Following the success of Una and Storm's litter in 2009 there was a great deal of interest in the propsect of a repeat. So it was decided that for Una's second litter we would pair her with Storm again rather than search for a second stud dog when we already knew of the perfect one.
By this time we had moved to Scotland, so the 1,000 mile round trip to London was completed to collect Storm and bring him north for a month's vacation. Una was absolutely delighted to see Storm again and their second litter was born 21 months after their first. The pups were given nest-names of varieties of potato - due to the canine romance being largely conducted on long walks in neighbouring potato fields!

Una and Storm's eagerly awaited second (and last) litter arrived safely on 19th November 2010.
Six outgoing, bold and fun little handfuls, four boys and two girls:

Qi  (Kilnhurst Catch A Dream)
 Croft  (Kilnhurst Catalyst)
Enya  (Kilnhurst Cadhla)
Ripple  (Kilnhurst Cascata)
Celt  (Kilnhurst Combustion)
& Kenzy  (Kilnhurst Rufus Reiver)

the grandparents:

friday 19th november 2010 :  Birthday!

 red/white  14:46   357g
red/white  14:59   282g
red/tri   19:11   312g

red/tri   19:24   290g
red/white   19:35   309g
red/tri   22:05   325g

The babies have arrived! Six beautiful puppies, four boys and two girls. Hmmm - Storm and Una don't 'do' girls, do they?!
Once again we have a whole litter of mini-me's in a range of shades of red. Three bi-colours and three tri-colours. It's amazing the variations on this theme that are possible. For a second litter of red puppies from the same parents, each and every one of them is different.
Una showed signs of first stage labour throughout Wednesday and Thursday; acting increasingly scatty and investigating corners of the house she hadn't bothered with previously. We stayed with her both nights. By Thursday lunchtime her temperature had dropped significantly, she was asking to dig holes under the front hedge and in any corner of any room with a carpet. Time to start the vigil by the whelping box, and by mid afternoon we had our first puppy.
The second pup followed in a swift half hour and I dared to think 'Great - we'll be finished by tea-time!' Not so. An agonising four and a quarter hours wait followed for pup number three, which tested my nerves and non-interventionalist resolve to the very limit. After pup three eventually arrived, pups four, five and six were delivered like clockwork and the family was complete. Una is now fussing over them to the extreme. Wall-to-wall fuss.
Here they all are for their first photo call, pancake puppies with rudolf noses. Boy, can they holler! They didn't appreciate having their photos taken one tiny bit. All the nest-names are varieties of British potato! Well what else could you call this litter who were, after all, created in the potato field we camped in over the summer?
'Cairn' eventually became Qi, 'Katie' became Enya and 'Cara' became Ripple, but the three boys Croft, Celt and Kenzy all kept their potato names as adults.

week one

Here's the handsome, chunky Qi. He's
possibly the darkest of the litter,
along with Kenzy.
He's a well balanced, happy natured pup who enjoys his feed-times.
Croft and Qi look like twins but Croft is going
to be a finer-framed dog, very nimble.
Croft enjoys a cuddle.
Miss Bossy Boots. Enya is a determined little
lady who doesn't object so long as it's all
going her way. It can only have been Enya
who held up the birthing proceedings
for four hours ...

Ripple is a poppet but my goodness she can
 make a noise if she has to. She's going to be
very pretty with her tricolour markings. 
She's a lighter red and will go paler in colour
as she grows, like her Daddy Storm.

The classically-marked Celt is already
attracting admirers. He's a big, easy-going lad who enjoys cuddles. He reminds me very much
 of his Grandad Dexter.
On closer examination I've decided he's a red/white, not a red/tri.
Here's a character. If anybody's in
the wrong place, getting squashed, falling off
the top of Una or asleep sprawled on the top
of the puppy pile, it's Ken. 
Here he is,
busy sniffing the vet bed. Everybody else
pancaked and shuffled backwards but Ken
 had to sniff the stuff instead.

A crazy, busy week! The babies are all doing very well, they're increasingly active around the box and making all the right burbling puppy noises - lovely. They're putting on a nice amount of weight and looking good. Una is a wonderful mum and is lavishing attention on them. For the first couple of days she had to be cajoled away from the box to go outside, or even to eat her dinner.
Somebody commented that three of the six have a spot mark on their heads. Could this be 'The Mark of the Potato' ?

week two

This time it's Qi's turn to sniff the vet bed.
Must be really smelly stuff.
Crofty is a lovely character. Always happy
to be cuddled and taking an interest in
what's going on.
Miss Enya is going to be a pretty girl.
Her copper tricolour markings are starting
to come through more strongly now and
are going to be most distinctive.

Miss Ripple loves relaxing in your arms and enjoys company. She's often found motoring around the box.

Celt can be a noisy little monster at feed
times. Mostly he's just content to be
sooo darned handsome.
The smiler of the team and intrepid
explorer of the box, this photo is Ken
to a tee.

Being snowed in with the puppies has been such a trial, as you can imagine ... <not>  Una is taking great care of her second big brood, she's highly attentive and panders to their every murmur or squeak. They are growing quickly; trying to walk and practicing barking and growling at each other when vying for best place at the milk bar. When they're all happily plugged on and lined up comfortably, their little tails stick out like flag poles and quiver with excitement. Wonderful, just wonderful.
While they posed for their two-week photo shoot, I noticed that we have one or two eyes just starting to open. Open eyes herald a whole new level of chaos and puppyness as they see their world and all the exploring possibilities in it, for the first time. Bring on the chaos.
I have compared the growth charts of our litters and these pups are far and away the largest we've had. Even the smaller ones in this litter blow the previous litters out the water. Have we bred a litter of fairy elephants, I wonder.

week three

This week's Teachers Pet, Qi was a perfect
model for the camera and did a lovely job
of sitting up. He's a lovely, level, broad
character and very affectionate

Who could resist this handsome cutie?
Crofty is a bright little button and just loves
 his cuddles. Is that the start of a few of
his mom's naughty spots I see there?
Oh my goodness Enya is adorable.
She is such a princess. She's always interested
 in what's going on and is keen to
investiagte anything new. Look at those jelly-bean eyebrows coming through

The other princess! Can't believe we've been graced with two such smashing girls.
More pretty tricolour markings. Ripple is
bright and inquisitive and loves
her snuggles

Mr Noisy. Celt is huge fun, a big, bold
character and always ready for a game.
He adores attention and is keen to be picked
up and involved with whatever you're doing
The whole world is Ken's oyster.
He's a knowing, confident lad who
seeks out company and affection, isn't
phased by much, and loves to explore.

Open eyes! Everything about the puppies has changed this week.  Armed with eyesight they explore the box and investigate the toys there for them. They can see when Una or I arrive and we are both greeted enthusiastically. All the puppies love being held and cuddled, coming up to me at the side of the box and demanding attention. They're all feeding well, growing well and developing their independent characters. They've started playing; stomping on each other's heads, chewing other people's ears and feet and trying to ambush each other. Despite going all flat for their photo, they can all walk and sit up perfectly well - except when a camera's involved. Not such good shots this week I'm afraid as the big camera that does all the clever stuff is away at the other end of the world with Keith in Japan. You've got the best that me and my little camera could manage single-handed.

week four

Kilnhurst Catch A Dream

(Qi -
pronounced 'Key'- variant of Oriental Ch'i
meaning the 'energy of life')
Kilnhurst Catalyst

Kilnhurst Cadhla

(Enya - Irish for 'little fire'
Cadhla - Irish for 'a beauty that only poetry
can capture')

Kilnhurst Cascata

Cascata - Italian for a waterfall)
Kilnhurst Combustion

(Combustion - continuing his new mom's
energy names theme)
Kilnhurst Rufus Reiver

(Reiver - historical Scottish Border raider)

OK the clever camera and the clever photographer are back from their globetrotting and once again pressed into action. With a bit of persuasion and persistence we manged to get the puppies to do something other than lie down.
I can't believe the pups' time with us is already half gone, time is flashing past too quickly. This week has brought more big changes in the puppy's world. First up, the whelping box has been dismantled, a new big pen set up in the kitchen and the puppies transferred into their new quarters. In the kitchen they are in the hub of the house, right in the middle of everything that's going on. They get to see, hear, sniff and particiapte in most of daily life. Ovens cook, hobs fry and bubble, hoovers clean, fridges open and close, washing machines and dishwashers rumble, spin and slurp. Cupboard doors bang, washing-up clatters and phones ring. The pups take it all in their stride. Best of all, they are willing victims of scoops and cuddles whenever somebody walks past. People walk around the house and mostly, they carry a puppy about their person.
This week I found some very sharp little teeth coming through so weaning was started immediately. The traditional breakfast fare of puppy milk and farleys rusks has gone down a treat. It's also proving to be a great new-look puppy-fashion accessory as all the puppies look like punks where the rusks have set like concrete in their fur. They've also tried meat and veggie meals and they love those above everything else. Pandemonium breaks out in ther puppy pen when they hear me preparing their afternoon meal.
This week's photos show the puppies with their new (or not so new) and posh names.

week fIVE

what a thinker - what a boy!
Heading for Berkshire

a deep soul and a complete cuddle-bum
Heading for Manchester
quick, feisty and very, very smart
Heading for Hampshire

adorable, cuddly and determined
Heading for Berkshire

oh my goodness, hold on to your hollyhocks
Manchester, you have been warned ...
my special boy and finger-tingler
Heading - nowhere except right here at home!

Christmas eve! The puppies are five weeks old today. You didn't think I'd let a small matter like Christmas get in the way of posting their pictures, did you?
The pups are now firing on all cylinders. They're full-on, happy, busy, cuddly, loving little critters. They're just adorable.
This week the weaning has progressed at full steam. Una now feeds them just three times a day, and then only briefly. She feeds them standing up; they're big enough that she can't escape if she suffers a full blown puppy-attack. The pups are eating well. They enjoy their Farley's rusks and milk in the morning (knocking back a pint of puppy milk and a whole packet of Farley's) and they scoff chicken, lamb, beef and veggies for their other meals. Wicked needle-sharp puppy teeth are being sunk into everything that doesn't move away fast enough.
We've been doing our best to entertain them. Every day they have a new toy or a new experience introduced. The great thing is that as far as puppies are concerned it doesn't matter if the toy comes from a hyper-expensive boutique or is something recycled! This week's top toy is an empty, washed-out plastic milk bottle, part-filled with dried peas. The pups love the noise it makes and the softness of the pastic as they chase it and chew it. They have also had the best fun with a small cardboard box. The box has been a sleigh to be scooted across the pen, a platform from which to play King-of-the-Castle, a bed for two, something to chew the heck out of, a hidey-hole or an ambush position. Surely only children and puppies can get so much fun out of the packaging rather than the contents thereof!

week six

Does he look like big brothers Hitch
and Lozi, or what?
Naughty spots! Una's naughty spots!
Like big brother Ginga, Enya's got
Grandma Skye's tummy-spot!

Princess Ripple takes after her
daddy Storm

Trouble, trouble and trouble.
Oh, and noise.
Possibly the most chunky puppy
in the world

New Year's Eve! Boy, do these pups organise their photo shoots at awkard times! Well here are the terror-tots for their six week portraits at the end of 2010. Another week of bedlam has passed in the puppy pen. They're eating us out of house and home, getting into previously unimaginable amounts of trouble and being just the most wonderful, bubbly, fun and wild pack of juvenile delinquents. I thought a litter of six would be a bit easier to cope with than a litter of eight, which we'd had previously. Mistake, BIG mistake. Just as well we love them so much. Trouble; 100% pure, feisty, mega-naughty trouble. Lovely.
Happy New Year to the Kilnhurst Clan across the UK, and all the very best for 2011.

week seveN






Our apologies, puppy-watchers. We know this update is two days late  - if we didn't already know we sure would by now, by the number of complaints in our email inbox! Friday my photographer was in work until late and yesterday (Saturday) the pups were busy having their Volhard Puppy Tests from three lovely ladies from the local agility club. We had to frisk the testing ladies as they left because they all wanted to steal Croft! So today's the day for photos and updates.
Una has been an excellent and attentive mother again. Since starting to wean, the pups need to feed from Una less and less. Now she gives them just two brief feeds, morning and night. Over the next few days that will be reduced even further to one quick feed in the morning, ready for them leaving home. They don't actually need to feed from Una, they just enjoy being nursed and the contact with their mum. Once again Jolly has been a really good auntie. She's fascinated by the pups and incredibly patient with them, always willing to play a game and chase them round the house. Little Roadie has joined in too, and has been remarkably good about entertaining the puppies.

So, this is the last set of photos for The Gang of Six. They are wonderful, full-on puppies and I have loved having them around, even when they've driven me to distraction with their antics and capacity to destroy everything in their path.
In four days' time it's my turn to drive them - southwards to their new homes. That will be a long and sad journey for me but I can't wait to see the puppy-people with their new babies. Always an em0tional moment. At least Ken is staying here so home won't be totally empty without them all. I bet Ken will miss his brothers and sisters as much as we will.

weeks eight : collections

Qi went home for a life of
 fun and adventure, agility and rally-O
 with Karen

Crofty went home to be loved and cherished
by his soul-mate, Natalie
Enya went home to chase balls,
and cause havoc and agility mayhem
with Jamie

Ripple went home with Jules to
do agility, sort the spaniels out
and rule the roost
in a lovely livery yard

Celt went home with Hannah,
to create noise and chaos with his
big sister Sola and the rest of the pack
Kenny stayed at home with us and his
mommy Una, taking up his position
as the next generation of the
Kilnhurst Clan

Well the long trip south has been accomplished and the puppies are all settled in their new homes. A lovely selection of excited, happy puppy-people kept my spirits bouyed during the whole process. Mind you, whether or not they're still so happy after a week with their new terror-tots, remains to be seen, tee hee!
The puppies didn't enjoy the long journey in the van to start with. They occupied a very big cage that filled the centre of the van and it was lined with comfy vet-bed and familiar toys. But because we've been snowed in for most of their short lives, this litter of pups hadn't had the chance to go outdoors or play in the garden. So the trip in the van was their first outdoor experience and they expressed their unhappiness in no uncertain terms for the first half of the trip!
Crofty and Celt met their new mums halfway, at lunchtime, in a motorway services on the M1. It must have looked like the original shady deal, with puppies appearing out of a van in the car-park! Qi, Enya and Ripple completed the trip southwards and met their new mums and dads in the evening. Everybody, human and canine, was very tired by the time we got there.
Kenny of course has stayed here. Now with the house to himself he is predictably running amok and having a great time playing with (and tormenting) his mom, grandma, grandad and assorted honorary aunties and uncles.
It is still, somehow, an empty house without the other puppies, and the humans at least, miss them terribly. Once again the puppy pen, toys, bowls and assorted equipment have been cleaned and put away. It's always a bitter-sweet moment for us when the pups leave to start their new lives. Although they no longer live in our arms, each one will live in our hearts and carry our love with them, wherever they go.