Friday, February 10, 2012

Taking Precautions

Letty got to try out her new "seasonal duds" last night and didn't mind them at all.  Not exactly sexy, being made of blue denim with a flannel lining, but she's quite proud of them.  Am surprised they fit so well.  Have to admit that I have never used them on girls in season before, but that was before I had dogs all over the furniture (thanks to Ron) and this cuts down the mess quite a bit.  Decided to run Letty and Argus separately, even though this is so early in her season.  She's really flirty with both boys, and Argus is more than willing to accommodate.  I don't want to move her to the basement until next week, so this is safer.  Being father and daughter would NOT prevent an accidental breeding - dogs don't have any qualms about things like that.  Most girls in season are not ready to be bred until at least day 10 or 11, but I can just see Argus catching Letty by surprise before she could protest.  In 40+ years of Dal ownership we have never had an accidental litter - and I don't want to start now!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Too Much Happening Here

Omigosh, too much happening around here right now!  So glad there is not a dog show mixed in too, just need to remember to send in Argus & Eddie's entries for St. Louis.  Better put that at the top of my list, but I can't do it until tomorrow when I get paid.

Last year at this time we were crossing our fingers and praying that the weather would be warm enough for Argus to fly with us to NYC for the Westminster Dog Show (it was and he did).  This year I'll be watching it on TV, along with millions of others, many of them not "dog people", just dog lovers who enjoy watching the show every year.  Westminster is now sponsored by Purina/Pro Plan rather than Pedigree, so the ads will hopefully be geared more towards purebreds and responsible breeders rather than the "rescue a mutt from a shelter" mentality.

My Westminster Tradition is to spend the two evenings at my mother's since I don't have cable or satellite.   I provide dinner one night (usually Davani's pizza) and she supplies it for the second night - this year it will include a homemade pie from her freezer.  Not sure mom will stay awake for the show each night, but she does enjoy the tradition.  I'll be rooting for "London", the Standard Poodle who won Eukanuba, but really like the Affenpinscher "Banana Joe" too.

With Weather & Letty already in season, Jess's Meribel came in too - seems early for all three girls so it must be the weird rather.  The timing is good though as it will not screw screw them up for the spring specialties.   I was bumming that everyone was in season except for Lucy, who we want to breed . . .  And then I got an email from Patti to advise me that Lucy had just come in too!   Argh.  So next week I will drive up to Duluth to meet Patti who will drive down from Thunder Bay, and Lucy will stay with me until she is ready to be bred.  We'll get her brucellosis test done, and a couple of progesterones too, so we will know where in her cycle she is, then she and I will head off to Lincoln where we will meet up with John and "Indie", Lucy's husband-to-be.  Lucy and I will stay for a few days to get the job accomplished, then I'll bring her home and she'll go back to Patti and hopefully have puppies in 9 weeks.   Both dogs have all their health testing complete, and we've just been waiting for her to come in season.

Of course this also means I have to retrieve Sparkle, either when I pick Lucy up or when I return her.  Chalase has been waiting for Sparkle and will be very pleased.  I'm leaving it to Ann (her breeder) and Chalase (her new owner) to work out the details.  I'll show Sparkle eventually, but she won't live here.  Hopefully living with Lucy will bring Sparkle in season too as we will not take any girls in season to DCA.  Too much hassle!

In addition to this, we are going to provide dogs for the St. Paul Fire Foundations upcoming Gala at the Xcel Center.  Fortunately Stephanie & Carol can bring Nena & Tate.  Jess is not available to help, so I need to find one more person with a very stable dog.  I had intended to bring Argus, but we'll see how he is functioning about then, with all the girls in season!  Oh yeah, he's doing a chilled semen donation on Friday, as Story is almost ready to be bred too.  Just as well she is NOT flying up here for a live breeding!  Not sure I could manage 3 girls at the same time.  Not sure Argus would survive.  Know Ron wouldn't!

Puppies anticipated the end of April, ready for new homes in June!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Last week I got an email from a local Dal friend to tell me that she heard via another friend of a 10 year old Dal boy who was soon to become homeless, along with his 3 year old Shih Tzu companion.  Their owners were unemployed, had lost their house and would be moving to Chicago to live in a relative's home but could not take the dogs.  This is a common problem right now, people who are forced to give up their homes and leave their pets behind.

Although I have always been involved in rescue, I am not of the "rescue them all" mentality.  Many dogs become homeless because of health, temperament or training issues that make them poor candidates for new homes.  I also get very tired of the idea that everyone should rescue a homeless dog, especially a mixed breed, instead of purchasing a purebred puppy.  Not everyone is prepared to or can afford to take on someone else's problems.  Not all homeless dogs are adoptable.  And many people prefer to purchase a purebred puppy and should not be made to feel guilty for that.

We've had little success in finding homes for dogs over the age of 5 or 6 too, even though older dogs can make outstanding companions.  People don't want to acquire a dog with the idea that they will have it for fewer years, so didn't hold much hope of being able to help with this one.

I posted this story to my Facebook page and was delighted when my friend Kim responded that they needed a new dog, having recently lost their older dog.  They had never owned a Dal, but were acquainted with mine, and would be interested in considering this one.  Another friend responded that she would be willing to foster both dogs for awhile.  I was a little nervous about the whole thing as there are some less-than-sweet elderly Dals, who are poor candidates for adoption by anyone.

I called the dog's owners and made arrangement to visit on Saturday.  Kim & Rin & I met there and visited the dogs.  I arrived first, and when I went in Dal Max covered me with kisses.  Well, that answered the questions about his temperament!  Max was a handsome, beautifully marked, black spotted, ear patched boy, obviously from good bloodlines, but bred by a teenaged girl from South Dakota who has gone on with her life.  No breeder to take responsibility for him.  He was grossly overweight (his owner referred to it as his "winter weight") because he was on self-feeding (as opposed to "portion control" which works best on Dalmatians).  Other than that he looked very nice and was obviously much loved.

To be continued . . .
Note: In answer to a question posted on my blog, Letty and Weather are Arboks.  Mariah is an Argus daughter but is older than they are.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Monday Too Soon

A most satisfactory weekend, lots accomplished although even more remains undone.  I'll just add them to the list of chores for this week.  Or next.  Guess it's better to think of lists as guidelines rather than requirements.

Argie's kids had a good weekend, with son Porter going WD both days in St. Joe, MO, puppy Weather going BoW at the Sunday show for her first major (at 6 months) and Pauli winning the breed both days, along with a  Group 2.  AND little Mariah who you may remember from this blog won again and picked up two more points.  Kay is so pleased with her - it was a perfect placement.

On Saturday I met my friends Kim & Rin and we went to check out a soon-to-be-homeless 10 year old Dal boy.  He's a charming dog, and quite handsome although very overweight.  Absolutely lovely personality.  His owners are unemployed, losing their home and will be moving to Chicago where they will not be able to keep their dogs. Kim and Rin are currently dogless and have offered Max home.   So pleased they came forward.  Max does not have a breeder to take responsibility for his welfare, but I heard about his situation, posted his story to Facebook and Kim volunteered.  Another friend volunteered to foster Max's housemate Princess, but she's already been promised.

Took Argus and Letty down to Hidden Falls Park for a run yesterday.  Argus really wanted to swim, but I discouraged it. When I took Letty down she wanted to race along the ice on the river bank and was in danger of falling in, so she got her walk in the woods. 

Drat, out of time.  Best not to start the week by being late for work.