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  • Writer's pictureHoekema Family

Gem Pups 3 wks Old

Fur flying in every direction here, up sideways backwards and forwards. I pull it out of my pockets and stuff it into tree branches.

I wipe it off my pants as it flies directly into my breathing space.

Tonka flies over to me full force and literally goes from Mach one to an instant stall right up against my leg in a full blown snuggle. I dodge the flying fur in the air only to pick up this big gorgeous baby (grew exponentially this week) and stuff him up into my nose with every ounce of love I have.

He's brought a mass amount of entertainment to the pack here, not like Isla and Leia's antics aren't enough around here. The duo has gone from a spinning joy fest to a triangle of ecstatic happiness at every turn. I do believe Tonka loves the other dogs now more than he does me but hey, that's his job, those are his girls, those are his pack to care for and love with every ounce of his being. He's doing an incredible job at it as well.

He turns to me when he needs to be rescued from a full tilt zoomie sprint from the other girls. Watch your knees they say, you'll get taken out at the ankles they say, all I can imagine is myself spinning in multiple circles into the air and landing into a mass pile of licking loving wiggily love pile of dogs.

Meiko joins in to this fest here and there with her miles for smiles happy grin across her face but she doesn't last long before she realizes what she's done...left my side. My shadow, my love, my sweet girl. Leaning against me not so much to get away from the happy craze of the other dogs but more so just to do what she does best, stick by my side to keep a constant connection with me.

Sola is somewhere in between, walking the perimeter staying out of the way of the others but coming over to check on me consistently. How are you, you good?, can I do anything for you, you got some extra scratches for me? Looking up at me with her soulful eyes checking in before she asks to go back to her babies. Such a good mama. She relaxes more and more with her outside time spending a little longer out in the sunshine each day. She's halfway there with her time with these babes and she knows it perfectly well and is timing it like a pro.

The Gem Pups are doing phenomenal not only every day but every moment at this point. They are going through a transition right now from their baby stage into their big kid stage. Just as of yesterday morning into the evening they decided to follow my lead and work even harder at getting their fat little tums off the ground and get those stocky legs a moving.

A few days ago I broke down the baby box and opened up their area into their big kid nursery. The potty tray went in, toys got added, and space got offered to give them the opportunity to spread their wings. I encouraged them back and forth to use the tray (please!) and to get up and show them what they can accomplish.

Protests were had, growls and grumbles filled the air but all in all everyone realized very quickly how much fun walking really is! Their weight gain slowed a bit reflecting this new found activity burning calories left and right. At 5.5 lbs they have plenty on board to spare as they go through this time. I usually start solid food right at the

3 wk mark but I'll wait a couple of days to give them the chance to work on their stability so I know they can get back and forth to the potty tray on their own. They have discovered the toys I attached to the side of the pen and started to play with them in their own way. They also have found the ability to play with their littermates as well and start the very well known game of chew each other's faces.

Such a fun game!

Each pup gets tucked under an arm individually but they also got out quite a bit in their outdoor tent play area as well. Nothing like smelling new air, feeling the sunshine on their backs and crawling around on a different surface.

Sola romped with the other dogs quite contently as Meiko came out to watch over the pups very happily. She's always been the best nanny, best 2nd momma to any pups here. Meiko had a couple of visitors over the weekend so the pups got to be out for a closed viewing while Meiko went in and out to make sure all the pups were happy and content. Not that she needs to sharpen up her mommy skills but she practices on these babes getting ready for her own bundles here soon. I confirmed her pregnancy this week via ultrasound and it was clear pups speckled the screen. She is losing her waist line already which may not be visible to anyone else but I notice it.

Give her another week or so and maybe by then she'll have that baby bump look that so many of you are eager to see. I have been in contact with each and every family that is on her list and that is ever so giddy with overwhelming excitement knowing their future fur baby is on the way. They dive into their busy summer plans and check trips and vacations off their schedule. Their days will soon transition over to checking off their lists, baby gates, toys, puppy proofing and how to handle baby sharks with ease. I'm thrilled to have another group of amazing families on board that are just as eager to bring a new pup into their homes as my current litter list is. I jump in between each group as the anxious questions start rolling in realizing that the reality of what is ahead is becoming more real everyday. I settle nerves and feed confidence. I stoke passion and fill every one with knowledge. I give education and pass along excitement. It fills up my heart and soul just as much as I see it in the faces around me as I watch everyone's face light up knowing that these fat little potato babies get to join them very soon.

Next weekend marks the 4 wk. mark for these Gem Pups and the 1st chance for these families to come in and sit with their new forever fur friend. I have invited all 5 out of the 6 families (1 is out of

state) to come at once to meet everyone and their littermates families. I did this last litter with 2 - 3 families at once so they could meet and it was a raving success. They not only got to play with the pups but got to connect with the other families that hopefully will be part of their lives for a very long time. My last litter, the Reindeer litter, they are extremely close and they continue to light up their group chat almost everyday to this very day. They tackle challenges together, lean on each other in times of wavering confidence, ask food questions, toy questions, throw ideas around on how to get them to stop eating the earth around them and share amazing accomplishments as they grow up into big beautiful pups. It's been incredible to watch the bond between these families continue and my hope is that the families ahead will also use this resource to pull together. Many of these families have traded puppy sitting as well when they needed a few days out of town. Nothing like having built in puppy sitters! So next weekend should be nothing short of a grand time which all are looking forward to immensely.

I've had many great conversations with many new people that have joined our family here awaiting their time with our gorgeous honey colored Isla girl. She continues to fill in, fluff out rapidly in every direction and smile up at me, reminding me of Meiko's touching smile. She has a way of connecting to souls that is extremely special.

She's playful yet still and extremely calm when she knows she needs to be. She's going to not only make an amazing mama but she'll bring nothing but amazing pups to so many families that are looking for a heart and soul pulling pup. She learned quickly with Tonka how to be gentle and slow down around him. Her and Leia are joined at the hip and romp constantly so it was an initial adjustment on how to include him safely and in a way that everyone could play at the same level.

Leia loved Tonka instantly and the affection was immediate between the 2. The 3 now have found a balance between compromising the play time and adjusting their energy to include their new little best buddy. As Isla's time comes closer to becoming a momma herself as the summer closes, I know without a doubt that Leia and Tonka will move into their own groove together and find their own path in enjoying each other's company just like Isla and Leia have.

Tonka has captured my heart at every angle and stolen every ounce of love in ways I didn't see coming. He snuggles into me and knows I am his safe place in times of rapid zoomies around him. I am his go to and his person to pull from. It's obvious he's in love with his girls though and that's ok with me as that is his destiny and place here.

I've taken him twice to the farmers market in his stroller to expose him to the outside world and to the motion of the vehicle. Of course he stops people left and right and brings smiles everywhere he goes.

He's been incredibly easy and doing everything a new puppy should and would to be expected. He is learning quickly and following my guidance extremely well. The other dogs are doing the rest. So thrilled and over the moon to have him here with us!

The week ahead will bring lots of new activity for the Gem pups, more adventures out in the car, more stroller rides, more potty training and of course lots more snuggles.

Sola will continue to take in more hot sun mid day snoozes.

We send out all our best to everyone and hope your days ahead are filled with dreaming of new puppy fluff up in your nose soon!


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