for a few days while I got a nap in. No nap ever felt better! Susan is a very experienced Chinook owner and has raised Chinook pups too under the Seven Lakes name. A week later she was an angel again, coming over to give Salishan a potty break so I could drive the hundred miles to my mother's 87th birthday dinner.   

Now the babies are two weeks old and the honeymoon phase is coming to an end sooner than normal.  The so called "runt" of this litter would be what I would consider normal in any other litter at a respectable 2 pounds. But her moose siblings are weighing 3 pounds and up, surprising me to the point that I checked in with the veterinarian! That's a lot of pups for Salishan to feed.

There is never a dirty butt when Salishan is on duty!

The gang naps on Shani's dog bed while I clean the whelping box

Chinooks are born with those rubber necks and they never seem to get solid. This corner move was the escape route a few days later.

As of Day 16 another milestone was reached when the first jailbreak happened. Richard was the first out of the box, appropriately I think for the pup born outside in the rain and snow. The next day it was Chad. By Day 18 Pax and Nancy - Blossom were overboard. So Day 19 (today as of this writing) will be the big move from the confines of their whelping box and my office into a pen and the main room of the house.  Here they will have more exposure to the other dogs, through the wires of the pen at first, and start to learn about all the intricacies of the normal household. Vacuums, televisions, dishwashers and the racket of day-to-day life can all be quite surprising to a pup that has never encountered them. (My first Chinook didn't step foot into a house until I got her when she was five months old and she never did get used to the noises my old dishwasher made.)

So another new stage begins in the life of the Zen Litter. This will be exciting, what with their world getting bigger, learning to drink and eat on their own, and beginning to live just a bit separately from their mom. But all things will come in their own time; no need to rush or make any drastic changes too quickly.

Above, the pups nap in their whelping box when they are about 8 days old.

Here, at 17 days old, it's obvious they are in need of more room, especially since with eyes and ears open and bellies finally off the ground, play is starting. 9 pups need room to rock & roll!


Mom is Good but Real Food is Great!

Salishan normally weighs in at 62 to 64 pounds, more than most people would guess since she's a short little tank. But when you figure nine pups that were weighing in at over three pounds each by the time they were 16 days old, that means she is trying to feed half her body weight every day. That's a lot of milk production! After talking to my vet, we decided to get them started with gruel right away.

But that first meant moving them out of their small whelping box and into a pen where they would also have room to play and stretch their growing muscles. So I may have got my office back but I said goodbye to my dining room for the next six weeks. (I swear the next structure I build will have a puppy room, be it my three-season porch or my garage.)

So enjoy some of the very first meals and first days in their new pen, which is at least five times or more the size of their whelping box. Plus now they are in the middle of the family where they get to play through the wire of the pen with Elizabeth and Quileute. Salishan goes in and out over a big box, where she sometimes just perches to watch them. Elizabeth, with the pea brain that only an eight month old Chinook pup can have (it will grow) is just dying to get in with the pups. Playing with them through the wires isn't quite enough. So she lost her mind one evening and actually jumped in. Yeehaw! Salishan was in there nipping at her nose, just as she would any other puppy (thank doG! no bloodshed) and Lolo came running to get me out of the office. When I saw how upset Salishan was, I promptly dragged Elizabeth out as Shani carefully gave her a few nips on the hind end. Mom has decided that the older kids are not yet to play with the little kids. We will wait a while longer.

Above right, Quileute, Elizabeth, & even Taga watch at the doorway
hoping to get access to the whelping box & all the special foods that
Salishan gets while nursing.

The digital age expands: Enjoy a short video of the puppies eating (if you can call it that) their second meal ever not fed to them by their mom. Many thanks to Mike Choy for taking the clip and posting it to his YouTube channel. You can also check out several videos of his Chinooks Chaka and Taaku (litter sister to the babies dad Kodi) there as well. Chaka and Taaku are frequent visitors here.

Puppy Feeding Video

I don't know that any captions are really necessary to describe the mayhem going on here. It was mostly a case of flinging themselves full on into the food dish (no wimps here) then going for the full body experience. Afterwards, their mom came in to clean up the leftovers and messy faces and the kids took a very long nap.




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