Archive for the ‘2016 litter’ Category

Hamburg All-Breed Obedience Club AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, February 26th, 2017

We ran under Oksana Syrkin this weekend and actually ran on her courses (Zhora earned her MACH under her when she filled in for Michelle Fletcher last May). Fun, flowy, fast but deceptively technical courses again this weekend. Zhora set consecutive personal best Standard points totals Saturday (32) and then Sunday (33), and a personal best Jumpers total today of 21. Nina ran really well, she didn’t trust that she was right on a tricky weave pole entry in Standard today that cost us a QQ, I think if I’d verbally supported it more she might have stayed in.

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (NQ due to handler error at the end):

Nina Saturday Jumpers (NQ, but those bars were down because of tricky angles, not plowing through):

Zhora Saturday Standard (Q, second place, 32 points, 4.076 YPS):

Nina Saturday Standard (NQ):

Zhora Saturday Open FAST (Q, first place, OF title finally):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ # 48, first place (beating Nina!), 21 points, 5.068 YPS):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (Q, second place, 21 points, she didn’t get a refusal for the spin since she didn’t go past the plane of the jump and was quite lateral to it, hard to see on the video):

Zhora Sunday Standard (part 2 of QQ # 48, second place, 33 points, 4.119 YPS):

Nina Sunday Standard (lovely run, should have told her she was right about the weaves):

Tamarack Lake Agility Club AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, February 12th, 2017

Nina had her best weekend in I don’t know how long. One stupid handler error today kept her from a perfect weekend. She earned QQ # 17 (JUST THREE MORE TO GO!), and didn’t knock ONE bar all weekend! Zhora had a perfect weekend, earning QQ’s 46 & 47. Judge Lisa Rieves designed some fun RLH (that’s “run like hell) courses, which are our favorite kind. Quite technical, deceptively trappy, lots of fun. A double double Q weekend that was almost a double double double Q weekend!

Nina Saturday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ # 17, first place, 17 points):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ # 46, second place, 15 points):

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

Nina Saturday Standard (part 2 of QQ # 17, first place, 26 points):

Zhora Saturday Standard (part 2 of QQ # 46, third place, 25 points):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (Q, first place, 18 points):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ # 47, fourth place, 15 points):

Zhora Sunday Time 2 Beat (9 points):

Nina Sunday Standard (NQ, nice run, bad handler didn’t support the panel jump):

Zhora Sunday Standard (part 2 of QQ # 47, second place, 27 points):

Erie Kennel Club AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, October 2nd, 2016

Judge Windle Ewing (who it turns out knows Debbie Spence, my first agility teacher from back in Texas) designed some seriously tricky courses for us this weekend. He was the judge under whom we earned our first double double Q last year. It was ALMOST a repeat this year, but then an absolute heartbreaker of a standard NQ today happened. I reminded myself right after that this is just agility, we aren’t curing cancer and world peace does not depend on it.

Zhora earned QQ’s # 29 and 30, halfway to MACH2 already! Nina ran beautifully. It was fun. We are off for two weekends now and we need it.

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

Zhora Friday Standard (part 1 of QQ #29, second place, 28 points):

Zhora Friday Jumpers (part 2 of QQ # 29, third place, 12 points):

Zhora Saturday Time 2 Beat (Q, second place, 8 points):

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

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ #30, third place, 15 points):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (Q, second place, 17 points):

Zhora Sunday Standard (part 2 of QQ #30, second place, 20 points, holy moly this course….only 2 8″ dogs qualified):

Nina Sunday Standard (HEARTBREAKER, on a double Q no less, the LAST BAR of the LAST JUMP….OMG…):

National Shiba Club of America AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

OMG I might just have a new favorite judge! Pam Johnson designed courses that Nina would have designed if Pam hadn’t done it first (and if Nina could use Clean Run Course Designer…), flowy, fast, RLH (that’s Run Like Hell), no need for pesky deceleration, just speed. They were LOVELY courses, with one single exception, the opening of yesterday’s Standard course, which gave most of us fits because of handler errors that were all too easy to make. Nina was SO CLOSE to a double, knocking the LAST POSSIBLE BAR today, which was at least partly my fault, since I didn’t decelerate where I had told myself to.

Nina was a Standard specialist last weekend, and a Jumpers specialist this weekend. She is running beautifully, faster than she ever has, got all her contacts, just JOFT (that’s Just One Little Thing, where “little” is now replaced with an f bomb….). She just needs TWO doubles to qualify for Nationals….just two….

Zhora was a rock star, earning two Time 2 Beat Q’s and double Q # 28 today plus a Jumpers from yesterday.

There were very few 8″ dogs, so I only had a few between them, so I was puffing!

I decided to post the good, the bad and the ugly this time.

Nina Saturday Jumpers (Q, first place, 21 points, 5.532 YPS):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (Q, second place, 17 points, 4.893 YPS):

Zhora Saturday Time 2 Beat (Q, second place, 9 points):

Nina Saturday Standard (wow…I just did not handle that tunnel/aframe properly at all, needed to pull way over to show her the line):

Zhora Saturday Standard (aaaaand then I did exactly the same thing with Zhora….):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (Q, first place, 21 points again, 5.261 YPS):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (Part 1 of QQ #28, Q, second place, 17 points again, how weird is that, they both got exactly the same points yesterday and today! 4.671 YPS):

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

Nina Sunday Standard (ONE FREAKING BAR!):

Zhora Sunday Standard (Part 2 of QQ #28, first place, 25 points, 3.627 YPS, I did NOT like this dogwalk entry, and I did not handle it as carefully as I could have, so she slipped and I had a bit of an EEK moment):

OK So…

Monday, July 25th, 2016

…I have a phone consult set up in a couple of weeks with Dr Robert Hutchison at Animal Clinic Northview (he’s a renowned repro specialist vet, who did the surgical AI that resulted in the B litter!) to discuss what he thinks the best course of action for Zhora is. Further bulletins as events warrant!


Saturday, July 16th, 2016

…so during a sleepless night recently I was thinking about things and I suddenly realized (and I am not sure how I hadn’t realized this before) that if I breed Zhora on her next heat, she will not only miss the Invitational, but also in all likelihood the National Agility Championship next March. Missing one or the other would be one thing, but missing both…I have never gone to the NAC before, and next year it’s in Georgia, a one day drive away. I could handle missing the Invitational I suppose, although to be going with the #1 (Zhora) and the #3 (Nina) dog is pretty cool, but given that it is possible that this might be our last time going if it moves to the west coast next year, it would be tough to miss.

So after discussing it with probably more people than truly wanted to discuss it with me, I may be putting off breeding Zhora until after the NAC. I am in the process of setting up a phone consult with Dr Hutchison at Animal Clinic Northview to talk about options (he is a renowned repro vet and is the one who performed the surgical AI with frozen semen that resulted in Zhora herself!). Updates will be posted here. I am so sorry that I am in the position of having to make this decision, since I know many people have been waiting for a puppy for a long time. I welcome any questions or suggestions!

Further bulletins as events warrant!

Very Sad News…

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Earlier this week I thought Zhora was looking smaller instead of bigger, and just “less pregnant”. Today I learned I was right. Ultrasound showed she had reabsorbed the litter. Her uterus and ovaries look healthy, no cysts or obvious problems to be seen, we could see one implantation site where a puppy had been, but there were no puppies left in there. Reabsorption happens in about 30% of litters and they don’t always know why, sometimes it is inflammation (which can sometimes be related to the semen extender they use to keep the semen alive when it is shipped), sometimes infection, but sometimes you just don’t know. We will try again with a natural breeding and hope. Zhora is the only intact dog left from Nina, so it would be devastating not to get something to move forward with. I am very upset but I also know that nature sometimes does what nature does. Dog breeding is not for the faint of heart, I had already put a significant amount of effort, time and money into this litter, I was ready to get the whelping box set up this weekend, but then I started to get a feeling earlier this week that something was wrong, and I was unfortunately right. At least she can go back to agility now!

Sometimes fate puts things in perspective for you, I was driving home from the ultrasound appointment this morning, crying and feeling very sorry for myself, when a line of cars attending a funeral drove past me. I still have my awesome Zhora, Nina and Tish, I still have my awesome husband and wonderful family and great friends. It can always be worse. But still, as Roseanne Roseannadanna said, it’s always something.

Week Five Over, On To Week Six!

Saturday, June 25th, 2016

Week five is over (yesterday was day 35), and we are entering week six!

The puppies have ears now, and their toes have differentiated. Their internal organs are continuing to form. They are now officially fetuses.

Zhora is getting a little more food now (not as much as she says she should be getting mind you!), it is important to keep the mum in a good but still lean body condition as being overweight and unfit can lead to difficult whelping and other complications. She is still eating her performance dog food which conveniently has 20% fat and 30% protein, which is what is recommended by repro vets. Plus she likes it! While she isn’t doing agility, she continues to go for regular long walks (we shift our walkies to the evening hours if it is too hot to walk during the day, don’t want to cook the babies!). She is still quite slender looking but she has a rounder tummy, a pooch on a pooch! The puppies do most of their growing in the last three weeks so it might be another week before she really starts to go into Zhornormous Zhorasaurus mode! She is still very much herself, playing with the others and full of energy and attitude, but she sleeps more and is very cuddly.

Next weekend we will set up the whelping box and do a supply inventory to make sure we have everything. I will move into the guest room with her the weekend after that and then we wait!

We are watching the Puppy Culture movie so we will know what to do and when. We will still do Early Neurological Stimulation too! I am excited to see how they respond to Puppy Culture!

Day 28 Ultrasound….

Friday, June 17th, 2016

…and it looked promising! We aren’t ultrasound experts so we can’t be 100% sure, but we were pretty sure we saw at least a couple of little puppy globs (called “vesicles”) in there, and we even saw some movement and what might have been a heartbeat! If there are puppies, their ears formed this week, and next week their toes will start differentiating!

Look at that good Zho smiling for the camera!

Look at that beautiful Zho smiling for the camera!

That black glob with the whitish glob inside it is hopefully a puppy embryo inside its vesicle!

That black glob with the whitish glob inside it is hopefully a puppy embryo inside its vesicle!

To everyone who has contacted me recently about puppies, I apologize for taking so long to get back to you, things have been hectic. If you don’t hear from me by next week, please re-send your email!

The way I do things is understandably rough for prospective new homes, I really do understand that (it would drive me crazy if I were on the other side of it!). Please understand that my priority is placing the puppies in the best homes for them, that means that I don’t decide who is going where, or even who is getting a puppy for sure in some cases, until they are at least 7 weeks old (one of my puppy owners from the last litter found out just a few days beforehand!). Many breeders do things differently, this is just what works best for me. This is why I don’t do “first come first served”, I don’t want to place a puppy in what might not be the right home for that puppy. If you don’t get a puppy, it isn’t necessarily that I don’t think you’re a great home (I will tell people if I think this isn’t the right breed for them though!), it’s that I might not have a puppy in this litter that will work out well for you. Until their personalities start to really come out, and evaluations are done, I don’t often make decisions about which goes where.

Given the parents of this litter, two dogs with lots of working drive, I am prioritizing performance homes (agility, herding, obedience, tracking, demo dog, etc.) at least at this point (this may change, depending on what we get!). This is not because being “just a pet” is a bad life for any dog (my dogs are “just pets” for 99% of their lives!), but because if a puppy has real potential and drive to work, it is both a shame not to use that drive and potential, and not ideal for the puppy OR the home to place a puppy with a real desire to work in a home where it won’t get to use that drive. A dog who wants to work needs a job, and really often isn’t the right fit in a home that just wants a nice pet. Dogs who want to work will find a job if you don’t give them one, and if they choose their own, you might not like what it is! Even high drive Vallhunds usually have an off switch, but they need an outlet for that drive in order for the off switch to function.

I hope this helps you understand where I am coming from, and please do contact me if I haven’t replied to your email! If you are interested in a puppy, please tell me about yourself, your home, your family and what your plans are for a dog. I get a lot of email, and I unfortunately often end up not replying to emails which simply ask if I have any puppies available without any further detail. This is a labor of love, I put a LOT of work into each litter, which is why I breed so rarely. 🙂

Further bulletins as things (hopefully puppies!) develop!

It’s Up to Zhora and Fate Now!

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

Well, round 2 done, seemed like she might be on her way out of ideal breeding time today so fingers, toes and eye crossed! (Why do the weekends always seem to get in the way?)

Bert’s contribution was amazing (Kim let me look at the drop she tested today under the microscope and holy moly there were SO MANY and they were SO VIGOROUS), and I can’t say enough good things about the ICSB Puppy Pak, super easy to use, and their extender is clearly some kind of wizardry!

It’s up to Zhora now, she was such a good girl for this weird alien abduction procedure! I think the cheese helped, she ate four sticks of string cheese while it was going on today! I hope, hope, hope this worked, this cross should be amazing.

We will know in a few weeks if we were successful. Watch this space!