Friday, March 9, 2012

Pedigrees And CHIC #s

Lucy's "husband" Indie is an Agility Star

Finally put together a pedigree for the Indie/Lucy pups.  Wow!  It really looks nice on paper.  So many of the top winners and producers in the breed, dogs with wonderful dispositions, plus a large number of dogs with their CHIC numbers.  CHIC numbers mean the dogs have had the appropriate health testing done - OFA hips, BAER hearing, and either CERF eye exams or complete thyroid panels.  That's the minimum testing, and many of the dogs have had both eye & thyroid testing, OFA elbow x-rays, cardiac exams and more.  Because the CHIC program is new, the older dogs don't have numbers, but I included their OFA hip results.  The concept of health testing is a relatively new one (although we have been doing hips & eyes & BAER testing for many years), but one of the things that separates "responsible breeders" from "puppy raisers".  Always amazes me that puppy raisers often ask the same price (or more!) than those of us who have put so much money and effort into producing the best possible puppies - pups with good dispositions, properly raised and socialized, from parents who are truly quality dogs.  And I am even more amazed that people buy those over-priced pups from questionable backgrounds.  Why don't more people do their research before purchasing a puppy?

If you're waiting to hear back from me, I'll be contacting everyone next week, to see if you are still on the waiting list.  If you don't hear from me, please send me another email in case I misplaced your contact information.  We should know in a week or two if Lucy is pregnant.  If she was down here I could palpate her at about 25 days, but with her family living so far away we'll have to depend on their observations.  Yes, the pups will be with me after they are weaned, and we'll do the BAER testing, health check ups, pictures and additional socialization - although I know the Pella kids and their friends will do a great job of socialization!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Count Down

Argus sgtrikes a show pose.

The ol' boy still has it!  Was very pleased with how Argus looked and show at St. Louis, and how well his kids and grandkids did over the weekend.  In addition to Can. Ch. "Porter" finishing his Championship (#19 for Argus), son "Oliver" was Best of Winners on Saturday for 5 points (now has 11 points and both majors), and granddaughter "Meribel" was Best of Winners at the second Specialty on Friday.  Son "Eddie" won Best In Sweepstakes on Friday too.  AND in Arizona daughter Mariah (you may remember her from this blog) won a 4-point major, as well as a 2-point win that included Best of Opposite Sex over a bitch Special (a female champion).  Mariah now has 10 points, including the major.

SO, who will be the next champion or Argus?  It will be a significant one as the 20th Champion will qualify him for Register Of Merit Excellent - ROMX.  Argus earned his ROM for his first 10 Champions, but the ROMX is quite an honor.  Just one more to go.  Puppy Weather also has 7 points and a major, and Eddie has 5 points and a major.  (It takes 15 points and at least 2 majors for a dog to earn it's championship.)

We're off to Chicago this weekend, leaving after work on Friday and spending the night with Meg.  On Saturday we are going over to Cheryl's to take a look at the Bennett/Crystal pups and presumable bring home either a black or liver bitch.  Suppose I need to break the news to Ron pretty soon!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Never A Dull Moment In Paisleyland

New washer arrived yesterday, thank goodness!  It is NOT easy to have multiple dogs and no washer.  Seems as if something always needs to be tossed in the washer, especially after a dog show weekend.  Towels, sheets (used over the spreads on motel room beds and as crate covers at shows) and crate rugs all need to be washed after a show weekend, and we took NINE crates for 3 dogs this time, so we did not have to carry them in and out of the motel and show building.  A Whirlpool Cabrio, top loading, high efficiency washer.  Seems to have passed all the tests I gave it last night, and is sure a lot quieter than the front loader was.

Waiting to hear the ultra sound results on Argie's most recent wife Story.  We did two chilled semen collections and shipped them off to Florida 3 weeks ago.  Story has missed on previous attempts (not with Argus) so fingers crossed that things went well this time.  I'm taking a stud fee pup if there is a litter as Story is a lovely girl who goes back to some of my dogs on her mother's side.   And, this weekend Jess & I will take a quick road trip to Chicago to look at Crystal's pups by Bennett (Argus/Boji son).  I'll be bringing home a pup, either a black or liver spotted girl.  Now that Letty is a sensible housedog, we can start all over again.  Have not told Ron yet!  Poor guy.  Never a dull moment!

This is Jess's puppy Meribel, making her debut at St. Louis where she won her Sweeps Class and then went Winners Bitch and Best of Winners for a 5 point major - at her first show weekend!  Good job, Meribel!  Jess has put a lot of work into training her puppy, the first Dal pups she has raised on her own, from the first litter she has raised on her own.  Meribel was not even the pick, so we have high hopes for sister Amery and brother Ellsworth!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

Due to lack of energy and lack of time I could not get to blogging ywsterday.  Although we got home by Midnight and I was in bed and asleep by 1:00AM, I woke up absolutely exhausted. An extra half hour of sleep didn’t help much, and I just barely made it to work on time.  We left the show site in Gray Summit, MO (home of Purina Farms and the wonderful Purina Event Center) right on schedule, made only three very short stops along the way, but arrived home later than expected because the weather was not what we expected – but probably should have!  Déjà vu all over again . . .

Each year we enter the St. Louis Specialty weekend with our fingers crossed, knowing that the weather could make our trip difficult or impossible.  The trip down on Thursday was perfect, despite all the rain and snow the previous two days and the roads were dry and clear.  The weather forecast sounded fine for the trip home, although we did not check the Iowa forecast before we left Missouri – we had to get home no matter what the forecast. We’d had a wonderful weekend – easy trip down, terrific motel, lots of success with the Dals, and such fun with friends.  A perfect trip.  Well, not quite.
Soon after we crossed the border into Iowa there were isolated patches of snow on the roadsides, and the amount of snow and the difficulty in driving increased as we went along.  When we were just south of  Mount Pleasant  we had several inches of heavy slush on the road, limited visibility, no plows and we started seeing cars in the ditch – actually, they were mostly mini vans, like I drive.  Ugh.  We kept hoping that we’d drive out of the snow, but that was not to be, and the number of vehicles in the ditches continued to increase.  There must have been a short period of freezing rain that caught the motorists by surprise since most of the cars in the ditches had some snow on them and we did not actually see anyone slide off the road ahead of us.  I’ve driven these conditions many times and my only real concern is that one of the idiots who insists on driving too fast for the conditions is going to slam into my vehicle.   I cringed every time someone passed and threw up road spray, hit their brakes ahead of me, or came up behind me too fast, but we endured.  It takes a lot longer to get home driving 35 mph, but we finally drove out of the snow and made it home unscathed, just late, and with very stiff hands and shoulders.  I’ve come back from Chicago and Milwaukee many times on bad roads, and driven to Kansas City in 0 visibility, but don’t ever recall seeing so many vehicles in the ditches.

We’ve done really well in St. Louis the past 3 years, and wondered if our luck might run out this year, but that was not the case.  Our three dogs won nothing major at the first Specialty, but Argus’s son Porter was Winners Dog for 4 points to finish his championship.  The winners were reasonable choices, some rather “common” but not bad dogs by any means.  (“Common” dogs are those without glaring faults, but often without any particular virtues either, generally plain or rather ordinary dogs that the judge feels safe in using.)  I WAS amazed at how many very large dogs were entered and how nasty so many of the tails were.  I sincerely hope the breed is not heading in that direction again.  The Best of Breed dog was a handsome youngster just beginning his Specials career, just the right size, beautifully spotted, and with a great attitude.  That works.  Argus showed very well, but did not come out on top.
Sweepstakes judging (a non-regular class for pups from 6-18 months) was done between the two Specialties, and both Meribel & Eddie won their classes, with Eddie ending up Best In Sweeps.  Good boy Eddie!  Things were looking up.

Meribel showed wonderfully well, especially for her first show weekend, and surprised us all by going Winner Bitch for a 5-point major – wow!  Figured that killed my chances of winning with Argus too, but he showed perfectly and really enjoyed being back in the ring.  The judge pulled 4 of the male Champions including Argus, and several of the Champion bitches and worked us a bit more.  Argus never let me down, stood and moved well, and wagged his tail constantly.  Finally the judge pulled Argus up front, pulled Meribel in behind him (she went Best of Winners), a bitch Special behind her (she went Best Of Opposite) and then the other Specials who made the "cut" and would be awarded Selects and Awards of Merit.  He then pointed to Argus for Best of Breed – good dog, Argie boy!   For the 4th year in a row he won one of the Specialty Bests, and one year he won BOTH Specialties.

Pictures tomorrow.