After six years of dreams and plans, Roadie's and Jolly's long-awaited first litter arrived safely on Thursday 21st July 2011. The babies were only the fourth litter of mini Aussies to be born in the UK, and the first mini Aussies for Kilnhurst.
With the arrival of Jolly's firstborn, a red boy, we discovered that she is red-factored. This gave us a rainbow litter containing a full assortment of colours and some beautifully-marked merles.

There is a distinct, close bond between Roadie and Jolly, who genuinely enjoy each other's company; they are great friends who choose to spend much of their time together. They make a sweet couple and great parents too - we always knew that Jolly would make the most amazing earth-mother but we were delighted to see Roadie take such an interest in his pups. He visited them in the whelping box, watched over them in the puppy pen and played tirelessly and patiently with them all when they were old enough. What a truly lovely partnership these two dogs have proved to be.

Roadie and Jolly's first babies, three boys and three girls:

Clovis      (Kilnhurst Cadillac)
Wizard     (Kilnhurst Cruze)
Raine    (Kilnhurst Capri)
Ruby    (Kilnhurst Cappuccino)
Rosa    (Kilnhurst Corvette)
Texas    (Kilnhurst Cooper)


TUESDaY 21st July 2011 :  Birthday!

Kilnhurst Cadillac
01:26am   red/tri boy

Kilnhurst Cruze
01:56am   blue merle/tri boy
Kilnhurst Capri
02:34am    blue merle/tri girl

Kilnhurst Cappuccino
03:22am   red merle/tri girl

Kilnhurst Corvette
03:59am   red merle/tri girl
Kilnhurst Cooper
10:00am   red merle/tri boy

We have babies! Jolly went into labour on Wednesday morning and the puppies were born in the early hours of Thursday. It was a long labour which left Jolly and her human attendants very tired. We now have a beautiful collection of burbling babies and the great surprise is that Jolly obviously carries the red gene! A rainbow litter, which reminds me very much of Skye's litter to Storm - just the blacks missing. Jolly also went overboard with the merles, giving us an unusual five out of six. The blue merles are most strikingly marked and will be real show-stoppers when their copper trim comes in. The red merles remind me so much of their daddy.
The theme for this litter is makes of car, in honour of Roadie.

week one

he's going to be so handsome with his
copper trim and dark red coat.
a boy with shed-loads of atti-toood, and stunning good looks to match. Oh, and a loud voice too!
such a pretty, dark, merley girly,
 most unusual.
You're not going to miss
this little Miss in a crowd!

a honey-blonde princess with tiger-stripes
on one side, she's also destined
to turn heads

a lovely little girl who looks just like
 daddy Roadie;
who could ask for more?
following in daddy's footsteps, this boy is another little Roadie look-alike

Here are our latest batch of terrors at eight days old. They're all fine, fit, plump and noisy! Jolly is being a superb mum, in fact we suspect she might be trying to wash one or two of them away ...
It has not however, been the easiest of first weeks for the babies. Jolly's milk took a few days to come in properly while she recovered from the caesarian to deliver Texas, so all the pups had to be hand-fed during that time, to supplement. That was a two-hourly job, around the clock. One week on and Jolly is recovering extremely well and has now taken over feeding completely, she and the pups are doing just fine.
The first of the puppy-people came over to visit yesterday - Jolly was not at all impressed and said some very rude words to our visitors when they popped their heads around the door to sneak a peek at her precious bundles. Let's hope she has recovered some manners when the second set of visitors arrive tomorrow!

All these puppies are now reserved.  A waiting list for next summer's repeat litter has already started.

week two

Lovely, laid back and so darned good looking
How do you spell Va-Va-Voom?
a lovely little lady and a snuggle-bum

my little sweet-heart
totally adorable
mini but mighty ...

Two weeks today! Are they really only two weeks old? Seems like we've had these little guys for ever!
All the puppies are doing very well, Jolly has been feeding them herself all week and everybody is looking good on it. Today also Jolly is removed from the 'lead exercise only' regime, which was a bit of a sentence for all concerned. Now she can run and play with the other dogs in the field, as she's wanted to all along.
The puppies have had a number of visitors this week, who have all called in just for a little look at the new arrivals. Jolly has been slightly more polite with people, but not much. These babies are most definitely her hard-won, precious posessions and visitors are quite frankly, not entirely welcome in case they steal one. No worries Jolly, no-one's going anywhere for a few more weeks yet.
The puppies' eyes are just starting to open, which accounts for the rather strange squint they're giving the camera. It's a bit much when you've just opened your eyes onto the world and somebody flashes a camera at you! No wonder they don't look too impressed.

week three

this cuddly lad reminds me so much
of mom Jolly
the first puppy to bark
~ and fall over in the attempt

did not want to have her photo
taken this week!

a pretty, bright, inquisitive girl

a busy, vocal little miss who
loves to explore

a great little character, quietly determined

Up and about! The pups have now been moved into the big pen which fills the kitchen and we have started the shuffling-around-it process because there isn't much room for manoevre in the kitchen any more. From their pen they can meet all the big dogs through the bars, watch all the activity in the kitchen and get used to all the noises; washing machine, diswasher, sink, fridge, oven, microwave, pots and pans clattering, cupboard doors thumping - it's a noisy place to be! The pups certainly do pay attention and genuinely seem to enjoy watching the world bustling around them, and being scooped up for cuddles every few minutes.
The pups are starting to play with each other. They're chewing on each other's paws, tails, ears ... and trampling all over each other to get to the top of the puppy-pile. We think there may be one or two tiny teeth starting to come through so in the next week they'll be trying out milky breakfasts which will hopefully give Jolly a bit of a break from having to feed these greedy guzzlers entirely herself.

week four

gets his name from Rue Clovis in Paris
he's going to stay in East Lothian
is going to bring some 'magic' to his new family he's going to stay nearby in the Scottish Borders

American for 'Abundant Blessings
From Above'
she's going to live in Dublin, Ireland

a precious red gem describes this girl perfectly!
she's going to live in Berkshire

a pretty pink name for such a pretty girl
she's going to stay in Mid Lothian
TEXAS ('Tex')
named in honour of his mum and dad's last footfall in the USA,
he'll be jetting off to Norfolk

The pups are loving being in the kitchen where they are the centre of attention. Following the discovery of tiny, very sharp teeth, the puppies have started milky breakfasts - which they thoroughly enjoy. Meaty afternoon meals will follow in the next day or so and I have no doubt they will be consumed with just as much gusto. There is after all, no point in having sets of shiny, new teeth if you don't try them out on something tasty. Other new experiences for the pups this week have included a pedicure, (not enjoyed) their first bath, (not enjoyed) and their first worm treatment (not enjoyed, either.) I guess in the puppies' opinion, this week has had it's fair share of low points.

It's halfway through their time with us - already. Boy, can these pups cuddle - they are incredibly affectionate, tactile and just demand human company. The puppies have all been allocated to their new homes now and most of them have met their new people for snuggles and to share some serious luvin'. Some people have travelled an almighty long way to meet the pups this week! It's a magic moment when the right puppy meets the right person. Call-names have almost all been decided as well, so we're using them with the pups so they get used to them.

There is a tremendous amount interest in this litter, and growing awareness of UK mini aussies in general, which is just great news for this wonderful breed. A list is assembling for a repeat litter next summer, including interest from Europe and the USA; it's been great talking and sharing notes with mini-aussie enthusiasts around the globe.

week fIVE

everybody loves this little man,
 who gives great cuddles
this handsome boy knows how
to work the camera!
A very pretty people-person
who just loves to snuggle

our little royal princess who
knows how to get spoiled
sweet Rosa is the smallest and
fluffiest of the litter

a positive little lad with a
great singing voice

A very busy week for the pups with lots of visitors and new experiences. The pups have really enjoyed all the attention, fuss and interaction. They're doing well on the food front; they're now on a milky rusk breakfast, two meaty meals during the day and a last milky rusk meal at bedtime to help them sleep through the night. A few times this week, for one of the daily meaty meals they have enjoyed raw meaty bones, too. Watching the pups strip the meat off lamb bones and chicken drumsticks is great fun, and fantastic exercise for them. Jolly also feeds them three times a day and spends many hours with them snuggled into her while she cleans and adores them. She certainly is a great little mom.

The puppies are starting to recognise their names, use a puppy-pad to be clean, interact amongst themselves and play independently with toys. Their favourite toy is a sawn-off length of thick cardboard tube we saved from a roll of carpet. They can just squeeze through that with a bit of effort, but at the rate they're growing it won't be too long before that game has to stop! For those pups who already can't fit through comfortably, rolling the tube around whilst one of their siblings is still inside, is an entertaining thing, too!

week six

probably the world's happiest puppy
a wise head on such young shoulders
she's got it all - looks and charm

it's my-way or the high-way, thank you
small on size, big on fun and energy

the choir-master

Apologies for being a day late. A hectic week of work, shows and visitors kept us away from camera and computer.
The pups are doing really well, growing and changing at a tremendous rate. Haven't they changed from only last week? The whole litter is a whirlwind of noise, enthusiasm, playfulness and people-interaction. There's another two weeks to go but already I'm dreading the emptiness in the house when they leave. They're hard work, all puppies are, but they are such adorable little friends to have around.

The pups are enjoying their dinners but their favourite treats are meaty bones, which they spend many happy hours stripping the meat off and then grawing. Second worming treatment is later today, I don't imagine that will be well received. It's a tricky process - getting the worming liquid into them is complicated and messy enough (we end up wearing more of the pink, sticky liquid than ever goes into the pups) but weighing them accurately beforehand as they bounce around on the kitchen scales is nigh on impossible! None of the pups wanted to sit still for their photo shoot today, Rosa in particular had the wind under her tail and had to be taken away, relaxed for five minutes and then returned for another go, several times! On a 'normal' day it takes around 110 -120 photos to get the six you see each week ... it took a fair few more than that today!

... and yes, of course their names have evolved and expanded into nick-names already. This week's labels give you a sneaky peek behind the scenes at what they get called when their puppy-people aren't listening ...

week seveN



Another week of exploration, interaction and of course growing like crazy. The puppies have had yet more visitors this week, enjoyed big games in the lounge and taken a few trips up into the field with the Big Dogs. The puppies just love being in the field, whatever the weather! Clovis found a great, muddly puddle to wallow in and Rosa made the rather prickly acquaintance of a large thistle. They've run around, played rough and tumble and chased their mom and dad through the long grass. Well, it's very long when you're that short...
The puppies start to leave home next week. Time has gone so fast. How can they be ready to leave already?

week eight : collections



Ooops, a very delayed report! The last two weeks became very hectic with caring for the puppies, preparing them for their new homes and hosting the families who came to collect and stopped overnight. The puppies spent many happy days playing up the field in the sunshine. Jolly and Roadie seemed to really enjoy the company of their pups and the whole family spent a lot of 'quality time' together in the last few days.

It was an emotional time seeing the pups go, even though they had the most wonderful, loving homes and a lifetime of adventures waiting for them. We've had such a busy, crazy, happy and fun time with these little cuddle-monsters.

Now once again the house is empty. Strangely empty, given that we still have eight adult dogs here with us. All the puppy gear is washed and back in store, ready for next summer. We have our kitchen back and we no longer trip over puppy toys left in our way. What I would trade to have all the chaos once again! Jolly is sad, she truly loved her babies and misses them still.  So, no collection photos for these fluffy monsters, just a reminder of their last few sunny days with us. Our hearts and love go with you, puppies. Wherever you go and whatever you do, we wish you sunshine - always.