Friday, November 2, 2012

Is It Time Yet?

As you probably know, Coral is approaching the end of her allotted time on earth.  At a bit over 14 1/2, a good life span for a Dalmatian girl, the accumulated issues of arthritis, chronic kidney failure, mammary tumors and heaven knows what else are beginning to take their toll.  Ron is able to get her outdoor enough that she almost never pees in the house, but like so many old dogs her bowel control is a problem, and she often has accidents indoors, generally in her crate in the early morning.  Because she's raw-fed and her stools are small, dry, virtually odor-free, and very solid, this is not as bad as it sounds and it's not difficult to deal with.  If she were senile, or did not still look forward to her "walk" (very slowly, just around the block), or was not still eager for her meals, the decision might be easy, but she still enjoys walking, eating, and snuggling on the sofa with Ron.  The other dogs still respect her, and no one hassles her, so she's safe and seems happy, although she rarely wags her tail.

This morning, after I did the first shift of Holly, Fernly and Josie, I came to let Coral out of her crate.  She opened her eyes to look at me, but did not move.  I offered her one of her favorite biscuits, but she just closed her eyes and went back to sleep.  Was it time?  Should I just leave her for now or try and get her out of the crate?  I opted to leave her for 10 minutes and took Argus & Watson outside without her, and sat down for another cup of coffee.  Then I started over with Coral.  She woke up slowly got to her feet, picked up the previously ignored biscuit, and came out of her crate ready to go outdoors.  I helped her down the steps, she started air scenting for rabbits, and slowly made her way out to the dog yard to join her son Watson, and friend Argus.

Whew!  It's not time yet . . .

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Kids And Grandkids - The Doggy Kind

Although my human family is small (a no-strings partner, daughter, not-quite son-in-law, mother, brother and sister and their spouses, and two unattached nephews) my extended doggy family gives me hundreds of connections.

Having bred Dals for over 40 years, with many of our pups going to other show breeders, Paisley dogs and their descendants are found in pedigrees from coast to coast and all over Canada.  It was fun to check out Holly's pedigree and see Winston just a few generations back, a brother to our Morris, and son of Rob and Eloise.  One year at the National we went through the catalog and figured out that something like 75% of the dogs entered probably had some Paisley in their pedigrees.  Such fun to have so many "kids", "grandkids" and their descendants, our extended dog family.  Because of time and space issues, we've never done this on a large scale but we've made our mark and it's been fun to follow the careers of top winning and/or producing dogs who go back to Pooka, or Jocko, or Taylor, or Rob, or Watson, or other special Paisley dogs.

It's particularly fun when a line based on our dogs has gone on to be very successful.  We can enjoy the wins of those dogs and the success of their breeders.  More family!  The dogs have their human connections of course and some of their owners become dear friends, and if the families have kids they are also part of our extended family and we follow them through school, college, athletic events, and higher education.  It's particularly fun with they go on to Vet School!

It's rewarding to follow the careers of the doggy kids and grandkids and enjoy their successes, whether it's championships, Special's careers, careers as top producers, or just their careers as beloved family pets.  I get great satisfaction from the latter stories too, and look forward to the Christmas cards with the family pictures that include the beloved Dalmatian.

Thank you all for enriching my life!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

All It Takes Is A Good Dog

Love this gaiting shot of Krash, taken at the Northern California specialty last weekend where he won his 6th specialty Best of Breed.  Krash is an excellent example of the fact that a newbie can show a good dog to exciting wins.  Earlier this year Krash was Best of Breed at the the National, always handled by his owner Jordan.  Krash is Jordan's first show dog and he finished his Championship with an excellent record.  She's put a lot of work into him, also works him in Agility and recently earned a Coursing title.  Jordan also keeps Krash in excellent condition.  Yes. novices CAN win!  All it takes is a good dog, properly conditioned and correctly handled.  (Krash is from the Argus/Aruba litter and is a littermate to our Pauli.)

Had hoped to have a good link for making donations to help the animals in the wake of the Hurricane Sandy disaster.  Please don't be tempted to donate to the HSUS.  Only a very VERY small percentage of the money they receive actually goes to help animals.  Far too much of it lines the pockets (and retirement accounts) of it's managers.

Spent the evening watching hurricane coverage on TV, frosting a double batch of Pumpkin Raisin Nut Cookies that will go into the freezer, and making Porcupine Meatballs for the crockpot  The meatballs smelled so good as they cooked all  night!  A big recipe, so some of these will also go into the freezer.

Lots of emails to respond to, sorry I am a bit behind.  Holly is looking QUITE pregnant already, with at least 3 weeks go go  

Monday, October 29, 2012

Wearing My Other Hat

Wore my other hat this past weekend.  My Fishkeeper's Hat.  Spent Saturday at the Minnesota Aquarium Society's fall auction and picked up some excellent fish.  Fish that will spawn for me, I hope.  They are all settled in their new tanks and I actually spent quite a bit of time watching my fish yesterday.  I'm sometimes so busy tending them that I forget to enjoy them.

The trophy at the right is the Advanced Breeder Award which I got at the October fish club meeting.  It represents 40+ different species spawned, raised, and shared with other fishkeepers.  Not sure I will try for the next level, but there is great satisfaction in learning what is required to breed the more difficult species.  Current projects are Knight Gobies, Purple Spotted Gudgeons, Badis Badis, and Bolivian Rams.