December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

Dottie (Shaq x Miikka 2007) wishes her little brothers and sisters a Happy New Year!

December 30, 2009

Day 6

Miikka and all her "girls". The boys were where else?...on the boob.

Sweet faces.

They are SO strong. Here Red collar stands up on his legs while going for the buffet.

So shiny. So content.

Just pure sweetness.

December 29, 2009

Day 5

Pups are home after having their dew claws removed. Everything went very well.

Here are a couple of pictures that show the puppies doing what they do best right now...sleeping.

December 28, 2009

Day 4

Here is a pic of the whelping room at my house.
It is pretty comfy with a couch for visitors and a separate heater for the pups.

Pups from this litter are a very good size and all pretty uniform.
The males are smaller than the females, which is a first for me. I've learned over time that birth size has nothing to do with how big the pups will be when they are grown. Oftentimes the smallest pup in the litter will grow up to be the largest.
For eg. "Dottie", from the last Miikka x Shaq breeding was TINY. She was 11 oz. at birth and always smaller than her littermates. When I met her and 3 of her siblings this summer, she was as big or bigger than the rest and she was most certainly larger than her mother.
But here is a rundown on the pups in order of birth anyways:
Puppy #1 - BROWN with dots Collar (female): 1 lb. at birth/1.4 lb. now
Puppy #2 - RED Collar (male): 12 oz. /1.1 lb
Puppy #3 - GREEN Collar (male): 12 oz./1.1 lb.
Puppy #4 - PINK Collar (female): 17 oz./1.7 lb.
Puppy #5 - YELLOW Collar (female): 15 oz./1.2 lb.
Puppy #6 - BLUE with dots Collar (female): 17 oz./1.8 lb.

Pups are getting their dew claws removed tomorrow. I don't like removing them past day 4, but with all the vet clinic closures between Christmas and New Years, that was my best option rather than driving them 45 minutes one way.
They have started on their Early Neurological Stimulation as well. If you're unfamiliar with that, give it a "google" and there is lots of info. I have done this on every litter I've had. Not sure if it helps, but it sure doesn't hurt.
And finally...the babes having their mid-morning meal. Everyone is doing fantastic. You wouldn't believe how shiny the little guys are and Miikka looks GREAT.

December 27, 2009

Baby Daddy

Shaq sent a nice photo of himself to me yesterday.

He is a proud poppa.


A peaceful rest.

December 25, 2009

Puppy's First Christmas

Thanks to my roommate Jeff for sending me the cutest pic ever.

Puppy Update

Well, the final count is 6.
4 girls and 2 boys.

Everything went great and mom and babes are happy and healthy. Not sure where the mysterious "seventh" pup it seems the x-ray count by the vet was off.

My friends tell me that all pups weighed in at close to a pound at birth. They will weigh everyone again today to be sure the babies are all gaining weight and doing well.

I'll be in touch with everyone on the waiting list when I get home from Maui.

December 24, 2009

Puppy Video

Here is a video sent to me from my friends who are whelping Miikka out.

They love Miikka for the middle of the day whelping.

We're still at 5 pups...with another imminent.


Miikka is having her puppies RIGHT NOW!

So far 3 girls and 2 boys. And more to come...

She is doing great. I'm so sad I'm not there.

But being in Maui in a good consolation. :-)

December 20, 2009

Here is the X-Ray

Click on the picture to enlarge it.

December 16, 2009


I took Miikka to the vet today to have a pre-whelping x-ray done. The image wasn't great, but we counted 7 spines on the x-ray. I'm still hopeful there is one or two more in there. I don't want to disappoint anyone on the waiting list.
I'm going to Hawaii from Dec. 19 to the 27. With Miikka being due on the 28th, I'm a bit nervous to leave her. The Hawaii trip was booked before she was bred.
She will continue to live in my house and will whelp out the puppies here if she has them before I get back. Trusted friends will be watching her around the clock and I know she is in good hands.

I do hope she waits until I get home though.

December 8, 2009

Turq Sold

I sold Turq this week.
I am feeling bittersweet about it.
I purchased Turq several months ago with the intention of selling him, so it comes as no surprise. I wanted to "see what he was made of" before I made the decision to sell and who to sell to.
Turq is bright, willing, tractable, a good marker and a real joy to be around.
He shows real promise as a field trial dog and has been sold to a field trialer who will keep him on Kenny's truck.
Watch for Turq in Derbies next year...I know I can't wait.

Here is Turq with his goofy face on. Ears half cocked and biting a lip.

December 7, 2009

Perfect Angels

Or not...

After a fun evening with friends last night. This is what I came home to.
Wall to wall flour.

Not sure who the culprit is, but I have a pretty good idea...

I couldn't help but laugh when cleaning up. It was pretty funny.

December 6, 2009


It is a cold one here! New snow and very chilly temperatures.

The dogs don't mind at all though, it seems.

Darbi taking a snow bath.

Miikka (now called Porky), is sure starting to show. A pregnancy does nothing to stop her stick killing ways though.

Turq being a goof.

Darbi is feeling good in this cold weather. She's always been a dog that prefers minus 30 over plus 30.

Turq playing keep-away.

November 27, 2009

Chug Hunting

A great picture of Chug doing some pheasant hunting in Montana.

Chug is from the Prime x Darbi litter of 2008.

What a good looking guy.

November 26, 2009


Yup! Miikka is pregnant!!

Vet and I counted "at least" 7 pups on the ultrasound.

My experience has been that I always have one or two more pups that what we see on the ultrasound, so we will see if that holds true.

Can't wait!!!

November 24, 2009

Lili Hunting

Lili (Shaq x Miikka 2007) has had a great year hunting.

Miikka has an appointment on Thursday for an ultrasound to see if the repeat of the Shaq breeding is indeed happening.

November 22, 2009

Dog Gnomes

I sometimes feel that my dogs are like the famed world traveling garden gnomes. They are becoming seasoned travelers!

Since January of 2009, my girls have visited (in no particular order):
New Jersey
West Virginia

In the past few days my girls have been:

1) To the famed covered bridges in Madison County, Iowa.
What a beautiful location and I saw some amazing bridges!

2) Sitting in front of a Nebraska corn field

3) And my favorite one of all!
Sitting on Little Round Top looking over the Devil's Den at the Gettysburg Battlefield in Pennsylvania.

November 19, 2009

Time to head home

Here is a gorgeous picture of Miikka's boyfriend "Shaq". It was neat to see him in person again. What a great dog!

Amazingly, even though Miikka has had one litter by Shaq and another (fingers crossed) on the way...the two had never met. The wonders of modern reproductive technology.

I couldn't get a good picture of the two as Shaq only had eyes for the Peanut.

That's okay Shaq, I think she's cute too.

Alas, Arson's 2009 National is over today. He was dropped after a handle in the 6th series. It was an impressive showing for a young dog. Kenny and I now have the LONG drive back to Alberta.

November 18, 2009

Darbi at the National

Not very often can I get Darbi "she beats me" to put her ears up for a camera. I tricked her yesterday.
I pulled her off Kenny's truck after the 5 millionth flyer had been shot and she was raring to go run the trial.

So, here is Darbs at the 2009 US National. This might be as close as she ever gets to a US National.

For those who have been following Darbi's health problems this summer, it seems she is a 100% now. She ran a week of pre-National in New Jersey and Kenny said she was full of go and ran as good as anyone in the group. I truly think she hurt somewhere bad this summer, but I doubt we will ever find out the cause of her pain. I, to this day, think is was back pain of the soft tissue kind. I'm glad to see her back to herself these days though, and that is all that matters.


I love this picture of Miikka in a Delaware cornfield at sunset.

November 17, 2009

Pre-National Training

I'm going to get around to posting some pics.

This is "Arson", who is Kenny's National competitor this year. He is a young dog at his first National and so far, so good!

Here is Arson on one day of pre-National training in Delaware. It was WET and Cold.

A pic of FC AFC Taylorlab Downtown Dusty Brown.

Bill Eckett with Kiss Of The Devil.

And finally, the "pros" setting up a test on a miserable day.

November 13, 2009


So, I'm at the 2009 National Retriever Championships in Dover, Delaware.

It's been too rainy this week in pre-National training to pull my camera out.

Pics to come as soon as it dries up!!

November 4, 2009


Lili (Shaq x Miikka 2007) has had a great fall hunting and training.

Lili is the black dog says Captain Obvious.

November 1, 2009


This is "Chug", from the Prime x Darbi litter.

Isn't he a handsome guy?

Super Singles

Congrats to "Emma" (Tiger x Darbi 2006) for winning her local retriever club Super Singles competition in Ohio!

She's running a Master Hunt Test this week-end and I wish her luck.

October 30, 2009

Stuck in Wyoming

Now on day 2 of being stuck in Wyoming driving to Colorado.

The girls are having fun though.

October 26, 2009

Home resting

Miikka and I just got home and she is now resting comfortably.

The surgery went great and the vet said the semen was of very good quality.

Now, fingers crossed.

Ultrasound in 26 or so days.

October 25, 2009

Tomorrow is the day

Miikka ovulated on Friday. Finally...

Surgical implantation of frozen semen takes place 72 hours after ovulation.

So she is taking a trip to Red Deer tomorrow for surgery.

October 24, 2009


Happy first birthday to the Prime x Darbi puppies!!! Their birthday was yesterday.

I remember the little newborns like it was yesterday.

Don't ask about the lobster...long story...

(p.s. one more puppy was born after this pic was taken...)

Happy Birthday to:

Harper in Alaska
Meg in Ontario
Chug in Montana
Turq in Alberta
Coal in Alberta
Duece in Saskatchewan
Koda in Alberta

More Harper

Alaska looks like an amazing place to hunt and that is where Harper lives.

I love this picture of her.

October 22, 2009

Miikka Update

So, the test results came back today.

Miikka was 2.4 ng yesterday. That number is USUALLY a sign she has hit the "LH" stage. So, we ran a LH test on the same blood, and it was positive. Miikka will ovulate tomorrow. Breeding to be done on Monday.
We will run one more vial of blood Saturday to be sure she has risen above 5ng (ovulation) as there is the RARE case a dog doesn't ovulate 2 days after the LH surge.

So, new plans for Peanut are:
Ovulation Oct. 23
Breeding Oct. 26
Pups due Dec. 28

Tis The Season

The hunting pictures continue to roll in. It's that time of year.

This is Lili, from the Shaq x Miikka breeding of 2007.

October 21, 2009


Here are a couple of pictures of the adorable Meg. She is from the 2008 Prime x Darbi litter and lives in Ontario.

Meg enjoying her first hunt. She sure has her mom's face.

And Meg and owner Jill with the blue ribbon they won in the Puppy Stake at the Mountain Valley Field Trial.
Congrats again!!

October 20, 2009

Miikka Update

I sent 4 days of blood to the University of Saskatoon on Sunday.

The results I got back Monday showed she had not ovulated yet.

So more blood was drawn Monday and Tuesday, and will be sent in along with Wednesday's blood tomorrow.

She was only at 0.5 ng on Sunday, so we're still a few days off.

October 14, 2009

Hunting Day

Had a great shoot this morning.

Today was Miikka's turn to get out hunting. She was great!

Here is me and a co-worker of mine with the day's harvest.

And Kenny. Miikka kept stealing a bird from the pile.

So, we let Peanut have her bird.

Progesterone testing on Miikka starts tomorrow morning. I'll wait until Sunday night to send the first batch to the lab in Saskatoon.