Friday, July 27, 2012

A Dog Show!

Leaving today for a dog show, my first since the National in May.  Quite a change for a person who was doing two or three show weekends a month for several years while Argus was being campaigned.  We're off to Waukesha with Meribel & Amery, each of who just need a single point to finish their championships.  Hopefully we'll come home with at least one new champion, but if not it will still be nice to get away for a few days, and catch up with old friends.  Waukesha is outdoors, and is traditionally HOT, but the forecast for the weekend is actually NICE.  Argus gets to go along, and will be thrilled to visit a dog show and stay in a motel.  Am sure he misses it as much as I do, but we've both made a good adjustment.

Laurie is staying with me this week, in town to visit friends & relatives and attend a class reunion.  She'll be available to help Ron with the pups, and it will be good for them to be dependent on someone other than me for a few days.  Another useful bit of socializing.  It's certainly a good litter, quiet in their pen and so happy and cheerful when they come upstairs or get to go outside.  Hope that lasts!

Today I deposit my first puppy check which will be most helpful.  So far it has only been money out, nothing  in.  Although I took several deposits I did not cash the checks until I was sure I had a pup to match to that home.  Too hard to refund deposits!  I've been keeping track of the costs involved in raising this litter and we are well over $2,000.00 now.  That of course does not include the vacation days I took to drive Pauli to Louie, and to pick up her after she was bred.  Doesn't cover any of Pauli's health testing, which we had previously done, and it does not include all the meat & goats milk & eggs we used for weaning, the paper towels we've used, the detergent and electricity for running the extra loads of laundry, and it sure does not cover any of the countless hours we've invested.  Being a hobby breeder is NOT a money-making proposition if you do it right and do what is best for mom and pups.  If I even come close to breaking cash-wise, and if I end up with a good puppy for all my efforts, I will consider it a success.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Check Up

On Tuesday the pups went in for their health checks, and for their second car trip.  Not as long as the trip to Rochester for BAER testing, but still a nice long ride taken an hour after breakfast.  And again no carsickness, hooray! A couple of the pups complained for the first few minutes, then rode quietly. When I posted to Facebook that I was taking the pups in, a friend who lives near the clinic offered to meet me there and help with the pups - Thanks Lynn!

The pups did great other than consistently attempting to escape from the small pen set up for them in the exam room.  We took them one at a time, and while a Vet Tech held and another took notes, Dr. Valenti examined them in turn.  Ears, ears, hearts, lungs, patellas, temperature, coat, bites, testicles (where appropriate), weights, overall condition, etc.  Everyone checked out perfectly.  Some wiggled more than others.  I had expected the boys would be squirmier, but they were all perfect.  Fern and Luci were the wiggly ones, Luci because she was determined that she needed to be close enough to give kisses.  She's a funny little rascal, incredibly happy, the most like Grandpa Argus I think.

Now we can start deciding which pups will go where, and which ones I will keep for a bit longer.  I know that Fern will stay with me, but Mancini needs to go to the right home to be shown.  Murray could be shown too, but I have two good homes waiting for pet boys and Murray and Mickey deserve families of their own. Dixie's hearing results were a little odd, so she goes in to be retested before I place her, and Luci will fly off to California when she is old enough.  Hard to believe the pups are almost old enough to place - but not quite!

Pups are often placed at 6 weeks, but they really need to stay with their littermates for a bit longer.  Now is when they are learning important "social skills" from dealing with their littermates and adults dogs.  Although it's easier to have the pups outdoors for playtime (far less clean up!), they will be in the family room part of the time too, interacting with the adults.  Watson and Coral are no longer interested in pups and at 12 & 14 they deserve to retire from puppy socialization.  Argus and Josie love puppies, so the pups will run with them for awhile every day.

These pups have really ruled my life this summer - I feel as if I have not had a chance to get anything else accomplished.  Not just the time spent tending them, but the time spent with the company that comes to visit, and the interviews and correspondence with the potential home.  BUT if a breeder is going to raise a litter of pups, most of which will go to homes to live as companions, often with children, it's important that they get the best start possible.  The work that goes into pups for the first two months has an enormous affect on the kind of dogs they will develop into.  And the time I spend getting to "know" each pup so that I can place it appropriately, goes a long ways toward insuring that everyone is happy with the placements.

Monday, July 23, 2012

All Pupped Out

Whew, what a busy weekend, much of it spent with puppies and friends.   BAER testing on Saturday AM, several unis as we expected, no surprises there.   Pups traveled well (no carsickness) and behaved extremely well for the testing which includes electrodes under the skin on their skulls.  It took about 5 minutes for each pup and they were very patient about something they did not understand.  All were friendly and confident.  Good puppies!

When we got home, Pauli's regular family came to pick her up.  She normally lives with three Chinooks and two Labradors, and was very glad to see Wendy and Kathleen and was determined that she would be leaving with them this time.  Just my regular four adults now, plus my pup and her siblings.  That's my puppy Fern watching me in the picture above.

The rest of the weekend consisted of "some" housecleaning and yard work, and a lot of company.  Argus got his normal dog park visit, but the rest of the weekend was pretty crazy.  Jess's partner Don ended up in the ER early Sunday AM, which made some rescheduling necessary, but we did get the puppy pictures done too.  Always a chore, but it allows me to make final determinations on which pups will go for show and which for pets.  Nice to see good friend Laurie who is staying with Jess for a few days and will be here later in the week.  I am hoping to attend a couple of dog shows this weekend, and Laurie will help Ron with the pups.

Fern is still the star, with Mancini a close second.  The rest of the pups will be placed as beautiful pets I think, though Murray probably should go to a show home too.  Heath check ups on Tuesday - heart and lungs, eyes & ears, stifles and patellas, body condition, bites, testicles, etc.  Dr. V does a very thorough exam.
Then we start deciding which pups will go where and when.

Whew, I am getting All Pupped Out!