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.
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Hot Dogs           Aug 29, 2014

The temp is supposed to be over 90 today and not a cloud in the sky. Everyone is panting, including me. The pups are crying... at least they were until I put a wet towel in with them. Now, as long as Peri leaves them alone, they'll sleep. She has a habit... like all my mamas... of removing any and all bedding under the pups. In the nest, she wants them on the plastic pan and in the pen, she wants them on the wood or the tile... and some of the girls try pulling up the tile!

Zelda has her eyes open. She's the only one. The boys are still as blind as bats. Well, she can't see either, but she's one step closer to it than they are.

In the pix, you can tell how much bigger they all are.
And by the centering of the shot to the mat and the pups(ie: the lack of centering) you can tell how much more active they are. Especially the boy next to Z who was bound and determined he wanted to be ANY where and in ANY position than the one I put him in. He, by the way, is noticeably bigger than the other two guys. And all of them have advanced to "one per hand." Just 13 days ago, I could hold all 3 boys in one hand!
And, in the bottom pix, I think you can tell Z is standing.

Different pictures on the website.

Even Puppies Get a Bath           Aug 27, 2014

Meanwhile, Emy and Boon...           Aug 26, 2014

But first, the Stoos-and-Zelda... I think it was yesterday I noticed a couple of the boys sort of sitting. Their rumps were on the ground and front legs straight, but they were leaning against each other, shoulder to shoulder so they may not have actually been sitting. But today, Zelda was trying to get into a standing position. First she had her butt in the air and then she tried to get her head up there too. She failed and collapsed in a heap. But they ARE gaining in strength and figuring out how to maneuver all their various body parts. It won't be long!

And just a few moments ago, I picked up one of the boys who was sleeping away from the pack... and he let me know he was not amused. They really grow up... and have opinions... fast.

Emy and Boon pups from 3 past litters
have sent photos.
First is Finn, who now lives in WA and is 3 years old today

Then, Cash from the April 2012 litter, in CA with his new friend, Mimi

Finally, from the Jan 2014 litter, Ranger guarding his young master's door

Getting Bigger by the Moment           Aug 25, 2014

The pups, 9 days old today, are definitely getting enough to eat!

Right now, the only time they are awake is when they are eating. They don't make a lot of noise, except for slurping sounds. I can almost forget they are here!

Peri is going outside three-four times a day and she has started hanging out with me for a few minutes when she comes back in. But only for a few minutes. Then she dashes back to the pups. I think she's almost disappointed they haven't missed her!

As Promised           Aug 21, 2014

5 days old
boy - boy - boy - girl

All's Well           Aug 20, 2014

The pups are doing great. And they have really grown. I'll try to get a picture of them with Peri tomorrow. She is still hiding them, so it won't be easy.

I was telling Montana in NYC's mom, Marna, that Zelda fills up the palm of my hand and will lie calmly on her back while I rub her tummy and she reminded me that I used to do the same thing with Montana... and she still expects her belly rubs at least three times a day!

Montana on a walk around the City

and Montana (and friend) FLYING around the City

Correction...           Aug 18, 2014

The first 24 hours are the roughest. All is quiet except when Peri moves the pups around. They don't care when I pick them up. They're growing fast... about the size of "normal" newborns now. I've decided the little squally one's problem yesterday was an upset tummy and now he's had enough time for some minor adjustments and is doing fine.

They are still VERY black!

The First 48 Hours are the Roughest           Aug 17, 2014

Three good as gold pups and one whiny little [insert bad word here.] For some reason unknown to me or his mother, one of the boys started squalling about 9 this morning and has taken only short breaks since. Even Peri is unhappy with him.

Other than that, everything here is hunky-dory. Peri ate a cup of puppy kibble... unexpected since she also had three placentas yesterday... and even asked to go outside just a few moments ago. Quick out, quick back. She found the pups exactly where she left them but immediately picked up one and put him in the very back of the nest. Before she could grab any of the others, I moved them back there. She's always done that with her pups... pick them up... whole puppy IN her mouth... and they don't like it any more than I do. I don't think I've ever seen a dog pick a pup up by the scruff of the neck; cats do it all the time. Well, they pick up kittens by the scruff of their necks....

Introducing Larry, Curly, Mo and Zelda           Aug 16, 2014

Success! Maybe three times IS a charm! Peri delivered this litter like a pro... no help needed from me and definitely no C-section. The first baby... the chunky Zelda... arrived this afternoon just as the gong rang 3 and the smaller Larry, Curly and Mo arrived at 3:30, 4 and 4:30 just like they had reservations at the most popular milk bar in Tennessee. Peri was not particularly happy a couple hours later when I took these photos.

All of us, including my bank account which is very relieved it didn't have to put out thousands of dollars for an emergency C-section, are doing well.

On Puppy Watch           Aug 16, 2014

Peri is in the early stages of labor. She had a semi-restless night which she willingly spent in the "nest," digging and rearranging the bedding, rearranging the bedding and digging, digging and... you get the picture. She hasn't eaten anything since yesterday morning, but has had some water. Her temp was 100 at the vet's late yesterday afternoon, under 99 at bedtime. And she's spending a lot of time cleaning herself. Right now, after a brief trip outside, she is lying next to me in the chair, but she is restless... and distracting! SO I'm going to put her back in the nest.
More to come...!

Counting Down the Days           Aug 13, 2014

Peri is doing fine. She's plumped up some... not enough to make me think there are a dozen, or even a half dozen, pups, but she's gained noticeably. Yesterday she started "bagging up." That means her belly is getting flabby and her nipples are filling. No milk or pre-milk yet. She's still active, spending a lot of time out in the yard, even after all the rain we've had the last few days. Guess she's enjoying the wonderfully cool... relatively speaking... temperatures and low humidity, just like everyone else is. This weekend is supposed to be more typical August weather, so my preference would be puppy arrival before then! However, no one ever asks what I want!

Wonderful (Non Dog) News!           Aug 9, 2014

There are two... T W O ... new Dick Francis books out. One is Crossfire, published last year, and then Refusal, published this year. And as a bonus, Refusal features Sid Halley! Of course, since Dick Francis passed away four years ago, these are co-authored with his younger son, Felix Francis. Felix worked with his dad on everything published since 2006, making for a fairly smooth transition. Anyone who likes "mystery" stories with well drawn characters... people you can understand and sometimes even like, no matter how evil or just uncaringly normal they turn out to be, and heroes who have faults and short comings to deal with along with solving the mystery, will LOVE these novels. Most have some horse background... racing, training, transport... but they are not horse stories. There is a TON of research into them... from glass blowing to aviation, gemstones to wine importing... every one is a delicious learning experience. Over the years, I have collected all the Dick Francis books, including the two non-fiction. I keep them all together in a big cardboard box in the center of the bookshelf and every year or so reread every one of them, with great enthusiasm and much pleasure, in no particular order.
My advice to any and all readers... pick one, any one, and you'll eventually get around to reading all of them.

Domain name/url renewals
I have a lot of domain names, some of them have been mine for over a dozen years, and I'm starting to let go of many of them. Since I'm on dial-up (yes, I know you're tired of hearing about it) but since I'm not on broadband or wifi, renewing my urls at godaddy has to be done on the phone. It gives me a chance to talk with technophiles in a non-confrontational manner. When I called this afternoon, the guy asked how he could help me and I began, as usual, with "I'm on dial-up...." His laugh started with a snort, followed by a definite chuckle. Then he apologized and told me that earlier in the week they, at godaddy, were having some computer problems which made everything very slow and they had been joking about the "old days when we were on dial-up." Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's very funny. Later, when we were discussing my selling a couple of my names to other breeders, I told him Tennessee when he asked where I was calling from. He said I wouldn't want to sell to anyone in the same vicinity... which meant he knows about the internet but has no idea about dog breeding... and I asked where HE was. When he told me Phoenix I said "Well, it's a dry heat...." It took him a couple beats then he laughed out loud. But he got me back with "We were all watching you guys in the east last winter... our winter was on a Tuesday." Now THAT is funny!

This is 20 months old Boru, from Maggie and Alex. Boru is a whopping 60 pounds!

And this is a before and after picture of a rescued Shih-Tzu... NOT here, thank goodness... to show you what a REAL bad hair day year looks like

Updates           Aug 5, 2014

Starting with Peri... no news is semi-good news. Peri is doing well. She's got a little belly on her and some nipple development. She's eating and sleeping a lot and seems to be enjoying her evenings out in the yard alone... her choice since the door is open. She stays out there for an hour or so, then comes in and finds a spot on the back of my chair for a snooze for another hour. The semi part of the good news is she has not gained a lot of weight and is definitely not busting out all over with puppies. She still has a while to go, so there's still hope.

Luckily for some kids in Michigan, they have first pick. They sent me a picture of their Puppy Jar. Donations cheerfully accepted!

SInce Em's pups have reached 6 months, there are still pictures of first haircuts coming in as well as first surgery pictures...
Ranger (Squirrel) has his first do

and Gunny's trip to the vet earned her a couple beautiful sweaters instead of one of those awful cone collars.

A Famiy Full of Leos           Aug 1, 2014

This has nothing to do with my dogs, but I thought I'd tell you about it anyway.
BOTH my parents are Pisces. All three of us kids are Leos... as are a couple of our cousins. Perhaps that is some explanation.
If that doesn't work for you, I have a couple others.

I found the heavy equipment
The other day, avoiding the tornado area, I drove down a road I don't normally use. There were signs up warning of "gas pipeline construction." When I got to the work area, which was surround by the same tall white poles with brightly colored flags that festoon my little roadway, there was lots and lots of big machines. Here's the thing... this area is just a few crow miles from my ridge but for the life of me I can't see how it will connect with what's going on here. For one thing, the two are paralel. And for another, there are two interstates in between.

Have I mentioned I hate computers? The modem went out on the new one. So it's in the shop... not for the modem since I have a computer program (on a disc) and an external modem... but so the required updates can be installed so I can use a more recent version of IE. It's been there... installing the downloads... all week.

If the auto industry designed and sold cars the way the computer industry... read that Microsoft... does its product, we'd all stil be using horses. AND I'll drink to that!

While the new one is being fixed I'm back to using the old one... the one that has only the left side of the keyboard working. Yesterday, in talking to the computer-fixit man, I learned I can plug in a regular keyboard and use that... rather than the hunt/peck/copy/paste method of building words I've been using all week... and the entire month of June. DUH!

stars here on Monday.

JULY 2014

lt's All My Fault           July 29, 2014

First off, the dogs and l are fine. No damage, not even to the trees.
"In eastern Tennessee, officials said there were no reports of any deaths or injuries from Sunday's storms, though at least 10 homes were destroyed."
Other side of the ridge from us, about 1 mile as the crow files, 4-5 by road. l love my ridge!

Here's the story...

Sunday afternoon l was in a real snit because l'd been waiting all month for the Haskell lnvitational, 1-1/8 miles for 3 year olds. The horse most "experts" are claiming is the best of the crop... the FlLLY, Untapable... was running agianst the boys for the first time. And one of those boys was my guy, Social lnclusion. BUT, 2 hours before the scheduled tv coverage the local NBC station was carrying non-stop weather. Not MY weather, but Kentucky weather. Now, l'm real sorry they're having storms 200 miles from here, but l want to watch the race! l sent an email... or 2... and called the station. So, a couple minutes before the start of the race, with the weather report still going without even pausing for commercials, l called a friend in Oregon. She got the right station JUST as the last horse loaded in the gate and did a terrific job calling the entire thing. Just as well l didn't get to "see" it since my horses didn't do well. But l still haven't seen Untappable run. We were still yakking some minutes after the race when my power went off. lt had started raining about a half hour before and there had been a little hail, no biggie. Power came back on about 5 hours later and that's when found out about the tornado.

So how's this MY fault? lf l hadn't made an ass of myself over the tv coverage.... This will teach me!

Email from a Puppy           July 26, 2014

Gunny, one of Emy and Boon's Jan 2014 puppies, sent me this today.

Things to know about me (Gunny):

1.) I am an expert "Bell Ringer"--I ring the bell on the door when the stray cat walks by, when I want to play in my pool, when I want to go for a walk, when there is a fun bird/squirrel/bug to chase, when my Daddy is outside, when my little boy is outside, when that other doggie is outside, or when I am bored. (Especially when I am bored). If I have to go potty I just lean quietly up against the door. Going potty is not 'urgent'. Chasing the cat is.

2.) I am a blanket hog. I have no less than five in my bedtime crate at any time, which must be pushed shoved and rearranged into pillow like formations. Sometimes I bury our head under them. Sometimes I'm upside on top of them. If you've left a blanket on the couch, it is now mine. So is your stuffed animal. More specifically, its nose. All noses must be promptly pulled off and properly disposed of. Then I may crush the animal with my head as I proceed to nap.

3.) That little dog knows the secret to getting the really good people food. I raptly follow the little dog around during meal times. But no matter how closely I watch (bird! cat! strange bug flying through the house!), I always seem to miss it. I make up for it by licking that little dog's face. She moans and complains, but I don't really see the problem.

4.) Car rides are the BEST thing ever. You may not leave the house without a dog. If you are leaving without a dog, it better be Brownie, because I fully intend on sticking my nose out the window. This window. No that window. Nope the other one. The one in the front? The only thing that would make itv better is if the giant window in the back would open. Don't worry, if I lick it enough it'll one day roll down. I'm sure of it.

5.) Sleepy times are sacred. I will not sleep when my people suggest it. I will not sleep on the giant pillows they have provided me with. I will sleep behind the chair, on your foot, under the table, in the middle of the kitchen, on the stairs and on top of that little dog. The growling makes for a soothing vibration. And she'll just flop back over. I will not get up for you calling my name, petting me, or attempting to physically move me. I will get up for the UPS truck, the cat, and the cabinet door.

6.) I am secretly learning to fly. Or I'm a gymnast. Or a flying gymnast. I can somersault off the couch, jump from the top of the steps to the landing, and perform 360s in midair. I also can run really fast from the front window to the back ones. That little dog is a gymnast too. She makes a wonderful spotter when I jump off the couch, the stairs, through mid air. I now can walk over her without touching and stop. She shoots out like a cannon from my backside! What a great trick. But the best is when I'm running from the front window to the back. She's always in the way and generally gets sent flying up in the air. Just when she turns around to tell me off, I'm generally blowing back through. It can continue this way until someone picks the little doggie up. Boy, she can fly really high when you help her.

7.) I went to the doctor on Wednesday, and they did this thing to me that made me all sleepy. (The one time I actually used that pillow). Don't worry, within 24 hours I was once again a super puppy. Even if I have to wear this ridiculous shirt for the next two weeks. I convinced the little one to help me get it off, but she got told off when she got caught tugging on it. Oh well.

8.) I am most definitely Irish. Since I'm in an Irish family, they appreciate my tenacity and my ability to consider whether or not a command is really that, or more of a suggestion. I'm also a very good grudge holder. A dog in the neighborhood once barked at me and the little one on our walk. I now like to stop across the street, sit very primly, and stare innocently at that dog. Kasey says that I'm just like my Mommy that way. That we're both Irish through and through. It makes Mommy smile. It's something my Daddy appreciates--he and I are BEST friends now. We water the plants together, play in the pool together, knock over end tables run through the house and tickle/nip/tackle the little boy together. We dig giant muddy holes in the yard, and when he says 'puppy puppy' I go running as fast as I can and jump up in his arms. Did I mention I'm a really good jumper?

9.) I am winning over that little dog. She's very sensitive about playing 'choo-choo train'. You know, she's the engine and I'm the caboose. She sits on her butt and makes unpleasant noises that usually just cause me to bounce around her really fast. I've convinced her to play tug of war with me a couple of times, and to nap with me. Brownie is a good napper. She doesn't appreciate me sitting on her, but I'm sure she'll come around. When it is time to go for a walk I chase her around to the door, and if another dog tries to bark at me on the walk she tells them off while I hide behind her. I'm pretty sure they can't see me. When she squeaks her toys she cries and sings. So now I squeak them when she's napping. She cries and sings and then can't help but play. Now if I could just convince her that being tackled is fun….

10.) I am spoiled rotten. Kasey is making me homemade dog treats and doggie ice cream. I get at least two walks a day. I'm very rarely ever home alone. And if I am the people feel so guilty that they bring me things. I hate baths--but they give me one any way. I have my very own pool. I get to go outside whenever I ring the bell. Even if it was just thirty seconds ago that I was out. I have TWO crates (one upstairs for bedtime and one downstairs for me to nap in when I feel like it). I have taken all of the other doggie's toys. I know how to slam my body against the cabinet door and help myself to treats. I have my very own chauffeur to take me on wonderful rides. And a family who isn't quite sure how they got on without me for so long.

Tell everyone that I'm enjoying my life here! I suggest all doggies find a home like this.


They're BAAaack!           July 24, 2014

The gas company has returned. Don't know what they're doing up there because a lot of the heavy equipment has come down, but there is an awful lot of traffic... as in 4 wheel drive SUVs and pick-ups... mostly recent models and the majority from out of state... and some good sized trucks. Big trucks, not delivery type. It's to the point that no time this week have I left or returned to my property and not had to wait for a vehicle coming down the hill or turning off the blacktop onto our dirt. They... the people, not the cars... did re-set up the very tall poles with the streamers marking overhead power lines that had fallen down with all the heavy rains we had last week. I guess that means the big construction stuff will be back. Eventually.

My deer are showing off the young'uns!
I guess with all the ruckus on top of the ridge, the deer have moved back down. Almost every time I open the door, there is a doe or two, with fawns, chewing on the brush around the edge of the property. OR I'll hear crashing sounds coming from the trees as they take off for less populated areas. The neighbor with the horses has fenced off the field where the big garden used to be. The garden has been gone for two years, but many of the deer grew up with access to its easy pickings and being creatures of habit, they stand outside the fence and watch the horses grazing inside. The fence is two strands of rope, not hot wire... just clothesline... and the fawns are sometimes inside with the horses. Their moms could easily jump over it, but I haven't seen any of them IN that field. The babies are getting big, spots are already fading. They all look healthy and well fed, as do the does

The most often espoused reason for removing a dog's front dewclaws is they get caught on things and yanked off. I've never had that happen. I don't know anybody who has had it happen. My vet's 6-doctors-to-serve-you practice has never treated a dog for this problem. Today, Boon and Emy went to the groomer and when I picked them up, Emy had pulled a nail completely out. It was NOT a dewclaw. It was one of the toenails on a back paw. This is not the first time I've had a dog do this. I know lots of people who have had dogs do this. And when I called the vet to see if she wanted Em on antibiotics, she said "We see this all the time. Keep it clean and dry. It should be fine."

A Few Updates           July 21, 2014

First off, I am tickled to report that I've heard from the couple who picked up Lovebug... now Laddy... a week ago Saturday and they put my mind (and heart) at ease. He is adjusting well, eating and playing with his "cousin" Kelci, a Wheaten Terrier girl, going more willingly on walks and following "Dad" around. (You never know which person one of these pups... or a dog, for that matter... will pick as their person!) It was so hard to walk away from him and I am soooo glad he's moved on with his life!

Laddy with hair

and Laddy with his first haircut

The pups are 6 months tomorrow!

Peri's ultrasound results are in!
And she's "with pup." Or maybe two. That's pretty much all I found out. The vet said he saw a couple. So here's the deal on the reservation list. It is closed. UNTIL a few more weeks have past and if she is getting considerably larger, I may reopen it for another one or two reservations. Or I may not. We'll just have to wait and see.

Don't know that I have ever mentioned this, but when Cotton and Peri spent all that time lost in the woods, I made a deal with St. Jude, the patron saint of "lost causes." I promised if I got one or both back, I would thereafter give 20% of each of their pups' prices to St Jude's Hospital for Children. Cotton was pregnant at the time... and her first litter was 9 or 10. Of course, Peri was still a pup. Well, I got Peri back. And her first litter, which was by c-section and ended up with one survivor, cost me money even before I kept my word to St. Jude. With the second, also by c-section and just two pups, I maybe was ahead by a hundred bucks or so. Now, if St. Jude was smart... not saying he's not, you understand... but if he was smart, Peri would be having much, MUCH larger litters....

And the gas company
still seems to be on vacation. It has been very rainy since the Fourth, but the traffic up the track through the swamp has been considerably lighter and quieter than it was. To be sure, just before the Fourth, I got a notice that they were going to be blasting up there....

Something Strange           July 19, 2014

As everybody knows, my puppy pen takes up most of my tv/computer room. It is 10' by 15, leaving me a 5' wide section. I spend most of my time in there which is one of the main reasons I chose it for the puppy place. Once they are on their feet and noticing things outside the nest, it gives me a way to take care of business while keeping my eye on them.

So the puppy pen is empty now that Squirrel has moved out. He was sharing it with Hoo-Rah, but Hoo doesn't like being alone, so I moved him into "the dog room," which at one time was known as the living room. Sparky (my older mini Poodle) and Squirt (one of the rescues looking for a home) share it with Boon, my Wheaten Terrier... emphasis on "terrier." Boon does NOT get along with other male dogs. When Sparky and Squirt, or any of the other guys are running around, Boon is in a large (8' by 8') pen and when he is out, they are gated out of there.

Last night, late, Boon and I were in the tv room watching an old Law and Order and when that went off, I switched to PBS and started watching an Ellen roast... she won some award and all her 'friends" showed up to tell tales. It was quite funny and some of the biggest laughs were replays of her stand-up days. Anyway, it was after 2 and the rain was coming down hard... again... so I decided I would go to bed early for a change. I turned off the tv, turned out the lights and called Boon so I could put him back in his pen. He didn't come. I called him again. He didn't come. I insisted. He ignored me. Finally I went back into the room and flipped on the overhead. He was lying down on the blanket inside the puppy pen and I could tell by his expression he intended to stay there.

Ok by me. I'm not going to be using it for a couple months. And he gets to be with me even when other male dogs are roaming around the house or sitting/lying in the room with us. But, honestly, I expected when I sent him outside for his first potty break this morning that he'd come back in and go to his regular place. He didn't. He went straight back to the puppy pen and patiently waited for me to shut the gate.

And what a good boy he's been all day. He hasn't even looked up at the other guys when they come into the room. Not even when Shadow, his arch enemy, came in and took offense at him being there. Shad stood... with his back to him... growling. (Since Shad can't see, he knew by smell that Boon was in the same room, he just didn't know where.) It took me a few minutes to talk Shad into forgetting about it and the whole time, Boon lay on the blanket, head on his paws, eyes closed.

I tell you, these dogs teach me something new every day. I mean Boon has never shown any interest in being in or around the puppy pen. He's good with young pups... lets them climb on him, pull his ears and tail... but doesn't care much for them after they get to be about 9-10 weeks old. He always lets me know when he doesn't want to be bothered with them any more by staying in his dog/living room pen, even with the gate open, when they are out. If I don't get the message right away, he'll snarl or snap at them when they venture too close... which scares them and sends them running and squalling to me. Once his gate is closed and they can't get in with him, he ignores their presence even when they line up outside and try teasing him. BOON has everything under control.

I'm rather flattered that he has taken it upon himself to move into MY room to spend more time with me. Or maybe, he just doesn't want to be in the same room as Hoo.... Naw, he wants MY proximity even if I'm not paying any attention to him.

Squirrel, now Ranger, has moved
In the midst of the July monsoon season... which is still going on today... Squirrel met his new family and rode off into the sunset with them. I have to tell you I was VERY impressed. His new mom drove up here from NC with another adult, the 6 year old son (in the photo,) a 9 year old cousin and 4 year old twins. Mom, son and cousin got out of the car and we spent a little time... not enough from Squirrel's point of view... letting them get acquainted. The twins were totally quiet the whole time. They didn't say a word until everyone got in the car and Squirrel was deposited on the seat in front of them. Then they both chorused "Hi Ranger!" MY kids never behaved that well at that age. They still don't!

Me and My Shadow           July 17, 2014

If you check out the dogs in the "My Partners" section of the website, there is Shadow, my standard Poodle guy. He has sired a lot of pups for me... purebred Poodles, various types of 'Doodles and, of course, Whoodles mostly for me, but a number for other breeders as well. I don't remember ever having someone tell me about a problem they had with one of his babies... health, temperament, looks, etc.

Besides his breeding capabilities, Shadow has always been my best bud. He considers himself my protector. Until rather recently, he went most places with me, especially night runs or if I was going some place "iffy," not that I go to a lot of THOSE places, but sometimes you just don't know. The thing about Shad was I could leave him in the car with the windows down or the doors open and he'd stay inside UNLESS he saw/heard/felt I needed him by my side. Then, depending on what he suspected was going on, he'd amble out or come running. He's one of the reasons I tell people "always trust your dog!"

As it happens, I'm not the only one getting old around here. This last winter was really rough on Shad. He started going blind a year or two ago, but for the longest time, it was only in one eye. Now he pretty much can't see out of either. He went through a period last fall when he didn't want to go out once the sun started going down. I thought at first it was because of his sight, but decided he just didn't feel like he could trust himself to find his way back. Maybe it is the same kind of thing Alzheimer patients have a problem with, only Shadow is aware of it. That lasted several months until he convinced himself... or maybe the puppies' habits convinced him... he could "go" on the deck and I wouldn't get after him for it. That's what he does most nights now. He has, on his own, changed his potty schedule to pooping during the day only, when he feels safe out in the yard. This is one smart, considerate dog!

Now, he's deaf as well. Not totally, but he really can't hear my voice unless I shout at him. Since it's gotten to where I have to use the cane all the time... and his favorite place to nap is in the bathroom... I walk down the hall and pound the cane into the floor with every step. He feels the vibrations and gets to his feet. Sometimes, he leaves the bathroom before I get there but more and more often, he is still struggling off the floor. This has made for some interesting manuvering on my part because it is a very small bathroom and he takes up most of it. And I'm usually in a hurry. We have started to trip and stumble over each other and it ain't pretty.

I know this can lead to a serious fall with one or both of us getting badly hurt. But I'm not ready to deal with it with anything except cussing and laughing, in no particular order. Getting old ain't for sissies, human or canine!

The Waits are Almost Over           July 15, 2014

The first wiat... all of Emy's puppies licking me good-bye and getting on with their lives... and the second... is she or isn't she with Peri... are going to end at the same time. This Friday, Squirrel-Ranger will move out and I should know about Peri the same day. Fingers crossed. For both!

My daughter is looking at a half dozen properties tomorrow... Wednesday... which will bring the total places she's looked at to just shy of a thousand or there'bouts. It's not easy finding the right spot when you are on a fairly limited income and have a house FULL of dogs. There are at least three I am going to be trying to find homes for before leaving here. NO Whoodles. But here are some older photos of the dogs who are looking for homes:

Squirt (MALE Pom/Maltese/Poo cross) 6-8 years old, under 10 pounds

Popcorn (Pom/Poo cross) 6-8 years old, well under 10 pounds

Lily (Pom/Poo cross) 4-5 years old, maybe 12 pounds

Last of the Mohicans           July 13, 2014

Squirrel is the only one still here since Lovebug moved to Indiana yesterday. Squirrel's new family will be picking him up on Friday. And that will be that for the Emy/Boon January 2014 litter.

And because I couldn't get Peri's ultrasound changed to the next week, it is still scheduled for Friday. At least I can drop her off at the vet in the morning and pick her up later in the day.

Since a number of people let me know they were interested in my post on the importance of "luck" when it comes to breeding, I have an addendum...
The reason I wanted to change the ultrasound appointment is because ultrasounds are best done between 28 and 35 days after breeding. During that time, the fetuses are about the size of pencil lead. Before 28 days they are barely a blip and easily missed while after 35 they are big enough to overlap each other and difficult to count (if you want to know "how many" which many breeders do. I usually just want a yea or nay about the pregnancy. This time I want to know there are more than two!)
Now here's the thing with Peri... and most of my girls. Since I have my males here and don't have to drive a female somewhere and wait while they do they deed, then come back in 2 days to try it again and maybe 2 days after that, my dogs tend to breed early and every day for as many as 10 days. Some longer. Sperm can live en utero for 5 days or maybe 7 or 11 days or 14 depending on the conditions and who did the study. However, a girl releases ALL her ripe eggs at the same time, so if she is bred on day 5, 7 and 9 or days 13 and 15, depending on when she releases her eggs, there is a possibilty of missing fertilization. You "miss" way more often with early breeding than with late cycle breeding.

When it comes to PERI's unltrasound, she was bred everyday for 9 days so if she released her eggs very early in her cycle, the blips will be very large but if she released them toward the end of the time she and Hoo-Rah were canoodling, they won't be big enough to see. Many of my girls seem to know when their optimum time is and will "stand" for a male only once or twice and then want nothing more to do with him. For a very young guy or an inexperienced guy, it is discouraging being rejected several times a day by a girl who "knows" when to do it and isn't willing until then. Or after. On the other hand, inexperienced males can be very tiring with all their fumbling around and older girls don't want to give sex education classes either. In short, it's all a balancing act for all THREE of us involved!

One other thing on this particular breeding...
unless the ultrasound shows at least 4 pups, I am accepting only one male and one female reservation for the litter.

And now, more pix of the LAST litter
Lovebug's departure photo

And, as the pups get close to 6 months
Gunny with her first haircut

Brother Bo with HIS first haircut

Six months is about the age when all that hair starts getting to people!
Weight-wise, 'Bug is 25 pounds 2 ounces while Bo is 28. Early on, both were in the smallest third of the 9 pups with Bo (Skunk) at 3 pounds and 'Bug at 3-1/4 at almost 6 WEEKS.

H2O Anyone?           July 10, 2014

We've had rain, in various amounts, every day since the 4th. The big dogs have adjusted their systems to going outside once a day for pooping and maybe a mad dash another time each day for a second pee. Now, if it wasn't raining and I wanted to let them out just once a day, they'd be fighting me tooth and nail. On the other hand, the two puppies, and Hoo-Rah, aren't the least bothered by drizzle or downpour. I open the door and off they go. And when they come back, they're soaked to the skin. Several times a day.

Yesterday, I had Lovebug at the vet... as a walk in since appointments take 2 weeks notice... and he was wet (to put it mildly) when we arrived. Four hours later, when we finally got to see Jane, he was nearly dry. After she examined him, she asked, "Are you taking him to the groomer before he leaves?" And I said, "Do you think he needs it?" Then we both laughed. He looked like he had been running loose in the wild all his life! But today, without me doing anything, he's fluffed up and while he's not ready for the show ring, he looks like a pet. His coat, which was straggly and matted, just seems to fix itself. He IS going to the groomer... tomorrow... and I'm praying it doesn't rain again before he meets his new people on Saturday. Plus, I've been trying to get Advantage on him and Squirrel and there hasn't been enough time between thunderstorms to do it. One other thing, although he's come a long way in the last month in moving away from his "I don't need anyone" mindset and often comes up to me, without encouragement on my part, to be petted and talked to, he's not at all sure about other people. He spent the entire four hours of our wait behind my legs, under my seat with his head on his paws and his eyes closed as if by ignoring everyone he could make them disappear. Then, after Jane examined him, she picked him up and took him to the back to weigh him and do a fecal. One of her techs carried him back to room. When he put Bug down on the floor, the pup ran to me, rolling his eyes, looking VERY offended that these strangers had touched him... and none too please with me for allowing it. Poor guy, he has a rude awakening coming this weekend!

Since it is obvious Bug and Squirrel love water, here are a couple of their littermates who also enjoy it.

Ballad (Critter)
Ballad's mom says there are fish on the bottom of his pool and he tries to get them, with his paws and his mouth, every time he's near the pool.

And this is Gunny (Bunny) who, in lieu of her own pool, has to empty out her water bowl and lie in the water on the floor.

Luck           July 7, 2014

Recently, I spoke with a lady who is thinking about getting into breeding Whoodles. She comes from a family that raised and showed American Cockers all through her childhood. Her lack of success in immediately finding a Whoodle pup when she wanted one was making her think she might do well, financially, to get into the mix. We discussed a lot of the ins and outs of breeding in general as well as why there are so few Whoodle breeders out there. She has a pretty good handle on the situation. Then, the very next day, I spoke with someone who has been breeding Whoodles but is getting out of them. After she told me what has gone on with her breeding program, I think she's probably right to move on to something else.

When people ask me what is most important in a successful breeding program I go through all the usual departments...
1) healthy, sound dogs
2) basic knowledge of the breeding process
3) a terrific vet
4) honest marketing and business practices
and I always leave the last and most important until we have discussed the first four"
5) lots of old fashioned good luck.
The main reason I have been successful breeding purebreds AND hybrids for over 50 years is my good luck.

I grant you, part of good luck is knowledge, but you can know everything about breeding and follow all the rules and still end up with a poor record when it comes to producing happy, healthy puppies.

First off, it is impossible to know everything about breeding because so much of it is unpredictable and up to chance. That's where good luck come into play.

A lot of breeders rely on testing to tell them their pups are going to be healthy. Sorry, but testing is neither enough nor, in my opinion, necessary. Genetics is too random to be predicted... even if both parents are carrying a recessive that produces some defect, each individual pup has a chance to avoid inheriting the defect. Of course, you avoid it 90% or more if neither parent has the "bad" gene. (A lot of things can go wrong without being inherited.) It IS nice to know your breeding stock is clear of whatever genetic problems are prevalent in your breed/cross, but that doesn't mean everything is going to go well. Testing gives many breeders a false sense of security and it is a very rude awakening when they find out Mother Nature rules.

Observation and understanding... or finding out about... what you observe is extremely important. Developing and paying attention to "gut instincts" is just as important. That little voice in your head that whispers "No. No." should carry more weight than the one that gleefully shouts "Go for it!"

But in the long run, it still comes down to good luck.

That's why I don't play bingo. I could have a card completely full except for one space and someone else, with better luck, will have THEIR last number called.

Over the years there have been a couple times when I admired a breed and tried to get into it... Papillons, for one... and fell flat on my face. I put a lot of money and time into trying to develop a CockaPoo breeding program. My second litter was also my last. Sometimes people tell me they have already had two pups with serious problems from two different reputable breeders and my thought is... move on to a different type of dog. That's what I've had to do.

Sometimes, the good luck runs out or changes or just catches up with you. You have to be prepared for that. You have to shrug it off, make things as right as you can for anyone else in it with you and move on. That's what I've had to do.

Luck... the good the determining factor in just about everything.

          July 4, 2014

Happy 4th, everyone!
Been a beautiful, cool day, low humidity. The dogs have spent much of it outside. Quiet around here... even pipeline workers get national holidays off.
But lots of fireworks tonight. I've got pops and bangs coming from two directions. Only problem is, the flashes of color don't make it over the hills. It's like radio.

Pups update
Lovebug is now "on hold." He will be moving to Indiana NEXT weekend... very close to where I plan on moving... soon, I hope!
And Squirrel, as I said before, will be moving out right after that, to NC, not terribly far from here.

Tentative Alliance           July 2, 2014

The new computer and I have sort of reached an agreement. And that's all I'm saying on the subject.

Now I have to figure out the camera my son just gave me. The manual is about 6 inches thick so point and shoot it is not. At least I've figured out where the batteries and memory card go. Since the pups aren't due for 6-7 weeks, maybe I'll have some idea of how the thing works by the time I need to use it!

Lovebug is still available
Deciding to not ship at the same time Emy went for the largest Whoodle litter title was not the best decision I've ever made. (But it's far from the worse!) Bug has come out of his fiercely independant stage... almost to the point of becoming a pest. He still has a problem with "come when called" at least as far as coming to me... he thinks it means I want him in the house, in the tv room, in the pen. We have to work that out.

Squirrel is on hold for a family that is almost in my area. They are headed out on vacation and plan to pick him up on the 18th.

My current goal is to get all of Emy's pups placed before Peri's arrive!

Frist is Critter now known as Ballad (for his howling when his mom leaves him) by all his NYC friends.

Then there is Clooney's daughter Scout who has made her home in sunny Florida.

Then we have a Georgia peach, Scout's sister, Maddie Mae.

She shares her home and family with Maggie's daughter, Lucy (behind the kids.)

Finally, Lucy's sister, Margo who lives in Kansas with Lucy's kids' grandma and pa AND is trained to go bird hunting with them.

I'm Back... Sort of           July 1, 2014

Ok, so I picked up the new (refurbished) computer this afternoon. It's an HP with Win-7. And I was happily surprised to find it had a dial-up modem built in. I have a program on disc that puts a "modem" on any computer that isn't equipt with one... and most aren't... and then you plug in an external modem into one of the ports, and attach your phone line. BUT the dvd player on the new computer is stuck closed. I'm going to see if anyone around here can unstick it 'cause you never know when I might want to watch a movie. It took me a LONG time to find the hole where the power cord attaches and once I accomplished that, even longer to find the VERY thin tiny "button" that turns the power on. THEN I tried to get into my email account. Two hours later... I kid you not, TWO HOURS... I still hadn't been able to log in. No problem getting on any of the websites I frequent or into my yahoo email, but fastmail wouldn't even give me the login window. And fastmail is my homepage. So I got out the computer with half a keyboard working, got into fastmail, copied the url and put it in my yahoo email as a draft. Then I went back to the new computer, copied the url into the address bar and went to fastmail. Same ol' thing... no login window. But I got a message that my session had expired and I would have to re-log in and suddenly a login window appeared. There's more than one way to skin a cat!

My good luck ran out when I tried to download the newest version of IE. IE-11. The one on both the new and old computers is IE-8 and apparently that's not good enough any more. It downloaded a bunch of stuff in just a few... maybe 8-10... minutes, then said it was done and closed up. Leaving me with a thin line of gray, about 6 inches long with maybe an inch of green to show it was "installing" required (that's REQUIRED) updates to my computer. A couple hours later, with about two inches still gray, the screen changed to a message that there were necessary downloads that I had to install manually and sent me to the website. Which was all gobbly-gook to me. So I said never mind and am still using IE-8.

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate computers?

Oh, one other good thing... flashplayer is already installed so I can upload photos directly to the website and don't have to send them to photobucket and link to them.

You win some, you lose some.