Saturday, May 28, 2011

New WC Titles

Congratulations to Cassie and Helen, Raven and Marian and Dianne and Butler on their WC passes this past Thursday at Mountain Valley's test. Cassie earned her WCX, Raven her

WCI and Butler his WC. Even though the weather was crappy, everybody had a good time and the dogs did really, really well.

It's great to see all the training and hard work everyone has put into the dogs come to fruition.

Nice job everyone!

PS - that's Cassie in the photo.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Keeping your dog healthy

Earlier this week, a bunch of us were chatting on Facebook about ticks and tick diseases, in particular about Lyme's.

We work really hard at making sure our dogs are happy and healthy - but sometimes it's really, really hard to wade through everybody's opinions, conflicting research, what your vet knows, what your fellow breeder and dog sport enthusiasts know. We work with a few vets with our dogs who are experts in their field and sometimes even their opinions conflict.

Danielle sent a link to a website owned by Christie Keith and her mother Kathleen McKenzie who breed Scottish Deerhounds (Caber Feidh). I loved what Christie had to say about all this:

"...There are thousands of email lists and websites out there, filled with so much information it's hard to sort it all out. There are cliques and camps and controversies. How do you know who to believe and what is true?

It's our earnest hope that each of you will stop looking for the One True Answer and instead, start using your minds and instincts to find the way that is best for you and the animals in your care. While there are tips and tricks and insights that more experienced people can share with you, ultimately it doesn't matter what I say, or what your veterinarian says, or what your dog's breeder says, or what some guru on an email list says (even if that guru is ME!). All that matters is what feels right to you and what works for your animals."

I love that someone has put into words what I feel in my heart. So for any of you who have our puppies or just want to talk about the best thing to do for the animals in your care - we're always happy to share our knowledge, thoughts and opinions. We do lots and lots of research on things like vaccinations, medication and Golden Retriever health concerns, but regardless of what we think, ultimately you gotta go with your gut.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Waiting on Mother Nature...and waiting...and waiting

The absolute worse thing about dog breeding is that you that you have absolutely no control. Someone like Mark, who, I swear, has more patience than anyone I know, is ideally suited to this calling. For someone like me, whose kindergarten report card and every other piece of feedback from anyone, anywhere, ever since has said "Mary needs to learn patience"...not so much.

Cassie decided she didn't want to come in season this spring, so we've come up with plan B. Cassie will be bred in the fall and we'll breed Bree this spring (that's Bree enjoying the beach last fall). I think we've been in touch with everyone on our reservation list, but if not, please give us a call and we'll fill you in. Cycle-wise, Bree's about a month behind Cassie, so we're expecting her to be in season any day now. So, along with waiting for April showers to turn to May flowers, and waiting for this stupid finger to heal so I can type properly (I slammed it in a winger - but that's a whole other story)...we're waiting for puppies. Still.



Here's our note from Jacob about his experiences training Sly. Jacob Grossman is Cliff and Helen's grandson who is a pretty amazing dog trainer - with a pretty amazing dog.

"I have had Sly since I was 8 years old. He will be 7 years old on august 17. I ran him in his first trial when he was one. Since then we have ran 25 test and passed 21. I got his started title in 2005, his seasoned title in 2006, his junior title in 2006, his senior title in 2008, his HRCH in 2009, and I recently got his first master pass on 4/3/11.

Sly is a very reliable dog, he is with me hunting as much as he can be. I am going to get his hips and eyes checked as soon as possible to try and start breeding. With the pedigree he has I am sure he is capable of producing a very nice litter."



I've had some reports that this photo didn't show up with the last post, so here it is again. This is Jacob, Cliff and Helen's grandson with Drake. When you're retired, you get to ride in the 4 wheeler and help set up the marks for the other dogs. Actually I think they were on their way to snag a bumper out of a tree. Jacob is a very accomplished dog trainer and we have some info from him to share about his experiences training his dog Sly. Sly is a Drake son, from a breeding with Helen and Cliff's Torch (Sunnydawn's Light My Fire) so he has a pretty awesome pedigree.