TM, Mama Cheryl (MC), Mama Penni (MP) and Papa Ron (PR) love and care for me.
In memory of DC Dora, CH Angus HXAsd, DC Kearney. Lost from our lives way too soon.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Brrr

Lowri - It is raining here tonight.  It is supposed to start snowing overnight.  Let me tell you, we potty a lot faster when it is cold.  When we got to the farm tonight, Kevin and I helped TM pick the peas.  She was going to cover them to protect them from the freeze tonight, but decided to let them go as it is going to freeze tomorrow night too.

When we got inside, we headed back to the scale.  I put on another pound this week.  Three more weeks to go!

Kevin - I got my bath tonight.  I don't really like getting in the shower, but the warm water feels good.  I love getting rubbed dry at the end.  TM makes a game of it.  I also know how to shake my coat on command.

Tomorrow I am going to a dog show.  TM says we just have to go a little ways past MC's house.  TM didn't get to go last year, because she had to stay home and take care of my siblings and me.  We were just a couple of weeks old.  

Thursday, October 30, 2014

In-Breeding

TM here - I know there are questions on why we did an in-breeding this time around. Since we had such a lovely litter last time, why didn't we just go back to Dickens?  I posted this on a closed site, but I wanted to add to it a little.

We bred Lowri to her Dickens' son, Kevin.  She is due approximately November 21.  She is obviously pregnant.  But why did we do it?  It was not an "oops" breeding.  It was not because "gee, we had both the dog and the bitch."  It was a long, well thought-out plan with a bunch of things (tests) that had to happen just right.

First of all is the health testing.  For Lowri:  She is DM clear, PRA clear, carries fluff and is OFA Fair.   Kevin is DM clear, PRA clear, fluff-free, carries pink and prelim'ed OFA Good.  Kevin is DNA tested for all of it.  Lowri is DNA tested for all of it, but line-cleared on DM (both her parents were tested clear).  While all the health tests are good, they do not explain WHY we did this breeding.
 
We did an outcross breeding by taking Lowri (an outcross) to Dickens (an outcross himself). In six generations there are almost no similar dogs. We did that breeding after looking at Lowri, her litter mates, her sire and dam and some of their litter mates.  We evaluated her strengths and weaknesses.
We wanted to breed her to a moderate-sized male of the same phenotype. 

We looked at several dogs. We looked at their health testing, their size, their siblings and their parents.  We didn't want a superstar who came from an otherwise average litter.  We wanted a dog who came from parents with good structure.  We wanted a dog who had produced well.  Dickens was the best choice for Lowri. 

We got a litter of six. They were similar.  It wasn't a litter with one superstar.  They were all very, very nice.  Five of the six went to our National Specialty at six months of age (the sixth is a gorgeous, long-coat boy who is not being shown).  All five placed in their classes.  So there was one test - and Kevin passed.

We did health testing on Kevin. He passed those tests. We looked at Lowri's hip xrays (the heads of her femurs are fairly flat). Kevin's were better in all regards. Most important to us was that his femur heads are not flat. They are nicely curved.  Had they been flat, we would not have done the breeding.  That was not something we wanted to cement into our line.

Kevin should mature at 36-37 pounds. That is a little bigger than I wanted, but still not bad. He has a better shoulder assembly than Lowri does. He toes out more than she does in front, but part of that is due to injury (jumping off a table onto concrete).  Both have lovely bone and feet.  Head planes are good.  His fill of the muzzle is better than hers.  Kevin has a correct, harsh coat.  Lowri's is a little softer.  Both have strong secondary sex characteristics.  Looking at them both structurally, we would not be taking a step backward with this breeding from either the dog's side or the bitch's side.  They are both bringing good things to the table - and compliment each other well.  Things to watch are ears (both have smaller ears), and both are on the upper side of - but within - the standard weightwise. 

Temperament on both is good. Lowri's is excellent and she is a total show dog. Kevin is more interesting. He does not want to be touched by strangers, and isn't the showman that she is; but the dog is not "soft" at all. I have had soft, flaky dogs and he just isn't.  Lowri is exactly what you want in a show dog.  If food is available, she is "ON".  Kevin appears to be exactly what I want in a herding dog that I will also show.  He works stock in a quieter fashion and actually takes direction.  Lowri likes herding her way.

Taking all that together, we decided to breed them and see what happens. We will have a great idea in just over three weeks. Then as they grow, we will see if it worked out like we wanted. What we know for sure is that they will all be PRA and DM Clear. There will be no fluffs (potential carriers), no pinks (potential carriers) and no blacks (sigh). 

In general, I am opposed to doing an in-breeding. This is the first one I have done in 35 years in dogs. In general, I am fairly opposed to doing a lot of close line-breeding as Dora, Angus and Kearney were all closely line-bred and closely related to each other.  All three died of cancer at young ages.

Food, Glorious Food!

Lowri - TM pulled out her three books on breeding and whelping.  She browsed them and then read stuff on the internet for a while.  The bottom line is that I am getting MORE FOOD!  Starting yesterday.  I am not sure how that worked.  TM started feeding me more before she read that she should start.  I do know that I don't care!  Food, Glorious FOOD!  The books said I might go off my feed around the fourth week of pregnancy.  GET REAL!  I remember burping more, but I never even thought of not eating.

TM made us a big batch of food today.  I helped clean up.  Oh man, it was great!  There was heart, kidney, gizzards, tongue, Rocky Mountain oysters <snort>, scrambled eggs, bananas, sweet potatoes and broccoli.  TM will add all sorts of meaty bones to it.  Although, she says soon I will only get meat added, no bones.  Yum, yum, yum!

TM took some pictures of me tonight.  I don't care how I look - I am getting more food!  I am five and a half weeks along. 

Lowri - I am getting lots of rest.














Kevin - I got to help clean up too.  There was plenty for each of us.  I thought it was pretty tasty.

TM took me to the store today.  I had to do sits while she walked around me.  She didn't want me moving at all.  I don't really like it, but there are treats involved.  Then she made me stand.  She put a leash under my belly so she could make sure I wouldn't move.  Ick!  I don't like it.  But, she explained that she didn't want me moving and I would get treats if I stayed stock still.  I started turning my head toward her as soon as she said the "g" in good boy.  She was grinning when I did it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Back in Town

Lowri - TM took Kevin herding AND tracking yesterday.  I didn't get to go anywhere.  TM looks at my belly and shivers.  I don't think that is very nice.

Kevin - I had a great time herding and so much fun tracking.  TM keeps losing stuff and I have to go find it for her.  When I ran my track, TM accidentally dropped an article.  She didn't notice she was missing it until we got back to the car.  She put me in my crate and started to run the track again.  I saw she didn't lock my gate, so I jumped out and ran over to her.  I realized we were back on the track, so I put my nose down and ran the track again.  When I found the cap, I dropped onto it.  I got LOTS of praise for that.  It made my belly feel good!

Last night we came back to town.  TM let us play in the yard.  When she went to let us in, she smelled the skunk.  Her face was priceless!  She did a lot of sniffing as she let us in.  We hadn't gotten near the skunk, but I really wanted to!

Lowri - TM says she is going to start feeding me twice a day again.  I can't wait.  I love food!  I am going to get more and more each week until my babies are born.  Then I am getting almost unlimited food.  I LOVE having babies!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Dog Show Sunday

Lowri - TM and Kevin are FINALLY home.  They were gone a whole 24 hours!  I didn't know what to do without them, so I tormented Aidan <grin>  I climbed into PR's lap every chance I had and smugly told Aidan "to bad, so sad" for him getting off PR.  Other than that, life just went on.  PR fed me and loved on me...not a bad life.

Kevin - I got to sleep on the bed with TM last night.  She rubbed my back and rubbed my belly.  Just thinking about it is making me sleepy.  We got up really early to finish the drive to the dog show.  TM set up all my stuff and groomed me.  Then we went off to show.  It was a new man.  I let him know right off he was NOT to touch the puppy (ME).  TM was not pleased with me.  I guess the judge wasn't either.  I did earn another Grand Champion point for going Select.  My friend, Diamond, won Breed and then got a quarter of the Group Place.  I haven't ever been there yet.  Do you suppose they would remember to Not touch the puppy?  TM made me walk all over the show grounds and asked several people to touch me.  I was good as gold.  I remembered that I am supposed to let strangers touch me.  TM said "too little, too late."  I think she was a little peeved with me.  Sheesh, all I did was move away from the judge.  I didn't growl or anything. 

Lowri - Now that TM is home, I have been showing off my new figure.  I did "frog-dog" for her.  My baby belly stuck out on both sides.  TM will get a picture of it later on.  The camera was still in the car.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Strange Saturday

Lowri - Today has been kind of strange.  TM slept in until very late.  PR got up and fed us.  I LOVE PR.  When TM got up, she did a bunch of chores.  We got to pick the peas, feed the rabbits, gather the eggs, give corn to the goats, sheep and cows...well, not really, but we did get to hang out while TM did all that.  TM also brought the smoked pork shoulder in from the smoker.  It smelled HEAVENLY!

When she got done with her chores, we all got our toenails ripped off.  Okay, so not ripped off, just filed down.  I still don't like it!  Kevin got a bath and got groomed!  That was really weird.  He generally only gets groomed at dog shows.

Kevin - I'm going to a dog show with TM, and you have to stay home!

Lowri - You HAVE to go to a dog show, and I GET to stay home and torment Aiden.  PR promised me he was going to let me out to run and run.

Anyway, TM took a couple of pictures of me this afternoon.  For some reason, she has started to whimper every time she looks at my belly.  I will be five weeks along tomorrow!

TM said "Bunny".  I don't see any bunnies!

















Kevin - TM took a picture of me too.  I am on the bed in the motel.  Life is rough.
Catching some Z's

Friday, October 24, 2014

Finally Friday

Lowri - It is finally Friday!  We got to go back to the farm for the weekend.  I love it here.  TM sits in her recliner and I get to sit on it with her.  I snuggle and snuggle.  I LOVE Friday nights! 

Today TM got my Grand Champion Silver medallion.  Mama Penni sent it to us from New Mexico.  AKC sends all my awards to MP.  I think it is because MP doesn't get to see me all that often.  That is very nice of them.  After MP gets to see the awards, she sends them off to TM.  MP is a good mama!

When we get to the farm, TM always weighs us - Kevin and me, not herself.  I have gained a pound this week - and TM has not been feeding me more.  A whole pound!!!  TM says I am showing my baby belly even more now.  I am almost five weeks along.  She will try to get a picture of me tomorrow.

Kevin - I like it at the farm.  I get to run and play - kind of like I do in towns but more.  TM says she and I are going to a dog show on Sunday.  It will be just the two of us.  Lowri has to stay home with Papa Ron.  TM doesn't want her anywhere near dog show cooties while she is pregnant.  I get to go and take care of TM all by myself!!!  I will be the good dog!