Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ready, Set, Go!

Here's two of the Argus/Tess pups, really cute patches. The liver girl is SO pretty, she is sure to be a heartbreaker. For some reason, patched pups often seem to be the best pups in a litter which is a disappointment to show breeders because patches are not acceptable in the show ring. There is also a nicely marked black spotted boy with a single ear patch, but this multi-patch Striker is pretty darned cute!

Half day of work, then hopefully I can get the car washed when I fill up the gas tank (assuming the line is not too long) on my way home. Poor van still sports the gray salt scum it received on the trip back from Indy. Everything is sitting in the living room, ready for Jess to load it - she's an excellent packer. My driving splint works fine, and the forecast is good, so travel "should" be OK. Getting around the show building may be a lot tougher though. Saturday and Sunday are "benched" which means the Dals will have to stay all day, win or lose. We'd stay all day Saturday anyway, as the groups are always very exciting at those enormous shows, but it's a bit tougher on Sunday when you have early breed judging and would rather hit the road earlier.

It's been over a week since I broke my ankle and I am adjusting well, I guess. Everyone keeps telling me to relax and enjoy my down time, but there's never any down time when you show dogs and keep lots of fish. Things like this just make everything more work. BUT, I'm still planning to be back in the ring for the National in April!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I had an inquiry about bones for Dals and thought it was a good chance to use this picture. Dogs chew as a stress reliever and to pass the time. It's something dogs do, some more than others. Of my current group, Coral, Josie & Argus are chewers, Watson rarely chews but he's also the most laid back of the group. Raw fed dogs get more opportunities to chew than kibble fed dogs, but many need more than that. The raw books talk about "edible bones" (like chicken backs & wings or turkey necks) and "recreational bones" like shank bones - those long marrow-filled leg bones. Shank bones are available commercially but because they are brittle, they can easily be shattered by "power chewers" like Coral. We occasionally give the dogs fresh raw shank bones or knuckles but always remove the shanks within a day or so as they become dry and brittle. Coral is a power chewer like her grandpa Morris was, and her goal is to shatter all bones. If left with an old shank bone she will start to bite off pieces. She actually fractured one of her carnassial teeth, a big triple-rooted tooth that is very expensive to have extracted, and has chipped one of her canines (we keep an eye on it but so far it has not caused any problems).

Because of Coral's heavy duty chewing, we've cut back on "real bones" except for pups who can chew in their crates. Although I'm into "natural" and these are NOT natural, we rely on the various kinds of Nylabones. For years none of my dogs would so much as look at one of them, but this whole group will chew them happily, even Watson on occasion. They are very tough and last a long time. We buy the larger sizes and when they get small enough to swallow we throw them away.

The Argus/Tess pups are doing well out in Oregon, and they all hear. Such pretty pups! Because three are patched, they will automatically go as companions, no matter how beautiful they are otherwise. The liver ear patched girl will be a heartbreaker! I'll probably take a stud fee puppy, and may have one or more pets available as well. I know several of you are looking for pet pups, so drop me a note and we can discuss it. Pictures tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I got this cute picture of Nikon yesterday while she was waiting for Laurie to finish loading her car. Nikon had stayed with us for 6 months last year and had a litter of pups by Argus. When Laurie came back to drop off Nikon's daughter Penny for showing, Nikon came along of course and fit in perfectly. She was relaxed and comfortable until Laurie started to pack on Monday morning. THEN she started to worry that she might be left behind again. She was very quiet about it, but did not let Laurie out of her sight, and waited patiently at the door. I forgot to check to see if she had her paws crossed!

Got to sleep in a bit today as I have a clinic appointment at 9:45, so there was no point in going into work first. Hope to get my splint today and learn to drive with it on. Also a temporary handicap hang tag for my car, which will be awfully nice. We're still planning to do the Chicago Specialty this weekend - am NOT looking forward to schlepping around the huge McCormick Place.

Got lots of feedback from yesterday's posting on raw feeding. Just a reminder that nothing is without risk. Dogs can choke on kibble and on bones, especially turkey necks. I always stay with the dogs until they have finished their turkey necks, and I chop the large ones in sections - a hatchet or cleaver works perfectly. Some people feed leg quarters & turkey wings - I feed neither as they are beyond my comfort range. Everyone feeds raw a bit differently.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Back To The Old Grind

Such a fun weekend! We all enjoyed having Laurie spend the weekend and will really miss her when she & Nikon leave for Virginia this morning. She drove here to drop off Penny (Argus/Nikon) who Jess will be showing this spring, and to spend a few days visiting. It was great to have company and she helped out too, by taking Argus for long walks and helping with fish chores. No way can I carry 5 gallon buckets of water right now! Nikon fit right in again, as if she was one of the pack, although she still insists on submitting for her mother Coral and kissing Coral's face, which Coral hates.

Ankle seems to be doing fine but is a major inconvenience. Laurie chauffeured me around this weekend, so I was able to get my errands run, and she'll drop me off at work on her way out of town. Hoping to get in to see my doctor today and get fitted with some kind of lightweight split that will allow me to drive. Also need to get some sort of parking pass that will allow me to use the handicap parking spots in front of my office. Will be glad when all that is out of the way!

Jess & Don came by on Saturday and Don tweaked my doggy treadmill so that Argus can use it until I am able to walk him again. I think walking is better for conditioning than the treadmill, but am really glad to have it to fall back on. guess Penny has fit in well at Jess's. Jess is sure excited about having such a lovely Dal girl for the Specialties.