Saturday, February 9, 2008

New Family Members!

New Arrival
Violet arrived yesterday and will be staying with us for the next four months. Linda McSherry flew in from Maine and brought Violet along with her. Linda came to attend a baby shower for her daughter Christy, and Violet should be ready to breed this weekend - how's that for perfect timing?

Like Argus, Violet has completed her all her health testing and has been assigned her CHIC number. She is BAER bilateral (hearing), CERF normal (eyes), and OFA good (hips). We try to breed from only the healthiest and best tempered Dals. Responsible breeders are "the guardians of the breed" and the decisions we make now can have a major affect on future generations. For that reason, only the healthiest, best tempered dogs should be used for breeding, and the closer they fit the breed standard the greater the chance that they will pass on the desirable characteristics of their breed. Argus and Violet are both American & Canadian Champions as well as having wonderfully outgoing dispositions.

We are so pleased that Linda was willing to let Violet come to Minnesota to have a litter with Argus, Violet is a grand daughter of our beloved Watson, and when I purchased Argus it was with the idea that I wanted to breed him to several Watson daughters and grand daughters, in hopes of combining the best traits of two of my favorite dogs.

Mother Nature 1, Sue 0
I was supposed to be in Indianapolis this weekend, but entered the shows with the idea that I would go only if Mother Nature cooperated with dry roads and reasonable temperatures - she didn't. So instead I got to enjoy a new batch of Angelfish babies.

New Babies
It's pretty cool to watch a cloud of about 50 tiny babies swimming around their parents. Angelfish are cichlids, and like other members of their family, are programmed to raise their youngsters rather than ignore (or eat) them like many other kinds of fish. Because Angelfish have been commercially bred and artificially hatched for so many years, most have lost the instincts to parent. I purchased my fish from a breeder (yep, there are fish breeders too) who specializes in Angelfish, and who breeds fish with natural instincts that can successfully raise their young. He would be the fishie equivalent of a show breeder and responsible hobbyist, and is very involved with breeding quality Angelfish. He's also available to mentor, just as responsible dog breeders are.