Friday, April 13, 2012

Puppy Inquiries

Several more good puppy inquiries this past week.  It's nice to hear from people who have put a lot of thought into the idea of acquiring a Dalmatian puppy, and also understand why a breeder would want to know about their home and family.  Responsible breeders put a lot of time, money, effort, and emotion into health testing, planning a breeding, getting the deed accomplished, raising the puppies properly, and placing them in the appropriate homes.  We CARE where our puppies end up.

Now that things are actually happening here - Lucy's pups due in two weeks, and Pauli successfully bred, it's time to post and share the puppy pages (pictures, pedigrees, information about sire and dam), and find out what the potential buyers are actually looking for - companion, show, performance, color, sex, energy level, personality type. (HOPE to get that done next week.)  Of course most potential buyers will start off saying that they would prefer a black-spotted female, but most will be actually be perfectly happy with liver pups or males.  It's funny how the "traditional" preference for a companion dog is a female, yet in this breed the males are often the sweetest, most willing, and most affectionate.  If I could only have one Dal it would most certainly be a male.

When I had my first litter of Dals over 40 years ago, livers were very uncommon in the breed, and most people didn't even know they existed.  Now many of my inquiries are specifically for livers, Brownies we call them, while others say they would prefer black but liver would be OK.  Then they see the liver pups and suddenly it's liver they prefer.  Nothing cuter than little Brownie boys!
I just love this picture of Argus as a pup (at the top), laying with his friends Josie, and Morris, all Brownies.  Morris was an elderly dog at the time I got Argus, but like all my boys was very tolerant of puppy antics.   Like Morris, Argus went on to become a multiple Best In Show winner.  Morris was the grandsire of our Coral, who just turned 14 yesterday.  Such terrific memories I have of all the wonderful Dals who have shared by life!

I'll be leaving shortly, heading down to Kansas City to pick up Pauli who has been honeymooning with Louie.  I'll spend the night with Maryla who owns two of our Brownie dogs, RedHots (Watson son) and Phoenix (Coral daughter).  I've sure met a lot of interesting people through my dogs!  On Saturday I will connect with Louie's owner Becky to retrieve Pauli, drive home to connect with Jess who will be taking Pauli home until she is out of season, and leaving Amery with me for the week.  Amery is a beautiful Penny daughter who I will be showing at the National next month.  She lives with our friend Laurie, but is co-owned by Laurie, Jessica and me.  She's a beauty and I'm expecting that she will do well at the National.  Yep, she's a Brownie too.

Time to load up Letty and hit the road. Letty is riding along to keep me company - it's lonely traveling without a dog.   Stay tuned.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Happy Birthday Coral!

Coral has a big smile for everyone.

Happy 14th Birthday to Coral, Ch. Paisley Snowood Family Ties ROM (L). She's slowed down a bit, but can still leap onto the sofa to sit with Ron and hop up on the grooming table for brushing (and cookies), can spot a squirrel at 30 paces, hear the refrigerator open, and stand off the younger dogs if there is a pot that needs licking. She's Ron's shadow.

Coral is the dam, grand dam, great grand dam etc. of many wonderful Dals, some famous, many just beloved companions. She is known for her big grin, beautiful brown spots, and the friendliest happiest disposition ever. Coral has never met a stranger, and even at 14 she insists on greeting all company and everyone she sees on her daily walks. 
The dogs will be celebrating with cheeseburgers and vanilla ice cream, Coral's favorite.

We are so fortunate to have such a healthy long-lived breed, and it's important that we as breeders and owners not to lose that.  Appropriate health testing, careful breeding, and well thought out veterinary care will help to insure that future generations of Dals will bless their owners with many years of companionship.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I've posted a similar warning in the past, but this is a very important message -

Pet Treat Warning

The article includes this statement, "We strongly recommend that you check the source of all cat or dog treats you may have purchased, and do not give them to your pet if they were made in China. It would be best to avoid any pet food or treat products made in China, and probably a good idea to avoid all dried animal parts, because they are not heated to a temperature that will kill pathogenic bacteria."

Please read the label carefully!  Any treat made in or sourced from China should NOT be purchased.  Why take chances?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Two Weeks To Go

No doubt about it.  With two weeks to go, Lucy is obviously pregnant.  Since pups do most of their growing the last three weeks of gestation, she'll be quite a lot MORE pregnant looking by then.  Her family is eagerly awaiting the arrival of puppies!

Lucy lives near Thunder Bay in Ontario, Canada.  She went as a companion and possible show puppy, and turned out even better than we had anticipated.  Daughter Grace finished Lucy's championship in Canada, and my daughter Jess finished Lucy's American Championship in the U.S., and they finished it with an outstanding record that included winning the Open Black Class at the National, as well as 2 - 5 point Specialty majors.

When her owners asked if Lucy could have a litter of pups so they could keep one to show, I agreed - as long as she finished her American Championship, and passed all of her health testing.  Our dogs are never bred unless they have the appropriate health clearances.  The other requirement was to wait until they moved to Thunder Bay, as they were living far from good veterinary services, and when you do a litter of pups you need the services of a good vet - just in case.  Dals are normally good whelpers, but an emergency is an emergency!

I took care of the health testing while Lucy was staying with us for dog shows.  She had her hips and elbows x-rayed and certified by OFA (Orthopedic Foundation For Animals), her eyes were tested and passed a CERF evaluation, her thyroid panel was evaluated by the lab at Michigan State, and her heart was examined by a Veterinary Cardiologist.  She passed everything with flying colors.  Lucy's hearing had been tested by BAER (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response) when she was just a puppy, so we knew that she heard in both ears.

All this testing was quite expensive, BUT as responsible breeders we want to produce the healthiest puppies we can, and to do this we have to breed from healthy adult dogs.  We can't test for everything, but it's important that we take advantage of the available testing.  That's one of the things that separate Responsible Breeders from "Puppy Raisers", the latter being those folks who do it strictly for the money, with no regard to the (lack of) quality of the pups they produce.

Yes, Lucy's family will raise the puppies until they are old enough to wean, and we know they will be super-socialized by the kids and their friends.  They'll come down to me then, for heath check ups, BAER testing, pictures, evaluation, and eventual placement.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Mission Accomplished

Pauli as a puppy

We did it!  Everything fell into place, the deed got done, I survived, and even made it home in time to spend Easter with my family.

The trip did not start off very well when I got caught up in brdige construction traffic in Minneapolis, and a long detour in Worthington.  I only have myself to blame as I KNEW (or should have known) there was construction in both places, because I purchased the Right Of Way for those ongoing projects.  Why did I not think to check that out first?  The detour near Worthington was a big time-waster, and I should have checked a map rather than following the detour signs.

I had "Sally Forth" my Garmin but she wasn't much help either as she went silent on me.  The screen still worked, but she refused to say anything.  A bit later she found her voice, but was not speaking English - it sounded like Dutch (or as I imagine that to sound) but more guttural.  When I finally figured out how to reset the languages I discovered she was speaking Afrikaans.  There are an amazing number of language options on a Garmin!

Sally did find Jeni's rural Iowa home, though I did have to guess what she was saying.  I figured out the "turn left" and "turn right" so we did OK navigating the curving roads and rolling hills.  Pauli was glad to see me, but she's such a happy thing she probably greets everyone the same way.  Jeni had bathed her, but apologised for the long nails as she said it takes two people to do them.  (Jess will get her whipped back in shape on nails!) 

The route I took, I29 to St. Joe, then across on 36 to I35 was all new to me, so I enjoyed the drive.  Everything was so green, the trees were all flowering, and it was a lovely trip.   Letty came along for the ride, so I stopped a few times to walk the girls and enjoy the gorgeous day.  Letty is normally very quiet, but once mouthy Pauli joined us they both felt a need to bark and guard the car when I stopped for gas.  Shut up, you two.  Pauli has a very deep voice and sounds fierce, but is just about as friendly a dog as you will ever find.  Her warning bark is all for show - thank goodness.

Because of a late start, construction and detours, Maryla met me just off I35 and we took a shortcut to her rural home.  Glad she had not given me directions for all those turns - I never would have made it!  Maryla has quite a menagerie, two Dals (my granddogs Red Hots and Phoenix, Coral & Watson kids respectively), a Peke puppy, a Himalayan cat, a pair of Peacocks, and a flock of hens.  I went home with 3 cartons of fresh and colorful eggs - thanks girls!

Maryla & caught up on each other's lives, went out to dinner at a noisy bar which made conversation a bit difficult (but the food and drinks were great), and then I spent the rest of the evening being entertained by her parrot Evita - what a hoot that bird is!  Although I would never want the responsibility of owning one, I absolutely adore parrots.  Evita has a large vocabulary and a wonderful personality, and I was sore from laughing so hard.

After fresh eggs for breakfast, I took off to meet up with Becky and Louie.  Everything fell in to place thanks to texting, and Becky and I connected right on schedule.  Pauli joined Louie in the car, and they all departed to meet Angie, while Letty and I left for home.  Pauli and Louie will be staying with Angie for the week, and she will manage the breeding.  Fingers crossed!  Letty and I had an uneventful trip home, but I was tired when I got there. 1044 miles on the road.  And next week I get to do it all over again, except that the trip will be more direct as Pauli is coming back with me.