The 2013 Rain Mountain
Spice o' Life Litter

Frontier Luck of the Draw x Boreayl's Salishan of Rain
Born April 18, 2013

First the Gorgeous Parents Spice o'Life Pedigree And Now Meet the Pups
Before You Bring Your New Pup Home
Necessary Supplies

Books on Dog Training That Are
Appropriate for Chinooks

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Within a Matter of Days
5 Days Old

By the Time They Are 10 Days Old
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Where the Spice o'Life Pups Grow Up

First the Gorgeous Parents
Gambler, Frontier Luck of the Draw

Far left: Gambler smiling for the camera; left, doing meet-and-greets at the Seattle Kennel Club Dog Show; Right, in his working clothes as a Service Dog for Marie.

Shani, Boreayl's Salishan of Rain
Above left, Shani pauses for a breath at the annual Western Chinook Picnic at the Rain Mountain Slug Ranch in 2009 where she plays hostess; above center, she poses with the Drucker family, whom she stayed with for several months in the winter of 2012/2013; above right, another beautiful head shot of Salishan's gorgeous face.

My long range plans had not been to have two litters, one right after the other in the first half of 2013 but I am a sucker for a child in need of a dog and for what I envision will be future handsome Chinooks. So when these things all came together in January and February of 2013, I went ahead with it. After all, why not deluge myself and my household with puppies for six months then take time off afterwards to enjoy the summer, do some gardening, maybe even get away from home for a long weekend or two? I hadn't spent a night away since I went to Chad's wedding or the quick trip to Montana to deliver a pup and both trips were a couple years in the past and of very short duration!

Salishan is one of the smartest and most intuitive Chinooks I've ever met or had the privlege to live with. Unlike the other female Chinooks I know, she doesn't need to see, "What's in it for me?" whenever I ask her to do something. Training her was a breeze since she was so smart. She already had absorbed so much from watching the older dogs that training classes with her were really just finishing school. So to come up with the best brains possible, we paired her with Frontier Luck of the Draw, who just to confuse you, is called Gambler by one of his co owners and Denali by his other co owner. His day-to-life is spent as a working Service Dog for Marie, a friend with arthritis. With Marie, he's a calm and sweet dog with unending patience. Occasionally he takes a weekend off for a dog show where he's working on his AKC championship. This is his first litter. As a young pup before he started work, he spent several weekends with me (he and his litter sister Bianca were even in the car with me when we were in a bad accident, totaling my old Dodge Grand Caravan!) and impressed me with how mellow he was. As a young adult that has held true. He's added handsome to his list of attributes too. He and Salishan were a natural pair. I liked the fact that though Salishan is an import to my kennel from Boreayl Chinooks of Ohio, Gambler is essentially a Rain Mountain bloodline, what with half of his great grandparents being Chinooks I was involved in breeding. 

Rain Mountain Spice o'Life Pedigree

Salishan was staying with the Drucker family while I had the previous 2013 "100 Acre Wood" Litter here; returning home when she was roughly seven weeks pregnant. Druckers had taken excellent care of her and she was trim and fit going into this delivery. I didn't expect puppies until later in the weekend but she must have known that it was my father's birthday so she went into labor early, just minutes after I had the whelping box put together. The pups started arriving at 11pm and quickly there were seven. After a rest, the eighth arrived and her family was complete. I'm told that eight is a very lucky number in Asian societies so this will be a very lucky litter for Rain Mountain and Salishan. This is also the very first time that we've had more girls than boys in a litter. 

And Now Meet the Pups

Within hours of birth, it's hard to see but all 8 are nursing

Another shot right after the birth of the 8th pup

Here they are at 24 hours old when I've finally been able to change the top sheet in the whelping box.

These two girls will be colored like their dad, dark tawny with a lot of black in their coats. It was hard to tell at first, since they were born in the middle of the night, if they were going to be black and tan or tawny but they do have tawny hairs popping out.

These two girls looked like they were gray and tan at birth but they will be what we call silver tawny. You can see the tawny hair on the tops of their heads already. 

The three triplets are Oregano (female, aka, Reggie); and males Donny Garlic in honor of my dad, on whose birthday they were born and who was quite the garlic fan; and Basil Jim, in honor of the customer who I canceled a meeting with when it became obvious that Salishan was going into labor. The boys and some of the girls show their dad's huge blocky head already.

The other girls are (from left to right) Lavender, Poppy Seed, Nutmeg (on top), Cinnamon, and Caraway.
This is the first time I've had more girls than boys.

Above and at right, Salishan nurses the girls while the very fat triplets nap. Cinnamon and Oregano are the fattest of the girls but all of them are quite healthy and vigorous.

Before You bring Your New Pup Home -- Supplies for a New Pup

If you are thinking of getting a new puppy and check out the lists that Petco and Petsmart will hand you as far as what supplies are absolutely necessary, you will spend a fortune. I'm a firm believer in spending as little as possible. Just like you when you were a small child at Christmas, empty cardboard boxes are often the best possible toys and they are free. Why spend money on things that will simply be chewed to pieces faster than I can type this paragraph?

I've come up with my own list of basic supplies that I think are necessary and many of them can be bought at stores other than expensive pet stores.  Here's my list:

  • Collar – I like martingale or “sled dog style” limited slip for daily wear around the house.
  • Leash – have an inexpensive webbed one for the pup to drag around the house so you have control. Luxury item: A leather leash for walks and class time. The grip you get with leather is far, far superior to the webbed ones. If you’re like me and have grip problems from carpel tunnel, arthritis, or other maladies, you will love the better grip you get with a leather leash. But it will seem like a snack so it needs to be kept away from your new pup.
  • ID tag -- Even if your pup is microchipped you need an ID tag.
  • Bedding – use inexpensive bedding while your pup is little in case of chewing. Old towels, sheets, or blankets are fine. Should be easily washable. I buy these at thrift stores until the pup is well past the chewing phase. Only after chewing is past will Puppy graduate to a comforter or other softer yet chewable bedding.
  • Crate -- for crate training in the house. Luxury item: Possibly a second crate for in the car. Some places, such as California, require a dog be crated or otherwise confined when traveling in a vehicle.
  • Toddler gates – to block off rooms where pup isn’t allowed until house training is done.
  • Toys – divided into everyday toys and special toys. In the first day or so the pup may want soft toys since they are comforting but ALWAYS keep something that she likes to chew available for her. Check out dollar stores and mail order to get the best prices on toys and don't forget things that are around the house already: paper towel tubes, yogurt cups with a trace of yogurt, empty milk cartons, and so on. I get soup bones at the butcher shop or Safeway (they still cut their own meat unlike many other grocery stores)  to satisfy their urge to chew. The butcher at the local Safeway must have huge dogs since he cuts them half the size of my head. The pups had their first bones when they were six weeks old but only let them have real bones when you’re supervising. By giving the dogs raw beef knuckle bones on a regular basis (about once every week to ten days) I've never had to have the vet clean the teeth of any of my Chinooks other than one rescue.
  • Treats -- for rewards and for luring pup into appropriate behavior. The smaller the better. It’s the act of giving, not the amount, so you want to be able to give many times without giving a lot. I give treats that are about the size of my thumbnail. Make sure some are soft for classes and some are your regular “Milk Bone” type for around the house.
  • Food and water bowl – non breakable and as “non tip-able” as possible. I like stainless steel.
  • Flea treatmentFrontline or Advantage Multi are good ones here in the Northwest. If you live in an area that is affected with Heart worm, you'll need to give those meds regularly too. (We don't have Heart worm in western Washington.)
  • First aid kit for dogs -- Ask your vet what you should have on hand.
  • Grooming basics - including a wire slicker brush for day-to-day brushing. Later, when your pup's coat matures, you'll want a top coat rake for when he's shedding, or perhaps a Furminator. He won't have much undercoat until he's at least a year old though. You'll want some mild shampoo too. Dog shampoo that is good at removing odors or I've been known to use Pert Plus and have great results.
  • Nail clippers – I recommend large scissors style rather than guillotine. Your Chinook will have large nails when he matures. Pretend to cut toenails almost daily, even if he doesn’t need them done, so that he can’t lie to you and tell you he’s never had them cut before, hence has the right to throw a tantrum. They have had their nails cut weekly since they were born but they may lie to you and tell you that they never have. Some may even throw a horrendous tantrum. If you don’t like doing it, take him or her to a groomer regularly. Some dogs act better when Mom isn’t around, just like kids do. The more often you do it, the easier the dog will handle it.
  • Carpet Stain Remover/Odor Killers -- 20 Mule Team Borax works excellent to remove odors and stains in carpets; Peroxide is another great carpet stain remover that takes out the marks but not odors.Between the two and vinegar, I don’t use other cleaners beyond a mild soap sometimes. has great methods for getting puppy urine and feces out of carpets without expensive cleaners and I had better luck once I quit using them.
Books on Dog Training

These are books that espouse methods that work well with Chinooks. All of them focus on positive methods yet still recognize that some bad behaviors do need a correction/consequence. All of them are available from or

How to Be Your Dog’s Best Friend
By the Monks of New Skete

Pooches & Small Fry
By Jack & Colleen McDaniel

The Dog Listener
By Jan Fennell

Cesar’s Way
By Cesar Millan

The Rosetta Bone
By Cheryl S. Smith

Got a favorite?
Drop me an email and let me know what you think is the best dog book of all time. I always like to hear about new ones that perhaps I haven't read yet.

Within a Matter of Just a Few Days

Salishan has copious amounts of milk for her pups and it doesn't take long for the babies to fill out and begin to look like fat little seals. She has taken off the neck collars so I can't tell which is Caraway and which is Lavender and I have to check the undersides to figure out which is Cinnamon. Once they are big enough to start toddling around I'll get velcro collars on them that Shani can't take off then it will be easier to tell them apart. Plus, while they are in the "potato stage" there isn't a lot of personality showing yet. That will become apparent as each pup begins to open its eyes and ears (yes, the ears are also closed right now, just like the eyes) and interacts with the BIG WIDE WORLD of the Slug Ranch and the Rain Mountain Pack. Which puppies will be most likely to send Taga dashing for the safety of an out-of-reach perch on my bed? Which will look to Elizabeth for comfort more than their dam since she will take on babysitting duties as soon as they are weaned. (Elizabeth LOVES babies and will do so quite gladly. She's a very good babysitter and this will be her third litter to babysit, after already helping to raise the Zen and 100 Acre Wood Litters. She will be the next Rain Mountain female to be bred.)

Note, it's not that I'm a slob or unfit breeder. I do keep the pups as clean as I can without disrupting the natural course of events. Right now their whelping box contains several natural smells, most of them coming from their mother. So I don't rush to change the hospital blanket that covers the top of their bedding unless it's actually dirty. A few stains from the natural discharges Salishan has after giving birth are normal; Shani keeps herself and the box very clean and these are just faint stains she can't quite get all the way clean herself. I change the bedding once a day and bleach the blankets every time I wash them. For now, scent is the pups' strongest sense, followed by touch and the scent they know best is that of their mom so I don't want to disrupt it any more than I have to. The more litters I raise, the more natural I find myself raising them.

Top from left to right, Nutmeg, Caraway, Lavender resting on Cinnamon; below Donny Garlic, then Basil Jim, Poppy Seed, and Reggie (Oregano).

By the time they are 10 days old . . . .

When the pups were ten days old, Salishan's favorite people, the Druckers, came to visit her and her puppies. She was in heaven. Her life would be perfect if she could get me, Mariann, and Leah Drucker all snuggling with her at once.  Sadly we all have separate lives to lead. but we make sure that Shani gets to see them often and we're even talking about her retiring to their house. Maybe. So thanks to the Druckers for these wonderful photos.

Carie Taylor visited the night before and we weighed everyone. The pups weighed as much as two and a half times their birth weights so I guess I don't need to worry about weighing them any longer.  Donny Garlic and Basil Jim were almost two and a half pounds!  That's amazing for pups that are this age. Salishan isn't a big Chinook. Sure, she has a big chest but she's not big overall. Gambler is decent sized but not huge by any measure of the word. Like me, Carie was very impressed by the big heads on all the pups, both boys and girls alike. She's planning to keep her stud fee pup rather than placing it even though she's been downsizing the number of dogs she's been keeping lately. I wish I could keep one as well but with Cas here from the last litter, that would mean two pups very close in age and that's just not a good idea.

Oregano at 10 days old has a big blocky head more
like a male than the girl she is.

Basil Jim looks like he will keep his black muzzle

You can almost hear Lavender, "Ah Ma, not when
company is here, and not right in front of everyone!"

So that she wouldn't look like just a black blob here,
I've had to add a lot of back lighting to Nutmeg's photo,
though she is the lighter of the two near-black pups.

Caraway's silver is turning to a nice shade of tawny much faster than her color twin Lavender.

When I told my sisters that I'd had a litter of pups born on Dad's birthday and that I was giving them all herb and spice baby names,  it was unanimous that one be named "Garlic" after our dad, Donald J Corley. Our father passed away back in 1981 so isn't around to meet his namesake, and there has been another pup actually named Donald J. So this guy will simply be Donny Garlic, in honor of Dad's favorite seasoning.

Here's Poppyseed, Nutmeg's color twin, the darker of the two girls.

There really are eight puppies buried in this pile. Some pups like to sing (the 100 Acre Wood Litter sure did) and others don't. Some litters like to cuddle and others don't. These pups like to sleep all cuddled together in a pile of puppies.

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Where the Spice o'Life Pups Grow Up