December 29, 2010

Pheasant Hunt

Had a great pheasant hunt with the "girls" today.

I love watching them work.  They are a real team.

They were sure sacked when it was over though.  I don't think I'll see them lift their heads for the rest of tonight.

December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone.  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with your loved ones.  And to all the emergency service workers that are on shift today...thank you.

Not only is today Christmas, but yesterday was Libby's FIRST birthday!!  She was literally born under a Christmas tree last year (before the mad rush to the whelping box for the rest of the births).

Libby thought that her take of the loot was pretty impressive.

And seeing as the weather was so beautiful, we all went for a long walk today.  Joining the "girls" is Meg, who is a daughter of Darbi (and Prime-2008), and she's in for training.

From left to right:
Darbi (I didn't get what I asked for, so therefore I pout).

The run at the camera seemed fun.

Except for Darbi, who did a good job of holding up the rear.

But she was all smiles for me.  She is feeling great and doing amazing since her surgery.

December 22, 2010

Life is Hard

Life is SOOOO rough Libby, isn't it?

I'm having lots of fun with my new horse.  We decided to call him Zed, so he could have a somewhat Canadian connection.

Since he is an "off the track" thoroughbred, he doesn't have very good brakes or steering.  Even though he is a hunter/jumper prospect we are riding him in a western saddle right now as part of his re-training process.

He is a really, really sweet horse and wants to be a team player.

December 19, 2010

Air Time

Lili likes the water.

She is MHR Elmingo's Water Lili is and from the Shaq x Miikka litter of 2007.  She is also Libby's older full sister.  

December 17, 2010


Darbi has slept pretty much straight through since coming home from her surgical insemination yesterday.  She seems only slightly uncomfortable and isn't fussing at all with the stitches on her belly.

She ate some breakfast this morning and is now sleeping on the couch.

The vet told me that she had "the uterus of a 3 year old dog".  I told Darbi this, but she wasn't impressed nor flattered.

Interestingly, a dog's uterus is damaged after each heat cycle, whether a dog is bred or not.  The uterus is actually MORE damaged with each cycle that she is not bred.  So, the more cycles, the more wear and tear.  Since Darbi only cycles about once a year (as opposed to twice a year in some females), her uterus looks like a dog half her age.  The vet was excited about this.  This is why we opted to do a surgical A.I. and not a transcervical (pipette through her hoo-ha).  A surgical allows the vet to physically examine the uterus and deal with any cysts he may run across.

We've done everything right.  The timing was dead on, the semen was of a very good quality and Darbi did her part by ovulating and having a very pretty uterus.

Darbi is on about a week to ten days of bed rest now, and then she can ease back into training.  It is a proven fact that bitches in good condition have an easier time whelping puppies than bitches left idle and overweight.  The puppies also do better with stimulation while in mom's womb and are more easily whelped when not overweight themselves.  So, Darbi will be trained right up to when she tells us she can't.  This is usually about 2 weeks before whelping.  Then, she will go on daily long walks for exercise until her whelping day.  I have done this with every litter and so far so good...4 litters and 4 very, very easy whelpings.  (Knock on wood of course, as anything can happen even if everything is done "right")

There is also a genetic factor that I have no control over.  Luckily, Darbi's mom and grandmom were easy whelpers, so I have the genetics on my side as well.

I'm excited.

December 16, 2010

Bred Today

I just got a call from the vet.

Darbi's surgery went very well.  The semen quality was very good and she is starting to wake up.

30 days until we ultrasound.

I'm off to go pick her up and she and I can cuddle on the couch for the rest of the day.

December 14, 2010


It looks like Darbi ovulated yesterday according to her progesterones.

We're taking her in for one last progesterone test today to be sure.

If she did ovulate yesterday, then she will be bred on Thursday.  It takes two days for the eggs to move down and then an additional 24 hours for them to mature after ovulation.  Since frozen semen lives only about 12 hours after implantation, it is important that we get our timing right.

I'm sure poor Darbi feels like a pin cushion right now.

December 6, 2010

She's in.

Darbi came into season today.

We start progesterone testing in just a few days as she may ovulate sooner than usual with the ovu-plant.

She will have the implant removed when she is bred via surgical A.I.  It is located in her vulva and you wouldn't even know it was there (yes, I looked).  It's the size of a microchip.

This is to be Darbi's third and last litter.  She will be spayed when the pups are weaned.

I'm already dreaming up names for the little girl I hope to keep from this litter.

December 2, 2010


So Darbi had an ovuplant inserted into her hoo-ha today.

This is a small capsule that releases a drug to make her come into season.

Both of Darbi's litters were the result of "bringing her in", but with a different drug than Ovuplant.

My repro vet here in Colorado suggested trying ovuplant as he thinks it is a better choice.

She should be in season in 3-5 days.  Here's hoping...

I've been waiting Darbi's lifetime for a daughter from her, and it's now or never.