Archive for July, 2017


Sunday, July 30th, 2017

The last time we showed to judge Howard Etzel, we had a no Q weekend. This time Nina earned her MACH, earned QQ #21 (#1 towards MACH2), and had a perfect day today! Her tally for the weekend was two QQ’s (one of which earned her MACH), two Premier Jumpers Q’s, a Time 2 Beat Q and a Master FAST Q. Her best weekend to date.

I was crying so hard when I went to hug the judge I could barely see. This MACH has been a long and amazing and educational journey and there were times I thought that we might not get there, and that would have been fine anyway!

Every single run with Nina is a joy, Q or no Q, and I try very hard to never forget to feel grateful for each and every one, thanking her for the privilege of her effort is part of every run). So very, very proud of this little dog.

At 10 years old she is running faster and smoother than ever, she loves this game more than anything, she is still bouncing with excitement at the start line, and she was a qualifying machine this weekend. This might have been our best qualifying weekend to date!

She is just an amazing dog. And I think HER favorite part of her MACH was that she got another turn to run!

Bert was awesome too! He earned his first NAJ (Novice Agility Jumpers) leg, and is really starting to get the hang of the game! He goes home in September and I will really miss him, I look forward to seeing how he progresses!

Nina Friday FAST (Q):

Nina Friday Premier Jumpers (Q):

Nina Saturday Jumpers (MACH part 1):

Nina Saturday Standard (MACH!!!):

Bert Saturday Standard (NQ, but really coming along nicely!):

Bert Saturday Jumpers (first Jumpers Q!):

Nina Sunday Premier Jumpers (Q):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ #21):

Nina Sunday Time 2 Beat (Q, bonus scritches at the start):

Nina Sunday Standard (part 2 of QQ #21!):

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!


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.


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):