Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New Pix of My Crew

Time to do a little photo updating on the website AND it's about time I got around to making individual pages for Boon and Peri, just like everyone else has. BUT, since the young dogs all need haircuts... desperately!... I had to work in picture taking the last couple day in between all the usual first of the week running around so I can get them to the groomer. These are a few shots that actually turned out half way decent.






Thursday, February 23, 2012

Good News

Well, the beginning of good news.
Emy is in season.
She and Boon have already gotten reacquainted. A couple times.
Now here's the situation... Boon told me about two months ago that she was in season. And she acted like she was. However, the other dogs never got excited about it. That happened with Diamond as well... and we all know how that turned out. This time, with Emy, ALL the dogs in the house know she is in heat.
Except she has no physical signs of it that I can see.

So he is breeding her every day, with her enthusiastic cooperation. AND in about a month I'll do an ultrasound and we'll see where we stand.

I'm hoping Peri is paying attention. She is "due" in season around the end of the month.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Shipping Info

A report last week states that Delta Airlines accounts for more than half of animal deaths during shipping for the previous year. But what it doesn't give is the actual number of animals shipped during that time and it just mentions in passing that Delta handles the majority of animals. There were 19 deaths with Delta... 16 on flights overseas and one dog that was never loaded on a plane because it was having trouble breathing. Most of the deaths were caused by things out of Delta's control... animals tranquilized by their owners and existing medical problems. Additionally, there were 5 animals injured during shipment, usually by its attempts to escape from the crate.

I ship a large number of puppies, 99.9% on Delta, and KNOCK ON WOOD, I've never had an injury or death or even a lost dog that wasn't located within a couple hours and where it was supposed to be, in good condition, as soon as possible afterwards. That doesn't mean something just awful can't or won't happen. I've been extremely lucky so far and I've nervous every time I ship. The other side of that is I'm just as nervous every time a family drives 6-8 hours or longer to pick up a pup.

Over the years, I've learned the ins and outs of shipping and believe me, what they are required to tell you when you make a reservation is not even close to the way things actually work. THEIR emphasis is on limiting the amount of time the people actually dealing with the animals have to put in on paperwork and making it easier to deal with their cargo without losing, dropping or getting bit by it.

There is a federal requirement that the animal has a health certificate issued within 10 days of shipping. What you don't know and what any vet can (and a good many WILL) tell you is the cursory exam needed for the health certificate does little to find anything but the most obvious medical condition. I've been to a vet who did not even have me remove the puppy from the crate. Many don't ask the shipper any questions about how the animal is behaving. And yet, there are some vets, like my own, who have their own forms which they fill out in addition to the state form. They take temperature, listen to the heart and lungs, check eyes and ears, do a fecal and spend time with a hands on exam of the animal's coat, body and limbs. My vet marks on her form if she sees a flea! But no matter how thorough an exam is, it can't discover or predict the possibility of a virus already at large in the puppy's body. One of my many reasons for keeping pups to 12 weeks and for not allowing visitation is the fact that it already has 2 shots before it leaves me and is exposed to viruses that cause many diseases that can be fatal or at least, very expensive to deal with. It's basically safer for the puppies.

Monday, February 20, 2012

I Changed My Mind

If you checked out the website this weekend and looked at it again in the last few minutes, you see I added a planned breeding but have already changed it. With Diamond taking a self imposed break, I've had to rearrange the breeding "schedule" and Emy and Peri are probably going to come in season at the same time or very close to each other. Originally, I thought I'd breed both to Sparky. However, after thinking about it for a day or two, I decided if I'm going to have two litters around the same time, I'd like them to be as different as possible in the looks department! And if one has smaller pups over all than the other, that will help too. So I'm going to repeat last year's Emy/Boon litter. That's my reasoning. Now watch... ALL the pups will be blond and about the same size!

A couple new pictures of Montana
Playing "fetch" at the dog park. Please note that this particular "park" is on top of a high rise! Now, that thought had never occurred to me. And if a building owner was smart (!) the roof would have grass and trees (if only in pots) and actually look like a park.
Then, after wearing herself (and Marna) out, ONE of them gets to relax.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Thoroughbred News

Rachel Alexandra and her newborn son by Curlin. The foal arrived Jan 22nd.

And Queen Z (Zenyatta) is doing well, expected to drop her foal by Bernardini in late February/March.

If all goes well, looks like we'e got some good races coming up! As good as their sires are, these babies will be something special if they take after their mamas' sides of the family tree!

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Maggie and Cisco's son, Chase (pony)

and daughter, Millie (pink unicorn)

Emy and Boon's daughter, Puppy

Beautiful and blond times three!

Monday, February 13, 2012

All Alone (sort of)

The last two pups from Maggie and Cisco left on Sunday. Things are really quiet around here! Black/white dog weighed almost 22 pounds at the vet on Friday (14 weeks) while Reindeer was about a pound less. Both pups were completely UNimpressed with their visit although the black guy really liked the attention Jane FORCED on him. She said she preferred dogs who were more selective about friending every human that came along. The pups went from there straight to the groomer where Reindeer met something that scared the poop out of him... literally... several times. I had to take him home wet because just the sound of the blow dryer was overwhelming for him. This happens from time to time... sometimes with the vacuum too. Often the pup can be acclimated to the sound, sometimes not. The two pups are total opposites to each other and not just color-wise. Reindeer was always demanding my attention and ignoring MY demands that he play with someone else. I had to go after Black/white and pick him up to get him in my lap. He loves being rubbed all over but just was too insecure to ask for the attention.

Speaking of which, the adults here all slept until after 10 this morning. Well, maybe they weren't asleep, but they weren't noisy enough to get ME up. And they've been pretty quiet all day, even though the sun is shinning and the unseasonable cold is gone. (We've had exactly two temps all winter... unseasonably warm and unseasonably cold. Luckily, the cold has been far outnumbered by the warm!) The dogs have all plowed though the puppy pen, sniffing even inch of it and, I think, counting toys to make sure they're all still here.

A couple days of this and I'll be ready to go again.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Not Much Going On

Manhattan's pride and joy... Montana! Playing at the dog park with her best friend, Katrina, a 'Doodle pup the same age and size. It's hard to tell where one lets off and the other begins!

Dewey (brown/white dog) in his new home with his new kids.
At Dewey's vet appointment, giardia showed up and he's been put on medication for it. No one else has let me know of any problems, but if there have been some, please email or call me. I know MY vet doesn't think breeders need to be advised of normal, run of the mill puppy issues(and she is definitely in the minority) but, personally, I like to be made aware of them just in case I've overlooked something.

No rain
The last two days have been sort of rain free... dark and gloomy with just a little rain in the mornings. Today, the sun is out, just in time to keep me from going nuts. Don't know how I lived in the Pacific NW for 15 years! But our warm temperatures are supposed to disappear starting tonight and lasting for several days into next week. It's WINTER, for pete's sake, and our weather people feel it is necessary to warn us temperatures are going to drop down to freezing! The fleas and ticks are NOT going to be happy.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Early yesterday morning, a vet about 30 miles from me called to say she had a client who thought she saw Cotton at the "local" animal shelter. I cannot tell you all the feelings that rushed through me at one time. Good and bad. It's been almost 5 months since Cotton and Peri got out of the yard. And there have been numerous sightings of Cotton, all of which proved to be other dogs. This is so hard. Just when I get to a point where I'm not dreaming about her, someone else "sees" her. I went to the shelter and the first thing I was told was to wash up carefully before and after my visit and to not touch anything because they had "a case" of parvo. Just what I need and one of the main reasons shelters are not places I visit often. I found the dog the vet's client had seen and of all the reported sightings, this one was the closest. It was a blond terrier mix, about the right size. But obviously (to me) not Cotton. Of course, I started crying, both for my lost girl and for the almost found one. I hope she gets a home.

And Chomper is still missing in Pennsylvania.

All Maggie's pups have homes
The last two boys are leaving this weekend and I will be puppyless for I don't know how long... over 2 months even if Peri comes into season TODAY! Which she shows no sign of doing. Right now she is acting as babysitter/playmate for the last two pups. They are BIGGER than she is by just a little and she is loving having young dogs around to play with.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Shipping Mysteries

Rather, ONE mystery... price.
Here's the deal, I shipped two pups, 9 days apart, same size crate, same weight pups, 2 different prices. And I called this afternoon to set up a shipment for a friend, again same size crate, same weight puppy and got a THIRD price. And each time the cost has gone UP. $25 from the first to the second and $30 from the second to the third. But the gentleman helping me this afternoon insisted there have been no price increases in MONTHS. He has no explanation for the differences and apologised several times, as if it was HIS fault.

Yesterday, the puppy almost missed his flight because Delta's cargo computer was... let's say being difficult. The guy checking me in worked on processing it for a half hour before calling the main cargo office and getting them involved. For another half hour. The plane had already boarded and the pup was still sitting at the counter! The agent called out to the gate and told them he had a live animal shipment and not to close up until he got it out there.

The puppy made the flight and the connection and arrived safe and sound on time.

The thing is, I go to the airport with ALL the paperwork ready and the crate all set up. It used to take no more than 10 minutes for me to check in. But it is taking longer and longer. And if there is someone else booked on the same flight, the way things are going, one of the dogs WON'T be going. There really is no excuse for this... lack... of service and consistency. But, then, when was the last time an airline NEEDED an excuse?

It is getting so I cannot accurately quote a shipping price. I may have to start charging for the crate, rabies shot and health certificate and then send the pup off COD.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl Pix

You probably can't read the writing on the kids' foreheads. Suffice it to say they are rooting for the Giants! Brody is from Cotton and Brogue and lives in NJ.

These 4 pups all live in Salt Lake City... Stewart (the black,) Remi, Beckett (all 3 Brogue pups, R and B from different Emy litters) and Millie (Maggie and Cisco's puppy.) I'm sure someone will refresh my memory if I have that wrong!

And Amos in Indiana, from Maggie and Cisco. FINALLY, you can see the coloring on the "black" puppies!

Thank you to everyone who stays in touch!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

And Then There were Two

Two more pups left today and another is going in the morning. Things are looking a little... unoccupied... around here!

The three pups were so cute at the vet's on Thursday... they were, of course, a little amazed at all the people. They'd forgotten Penny and her family and were pretty much convinced I was the only human in the world. Because of their size, I allowed them down on the floor in the exam room while we waited for Jane. (Actually, the three of them together took up all the exam table plus some, so the floor was the only option.) They roamed around and kept looking at the closed door to the waiting room because there was a lot of unusual (for them) sounds out there. So I opened the door. All 3 of them sat, side by side, about a foot inside our room and watched everything going on out there. None made any attempt to go out, even when people came up to the door to talk to them and try to coax them over for a pet. (But, none of them ran in the other direction either!) Then a lady walked passed, leading two little dogs... and all 3 pups went right out after them. They were so determined to meet the newbies, I had to close the exam room door. Jane showed up about two minutes later which got their attention on other things.

As part of the departure exam, Jane weighs the pup and there were some differences in what she got and what I got a few days earlier. Dino went up from 16.6 to 17.8 while Pony went from 17.75 to 18.5. Brown/white dog went from 18 to 18.4. Now here's the thing... Dino and Pony were weighed on the vet's big dog scale but Brown/white dog was weighed on her baby scale which is what I use at home. I don't know which is more accurate, but I do know which is easier!

Learn something new every day Department
When I do a post, there is a block called "labels for this post." I though it was a tag for the "blog search" function. Wrong! I'm not really sure WHAT it is for, but search ain't it! I've been telling people to put ciscoskids in the search bar to pull up all the posts relating to the Maggie and Cisco litter. That gets you nowhere and now I feel like the village idiot. However, if you put Maggie in the search bar, it WILL pull up any post with that word in it. Same for Cisco. So now I know and in the future I will use some kind of id consistently for each litter.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Rain Rain Rain

Yeah, I know, at least it's not snow! But I am so tired of wet... SOAKING wet dogs... I'm ready to move to the Sahara. Well, if it wasn't so hot there, I'd be ready to move!

I've starting letting the pups out on the deck now that I have just 5 to keep track of. Usually, pups immediately start hanging out there as soon as they discover there is another world just through the mysteriously appearing/disappearing hole in the wall. And within a day or two, a few of them are learning to go up and down the steps. This gang, however, isn't really impressed with outside. In fact, they wander out and then just come right back in. I tried to get photos out there yesterday and it was a bust. After almost an hour of standing on the steps all alone by myself, I went back inside and shut the door. The pups didn't even seem to notice! This is a strange group!

Here are a couple other color change shots
Once again, the pup (Diamond/Brogue's Duncan Mills) was BORN black-and-tan (which is a color pattern) rather than all black like the Maggie/Cisco pups were. You can see the brown (tan) on his legs in the newborn photo. He is 15 months in the next shot. I can hardly wait until Cisco's kids are grown up to see what color(s) they end up!