Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Deed Is Done


Well, at least partially done!  Nena was bred to Henry yesterday, although not exactly in the way I had intended.  One of my reasons for using Henry was that he was accessible, just a day's drive away, while the other dog I had considered for Nena would have required shipping - not possible in this kind of weather anyway.  Chilled semen is always an option, but my first preference is always a natural breeding, especially when it's the first time for the bitch.

We had hoped Nena would wait until September to come in season, but of course she didn't.  Bitches never come in season when you want them too, and are always earlier or later.  Nena was earlier, and would probably be ready for breeding the weekend of our Specialty shows in Amana.  Not good timing as we already had a full load of three dogs - Gemma, Fernly and Max, and there was no room for Nena.  There was also the issue of traveling with a bitch in season along with a 9 month old male who would quickly figure out what was happening.   That would NOT be fun, and would insure that silly, distractable Max was even sillier and more distracted in the show ring.  After much agonizing, I decided to take Nena if possible and leave Max behind.  He could do the UKC shows in September and get his show ring practice there.

Henry's owner agreed to bring Henry along to the shows since she was entered too, and it seemed as if the day we both arrived would be perfect for the first breeding.  Just to be sure, Nena went in for her brucellosis test and a progesterone reading on Monday.  The Vet called later to tell me the "Good News".  The progesterone reading indicated that she had ovulated the previous day, and would be ready to breed on Tuesday, with optimum breeding days being Thusday through Thursday.  Oops, not good.  We could hope that doing the first breeding on Thursday would be OK, but . . .

After much fuming and fretting, I decided there were three options: 
  1. Wait until Thursday and hope it was not too late.
  2. Take vacation time and drive Nena down to stay with Henry (an 8 hour drive) and return home just in time to leave for the dog shows. 
  3. See if Henry's owner could arrange for a collection and do a chilled breeding on Wednesday.
Options 2 and 3 would both add considerable cost to this undertaking, but . . .

Henry's owner did even better.  She got him in for a collection several hours later, the semen was overnighted to our Repro Vet, and Nena had a Trans Cervical Insemination on Tuesday.  She'll ride along with us this weekend, and hopefully be bred naturally on Thursday.  Not exactly the way I had envisioned this playing out, but it is what it is.  (Which will be the name of my puppy, if there is one for me in this litter - Paisley It Is What It Is!)

Although I really prefer "traditional methods" of dog breeding, it IS nice to have options!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Fun With Dogs

So this is what it's come to.  Skipping a dog show because of the weather, and taking them swimming instead.  There was a time when I never missed a local show, even when I didn't have an entry. I'd be there all day just to watch, and wonder why other people didn't find it fascinating. Now I have to force myself to enter, and then I might decide not to show anyway.  When you campaign a Special, every show is important if you are fighting for a spot in the rankings. I did that for years. When you show in the classes, you can show when/if you feel like it.  There's no rush to get the dog finished, so what's the hurry?  I took Fern over early to practice a bit, but had no interest in waiting to show her at 3:00 PM in 97 degree heat and humidity.  Drove up to Ramsey to pick up frozen dog food instead, taking Fern along for the ride.

On Sunday I took the dogs swimming, one at a time.  First Argus, who mostly ran along the shore sniffing the good smells, then Fernly, who loves to chase sticks - as long as she doesn't have to go in over her head, and finally Max who retrieved about 50 large sticks with great enthusiasm.  He also retrieved some small sticks, thrown by a little girl who was afraid to touch him, but delighted that he would go after her sticks.  Good dog Max.

The weather was incredibly hot yesterday, but it felt just fine on the river where I was having fun with my dogs.  I didn't miss the dog shows, not even a little.