Monday, June 23, 2014

Poor Fern

Poor Fern!  This is how she would rather be living, spending her days draped over Ron, or wrestling with her best buddy Max.  Instead she has been moved to the basement because she's in season, and I have three boys in the house.  For the first week she just wore panties - you can see them in the picture.  As things progressed and her Grandpa Argus started to get more interested, Fern moved down stairs.  She's got a huge crate, surrounded by a big pen, rugs, and lots of bones and toys.  Because she has such nice house manners, she could be loose in the basement (or anywhere else), but if someone slipped up and left the door to the kitchen open, she'd slip upstairs or the boys would troop downstairs.  This arrangement gives me more control of the situation and it's nicer for Fern than being crated all the time.  AND she doesn't have to wear pants, which she appreciates!  Fern goes for four walks a day and doesn't go out to the dog yard to leave tempting smells for the boys to investigate and the boys are much more relaxed without the constant temptation.
Fern's health testing is complete and her CHIC number should be arriving soon.  She also had blood work done to be sure that her liver and kidney values are normal and she's not fighting an infection of any kind.  We did a progesterone test last week to find out where in her cycle she was, and gets one again this morning - we have a 7:00 AM appointment for that.  That should tell us when we want to try a breeding for the first time - nothing left to chance any more.   We may do one more blood draw if she's not close yet.
Because Fern will be bred to a dog that is living locally, we don't have to plan a long drive, shipping arrangements for her, or worry about a chilled semen shipment.  We're using a dog that I co-bred with a friend.  Ch. "Duncan" is living in his "retirement home" in Minneapolis, which works out nicely for all, so later this week Fern and I will be taking a couple of car rides to visit her intended! 
I went over to take a look at Duncan on Saturday, because I had not seen him for several years.  He matured nicely, is healthy, and has good company manners.  He has his CHIC number of course, just had a check up as well as a semen evaluation, and has a zillion (well not quite that many) generations of Paisley dogs in his pedigree.  Because Fern's mother is a stud fee pup by Argus, and her father is a dog that is not closely related to ours, using Duncan for Fern brings a lot of old Paisley back into the pedigree.  Hopefully there is a pup for me to keep, and the stud fee puppy will going to a really good show and agility home.  I normally prefer to pay a stud fee, but in this case am giving up a puppy which works better for all of us.
One of the reasons for doing a live breeding with Fern this time is because I really want to breed her to a dog who is neutered, but was "collected" before neutering.  Before I go through the expense of doing a frozen semen breeding, I need to be sure that Fern produces sound healthy puppies and is a good mother.  If this proves to be the case, we can do "pupcycles" next time around!

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