The tantalising prospect of combining Una's (and therefore Dexter's and Skye's) lines with Storm's into one  package with so much potential, was too much to resist. The interest in this litter was so great that the waiting list had to be closed a full year before any puppies even made an appearance.
Storm charmed Una every bit as much as he had her mother Skye previously, and once again these two parents became firm and lifelong friends. In fact mother and daughter were so smitten with their beau that even years down the line they squabbled over him whenever the three of them met!

In the early hours of Wednesday 18th February 2009, Una gave birth to her first litter of puppies; eight truly amazing, charismatic and outgoing characters, seven boys and one girl.
The Storm and Una's first litter of pups are:

Hitch  (Kilnhurst Quick Fix)
Mash  (Kilnhurst Keep It Simple)
J.D.  (Kilnhurst Quantum Leap)
Maddi  (Kilnhurst Cluedo)
Jack  (Kilnhurst Crackerjack)
Ginga  (Kilnhurst Code Red)
Kap  (Kilnhurst Kaptan Scarlet)
& Lozi  (Kilnhurst Kuomboka)

the grandparents:

wednesday 18th february 2009 :  Birthday!

Pillow talk
Una with her newborn family

Boy 1 born 22:23

Boy 2 born 23:09
Boy 3 born 23:21

Girl 4 born 00:21

Boy 5 born 01:16
Boy 6 born 01:25

Boy 7 born 01:45

Boy 8 born 02:46

The babies have arrived! Eight beautiful puppies, seven boys and one girl born overnight on 17th - 18th February - right on time. We thought Una had stopped at the predicted seven pups, then an hour later - out popped another boy!
A whole litter of mini-me's in a range of shades of red, plus a couple of tri-colours, goodness only knows how we're going to tell the boys apart; it's not as easy as it looks in these photos, when they're all snuggled into mum ...

week one

is a flashy red/white lad with a wide blaze
 and a broad but incomplete ruff. He's got
white socks at the front, white toes at the
 back and a tail tip

is a striking red tri. He has a wide blaze
and a big 'ruff' spot at his withers.
He's got white socks at the front, white
toes at the back and a tail tip

 is a chunky red tri with most distinctive
markings. He's got minimum white; just his
nose and toes. His tricolour markings are
going to be strong

 is red/white. She has very little white; just
half a nose, a tiny blaze and a dot for
a ruff. White paws and tail tip

 is a paler red/white, he has a nice blaze
and no ruff. He has white toes all round
and a tail tip.
 is a cute red/white. His blaze extends in
a thin line from his nose to his neck but
he has no ruff mark. He has front socks,
white back toes and a white tail tip.

 is a paler red/white. He has a broad blaze
and his 'ruff' mark is a small figure '1' at
his withers. Front socks, back toes and
white tail tip.

 is red/white. He has a slim, irregular ruff
and a narrow blaze. He's got long socks
at the front, white paws at the back and a
white tail tip

I know some of you puppy-addicts are eagerly awaiting new photos, so here is this week's peek. The pups are all feeding and growing well and can already motor round the box very successfully. They spend all their days sleeping or cuddled up to Una, or snoozing in a big heap. They're not slow to make their dissatisfaction known if needs be, they've got a good set of lungs if things aren't going quite according to their plans; sleeping and feeding plans, that is. Una is being a wonderful mum and keeping a close eye on her brood.
The pup's noses are starting to colour up and the copper is coming through on the tricolours. Although they are lightly marked with white, they are nice, even markings in all the classic collie places... just like their mum and dad.
I'm getting better at telling them apart, I just have to look closely!

week two

a vocal boy, quite determined
to get his own way

a lightly-built lad with a relaxed
attitude to life
a heavier-built boy, prepared to throw his
 weight around to get to the milk bar

a petite little lady with great persistence
and determination

what a cutie-pie; everybody falls in love
with little Jack, who gives great cuddles
a very even-tempered, easy-going lad
who enjoys a snuggle

a great big bear who will cuddle all day
this boy knows he's handsome and knows
 how to demand attention

The pups' eyes are opening now. The pups can sit and just about stand, then stagger about and take a couple of wobbly steps before falling over again. They're gorgeous and their individual characters are starting to emerge. Their coats are not changing colour from week to week, it's just enormously difficult to get consistent colours on photos of red collies - and I am failing, as you may notice.
I don't know what it is about having photos taken, that makes each pup pancake and shuffle backwards. They all look like I've ironed them flat.
This week has unfortunately but necessarily, been totally taken over by my adored, elderly father's sudden and massive stroke. Sadly at 3am this morning he passed away. He never saw this litter but he was always keenly interested in our dogs, their exploits and achievements, and he'd have enjoyed watching this litter grow up every bit as much as he did the last one. We're now tipped headlong into the maelstrom of funeral arrangements, but I'll keep the page updated when I have a few minutes.

week three

I don't really like the camera... will you stop
that flashy thing?!

I'm very smart and you just
have to love me
you want a photo? who's askin'??

I'm sweet and demure; can you imagine
having to live with seven brothers?!

gimmie a cuddle, who's up for a cuddle?
I'll sit back and think about it, then
make my move

hey bring on the luurve, I'm a cuddle-bum!

I'm just plain gorgeous ...

Earlier this week some bad electricity fluctuations knocked out our server and main computers. Poor Keith has been working flat out to get us back up and running, but I've only just got website access back. Sorry for the delay and lack of updates!
The puppies are growing at a tremendous rate. This week they sprouted some very sharp teeth and with their puppy fur they look increasingly like fuzzy bears. Today we moved them into the puppy pen in the kitchen so they have more room to run and play, and we tried them with some 'real' food. This morning they had rusks and puppy milk; everybody liked that. A lot of it got worn and they all looked like spiky punks by the end of the session. This afternoon they tried minced meat and veg, which had a more mixed reception. It's been a busy few days for them!
Today they had a very special visit from their (... wait for it ..!) Great-great-great-Fur-Grandma Irene, who bred their granddad Dexter and who owned Dexter's mum Alika and wonderful grandma, Heidee. The pups got lots of cuddles and Irene's seal of approval! She was frisked on departure, of course.

Two of the puppies are specifically reserved, but just a note to those who are wondering - all of the puppies have very special homes waiting, and have had since last August. It's 'just' a matter of sorting out the best possible life-long combination of handlers and pups, from the list of wonderful people who are waiting.

week four

Kilnhurst Quick Fix

Kilnhurst Keep It Simple
Kilnhurst Quantum Leap

Kilnhurst Cluedo

Kilnhurst Crackerjack
Kilnhurst Code Red

Kilnhurst Kaptan Scarlet

Kilnhurst Kuomboka

What a week! As if still battling with damaged computer systems and having a funeral to attend wasn't enough, this week two of the puppies suddenly became extremely ill with a tummy bug and had to be rushed to the vets. We nursed and rehydrated them every two hours through a tortuously worrying 24 hours and I'm relieved and overwhelmed to report that the nightmare is over and they are now completely back to their normal, bouncy, naughty, delightful selves.

On the whole, the pups are doing just great. They have full sets of needle-like teeth which they are willing and able to sink into anything that passes their mouths, including each other. This has resulted in a few games ending in spats as they work out how much it hurts!
They are growing at a tremendous rate and eating very well. They get enthusiastically stuck in to milky breakfasts with rusks, raw meat and veggie mix for dinner and raw minced meat for tea. Some of them are getting the idea of using the newspaper in the corner of their run to be clean, and they all snuggle themselves into a big puppy pile in bed and sleep through the night.
Adorable, just totally adorable. Here they all are with their posh names.

week fIVE

will I be an Agility Champion
like my daddy Storm?

I've got the perfect name to go with my
new big brother 'Pie' !
my new daddy drives John Deere tractors
and liked the initials!

I'm off to join a family of agility girls
 whose names all start with M

everybody says my name really suits me,
I'm a Jack-The-Lad sort of boy!
my name means 'red' in Malaysian
it's pronounced 'Zjin-Ga'

my new mummy likes the traditional
collie name, with a K for a new twist

I have a Zambian tribal name
it's pronounced 'Low-Zee'

A comparatively peaceful week, compared to the last few! All the puppies are very well, full of beans and mischief, eating us out of house and home and growing like weeds. They enjoy playing with their toys - hard rubber chew-toys to test those sharp teeth on, and soft fluffy toys to hunt, kill and carry off in triumph.
The baby girl probably gets cuddled more than most; she's slightly smaller than the boys and does tend to get swept along by, or squashed under, the rumbustious war-games and rugby scrums the boys are constantly involved in. Sometimes she waits until all the others have fallen asleep before she comes out to play, doing zoomies round the puppy pen all by herself while the coast is clear! Clever girly for figuring that one out!
Naughty spots have appeared on Hitch, Kap & Lozi ... says it all, really... those guys are certainly top of the trouble pile!

We let the puppies out in pairs so they can socialise with the older dogs and explore the house. The older dogs do a good job of grumbling under their breath at this latest set of upstarts, and for their part the pups do a very good job of peeing on the carpet and running off with the big-dog toys. If anybody out there has shares in the companies who manufacture disinfectant, kitchen towels and tissues, you'll be glad to know your investment stock is performing very well this week.

week six







Everyone continues to grow at a phenomenal rate. They're getting through a litre of mik with a packet of rusks for breakfast, and over 2kg of meat and biscuit mix over the rest of the day, not to mention occasional comfort-feeds from Una. As far as food is concerned, they truly are black holes! We weighed and wormed them again today and five of the eight nearly topped the scales at 4kg - what whoppas! This week they have been outside playing in the garden (heavily supervised!) and will be taken out for their first ride in the van.
This is certainly an active and full-on litter. Entertaining and cleaning up behind them is a 24/7 job. Maybe it's because they're mostly boys, but this pack's games seem to be bigger, rougher, louder and more out-going than ever before! My goodness puppy-people, I hope you're ready for this lot; you have been warned!

week seveN







Yes, OK, shame on us - we're a couple of days late. We're guilty! Here they all are for their last line-up, as six of our babies leave the day after tomorrow ... there will be tears from the humans they leave behind.
The pups have had a very busy week and I've crammed in as many positive experiences for them as I could. As the weather's been sunny and mild, they've been playing in the garden for several hours at a stretch, often with one or two of the big dogs in attendance. I put an old agility tunnel out for them, which they quickly fell completely in love with. In the space of just one day it went from a short, straight tunnel, to a full-stretch U-shaped one. The puppies thought this was a fantastic toy and now we have eight very tunnel-happy agility pups. They have been fed outdoors as often as we can. They've played happily out there in the dark and also in the rain. They have chewed anything they can reach and explored the steps down onto the lower level of garden, and the other steps back in through the patio door.
The pups are now completely weaned and have been offered - and enjoyed - lots of exciting extras such as raw chicken drumsticks, tripe sticks, and chunky biscuits. They have had a trip out in the van. They yelled loudly to start with but within a mile or so they were all sound asleep like seasoned travelers. They sailed through their Volhard Puppy Aptitude Tests which confirmed exactly what we knew already - they're a happy, positive, well-adjusted gang who love people and attention and are totally up for any games you're willing to offer. We've poured everything we can into these pups ... too soon it will be time to say goodbye ...

weeks eight : collections

Stuart & Hitch
Emma, Ollie & Mash
Phil & J.D.

Ian & Maddi
Dawn & Jack
Lyn & Ginga

Carl, Adam & Kap (for Teresa)
Sue & Lozi

The tissues have been out in force again all week, but this time to dry our eyes rather than mop up after puppies!
The first weekend held a beautiful spring day for six of the pups to make their journeys home and as always the delight of their new families kept us buoyed up. The last two pups left the following weekend.
The kitchen is cleared, the puppy pen dismantled, and the toys and bedding washed and put back into storage. (Ready for next time??) Once again the house is strangely silent and our hearts are empty. There is no way to describe the desolation we feel at their going, yet at the same time the happiness at the puppies leaving for such wonderful homes.
Saying goodbye is the worst thing ever, so we're just saying 'au revoir' to our babies who we hope and trust will make us proud on the agility circuit and love their new people as much as they have loved us, and we, them.

A mere seventeen years separate old Yoda and puppy Kap.
"A last word of advice, young man..."