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A blog mainly about WHOODLES with some regular dog stuff too!
A few thoughts and ravings about dogs, dog breeding and the people involved with both!
Plus some other things.
Website: http://mtsummitwhoodles.com       BLOG email: msblog@fastmail.fm


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FEBRUARY 2015


6 Weeks, Individual Pictures            Feb. 27, 2015

Here are the first identifiable photos of the pups. Fifty shots the first round and 6 or 7 in the second to get 10 pictures. There are others on the puppies' page at http://breeders411.com/emjan15after5w.html. Next photo shoot in 3-4 days.
I'll post weights tomorrow.

light female -

dark female -

lightest male -

darkest male -

medium male -



Some Pix            Feb. 26, 2015












Maggie and Alex's Jayhawker daughter, Margo, 2 years old






Time Marches Races On            Feb. 24, 2015

No longer babies, not quite toddlers. The Five have discovered they have a great big pen to play in, room enough to (sort of) run around. Emy has discovered she no longer has any place to get away where they can't find her. She's been very tolerant of them curling up with her when she's snoozing on her blanket. She does try to make them go back to the nest for dining service. The pups have started getting a little rougher in their play, but so far I haven't had to intervene. Emy has stuck HER nose in once or twice. It's nice when you have a partner when raising youngsters!

Microchips are in. No one objected. A word about the chips: I use AVID (since 1985.) The chips themselves are about the size of a piece of rice. There is no GPS or locator device embedded. The only info on them is a number. You will get a registration form and will have to have the chip registered to you. It's a one time fee of around $20. Each chip has been assigned to a stuffed toy and the toy has been assigned to a puppy.

Octopus/dark female


Monkey/light female


Elephant/lightest male


Raccoon/darkest male


Rabbit/lightest dark or darkest light male


Recipients... about to completely bury their mom




Uncle!            Feb. 23, 2015

This is my 15th Tennessee winter and I've had enough of the weather! Even last year, with the Polar Votexes, I wasn't homebound for more than a day or two at a time and it was mainly my CHOOSING to not go out in the cold. I, and everyone in the area who listens to our LOCAL weather forecasters, knew almost two weeks ago that LAST week was going to be snowy and very cold followed by very cold and snowy. No one here was surprised when we broke several all time temperature records. Our snow amounts have generally been non exciting... a couple inches one night, and the next, then maybe no snow at all for a day or two. But with temps staying below freezing, none of the snow went away. Then, when it got a little warmer, all that white stuff got wet and ugly looking,,, then refroze as soon as the sun went down. So we have layers of frozen snow and ice with another inch or two of snow... and ice... and more.... You get the picture. Schools and a lot of businesses were closed all last week. And we were all fine with that. Our road crews have been doing a good job on the interstates and the main roads and even a lot of the secondary ones. So I'm told. Everywhere I look, everything I see is still white.

Enough is enough!

Yes, I know the people in Boston and New England have yards and yards of snow and roofs are collapsing and the cars are buried in the stuff. But you know what they say about Arizona... it's a dry heat. The snow is in the north. Where it is supposed to be. Our local weather report is on right now and it looks like REAL winter has decided to stick around for yet another week. Winter weather advisories have the map almost entirely purple. And the snow isn't just hanging out around the mountains.

I've talked about the specific area where I live before... an unmarked, unmaintained, one lane, heavily rutted dirt and gravel private trail that meanders off the blacktop, through the woods, to the top of the ridge. I LOVE my "road." I'm just a few miles from civilization and the unwelcoming path that passes by my house keeps civilization a few miles away. But sometimes I need a little of what urban development has to offer, not the least of which is food. And toilet paper. Thank goodness I don't smoke or drink!

The current plan, if I can't get out tomorrow, is to email a short shopping list to my son who will make a trip to the grocery and then bring the goodies to me. He's young and healthy... and 6'5"... and can slip and slide his way up the trail from wherever he has to leave his car. And back to it! With my profound thanks, of course.

The Walking Dead is back on my good list
No dogs got eaten last night. No good guys died. And two new good guys have shown up.

Which brings us to Downton. This British series has covered over 12 years, starting before the first World War. Since the very beginning, Isis has been a part of the cast and has even had some minor story lines written about her. Isis is a yellow Lab. She was not a puppy, but a well matured adult in the beginning... conservatively I'd say she was 3-5 years old. At the beginning of the series. Which was set over 12 years ago. So during this past hiatus, I've been wondering if this dog was going to be the longest living yellow... or any color... Lab in history. Apparently, someone in the Downton writers' room is tuned into my thoughts because Isis started not feeling well. And a week ago Sunday, the episode had her about to die of cancer. Very little was said about her last night. Her demise was used as an aid for ending another storyline... which makes me wonder if the writers had been able to come up with another way to get from point A to point B with that, she might still be alive.
Be that as it may, I suppose we are now going to have a new Lab puppy join the cast and upset the household and the staff next season.
I'm up for that!



Cabin Fever            Feb. 22, 2015

It has been over a week since I have been away from the homestead. Actually, haven't been any farther than the porch and then, only a couple times. At least it has been above freezing since early yesterday. Some of the snow has melted and will now turn into ice topped snow as night falls. Topped with MORE snow that is supposed to fall tonight. Do NOT get me wrong. We've had maybe 6 inches (at my level) and because of the mountain ridges, got none of the heavy winds western Tennessee experienced. The dogs are happy little clams. They go out and play... except for the two days where we didn't get out of single digits... and come in to get warm and sleep for hours. Today, they're coming in soaked to the skin, but they're still having a great time. Little do THEY care that the house smells like wet dog!

It doesn't look like I'll be getting down the trail for at least another day or two. Thank goodness for peanut butter!

A couple days ago I gave the pups two new toys... their first. One is a braided cloth bone. It's not new... been through several litters. One end is shredded into a 6 inch long tassel which is their favorite part since it's the only part that fits in their mouths. They've been dragging it from place to place. The second toy is... newspaper. This litter, still a little ahead of the usual learning curve, has started to leave the nest for bathroom duties. Newspaper is the next step in house breaking. ALL pups... ALL dogs... LOVE newspaper and not for the Sports section or the Sudoku puzzle. It's light, easily moved, wonderful for tearing up and scattering over hill and dale... and tv room, living room, bathroom, bedroom, kitchen... you get the idea. I had no sooner put newspapers down for the first time than this bunch did what they are genetically and instinctively bred to do. They tore it into various size pieces. Now here's the thing: once the paper is torn up, it ceases to fascinate them. They won't bother it again, ever. But let me put down even a single NEW sheet and they're off to the races.

Speaking of the races
This was a big weekend for 3 year olds on "the Road to the Kentucky Derby." Three points races, two for 50-20-10-5 points each, the Risen Star in Louisiana and the Fountain of Youth in Florida, on Saturday and the rescheduled Southwest Stakes in Arkansas for 10-4-2-1 on Sunday. The three races drew a total of 29 entries but the 12 winners gave us only TWO new names for the leader board. No more until the three on March 7th.

And before I forget, California Chrome is scheduled to leave for Dubai on March 17th.



Pix            Feb. 19, 2015

5 weeks tomorrow morning.







Composite on this litter's puppy page.



BRRRRRR            Feb. 18, 2015

Baby, it's cold outside. Below zero lows and wind chill tonight is going to take it down to 20 or more below. Tomorrow's HIGH staying in the single digits... hopefully on the plus side! The wind is really picking up which would normally be of interest to the pups. However, I bought a doggy heating pad just before they were born but never had to use it. Today I got it out and plugged it in. It takes a while to warm up... instructions say at least two hours... and they have just discovered that it is warmer than the blanket. All five are sprawled across it, sound asleep, oblivious to the noise coming from our old tin roof... sounds like a herd of elephants, or at least a couple squirrels (BIG squirrels,) scampering around.

Not that they pups have been overly active for the last couple days. I've checked them out a couple times, looking for trouble, since they have been so quiet. Admittedly, last week was a big one for them. I'm guessing they're recharging.

We have another Winner! Sweetest Puppy goes to the smallest puppy. He's decided there's a lot more to people than his siblings know. He LOVES getting attention from me. Of course, he'll move on to something else to be intrigued with in a couple days.
Runner up to Sweetest is the red girl. The last two nights when I'm watching tv, she's waited until everyone else is sleeping, then starts whining. The first night, I picked her up and held her on my lap, where she promptly nodded off. Last night, she did the same thing and I did the same thing and she climbed up my arm, made herself comfortable on my shoulder and neck, and slept until I woke her up and put her back with everyone else.

Both give "kisses" readily, even if I haven't just had something to eat.

Westminster
This is the first year I've been able to watch it and I have a few observations. (Imagine that.)
First, I have to give a shout out to the Chinese Shar-Pei, CH Shines Deck the Halls, aka Tinsel. She is THE best CSP I have ever seen. Ever. And I got into the breed in 1980. Granted, I have not had my hands on her or seen her in person, but I could not find fault with her on Monday. She took my breath away. And I'm not surprised the winningest Shar-Pei since the breed went AKC is a bitch. We have long known CSP girls are more often better than the boys!
Second, I did not recognize even one of the judges. Just goes to show how long it's been since I had any serious interest in showing. On the other hand, I was please to see three handlers I knew... two rather well and one just from casual conversations when we happened to be at the same shows. One that I competed with just about every weekend was just getting started as a professional handler while showing his own Shar-Pei. He is looking great, aging much better than I have, and since he was in the group ring, his professional career isn't suffering either.
Third, MY Best in Show RESERVE was the Beagle. My winner was the Old English. Usually, I'm not enamored with this breed in the show ring. I like them well enough as normal dogs with normal grooming, but Swagger was wonderful. And his handler was the best of the entire show. He knew exactly how to present his dog both standing still and moving. Really good job. In keeping with the show being somewhat strange... for me... my third place dog was the judge's Reserve, the Skye Terrier. Don't know why I liked him because it's generally not a breed I'm into.
Fourth, I noticed the Terrier group is moving away from breeds that are red with black marking toward the same breeds being solid red. Even the Wheaten Terrier was darker than any other I've ever seen. Not sure this is a good thing.
And last, I fell in love with the Glen of Imaal. First time I've seen anything but a photograph and I like them! Good thing I'm too old to get into another breed!

It's Wednesday, day of The Dead
After the last two weeks... I'm talking season whatever this season is, not what I watch tonight in syndication... I 'm not sure I'm happy with the way this is going. It started with the mid-season finale with one of the good guys dying. Then the season premiere had another good guy dying. THEN this Sunday had ALL the good guys not dying but... eating dog!
Don't get me wrong. These were not nice dogs.
And truth be told, if I was actually starving to death, I'd be checking out my own dogs with stew in mind. Of course, I'd start with the oldest and weakest first.

It's a joke, people.
Or is it?



Snow!            Feb. 15, 2015

Here it is, mid-February, and we have our first snow covering the ground (at my level) and it's going to stay around at least a couple days. Four-thirty in the afternoon and the temperature is still well below freezing... and about to head back down as the sun starts to set. According to the weather channel... which is not local and, therefore, not very accurate... high tomorrow is supposed to still be in the mid twenties and... 6-8 inches of more snow. For us, that is pretty significant. Yesterday, I restocked all the supplies so the dogs and I are prepared for a week... several weeks!... if necessary.

I forgot to post the weights yesterday, so here they are:
For the second week in a row, the order remains exactly the same.
The biggest in the litter is the dark female at 4 pounds even, up from 2-5/8 last week.
Second is her red sister at 3-1/2 pounds, from 2-1/2
Third is still the red male, not tied with anyone, at 3-1/4, 2-1/4 last week
Then the darkest boy now 3-1/8 who was 2-1/4.
Still the smallest, at 2-3/4 pounds, is the now the redish guy who was an even 2 pounds last week.
They are all gaining at about the same rate, a pound plus (the dark girl) or minus (the two smaller boys)

They regularly eat the kibble. It is probably fifty percent of their diet now... but Mom is still one hundred percent everything else.. And she's had chew toy added to her list of duties. Since the pups have no teeth yet, she's more a grab-hold-and-gum-it-or-pull-on-it toy.

The pups are very interested in the dogs that stop by to visit off and on during the day. They are absolutely unafraid of them, even when the gate is open... and Emy is elsewhere... and the visitors come inside. The dogs, for the most part, are more interested in getting into the puppy kibble than doing anything worthwhile with the puppies.
Patsy is still afraid of them and never approaches the pen, even if the pups are sound asleep. She lies by my feet, pretending they aren't in the same room, but keeps one eye looking in their direction. I'd laugh at her, but she has sincere doubts about their canine-hood. She'll change her mind in a month or so when they are willing... and able... to do a little romping with her.



We're Turning 4 Weeks and the Stuff in Mom's Bowl is Edible            Feb. 13, 2015

I always say MY pups start eating dry food... on their own... between 3 and 4 weeks of age. Apparently these pups get on my computer and read the blog when I'm out of the room. Not wanting to be outdone by previous litters... or maybe not wanting to make a liar out of me... last evening they got in mom's food bowl and cleaned it out.

Emy gave a big sigh of relief.



This morning, all five were in both food and water bowls and spent a lot of time out of the nest, just wandering around, going back in when they got tired and wanted to snooze. Of course, I have to change out the light weight metal food bowl for a heavier ceramic one... one that they can't tip over. Several cups of kibble scattered on tile make a great slide path.



Progress            Feb. 12, 2015

The pups have a new game. I'm not sure what they call it, but I'm calling it Marco Polo. One... just one at a time... goes out the "front door" of the nest. That means hanging over the edge which is about 4 inches off the floor of the puppy pen, but only about 2 inches high in the nest because of the folded blanket (which for reasons known only to herself, Emy is now fine with.) Once out, the pup goes immediately to the left and starts wandering in the general direction of the front of the pen. It may stop to sniff at one or more of mom's bowls, but it's always just a short diversion. Eventually, the pup reaches the wire of the pen. Then and only then, it sounds off. Sometimes it has to call several times before a pup in the nest Polos back. THEN the pup bears to the left again for several feet until it clears the bottom side of the nest. When it finds itself with pen wire on the right side and open space on the left, "Marco!" Sometimes one or more of the pups is standing on its back legs, hanging over the nest side, watching the wanderer's journey. Usually one answers fairly quickly. Again the outside pup goes to the left and in just a moment it is at the "back door" of the nest. A slight scramble to get up and over, and hooray! it's safe with the family again. The next pup usually goes out the front way almost immediately and the whole thing is repeated. I have not seen more than one pup out at the same time and usually only three, maybe four take part each time the game is played. I've never seen any other litter play this game. Also, the pups do not go out in search of their mother. And they never go to their right, toward the back of the pen, when they first get out.

Emy does not like this game. If she is in the nest when they play it, she sits or stands and watches intently. Sometimes she looks like she is counting the pups still in the nest. She doesn't relax until all the pups are back in and the game is obviously over.

There ARE times when more than one pup escapes at the same time, but they don't do the "round the box and back inside" business. They'll explore the area directly in front of them which, from the side of the nesting box to the wall is about 3-1/2 feet and the length from the back of the pen to the front is 6 feet... which is a pretty big expanse when you're not quite 4 weeks old and still concentrating on staying upright when maneuvering your feet.

Today, when Em went outside... in the snow!... I left the front of the pen open. When I came back in the room, I was greeted by the two dark boys who had wandered out and were... exploring (although I think they were really looking for the way back inside "their" area.) They were not crying, but still seemed rather happy that I picked them up and put them back in the nest with their siblings who were all asleep. I'm sure neither of them has told his mom that he got lost, just for a little bit, while she was gone..

I actually like it that my pups get to go on adventures.
This is Lula with one of her guys.




For Your Viewing Pleasure           Feb. 10, 2015

Here's a picture to show how big things are getting and who is who.

There are a couple other shots on the pups' page. Probably should put one on the website as well....

ALL the pups are sort of getting out of the nest. Most of them are managing to find their way back in by themselves. NONE of them is interested in mom's food or water bowls.

Yesterday, I had the pen open when I let dogs into the house. Emy went straight to the kitchen to see if I had missed something interesting when I swept the floor and Hoo-Rah went into the pen. He very nicely checked out the babies and was just about to wander away when their mom came into the room and drug him out, kicking and screaming. Both dogs were royally ticked! I can see Hoo's point of view... he was just saying "Hey!" and Emy doesn't seem to mind when other dogs step into the pen. I soothed his nerves with a belly rub and he decided to let it pass.

Emy sniffed the pups to make sure he hadn't slobbered on them and went to her food bowl.



A Big Winner! A REALLY Big Winner!            Feb. 9, 2015

And it is the red female... plus the rest of the litter... but she was first. Last night, Emy was outside, the pups were awake and playing and I walked up to the nest. The red girl looked at me... my ankles... and then looked all the way up as far as she could and her tail started wagging. She did not back off or stop wagging her tail when I bent down and rubbed her. It was definite recognition... about two, even three weeks earlier than normal. Actually, quite a wonderful feeling! The rest of the litter also accepted me giving them serious body rubs without complaint AND all of them played with my hands... butting their heads against them, pawing at my fingers, "jumping" at me... inviting me to be part of the fun they were having. It is a rare treat to have a puppy, much less an entire litter, so far ahead of schedule.



Really Good Race!            Feb. 8, 2015

Yesterday was a good day for racing. Two Kentucky Derby points races AND the San Antonio where my boy all grown up man, California Chrome, last year's 3 YO champ met up with Shared Belief, 2013 2 YO champ. Looking at Junior was a treat. He's taller and all filled out... solid muscle... and totally in control of himself. SB, on the other hand, is MUCH smaller and a little delicate looking... he's a gelding... the two horses almost look like different breeds. But when push came to shove, it was Shared Belief doing the shoving! He beat Junior going away. Fair and square. While I'm disappointed Junior lost, it was a terrific run. And, since I don't bet, oh well!

The pups are NOT disappointing. Yesterday, they woke up loaded for bear. Growling and playing. They spent the day wrestling with each other, barking at everything and eating every time their mom was anywhere near. Of course, their periods of wakefulness last maybe 10 minutes... and that's probably stretching it!... then it's back to sleep for a couple hours.

They are now aware that there is... something... outside the nest. They line up along the "doors" and hang over the edge. Won't be long now until they're out and about. And after that... mom's food bowl!


A Slight Surprise            Feb. 6, 2015

As promised, I got around to weighing the pups today and got a little surprise. They have each gained about the same amount... 1/2 to 3/4 pound... but just looking at them and picking them up, I though it would be more. Part of it is they are getting more active which means they are getting stronger. They are also more aware of what's happening DIRECTLY to them. That is, they pay no attention to sounds outside their immediate area, but respond to sounds close to them... like their mom flopping down on the floor outside the nest... and they react immediately to things like me picking one up. Last week, it took a little less time to get pictures because they didn't move as quickly. Tonight, not one of them was happy sitting in the scales while I snapped a shot or two. For most of them, that meant three or four clicks to get one to use.

Weights
The biggest in the litter TODAY is the dark female at 2-5/8 pounds, up from 1-3/4 last week.
Second is her sister at 2-1/2 pounds, from 1-7/8
Third is still the red male, but he is now tied for that at 2-1/4, 1-3/4 last week
with the darkest boy who was 1-5/8.
Still the smallest, at exactly 2 pounds, is the blackish guy who was 1-1/2 pounds last week.











Next big thing is ESCAPE!
One pup was actually out of the nest last night, but was not a "winner" because he was pushed over the edge by Mom. She's taken to nursing while lying on her back, exposing her belly. When she's up close to the sides of the box, someone is bound to just slide off. Coming soon, however, will be a pup who deliberately leaves home for the first time.



It's Wednesday!            Feb. 4, 2015

My favorite day of the week now that I have found The Walking Dead. And tonight Nashville resumes. Yea!

Found the pups talking to each other today. Several of them were in one area and the red boy was elsewhere. He started calling out when he couldn't find his buds... and one of them answered! "Red" looked in the right direction but apparently thought he was wrong. So he called again. And one of the pups answered. "Red" still didn't trust himself, even though he again looked in the right direction. So he sounded off again. This time a couple pups answered. They sounded like "com'on already!" It was cute, but I'm easily bored so I picked him up and put him on the pile. He was asleep about 1 second later.

I've noticed the last couple days that the pups are taking themselves over to the blanket and sleeping there a lot of the time, sometimes even when their mom is in the nest with them. Also, she has a habit of putting them to sleep on the floor and then moving herself to the blanket. There would be enough room for everyone to sprawl out on it if Emy would leave it alone when I spread it out. Must be something about it being bunched up that she likes.

Pictures of other pups
First, 17 months old Scout, Clooney and Boon's daughter, who lives in Florida and is also easily bored...

Got toys?

And Emy and Boon's year old boy, Ballad


Then we have Peri and Sparky's son, Bob, who is 2 and Maggie and Cisco's daughter, Lula, who is 3


Last today, is Peri and Hoo-Rah's almost 6 months old son, Jerry

It is really hard to get a good clear picture of black dogs. This one is great!



My Last Nerve            Feb. 3, 2015

That's what Emy is messing with! She is more protective of these pups that any she's had before. Not more attentive to them, just more determined that I keep my hands off. ESPECIALLY if one of my hands is holding a camera. Honestly, she could be outside and down the trail inspecting the neighbor's new horse and still know that I have gotten the camera out of it's cover and am approaching the pups... and she'll beat me to them, parking herself between me and them. It is annoying.

Now that the kids are 2 weeks old and can see a little and almost walk, they are spreading out instead of living in one big clump.

Somehow, I managed to get this shot before ol' what's her name realized what I was doing and stepped into the nest, waking everybody up.

We have another winner
Notice Emy LOOKS like she's trying to figure out what's different about the "red" girl. I believe she is really trying to get her to move before the flash!

Ha, ha! I won!

Oh, in case you're wondering... she won the prize for First Pup to Sleep on Her Back.



This Should Be Easy            Feb. 1, 2015

I decided I wanted to get some face shots of the individual pups now that their eyes are open. I tried several different ones, using my camera, but the flash... and the delay between clicking-flash-actually take picture... meant all I got was closed eyes. So I switched to the phone. The flash isn't as bright and the picture happens at once, but the colors are terrible. All I get are different shades of brown and black instead of any real color... but eyes are open. You CAN see that EVERY pup has light and dark areas. I guess you win some, you lose some.

On Emy's Jan '15 litter page, I've posted two pictures of each pup for your viewing pleasure or frustration. You can see them at http://breeders411.com/emjan15.html

Normally, I don't start taking individual pictures until I've microchipped but these guys have enough visual differences I can pretty much eyeball them and know who they are. I have to pick up one of the reds to know which is the male and which the female, even though one of them is a slightly lighter shade than the other. The "black" female is easiest to identify since she is a different color than the other two her size and is much bigger than the other two her color. It is those last two that give me the biggest problem as every day they are closer in color as the lightening process continues and their weight is so close as well. One-eighth of a pound is not much difference and it is changing for every pup every day. I think the black female is the largest today... felt like she'd gained a pound when I picked her up this morning. They will soon be two-hand-pups. meaning I'll have to use both hands to pick them up safely. Don't know that I'll do many identified individual pictures until after I've chipped them in a couple weeks, but I'm thinking I might weigh them again next week and maybe the one after that just to document how relative sizes within the litter change so rapidly.

Red female (there's one in every crowd!)


"Black" female


Red male


"Black" male


"Blackish male



Update on me
Thanks to everyone who sent get better soon wishes. I did just that. As soon as the itching stopped, I was all better. In fact, I'm felling better than I have for a while. Yes, I'm still taking my meds, maybe not exactly on time, but I'm taking them. I've had more energy today than I've had in weeks and I'm walking better. In fact, several times today I've had to go in search of my cane... I put it down while doing something and just walk off without it. I hope THAT lasts. I need the exercise I'm getting trying to track it down. Going to have to find out which of the 3 meds is the one causing the improvement and see about staying on it a while after the prescription runs out. Of course, it probably is the Benadryl which makes me me sleep longer and deeper. Getting up every TWO hours is much more restful than getting up every hour!




JANUARY 2015


Exciting Night            Jan. 31, 2015

I decided to turn off the tv and turn in early last night. Some time after midnight, I put the dogs outside for their last potty break , then retreated to the bedroom with a brand new (for me) Dick Francis book. About an hour or so later, I noticed I was scratching my neck fairly often. Couldn't feel anything there but it was itchy. Soon after that, my arms started itching. Then the palms of my hands. Now, I grew up believing if your right hand itches it means you're going to meet a fool and if it's the left one itching, you're going to get some money. If either of those were true, this morning I could have started a reverse Mensa club and get rich doing it. Within a few minutes, I was itching all over. Serious itching. And my pulse was racing. Then my mouth started to feel swollen and numb. I'm the worse person in the world about going to a doctor... the vet? Yes! Let one of my dogs whimper in his sleep or look at me crosseyed and we're on the way. Me, on the other hand, I take the wait and see approach. But when I couldn't catch my breath, I decided 2 AM or not, I was going to the ER. So I called my son. Then locked all the dogs in pens and crates, dressed in some clean clothes and walked out my door just as he pulled up the drive.

My son's kind of a worrywart about medical stuff... comes by it naturally, from his father's side of the family... so on the trip into and across town... once the windshield had cleared enough to go more than 10 miles an hour... I said nothing about how scary I was finding the breathing issue, the thundering pulse issue, the thickening tongue and lip issue. You get the picture. Luckily for everyone concerned, the ER was unbusy, at least the waiting room was empty, and I got processed immediately.

My blood pressure was through the roof, followed closely by my pulse rate, but I was already feeling safe so I figured both would be dropping shortly. And was pleasantly surprised when the intake worker thanked me for my service in the Army during the Vietnam era; didn't know that was part of my medical record. I went to an exam room within a few minutes (after all the paperwork) and saw that a good many of the rooms were occupied. In all the those rooms we passed on the way to mine, there was not one hospital staff member present. BUT there were more than a few scattered around the nurses' station, apparently all on breaks. (Here's a tip to the wise ER employee... even if it is the first chance you've had in 24 hours to sit for a minute or too, don't do it where non ER employees can see you.)

It was now past 2:30 and I had started itching over an hour ago. My arms, which I could see, as well as my back, chest, sides and complete front, neck to knees which I couldn't see, were covered in huge, angry red swellings. Ok. I had already figured out it was an allergic reaction, something I had never experience before... and I hope never again. While I waited for the doctor to show, I went over everything I had done in the last few hours and everything I had consumed all day which included nothing new or different. My best guess is I got a bug bite of some kind right at bedtime, one so unimpressive I didn't even notice.

The areas on my sides started to burn and actually ache which brought to mind the Chicken Pox I had had as a child and the fact I had never gotten a Shingles shot. Let me tell you, if that is how Shingles begins.... Finally, after my son went in search of a doctor who was done with dinner or whatever, one came in to see me. He looked at my ow-ies, listened to my Shingles theory and told me it wasn't that, but it was an allergic reaction to something. Which we'll probably never figure out what. He said he was going to give me some meds intravenously and a prescription for the same meds and send me home as soon as the iv was done. We left the hospital at 4:00, the pharmacy a 4:30 and by 5 I was listening to my pack tell me they didn't appreciate being locked up and deserted in the middle of the night. Everyone had something to say about it except the pups.

So this morning... later this morning... all is well except I'm still trying to figure out the schedule for three different medications... 1 once a day (easy peasy,) one twice a day (hummm) and one 3 times a day... along with the two I already take which are both once daily but can't be taken with each other or with food. But
all is well!
The only itch I still have is the original one on my neck where there is no visible evidence of... anything. All my welts and splotches disappeared before we left the hospital and I mean completely disappeared. Amazing stuff those iv drugs!

Oh, and both my pulse and blood pressure were close to my normal by then as well.

So far, nothing else stressful has happened. But the sun hasn't even begun to set!



Two Weeks Yea!            Jan. 30, 2015

Emy's puppies are well on their way. They are also on their feet. Very unsteady, rocking back and forth and side to side like a carnival ride, but ON their feet.
They also have their eyes open. They can't focus yet, but they are starting to move TOWARD objects they want to be close to... like their mom and the blanket she's wadded in the corner of the nest.
And they survived their first weigh in. From well under a pound... a little over a half pound... to:
red female ---- 1-7/8 pounds
"black" female --- 1-3/4
red male --- 1-3/4
"black" male ---1-5/8
"blackish" male ---1-1/2 pounds
A note on the colors... the two I'm calling red are the lightest colored in the litter. They WILL be blond and their dark faces will lighten up as well.
The two black are the darkest but they are not really black. They have red tones and some light markings on their legs. They will probably be blond... eventually... probably with a lot of "lace" or sabling in their coats.
The blackISH male is a shade between the other two. He has a lot of red in his coat and also has lighter coloring on his legs. He's likely to lighten up more quickly than his darker mates.
I've noticed a dab of white on two pups (I think) but don't remember which and it IS just a dab.

Those of us who are going to start hearing things in the next few days, and barking at the noise, salute you!



Blizzard Juno... Plus            Jan. 28, 2015

Ok, this is attempt number 4, number 1 for today, to get this posted. That means it is the 4th time I've had to write it since it has disappeared the other times. One of the reasons I use the host I do for the website and blog (and all the websites I do for other people) is it lets me create and update directly, while I'm on line. Normally, that is not a problem, but occasionally... like yesterday... my phone line (dial-up, remember?)... must have been out of wack. Or maybe it was my isp. Either way, I was disconnected twice. The third time, the host terminated the session because I hadn't saved anything in 2 hours... which was because it was later in the night and I was dealing with getting dogs settled. Whatever. So here I go again... and if you're reading this, all has gone well.

I hope everyone is indoors, safe, warm and well fed. I'm glad NYC dodged the bullet... again (that's going to be some piper to pay down the road...) and those in New England have my sympathy.-
Here things have been relatively... wintery... but nothing unusual. Except our weather forecasters are off their game. Normally they are right on with their predictions but this year they seem to be erring on the side of caution. A lot. Possibly all the new technology is to blame... offering too much information, too many variables for accurate predictions. The one thing they have been right about is falling temperatures. The high 50s of last week are hard to remember.

Air temp in the house is usually 60-65 and the pups have been comfortable. But with daytime highs now down to about freezing, the floors are cold. They are tiled, not carpet and there is a crawlspace underneath. Since Emy refuses to have anything between the pups and the bottom of the nest, the blanket I have in there was wadded up Day 2 and shoved to the other side of the nest, as far away from the pups as Em can get it. Monday afternoon, after listening to the babies complain every time their mom left them... something they had stopped doing a week ago... I noticed that the blackish girl had made her way across the nest and crawled into the folds of the blanket. She was sound asleep. The other four were weeping and wailing and very restless. Emy got back in with them, eyeballed the sleeping pup but left her where she was and lay down with the rest. A few minutes later, as soon as they had found spots on top of her legs and under her chin and gone to sleep... without eating because they weren't hungry... she got up and left again. Immediately we were back to four unhappy pups. Still not with the program myself, I watched the smallest black male find his way to the blanket, crawl in with his snoozing sister and fall asleep at once. The other 3 were whimpering and trying to get on top of the pile they were making.

DUH!

I spread the blanket out over the nest floor, put everybody on it and peace reigned.

Eventually, Emy returned, flopped down resignedly on the blanket near the pups... seemed a little miffed that they didn't wake up to nurse even after she nosed them... and left the blanket alone. For the rest of the day and all night. She did move it back a little to give herself space to lie down off it, but when I got up in the morning, all five were still on the blanket. Until about 10:30 when she moved them back to the floor, shoving the covers back again. Tuesday night, the pups slept on the blanket most of the night, but right now, mid afternoon The Walking Dead day, they are on the floor again. Guess we're going to do this back and forth business every evening for the next week or so.


By the way, it should be easy to see all the puppies have doubled, maybe tripled their size in the last week and a half.
Other Emy pups
I got this letter from Kelly who has two Emerald pups. Zoe's sire is my standard Poodle, Shadow and Murphy's is my miniature Poodle, Sparky.
Thanks! My dogs continue to impress me with their affectionate nature, and how they express it in their own distinct ways. Murphy is the ultimate cuddler. His whole life is about loving! He continues to hide in his crate or under a chair when stranger are around but to the family he is all about the love! Zoe on the other hand loves to be pet, rubbed, patted or scratched, but she never sits touching us. She sits at attention at a slight distance, until she melts and surrenders to the touch but still not a cuddle unless I force it on her.
Now I was away for 2 nights last week with one daughter and when I returned it struck me again how different their greeting is…Zoe the non cuddler attacks me with kisses and jumping for attention while Murphy comes over and sits behind me (his body touching my back) as I kneel to pet Zoe.
I do love them.
Thanks,
Kelly

The interesting thing, at least to me, is Zoe's behavior is exactly like her dad's while Murphy's is exactly like HIS.
Anyone want to revisit the nature vs nurture argument?







Progress            Jan. 24, 2015

Today, Emy went outside with the gang and stayed for almost a half hour. Not a peep from the pups. When she came back in, she went straight to... the food bowl. Didn't even look in the nest. As soon as she was full, she went in with the youngsters and she's been there, in the exact same spot and position, for the last two hours. While she was out, three of the pups slept while the two smallest (both males,) using each other as props, practiced sitting up. For the last day or so I've seen all five using their legs, trying to get their bodies up off the floor. Of course, they're not quite strong enough yet, but they're working on it. Right now, however, they get their chests up and then look like bobble dolls for a few seconds before collapsing. They are right on schedule.

The biggest in the litter is the reddish female. Tied for second and third are the blackish female and the reddish male. The two darker males are about equal size and a little bit smaller.

Now that their systems have adjusted, they are basically very quiet puppies. However, they are also very lazy and when one is separated from mom and/or the other pups it tends to sound off rather than go looking. I usually respond before Emy does since they are loud and I'm trying to hear the tv!



Another Gunny Missive            Jan. 23, 2015

Happy 1 year birthday fellow littermates and new 1 week old brothers and sisters!

Over the past year I have learned many important things. Like how much fun pools are and which treats taste the best (whatever Brownie has in her mouth, please). I have also taught my people many important things.

I think that you should know that I no longer am wearing a leash in the house. For those of you who did not know, I wore a leash in the house because my people tend to get lost a lot. If they are attached to me, I can help them find their way. Luckily, they seem to have finally realized that they have GPS on their phones. I am happy not to be wearing the leash anymore, because they tend to step on it or grab it at the most inconvenient time... like when I am preparing to launch from the top of the stairs, dash out the door, or knock over the visitor. Besides, it is much easier for them to carry 36 pounds of blonde fluff around while it licks their face than it is to try to run behind it while it drags them on a leash. Or so they say
.
I have learned that standing in the bathtub for long enough will get them to turn the water on for me.

Running from window to window and howling as if I have been mortally wounded when another dog walks by will convince them to take me for a walk as well, and barking ferociously at the bad man in the brown truck who tries to drop off bombs disguised in brown Amazon boxes will make them let me sniff the box first to do a safety check. Oh, and if I bodyslam my people's bedroom door, it pops open and I can roll all over the bed. I have tried this with several other doors and have only managed to get concussions. Speaking of the people, they finally figured out that cars do not move unless there is a doggie inside. They have also learned that if I am sleeping on their foot that they cannot get up (I will not go back to sleep), and that the only reason they have hands is to scratch my neck.

I have not been as good at teaching Brownie things.

She seems to think that everything is hers. However, when she got up late the other morning and I was outside (digging wonderful holes and eating all the snow), she thought she had lost me. She stood in my crate and shook until I came back in, and then I got yelled at. (She has such a big bark for such a little dog). Sheesh. Anyway, I tried to teach her to de-stuff animals. She still insists on carrying them around to sleep with. I do not think she will ever learn.

My people say that I am spoiled. I do not know what they are talking about. Although if I do not get my blueberry facial every two weeks my hair is an absolute mess. And it has nothing to do with digging on the hill.

Speaking of birthdays, my little boy had a birthday a couple of weeks ago and he got this wonderful stuffed owl.
It was love at first sight.
I successfully stole it on several occasions and thundered around the house and up and down the hall with it (him squealing the whole way behind me... success!) No matter where the people hid it, I found it.

Which led to much whining, and crying, and barking.

So they got me one for my birthday (a little early, because I am SPOILED.


They have named it Homer, on account of the missing eyeballs, and balls of fluff have been strewn through the house ever since. Birthdays are the best!

Anyhoo, I am off to continue spreading fluff.

Maybe if I ram Homer into Brownie enough she will figure out how to play with it. If that does not work, I can always steal my little boy's.

Happy Birthday!
Love,
Gunny



This Time Last Year and This Year            Jan. 22, 2015

First, 2015. The pups are 6 days old.

There is a different shot on the website.
Also, I've started the first of the pages for this litter. You can get to it by clicking here or going directly to http://breeders411.com/emjan15.html
Emy has taken to napping outside the nest for 15 or so minutes at a time. She is also starting to scoot the pups from place to place rather than picking them up.
A friend found me some blow-up swimming pools which should be here tomorrow. So now I'm debating on whether or not to move the pups from the box to a pool. That would mean moving them back in 2 weeks when they start trying to get out of the nest. Puppy nails are death to blow-up pools! Decisions, decisions!

And back to last year
This is Gunny who lives in Maryland and writes those wonderful letters. (Birthday letter tomorrow.)


Indiana's entry in the Gorgeous Guy contest, Laddy

Happy First Birthday to The Nine!



This Time Last Year            Jan. 21, 2015

We were waiting for Emy to have puppies. She had 10 on the 22nd, of which 9 survived and are doing well in various places around the country. They are checking in with info on their families, their size and their accomplishments and problems. And pictures. Lots of pictures!

In alphabetical order, the first three are
Ballad in New York


41 pound! Bo in Georgia


Ranger in North Carolina




We Have Our First Winner            Jan. 20, 2015

If you have followed the blog for a while, you know every litter learns certain behaviors or makes physical or mental advances or accomplishes some feat as every other litter. And while each pup in a litter does it sooner or later, one is always first at something. Seldom is the same pup first at several somethings. I make note of each pup who leads the way and report on the blog. Often it isn't an exact identification because the pups have a bad habit of all looking alike or at least individual pups tend to look like several other individual pups. Although these new babies are VERY young, I have POSITIVELY identified ONE SPECIFIC pup doing something the rest are not.

Ta DAH! The pup doing the most whining, even when there is absolutely nothing to whine about, is the blackish male.

Honestly, this guy never shuts up longer than a few minutes. He even cries when he is nursing! He cries so much his mama... who dislikes noisy pups as much as I do and always responds to see what their problems are... ignores him. He has complained so much even I have stopped getting up and going to his rescue. By the way, getting up and going to him so often is why I know without a doubt HE is the one with the big mouth.

So congratulations, blackish boy. You are our first winner.
Now, please, shut up.

By the way, Emy is so comfortable with how these pups are doing that she has already started voluntarily running outside for potty breaks. (Usually I have to put a lead on her and force her to leave the nest until the pups are 5-6 days old.) Also, twice today, she has left the nest and sat down on the blanket outside of it, facing AWAY from the pack, and not gone back to them for at least 5 minutes. A lot of progress in the growing up department.

In the not so good news department
I noticed late last night that the smallest of the pups, a reddish male, is not as active as the others. Right now he is not dehydrated... which means he's nursing... and Emy is paying as much attention to him as she is to the others, but, to me, he feels a little coolish which is not a good sign. Judging by his coat color, I'm guessing he was the last born of 'the six,' something that feels rather ominous considering....

During the night and today, I am feeding the pup and have him separated from the rest, keeping him on a hot water bottle for warmth. He has a chance BUT these very young babies have no reserves to fall back on and it is touch and go.

You may remember I was concerned about the way Emy carried this litter. I am wondering if all eight pups were crammed in one of the uterine horns and the smallest pups simply did not have the space to grown and develop normally. For those who don't know, the canine uterus is shaped like a Y, consisting of two separate"horns" (the top of the Y) and a birth canal. Usually, fetuses are distributed in both horns and during whelping you get one from Column A, then one from Column B. Who knows why these things do not work they way they're designed to.



Sometimes It Just Happens            Jan. 19, 2015

Spoiler alert
If you share the blog with young children, you may want to skip this part

Unfortunately, the last puppy, the third female, died a few hours after I took the pictures of the boys separate from the girls. She was smaller than the others and obviously weaker, but she nursed and Emy kept her warm and cuddled close. Sometimes, especially when there is a considerable gap in the time between the births of one pup and the rest of the litter, that pup can be deprived of oxygen while it is still en utero and it simply doesn't recover. There were actually eight pups in this litter. Friday, hours after the first six pups, another male was stillborn. I didn't mention it at the time because it is not happy news. And probably, considering the late arriving female was smaller, weaker and MUCH later than the others, I shouldn't have mentioned her either. In her case, it was easier to announce her birth and subsequent death than to explain her presence a couple weeks later if she made it. Just so you know, Emy did not object to me removing either pup and did not look for them.
And now back to our regular broadcast...

Here are the pups at 3 days.


As you can see, they are not on the blanket that I put in the box with them. It is wadded up and pushed several feet away to the other side of the box. NONE of my girls EVER leave their pups on the blankets or rugs or even newspaper. They scratch all the way down to the floor... before long, the bottom of the box will be torn up.

The pups' systems have adjusted to their change in environment. They have quieted down considerably, although they still object when their mom stands up. They've been in a place where the temperature is 101 degrees and there is no fluctuation. Now they are where it is 60-65 degrees and when Mom gets up, they can feel the air move around them. The adjustment usually takes 48-72 hours and early this morning, they got quiet for about 99% of the time.

Now, if I could just get Emy to stop picking them up!

In other news
Here are two pictures I took with my phone. (Yes, I said phone. ) Obviously, I haven't figured out the flash yet!


Diamond, Em's mom and the pups' grandma, 10-1/2 years old mini Poodle

Popcorn, 8 years old, neutered Pom-mix, maybe 5-6 pounds, looking for a home


This last picture is of Patsy clearing showing how impressed she is with the new babies.




And the Winner is...            Jan. 18, 2015

California Chrome won the 2014 Eclipse Awards for Champion 3 Year Old
and Horse of the Year. Way to go Junior!

This morning, Junior had something to say to his fellow 2011 colts...


In what for me was a miscarriage of justice, Wise Dan was denied his third consecutive HOTY, Older Male and Champion Turf Horse awards. The 7 year was entered in and won 4 races this year, the last just months after colic surgery. In 6 years, he's been in 31 races on both turf and dirt, winning 23 and placing in 2. The winner of Older Male and Male Turf Horse was the 5 year old Main Sequence who was entered in and won 4 races... after not having raced at all in almost 2 years. In 4 years, he's been in 18 races, all on the turf, winning 8 with 3 places and 3 shows. In my mind, there is just no comparison between the two geldings.

And yes, I would have given Dan HOTY over Chrome.



And Then There Were...            Jan. 17, 2015


No matter how often you count and recount there are still 7 (SEVEN) puppies in the photo. There are seven pups in the nest. Emy is not talking.

Yesterday, some time while I was sleeping, the litter changed from 4 boys and 2 girls to 4 boys and 3 girls.

It is not rare for a straggler to show up hours after everyone else... it happens in the best of families. I once had a Khala (hairless sighthound from South America) produce a beautiful BIG boy during the night when I didn't even know she was pregnant. He was healthy and strong and I was rather tickled to see him when I got up that morning. The next morning, I was greeted by him and his much smaller but equally hairless and healthy sister. Soon as I had everyone straightened out for the morning, I loaded Mom and her two babies in the car and went to the vet. Jane examined everyone, pronounced all three healthy and bald and asked why I'd brought them in. I told her I just wanted to be sure I wasn't going to wake up every morning for the rest of the month to find a new puppy in with the old. There were only two... which is an incredibly small litter for the breed.

But I digress!
Seven is still fewer than ten. Way to go Em!



Emy is SUCH a Good Girl!

We are done! Actually, we were done with the 10 o'clock delivery. Final tally is 4 males and 2 females for a total of SIX! An excellent number. Pups are warm and generally quiet and are beginning to plump up.




Mom and pups... and I... went to bed and asleep around 1 after it became obvious that MS Emy had listened to me and toned things down. All is well and everyone's happy.

Except Patsy who is not pleased she is no longer the center of my attention!


9:30 AM

Ok, I waited exactly two hours and got a second pup and a second boy and, at the time, "black"-and-tan.



Seeing as this was looking like an all day affair, I ran into town and paid a quick visit to McDonald's and the bank. Got home at 9 to find two little girls added to the bunch. One "plain" blond (reddish with no tan on her legs) and the other like the boys "blackish"-until-dry-and-tan. SHE was the newest pup and I could tell because she was still wet.



A half hour later... apparently Emy decided there were still too many pups (!) to drag it out past 30 minutes each... a fifth pup and the third boy showed up. This one is much more black, at least right now.



All five with mom



And I have to go now because it's 10 o'clock and something's happening!


Sneaky Emy!           Jan. 16, 2015

So last night... actually, starting at 12:30 this morning... I began watching the 1st season of Helix which SyFy is running as a marathon straight through to tonight's premiere of the second season. I watched the first four episodes and then went to bed, figuring I had a good idea of the characters and the general gist of the storyline. The plan was to get some rest, then join in again some time after noon. Emy and Diamond were curled up together on their blanket, both of them sound asleep. Em had eaten supper last night and readily went out for her last potty break around midnight. NO signs that she was even in the early stages of labor. All was peaceful and calm.

Imagine my surprise when my whole pack sounded off at 6 AM. After a moment, everyone got quiet again and then I heard a squeak. Nothing sounds like a newborn puppy except a newborn puppy.

Now, this is not a good thing. Emy is in the big puppy pen with her mom and I'm in my bedroom at the other end of the house with no puppy nest set up. Usually I get a day or more's advanced notice. Luckily, both Em and Di are experienced enough there was no problem between the two of them over the new arrival. When I turned on the light in the computer room, Em was sitting close to front of the pen with the pup snugged up under her super-sized belly. Diamond was sitting in the back of the pen looking... unenchanted. She did not object when I picked her up and took her back to the bedroom... and left her there.

The first baby is a boy and he is "black" with tan on his legs.

And here we are, an hour later, with just one pup to show for the last 60 minutes.
But more are coming.
Stay tuned!



No News            Jan. 14, 2015

I know people are checking here every day for news of Emy's babies. Sorry, but she's still carrying them around. She's comfortable... eating, sleeping, even exercising normally so it's not happening today.

Actually, nothing much is happening today. It's chilly and gray and wet. Saved only by two hours of The Walking Dead tonight. Thank goodness for syndication!



HA!            Jan. 9, 2015

For once, our local weathermen were wrong. In a good way. We're weren't supposed to get above freezing until afternoon Saturday. Which was changed at the next report to afternoon Sunday MAYBE. And yet, today, Friday we were up to 37. That's above freezing. And it felt great. The dogs went out and stayed out longer than 5 minutes at a time. However, since, when they came back in, neither Emy nor Peri asked to have their sweaters taken off, I knew we weren't going to stay "warm" very long. And sure enough, the temp started falling about 4 and we're now down to 21, headed to the mid teens. But it was nice while it lasted!

By the way, I do not normally put clothes on any of the dogs except Crockett, my Chinese Crested.( He has a better wardrobe than I do and lets me know when he wants to put something on.) Emy and Peri went to the groomer about 4 weeks ago and because of a mix up in my instructions to the receptionist, they were clipped down short. I had already told my groomer that I wanted "a little off the top" with both of them. When I reacted by almost fainting when I came to pick the girls up, she said she had almost called me to check when the receptionist told her "the usual." With Peri, the short cut isn't so bad, but I wanted hair on Emy so the pups would have a natural blanket. So they got sweaters to wear this week and you know it's C O L D when they agree to wear them! And yesterday, after checking the weather predictions for the rest of the month, I ordered a heating pad designed for dogs. It will be here early next week and will keep the pup all nice and toasty until their systems mature enough... or the temperature rises enough... it won't be needed.

Whoodles, in general, seem to like the cold weather. And like most dogs... including my Crockett... they LOVE the snow!

Two year old Boru, from Maggie and Alex.



New Number            Jan. 6, 2015

Some of you have noticed, I'm sure, I have a new phone number. It is 423 - 276 - 6327
After nearly 15 years I've had to retire my old cellphone. It weighed maybe 2 ounces, was WAY smaller than a pack of cigarettes and did nothing but phone calls. The new phone weighs just a tad more, is smaller than a cigarette pack and does nothing but phone calls. It has text capabilities... except on the user end... and a camera... that I can't download to my computer and since email and/or internet isn't available, I probably won't use. However, it does have oversized buttons which was the major selling point. I've had it a couple days and am still figuring it out. I do know how to answer it and make a call, so we're off to a good start. Feel free to test me!
Again, that number is 423 -276 - 6327.



Going to Get Cold            Jan. 3, 2015

And it's going to be raining when it does!. Today's high temp is supposed to be in the low 50s. Tomorrow's in the mid 40s and it's straight downhill from there. Well, it IS winter! Rain is moving in this afternoon, caused by the high pressure system we're under, and, according to our weather people, it is going to stay around for a number of days... caused by the LOW pressure system we WILL be under. It confuses me, all this "pressure" business. However, the rain is keeping my groomer happy. Several of my dogs think the ponds they have dug in the yard are for romping in and deepening regardless of the temperatures. The mud they drag in, which dries and turns into dirt everywhere, including my bed, bothers them not at all. Patsy, the Poodle pup, is the worse offender, mainly because she has the most energy AND is still in full coat. She's so cute, even dirty, I hate to clip her down!

I ended 2014 and started this one under the weather. Not terribly ill... definitely not the flu although it is running wild here... just an upset tummy, chest pressure, cough, aches and pains and general malaise. The symptoms were a combination that could indicate an imminent heart attack and it bugged my daughter no end that I preferred staying home and watching 59 hours of The Walking Dead marathon to making a trip to the ER. We have all survived... well, a lot of The Walking Dead got wiped out... and today I feel almost normal again. And I still LOVE The Dead. Even with all those episodes back-to-back, there was at least one moment in each one where I said "Wow!" Zombies... and yes, I know, they are not zombies... are not my thing. But, maybe because they are not zombies, this show is different. It has really delved into what might happen if our infrastructure went belly up unexpectedly and we were left to fend for ourselves. The zombies would be the least of our problems!

Emy is doing well.
She's very lazy... NOT taking part in the digging to China project, is eating a good bit and is suffering from her usual hormonal over-affectionate disorder. Maybe 2 weeks to go, give or take. One thing, there is a spot open on the reservation list for a female. However, the list will close, full or not, on the 10th.

Trail to the 2015 KY Derby
As of a couple hours ago, we now have our first colt to probably qualify for this year's Run for the Roses on May 2nd (which will give us the ONLY colt eligible to win a Triple Crown this year.) The first contender, barring illness or injury, is El Kabeir, who has 21 points... 10 from each of his wins (today in the Jerome Stakes and 11/29 in the KY Jockey Club) and 1 from his fourth place finish in the Champagne on 10/4.) There are a total of 34 races (18 worth 10 - 4 - 2 - 1 points, 8 worth 50 - 20 - 10 - 5, 7 which give the winners 100 - 40 - 20 - 10 and 1 "wild card" just 2 weeks before the Derby for 20 - 8 - 4 - 2.) Usually 20-21 points will get you in. If there are more than 20 horses qualified and a number of them have earned the same total points, winnings are taken into account. There are also a couple "also eligible" spots just in case a horse or two backs out. Last year, Hopportunity was declared out so late no replacement was allowed and the field was 19. Top qualifier was my boy California Chrome with 150 points.

And speaking of Jr, he and the 2014 problem child, Bayern, are both gearing up for their 4 year old season with their sights set on the San Antonio on Feb. 7th at Santa Anita. Possibly, Shared Belief will fly in (the other two are California horses) and the BC Classic will be rerun... now THAT would be a horse race!



Jan 1, 2015