Friday, August 10, 2012

E Dalmatians

Ran out of time this AM and the pups are yelling, so here's something to read with your morning coffee.

E Dalmatians
- current issue.

E Dalmatians is a privately owned on-line Dalmatian magazine, with up to the minute ads and information. Great pictures of our lovely breed.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hooked On Dals

Two pups gone, and another leaving on Saturday, all three homes are first-time Dal owners.  We hope their owners will enjoy the breed as much as we do and be hooked on Dals! I can't even imagine not sharing my home with at least one Dal.  Mancini continues to look exceptionally promising, and will be his new owner's first show-Dal too.

I was so proud of Luci when she went in for her health certificate yesterday (so she can fly off to California next week).  She'll be raw fed, and will be getting chicken wings as her raw meaty bone source, something I rarely feed because of the cost.  Wings take longer to eat than chicken necks that can be gulped, so Luci practiced her wing-eating on the way to the clinic and back.  Twenty minutes per wing, a very good chewer, and not a peep out of the puppy who was traveling in a crate by herself - for the first time.

Luci was carried into the clinic of course - young pups should never be walked in on leash or set down on the floor, as that just increases their chances of picking up a "bug" of some sort.  Remember, dogs who are sick go to Veterinary Hospitals.  As I carried her in, I could feel her little tail thumping against my chest, even harder when she saw a couple of small children in the waiting room.  The Vet Techs all had to meet her of course, and she had a kiss for everyone.  When she was on the table for her exam, Luci's tail never stopped wagging and she had a kiss for the vet too.  Everything checked out just fine of course, and Luci is now cleared for travel.  She's a particularly sweet and affectionate pup, the most determinedly friendly, and a pup who will be a real Velcro Dog - one firmly attached to her owner.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

It's All About Supervision

Oh, so true.  Not of Beagles in particular, but of pups in general.  Everything is sport to an unsupervised puppy, and of course they are not born knowing that it's wrong to rip the cover off the sofa, chew the leg off the piano, or bite holes in the wallboard.  My pups didn't realize that if they climbed into the fenced flower bed and flattened all the plants, that I would be most distressed, but hardly surprised.  And they most certainly had fun doing it!  I should have used a picture of the flower bed, but did not have the heart to take one and have to look at it again.  For now, I'll avert my eyes when I walk past it - and add some additional fencing before I got to work.

My small city yard is divided into Dog Yard and People Yard, which allows me to have grass and flower beds.  The People Yard gets extra fencing when we have pups, so I have an additional Puppy Yard, but the pups are currently looking for ways to expand their space, I guess.  I'll have to redo the grass when the pups are all in their new homes, although the Japanese Beetle Grubs made that a necessity this year anyway.  Fern will learn to use the regular Dog Yard, but in the meantime I am quite sure she is the one who figured out how to go over the fence and into the flower bed.  I saw her thinking about it yesterday, as she nipped off the flowers that were hanging over the fence.  Bad Dog, Fern.  Typical Puppy, Fern.   It's all about supervision.

One down.  Mickey left for his new home last night, to a nice young couple getting their first dog.  It seems like an excellent home, with two committed young people who both really wanted a puppy.  I pup together my packet of information with lots of helpful things included, since these are first time puppy owners.  They already had the puppy book and raw feeding book that I gave them when we did the interview, and I'm sure they will do a good job of raising Mickey, who will be getting his name changed soon.  Too bad, Mickey is such a good name!

Dixie goes off tonight, to the family with the three young children.  She's a silly, giggly, funny pup, and should be great fun for the kids.  She's not very mouthy, not a real Ankle Biter, but I'm sure the kids will be less than impressed when she nips at their shoes and pant legs - or their bare toes!  This too shall pass, with plenty of supervision, and lots of patience.  Raising a pup can be a challenge, but is so rewarding.

Monday, August 6, 2012

I Need A Vacation From Puppies

People always ask me if I will be sad to see the puppies go, and my answer is always NO, absolutely not.   Although I love doing a litter of puppies, they are an incredible amount of work to do properly, especially living in the city.  As long as I have good homes waiting for them, I am delighted when it's time for the pups to leave.  It will be fun to be down to just my own puppy, eventually.

Pups are pretty easy up until 6 weeks, are small enough to be easy to carry, are easy to clean up after, and are usually pretty content when they are in their pen.  Once they start visiting the rest of the world, they are no longer happy when they need to be in their pen.  They want to be outside, or even better they want to be in the family room.  When they are outside they don't want to be there by themselves, they want someone to entertain them, and to pick them up when they want to be picked up.  In the family room they require constant supervision - and clean up.

If I didn't live in the city with close neighbors, I could set up a pen for the pups in the yard, and leave them outdoors for extended periods of time, weather permitting.  However, puppies can be LOUD, and neighbors are always an issue here.  IF I had a kennel building it would be even easier, but puppies really need to be houseraised to be properly socialized.

It's important that puppies meet as many people as possible, people of all ages, especially kids.  This litter has been socialized to the max and we have had dozens of visitors including lots of kids, yet somehow I've missed a few people I know wanted to come over.  I'm running out of evenings and weekends for puppy visitors and for that I am sorry, but having company every night takes it toll on my sanity.  I've given first priority to families with kids, just because it's so important for pups to be exposed to children of all ages.

This weekend the pups went visiting again.  They've traveled to have their dewclaws done at 4 days, for their hearing testing at 6 weeks, for the vet check a few days later, to visit Jess & Stella Cavalier, plus two more weekend trips.  On Saturday they visited Carol, Stephanie & Foster, and I left them for the afternoon.  They were played with as a group and individually, and traveled home in Carol's car.  On Sunday they went over to visit mom Pauli and her co-owner Wendy.  We had a nice group of people, a picnic in the yard and the pups got to explore, and play with their mom.   I thought they'd be tired when we got home, but NO they wanted to be outside later in the evening, so Ron sat out with them.

I've raised a lot of litters over the years, and don't think I have ever put more time into one.  These guys were raised to the very best of my ability, doing the things that make me a Responsible Breeder, rather than just a Puppy Raiser/Seller.  Now it's up to the buyers to continue.  Mickey and Dixie leave this week, Mancini will probably leave on Saturday, Luci will fly out early next week, and now I need to start looking for a home for Furry Murray.  I used up three of my homes on Lucy's litter when I sold it for Patti, so now I need one more home for my own puppy.  If Murray has to stay for a few more weeks that will be fine.  TWO pups will be easy, and neither Murray nor Fern are vocal.

Whew . . .  I'm about puppied out!