Rose’s TPLO surgery a year later

One year ago in March, I let four older puppies out to play in the snow, on our first sunny day.   They blew out of the kennels as if shot from a cannon, and three of them simultaneously body slammed Rose hard!  She came up on three legs.  We knew immediately what they had done.  They tore her CCL.  We had a TPLO done on her.  The recovery is slow, and as with all Orthopedic surgery, *full* recovery takes a year.   Well, here we are, one year later!

Sadly, we are having trouble showing you a normal gait, because … well… she’s a very happy, very silly 2 year old.  THIS does show you that there is life after TPLO, and that life is very good.

One Crazy Whelping

A Facebook friend recounted a harrowing adventure in whelping a litter, and it caused me to recount one of mine.

My most/least (you pick) favorite whelping memory started fine. She went in to labor, and delivered one puppy without ceremony, …and then nothing! Secondary inertia seemed likely, as she did nothing for hours. Absolutely nothing. Dan and I drove off our hill in the middle of the night, headed for the E-Vet, with me in the back with my bitch, sure we were headed for a c-section. Half way to the vet, she decided the time was right to start pushing. We pulled the car over, and a nice healthy puppy was born. We turned the car around, and started for home. She started pushing again. As she did, a car zipped past us in the fast lane, zig-zagged into the slow lane ahead of us, lost control and rolled over the embankment. The resulting dust looked like an explosion!

As all of that was was happening, I failed to see it, because I was assisting the puppy from the birth canal.. but of course, I felt the braking, heard the gasps and swearing from Dan. I had that puppy with its placenta still in hand, and I looked up and saw the billow of dirt to our right, as Dan pulled our car over. I now had two wet puppies, one still in my hand, one in my lap in a towel, and one older sibling in the warming box, and my bitch starts pushing yet again. Now, I was an ER Nurse, and should have immediately leaped from the car to rescue the driver, but that accident looked like it had to be a fatal crash, and I had lives counting on me where I was. I yelled at Dan to go see just how wounded the driver was, because if he/she was already dead, I wasn’t leaving my dog! He could do CPR as well as me if necessary. If anyone was alive, I would assist.

Just as I said that (as I was trying to cut the cord on that puppy before the next appeared), a woman runs up the embankment and runs almost into our car. Dan and I both yelled “how many in the car, and do you need an ambulance?” She screamed “just me, don’t call the police” and starts running down the freeway in the center of the slow lane on foot, drunk as can be. We called 911, and a CHP Officer nearly materialized before our eyes. I yelled for Dan to call my neighbor to come get me and leave her car for Dan because he had to give a witness account. I told him “You witnessed this, I didn’t!!! I need to get out of here!” Dan called Leslee. I helped deliver puppy number 4. Momma relaxed. More were coming, but she clearly needed a break from her jet propelled prior three.

Think this story is crazy enough? As Dan is talking to the CHP, who had run after the woman and returned with her, my neighbor’s truck almost screamed past us. She pulled over in a cloud of dust just a ways ahead of us. I swear she opened her door and piled out before the dust settled, and ran toward us in her nightgown, robe, and slippers. She runs almost headlong into the Deputy screaming “WE’RE HAVING PUPPIES!!!” She tossed her keys at Dan, and without so much as an adios, jumps in my car, and drives us home, leaving Dan, her truck, the very confused looking officer and the drunk behind.

Hi-Yo, Silver! Away……..

—-

We lost Leslee some years later to cancer. Gosh I miss her, but remembering this story gave me a great laugh and a wonderful memory of her.

Mid-Winter Spa Day

Snow is on the ground, and our increasing temperatures have turned walkways into ice. Every day, one or two of the dogs come in and get undivided attention. Today was Miley’s turn. Last week I noticed she was getting pretty dirty, as the snow starts to melt and mud season is starting, Miley, being yellow,  is the first to show the effects of a wet winter thaw (her yellow daughter will likely be next).  Miley also takes great pleasure in rubbing her body on the chain link in her kennel, transferring black carbon onto her coat.  It’s nearly impossible to wash out, but seems quite easy to rub into the coat.  I couldn’t take it one more moment. Today we’ll be having a winter spa day!

Filthy Miley!

Miley, we’re off to the bathtub!

Yes, it’s warm water from the kennel water heater.

Our booster bath tubs are a Godsend.  Yay for not having to bend to ground level to wash a dog!  We can move it close to the large kennel door, and put the drain hose under the closed door, allowing it to drain outside, while keeping the kennel fairly dry and warm (except for the obligatory wet dog shaking, which manages to wet a six-foot circumference). She was so dirty, we couldn’t even work up suds with a ton of shampoo.

No doubt someone is going to ask what doggie shampoo we use, so this is where I tell you to listen to your Vet if you want to be sure, but in truth, we use human shampoos. I use baby shampoo on the face (no tears), and whatever shampoo I happen to have laying around on the rest of them.  I DO NOT ever use a conditioning shampoo or a conditioner on a Lab. Their coat is supposed to be hard to the touch to properly shed water. When I am shampooing for a dog show, I do it a week or so before the show if they need a bath at all, and I usually use T-Gel shampoo on the blacks, to get rid of dandruff. If a Lab isn’t visibly dirty, the best bath for a show is just a good swim or hosing down. Yay for a wash-and-wear breed!

Bath time is an important time for us. You would be surprised how even while petting and playing with a dog,  you can miss a suspicious lump or a cut. We’ve made it a practice to use bath time to do a critical hands-on exam, to physically go over each dog, feeling every inch of their bodies for any physical anomaly that may have come up. Once wet, and underneath that thick coat, we have found things our hands never detected before. It’s a good practice. All Miley had was that healing scratch under her left eye (she scratched her eye a couple of weeks ago and lost the hair around the scratch), and the scars on her chin that she has had for a long time (that’s another story for another day).

Our industrial blow dryer makes fast work of drying a dog, and quickly gets rid of shedding hair.  It’s far better than a brush!  I’ve had this dryer for better than 15 years.  It is one of our most valuable possessions.  Her groaning in response to being dried, spoke to how good that forceful/warm air stream feels.

As I type this, Dan is still out in the kennel trying to clean up the fur it blew off Miley, onto every surface of the kennel building.  That’s one downside to winter baths – you can’t blow dry the dog out in the snow.

After a lot of soap, rinsing and drying, a nicely clean Miley ran to the back door and thought briefly about rolling in the mud next to the steps. I caught her just as she was headed for it and a firm “NO” stopped her (thank heavens).  What is it about being clean that a dog can’t stand?   It never fails that a sparkling clean dog will quickly roll across the lawn, in the bushes, in mud, or in a puddle.

Miley, you are a very bad girl sometimes!

Attention to the feet comes after the bath.  Hair on the bottom of their feet probably keeps their feet warm in the snow, but when the paths turn to ice, their hairy feet have little traction ability.  Skipping in the ice or wood floors is an invitation to injury.   It has become habit, that after a bath,  we check feet and nails.  As you can tell, Miley was WAY overdue!

Miley, look at those hairy feet!! They’re naturally grown slippers.
One down. Look at the difference!!
Her back feet have graduated from slipper status to snowshoes.
After a trim, comes toenail clipping. Much better!!

Now she can show off.  There is nothing like the feeling of having a shower and pedicure!

___________________

The dog bath is found at:  https://www.boosterbath.com/

The blow dryer may be found here:  https://k9dryer.com/product/k-9-ii-dog-dryer/ – shop around for better pricing  on similar items.

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Website Built by Blue Knight. All graphics , photographs, and original articles are the property of Blue Knight.  Permission must be obtained for use on other sites or for other purposes.

A New Year – Welcome 2018!

We have snow on the ground, icicles on the eves, and the air is crisp. Winter marks a time of quiet here. We and the dogs gravitate to the nearest warm spot, and use this time for quiet time and rejuvenation.

We had Rumble spayed on Jan 2nd. She has given us, and friends, a few young ones to run on. I hope they inherited her sweet/eager to please temperament and her beautiful expression. Spaying her was like closing a door, and a little sad, although it was due (she’s eight).

James (10), Rumble(8) and Miley(8) are the last three on a group of dogs we brought with us when we moved to Idaho in 2009. The girls were just babies! Little did we know then, that medical problems would bring us to the reality that we must place a large number of the dogs we came with. Our dreams seemed shattered. We gave away some lovely dogs, because that was the right thing to do, but a lot of us went with them. We hear from their owners often, and they are living wonderful lives. What more could we ask for?

We naturally wind down as we age, and that’s true for everything. We continue on, but at a slower, more subdued pace. So it is for dog fancy as well.

We have no intention of disappearing, and we have several young dogs to carry the torch. Each one of them goes back to our original dogs. They carry on the hopes and dreams that we had when we began. They represent nearly 40 years of hard work and careful planning. Mariah, Luna, Dahlia, Rose and Amaya are the living legacy of all who came before them.   This is their time!

Ecclesiastes 3:1–8 tells us:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

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Our Silly Luna

Luna Never fails to make us laugh! She comes in the house and one-by-one removes her favored toys from the toy box. As she removes each one, she will parade it around and show it off, then lie near it, admiring each in turn, before she goes on to the next.  She covets her toys.  If her toy of choice is below another in the box, she’ll move the top one aside, then choke herself to get the lowest one. Some we keep outside, and she has her stash there too. This takes most of the day, and by the end of the day, the den is filled with toys, and a contently sleeping dog!

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“Hybrid” Dogs

This makes me furious! We spend endless hours making sure our breed is improved and protected, we spend more money than you want to consider, doing health clearances, so that we minimize or eliminate the chances a puppy will suffer in their lifetime, justifying a cost, and people without care, beyond that of the almighty dollar, bastardizes our established breeds.

Do you have a “hybrid” that you love? Good for you for loving your dog! You are not “the problem”. It’s breeder is!

Hybrid. Because hybrid sounds cool. Because hybrid doesn’t sound like mutt, or mongrel, or… just simply mixed-breed. Hybrids are typically produced through human manipulation to produce something uniquely different, like mules (horse and donkey combo), ligers (lions and tigers), or plant hybrids. True hybrids are often sterile, as they’re from differing species, and lack chromosomes that compliment each other. The animal shelters are filled with mix-breed dogs. Save yourself $2000 and get one, because typically, that’s what the shelters are filled with.

Please, bear with me and get through the following:

The Labrador Retriever has been the #1 popular breed in the U.S. for 26 years running for a reason – they’re smart (but not so smart as to out think you), athletic (without being athletic to the extreme) family and other animal friendly. The Lab is a versatile dog, who is as happy to be a couch potato, as they are working in the field. A Lab is strong (emphasis on strong), athletic and muscular. They’re usually larger boned, and weigh more than they look. Labradors have a coat with two layers to keep him warm, dry and comfortable, but it sheds a lot. They are known for destructive behavior such as chewing furniture and woodwork or digging up the yard. They are a gentleman’s dog. Content to be a pet at night, and hunt in the day. Health issues include canine hip dysplasia (CHD), and osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), which is canine elbow and shoulder dysplasia. They also occasionally suffer from distichiasis, exercise-induced collapse, diabetes, muscular dystrophy, tricuspid valve dysplasia, and entropion. Many of these are discoverable now through DNA testing, and affected dogs are never bred.

Pointers (for this example, the German Shorthaired Pointer) are very active dogs, who belong with an equally athletic owner who will take him running, biking, or hiking. Did I emphasize active enough? A walk around the block is not even a warm-up for a GSP. Some can be aggressive with strange dogs, and some are determined chasers of cats and other fleeing creatures, often with deadly intent. They are tautly-muscled, and *extremely* athletic. They’re finer boned than the Lab, and lithe. They are known for “separation anxiety” (destructiveness and barking) when left alone too much. They are hunting machines, who can be one so fixed on the hunt that no recall can get their attention.

Their known health issues (which are bred against by reputable breeders include gastric torsion, hypothyroidism, canine hip dysplasia (CHD), Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD), von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD), entropion, and pannus, and major issues such as lymphedema, and occasionally cardiomyopathy, ectropion, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Again, their breeders do DNA testing, and affected dogs are never bred.

Imagine if you will, the finer bony structure of a Pointer, with the heavy musculature of a Labrador, causing bone and joint pounding. A bone/muscle mismatch. A dog with a downy undercoat, but the extremely short top coat of a Pointer, setting the dog up for freezing in cold water, and a knotted mess of endlessly shedding fur, on a dog who is very oral and full of anxiety over being left alone for the day, mixed with a dash of heavy-muscled hyperactivity that wants to be friends with other dogs , but has a sudden urge to fight, without the innate caution of a Pointer on the approach of another dog. Confused. Now add all of the breed genetic problem propensities, most doubled up, because no genetic testing is done by these “hybrid” breeders, and then add to that different medical problems known to those distinct breeds, which now combine into one poor dog.

Will all of the breed traits combine in every puppy to create a genetic nightmare from head to toe? No, but I promise that some will, and all will have some piece of it.

I love my breed. Reputable Pointer breeders love theirs. Each of us does the best we can to breed the best our breed has to offer, and know how to work with the more difficult traits each breed has. Specifically, we have the advantage of being able to best select homes for our puppies, so that owner and dog are happy.

Please don’t be duped into thinking that the breeders of these mixed dogs have done their due diligence, and have many years of application (in my case, 38 years).

You get what you pay for, and yes, there is a sucker born every minute!

BTW, the people who took this add out want $1800 for their mix-breed puppies. Go to the pound! There are lots of mix-bred dogs waiting for homes.

 

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Website Built by Blue Knight. All graphics , photographs, and original articles are the property of Blue Knight.  Permission must be obtained for use on other sites or for other purposes.

Sincerest Form of Flattery?

I often have people call and ask if they can link to our color inheritance chart. I created that page in 1998, because I wanted an easy chart to reference myself. It became a chart that many referenced, because it is easy to use. The AKC sends people to it!

Many have asked if they could link to it. Of course I don’t mind that! Others have asked if I would mind if they created their own. That’s cool. I don’t own the pundant squares used to determine color inheritance, but I ask that they not copy my chart.

So why would people do just that? A TOTAL copy! I’m not going to pitch a fit. But why would someone reinvent the wheel, unless they are trying to draw people away from the original? When people “borrow” my hard work, intellectual or otherwise, I just call attention to it.

I believe I recall these folks asking if they could use my chart to create their own. I thought they meant the color outcomes, not the entire idea!

Example

Geesh! Why not just *link* to someone’s hard work, rather than exactly copy it?

There are several coat color charts for Labs on the Web. The creators of those pages put some real original work into their pages! Bravo to them for coming up with unique ideas:

http://labbies.com/genetics.htm

http://beulahland.tripod.com/coatcolor.htm

Another K-9 Road Trip

It’s never easy knowing you’ll be driving for two days with a puppy. It helps to have an older dog along.

We’ve been on the road with Luna and 15 week old Riley since yesterday.

It is hard for a puppy to get the hang of going potty on leash, walking on the leash, and being crated in the vehicle for long periods of time, but this little girl took to it all quite naturally. We let them be together in one crate some of the time for company and comfort, and in separate crates for eating and rest.

In the hotel, they co-inhabited, and we’re the perfect hotel guests. Quiet and using good manners:

If you are traveling with a pet (or two), be sure to follow a few steps, so that hotels that are pet friendly will remain that way!

  1. Pick up after your dog (a plastic bag in your pocket will assure easy waste pickup)
  2. Keep them quiet (no barking, which will disturb other guests)
  3. Keep your pet in a crate when you are out of the room, to prevent damage to floors or furniture.
  4. Never bathe a dog in tubs or showers!
  5. Make sure not to leave evidence of dogs behind (clean up fur or wood shavings that may have escaped your crate).

Traveling with a pet can be fun and rewarding.

 

LEGAL STUFF

Website Built by Blue Knight. All graphics , photographs, and original articles are the property of Blue Knight.  Permission must be obtained for use on other sites or for other purposes.

Luna Stacking Lessons Aborted

First, I had a foot surgery that stoped our daily lessons, then the weather changed, preventing me from continuing once I could ambulate. The Dr. gave strict orders about keeping the dressing dry. A canvas, pen toe boot is not conducive to keeping it dry in about six inches of sticking snow. After a week of snow on the ground, I decided her lessons would have to wait until spring! — sigh!

This was our training area view the past several days:

That’s hard to navigate in this shoe!

Luna Stacking Lesson 2

Some days you take three steps back. Today is one of those days. Luna had no interest in the bait, declined to hold still, would not position her feet, gave me squinty eyes and pinned back her ears (her favorite thing when someone is trying to make her do something other than play). So, we focused on standing still, and not crouching up on me. A few successes, and I called it a day, ending with her just standing still. Hopefully tomorrow is a better day!

“You can’t make me!”
“I can’t. I just CAN’T”
“I won’t pay attention! I won’t look at you! I think I am being tortured!”
Nope… I won’t open my eyes, and I won’t lift my ears!
“This is all you’re going to get!”
DONE! I’m *so* exhausted from that 15 minutes of torture!