Well, at least partially done! Nena was bred to Henry yesterday, although not exactly in the way I had intended. One of my reasons for using Henry was that he was accessible, just a day's drive away, while the other dog I had considered for Nena would have required shipping - not possible in this kind of weather anyway. Chilled semen is always an option, but my first preference is always a natural breeding, especially when it's the first time for the bitch.
Henry's owner agreed to bring Henry along to the shows since she was entered too, and it seemed as if the day we both arrived would be perfect for the first breeding. Just to be sure, Nena went in for her brucellosis test and a progesterone reading on Monday. The Vet called later to tell me the "Good News". The progesterone reading indicated that she had ovulated the previous day, and would be ready to breed on Tuesday, with optimum breeding days being Thusday through Thursday. Oops, not good. We could hope that doing the first breeding on Thursday would be OK, but . . .
After much fuming and fretting, I decided there were three options:
- Wait until Thursday and hope it was not too late.
- Take vacation time and drive Nena down to stay with Henry (an 8 hour drive) and return home just in time to leave for the dog shows.
- See if Henry's owner could arrange for a collection and do a chilled breeding on Wednesday.
Henry's owner did even better. She got him in for a collection several hours later, the semen was overnighted to our Repro Vet, and Nena had a Trans Cervical Insemination on Tuesday. She'll ride along with us this weekend, and hopefully be bred naturally on Thursday. Not exactly the way I had envisioned this playing out, but it is what it is. (Which will be the name of my puppy, if there is one for me in this litter - Paisley It Is What It Is!)
Although I really prefer "traditional methods" of dog breeding, it IS nice to have options!