The “Puppy-minium” is shrinking!

 

Three of the babies have left in the past week, and I’ve been able to shrink the puppy’s apartment a little. This has been quite a trying week, some hard decisions to be made, and thankfully some averted.  There have been some major losses, and some averted.

 

Saturday started out with taking the remaining Olympic puppies to the vet for their second shots.   Later in the day Hunter gave me a tremendous scare.   Seventeen years ago I lost my very first dog Blaze to liver failure.   In the days before she trembled uncontrollably, and just laid around.   So late Saturday afternoon , when Hunter was moaning and trembling, I contacted the emergency clinic, because I was afraid it was his time.  When the vet called me back, he decided to get up walk into the kitchen and eat.  The vet suggested waiting until Monday for a blood test

 

Monday morning was a sad time for me.   I made a very hard decision, and I hope that I made the right one.   I had intended to keep Savannah (Cookie) here with me and raise her with Cara.     However, as John Lennon says, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”

With great regret I decided to let Savannah accompany Baron to his new home in Texas.  This was not a decision I’ve made easily.  I have two puppies here from LAST YEAR (Dash and Shadow) who have yet to finish their championships due to a lack of  competition.  I could have kept her here, but she would have just sat around like them, not reaching her potential, and she is such a pretty puppy she has the potential to  do great things, but  I know she won’t do them with me.   :(   So she is going to be co-owned by Baron’s owner (who prefers to announce this when she is ready), and will start a U.S. career first.

Afterwards Hunter had his bloodwork done.  I cried throughout, being scared of what they would find – and he is perfectly healthy.   She explained that the tremors are a neurological issue that develops with old age.  His white level counts are slightly elevated and he is on an antibiotic, but the real problem is his back.   He hurts (most likely as a result of falling down the stairs when the gate was left open), so he was put on Tramadol and she recommended he see a veterinary chiropractor.  The next appointment with the chiropractor associated with the clinic wasn’t available until November 2nd,, but unbelievably there is one in Minden!!

Tuesday night, Hunter had his first appointment.   By the end of the treatment, he was actually wagging his tail!!!  Wednesday he was a little ouchy again, but by Thursday, he was getting up and walking around, and actually climbed the stairs to come inside again by himself without me having to carry him.

Wednesday was the 4th anniversary of Chris’ death.   It was also the 5th birthday of Carolyn’s “Freedom”  litter, including Libby.  Poor Libby has gotten the short shrift for her birthday as a result.  This year, the dog world lost a great dog man, breeder-judge Paul Hudson, who happens to be the brother of Baloo’s new mother, Collen.   Paul has had a rough few years since breaking his back as a result of a fall from fixing a roof, and had been in a coma for the past month.   Now he is free from his chair, and can run with his dogs once again.

Friday we lost another great dog person, Fanny Edwards, of Markwell Labradors and previously Cardigan Corgis.  Fanny owned Peter, the dog who sired my first litter, and Matthew who fathered my second.  Without her help, and helping me to select the puppies I kept, there would not be all of the dogs in my house today.

Today, there was another departure, but this one is a happy one.

Zeus has found his family.   Welcome to the Yasashiikuma family Tatyana, Eduardo and Alexander and enjoy your new little family member.  Those in the Toronto area will get to meet them at shows in the near future, and hopefully we can give some guidance and encouragement to the newest novice and junior handlers  in our family :)

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes I really wonder why I do what I do….

Well, it is now over a month that I have been making the trip between residences, toting the entire crew with me.  These photos show a little bit of the insanity that has become my life.

 

Every week is like packing to go to the Nationals.   Right now I am travelling with SIXTEEN dogs, and I don’t even have Brogan along as he is visiting with Debbie until life settles a bit. (I know it will never settle totally).

So it is easy to fall into the trap of self-pity at this stage.   I made the decision to breed both Libby and Jade, based on the fact that I had 32 names on my waiting list.   I have learned a lesson, and will not make that mistake again!  Next time, it will be deposits to show commitment, if I am going to breed more than one litter at a time.

Really the puppies are very good.  They all take the travelling like seasoned professionals with no car sickness, or accidents in the crate.  It’s just that the loading of dogs is a one to one and a half hour process at each end, and then the kennels at the departing end have to be cleaned and blankets put on to be washed so that they are ready for our next arrival.

To add insult to injury, not only is there basically an entire “extra” litter of puppies, I am also dealing with three dogs that hate each other, a dog that has come back and not found a new home, and an old dog that has become incontinent :(   But I’ve been dealing with it.

Then this week turned out to be the week from hell.   I had put an ad in the paper to hire someone to come in and look after the dogs mid-day.  Only two responses, and the woman I hired (and gave my spare keys to) only showed up one day before heading to Toronto to take care of “personal stuff” with no notice (and no returning of the keys).   So when I get home its a mad flurry of getting dogs out, cleaning kennels, washing floors, and blankets, and feeding.  Unfortunately the young girls are bored and becoming destructive to boot :(   I can’t even get them out for a walk in the woods because by the time I am done it is dark.

Thursday night I arrived home to torrential rain on top of the darkness.   And to top it all off – I locked myself out of the house.   Because said “care provider” had my only spare set – there has been NO time to get more cut!! – I was unable to use them to get in, and could not contact her by phone.   Finally my boss drove out and was able to get in through a basement window to get me in.

So driving home last night, I was really beginning to question the wisdom of what I am doing.   Why am I breeding dogs for people who really don’t care about the quality of the dogs they are buying, and end up buying the first dog to become available?  Why am I bothering to health test, and spend money on using quality stud dogs, when people don’t really care about the pedigrees or whether their dog is “programmed” to live a long and healthy life, they just want a cute cheap puppy?

Then last night, on the way home, I had a reminder of why I do what I do.  I have always maintained to my people that I am a 24/7 resource for them for advice and help   So when one of my families contacted me saying their puppy had swallowed a magnet and what should they do, I immediately called and talked them through getting the offending item out of said puppy.

 

So thank you for reminding me why I do what I do.  It is so that people who do care where their puppy comes from, and do wait and adopt a puppy from me, have someone to rely on for advice.     Out of every negative experience comes a positive lesson, and thank you for providing the one I was needing last night!