The Jazz Litter - Brubeck, Coltrane, Dinah, Ella, Etta, Miles, Parker and Thelonious - were born on November 18, 2010. Of those eight special puppies, only five are still around to celebrate their first birthdays. Sadly, they were a product of terrible inbreeding and irresponsibility, of someone who allowed his dogs to breed indiscriminately and then left the mess for someone else - me - to clean up.
But this is not a sad tale of bitterness. If you want to read that tale, click here.
This is a tale of joy that celebrates life, patience and perseverance. You see, we thought we would lose more than just Etta, Dinah and Thelonious. Brubeck hung by a thread for a time too.
Brubeck seemed normal and healthy as a newborn.
|Newborn Brubeck laying on his mommy's back|
But, we soon realized he was born with a condition called megaesophogus like his sisters, Etta and Dinah and his brother, Theo, and had to eat in a Bailey chair - a sort of doggie high chair - for every meal until he was about five months old. This is quite labor intensive because the dog has to remain upright in the Bailey Chair for 15-20 minutes after consuming his food to ensure all of it reaches the stomach.
And Brubeck was no light weight when it came to eating.
|Brubeck tolerating time in his Bailey Chair|
Luckily, the dark dogs from the litter - Coltrane, Parker and Miles - didn't have this condition. Miles was one of my favorites right from the time his little eyes opened.
|Miles at four weeks, already smiling his infamous little smile|
Miles was a family favorite early on, too. Very affectionate, Miles longed for nothing more than to be with us.
|Sophie and Miles|
|Elise and Miles at one of my recent dog sledding presentations in Columbiana, Ohio|
I am also happy to say, Brubeck is about 70 pounds now and is a happy, healthy (huge) Alaskan husky house dog.
|Brubeck in his crate, hiding from my camera. He is camera shy.|
Coltrane, Parker and Ella are all living out their lives with their new families as sled dogs as well, and are happy and healthy, thank goodness!
Happy Birthday to the Jazz Litter! You certainly changed our lives, taught us about sacrifice, love and heartbreak, but also about the happiness and satisfaction that comes from seeing things through.