Monday, February 28, 2011

The Songdog Puppies

Annie's puppies are almost 2 weeks old already. They are shown here at 1 week old. Annie whelped 5 puppies on February 16th (2 liver females, 2 black females & 1 liver male). Katy and Brian report that Annie is being a great mother.
Annie is Tinbie's littermate and lives at Songdog kennel in southern Indiana. The puppies are all spoken for and the exciting news is that one of the girls is coming to live in Alberta (not with us though!).

Taking Blood For a Good Cause

This is Indy, Ch Blazingstar Brown Ruff CD WC. Today I met Indy and his owners at our vet clinic to have blood drawn for Optigen. Indy was diagnosed with an "optic nerve coloboma" in his left eye four years ago at his CERF eye exam. It basically means he has a small notch out of his optic nerve. It is not big enough to effect his vision and it is no big deal for him. But we were advised that he probably shouldn't be used for breeding incase he produces it to a worse degree in his offspring. We were surprised, as this is an extremely rare condition in flat-coated retrievers and we are not aware of this problem in his background. His parents and grandparents all passed their eye exams, as did his littermates that have had eye testing.

We have been open about Indy's coloboma and included it in his information on a couple of the flat-coat databases. Because of this, we were recently contacted by another flat-coat breeder with information about a research project, looking at coloboma's in several breeds, including flat-coated retrievers. The work is being done by Optigen, a veterinary genetic testing company. They hope to be able to find genetic markers and possibly even understand the mode of inheritance of colobomas.

So today we shipped off Indy's blood and a big stack of paperwork (pedigrees, eye exam results for him and for his parents, etc,) to Optigen in the hopes that he can add to the understanding of the disorder.

Happy 2nd Birthday to the Wildflower Puppies!

Willow, Kona and Piper turned 2 years old on Saturday. Happy Birthday to the Wildflower puppies!

Here is Kona couple of months ago:

And here is Willow, taken a few weeks ago at the Calgary show:

We think they are growing into lovely girls.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Scent Hurdle Racing Update

At the EKKOC show in Calgary, Lupine ran in her first scent hurdle races with Due South. She did a fantastic job for her first race. I think she brought back one "X" by mistake, (or pure goofiness?), but apart from that she did not make any errors. For many of the dogs on our team, it was their first time in a real race and they all did very well, although there were a few hiccups. On Friday Due South placed 4th out of 5 teams and on Saturday we placed 2nd out of 5 teams! Lupine racked up 35 scent hurdle points over the course of the 2 days. Lupine's daughter, Kona, also ran on our team and did a very nice job. She is amazingly fast and turned a lot of heads.

The photos are from a practice session at home. As you can see, Lupine loves it. We are in the process of training Cava the basics of scent hurdle racing as well. Tinbie is also giving it a try, but he gets so excited by it that he tends to crash through the jumps rather than going over them - we are working on that!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Puffin Wins Best of Breed

While Cava won the points on Friday and Sunday, Saturday was Puffin's day! At her first show she was awarded Best of Breed from the 6-9 month puppy class over some lovely dogs. The win gave her 3 points towards her championship.
Puffin showed quite well, given that it was her first show. The mats for the "down & back" had a strip of duct tape half way down - Puffin seemed to think this was a jump and she jumped it every time! The ringside spectators found this very amusing.
Kona, Blazingstar Brown Coneflower RN, was reserve winners female both days and Willow, Blazingstar Brown Buffalobean, won the Open Female class.
Thank-you to Julia for helping me show Puffin and holding Cava and to Pat and Janna for showing Willow. We had our hands full!

Ch Bramatha Under Pressure

Cava was not terribly cooperative about holding her ribbons, she was being rather goofy!

The best part of a dog show is making new friends, even if it requires moving your pen closer to the neighbours.....

At the Evelyn Kenny show in Calgary, Cava finished her championship. She won Winners Female / Best of Opposite on both Friday and Sunday. Cava just turned 13 months old. We are very proud of how well she has done in the show ring so far. Sunday's judge kept raving about how beautiful her head is. Cava loves to show and it's hard to keep her out of the ring, as our friend Julia discovered when Cava kept trying to drag her back in! Thank-you to Julia for holding Cava while I showed Puffin and then showing Puffin for me in the winners class while I showed Cava. Cava was completely owner-handled to her championship by Liz.
The photos don't really do her justice, but it's all we have for now. We will try to get some better pictures of her soon.
Thank-you so much to Sarah Whittaker for sending us such a lovely dog. We are very excited for her future!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Good News / Disappointing News

The disappointing news is that Maisy is not pregnant. We are not sure what went wrong, but likely either wrong timing or just that they are both inexperienced and it took them a bit too long to figure out what they were doing! We had Tinbie's semen checked, collected and frozen a couple of weeks ago and everything looked great there. We now have 5 breedings from Tinbie frozen and saved for the future.

The good news is that Annie has been confirmed pregnant, with at least 5 or 6 puppies. Puppies are due at Songdog in Indiana on February 15th.

Annie with 2 weeks to go.