|Posted by Debbi Willis on April 15, 2011 at 9:25 AM|
What a year it's been! From the get go, this litter has been one huge learning experience and a very unique pack of pups to get to know. But what a wonderful experience and what fantastic teachers they've been!
I can honestly say every single puppy is properly placed and happily thriving and a tribute to the kennel. Their drives are incredible to watch and their personalities a riot to enjoy! What some percieve as a fierceness and unrulyness, is simply them growing into themselves. Each one is special to their owners (especially Atlas and Athena to me).
Atlas will begin training to be a service dog for me as a permanent companion for life. His natural first born attitude and large sized strength with his eagerness to be there for me all the time makes him an excellent candidate. Atlas has developed into one of our finest males! Sensitive and personable, this dog exhibits great discretion and excellent devotion. Atlas is the "big brother" to this litter and the second alpha male of the house.
Ares (#2) is the miracle puppy. Upon his birth, he came out "dead" for all intents and purposes. With some quick suctioning and vigorous towel rubbing, drying, and little thump, he suddenly gasped a little squeaky bark and began to squirm. His sac had broken so he was completely "dry" (aspriated the sac fluid) and limp upon birth. Lucky for us, he bounced back into this world and hasn't quit since! He's a beautiful boy raised in Orlando by Jeremy and Megan and couldn't be more loving and better trained. He has been adapted to cats, and has his own personal playcatmate. He is an apartment dweller with excellent manners and dog park knowledge. He loves fetching, chasing, running and hiking with Jeremy and Meg. Ares started the "gods and goddesses" names for the litter (Atlas, Ares, Athena, along with Mercury and Apollo). He's an incredibly sensitive dog and a wonderful companion for life to Jeremy and Meg.
Rango II (#4) was "yellow" in the litter... one of the friendliest, funniest and happiest of all the puppies. He was everyone's favorite. But one day I got a call from a guy named Jimmy, so he came to see the pups and we discussed where the puppy would be etc... and it soon came to light that it was a gift for his Mother: his 75 yr old mother, Cassie! I said, "are you sure she can handle this dog?" He assured me she had raised her boys and had GSD's all her life and was so heartbroken when her last GSD (Rango I) died... so this was going to be his gift to her. Well, a beautiful gift it has been too as Cassie and Rango live together in Palmetto and believe me, she is the envy of the neighborhood with him! I am sure NO ONE messes with house or her with him nearby. Rango has grown into a beautifully marked strong black and tan beauty!
Roush, (#6) formerly known as Skye because of the sky blue ribbon he was tagged with at birth, was named for the Mustang engine in his owners car. Roush is our gorgeous, melting pot puppy of the litter! His is a mottled mix of colors from the litter that is striking to the say the least! Like, Ares, Roush resided in an apartment for his first 3 yrs of life and now enjoys a house and yard of his own! He loves dog parks, adores his owner Erin and her boyfriend, Chad and has learned to tolerate cats unless they run. He is also fantastic at dressup and has a wonderful tolerance for wearing anything Erin puts on him (including Easter bunny ears to match his and a tshirt that says "I chase tail").
Mischa, (#7) my little lady in red (red ribbon, later a red collar). Athena's big sister has had a lot of early turmoils between homes but by the same token she's known a lot of love too! Mischa is a beautiful black and red, wonderful learner, very good with children, excellent in protection and service! Mischa is a natural mommy and loves to play and romp throughout the yard. When we got our new pup, Orion, Mischa took him under her wing like he was one of her own. Her mother instincts are very strong. A very alert and very attentive girl, nothing gets past her, she can hear the wind move!
Prince (#8) lives with a huge family of children and his favorite female, Shadoe in Greensboro, NC. Prince used to live on 11 acres of property down here and all the pups would visit for puppy invasion days at the Valenti family home! Marko and Elaine have provided an incredibly loving environment for these two dogs (Shadoe was adopted later as a 9 month old) and Prince has thrived on all the chaos that surrounds living in a Children's Home with about 12 kids at all times. Naturally all the kids can tell ya all about Prince any time! He is probably the fastest of all the pups from all his months of running the acreage. He's very lean and strong. His one quirk: floppy ears when he's not thinking about them. For the summer of 2012, Prince and Shadoe became parents and had a beautiful litter: Chief, Mac, Laser, Lil Bit, Occy, Doctor, Maverick and Nala. Shadoe was spayed immediately afterwards though as her poor body cannot endure another pregnancy... but the combination of the Midnight Sun Kennels with the Stone Creek blend of Vom Loganberg, Sturdevant & Browning Haus has produced beautiful great natured pups!
Athena (#9) is a gorgeous red and black female with more spunk than body to contain herself but the brightest loving look in her eyes that I wouldn't trade any of that spunk for to get her "calm". Ever on alert like her sister, Mischa, nothing at all gets past Athena. She is Atlas' constant companion (as they were in the litter, so they are in the yard) and playmate, as well as little mother to whatever new pup I bring along. She's so much puppy herself that she just teaches them everything in the pack... she's also an excellent rescue rehab helper as she was vital in helping Nika and Shadoe learn to play and integrate into the pack. On December 26, 2012 Athena delivered the SC3 litter she and Jett mated for and we were blessed with 7 beautiful (equally spunky) pups:Hercules, Adonis, Lukas, Anna, Venus, Mars, and Ophelia! Unfortunately, a toxic 8th puppy cost Athena her reproductive ability 4 weeks later and she will not be breeding ever again. Our hopes are to develop her for search & rescue now. Of all our moms thus far, Athena has been the best!