Saturday, May 19, 2012

Almost Four Weeks - Too Cute!

Don't normally post on Saturday, but this picture was just too cute!  Brownie Boy Magic & black-spotted girl Jordyn.  Patti sent pictures of each pup last night and I was very pleased with the spotting, and how cute the faces had become in the past week.  Can't wait to see them!  Had worried a bit that some of the pups would be too colorful, but all of them appear to have very nice even spotting, and the nose trim is moving quickly.

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Scare

Patti had a scare when she first  thought that all three of Lucy's liver boys had blue eyes!  Once I had explained to her how to tell the difference between actual blue eyes and the hazy bluish eyes that will turn into gold eyes, she realized there were actually no blue eyes.  Although we can show blues in the US, they are considered a serious fault in Canada, so Canadian breeders are much more concerned to have blue eyed pups in their litters.  Whew!

It hard to be responsible for placing pups that I have not seen yet!  Wish I lived closer so I could visit Lucy's litter and get to know them now - four weeks is such a great age.  I know all four are healthy and strong, are getting LOTS of socialization, appear to have lovely spotting, that all of them hear (thank goodness), and that none are patched or blue-eyed.  One boy has nose and eye trim that needs to fill in and another still needs some nose trim - typical of liver pups at this age. The black spotted girl Jordyn and one of the liver boys Magic look particularly nice.

The pups are scheduled for their BAER hearing test on 6/23 and after that will be ready to go to new homes. We had hoped to have the pups here sooner, but the 23rd was the only day we could get them in for testing.  The Pella family might as well enjoy them for a couple more weeks!  The original plan was to do their first shots and vet check when the pups came to stay with me, but now they will have to be done in Thunder Bay.

When the pups come to stay we will determine which is the pick puppy and it will go home with the Pellas as a potential show dog.  Dog showing is a family hobby for them.  The second pick puppy will belong to me, to keep or sell.  Of course I love liver boys, so it will be hard NOT to keep one, but it has to be just the right dog.  The others will be placed, either as show prospects or companions, most likely the latter.

Pauli's pups will already be about two weeks old by the time Lucy's pups arrive, so things will be really busy!   I was hoping to avoid the overlap in pups here, but Lucy came in season later than anticipated and Pauli was right on schedule.  It should be a busy summer here!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Watson

Happy Birthday to my little Watty Boy.  Watson is twelve years old today - where does time go?  It seems like only yesterday that he arrived, the day before I lost his great grandfather Rob.  It was as if Rob's spirit passed directly to Watson, who has the same wonderful disposition, totally trustworthy personality, and like Rob is always the perfect gentleman.  And like Rob, Watson was never happier than when he was surrounded by kids.

"My little elf" did well in the show ring, ranking in the Top 10, winning a number of Groups including back-to-back Group Ones, and an Award of Merit at DCA.  He sired a few litters and has champion offspring, including his daughter "Carina" who has 21 titles including Champion Tracker (very hard to obtain).  His grandkids include the famous Daisy, one of the top Dals a few years ago, and her brother Corey who has even more titles than Carina.

Watson just had his yearly physical and bloodwork, and everything checked out well.  His hearing and vision are still perfect, no cataracts, no heart murmur, no arthritis.  He's slowed down a bit, but has always been a laidback sort of guy, except when squirrels, rabbits, or the neighbor's fence fighting terrier are involved.

We'll celebrate today with a visit to PetCo, and a round of cheeseburgers for all, followed by ice cream.  Happy Birthday, Watty Boy!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Home For Letty

Letty leading the pack

Although I decided several months ago that I would not show Letty and would place her as a companion, I haven't actually done anything to speed up the process.  Part of me (the sentimental part) wants to keep Letty because we really enjoy her and because she is an excellent "fit" for my home, but the other part (the practical part) keeps reminding me that we do not need another pet.  Coral, Watson, and Josie are retired show dogs and beloved pets, and Argus is semi-retired as well.  I want/need a young dog, but it has to be a dog I can show and eventually breed, and because Lucy has pups (one belongs to me) and Pauli has a litter due in June, perhaps the right pup to keep will make an appearance this summer.

Letty is a wonderful dog.  Smart as can be, an excellent house dog and companion, fun to take places, and lovely to look at.  If she did not carry her tail so high she'd also be a good show dog, but that's not going to happen, and because these funky high tails are genetic in nature I won't breed her either.  Tails may seem like a minor issue, but bad tails are a problem in the breed and one I am very tired of looking at.  They change the whole outline of the dog and are common because we either make excuses for them (they don't move on their tails) or we just ignore them.  I knew from the age of 4 weeks that Letty's tail might be an issue, and it is.  Although her jaunty tail goes well with her cocky attitude, it's not correct.  She's definitely "showable", but not what I consider show quality.  Ah, another topic for my blog - the difference between showable and show quality.

To insure that Letty would make a good adjustment to being a companion and only dog, I asked a friend of ours to take Letty walking, and to expose her to new places and situation.  Letty has visited shopping centers, pet stores, private homes, state parks and dog parks, met a variety of people and played with many new dogs.  Sue has done a terrific job with her and Letty is thriving with the extra attention.  Sue will really miss Letty when she goes to a new home, but lives in an apartment where she can't keep a dog.

I'm currently discussing Letty with a home that might work out.  We'll see how the interview goes.  It has to be a special home for Miss Letty, who is a very special dog.  Part of me wants this home to be the right one, while another part of me hopes it's not so I don't have to make the decision quite yet, so we'll just see how this goes.

If YOU might have that Special home for my Letty, don't hesitate to contact me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Back To Puppies

Now that the dust has settled so to speak, it's time to start thinking about puppies and puppy placements.  Lucy's pups are thriving, Patti is quite sure that they all hear, and they have an appointment (down here) for their BAER hearing testing on June 23rd. All responsible breeders BAER test their pups, if only to confirm with they already know.  Then the pups will be ready for new homes.  Time to start going through my puppy list!

Because the puppies do not live with me (they are in Thunder Bay), I won't actually know if any are show prospects until I see and evaluate them.  The Pellas will presumably keep the pick puppy, but I think they are hoping Jordyn, the only girl is the pick - while trying to stay objective.  Patti actually thinks Magic, one of the boys is probably the pick pup, so we'll see how this all plays out!  I'd like them to keep the best puppy, but as long as the pup they keep is show potential, they will be OK.  Dog shows are a family affair for them, with daughter Grace doing the handling at Canadian shows.

Second pick belongs to me, but unless it's a top show prospect I will probably sell my puppy.  Maybe.  I LOVE Brownie Boys and am ready for a puppy.  I have Pauli's pups to look forward to, but may not even get any brownies in that litter (we don't know if sire Louie is liver factored).

So as of now we probably have three liver boys available.  Our livers are normally dark chocolate brown, sometimes with a coppery hue.  Just gorgeous!  Some puppy buyers think they only want a black-spotted pup - until they see one of our liver pups, or meet the liver adults.  Coral, Josie, Argus & Letty are all livers, Watson is the only black-spotted Dal living here.

There was a time when livers were sort of "second class citizens", but not anymore!  Again this year at the National, Best of Breed, Best of Winners, & Best of Opposite Sex were ALL brownies, as they were the year Argus won Best of Breed.  "Meribel" pictured on the right was the Best Of Winners.

It's time for me to see who is ready for a puppy in June, and who wants to wait until August for a Pauli puppy.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Back To Normal

Guess that actually depends on your definition of "normal", but it's a bit more normal than it was when we had Pauli and Amery bunking in, and a lot more peaceful than it will be in a couple of weeks when we share the house with puppies! 

Pauli went home on Friday, when I met Wendy & Kathleen for lunch so we could discuss our plans for her (and of course DCA week and Pauli's wonderful win).  It was a good thing that DCA was not held a few days later, since Pauli actually started looking pregnant by the next day!  Pups due in 4 weeks, so Pauli will be back here about a week before her expected due date.  In the meantime, Wendy & Kathleen will feed and exercise her properly - and I'm sure we'll see lots of them after the babies arrive!

Amery flew back to Virginia on Sunday.  She came home with me after DCA, got her health certificate for shipping on Friday, and flew off on United airlines yesterday.  Our friend Kandee was on the same flight, so she collected Amery and Laurie will pick her up this morning.  Only one minor glitch, when Amery was not available with the luggage as we were told she would be, and Kandee had to find United Cargo at the Dulles airport.  I really don't care for shipping dogs and am always so glad when it is over.

On Saturday I added some new pets!  Ah, just what I needed, but these are actually pretty easy to care for.  Argus went along with me to pick up veggies at Mississippi Market, and I took him for an off leash run in the open area behind the market.  I've been there before, but never realized there was a pond on the far side, and it brought back so many childhood memories of dabbling in ponds.  Argus was most annoyed that I wouldn't let him swim in the pond, but I was delighted to find that it was full of tadpoles.  Watching tadpoles turn into frogs or toads is such fun, so I went back later in the day armed with nets and a large jug, and caught myself some new pets.  Fun!

Always hard to plan "events" for my mother, but my sister hit it out of the park yesterday when she suggested a picnic on my deck.  Kris picked mom up and took her home (because I had to work around getting Amery to the airport) and supplied the most fabulous locally-made brats.  They even passed the "eat it cold" test.  I can't ever recall having such nice weather for Mother's Day, absolutely perfect.

After getting Amery checked in at the airport, I took Argus to Hidden Falls Park for a run.  Oops.  About 9 million people there, and they were practically shoulder to shoulder along the rocky beach.  Argus had to stay on leash, but got to wade around in the boat launch area.  Later we found a bit of rocky secluded beach where he could be off leash for a few minutes.  Guess we'll stick to early morning visits to Hidden Falls, but glad to see so many families enjoying the day.  

I was very proud of Argus as we walked through the picnic area.  As we passed a large family group, Argus was tackled by a boy of about 3 - he literally tried to jump on Argus's back and grab him around the neck.  Argus yelped but did nothing more than that - a situation where a dog could have turned and snapped.  The kid's family all laughed and did not take me seriously when I explained that this is the kind of situation where kids get bit and dogs get blamed for reacting like dogs.  Good dog Argus!  Two weeks ago a jogger ran into him when coming up behind us.  Again Argus startled but reacted properly.  A dog's life is not always easy!