Archive for the ‘breeding’ Category

Lobo!

Saturday, August 17th, 2019

Oops, they did it again! Jan Robles and Lobo (Alkemi Beowulf del Roble LS) have just earned yet ANOTHER breed first! Lobo just earned his Water Dog title through the Newfoundland Club of America! I don’t even know what that entails, but Jan says she’ll explain it. Jan and Lobo are an incredible team, it seems like there is nothing they can’t do when they put their minds to it. Lobo was also the first Swedish Vallhund to earn the Senior Barn Hunt and Master Barn Hunt titles, the first SV to earn a drafting title, and he is currently the only Swedish Vallhund Club of America Versatlility Champion who has earned all his required points from performance and companion events only. He also has his Silver Crazy 8’s title in Barn Hunt, his UD in obedience, his PT in herding, his BCAT in lure coursing, his advanced trick dog title and his AX AXJ in agility. His official name (with AKC titles only!) is Alkemi Beowulf Del Roble Ls UD PT FDC AX AXJ BCAT RATCH CGC TKA. Lobo is Nina’s son (with Tempest, AKA Mystarz Baileys Blazer) and Zhora’s litter brother. Jan also owns Zhora’s daughter Cora (formerly Popcorn), who is racking up titles of her own already! Jan was getting a female puppy from the litter Lobo was born in (the Tempestninas), until I heard her greet him when she was doing the puppy temperament assessments…she said “hello puppy!…oh….HELLO puppy!” and I knew right then something magical was happening. Jan is an incredible dog trainer and she and Lobo were just meant to be. It’s an amazing feeling as a breeder to know your puppy is truly living his best life, not only does Lobo (and Cora) have a wonderful, loving home, they also get to DO ALL THE THINGS. Thank you Jan! 

Jan says “

This email may be longer than you wish to receive, but my heart is so full right now with gratitude for those who have helped us on this journey.

As background you remember that Classy, my last Malinois, was my once in a life time dog and I never expected to have another.  Lobo clearly dashed that belief the instant we met.

Aside from how special he is and and what an incredible bond we have, I give huge thanks to my Berner connection.  After I got Glory, her breeder moved to NC from Colorado.  Shortly after our move to NC in the fall of 2016 one of woman who bought one of Glory’s puppies contacted Eden Jonas (Glory’s breeder) and told her I had moved.  Eden then contacted me and invited me to join a group of primarily Berner folks, but also a Newfie person, for some draft practice.  This was the beginning to me pursuing Lobo’s ANDD as well as DD titles as well as building friendship in our new home.

Sidebar here:  As we were preparing for his DD last year, Eden had serious doubts about whether Lobo could do the  1/2 mile freight haul pulling 60#.  He was a super star.

The token Newfie was Ariel and her owner Debbie Dennison.  Aside from some draft practice, we were just casual acquaintances.  Then earlier this year I took Cora to a building to get her used to an obedience ring prior to her CD and Debbie was also there working her Newfie.  As we were chatting afterwards a woman came up to Debbie and asked her about water tests.  I expressed an interest and Debbie said Lobo could do it.  Once the lakes warmed up, we started training in May.  The rest, as they say, is history.

A ‘coin’ is flipped to determine if a life jacket or boat cushion will be the dropped article to be retrieved.  Almost universally people hope for the life jacket.  It can be as small as possible as long as it is Coast Guard Approved.  Boat cushions are considerably larger.  For the Newfie test the coin toss was life jacket.  Debbie was standing next to me and said, “You were hoping for boat cushion, weren’t you?”  Yes I was.  Lobo is very impressive bringing that in.  What I didn’t realize is that there would be a separation coin toss for our test.  The coin toss came up boat cushion and I was thrilled.  Debbie and I rejoiced.  The judges thought I was crazy.  But as you watch this video, you will hear that the spectators got progressively more enthusiastic as Lobo’s test continued by the time he retrieved the boat cushion.”

Lobo is one of only two dogs who passed.

Nobody Home

Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

So the ultrasound was today, and while it wasn’t Dr Gray doing it (she’s off this week), and wasn’t a repro vet, we didn’t see anything.

There are very rare cases where there’s one or two puppies who aren’t seen on an ultrasound at this stage, but it’s unlikely that this is the case.

Our timing should have been good, the breeding should have been good (although they did use extender on the semen for some reason). Just wasn’t meant to be this time.

I am debating what to do, but I am leaning towards trying again on her next heat. Stay tuned.

Day 16

Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

Today is day 16 (from ovulation) and I see what I hope are promising signs (ultrasound appointment is July 9)! I’ve been looking back over my notes and posts from the last litter.

Zhora is very, very mellow. Happy to go for a walk and bouncing around all over the place when we are getting ready to go, but otherwise snoozing most of the time.

She is very, very affectionate, especially with Jim.

She has that cow-eyed, lovey look all the time.

It’s important to remember that her body is going to behave more or less as if she is pregnant, whether she is or not.

If she is pregnant, the embryos will be implanting very soon (roughly day 18-21). This is called “nidation”. Right now they are little blobs floating around free in the uterus after having migrated down into the horns over the last week or so.

She is eating her normal food, and getting her usual probiotic and Omega Fatty Acid supplement, plus folic acid. Normal walks and fetch in the yard but no agility.

WNY Twin Valley Cluster

Sunday, June 23rd, 2019

Friday Orbit took the point, bringing him to 14 points with one point to go for his AKC championship!

Saturday was Alice’s turn, not only did she get the point under judge Krista Hansen (bringing her to 14 with just one to go for her championship), Ms. Hansen also gave her an Owner-Handled GROUP 1!!! And then Dr. David Hansen gave her a Bred By Exhibitor Group 3! What an amazing day this was! Standing in the OH Best In Show ring was incredible. We had to do three groups in quick succession, we got the OH group win, then I handed her ribbon to Ruth and ran over to the Bred-By Exhibitor group ring, showed there, then ran to the regular group ring, entered late, and showed there. The show superintendent kept stopping by the various rings and telling me what was going on, that she’d alerted the ring steward and that they’d let me in when I got there. It was SO COOL!

Alice Winnings
OH Group 1 and the treat jar trophy that went with it, BBE Group 3. Alice 6/22/19

Sunday Orbit took best of breed to become my very first home-bred champion. I couldn’t be more thrilled, and Ruth has done such an awesome job training him and handling him. He has a great home AND he stays part of my breeding program. It’s just amazing!

AKC CHAMPION Alkemi Cosmic Curiosity LT! 6/23/19
Ruth, Jim and new Champion Orbit. Thank you!

And then they went on to be awarded his SECOND Owner-Handled Group 2!

Orbit OH Group 2 6/23/19

What a weekend! My first home-bred champion, Alice within a single point of becoming my SECOND home-bred champion. Orbit two best of breeds and two Owner-Handled Group 2’s. Alice one best of breed, an Owner-Handled Group 1 (someone asked me today what it was like being in the OH Best in Show ring….the answer? IT WAS FREAKING THRILLING) AND a Bred-By Exhibitor Group 3. The Zhoraberts are proving to be as awesome as I hoped.

The deed is done!

Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

The awesome Bekka met me Sunday night to do another blood draw. I drove that sample to my repro vet Monday morning first thing and also sent some of the same sample to the IDEXX reference lab. I got the call about 10:30 that it was 10.9 per my repro vet’s machine and 10 per the reference lab, so we needed to breed Monday night into Tuesday for ideal timing. Thanks to my awesome co-worker and friend Caroline, I booked it out of work, ran home, threw some things into a bag, and Zhora and I hit the road for Massachusetts!

Ollie’s owner Kat had come up with an awesome plan for a location. I was asking if she had a quiet room at her house or, failing that, we should probably do it in my motel room. She had a better idea. We met at her campsite, out in the country and very quiet. Plus! We stayed there!

Now Zhora is a strong-willed dog with a lot of personality, and that, plus her being more mature than Ollie, meant that I think he found her a little intimidating. She snarked at him a bit (as many do), and he took it personally (she also snarked at Bert, but Bert is experienced and comfortable being assertive). He was very interested, but very polite. So we didn’t get a natural breeding Monday night. I’d made an appointment for Tuesday afternoon with a local repro vet as a backup plan, and I was VERY glad I did! Tuesday morning we drove the dogs over to Kat’s training center, where they could run around together and have some room. Zhora was very flirty and I think if Ollie had been a tad bit less polite they’d have managed a natural, but this is his first time being bred and I REALLY didn’t want her to put him off the whole idea so….off to the repro vet we went!

We showed up at Slade Veterinary Hospital in Framingham, where we met with Dr Gatlin. She and her staff (all breeders) talked us through what was going to be done. Kat commented that this was the weirdest thing she’s ever done in the dog world. Poor Ollie was horrified, then thrilled, then horrified again, then he wanted a sandwich and a beer. His semen was excellent (92% motility (“are they moving?”) with over 88% progressive motility (“are they going somewhere?”), it was also a large sized sample for a smaller breed, so yay Ollie. We did a vaginal insemination and then I agreed to take part in a study which required a blood draw, so I decided to run another progesterone while we were there to decide if we needed to try a second breeding the next day. The progesterone came back at >20, which made me panic until I asked if it was an IDEXX in house machine, which it was. Dr Gray had told me (and others on my repro groups also said) that the IDEXX in house machines can be very inaccurate with the higher numbers.

I emailed Renee and Dr Gray with the details, and Renee sent me a pregnancy calendar (due date is August 11), and Dr Gray said not to worry about that progesterone number at all, that she’s seen colleagues report >20 on the in house with reference lab numbers closer to 7. So we should have been comfortably in the window (Tuesday would have been day 2-3, which is well within the ideal window).

So now we wait. I have some planning and thinking to do, but first we will see if she’s pregnant or not. That will be around July 7th.

I am so grateful to Kat for all her help, for her hospitality, and her company. We had an awesome time talking dogs dogs dogs for a day and a half!

Ollie and Zhora 6/11/19

2.5!

Saturday, June 8th, 2019

Zhora’s progesterone was at 1.3 on Thursday (day 6), which was higher than I expected that soon (she ovulated on day 14 last time, but day of ovulation can vary wildly from season to season, as any repro vet will tell you, Nina didn’t ovulate until day 21 when we did the frozen semen breeding for the B litter!), and then late yesterday (day 7) she was already at 2.5, which is associated with the LH surge, which happens before ovulation. So we could be looking at breeding as soon as Monday (eggs take 24-48 hours to mature and live for about 5 days after they are ovulated).

So the plan right now is to do another blood draw late tomorrow (Sunday, of course), drive it to my repro vet (the awesome Alliance Animal Hospital) in addition to sending some out to IDEXX so we know whether or not the numbers match. And then we may know about travel plans (one of the reasons Vallhunds are tough to breed sometimes is that you generally have to travel, or ship dogs or semen, to get the breeding you want).

Even when I have my ducks in a row, this time-critical stuff is always stressful!

Southern Tier Area AKC Show Cluster

Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

We had EIGHT Vallhunds competing, super exciting, including the #2 (#1 until recently) dog in the country. So grateful to everyone who came and showed! Rebecca James, Pat Ray, Becky Lueth, Kat Klein and Ruth Travers!

Friday May 31, 2019 Judge Mrs. Murrel Purkhiser: Alice Winners Bitch for 3 point major, Orbit Best of Winners for the crossover major

Saturday June 1, 2019: Judge Dianne P. Miller. Alice Winners Bitch for 3 point major #2, and Orbit BOW for the crossover major again for major #2!

Sunday June 2, 2019: Judge Donna Conod. Alice BOS for a FOUR POINT MAJOR (3 point major for WB and then another point for beating the bitch special), Orbit BOW again for the crossover FOUR POINT MAJOR! What an incredible weekend!

ZHORA DAY 1!

Saturday, June 1st, 2019

Zhora JUST started her season this evening…plans are being made! Watch this space!

EXCITING NEWS! ALKEMI D LITTER IN THE WORKS!

Monday, April 15th, 2019

I am thrilled to announce that, if all goes according to plan, Zhora will be bred to Ollie (Kingscrest New Year’s Mr. Right FDC CGC TKN) this year. Ollie is OFA Good and SV Retinopathy Clear (Zhora is OFA Good, SV Retinopathy Carrier). Ollie is a lovely, sweet, stable and handsome boy with a great working drive and we are very excited! Fingers crossed! Both parents are grey with tails so we expect grey, tailed puppies (Ollie should be an excellent match for Zhora, so while we wish he was a natural bobtail, he isn’t one). Watch this space!

Syracuse AKC Conformation Show Cluster

Sunday, March 31st, 2019

What a great three day weekend! Now that the AKC instituted a rule where if you have a class dog and a class bitch, you have a point available, it’s worth my while to show Alice and Orbit!

I’m very fortunate to have a great co-owner for Orbit in Ruth, since she and Jim not only give him a wonderful home, they’re also willing to bring him to shows and show him!

Friday we showed to judge Kathryn Madden, who was just delightful to show to. She was SO complimentary about the dogs, she said “the FRONTS on your dogs! You must be very proud!”). She gave Alice BOB for the point, and went on to give Alice Owner-Handled Group 2 in a large and competitive OH herding group. Later, when we were getting pictures done, she said “she’s a fabulous working bitch! Bring me a working dog any day!”). Not only that, but Alice made the cut in the regular group under judge Marie Ann Falconer. It was such an impressive group and I was so shocked that she made the cut that at first I thought the judge was just naming breeds when she walked past us and said “The Swedish Vallhund”.

Saturday we showed to Marie Ann Falconer. She also gave Alice BOB for the point, and then Alice went on AGAIN to take Owner-Handled Group 2 in yet another large and competitive group under judge Christina C Miller (who walked up and said “You’re my number 2”). Ms. Falconer passed us on the way out of the OH group ring and congratulated me and said “I cut her in group yesterday!”.

And then today, under judge Dianne P Miller (who was a little rough with the dogs on the table, in my opinion), Orbit got BOB and the point.

I was thrilled with how they both showed, and am so thankful and grateful to have awesome co-owners! Orbit loves his family.