Archive for July, 2008


Nothing satisfies like these very warm days of midsummer… Enjoying the heat of the sun resting on the patio, and enjoying the flowers that you so diligently planted in the Spring.


Everyone here is just marking the days until Emma’s due date of 8/08/08. She is moving much slower, taking up much more room on our bed at night, but still enjoying life in the pack… quietly.


The girls still enjoy chasing chipmunks in the front island and chewing various flowers that only they know are good tasting.


Like the youthful exuberance of young children on summer vacation, their smiles say it all!


…while those of us here who are older and saddled with more responsibilities, carefully watch and wait. Like this bush in the background, that I have been trying to mold for the last four to five years, we are expecting our hearts and spirits to soon soar with the arrival of this long awaited litter.


The Power of Friendship

While we await the birth of a new litter of pups in early August, the wheel of life continues to turn for the rest of us and our animals. About 2/3’s of the folks on our waiting list are those who have lost a departed canine companion and friend. We get photos from our friends who come upon an old picture, and send it along with their remembrances of a family member too soon gone. And although I see life and death in many forms every day, most people see little of my world, and may only bump against the true reality of our short existences when their beloved pet passes.

Our friend Ken recently sent us a few more photos of their first golden Holly who died this Spring.


I recently came across a poem that seemed appropriate, author unknown.

“I Stood By Your Bed Last Night”

‘I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peek. I could see that you were crying. You found it hard to sleep.

I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear, It’s me, I haven’t left you, I’m well, I’m fine, I’m here.

You lay there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew, In the stillness of the evening, I was very close to you.

And when the time is right to cross the brief divide, I’ll rush across to greet you and we’ll stand side by side.

I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see. Be patient, live your journey out… then come home to be with me.’

It is nice to daydream that somehow and somewhere we will all meet again, whether as spirits or particles of knowing cosmic energy. Like fireflies perhaps, we may soar on night’s breeze, intermingle, and, share the company of the universe.

More troubling to me this week was the number of people who came up to me at the office and hospital, asking if I could help them place their beloved dog, cat, or rabbit. Tough economic times are forcing folks young and old to move, and sometimes their new home doesn’t allow for their pet to accompany them. While some people can discard a longtime companion with little regret, the pain involved for most owners is terrible to witness.

One of our breeding friends sent us this moving video that was on YouTube. My family has already seen it, but for our readers, this speaks to the deep bond that forms between animals and mankind when love is the glue..

Click on this link and be sure your sound is on:

Parting with a dedicated living companion (even one the size of a lion) is one of those experiences I hope to never have. The sense of loss and confusion in the mind of the animal must be equally unsettling.

Nesting Work

This week we got a congratulations card on our upcoming litter from Janet and Andy and their golden Logan. (Just ignore the broken middle finger please).


This got Barb and I thinking that there was not too much time left before Emma’s due date of 8/08/2008. So like any excited parents or grandparents to be, we got started on cleaning and rearranging the whelping box area.

First to go was all my wine and beer making equipment.


Multiple trips to the pool shed, and I had a new place to develop cool summer drinks through better chemistry.


Then we had to pull up the old linoleum, bleach the floor, and let everything dry.


Next we put down new linoleum…


Then we placed another layer of tiles on the whelping box floor and then put the box together again.


Barb repainted the wall where we keep the white board with key information, and the room was done!

Our nursery is now sanitized, easy to clean, and ready for puppies and company. A lot of work as usual but at the same time it is very satisfying to know that Emma is over half way along with her pregnancy.

Emma’s Weekend Ultrasound


Having a portable ultrasound at our home is a definite plus. We have my son Michael and his company (GE) to thank for donating this very nice laptop unit for my mission work. Despite being a few years old it has a lot of features. The only drawback is that it came with no instruction manual. So I bumble around trying to figure the buttons out.

Today we scanned Emma again (or tried to). The technique is definitely not the same as in humans where you have an absence of fur and a cooperative still patient. Despite having Emma tired out after her run, she had her own ideas about a belly full of jell and just wanted to lick it off.


Still, we definitely confirmed that there are at least seven to eight puppies inside her and probably more. Despite the light reflex from the screen, you can make out the two puppy sacs on the very top right side of the screen. Inside each of those dark black circles is a baby puppy growing.


To give our readers something to compare, here is the ultrasound photo I took of Emma’s last litter about a year and a half ago. This equipment was not portable and much more costly. Hence the better photo of the two puppy sacs. Plus she was much farther along in this picture.


At the end of this effort, Barb and I were content. She definitely has a nice sized litter growing.


And for our recent clients, we have found that three or so of the folks on the top of the list have changed their plans or got other dogs. So that should give some hope to those who contacted us more recently.

Mixed Breeding News, But Still Good News!

Life rarely grants you all that you want, and it surely could have been worse news. But we were extremely hopeful that we would have a double litter situation. Especially when I noticed that Emma and Riley started to hang together more than usual. And nap together which they had never done before.


But… We have to finally acknowledge that our Riley is not pregnant. It hasn’t been a fun week here after we found that her first ultrasound was negative. We had put so much effort into her breeding that even after the second ultrasound, I still wasn’t satisfied. We did one of those 100$ dog pregnancy tests that I just learned about, but had to wait four days for the result. When it came in negative today, I did a third ultrasound here at home and it still was the same negative news. Bummer squared.

We then put the scanner on Emma with both of us holding our breath. Easily recognizable puppy sacs were seen in both horns of her uterus. Smiles broke out on both of our faces. Our wish for puppy squeaks again in our home is a good possibility now. She would be due about August 8th.

So now that there is a pregnancy documented, we can show you some of the photos of our stud, Mulder and his entourage here.

Here he is arriving at our home after Barbara picked him up from his owner, Berna Welch at Cape Cod.


Our two youngest females, Lucy and Solo, even though they were not in heat, certainly enjoyed the presence of a kingly male in their home.


He was very calm while visiting us for Emma’s surgical insemination. We really enjoyed his stay. Despite the long trip from the Cape, and his coat not being washed and brushed for the ring, you can tell from his stance and stature that he is a champion show dog. He also has a very gently nature as evidenced by the fact that our 20 year old cat found him easy to take a walk with!


Then it was back to the Cape and home for him after Dr. Huntington had worked her magic with Emma at the Vet Hospital.


Now for the hard part. We know that we have a lot of very patient clients and friends, some of who have been waiting over a year for one of our puppies. We thank you for your faith in our work here. IF both our dogs had conceived, we would have had a chance to make everyone happy. As it looks now, one litter will not be enough to leave everyone happy. Due to our being superstitious from our recent run of bad luck, we will not be taking any deposits or making promises until the puppies safely arrive and the number and sexes are known. For those that may not get a puppy this litter, I promise to work with them and our three closest breeding friends to find a good match. After our two failed breeding attempts last year, we promptly placed four of our clients with beautiful puppies from another breeder.

A wonderful day to all.

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