Thursday, September 27, 2007

New Puppy Pics

Took some new pictures of our Spells Litter the other day now that their eyes are open and they have graduated from the "larval stage". They're quite the active bunch and very very mobile! They are started on mush, and the one at the food trough from beginning to end is the little spotted brindle girl - she is ALL about the food! Their photo album is online [ HERE ]. Here's a picture of the little boy I have got my eye on.

I also followed around in the yard the "Boogie Baby" pups that remain here (Wulf, Buster and Faina) and took some candid shots of them. Managed to get some nice shots of the little heathens and their pages are updated on our website and there are links from their individual pages to their online albums. Below is a picture of Wulf checking out the flora along the fence.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Po' Critter

Critter did not enjoy his visit to the vet last week...he has come back somewhat less of what he left with. He got neutered. We neutered him since we did not want to deal with marking and we also already had 3 female cats. Although I breed dogs, I do not wish to take on the breeding of cats, and certainly not mongrel kitties. Also...after much contemplation...he got de-clawed as well. I am not a fan of declawing - but it became a necessary evil. Every once in a while his almost-feral nature kicks in and he decides it's time to climb the $200 business suit hanging from the top of the door (among other clothing); the bedcovers; or even Victor's leg. Not a good thing. We had not even planned on keeping this cat - we had hoped to find him a home while he was a little thing. He and his two siblings had been basically dumped by a friend's house, and the kitties kept getting closer and closer to the fence...and some sighthounds wanting a bit of messy entertainment.

Critter's situation managed to refresh my thinking on so much of the "nanny laws" that cities, counties, states, and even the federal government is wanting to impose on pet owners and breeders. It's a bunch of bunk! Sure someone bred these kittens, or they were from feral cats - you can NOT control feral cat breeding through mandatory spay/neuter laws. A well-organized trap-and-spay/neuter-release program would help solve that - since feral cats can be hard to adapt to home living. They can help with controlling pests in their area - so let them live out their lives but sterilized. They can be vaccinated against rabies when they are trapped as well. If a person was actually responsible for what resulted in these kittens' births...then where the heck are they? Or their owners? It's a lack of responsibility - mandatory spay/neuter (MSN) won't affect them either - because they won't care!!

Who does MSN ultimately have an affect on - responsible hobby breeders such as myself and those within my circle of doggy friends! Those folks who take breeding dogs seriously, as well as the placement of their puppies. Those who have contracts specifying that the animal they have placed should come back to them if for some reason the new owners can no longer keep it - NEVER to a shelter or rescue.

There have even been anti-declawing laws passed so that you cannot have the procedure done on your feline. This can well end up with more animals being turned into a shelter if a cat (such as Critter) is particularly destructive. For myself - I am not the biggest fan of declawing either, but there are times it is necessary - and it should be a choice for pet owners. After all....pets in reality and in a legal sense are property. Certainly a special kind of property for people like myself - but property nonetheless, and one which we should take responsibility for and make our own decisions regarding it.

As frustrating as my Critter can be at times...I do like the little fella. And despite his having to undergo those procedures last week...he is still better off than his little siblings. May they rest in peace.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Peeping Pups and the Pregnant Princess

All of Duri's pups now have their eyes wide open, taking in their little world. Duri has proven to be an excellent mother - beyond our wildest dreams. It makes it so much easier. Of course, with open eyes, comes increased mobility - and these kids are truckin' all over the place! The little brindle spotted girl was a slow start and we fed her every 2 hours for several days - soon she was getting better results at the milk bar and keeping good weight, and now she's almost indistinguishable in condition from the others. Will take more pictures in a bit since they're not so "larval" - there's only so much one can do picturewise when they're just little Borzoi grubs.

This past weekend we took Sassi to the vet for a blood draw to run a relaxin test to see if her breeding had taken. It sure did!! So we are in for some hard work - her pups will be due in mid-October and we will go through yet another cycle of sleepless nights and constant vigilance. It's always worth it...but during the cycle we can become so exhausted since we both work full time. But watching the pups grow and develop is its own reward. It's a good kind of tired!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

From Dream to Reality

My trip to the Rocky Mountain Borzoi Club's Fall Specialty in Longmont, CO ended up leaving my cup overflowing with good fortune! The Lockard family (who had Sassi's brother Rali and now have Peanut from Solo and Monkee's litter) helped me out greatly, with a place to crash for the night and good company, along with the dogs getting a good romp in the yard after their long journey. Paige showed 3 of our guys (Moose, Peepers and Solo) at the show, Leslie took pictures, and Stephen was Sassi's saviour towards the conclusion of the breed judging when I was able to catch his eye and get him to bring a spray bottle to try and cool off Sassi.

Sassi and Lynn in the ring
Lars behaved like a little gentleman in his Sweeps class. I was a bit disappointed that he had turned a year old the day before the specialty and would appear quite scrawny in comparison to his competition . Peepers was less than cooperative with Paige in her Sweeps class and seemed to have a time limit for trotting around the ring. What a thrill to have Lars go Best in Sweeps!

Lars then went on to win his 12-18 class - so I was very proud of him. His mother is our performance girl Flareon, and his father is Duri's brother Burni who thrilled me a few years ago by going BOW at RMBC. Moose behaved well for Paige in Open and was just out of the ribbons - while Peepers continued her "precocious ways" in her 6-9 class. Arthur, always happy for a trip with "mom" showed well for me in Veterans and I was so happy to have him take the class. I recognized one of his competitors (Dalton), who I had admired some years ago at RMBC and just thought was gorgeous. The
specials class was nerve-wracking for me. Paige was showing Solo for me, and Pam Leichtnam was kind enough to take in Arthur while I showed his daughter Sassi, who has been my RMBC "bridesmaid", taking an AOM the year that Kalen Dumke judged (also finishing Sassi's sister Magik there), and BOS under Pat Ellis.

Paige with Solo
This specialty, Sassi was a bridesmaid no longer....I cannot express how thrilled I am that she was awarded BEST IN SPECIALTY SHOW! Always a dream, and now a reality. I did not even see Arthur win his Award of Merit. I found out about that while awaiting pictures and Pam asked me if I wanted his ribbon for his picture!

There was a newspaper photographer there who was taking lots of pictures, but apparently liked Arthur a lot. Someone pointed him to me as Arthur's owner and he came and talked to me, got my name and all and was asking questions about Arthur and where we're from. He gave me his card and I called the paper on the way home and asked for 2 copies to be sent to me - and was so surprised to see a nice little write-up and lovely picture on the front page!

Arthur on the front page
So we have had an amazing weekend...welcoming our next generation and having a most memorable RMBC that we will likely never come close to experiencing again!

the Arrival!

I am oh-so-late in updating things here thanks to being on the road (and offline) and ill and exhausted since my return. Ugh. But we have plenty of FABULOUS news to share! First is the blessed arrival of 9 puppies (4 boys, 5 girls) via natural delivery beginning around 2 pm on Sunday, September 2.

the pups on day 3
I had left for Colorado that morning and Victor handled the whelping, phoning me at each arrival (when he could - there were times I was in one of those wonderful cellular black holes of nowhere). There were 11 pups total, but 2 were stillborn. The theme for the litter is Harry Potter Spells - since after several failed attempts to get Duri bred, it was almost magickal when she became pregnant this time around!

Their page on the Gryffyn's Aeyrie web site is located here.