Friday, January 4, 2013

Still A Puppy

I was thinking that I had no puppy pictures for my blog today, when I remembered this one of Fern.  I keep forgetting that she's actually just a puppy herself, only seven months old.  She's got most of her size now, and is quite adult looking too, with a hard body and plenty of muscle.  She's still lanky, but certainly would look good in the ring if I wanted to start showing her.  Fern's manners around the house are very good, other than her habit of sometimes flying through the air for a cookie rather than sitting.  She doesn't counter surf, and is very good in her crate unless one of her favorite people is visiting.  Argus and Josie both play with her, and she loves the dog toys, so she generally stays out of mischief.  Fern was extremely easy to housetrain and is very trustworthy, but I have to keep reminding Ron not to give her too much "freedom" yet as she IS just a puppy.  She's doing well in her obedience class, catches on quickly to everything except walking nicely on a leash.  Pulls like a draft horse.  Actually, she knows the command Walk, just needs constant reminders.  A good puppy though.  I've put a lot of time in to Fern, and enjoy her company.  Argus has been suggesting that Fern will be coming in season soon.  He sneaks a sniff from time to time and gets that dreamy look in his eyes!

Pups are doing great, but eating me out of house and home.  It's expensive to feed raw to puppies, but it's worth it in terms of clean up.  Raw fed dogs have small dry stools that break down into powder when stepped on.  Very little odor or bulk to them because the dog is digesting almost everything it eats - no fillers in a raw diet, it's the undigested grain that gives regular stools their bulk.  They do get a kibble meal occasionally, so will be able to eat either raw or kibble or a combination of both.

Tomorrow I pack them up in the car yet again, and drive down to Rochester for BAER testing.  The pups are becoming seasoned travelers which will make it easier on them when they have to be shipped to their new homes.  I'll bring along their pen so they can all be in the examining room while they get tested one at a time.  I know their hearing status already, just need to get it verified.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Health Checks & Puppy Buyers

We made it through another challenge!  Yesterday I took some time off work, loaded up the pups AGAIN, and off we went to the Vets for our "Well Puppy Checkups".  A pen was set up in one of the examining rooms, and the techs helped me carry in all 7 pups.  Each pup was weighed, had its temperature taken, and got a thorough physical.  Eyes, ears, hearts, bites, patellas, etc.  Dr. Valenti does very thorough checkups.  The pups were terrific, all of them brave, confident and friendly, although the ones sitting in the pen made some noise while waiting their turns.  "Pick ME up", they seemed to be saying.  The pups got their first vaccinations, and complimentary nail trimming too, which I appreciate as cutting all those little nails by myself takes a lot of time.

BAER testing this weekend.  It's going to be a very expensive week!

People can be so aggravating.  I had a large number of pet reservations and when the time came to decide where Gevalia (the incredibly cute patch) was going, the first few people on my list passed on her.  One wanted a non-patched pup, another had adopted a mutt, a third found a puppy closer to home (St. Louis), and the fourth decided to wait for a liver pup, as they really wanted liver and were in no hurry.  The next person was local, sounded very interested, and was going to get "right back to me" so we could set an interview.  Yeah, right.  After three days and several emails, I have not heard back from her.  If you don't want this puppy, have found something else, or the timing is wrong for you, at least have the courtesy to let me know.  So aggravating.  I've moved on now, deciding that someone like this is not someone I would sell to anyway.  If she's sick, or having computer problems, so be it.  I've probably told two dozen people that Gevalia was not available, but she still is.  Back to the list.

Many people say that the reason they rarely breed is because they hate dealing with puppy buyers.  I have to say that most of my experiences have been very good, and many of my buyers have become good friends, but it can be aggravating at times.  I'd much rather be annoyed now though, before I sell someone a puppy, than have to deal with issues later.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Major Project Completed!

One more major project complete, six week puppy pictures taken and posted as an album on my Facebook page.  If you are not on Facebook and you'd like the link, send me an email.

Packing up a litter of 7 6-week old pups and traveling an hour in very cold winter weather is a major project.  Pups traveled well with very little fussing and no car-sickness, although Melitta was a bit subdued at first so must have had a queasy stomach.  All pups were brave and bold and very friendly.  Could not have asked for better temperaments on an entire litter.  They explored the huge kitchen & dining room, met cousin Meribel and got played with my Jess & Don, Ron & me, and Don's son & daughter-in-law.

This weekend we have a vet visit for health checkups and the clinic is only about half an hour away, but on Saturday the pups have their BAER tests done and we'll drive an hour and a half to get there.  I already know the hearing status of everyone, so we'll just be confirming the results.  I actually begged off on puppy visitors tonight as it will be my only evening off this week.  My poor fish need some care too!

The photo session went well and I was particularly pleased with Sanka and Vittoria who have really blossomed in the past week, both looking better than I had anticipated.  By six weeks pups are pretty much "there" - what you see is what you get, and I'm very pleased with what I am seeing.  Jess agreed that we should keep Maxwell and Melitta for the time-being, as both are what we wanted from the litter (other than being the wrong color), and they remind us of some of our favorite dogs.  Maxwell is so much like Argus in so many way, and Melitta reminds us so much of Rob, and the type of pup that he so consistently produced.  Rob is a ways back on both sides of the pedigree, "the look" is definitely there.

Naturally the two pups definitely going as pets also looked extremely good and have exceptional structure.  Gevalia is a pet only because we can't show patches, and Folgers only because I do not have an appropriate show home for a black-spotted boy.  Folgers probably has the best overall spotting and construction in the litter.  He's is promised, and I'm checking through my list of people with reservations for girls for Gevalia.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Pictures, We've Got Pictures!

Can't believe how many pictures I have of this litter, but they are so incredibly cute!  Between my regular camera and my cell phone camera, and the pictures that are forwarded by visitors, there must be thousands.  A visitor yesterday took over 200 and posted well over 100 to Facebook!

There is no way these pups could be better socialized!  We've had lots of company of all ages, and the pups are incredibly friendly.  This weekend I started taking them up to the bedrooms one at a time, so I could observe them away from their littermates and stack them a bit in front of the mirror on my dresser.  Again, all were brave and secure and comfortable exploring without the backup of littermates.

Tomorrow the pups will get their first car ride, going to visit Jess, Don, Cousin Meribel, and Simmie the GSD.  We'll see how they ride, and observe them in a totally new environment which will tell us a lot about their personalities.  AND we'll do formal pictures, stacked shots of each pup from the side, front, and rear.  That helps us evaluate their make and shape, how they fit together, and to see their outlines - things that are very important to me.  They'll have more room to move too, so we can observe their gaits more carefully. We'll probably decide from those pictures and observations which puppy will go where.

Maxwell continues to be absolutely fearless and so funny.  Into everything, but so cute I can't resist picking him up and cuddling him.  He's very handsome, a beautiful mover, and full of personality.  Very glad I do not have anyone waiting for a top show male - guess I will just HAVE to keep him.  Easy decision!

Melitta looks very nice too, moves well, beautiful black eyes and lots of angle.  She has the "crabby face" like so many Rob kids did, and both Jess and I are quite smitten with her.  As hard as it is to get extra good bitches, she will stay too.  Maxwell and Melitta may not stay forever, but we'll probably run them both on for awhile and see how they develop.

 Liver Sanka also looks very good.  Beautiful face, great color, and a pretty shape.  When I had her upstairs last night I was amazed at how much reach she had. Covers ground the way Maxwell does.  She's a compact chunky girl with a lot of bone - more bone than Melitta has, and something that is nice to get in this breed.  She already has green eyes which tells me she will have dark gold ones as an adult.  Argus has been doing excellent eye color on most of his liver kids.

Britt is similar in type to Sanka, but with more skull and stop and a "stuffed toy" look to her.  Incredibly pretty markings, expression and attitude make her extra cute.  She's built similarly to Sanka with lots of bone, and a "pick me up" look to her, but she's actually the adventurer.

Vittoria is very pretty and we have not decided if she goes to a pet or show home.  Have one of each waiting for and wanting her.  She's a bit slighter and less mature than her sisters, and we may wait another week before making a decision on her.  She was a quieter pup but really blossomed over the weekend.

Folgers is going to be the heart-breaker I suspect.  Had no show homes waiting for black-spotted blue-eyed boys this time, and I do not believe in waiting for homes to show up if I have good pet homes waiting.  It's too much work, especially in the winter, and not fair to the pups who deserve homes of their own.  Folgers has almost perfect spotting, and sets up well.  He's got a bit more leg than Maxwell, so an curious to see how he photographs.  His people are not interested in showing, which is a bit of a shame, but it should be an excellent home.

And beautiful Gevalia, the patch, will go as a pet of course.  This week we'll decide who gets her.  Not everyone wants a patch, while others prefer them -and she's an extra cute patch.  The party at the top of my list wants an unpatched pup - they already have a gorgeous black spotted Argus daughter and are waiting for another, but will continue to wait unless Vittoria is available to them.  I've offered Gevalia to the person who is next on the list but have not heard back yet, but the person who is right below them is interested so we'll see.  As I had expected, a couple of the parties for pets are no longer waiting.  One adopted a mixed breed dogs who showed up on the doorstep, and another found a Dal pup close to home - so glad for the latter as they had been waiting since last June for a puppy!