Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Belmont without Rachel

Rachel Alexandra is NOT going to run in the Belmont and I'm totally in agreement with the decision... fooled you, right? She looked terrific after the Preakness, didn't appear overly hot BUT her jockey said she had a rough trip and she was on the verge of overheating. I know with people, when you get so hot you stop sweating, you're in trouble and since the filly wasn't even lightly lathered, her jock was probably right. And the fact that her owners have made this decision earlier than what they thought they would leads me to believe she really needs the time off. So her jockey, Calvin Borel, is back up on Mine That Bird, the KY Derby winner... setting him up with a huge opportunity to be the first ever jockey to win all 3 Triple Crown races in the same year on different horses. What would be REALLY cool is if he were up on a THIRD horse... say Pioneerof the Nile or Mr Hot Stuff... and won. Also pretty cool is how much Chip Woolley, Bird's trainer, has "grown up" since the Derby. He and the owners waited for Rachel's people to make up their minds so Calvin could ride Bird if she didn't run... they obviously had a number of fine riders ready and willing to hop on board... so a big gold star for them. I'm looking forward to next Saturday... hope to see Bird make that "gotta fly now" run passed everyone else and cross the finish line first one more time.

Oh, and Cotton and the kids are fine.

Friday, May 29, 2009

New Pix - 9 Days Old!

The Boys

The Girls

Caught them with full tummies, so they immediately went back to sleep after I separated them into the 2 groups. Then I forgot I'd put their mum outside and she stayed out there for well over an hour before she started doing a little yip spaced nicely to the next yip to remind me... politely! I went into the bedroom to see what the problem was and she wasn't there. They say the memory is the first thing to go....

Fingers Crossed

If you've been on the Rescue page on the website, you know I haven't been very good about keeping it current. My bad. But there are just so many hours in the day and it is a pain getting photos of all these dogs. Well, tomorrow, I'm supposed to be meeting a family who is interested in the last of the Poodle mix pups that were born at Thanksgiving. Thank goodness there were only 6 of them! Now, if I can just get the Shih-Poo pups placed....

Thursday, May 28, 2009

One Thing...

I forgot to mention yesterday when posting Lulu's picture but she is a Doodle. So far, she's the only one who is pictured on the blog. (Obviously I'm a fan of parti-colored dogs since I seem to have them a lot!)

Pups are doing well. There is one BIG boy who seems to draw my eye to him every time I'm checking them out. He's the largest in the litter... practically a hand FULL already... and the smallest in the litter is also a male. Right now there is a good deal of difference, size-wise, between them but that seldom lasts long. By the time they're weaned, it could be reversed!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Just a Note

Thought I'd post a birthday... one WEEK this evening... update. Everyone is doing great! The pups are getting chubby and Cotton has relaxed enough to be sleeping out of the nest for an hour or so at a time. She did eat something a couple days ago that gave the pups colic for about 24 hours... you have NO idea how much noise 11 pups with tummy aches can make... but everything is back to normal. It's interesting to note that, as usual with large litters, this one is divided into two groups. The groups don't include the same pups all the time, but Cotton offers one 6-7 place setting and one 4-5 place with the pups not eating sleeping in a pile a few feet away. They stay in their respective groups unless she's been gone for a while... she's now willing to go outside and spend as much as a half hour in the sun (instead of taking care of business and then immediately coming back in.) She even makes a trip through the house upon her return and checks in with all the other dogs (bragging?) before going back to the kids. Then she noses all of them awake, plops down in a sloppy sit position and lets them root around. She's doing a pretty good job of getting up and down without stepping in the middle of someone's back, although she'll catch a stray paw now and then. I am really so impressed with her over all!

Another Country Heard From

And here's Charlie:

Don't you just LOVE this guy!

And New York is not Going to Be Outdone
This is Lulu, modeling the latest in Spring fashion:

Blue's a good color for her!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sad News

I decided to put Peg to sleep. Her leg started swelling late yesterday and by this morning was more than double the size it should be. She had gotten very quiet and was continually moving off by herself. Although she was still nursing, and Cotton was still taking care of her, it was obvious she was feeling awful. I called the vet... not thinking they'd be open today, but just in case... and their entire staff was in so I got to let Jane take a look at her. All the vets there are more than competent; I just have a "relationship" with Jane. She said she didn't think Peg would live long enough to make surgery a possibility and it was more a question of how sick we would let her get before we put her down. So, rest in peace, sweet little puppy.

On a lighter note
I've decided, taking into consideration the economy and the double-sized litter Cotton has come up with, to reduce the price of the male pups to $800. Females are going to stay the same because I have only one still available. This should make happy the families with reservations on boys as well as people still thinking about getting a puppy.... So if you have friends, relatives, even strangers on the street who just look like they need unadulturated love in their lives, send them my way!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cotton Continues to Amaze

For a young girl, Cotton sure has this mothering stuff down pat. Heck, she's better at it than some of the old girls I've had! Pups are all clean and have full tummies. When Cotton gets up to change position, the crew that is at the dining bar all start to whine. Then Cotton whines back at them. Sounds so much like she's apologising for having to move!

I'm a little worried about "Peg" today (the puppy minus part of her leg.) Twice I've found her alone, away from the rest of the pack. Sometimes... usually... when the same pup is off by itself all the time, it means something serious (like fatal) is wrong with it and the mom knows... she pushes it away. I'm not sure Cotton is shoving her off as she seems fine with her when I put her back with the other pups. She licked the stitches out about a day and a half ago and now the end is all exposed. It's dried up, but it IS exposed. I was going to say I was calling the vet in the morning but I think they'll be closed for the holiday. I don't think they'll want to restitch since it would mean taking off more of the leg. One thing I don't understand is why the vet didn't cut so there was a flap of skin that could be used to cover the end. I'm going to ask about it. GOOD vets dock tails... wait, let me reword that since most "good" vets don't want to dock tails any more... vets who are good at docking tails leave the skin a little longer on one side and stitch it over to the other. That way, when it is healed, there is hair on the end of the tail. Maybe Mike (one of the vets I don't usually see) didn't do it that way because we're probably going to have to take off more of the leg down the road.

Friday, May 22, 2009


First the 7 boys. (I may have told some of you the count was 8 males and 4 females, but I was wrong. I was ready to pull my hair out trying to find the 8th boy when I finally figured out there were only [ONLY] 7.)

And then the 5 girls. The red star is by the little one with the half leg.

No more pix until next week. Cotton was really unhappy with me for taking them away even for such a short period of time. Right now, SHE's in charge!

Puppies are Doing GREAT!

Cotton is a terrific mom! She even gets upset when the pups cry. (I've often wondered how/why mamas totally ignore their pups who can be yelling their heads off... Cotton is the FIRST bitch I've had who whines when her pups are noisy.) Going to get pictures this afternoon... Cotton is disturbed by my messing with the babies. She does the ol' laying her head on my hand so I can't pick one up trick which is actually a gentle warning that the pups are HERS and I'm allowed to touch ONLY if she says so. I don't want to upset her too much, so I'll probably do 3 groups... females, and then two groups of males... so I'm not taking too many away from her at one time.

Now, there is one pup with a problem. Haven't decided what I'm going to do about placing her... if she makes it that far... but there is PLENTY of time. I was in another room when Cotton had the first puppy... she had shown NONE of the signs of being in labor... no panting, nesting, restlessness, etc... so the first I knew about it was the other dogs in the room barking like crazy. When I got in there, the pup (poor thing!) was out of the sack, dripping wet and lying on the vinyl. Cotton was standing there, looking puzzled. She'd gotten it out of the sack and cut the umbilical and eaten the placenta, but that's as much as she knew to do. I picked the pup up and started rubbing her down with a towel and she immediately responded with the normal puppy gasps and squeaks. It wasn't until I turned her over to see if she was a boy or girl that I saw her leg. It looked like she had some fuzz or foam rubber caught in one paw. Considering my housekeeping skills, it didn't seem so unusual for a newborn puppy.... But it was actually her mangled paw and lower leg. I'm assuming when Cotton was cutting the cord, she got the paw as well and just kept on chomping. It wasn't bleeding... the jaw pressure took care of that problem... but obviously had to be removed. Of course, it was quarter to five and the vet closes at 6. I called, told the girl my problem and said I was sending my son over with the puppy. (I couldn't leave Cotton and certainly didn't want to load her into the car right then.) She put me on hold, talked to one of the docs and then said if I wanted to put the pup down, they could do that but if it needed any surgery, I'd have to go over to
the emergency vet because it was closing time. SO Andy made it to my house and then to the vet's in record time and by 5:15 they called and said they could take the leg off just above the trauma and stitch it up. She could grow up for a month or so and we'd watch how she used it, then it would most likely need to be amputated closer to the shoulder (to prevent further injury from falls, misuse, etc.) So Peg has already met more people in the first hour of her life than my pups usually do until they're going through their departure exams and grooming visits! She's on antibiotics and I have my fingers crossed that infection doesn't set it, because that will be it for
her, but she's eating and pushing herself around with the rest of the gang. Back to fingers crossed!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Final Tally: 12

That's right, TWELVE surviving pups. (There were 13, but one wasn't viable.) Four girls, 8 boys. All blond. A few smaller ones, but over all, good sizes pups. And Cotton is doing marvellously! After the hormones kicked in, she turned in to a real mother (no pun intended!) She's been stretched out on her side with pups filling the area between her legs AND under her tail and nestled between her chin and chest. Pups everywhere! I used my "hot water bottle" trick during the night (give the babies something warm to snuggle against and they don't all need to be next to mom all the time) and by this morning, Cotton had figured out how to handle the situation. She will need some practice getting up and down and walking around without stepping on anyone, but she's going to be a terrific mama! This is such a huge litter, especially for a fairly small dog, that I'll probably have to assist. But that's okay. Long about the 8th puppy, I told her I would have been happy with 5-6 but by then, it was too late. Pictures probably tomorrow.

Update 2:30 PM
I'm having trouble with the website, so there's no additional info there. (Don't know why these people can't leave well enough alone. Whatever happened to "if it ain't broke, don't fix it?" I've used ipower as a host for 10 years and now they want to do all the coding themselves... like this blog site does... why did I spend all this time learning html if THEY were going to do it? And why weren't they doing it all along if it's such a great thing? Bah, humbug!)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

We're Having Puppies

This was poor Cotton this afternoon. She let me get one picture, then she went under the porch and wouldn't come out until I went into the house and put away the camera.

About 8 PM she started having pups... well, actually, she had one at 5, but that's a story for another day. She really got down to business at 8 and has 6 pups so far. Like most first time mamas... and it doesn't matter how old they are when they have their first litter... she's rather confused and a little frightened. She doesn't like their crying and they move! The last pup she actually gave a few licks and didn't run away from it, so I think it's starting to sink in.

It's going to be a L O N G night. Don't anyone call me in the morning!

Cotton Sends Her Love, But...

I know I didn't post yesterday and I apologise to those of you waiting with baited breath (what the heck does that mean, anyway?) However, I'm not getting much sleep... there is newspaper in the puppy pen (whelping is really messy) and every time Cotton moves, it rustles, waking me up, so I'm tired and grouchy. And still puppy-less. I appreciate all the email but rather than try to keep up with individual replies, here is what I sent to Pam (Patch's mom) yesterday:
I almost gave in and took Cotton to the vet today even though I
know it would be a waste of time and money. She is as big as a house! And she's really getting ALL the signs of eminent delivery... she's bagging up, she looks "pointed" (like she's swallowed a football sideways which means the pups have moved down the horns and are congregating in the middle ready to go,) she's doing nothing much except sleeping... although she's got more energy today and went BOUNCING outside (another good sign) and she's not eating much. She ISN'T overly soft in the rear yet and she's not "nesting." I'm about ready to scream. But that is the problem with breeding for a week... you don't have a clear idea of when the girl "took." Big sigh! Guess I'll just have to be patient.

I will try to post every morning until the big day arrives. And remember, this is NOT something that happens in a split second... whelping takes a few hours normally, so if I post at noon and a baby shows up at 10 PM, I'll have time to post something quick. Pictures probably won't be until the next day....

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Not Yet

A quickie for everyone who is waiting for Cotton... no pups yet. I stayed up all night... well, I was up and down all night (actually, that's pretty normal at my age, so no big deal....) Every time she moved, she rustled the newspaper in the puppy pen so I'd come to full alert waiting for a squeak or two. Every time that didn't happen, I took myself off to the bathroom... no sense wasting the non-sleeping minutes... and then back to bed. Will keep you posted!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Filly Does It, Cotton Still Working On It!

Rachel Alexandra led all the way and finished first against the colts, with Mine That Bird coming from the back of the pack to finish second. IF they are both in the Belmont in 3 weeks and both have an equally problem free trip around the track, I think he'll catch her. But maybe not... her jockey said she didn't like the track in Baltimore and maybe the one in NY will please her more. But it is for sure Bird's Derby win was not a fluke.

Cotton - Maybe Tonight
Cotton has been panting off and on all day and she's eaten (FINALLY!) about half a bowl of food, so tonight might be the time she's chosen for whelping. She certainly isn't arguing about wanting to stay out of the puppy pen when I tell her to get in... a sign that she feels safe and comfortable there. I don't have anything planned for tomorrow (except the Survivor finale, so I won't mind getting up and down all night long!

Friday, May 15, 2009


So, today's the 15th. No puppies here yet, although Cotton hasn't eaten anything for 2 days and is just lying around, doing nothing. She did a little nesting (digging) Wednesday night... during the Lost finale, bad girl... but that's it so far. I'm not one of those who's had any success with taking temperatures, but I may try it just to give myself something to do! This waiting is the worse part of breeding dogs, for me anyway.

She'll probably get really active tomorrow during the

Rachel Alexandra is in. The field at post position picking time was just 13, so the "extra" horses weren't thrown into the mix. Maybe the owners were just trying to scare RA's people away. As much as I'd like to see her kick the stuffing out of the colts' owners/trainers, I'm hoping Bird wins. I'd really, really like to see another Triple Crown winner. I'd like to see them come down to the wire:
Mine That Bird
Rachel Alexandra
Friesan Fire

so it will probably be Pioneerof the Nile, Papa Clem and Tres Borrachos!

Why Do People...?
I've been working with a lady for over a week for one of the rescues... sending pictures, putting her in touch with my vet, getting the dog groomed... and we were supposed to get together yesterday for her to get the dog. She was coming from about 3 hours away and I had to rearrange my schedule (and leave Cotton alone for 2 to 2-1/2 hours) so we would have time to give the dog a little adjustment period before he was whisked off. Then, as I'm almost to the meeting point (about 45 minutes away,) she calls and says her husband told her she couldn't get the dog. Now, here's my first question:
why would anyone make the decision to get a dog (or cat or car or tv, etc) without consulting the other folks in the home?
And my second question is:
why would a woman allow a man to veto the decision?
Don't get me wrong... I think adding an animal (or making a big purchase) should be a mutual decision and all points of view should be considered. However, if the objections are without merit, or if it is really important to one party to go ahead (or NOT,) the other person should not have final say.
One lady, who has two of my puppies (now grown up,) wrote me a while back and asked if there was any way to keep the dogs in full coat without brushing them continually. She said her husband refused to let her get them trimmed and their upkeep was very time consuming. So I told her to suggest that since he wanted them long haired, HE should do the brushing. Either that idea worked or they are now divorced... I haven't heard.
BUT bringing a puppy into the home is a big decision. It changes EVERYTHING and it is a long term commitment. Everyone should be on board... especially the people who are going to be doing all the work!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Thoroughbred Shenanigans

So it's not just the dogworld where people don't play fair. The outstanding filly, Rachel Alexandra, who won the Kentucky Oaks on May 1st by over 20 lengths, may be kept out of the Preakness because a number of the colts' owners think they'll have a chance to win IF she's not in the race. (Like, duh!) According to the race rules, she (or ANY unnominated horse) can enter ONLY if fewer than 14 nominated horses do. Several of the owners have said they're going to enter second horses, even though they are not expected to do anything, just to keep her out. Calvin Borel, who regularly rides Rachel and who was on her for the Oaks, also rode Mine That Bird in the Derby. HE has said if he has to choose, he'll stay on the filly. Shame on the owners who are taking part in this. And shame on Rachel for scaring them so badly!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

We're Still Waiting Here!

Cotton still has a belly full of puppies. I thought we might be a go a little while ago as she stopped eating and just lay around all day Sunday and part of Monday. But Monday afternoon she got hungry and really chowed down. She's now in my bedroom and has gotten comfortable living there with a different group that she's normally with. I have her puppy pen all set up and READY (except for the "nest" which I won't bring out until I'm pretty sure she's done whelping,) but she hasn't taken the hint. Maybe she understands she's going to be changed forever after the big event.... On the other hand, my first prediction for a whelping date was May 15th, so maybe she's just trying to NOT make a liar out of me!

Patch Crabtree checks in
Pam sent me this picture of Patch taking a break from keeping the 4 kids in line:

He is such a beautiful boy! And a big success in Alabama!

Haven't looked up who is entered in this Saturday's Preakness... I think pole positions are drawn tomorrow... so I'm standing by my prediction that Mine That Bird will not finish first. I would LOVE to be wrong!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Talk about CLOSE!

For the first time in the 9 years I've lived here, we had a serious, close tornado threat. One touchdown was about 10 miles from me. I know that doesn't sound like much to those of you who regularly deal with tornadoes, but we simply do not have them here. Something about the mountain ridges keep them away. But tonight, the Lab went and hid in the bathroom (normally she plants herself on top of me during storms) and the Poodle had to be in physical contact with me (normally, the same room is close enough.) Didn't get to see ANY of the programs I usually watch because the local weather people just kept updating their reports which were coming in hot and heavy from all over the area. I tried to find some photos on line but even the news stations haven't posted them yet. Apparently there was little to no damage to people and/or property. Still under a warning, but the bad weather is well away from me. In fact, I just made a group of dogs go outside in preparation for bedtime. I hope I'll get everyone out before the rain starts up again. And, other than that, nothing new to report!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Getting close!

As big as Cotton has gotten in the last week, it is hard to imagine I ever had doubts! Now all I have to do is wait! Three of the four reservation spots are taken and the fourth may be as well. BUT she looks like she's going to have twice that!

Got this birthday photo of Riley. Jim and Helen say "We can't imagine our lives before we had him." Riley has gone from 6 pounds when he was picked up to 29 pounds. And look at those long legs!

The Derby

What an exciting Kentucky Derby. Even if none of my picks was in the top 10! The horse I was really watching... I Want Revenge... was scratched early Saturday morning and the 3 others I was interested in... Freisan Fire (I love his name and his Eight Bells connection,) General Quarters (love the background story and his low price) and Mr. Hot Stuff (love his big "puppyish" gangliness and his perserverence in the only race I saw him in, the Arkansas Derby, I think)... just didn't have it. But as I was watching the leaders round the turn and head down the stretch, I caught movement out of the corner of my eye and got to see the incredible "been nice fellas, gotta go now" run Mine That Bird made. He went passed everyone like he had lights flashing and the siren on! And his jockey's sheer joy was so much fun to watch. (The trainer, on the other hand, could have used another pain pill!) And just to show how little I really know about horse racing, I don't think Bird has a chance in the Preakness. Been waiting all these years for another Triple Crown winner... just don't think it's going to happen in 09.

Columbine, the book
Dave's book has moved up to #3 on the New York Times best seller list. Got my copy from Amazon a few days ago and am several chapters into it. As I said before, it's not a subject that has any real interest for me BUT it is easy reading and Dave makes the people real.