Breeding News

From the Highs to the Lows of Dog Breeding

Like a bushel of fall apples, a large basket of stories are just waiting to be written from the events of the past week here. Over the next few weeks, I will share with our readers just how unpredictable this “business” is, and show you why no one should be doing this work unless their love of the breed exceeds the many trials they will face. But first..

Just as important to us as the many smiles our dogs generate from the visitors to our home, is the recognition from the professionals that we use, that we are breeders to be recommended and respected.  We always look forward to seeing Dr. Steve Feldman of Animal General for that final “litter visit” and review. We packed all our little furry children into two crates and made the drive at the end of last week.

There is usually some mild chaos as the pups stretch their legs and explore the wealth of smells that surround them.

Then comes the moment where we beam with pride as Dr. Feldman makes his final comments. “Another wonderful litter and all healthy”. The untold hours of work fade away as your efforts bound around the room with energy and affection. And many kudos back to Dr. Feldman and his wonderful staff. They all deserve special applause for their dedication and clinical acumen in caring for our many animals over the years. This final picture of the visit to our vet says it all about Steve’s caring and commitment.

But along with all the happy moments, are those situations that are just the opposite that we must face and endure. Mother Nature always seems to exact its price in keeping the score even between a happy outcome and one not. And our clients are sometimes the sad recipients who must pay.

First was the family who long wished for a golden to add to their family. When they were notified of their place in line for a puppy, the husband went to get tested and unfortunately was diagnosed as allergic to dog dander. Next was 5 year old Carson, who used to come to my office to see my “dog photos” while his mother had her OB visits. I promised him when his parents decided the time was right, we would have a golden puppy for him. This summer the timing was right, and his sister and he enjoyed playing with the pups in our yard. The following day we were saddened to learn he had an asthma attack that prior evening, and the allergist painted a grim picture if a long haired dog entered the family. There is a hope he will outgrow this sensitivity, but for the family that had been planning on a golden puppy for the past three years, it was a crushing blow. And finally, we had a surgical emergency with one of the pups two days prior to the puppy leaving for its new home. We are saying our prayers for Mr. Black as he is fighting for his life in the ICU at Tufts Veterinary Hospital in Massachusetts. Our best wishes go out to Leslie and her family for their disappointment in waiting so long for a puppy, only to have seen their plans go horribly awry. We will keep everyone informed as we know more.

New Life


We are very happy to report that Emma gave birth on Monday, to a lovely litter of ten healthy pups. Six females and four males. One additional pup was stillborn.

I was able to help with the birth of the first puppy, but then had to head to work. Mr. Blue was the first to arrive breech!


Barb and our neighbor Theresa handled the rest of the midwifery chores beautifully. The amount of work and energy Emma expended for her herculean effort is captured with this photo showing her weary and dirty after the delivery process.


Amazing though, what a quick cleanup will do for everyone.


In a few days we will send more details of the births, and then address our anxious puppy clients. For today, we are all emotionally and physically spent. We give thanks to our Creator for his/her blessings of new life in our home. Amen.

Breeding Week News

It has been quite the week! Hundreds of miles put on our trucks, hundreds of dollars spent on blood tests, gasoline, and vet bills, and thousands of dollars spent on stud fees. Today, Sunday, we are relaxing knowing that we have done virtually everything that could be done to maximize the likelihood of mother nature and mother science blessing us with two litters of golden pups this summer. Riley and Emma are both fine following their breeding adventures.


Riley had a natural breeding with Mulder, while Emma had a surgical insemination with Mulder’s seed. Both had cycles proven optimal by serial progesterone blood tests. Now comes the hard part, waiting until we can see some puppy sacs on ultrasound. That will be possible in about three weeks for Riley, and four weeks for Emma.

Meanwhile, here locally in Dogville, Lucy continues to help me garden. She has taken to walking around with a ceramic frog in her mouth and deposits it in various places.


I still have lots of plants to get in the ground. Not a slouch in that regard, she lends a ready mouth. I turn around and the plant that was beside me is now in her mouth destined for parts unknown.


She is still only less than two years old and is loaded with energy and mischief.

Champion and big boy, Mulder came and spent three nights in our home. Barb brought him home from the Cape after he was bred naturally with our Riley. We then had to bring him and Emma to Suffield Vet Hospital and Dr. Ann Huntington for her to work her medical magic. What a gentle giant he is. Like having Brad Pitt in your home, all our young ladies were agog, and sat clustered outside his large cage like groupies.

It is said to be bad luck to show photos of the stud before knowing the results of his efforts. So all I can show you at this time is a photo of our females sniffing where he marked our yard.


Having marked all the boundaries of our yard, I guess he now claims everything within it in dog language.

I will close with some amazing puppy news from Mulder’s owner, Berna Welch of Pebwin Goldens. She bred three of her females recently expecting maybe one or two litters. Especially since one of the litters was bred with ten year old frozen semen from one of her prior champions. Well, all three litters came in, and the first one had Sixteen puppies in it. The other two litters had nine and ten puppies. Thirty five puppies in her home at one time is a blessing of life, while a burden of exceptionally hard work. It is a tribute to her and her husband Peter and their assistants, that all did well and have homes awaiting. When we were there this weekend, they still had eighteen left that weren’t quite old enough to leave.


Holding those bundles of fluff, energy, and love brought a yearning that we will soon have our own pups to love for eight weeks, and then to make our very patient clients equally happy to take one home. Keep those positive thoughts and prayers coming our way!

A Time to Plant, A Time to Breed


What an amazing Memorial Day Weekend we were blessed with. Perfect New England weather, and just right for planting our yearly flower purchases. The girls were more of a hindrance than help as usual. Lucy, our youngest golden, had to taste every pot, some of which hadn’t yet been emptied.


The rest of the dogs were distracted by a chipmunk that stole its way into the shed for birdseed. Though they made a lot of noise and bluster, the little critter found its way safely home.


Goldens are very well suited for just watching you work. Their expressions here are a little somber, because I knew they wanted to go for a run. This day I had to save my energy for planting, and so we all stayed home.



They do look like they are pouting though, don’t they!

We haven’t had our pool plastered yet with all the debris and pollen still coming down from the trees. Riley treats the small amount of dirty water there as her bathtub, and you can tell by her smile she is having a good time mostly wading.


Now at last to some breeding news!

Riley started her heat several days ago, and lo and behold, Emma decided to follow suit! So we are very busy planning a natural breeding at the Cape with Riley to our favorite champion, Mulder. We have already started doing Riley’s progesterone levels to determine the proper time. Emma will need a surgical insemination and so we will be doing her progesterone levels in conjunction with the infertility vet. A busy week for Barbara in planning and ferrying Riley and Emma various places.

Here is a photo of Riley after breakfast this prior week. Truly a very laid back personality literally.


So we end this holiday weekend with our spirits full of hope and anticipation. I found this bird’s nest next to our back door today.


We have had a beautiful pair of Baltimore Orioles flying around, and I now see why. We won’t count our eggs before they hatch, but with such beautiful weather, and now new life growing by our doorstep, we are getting excited about having puppies around this summer. Will keep everyone informed!

More Mulder, and His Daughters Maggie and Rosie

We just received the winter issue of Golden Retriever News.


Just inside the front cover were a few more photos of Mulder and Berna with their amazing double win at the Nationals this past fall. I thought I would share these new photos with our readers.


Also listed and photographed were all the winners in the many other competition categories. Magnificent animals all. I would again encourage true enthusiasts of our breed to get a membership to the Golden Retriever Club of America which automatically qualifies you for a subscription to this National magazine.

There was one more photo included which spoke eloquently of Mulder’s wholesome and humble spirit. Despite the severe demands of travel and the show ring, he remains just one happy fun loving dog.


We are very proud of our own Emma’s last litter when she was bred to Mulder. Dynamite personalities and Hollywood looks one and all. My cousin Ron and our neighbor Ken last week sent us updated photos of two of Mulder’s daughters from this last litter. The third female in this litter was our own Lucy. They are approaching 15 months old now.

So here we present:

Ron and Barb’s “Maggie”..


And Ken and Mary Ann’s “Rosie”..


As we expect to use Mulder for both Riley’s and Emma’s upcoming heats this Spring, we have high hopes for more puppies blessed in looks and spirit.

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