Pruning the tree helps it develop stronger

Last weekend I wrote about my history from the beginning and how I went from my first champion to Dragoon and Savannah.   The tree, however, did not grow in  totally straight. There were many twists, turns  and some branches needed to be pruned off in order to develop a healthy line of dogs

So going back to the third generation, I had a nice girl named Abbey (Yasashiikuma Cinnamon Heart) that was the source of another branch of the family tree.

Abbey was bred twice to Hunter.   

judodkcThe first litter, born on the first night of Hannukah, was my Hannukah litter.   In this litter were two puppies I allowed friends to co-own, paying nothing for them.   Judith, pictured above, and Mike.  Unfortunately the co-owners of Judith divorced, and the husband decided he wanted her (out of spite) and I lost her in a court battle, getting paid less than I had expended on show entries and handling.  Apparently later he met a new girlfriend who didn’t like the dog and left her with his ex-wife, of course now spayed.   Mike’s co-owner took him to Ireland, and then dumped him.  Thankfully I did hear where he ended up and I was informed when he passed on a short while ago

The repeat of the litter, a year later was the Spice Litter.


Megan was a pretty girl with a lot of very nice attributes.   The youngest in a houseful of adult dogs she believed she was the princess until the arrival of her half-sister Gale a few months later.   Megan had a very short and satisfying road to her championship.  When I had asked others if there would be competition at the Orangeville show, I was told, “Oh no, the judges suck.  But we will be entering the Credit Valley show the next weekend”.  So I decided to enter Megan just for the ring practice, after all entries were only $9 a day back then!  To my surprise there were 8 other class dogs and bitches entered, and by going Best of Winners all three days she was at 9 points.  Only one point from her championship!  The next weekend, all that was entered was one special.  I thought it impossible, but we beat the special for the last point and Megan finished her championship!

Megan had a litter in 2003 sired by Am/Cdn Ch Phi-Vestavia Uriel of Careleon.   Sabra was from my “Liqueur Litter” and finished quite quickly.  She was a substantial bitch, with a pretty head, but needed a better front, and to be lower stationed.   

Sabra died suddenly while I was at a conference.   Not knowing what had killed her I had an autopsy done at Guelph, and learned more than I wanted to know about Chylothorax.  Sabra had one litter sired by Harry Potter and the girl I kept from that was Jaime, Yasashiikuma Cerydwen Sorceres.  (Yes, one S due to space limitations).

Jaime was a very pretty girl, and I had great hopes for her.   She had passed all her health clearancs with flying colours, I had plans to bred her, and then disaster struck.   In July 2009, Jaime also developed Chylothorax.  This time I knew the warning signs, and with great expense and a lot of praying, she came through it.  You can read about that time by clicking here.  Mother and daughter both having this was too much to ignore, so Jaime was spayed and that branch of the family tree was truncated  Happily, Jaime is in an absolutely wonderful pet home where they absolutely adore her and is doing well.

Megan’s second litter, born in 2004 was sired by Am/Cdn. Ch. McLea’s Admiral.   This was my Ice litter and the girl I kept was Cinder (CH. Yasashiikuma Fire and Ice)

Cinder was a very pretty girl with lovely movement, and finished quite quickly by 9 months old.   She had one litter for me – the Fire Crew born in 2008 and sired by Merrymoon Noblestar Jacob.   From this breeding there were two very nice puppies who did very well.

Ch. Yasashiikuma Burning Issue (Chief) is owned by Norman Dale of BC and was shown to his championship by Norm’s daughter.   On the road to his championship she earned a Group 3 with him, and was Best of Winners at the Canadian National in 2010. Not too shabby for her first show dog!

And the girl that I kept was Ember, (Ch. Yasashiikuma Slow Burn) who finished in a single weekend at the London shows, even defeating Dolly for the breed one day!   There was so much that I loved about this girl and would have loved to have carried on with her.  Unfortunately her hips were not good enough for me to carry on with, so another branch of the tree was truncated, and Ember lives with her half brother in Chicago.

Megan did have one more litter, unplanned by me, sired by her 9 month old nephew Spud.   That was my “loose ladies” litter, and they were all placed in pet homes.

So, unfortuantely, although there were some very nice puppies produced by this branch of the family tree, unfortunately none of these lines have been perpetuated, and Chief is my only option to carry on with.

For the next installment, I will go into the detail on the other two branches of the tree – the legacies of Gale and Libby.



It’s a “Pile-O-Puppies”!


Day 3 and we’ve just come home from getting dewclaws removed at the vet.  We have four different vets that we use for different things and none are close to home!

The horses get treated by the large animal practice in Markdale – and Dr. Jim is wonderful with them, and has a soft spot for our old pensioner Manitou.  Tell me how he can put a horse under a general anaesthetic, remove a squamous cell tumour from his third eyelid, give him antibiotics and a days boarding, and come out around $300?  To do the same to a dog (which doesn’t require nearly the same amount of sedation) would probably come out close to $1000.

Then we have the repro clinic up in Owen Sound where “the boys” are stored. 

Dr. Graham’s clinic in Hillsburgh gets most of my “unfrozen” repro work, and delivered the Firehouse Crew by c-section at 2 in the morning.

And then our clinic in Palgrave gets most of the day to day work.  Three clinics for the dogs – all 45 minutes away in different directions.

 Anyhow, I digress.  I wanted to show the babies, day 3 🙂

Starting at the bottom left is Sparky.  “Cheek to cheek” with him – the brindle with the dot in the back of the neck is Ember.   She is resting her head on Flicker.   Upside down is Chief.   In the top right corner, Reba is lying on top of Fergus, and Aiden is in the top left corner.

We are doing well and everyone is at least back up to their birth weight (I HATE those first couple of weigh-ins you are hoping for small losses instead of large gains!!).  We already have the “pigs” and the “stubborn one” (does red hair give you a hint??)

Just for fun I should have gotten Chris to shoot a picture of me in the whelping box with Cinder and the puppies, eating pizza and sharing “pizza bones” with Cinder.  She wasn’t complaining about having the company (or the pizza bones).

We gave Dolly and Libby their first pizza crusts also (we don’t get it that often, but since we passed by Johnny’s Pizza on the way back from the vet we treated ourselves).   Dolly hoovered hers down like she does anything edible (which is why she’s on a diet).  Libby was not quite sure what to do with this strange new treat and just held it like she was smoking a cigarette for about 10 minutes.  It was quite amusing.  The taste must have finally won out and she chewed it up and ate it!

Introducing the Firehouse!

Well we have passed the first 12 hours and everyone appears to be doing just fine.  Cinder is a terrific mother, and the babies are spotless, content, and dry.  She appears to be very careful as to where she lies down, but the babies still manage to squirm their way under the towels in the whelping box, so I’m still relegated to the couch.  A full night’s sleep I guess is a thing to reminisce about for a while.

I am very very happy with the litter.  The perfect split in sexes, all nicely marked with no mismarks.  Everyone is eating well, sleeping well, solid and active.  Hopefully, all will stay that way.

So, time to introduce the newest additions to the household.


This is Bonnie (Bonfire), the largest of the girls.


This is Aiden, he is the smallest of the boys


This is Chief, the largest puppy


Ember is one of the two small girls.


And Flicker is the other.


Fergus – the last of the brindle boys.  So far the only way that I can tell Aiden, Fergus and Chief apart is by the width of the whitespot at the top of the head!


Then the first of the two reds – Reba – what other name could we give a girl with such bright red hair!


And her brother Sparky.  If we keep Sparky he will be Yasashiikuma Jacob’s Ladder.  If you need to understand the reference have a look at

Arrival of “The Fire Crew”

It’s Saturday morning, 4:30 a.m. – and it give me great pleasure to announce the safe arrival of the “The Fire Crew”.


Cinder was showing signs of labour this evening, but would not transition over to large, productive contractions.   After watching her for several hours, we decided that having a C-section was a good idea, rather than risk losing puppies.  Thankfully we made a wise decision.

 Cinder was so full of babies that her uterus was stretched to the maximum.  Eight babies weighing between 9.6 and 11.6 ounces.  There are 4 boys and 4 girls – 3 brindles and a red of each sex.  The last puppy in one of the horns was in distress due the meuconium plug having already come out, but we managed to save her also.  The staff at Graham Animal Hospital were wonderful, working extra hard to save all these babies in their second C-section of the night.  They started prepping Cinder at 12:15 and we were home at 4 a.m.  at which point Chris collapsed in bed.

I have had long enough to determine sexes and colours and give each puppy a supplemental feeding until Cinder’s milk comes in, and am now on watch to ensure they all stay warm and content.  When Chris wakes up, I’ll take my turn for a nap.

 Thanks to everyone for your good wishes for a safe delivery,  it appears that they worked!