This is Gemma, one of the Cruise/Penny girls. Everyone loved her as a pup, but we were afraid she would end up too colorful for the show ring, or that her spots would stay too small to be attractive. She went to Heather, who grow up with Dalmatians, had previously owned mixed breed rescues, but had always dreamt of having a Dal of her own. Heather purchased Gemma with the agreement that we could take another look at her before she was spayed, in case we wanted to show her. When I saw Gemma at 4 months, I was quite convinced that she would be better off as a spayed pet, and Jess felt the same, but we needed to see her again before making the decision. So glad we did! Wow! Gemma changed from a clunky, boringly marked baby into a swan! We knew she had the structure, but were surprised by all the style, how her color had deepened and her spots had cleared. Her spotting is just the right size now - smaller and it would not be so flashy, larger and she would be too colorful. And what wonderful structure! Two extra sound ends, a wonderful body and topline, great feet, a perfect tail, and an amazingly long neck. Plus, an excellent disposition! So glad this one did not "get away"!
Being able to place pups in "watch homes" is so nice. The buyer just wants a pet anyway, so if the dog turns out to actually be pet quality, nothing is lost. Some pups appear to be show potential from an early age, while others have things we are not quite sure about, things we need more time to evaluate. Because our dogs are kept as pets, not as kennel dogs, we generally do not keep these pups past about ten weeks if we can find pet homes willing to work with us. When a pup like Gemma turns out to be so lovely, we do not expect the owner to show or pay for the showing, we only require that they allow us to "borrow" their dog from time to time if we want to show it, and we pay the expenses. Works well for all of us!
Am so excited to have my first spawn of Illyodon cortesae! That means I have 3 different spawns growing up - Ameca splendens, Phallichthys fairweatheri, and I. cortesae . I currently have 475 BAP points (Breeder Award Program) and these three species will push me over the top for my 500 point award, assuming each spawn has at least 4 surviving youngsters at the age of 2 months. The youngsters will go on the BAP table at an upcoming meeting to be auctioned off to other fish club members, and the appropriate number of points will be added to my record. Different species are worth a varying number of points, so my 500 points will represent somewhere between 40-45 different species spawned and raised. That was my goal for 2012. Hooray!
Back to The Adventures Of Argus, tomorrow.