Friday, September 21, 2012

Walking, Walking, Walking

58 degrees with a light rain.  In a few minutes I will take Holly out for her first walk of the four she will get today.  Because visiting ladies have a giant crate in the basement, but no access to the yard, they get 4 good walks a day.  Because they never get to pee in my yard, and always go out the side door from the basement, my boys never get too stressed about girls in season.  Argus is "sniffy" and a little distracted right now, but handling things fine.   I hear the horror stories of dogs howling 24 hours a day about girls who need their attention, but that's never been my experience.  Some of them have howled when they hear the side door or the side gate open as we leave for a walk, but that's about all.  Dogs in my neighborhood never run free, so we're safe from unwanted attention, and just go up and down alleys, which are more interesting than walking streets and sidewalks.

Holly is doing well, and we've come to an understanding that she will not rip my arm off in an attempt to catch every rabbit or squirrel she finds.  She's actually walking quite nicely now, though always on the watch for potential prey.  She's been a really good visitor so far and is easy to manage.  We'll do breeding number two tonight, and a third on Sunday.  Timing works out well as we've got a chilled semen breeding for next week, a lovely champion girl from the southeastern US.  Owner had hoped to drive her up, but the timing was bad for him, so we'll go the chilled semen route.  Five of Argie's Champion kids were conceived that way.  It's easier on me to drive him back and forth to the Repro Vet for collections, but I rather miss getting to know my doggy "daughters-in-laws".  It's really a blessing though, in really hot or cold weather!

In addition to Holly's walks, Argus & Fern each get one too.  The bad news is, I'm tired.  The good news is, I've lost three pounds this week!  Only two more to go and I will be exactly where I want to be again.

Argus gets a reasonable amount of use, but is by no means a "hot" stud dog.  My Rob was one of those and we had many many visiting girls for him.  He was almost impossible to collect, and that was back when it was still relatively easy and affordable to ship bitches for breeding.  We occasion had two girls at the house at the same time, either two for Rob, or one each for him and his son Morris.  THAT was a lot of work, but Rob left a legacy of many wonderful offspring.

Fern had her third training class last night and is coming along well.  Again, she did her recalls and came to ME rather than racing around the ring to see her doggy friends.  I'm always surprised when a Dal this age actually comes when called - too many more interesting things out there.  She's doing well on her Sits and Downs, and last night we started Stays.  In addition we work on show-type stacks, as well as Watch, which means she stands for a cookie rather than sitting - we'll need this for the show ring.  Amazing how quickly pups catch on to things.  She's not quite the chow hound that some of the Dals are, but works pretty well for food treats as long as I use some variety.

Now, she needs to do an overnight with someone new.  Any volunteers?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Ah, Technology

So much for resolutions!  Thought I would wake up by 5:30 this morning, since I always do.  Nope.  Today I woke up to the alarm clock, leaving me short on time.  Must have been tired!.

Holly & I went to visit the nice people at IGH Animal Hospital, where they did a blood draw and took down the appropriate information on when Holly came in season, when she had her previous blood draws and what the progesterone readings were.  Because they can do the testing in house, we had the results back an hour later.  He ovulation date was either 9/18 or 9/19, and because eggs have to ripen for a few days but because sperm lives a few days after a breeding and can "wait" for a ripened egg, Holly's breeding dates were 9/19 - 9/23.  Because we are doing live breedings rather than chilled or frozen, we don't have to be more specific than that.

Although Holly had not been interested in Argus the previous night, they suggested that we try her again that evening, and if we did not get a breeding we could bring her in for an AI - just to be sure we covered all bases.  I explained this to Argus, and he said he'd be glad to save us those precious dollars.  Holly concurred, and we got a breeding.  She wore a muzzle for the first breeding, just to be sure did did not take exception to Argie's advances (he's kind of a pushy guy).  Everything went just fine, Argus got the job done in his usual speedy fashion (he does not believe in foreplay), and Holly stood and wagged her tail the whole time they were tied.  When we were done, Argus rolled over and had a cigarette . . .  No, just kidding, but Holly grabbed the squeaky fish and started flinging it in the air and squeaking it madly.  And she had a big smile on her face.

The cool little info sheet that we got as an email after the progesterone results also gives the appropriate date for an ultra sound (to confirm pregnancy) and the x-ray (to count number of pups) as well as listing the whelping date as +/-2 days - November 20, 2012.  The puppy due date is not tied to the date of breeding but to the date of ripened eggs being ready for fertilization (2-3 days after ovulation).  Ah, technology.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Not For Sale

Nope, she's mine!

I continue to get inquiries about Fern, from people who have seen her picture on my blog.  As of now, she is NOT available.  We're very happy with her so far, and suspect she may become a permanent resident.  With my second youngest dog already seven years old  (her grandsire Argus), it's time to keep a puppy - or two.  Of course we have to get through teething, and Fern has to continue to move soundly, not carry her tail too high, grow up to be neither too large nor too small, and a number of other things that will decide whether or not Fern gets to play dog show.  All promising pups do NOT grow up to be show dogs.  So far, things are looking good.

Today is my first day of getting up half an hour earlier.  Ugh.  I'm usually awake by 5:30, so I might as well get up earlier and get a head start on my day.  It's a good time to putz around the house doing small chores, train Fern a little, and it gives me a chance to walk Holly before traffic makes it more of a challenge.  Honest to gosh I am glad I don't have a kid riding a school bus.  Some of those drivers do the stupidest things!

Holly is all settled in and is such a good girl.  Not ready to breed yet though, and when introduced to Argus she showed him all of her pearly white teeth.  She was nice about it, but said, "Just try it Buster!"  He strutted and danced and posed, trying to win her over, but she was having none of it.  He would have given it a try had I held on to Holly, but it was obviously too early.  When I brought Argus back upstairs he settled right down, so he knew it too, but is always hopeful!  May take her in for a progesterone test today, just to get a better idea of where we're at in her cycle.  It's a nice tool, and saves a lot of time.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Every Dal Needs A Fire Truck Photo

As someone noted, every Dal needs its picture taken on a firetruck!  Here's Fern with her Cousin Meribel, taken while Fern was "camping" with Jess and Don.  Apparently they were quite the hit when they stopped by the fire department, and donations to the departments fund raiser probably benefited from having "real" Dals visiting. They were invited back in an official capacity next year.

Fern had many adventures over the weekend, part of the socialization process, and spent a lot of time playing with Cousin Meribel too.  I picked Fern up yesterday noon and she was pretty quiet all afternoon and slept all evening.  This morning however, she's back to her lively silly self.  Missed her!

Things are getting busy again in Paisleyland!  Holly arrived from Texas yesterday evening, which means I have a dog to walk four times a day.  Because visiting ladies live in the basement, with only the aquariums for company, I take them for long walks so they don't get bored.  We'll try a first breeding tonight.  Off to walk Holly now!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Go Mariah!

What a nice weekend!  All kinds of fun dog show wins for the "kids".  Although I wasn't there to see any of them, I sure enjoyed getting all the good news!

That's Mariah on the right, with her owner/handler Kay.  If you've been reading along for several years you'll recognize Mariah.  She's from the litter Argus sired with a Champion Dal girl from Florida.  I flew down to select Mariah as my stud fee puppy and later sold her to Kay.  What a perfect home that turned out to be!  Mariah will eventually be bred to Kay's wonderful dog Champion "Gibson" and hopefully I get a chance to fly to Arizona and look at THAT litter.

Up in Canada, Argus's daughter Champion "Lucy" was being shown by teenager Grace and they had a wonderful weekend, winning a Group Three and a Group One!  Lucy has been on a roll since getting back in the ring after her pups.   That's Lucy on the right, with her lovely puppy daughter "Jordyn".  Lucy and her pups were also featured in my blog, thanks to wonderful pictures from mom Patti.  It was great fun to mentor the family as they raised their first Dalmatian litter, and did a wonderful job of it too.  Jordyn is already winning as a puppy, and has a Best Puppy In Show to her credit, also handled by Grace of course.  Grace hopes to show Lucy and Jordyn as a brace eventually, and is already working them together.

Closer to home, Champion "Pauli" resumed her Special's career and picked up a Group Two!

And over in Indiana, Argus's son Champion "Oliver" made his Special's debut with two nice Best of Breed wins.  He's going for his Grand Championship and got two of the required majors for that title.  Oliver had a severely broken leg as a puppy and went through months of therapy.  It's amazing that he is even walking on that leg, much less moving soundly enough to be a star.  A success story indeed!  Oliver is one of my favorite Argus kids, from a litter of 5 puppies.  One of his brothers is also a finished Champion, and a sister just started her show career, receiving her first point this weekend too.

Fernly comes back from camp today.  Lots of great pictures to follow.