Friday, June 22, 2012

Up In The Air

Plans for the weekend are still up in the air.  It all depends on whether or not Patti & Grace can navigate through the storm damaged North Shore and the city of Duluth.  Once they get through Duluth the driving should be fine as the freeway is no longer under water.  Traveling with 4 - 9 week old bored pups is not easy, and anything more than the normal 6 hours will be way too much for them.  Fortunately, they are very used to traveling.  BAER testing is scheduled for tomorrow AM in Rochester.  If we can't make the appointment, we will have to settle for "home testing".  We know the pups all hear, just have to determine if any are unis (dogs that hear in one ear).  Unis make perfectly satisfactory pets, and can be shown too, but we want to know their hearing status before they are placed.  We do BAER testing just to confirm what we already know.

Josie celebrated her 9th birthday with a walk in Hidden Falls Park, and a round of ice cream with her housemates.  Josie is a super sweet dog, still incredibly playful.  The floppy Frisbee is her favorite toy and she LOVES to catch it.  Josie does not care to ride in the car, never has, but I'm going to get her used to it again so our friend Sue can take her on hikes.  Ron walks Josie everyday, but she'd really appreciate going faster and further, and Sue misses having Letty to walk.  Not sure Josie is Dog Park material as she is not interested in other dogs, but she's not aggressive with them so might enjoy it during off hours when the park is not packed with obnoxious young dogs. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Timing Is Everything

Timing really IS important when planning a litter of pups, and up until now everything has fallen nicely into place with Lucy's litter.  Lucy's trips back and forth from Canada to St. Paul for shows & health testing (with big show wins in St. Louis, Lawrence KS, and Fort Mitchell Ky), her family's move from a town without a Veterinarian to a Canadian city with excellent Vets, Lucy's honeymoon trip down to me, then traveling with me to Omaha to get the breeding accomplished, and the trip back up to Canada.  Everything fell into place perfectly.  She passed all the health testing (some of it done at the Health Clinic at the Dal National, and some of it done in the Twin Cities), finished her championship with a fantastic record, we got the breeding accomplished with the assistance of an AI and a Reproductive Specialist who was leaving on vacation the very next day, and the Vet in TB was available when Lucy ran into whelping difficulties.  Luck was with us, every step of the way.

Luck may be taking a break this week and the pups may not get down here for their BAER test appointment on Saturday.  The terrible weather in Duluth and along the North Shore of Lake Superior may put everything on hold for a few days or a week.  Roads are washed out and the normally 6 hour trip may be impossible on Friday.  Two of Lucy's pups were going to new homes this weekend, following their testing, but that may have to wait too.   Things WILL fall into place eventually, but Lady Luck may be taking a break.

Our hearts go out to all the people affected by this disastrous flood.  The damage is incredible, but fortunately there has (so far) been no loss of life.  Although this is an inconvenience for us, it's far more than that for thousands of others.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

It's Official! Letty Has A Home.

An email from Letty's new dad to ask if we could complete the "adoption process".  Letty went to her  new home on approval, as it's very important to me that a dog should be just the right fit for its new home.  Placing pups and rescue dogs is not quite the same as placing a well-loved young adult.  Letty was already 11 months old and had a very distinct personality - and lots of it.  I needed to be sure that the home she went to could appreciate how special she was. 

Skip writes -

I think we have passed the last "cat" problem. Fritz, the Rag-Doll, has finally been comfortable enough to come out of hiding and rejoin the family. Fritz and Letty have finally had enough face to face  encounters to realize they can co-exist in the same space. They have  actually had numerous times when they have passed within a couple of  feet of each other without any "big deal." Life is good....

We continue to make at least one trip a day to the Airport park to  allow for a long run Most days she also gets a long walk on leash along Lake Hiawatha or Minnehaha Creek and a second run at the dog  park. Yes, she loves to splash in water. She is one sweet dog !

With your permission , we would like to make her a permanent member of this family. We took a vote and it was unanimous, (with one "Fritz" abstention.)

I read that with a smile.  Although I have placed a lot of dogs in my 40+ years in Dalmatians.  Letty was one of my very favorites, but I am not in a position where I can keep an "extra" dog, one that I don't plan to show.  I've got the "old timers", but by the time their show and breeding careers were over they were already middle-aged and part of our family.  Although Letty was definitely a beloved member of our family, she had her whole life ahead of her, and so much to offer as a companion. I wanted her to be someone's "special dog".  There is no way I could give her all the time and attention that she will get in her new home.  A Special Dog and a Special Family!  A perfect match.

Monday, June 18, 2012


Puppy Plans moving forward.   Next weekend will be a crazy one, for sure!  Two litters in one house - madness!

Pauli & pups are all doing well.  The antibiotic took care of whatever was ailing her last week.  She's her lively ravenous self again, and spending more and more time upstairs in the family room with the other dogs.  She's laying on the rug in the family room right now, shoulder to shoulder with her dad Argus, waiting to eat.  I think this week I will start walking her a few blocks in the evening and eventually work up to biking her again.  She'll be going home to Wendy when the pups are weaned at about 6 weeks, and will probably resume her show career (on a more limited scale) in the fall.

Pups are growing fast, spots are coming in now, and by this weekend we will start doing some home hearing testing.  They will remain un-named until I know their hearing status.   Some litters hear as early as 12 or 13 days, but I normally keep retesting until about 18 days before I am sure.  I can tell them apart by their face spotting (and of course the patched ear on one), but once their spots come in it's a lot easier.  Marking patterns look real nice, none too dark, nice spot distribution.  Nose trim is finished on 4 and moving quickly on the other 2.  Eye rims coming in nicely as well. Not anticipating any blue eyes on this group, but like deafness blues can show up in any Dalmatian litter.  Unlike deafness, blue eyes are not a fault according to the American Dal judging standard, BUT I'd prefer all dark eyes.

Lucy and her pups will be coming down next weekend for their BAER hearing testing in Rochester.  Jordyn will go back home with Patti & Grace, and the boys will stay with me for placement in appropriate homes.  Two of them are promised, so I just have to decide if I am going to keep or sell Captain Rex.   That's Christopher pictured above, Patti's favorite puppy, who is probably going to Oregon once the logistics are figured out.  This litter has been super socialized with kids, adults, seniors, other dogs of other breeds, and car trips.  They have visited many people in many locations, and are very well adjusted and outgoing.  Their good genetic dispositions have been enhanced by extensive socialization, which will help insure that they will be wonderful companions in their new homes.  The time invested in puppies (as in children) makes an enormous difference in how they turn out.