Our First First Apr. 30, 2016
Every litter I keep track of the first pup to reach various milestones. Usually, with smaller litters (fewer than 8,) every pup is first at something and usually, none is first more than once. So at the VERY tender age of exactly 3 weeks, we have our first first! One of the boys got out of the nest and wandered, slipping and sliding, around the pen. He was aware of, and interested in, everything from the food bowl to a rude introduction to the water bowl to the noses of various adult dogs who suddenly appeared when they realized a pup had escaped. Nugget was in the pen and didn't run the outsiders away. She seemed more interested in figuring out how to get the baby back in the nest where he should be. She mouthed him several times then gave me a direct look that said "Make yourself useful... he's too big for ME to pick up." So I put him back where he joined the pile and went to sleep.
The Eyes have It Apr. 27, 2016
Twelve eyes, wide open, confusing six brains! It takes a while for pups to learn to focus and then to understand what they are seeing. However, if they are as quick at understanding sight as they were sound, they will be ready to move on to something difficult... like algebra... starting early next week! The pups spent about 24 hours growling at each other... they never got into barking matches, which are common, and never acted startled at sudden loud noises... like my "stand anywhere" cane refusing to stand everywhere and falling over with a bang. The pups are still sleeping most of the time, eating most of the rest of the time and whenever they are not occupied with either of those activities, practicing putting one foot in front of the other. So far, this is a VERY successful bunch!
AND they have beautiful, thick coats, complements of their dad.
We have Lift-Off... Sort of Apr. 25, 2016
Early yesterday I saw a pup up on all fours! Of course, he was going to the pot and as soon as his mama noticed, she started cleaning his business end, lifting his bottom and tipping him up on his front legs so that his nose was flat against the floor... before he collapsed in a heap... but that, apparently did not discourage him. All day long I watched pups manage to get their feet under them and their bellies off the ground and by bedtime, several were attempting their first steps. Not particularly successfully, mind you. They must have practiced a long time last night after lights out because they've pretty much been piled up asleep all day. And Nugget is sprawled on her side, outside the nest, snoozing away as well.
I haven't checked since yesterday... I'm letting sleeping
dogs puppies lie... but eyes should be opening. Yesterday, they were all still tightly closed, not a crack anywhere. HOWEVER, at lights out last night there were a couple babies practicing their first puppy growls and an occasional non-squeaky yip coming from their direction, so their ears are open.
Two Weeks Ago Right Now... Apr. 23, 2016
Nugget and I were busy having puppies. And right now right now, those puppies... if any of them were awake... would be trying to sit up. They've learned to pick up their heads and where the head goes, the front tends to follow. Now when they try to move from one place to another, they straighten out their front legs and rise to a sitting position. A sloppy sort of sitting position, but their chests ARE off the floor. The back legs will follow... first a pushing motion which will strengthen them, then as they learn to balance while on all fours, one foot, then another, then another... you get the idea. At first it is usually one step, plop, next step, plop, and so forth. Plus their eyes will open in the next couple days... AND their ears which is accompanied by early attempts at barking since the "noise" they hear is startling and instinct is to respond. Puppies learn amazingly quickly, so their barking at every little thing only lasts about 24 hours. Until they start communicating vocally with each other. And it's all down hill after that!
10 days, 2 Times Bigger Apr. 19, 2016
Today is the magical day in Nugget's book. She is letting me touch even if she is watching closely. I figure by the time the pups are two weeks old... and it takes two hands to pick them up!... she and I will be back to being friends. Maybe not TRUSTED friends!
Ran across this little girl on one of the race sites. She is the daughter of Noble Mission, his first year at stud, and she just... well, she's pretty pretty. And the pedigree is pretty pretty as well. Photo was taken by Mathea Kelley at Lane's End Farm.
My Feelings are Hurt Apr. 17, 2016
The puppies were a week old yesterday
And Nugget is still telling me "hands OFF!"
She isn't particularly bothered by the other dogs coming in for a closer look... she stands between the pups and the dog(s), but makes no move to attack or run them off. Except for Zuri, who tends to think everyone is kidding when they tell her no.
But me, she wants to stay outside the pen.
So I waited until she couldn't hold it any longer and HAD TO GO OUTSIDE, then I closed and locked the door. Got a couple pictures, divided by sex. The only thing I can tell you, not having picked the kids up for a couple days, they are ALL gaining weight and are about the same size over all.
Pix from the Third Day Apr. 14, 2016
You'll just have to get used to photos of puppies eating and sleeping because that is all they do. They ARE growing and starting to... sort of... think. Yesterday, three pups were nursing while the other three slept. Two of the three eaters wanted the same nipple... just like kids! A lot of pushing and whining, relatively speaking.
Sad News Out of Kentucky Apr. 13, 2016
Zenyatta's newborn foal has died. This little guy was several weeks overdue when he arrived Sunday evening. Although he appeared healthy, there were indications of a possible problem and he and his mom were taken directly to the hospital. He died this morning o fpneumonia caused by meconium aspirastion. This was Zenyatta's second foal by War Front. The first, a filly born in 2014, died after a playtime accident in the paddock when she was a weanling. The Queen is healthy and back home at Lane's End.
Everybody's Comfy Apr. 10, 2016
The pups are 36 hours old and taking life like troopers. Nugget has settled with them so much, she thinks she should be out running around as usual... until anyone looks like they're checking out her brood. Like Ben:
Then she's right back in the nest!
Clearly, she wants ME to keep things under better control.
I can hear her thinking "Enough with the camera already. And get that dog off the stairs!"
In other Hoo-Rah news
Teri and Marshall send pix of Jozy, Hoo's daughter with Peri, a year old in less than a month. Obviously, Jozy has things well in hand at home. She prefers the bed UNmade, thank you
and wants the remote where she can get to it quickly
By the way, Jozy is the smallest Mountain Summit whoodle that I know of... right around 15 pounds. Like her dad, she LOOKS bigger than she is!
Update Apr. 9, 2016
Two girls and four boys. One of the girls has a splash of white on her chest, the only Hoo-Rah pup in four litters to not be 100% solid black.
Both girls spoken for. Males available.
Mark the Day Apr. 9, 2016
Starting at exactly midnight and taking just about two hours, Nugget delivered six beautiful BLACK babies. Mother and little ones doing well.
Not Yet, So Breathe Apr. 6, 2016
I know there are folks out there going about their daily chores with bated breath. So unbate it. Nugget is starting to give pre-labor signs... which can last from 24 hours to a week! Last night, I brought her into the bedroom and put her in a crate just in case. The whelping spot of choice is under anything that I can't get to easily. In the bedroom, it's the bed. And to move it, I'd have to dump a whole bunch of dogs. Even though I put food in the crate with her, she didn't eat and this morning, after she went outside the first time, she went into the big pen in the media room, walked right past the food, and stretched out on her side. Where she has been sleeping soundly ever since. Even Ben and Zuri joining her in that space hasn't moved her. Not eating and resting a lot are two of the signs I spoke of.
I have the whelping pen HALF set up in the media room... since that is where I spend most of my waking hours. Usually, I have the girls whelp in the crate in the bedroom and then move them and the pups to a pen. However, right now, crate space is at a premium because a couple girls are in season and I have to keep them away from the boys. Since this is Nugget's second litter, and she did so well with the first, I'm expecting her to do the same this time.
KNOCK ON WOOD!
With MY luck, whelping will commence tomorrow afternoon while I'm trying to keep up with three Road to the KY Derby races!
By the way, the reservation list for this litter closes Sunday night.
Getting Close Apr. 2, 2016
I missed April Fool's Day... which was fine with me! It was beautiful here yesterday, in the 70s, sun out in the morning after really heavy showers overnight. We had more rain between midnight and about 6 AM than we did the entire month of March which is officially the driest March on record. This morning, my yard looks like it needs to be mowed!
Nugget is doing fine. She is still trying to keep her eye on everything both inside and out and doesn't seem to be eating and sleeping more than normal, so we're probably at least a week away from puppies. One spot open on the reservation list! She's got a nice little belly on her which I'd like to get a picture of, but she is not very cooperative. My looking at her... or just in her general direction... results in her climbing into my lap to see what I want, Hard to get photos like that!
Chrome is back in the US, in quarantine. Don't know how long that takes, then he's going to the vet for a complete physical and after that, home to Taylor Made for a vacation. Will probably be back in training in a month to six weeks. The BIG goal for the rest of the year is the Breeders Cup Classic in early November, with a race or two between now and then. It should probably be more than that since he really likes to run and gets bored if he just trains for months without actually performing. I hear lots of top athletes are like that.
Available year old female F1 Whoodle as you probably saw at the top of the page. My darling Zuri is just going to be too small for my breeding program. Don't get me wrong. She's not a "little" dog. It's just that she is half the size of Boon, weight AND height and will be at least that with Ben when he stops growing. Since she is so young (turned a year old in early March,) she should adjust fairly easily to a new home, either one where she is "just" a pet or with a breeder. She definitely needs at least one other dog in her immediate family. Email for details. ANd as with Hoo-Rah, I'm in no hurry to get her out of here... looking for the exact right place for her
Nugget and Chrome Mar. 27, 2016
So... Nugget's ultrasound on Wednesday... she IS pregnant. Unfortunately, it didn't narrow down her "due" date. (Remember, she had a split heat which means she was bred a couple days, then she and Hoo [and the rest of my male dogs] lost interest and a week later she was back in a breeding frame of mind.) My best GUESS is sometime between April 4th and 14th. I'm still 100% sure, even though I'd be happy to be wrong, that all the pups will be black as the ace of spades.
The reservation list is open.
Another pix of Junior. I just want everyone to know what an incredible horse this is. California Chrome won by almost 4 lengths, setting a new track record by just shy of 2 seconds, while his saddle and jockey were slipping further and further back toward his rump. This is a frame from the Meydan track official race video just past the finish line. The arrows (which I added) show the difference in saddle placement.
If you know anything about horses, you know they don't take kindly to things like this!
JUNIOR! Mar. 26, 2016
All alone at the front by 3-3/4 lengths with a slipping saddle
(photo by Andrew Watkins)
From the paulickreport.com:
California Chrome drew away from the field under Victor Espinoza winning the world's richest race by 3 3/4 lengths. The horse covered the 1 1/4 mile course over the fast dirt in a new track-record time of 2:01.83, despite breaking from stall 11, traveling three or four wide on each turn and the saddle slipping badly in the stretch. The 5-year-old son of Lucky Pulpit doubled his bankroll with the winner's share of the $10 million prize, up to just over $12.5 million in all.
This win makes California Chrome the all time leading Thoroughbred purse winner. (The caveat is "outside Japan" which has government inflated purses every race.)
Recap: Junior broke well and laid back at about 3rd for most of the race which was led by Mshawish (his new farm partner at Taylor Made). Coming down the stretch, Mubtaahij (who you will remember was my favorite 3 year old last year) came up the rail while Hoppertunity came flying from the back of the pack. Victor Espinoza, worried that Junior's slipping saddle would start to bother him, give the signal to go and it was all over except the shouting. Junior -- Mubtaahij -- Hoppertunity. Mshawish finished sixth. Also rans included Frosted (fifth) and Keen Ice (eighth.)
Chrome is leaving the UAE on the 31st and after clearing quarantine, going to the farm for a month's vacation before heading back to California for training. The ultimate goal for the year is the Breeders Cup Classic on Nov. 5th. and the first ever running of the $12 million race in January proposed by Frank Stronach. (Interesting concept here... Stronach wants 12 owners to put up a mil each for an invitational .)
In August, there is the choice of the Arlington Millions in Chicago and the Pacific Classic the next weekend. Personally, I'm voting for Arlington.
And in other Dubai news the Dubai Derby, which is the first Derby Trail race offering 100-40-20-10 points, was won by the Japanese trained Lani whose owners say they are going to Kentucky. The FILLY, Polar River, came in second (after getting cut off in the stretch...) and now has enough points for BOTH the Derby and the Oaks. But she is not planning a visit to the US.
Videos of the World Cup and the Dubai Derby:
Back to dogs tomorrow.
Spring at Last... But Will It? Mar. 25, 2016
Got some rain last night. Haven't had a lot this month. Today is gorgeous, sunny and in the 50s, just like it is supposed to be.
Nothing going on here with the dogs. Got Zuri clipped for the first time. She's not particularly happy with her new look... or at least the FEEL of it... but is acting more normal this morning. She looks cute... like a Peri in black. And she's about the same size.
Poor old Shadow just fell off the deck, about four feet. He seems to be okay, up and walking, not limping or complaining of any pain. But at his age and deteriorating condition, anything like this is major. The end of winter seemed to help him, but he is still losing weight and getting more and more shaky on his feet. And if having him going downhill so quickly isn't enough, Sparky, who is a year younger, is in the same fix. The difference is, Spark is a lot smaller and is easier for me to maneuver. He also doesn't venture off the deck, even accidentally, and therefore never gets lost out in the yard. This old age business is the worse thing about having dogs... MY old age, coupled with theirs.
California Chrome Tomorrow, in Dubai, Junior runs again in the World Cup. This guy is stunningly more mature since last year.
Photo from Taylor Made, one of his owners and I don't know if it was taken in Dubai or here in the states.
The race is around 1 Eastern and will be carried live on TVG. Several other US horses are entered... Hoppertunity, Frosted, Keen Ice, Mshawish (who will be retiring at the end of the year and standing stud at Taylor Made along with Junior.) The good news is, unlike last month's race, ALL the horses are carrying the same weight. And more good news, Junior has an outside post which is more to his liking than inside. Win or lose, California Chrome will stay the favorite!
A Mish-Mash Mar. 23, 2016
Ultrasound day for Nugget!
Ben got an official weighing yesterday and he is 37 pounds He still has a little (just a little, I hope) growing to do and will be teetering on the cusp of large klein/small standard. He was a good boy for his first real clipping and looks terrific... which I'll show you as soon as he and I reach an understanding about the camera! Everybody, and I mean everybody, oooo'd and ahhhh'd when we walked into the waiting room. Ben took that to mean they all wanted an interview with him and turned on the charm. Guess he's been talking to Hoo-Rah!
Speaking of Hoo, his first born daughter, MS Sidi, moved to Dallas as a pup and here's proof that she's embraced the culture:
When not dealing with the herd, Sidi naps in her mom, Peri's, favorite position. Must be genetic!
Emy and Sparky's son Tucker sends happy Easter greetings as he prepares to turn 6 years old:
Long Time No See... or Post! Mar. 19, 2016
And that is because I've actually been enjoying a little down time without a house full of puppies. A situation which I'm pretty soon is going to change in a few weeks. I've been running back and forth to the groomer and to the vet for rabies updates. The weather has been almost summer-y... as much as I might wish for spring-y... and the dogs have been happy to spend more time out in the yard, barking at heaven knows what. (Apparently, THEY think "private road" means just that and they vocally object to any vehicle that dare pass our drive.... which seems to me more than the two homesteads above me would call for....)
Ben is settling in very nicely. Even though he was a kennel dog previously, he has quickly learned to speak English and reads my body language fairly well. Housebreaking is progressing... probably the most difficult thing for a kennel dog to learn. He is goi9ng to the groomer next week, not for the "skinning" the others are getting, but... I hope... for a "puppy cut" that will show the variety of coloring and shading in his coat. I need to get some decent photos of him. I DID manage to get a few shots tonight, but they're not terrific. This is the one that is going on the webpage:
The Cost of Winter as Usual Mar. 10, 2016
Today, for the first time in several months, I'm doing normal things around here. Took a couple dogs to the groomer, not that they needed it (where's the sarcastic font when you want it?) and stopped by to pick up the mail. Lots of mail as it has been well over a week since the last time I picked it up. Most of it this month's bills. Which actually cover from around the end of January to the end of February. You know, back when the weather was terrible and I was snowed in... several times... for over a week. The highest electric bill I've had in the 15+ years I've lived here (my 16th winter) as well as the highest water bill in the same period. I can't image how high it would be if it weren't for global warming. (Again, sarcastic font anyone?)
Other news and observations
Nugget's ultrasound is about 2 weeks off. She's one of the dogs at the groomer today... as is Papa-to-Be, Hoo-Rah. Her belly is... suggestive. And for those of you wanting pups from this litter... as well as those who have Hoo-Rah pups from other litters... HE has as much hair down inside his ear canals as all the rest of my dogs combined. He has so much inner ear hair I take him in to the groomer every 4-5 weeks to have it pulled. I've commented on it so much, a friend just sent me a new pair of forceps so I can pull it myself. I don't know how many... if any... of his offspring have the same problem, but they ALL have really exceptional coats elsewhere, so y'all might want to check the ears on a regular basis. Too much hair in there causes ear infections.
Patsy is busy playing the coquette (as in flirt, not hummingbird.) She loves the wrestling and chasing and is not the least bit interested in the more... mundane/serious... aspects of this breeding business. At least, she isn't going into attack mode every time Boon gets close to her rear, so progress is being made. I don't know if there will be enough progress before optimum conception time runs out. It is sometimes hard to remember how young she is since, next to Shadow, my standard Poodle, she is the biggest dog here. She is also pretty much the most sensible. Fingers crossed.
Emy is scheduled to be spayed at the end of... April. The 29th is the first opening they had available... with THREE vets now doing surgery including the newest member of the team who is doing exclusively spays and neuters. (It's tough being the new kid on the block!) Usually I do not spay my girls when I retire them, but the last two years I've had several older (non breeding) girls with possible pyometra (uterine infection) after their heats. Since the girls are starting to cycle, I wanted to get Em done before it was her turn. The best laid plans.... Besides the pyometra, there is the number of guys who are living here right now... all of whom get pretty active, vocal and testy around girls who smell better than other girls. Ben is the only one who has stayed his normal sweet self while Pat is hormonal... a fact I'm not sure she appreciates! Of course, at 8 months he isn't quite clued in yet....
Nothing Going On Here Mar. 5, 2016
And I mean nothing.
Nugget is (I hope) incubating.
Ben is adjusting.
Patsy is... (again, I hope) starting to simmer.
The weather is playing its usual hopscotch game with the seasons.
About the most excitement... and entertainment... lately has been the GOP debates. Honestly, this is the most fun I can remember with anything in politics... and my memories go back to the Kennedy election.
Getting Ready for Snow...! Mar. 1, 2016
Yep, snow is predicted... again... for tonight and tomorrow. However, since the temperature is staying above freezing, accumulation won't be much. Which is a good thing because I'm done with winter!
In the Good News -- I Think Department, the boys are telling me the girls are starting to do something interesting. And the girls are getting a little testy with each other which tells me the boys are on to something. Personally, I would prefer things were getting started a little later in the year... at least a month later...because I don't want two litters of puppies at the same time, but as I always say, I am not in charge of that.