Archive for the ‘Alice’ Category

The Thinking Thing

Monday, September 14th, 2020

Nina was such an easy dog to breed that I started out breeding Vallhunds with the idea that they were super easy and it was a doddle.

Then came Zhora.

There are many things I did in terms of breeding Zhora that I regret and wish I could go back in time to do differently.

I wish I’d started earlier with her. That’s the single biggest regret I have. She produced spectacular puppies and was a great mother, and it’s looking likely that her one litter was the only one she’ll have. I’m still hedging my bets on this because I want to see how it goes with Alice but…

I wish I hadn’t used mibolerone. I was told by a high profile repro vet that it was advisable to use it in any intact bitch to preserve her uterus from unbred heats. I do think that this was in good faith at the time, but I also think that the thinking is different now. I don’t know that this had anything to do with her issues, but…

Her issues maybe weren’t as huge a deal as they are in my memory. She missed or resorbed on our first attempt but I am convinced that it’s most likely that we bred her too late. That was fresh chilled and I thing we were a couple of days too late for success thanks to a weekend getting in the way. That was a very stressful breeding!

I think the same thing happened when we tried to do a TCI when a natural didn’t happen the third time I tried. I also think we may have been a tiny bit late that time by the time we actually got the breeding done.

Both times she failed to have a litter were with AI when extender was used. I know “they” say that extender doesn’t cause a problem but…

I wish I’d just bred her last winter when she came in just in time for me to have to skip the Invitational, but I was so excited about going to the National Agility Championship in the spring….I wasn’t to know that COVID would cancel THOSE plans.

So I decided I was going to breed Alice for the first time at around the same age I bred Nina for the first time. Nina was 2 1/2, Alice is almost 3. This gives me much more time in her breeding life to plan and adjust as needed, and more wiggle room for how many litters she can have (2 or 3 instead of 1). I think she is a pretty amazing dog and an excellent example of the breed in many ways.

But the heartbreaks with Zhora have for sure given me “once bitten twice shy” syndrome. I keep analyzing the timing for this breeding we just did. I am reasonably certain that at least the Saturday breeding was within the window. Even if she ovulated late Tuesday, the eggs wouldn’t have been ripe until Thursday, and they live for at least 2-3 days, which puts Saturday within the window.

Plus it was my first AI attempt. So we will see. I booked her pregnancy check for October 6 (that’s day 28), and I will just have to bite my nails until then. I am glad that she is young and healthy and I was so impressed with how she handled the indignities of the AI (she is like that about everything though, she takes everything in her stride, plus cookies help).

I wish I’d just done an AI on Friday, and I wish we’d actually started Thursday. But it is what it is! Fingers and paws crossed.

The Deed Is Done!

Sunday, September 13th, 2020

Ollie arrived Friday evening, we nearly had a tie but just couldn’t quite get it done. So Saturday Kat and I sat and watched several videos on how to collect and inseminate (thank goodness I took Renee the repro tech’s advice and picked up two AI kits on Friday!), and then we collected Ollie and inseminated Alice. We were pretty sure they could have managed a natural breeding yesterday but after three near misses we decided to just get it done one way or another.

I am fortunate that Ollie has been collected several times, so he knows what it’s about, and I was really impressed with myself that I managed it!

I think our timing should have been good (today is most likely the last day of the window). We got one AI done yesterday and another this morning. So hopefully we were well within the window, hopefully I did it right, and hopefully all goes well.

I am so grateful to Kat for driving here to make this happen. Fingers crossed for a healthy Alice and a pregnancy!

Ollie is such a lovely dog, so happy and friendly and easy-going, I am really excited to see how this cross turns out!

Dog breeding is not for the faint of heart, not many people can say that they spent their weekend learning how to collect and AI dogs…

Alice Progesterone

Saturday, September 5th, 2020

We started progesterone testing! Remember per Dr Gray “Identifying day of ovulation requires documenting a rise in progesterone beyond 4-8ng/ml with ideally at least a 2ng surge/jump over a 24 hour period.”

Day 5 Wednesday September 2: 0.3 ng/mL

Day 7 Friday September 4: 0.5 ng/mL

Day 8 Saturday September 5: 0.9 ng/mL (thank you for coming in on a weekend Linda, and thank you to another vet clinic that allowed me to drive the sample over to them to go out in their lab pickup!)

Going the right way for sure! And she has been just spectacular for her blood draws so far.

Alice Day 1

Saturday, August 29th, 2020

Sad news about Lisa, then exciting news about Alice. I’d felt she was getting close to going into season and today turns out to be day 1!

I will start progesterone testing later this week, which will tell us when it’s time for Ollie to make his way here.

So exciting!

Alice Training

Friday, August 7th, 2020

I’m really happy with her! You can tell we’ve been working the dogwalk a lot since it’s got a lot of value for her right now.

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PACH NINA!!!

Saturday, August 1st, 2020

Today, at the Olean Kennel Club trial at Countryside Agility in Erie, Nina became Can CH MACH PACH Vastgota Nina Ricci MXG MJC MXP2 MXPB MJP3 MJPB XF T2B3!!!

I have been so very fortunate to have this amazing little dog to play this game with. She brings 110% to the line every time, even when I don’t (and she lets me know if I mess up). Nina was made for agility, it is her very favorite thing, and I am so happy she is still able to run fast and happy and sassy at 13. It is an honor to have her as my best friend and a joy to have her as my teammate and I treasure every run with her, Q or NQ. She is such a special dog in so many ways.

It was so awesome to earn her PACH under our friend and favorite judge Sherry Jefferson! And at a suggestion from Glenn and Rebecca, we did a social distancing PACH picture:

The day I stole her from Ulla was one of the best days of my life. Because of Nina, I know so many people I wouldn’t know otherwise. Because of Nina, I’ve gone places and done things I wouldn’t have done otherwise. She is my Ninabean, and there will never be another Nina. Thank you for the privilege of your efforts my Tiny Bean, I love you. 

Nina Jumpers (part 1 of PACH):

Nina Standard (PACH NINA!):

PACH celebration (the video got stopped and then started again so we didn’t get the celebratory elbow bump with Sherry unfortunately, but we DID get the celebratory hip-bump with Sue!):

Zhora Jumpers (QQ #131, second place, 19 points, 5 YPS):

Zhora Standard (QQ #131, first place, 30 points, 3.89 YPS):

Alice Open Standard (NQ but some really nice bits!):

Alice Open Jumpers (NQ):

Alice Training

Sunday, July 26th, 2020

Just some Alice videos. Video has been extremely useful for me, both in training and in trialing.

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Alice Dogwalk Training

Monday, July 20th, 2020

Alice is the first dog I’ve attempted to train a running dogwalk with. It’s a learning experience and I don’t yet know if I will regret it or not (I trained a stop with Zhora and then stopped asking for the stop, so she runs through the contact zone now but has never once been called on a dogwalk contact in her entire career).

Here are some videos of training:
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Greater Pittsburgh Golden Retriever Club AKC Agility Trial

Saturday, July 18th, 2020

We love Laura Kuterbach. But today Nina didn’t feel like a PACH. Another 19 1/2 day. Zhora won the Standard class but I sent her off course with a mishandle in Jumpers.

ALICE was the star today, NAILING her weaves in Standard and recovering from a slip in the weaves in Jumpers (after a big slip on her first attempt) to earn her second Open Jumpers leg.

Everyone wearing face masks, some with better grace than others.

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (NQ):

Nina Saturday Jumpers (Q, first place, 23 points, 4.8 YPS):

Zhora Saturday Standard (Q, first place, 27 points, 3.7 YPS):

Nina Saturday Standard (NQ):

Alice Saturday Open Standard (NQ, she was chasing her leash dragging on the ground after the leash runner, but NICE WEAVES!):

Alice Saturday Open Jumpers (OAJ leg #2, lovely run, slipped after stepping on the base of the weaves, 4.1 YPS even WITH having to restart the weaves!):

Admiral Perry Obedience Training Club AKC Agility Trial

Saturday, July 4th, 2020

Our first trial back in four months. I decided to dip my toes in and do a few Saturdays to see how it was. Overall I was very pleasantly surprised, everyone wore masks and social distanced and it felt pretty safe.

Nina is just one QQ away from her PACH, and I cost us that QQ with an ill-conceived rear cross that wasn’t really necessary, which put her into berzerker mode.

Zhora QQ’d, she was thrilled to be back.

Alice earned her Open FAST title and had two really nice NQ’s in her other classes. Really nice to see her finding the value in the work, I was really happy with her.

It was so great to see my agility peeps!

Judge Robert Jeffers had some nice if tricky courses, a generous wheel, a generous eye on the contacts, and the fastest table count in the West, which STILL wasn’t fast enough for sassypants Nina!

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (QQ #130, third place, 21 points, 4.9 YPS):

Nina Saturday Jumpers (Q, first place, 26 points, 4.9 YPS and would have been even faster without the near-off course):

Alice Saturday FAST (Q, Open FAST title, LOOK AT THOSE WEAVES!!!):

Zhora Saturday Standard (QQ#130, third place, 31 points, 3.9 YPS):

Nina Saturday Standard (NQ velociraptor mode):

Alice Saturday Open Standard (NQ, really nice run, I showed lateral motion as she took off for the triple and she sliced and knocked the top bar):

Alice Saturday Open JWW (I pulled her out of the weaves, nice run though):