I had the dogs out for a little while before their supper time. I went out to the dog yard and I did not see Walter. I immediately thought that he somehow managed to get out. But the snow was not high enough for an escape over the fence. I noticed that the others all seemed to be looking up. In my dog yard I have a lean to type of roof coming off the house which provides shelter from the weather and from the sun. I looked up to and there was Walter up on the roof. The snow was starting to melt and slide off. Walter was having a blast, he was sliding off the roof and then running back up onto the roof and sliding off again. There is a dog house just below the bottom edge of the roof. It had several inches of snow on it, just enough to make a nice step up to the roof. I don't know what possessed him to even think to do that. But I watched him slide down and climb back up and slide down again. I guess a three year old Sheltie is just like a kid. I had my phone to snap a picture but so taken with what Walter was doing that I did not get a photo. This boy loves to learn new things. He loves to do a high five, with both feet. Time to get started training him for his novice trick title. I know that he would love it and it would be good for him to be learning. That sure made my day. Who says Shelties don't think have not met Walter.
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Saturday, February 20, 2021
I have been doing a lot of soul searching about breeding the past few weeks. It is a lot of work but can be rewarding and satisfying.
First of all is the anticipation of the possibility of that one special pup being born. Secondly I think of all the people who are happy with my pups. I have worked hard to produce happy and healthy pups, which are awesome family companions. That in itself makes me feel good. And the joy of watching a new litter nursing away with tails up. Most litters do well and have very few problems. Then the dogs do keep me busy and I am always reading and researching new conditions that occasionally pop up. Take Skye, she is happy and healthy and a struggle to get there. But she is worth every hour of lost sleep and stress.I had to feed her by hand round the clock for two weeks straight, almost lost her twice. Today she is small but so happy and just full of life. When I watch her do the zoomies, she makes me smile. Young pups are so entertaining.
My dogs brought me through some hard times and I could not imagine living here alone in this house with no dogs. No question they kept me going. When I see photos of my pups doing so well in their new homes even years later, it makes me so happy.
I think to myslef that I am getting older and maybe should not have the dogs but I also think I made it this far because I do have the dogs.
I have decided to breed again but only one litter per year. When I truly can't handle it then I will stop. When spring comes I will get out in the agility area and just have some fun with the dogs. Bonnie will be staying here. She and I have been through so much together with her producing 11 pups and raising 9 of them. She is being spayed this coming week as she was a very overwhelmed mother and did not enjoy it at all. But the funny thing is that she recognizes Skye and they play together. I never thought this would happen, but she is good with Skye, a little too rough at times so I have to get after her.
I have bred Topaz, but I don't know yet if she is expecting. This was to be my last litter. Topaz usually has smaller litters and hope she will again this time. So one more litter to enjoy and make people happy with. After that we shall see.
Monday, February 8, 2021
I have used the dogs kibble food as treats for a long time and now they expect them for everything. I need to get them to not look for the treats so much. Even Skye who is 11 weeks is into the treats. Amazing how fast she has become a member of the pack. When they come up early morning to have coffee with me, they immediately look for the treats. They have become too focused on the treats and not on settling down and just spending time with me. All my dogs are very food oriented and sometimes that is good but at other times it takes over and that is not good. I am going to cut them back to no treats in the morning. For now I use one small handful that I scatter and they love looking for it. For this week each morning I will cut back even more and eventually they will not look for them and just be content to be in the kitchen with me. I have done this to them and really need to retrain them to not expect a treat every morning. They get worked up and it takes awhile for them to settle down. So my goal for the end of month is to have dogs that join me for my morning coffee, who come up quietly and find their spot and lie down. I know Skye will not be able to do that yet. She has too much energy and curiosity about every thing. But she has not been getting the treats for very long and it may be easier for her to forget about them. It is amazing how fast a puppy learns.So I trained my dogs for a bad habit so I need to be very thoughtful on how I train. Retraining is not so easy. It can be done. I can't give in to their eyes or their pleading for treats. It is so hard to ignore the look on their faces, and Shelties really do know how to make you feel bad.
Everyone take care and be safe. Covid is not gone yet and we have to be respectful of everyone.
All for now!!
Wednesday, February 3, 2021
Skye is the little girl who struggled to live, she had such a will, it was unbelievable. I tube fed her round the clock every two to three hours to keep her going. By her second week she was starting to nurse and I would separate the others while she nursed. One night she started to fade and I did what I could for her, glucose to keep her from dehydrating, feeding right before bed time. When I went to bed that night I was so sad as I thought for sure she would be gone. She was still with us in the morning. I had some puppy nutrocal which was vitamins and minerals for fading pups. I started with that, and went back to the tube. I had tried a bottle with her and she just did not like it at all. She started to improve, so I made sure that along with the feeding she nursed every two hours. This is what kept her going. She started to really grow and when she nursed she hung on for dear life. Her little brother that I had been feeding had really picked up fast, nursed along with her. By the time she was three weeks I knew she was going to make it. I still had her nurse without the others as that is what really brought her along. I started baby cereal early as the substance would be good for all the pups. Skye had her own little dish and was eating very well. I finally could relax. Now at 10 weeks, she is still very small but as feisty as they come and she makes me smile all the time. Bonnie was done with the pups at three weeks which is not usual. I had to hold her for them to feed and I did that until they were over four weeks and then I stopped. She had been so overwhelmed with so many pups and just did not enjoy being a mother. But now she and Skye actually play a little and I believe Bonnie realizes that Skye is hers.At eight weeks they went for their vet check. Skye had developed a cough and you could hear her breathing. I did not like the sounds of that, she could not get her shot as she had pneumonia and had to be treated. Fourteen days of antibiotics and she is fine. She has learned her name, knows go potty on the papers, too cold for her to go out yet and she knows "are you hungry"? All the pups learned that so quick. I would get them out to play in the morning while I fixed their breakfast and I would ask them if they were hungry, it was so cute, they would all sit around me and watch the food get ready.
Skye went for a check up on Monday and she is all clear of any illness. She had her shot and is so full of energy. Looking back I would not want to go through that again, ever. It was so stressful and Bonnie was so overwhelmed. Shelties don't have litters of 11. I was fortunate to raise 9 of the 11 pups.
Skye was worth every bit of the stress and I know all the other pups are making their owners happy and keep them smiling too.
Take care and be safe!
Monday, February 1, 2021
All my pups are settling into their new homes and some already understand house training. I am very thankful for the two families who each took a pup with a head tilt, the pups are doing very well and thriving. Thank you to everyone!
The little girl Skye is with me, she is such a character, full of herself. She makes me laugh all the time. The dogs have been so good with letting me sleep until five thirty. It really helps.
I have really been on the fence about breeding again and Topaz is in heat, I did breed her and I believe this will be my last litter. It was hard to get motivated for this but I have so many who have been waiting for a pup. The one plus is that pups will be born in better weather. Topaz never has more than 4 or 5 pups so should be much easier than Bonnie's litter. I will be well rested by then and hopefully up to the job.
I am ready to get my agility equipment out and do some fun things with the dogs. Hopefully the second half of this winter goes as quickly as the first half went.
Skye is learning sit and come, she is very quick and loves to do what you ask. Just too cold to take her out so will wait for a little warmer weather to get her out to potty. She is very good with the paper and goes right to it, with lots of praise. I love having the one puppy and hope you all are enjoying your pups.
I have heard that the regular spring dog shows in Maine have been cancelled due to the covid so I guess it will be another year before we have some local shows. Maybe some virtual training and that works out pretty well.The AKC has set up some virtual shows so that you can get a title that way. If you go to the AKC website you will find many things you can do with your dog.
Bling is finally getting used to the pup, she just does not like pups at all and I have to watch closely. All the other dogs are good with Skye. Even the other seniors, and Rosie who is nine years old will play with the pup. She has always loved puppies. Bonnie actually played with her puppy. She has not interacted with her pups since three weeks. I was happy to see her play with Skye and be nice.
Another place to find some training help is Susan Garrett's "Say Yes Dog Training blog" Lots of good ideas and for puppies too.
I am on my second cup of coffee and everyone is lying in their favorite spot, it is very peaceful this morning.
I do have to watch Topaz when I get up from the computer, she loves to get my mug, and slurp down my coffee. I forget sometimes and leave my mug on the edge of the desk. She takes every opportunity to have a sip of coffee.
Everyone be well and be safe!
Saturday, January 23, 2021
I have to say that I am very blessed with the families that have come for my puppies. I know the pups will be well loved and safe. It makes all the heart ache and stress over this litter worth it.
I still have a little tri boy who has a head tilt, did some testing and all comes back negative. Since Bonnie actually carried 11 pups there is no telling how these pups were packed in there. She raised nine of the eleven and that was still too much for her. Tons of supplementing pups and helping her out. Bonnie will be spayed soon and I may consider a home for her if she can be where she has a job to do. A hard decision to make.
I do want a loving home for the tri boy, when he looks at you his head tilts. He has a lovely temperament and is a pretty boy. He eats and plays with the other pups, totally normal except for the head tilt. I am thinking when he is a little older acupuncture may help him. He is not for sale but I do want someone who can devote time to him. Just as you would with any other pup.
I do have the last pup to sell, he is a blue merle pup and a lovely clear blue, full white color and just enough color on his face. He was sold but the person purchasing him has to have surgery so the sale fell through.
At the least this litter has been an experience, after 40 years of breeding Shelties, something new pops up. This is why I am having second thoughts on breeding again. I know there are people waiting on Topaz and now that she is in heat I may go ahead this one time. Maybe in two months time I will be ready for one litter of pups.
Again I am so thankful for all the wonderful families that came for my pups.
Everyone be safe and be well!
Saturday, January 9, 2021
Finally the two little ones that I have been had feeding are eating on their own and keeping up with the others. It has been a long road, the litter was just too big and Bonnie just too overwhelmed. Plus she did not enjoy being a mother. Pups are being chosen and will be going home to their new owners in another 10 days. I know I will miss them especially when they all sit around me in the morning and I am asking them if they are hungry. I think this is their favorite meal of the day, after the night they are really ready to eat.
I had a pup present a head tilt at three weeks, it has cleard up some but not totally. I will have him checked out well when the pups go for their shots. He is the sweetest and most tuned into me as any of the pups. When I come in the room he immediately knows that I am there. He does everything that the other pups do, he plays, runs and chases the others, picks up toys., just a love. He is slowly out growing the tilt but I don't know if he will totally. I hope in time as he improves I will find someone who will fall in love with him and give him a home for his lifetime.It is entirely possible that as he matures he will outgrow the tilt and be normal. I don't think I have ever had such a sweet puppy. I call him Oliver, and he is learning his name. He will keep Skye company for awhile, she is the little girl that I had to tube feed to keep going. She is doing well, eating on her own and growing. She will be staying here permanently. Too many nights that she started to fade and I had to work hard to bring her back.
This has been quite the litter, I am ready to take a break from breeding. I hope to breed Topaz in the spring but believe that will be my last litter. I am ready to enjoy my dogs and just spend time with them.
I have been breeding for many years, almost 40 and I always bred to improve the breed and would keep the best pup to go on with. One of my main goals was to produce happy and healthy pups.
Now that I am getting close to the time for the pups to go to their new homes, I plan to start training Bonnie again. She remembers so much and she loves to work.
Hope that everyone is staying safe and is well.
Skye playing tug with another pup!