Archive for the ‘puppies’ Category

Day 28! Grublets On Board!

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

Day 28, ultrasound done. Our first time at Alliance Animal Hospital and I was very impressed (plus they’re a full service repro clinic, which is awesome!). Dr Gray was pretty sure she saw five!!! She palpated Zhora first and smiled at me and said “she’s pregnant”, and I nearly burst into tears.

Ultrasound showed all about the same size (which is good), all good heartbeats. Ovaries looked good, both had appropriate corpus lutea (which produce progesterone). She did suggest checking progesterone weekly to be sure it stays up since she resorbed the last litter.

So it’s only the first hurdle, there are more to come, but this was a big one, and she’s over it!

The Waiting

Saturday, August 12th, 2017

So now we are around day 23 (21 days from breeding tomorrow, but you generally count the day of ovulation as day 0, and she likely ovulated between July 19 and 20). I can’t help but feel anxious, I am scared to make plans or even think too hard about puppies, because the last time was really quite devastating, and we are getting into the (highway to the) “danger zone” in terms of when resorption can occur.

I look back through my notes from last year, and I see that day 35 was a Friday (June 24), and I remember she was looking “filled in” and losing her waist a bit, and I was starting to think about getting the whelping box set up and moving into the guest room with her. The Saturday I remember her lying beside me and feeling that she was getting rounder. And then the next day, that Sunday, I began to suspect that she was resorbing. I started measuring her waist and asking Jim if he thought she was looking smaller. I could see her shrinking. And then June 30, I called Kim and had her confirm what I already knew, that they were gone. I do remember that we only found one likely implantation site, and I do try to keep in mind that we were only about 90% sure that she was pregnant at all, and if she was, it was likely only one or two, and that resorption of one or two puppies is quite common.

But still.

I keep remembering that massive shift from happy anticipation to worry to dread to crushing disappointment.

I tell myself it’s going to be what it is. But Zhora is all that is left of Nina (other than Nina herself, of course), and she has so much that I think this breed needs, or at least things I think are important. And she and Bert are such a good combination, at least on paper.

We are getting into the “danger zone” in terms of timing, and of course I still don’t even know if she’s pregnant at all! We will check next week.

I keep reminding myself that my very experienced and supportive breeder friend Lynn told me that none of her girls ever “seemed” pregnant and she never knew for sure until day 28-30. She also told me she had a litter of 4 from a “one and done” breeding (a normal-sized litter for her breed, and all girls!). And many, many breeders only ever do one on purpose (how many “oops” litters are from a single tie?). Jenni’s awesome stud just sired a litter which seems to have a lot of puppies cooking, also a “one and done”. So we will just have to wait and see.

I am so very lucky to have so many wonderful breeder and dog person friends both online and in real life, who have given me great advice and generous support. This is a very big deal to me, and I am so grateful to have folks in my life who understand that.

I am trying not to fret. Trying hard. The waiting is the hardest part. For now, anyway!

It’s Done!

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

Zhora’s progesterone was 1.7ng/mL on 7/17 (day 8), 4.5ng/mL on 7/19 (day 10), and 8.1ng/mL on 7/20 (day 11). So she likely ovulated somewhere between Wednesday the 19th and Thursday the 20th.

A dog’s eggs take about 48 hours to “ripen” (they are not able to be fertilized immediately after ovulation). Zhora wanted nothing to do with Bert on Friday (Bert, however, wanted quite a bit to do with Zhora…). As I was course building at an agility trial in Erie, I drove back and forth to try and get this breeding accomplished. Because Zhora was being disinterested to hostile to Bert on Friday, I spent much of Saturday morning at the trial on the phone trying to find a vet or fellow breeder who could manage an artificial insemination for me just in case Zhora wasn’t going to allow a natural breeding.

Saturday night I spent over an hour on the floor trying to help them get the deed done. Bert was willing, Zhora was…not.

And then this (Sunday) morning at 4 am, Zhora woke me up and asked to go in with Bert and got things done like she’d done it many times before! I guess she prefers things on her own terms.

While I’d have been happier with more than one tie, I am very grateful to my breeder friends who assured me that the timing was good and that many, many litters are born from single ties (in fact, many breeders only EVER do one breeding, on purpose). So now we wait. Assuming she ovulated on the 19th or 20th, puppies would be due September 20-21 (dog gestation is 63 days from ovulation, one week in a dog pregnancy is roughly equivalent to one month in a human pregnancy). Fingers and paws and eyes all crossed, because now all we can do is wait.

2017 Invitational, Here We Come!

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

My girls did it again! They are such amazing dogs and they run their hearts out for me every time, and they LOVE the agility game so, so much!

Zhora qualified in first place again, Nina in fourth. This will be Nina’s fourth year in a row being invited, and Zhora’s third in a row (she’s only been in Masters for three years).

SO proud of my girls! And huge congratulations to my BFF and training/traveling partner Sue Verbocy, who also qualified with her two Vizslas! Orlando here we come! Look out!

0.6

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

Zhora’s progesterone was at 0.6 yesterday (day 5). She ovulated on day 9 last time, but it’s important to remember that ovulation can change from cycle to cycle in the same bitch. Average is about day 14, but that can change.

Zhora was on mibolerone (formerly Cheque drops) for 6 months at Dr Hutchison’s suggestion (he’s the repro vet who did the frozen semen surgical artificial insemination that resulted in the B litter, of which Zhora is one!). He thought one of the reasons she reabsorbed last time could have been that her uterine lining was too thick, and the mibolerone will help thin things out (every unbred heat is damaging to a dog’s uterus). Average time to come into season after stopping this medication is 70 days, Zhora went 77.

Further bulletins as events warrant! Please keep fingers and paws crossed that things will work out this time!

Again, I have a waiting list but I do not do “first come first served”, I match puppies to homes. These puppies SHOULD be very nice performance prospects, as both parents are high drive dogs with lovely work ethic (and lovely off switches). I will be giving priority to performance homes, mainly because if the puppies take after their parents (as I hope they will), they will really thrive in homes where they have a job to do. Both parents are very nice dogs to live with, but they do need an outlet for their working drive.

Finally!

Monday, July 10th, 2017

FINALLY! Zhora’s perfect timing strikes again, let’s hope for better results this time. She went into season last night, so we’ll call today day one!

Alaskan Malamute Club of America AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, July 9th, 2017

Nina was on 19 1/2 QQ”s today, but I overhandled a tunnel entrance in Standard and cost us the MACH. Oh well, it could be next weekend, it could be next year, but I am so happy to be here with her and running with her. Michele Fletcher’s courses were very technical and challenging but fun, you really felt like you’d accomplished something if you qualified on them! And Bert made his agility debut and did AMAZINGLY well! For a dog with just a few weeks of training (and not daily training either), he was wonderful, brave, focused, willing. What a good boy! He wore Tish’s pink Brilliant K9 harness all weekend and didn’t seem to mind, too!

Nina Saturday Jumpers (NQ because she slipped in the weaves, tried to keep going but had already slipped out. I had no idea how I was going to handle the opening, and then I did a blind cross which was not ANY of the different ways I walked it, worked nicely though!):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (NQ thanks to handler error that sent her to an off course):

Nina Saturday Standard (NQ):

Zhora Saturday Standard (Q, second place, 29 points, really tough weave entry and she drove ahead and nailed it!):

Bert Saturday Novice Standard (NQ, but what a great very first run, I was telling him all the way around what a good boy he was and what a great job he was doing, you can see on the table when I tell him how awesome he is and his tail starts wagging faster, what a sweetie):

Bert Saturday Novice Jumpers (NQ, but very nearly a Q! And he’s so focused on getting going at the start that he doesn’t want to sit):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (Q, fourth place, 20 points, the first four dogs were within a second of each other, the handling error that caused the near-refusal cost us time, this was a tough course!):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (QQ # 54, 18 points):

Nina Sunday Standard (not MACH….you can hear me call to videographer Zap “Did we Q?” at the end, after we destroy the course, the line after the non-wing jump after the aframe ate a number of teams alive, that…wasn’t where we had a problem, I called her even though she was headed to the right end of the tunnel after the dogwalk and earned a refusal):

Zhora Sunday Standard (QQ #54, third place, 29 points):

Clarion Canine Obedience Club AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

Our dear friend Sherry Jefferson was the judge this weekend and her courses were awesome. Zhora earned QQ #52 and Nina! Nina earned QQ #19!!! Video camera issues mean I missed some runs :(.We had 19 1/2 today but the deceptively tricky standard course got us (especially since I didn’t handle it the way I’d planned to). Nina was 3/3 in Time 2 Beat AND 3/3 in Jumpers, PLUS she earned another Master FAST Q. Nina’s best qualifying weekend to date! Zhora was awesome but caffeinated! Overall a very, very fun trial. Oddly, I am much more sanguine about sitting on 19 QQ’s than I was on 18. Now I believe that MACH will actually happen. Maybe next trial, maybe next year. It IS Nina after all, and no matter what, it’s amazing to be here with her! I am SO happy with how they are both running, they are both so eager and joyful about playing this game with me, that’s worth 20 MACHs to me.

Nina Friday FAST (76 points):

Zhora Friday Standard (QQ 53, second place to world team Keebler, 4.101 YPS, 32 points):

Nina Friday Time 2 Beat (Q, first place, 10 points):

Zhora Friday Jumpers (QQ 53, 4th place, 5.085 YPS, 20 points, one of her best runs to date):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (Q, 4.943 YPS, 20 points, LOVE her drive!!!):

Nina Saturday Time 2 Beat (Q, first place, 10 points, her happy bouncing around at the start line is the best thing):

Nina Saturday Standard (QQ #19, second place to world team Keebler, 4.17 YPS, 32 points, good good girlie, this course was so fun):

Zhora Saturday Standard (NQ, should have led out further so I could get the front cross in and keep her out of the tunnel!):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (Q, fourth place thanks to wrong turn, 4.789 YPS, 18 points):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (Q, third place, 4.805 YPS, 18 points):

Nina Sunday Time 2 Beat (Q, first place, 10 points):

Nina Sunday Standard (NQ, not-MACH (love my awesome friends all groaning when we NQ), intended to front cross after a-frame, should have…that set her up for the bar down on the awkward rear cross and off course tunnel):

Zhora Sunday Standard (NQ, fixed the near off-course at a-frame with Nina with a front cross before the table, remembered to cross after a-frame but stupidly did a BLIND cross, showing extension and forward direction, thus sending her towards the OFF COURSE TUNNEL again…also she ran right by the final tunnel because she was in a hurry to get cookies. And I LOVE that you can see her interrupt her regularly scheduled barking on the table when she recognizes Sherry’s voice and turns to look at her):

Western Lakes Training Club AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, June 11th, 2017

Our second time at the Sportsplex and much better than last time. Zhora earned QQ # 52 on Saturday, and both girls set career-high points on Oksana Syrkin’s awesome Standard course on Saturday (the dogs could see the running lines perfectly and just ran flat out the whole way). It was hot and sticky and while Zhora managed to be the only 8″ dog to qualify on Mary Mullen’s challenging Sunday Standard course, stupid handler errors cost us in JWW with both dogs.

Nina Friday JWW (Q, first place, 23 points, 5.52 YPS):

Zhora Saturday Standard (QQ #52, second place, career-high 37 points, 4.57 YPS):

Nina Saturday Standard (Q, first place, career-high 39 points, 4.82 YPS):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (QQ #52, second place, 17 points, a bit distracted still in the JWW ring but getting better):

Zhora Sunday Standard (Q, first place, only 8″ qualifier, 32 points, 4.068 YPS, quite a challenging course!):

Zhora Sunday JWW (NQ, she is very distracted by the crating by the ring and I needed to support the tunnel much more than I did, you can hear Nina barking, the crating is way too close to the ring here for my liking):

Nina Sunday JWW (NQ, nice run, I overhandled and got in her way and caused the bar down, you can hear Zhora barking, I only had 5 dogs between them and she had only just finished running and got chucked in the crate with a cookie and a promise for more when I got done running Nina!)):

Cuyahoga Valley Golden Retriever Club AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, May 14th, 2017

Some really fun and challenging courses from judge Laura English. A great weekend! Nina’s birthday was Sunday, and she celebrated early with QQ #18 on Friday, and went 3/3 in Time 2 Beat. Zhora was back on form, earning QQ’s #50 and 51 and going 5/6.

Nina Friday Standard (QQ #18, first place, 33 points, 4.265 YPS):

Nina Friday Time 2 Beat (first place, 10 points):

Zhora Friday Jumpers (second place, 21 points, 5.1 YPS):

Nina Friday Jumpers (QQ# 18, first place, 22 points, 5.244 YPS):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (QQ #50, first place, 19 points, 4.877 YPS):

Nina Saturday Jumpers (NQ because of stupid handler error not pushing her out to that jump near the end!):

Nina Saturday Time 2 Beat (first place, 10 points):

Zhora Saturday Standard (QQ #50, second place, 31 points, 3.96 YPS):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (QQ #51, second place, 19 points, 5.055 YPS):

Nina Sunday Time 2 Beat (first place, 10 points):

Zhora Sunday Standard (QQ #51, first place (only 8″ regular dog to qualify), 30 points, 3.945 YPS):