Sunday, December 25, 2011

Nativity At Toreth

Peace to all.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

For the curious: What went wrong...

If you look closely you can find the puppy we lost. He or she was virtually folded in half and blocking the cervix.
This puppy wouldn't have survived anyway as it suffered some deformities. Perhaps it had already died in utero and that is why it got stuck. No way to know for sure.
Had this been a bitch in the wild or left to do her business under the porch she and all her babies would have died. I am grateful we live in a time where we have the technology and knowledgeable people who can save lives.
While I was in the moment it was difficult to know whether to wait or intervene. Looking back on it I think we acted appropriately and in a timely manner.

Rogue and babies are doing great. Only one baby lost a little weight, Yule. It's normal for them to do that the first couple of days and my reassurance comes from the fact that he is strong and vocal and keeps his belly full on his own. And this morning he regained a little of what he had lost.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Longest Night...and Morning.

So if you haven't heard the news already Rogue had her babies last night and this morning. So technically they are Solstice babies and not Christmas but we'll see what I can come up with for names over the next couple of days.
Rogue freewhelped two. A black boy and a brindle boy. Then one puppy got stuck and sadly didn't make it. The rest tumbled out via c-section at around 10 am.

And here they are...

Black Boy 1, 11 oz., born naturally.

Black Boy 2, 8.5 oz., C-section. Maybe what is referred to as a Black Brindle... hmmm.

Brindle Boy 1, 11.5 oz., born naturally. He seems to be asking, "Ever have one of those days where you wonder why you were born?"

Brindle Boy 2, 10.5 oz., C-section.

Brindle Boy 3, 12 oz., C-section (and so are all the rest that come after).

And now for the Brindle Girls...

Ummmm, can you say Double Trouble? I can hardly tell them apart!

White-headed Girl 1, she has a spot on her belly, 10 oz.

White-headed Girl 2, no belly spot, 9 oz.

This one's markings are similar to her black brother, 8.5 oz.

And tipping the scale at 12.5 oz. is this beautiful girl.

Rogue is a fantastic mother and all the babies are doing great!
Big thanks are due to many people. First to my husband and my three girls. Thomas and Chloe the oldest in particular helped keep watch over Rogue while I had to work. Because they do so much to keep my little hobby going in a healthy way they helped with names.
Also much thanks to Orchards Veterinary Clinic. The staff are so great and I am so grateful they weren't too busy for Rogue and her babies. They all stopped whatever else that could wait to get the many babies started on their first breaths and latchings.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Three more days...

I'm pleading the fifth.

Here the angle of the camera exaggerates her balloonage slightly. But I do think it more accurately represents how she probably feels.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Rogue's Advent Calendar

4 weeks to grow... I mean go.

Belly getting rounder, belly hair thinner, and milk faucets getting bigger... yep! TM x Rogue babies in there!!!
Since we did progesterone testing we are pretty certain the due date is Christmas Eve/Christmas Day... give or take a day or two. But I've got a pile of potential names based on Christmas movies and songs. And I've put up a countdown widget for the litter's expected arrival.
If you would like to be considered for one of these puppies please contact me. Babies will be black or brindle.
***Correction (11/28/11): babies may be black with tan or brindle points, brindle, red/sable. See chart here. Both Rogue and TM are brindle and carry tri.
##### Further understanding (11/29/11): TM is homozygous for brindle. (Rogue probably is too.) He carries red and tri. (As does Rogue as all brindles carry red and Rogue's sire was tri which means he had to give her a tri gene.) Brindle is dominant and only one gene is needed for it to be expressed. So if the babies have a red base they will be brindles, some will carry tri. If they express the tri (they have to receive a tri chromosome from both TM and Rogue so only 25% chance) they will be black with brindle points. If you're confused by all of this I understand. It's taken me 2 days of reading whenever I had a little spare time to make sure I have it right. I might at some point draw up a Pundett square but the bottom line is there will be mostly brindle babies and a few black/brindle-pointed babies in The Christmas Litter.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New Kids On The Block

Well, they've been here for a while now. Just busy with them and life.

First there's Bessie (Samhain's Flyin' High).

Here she is at I believe 19 weeks. She was my oldest daughter Chloë's 16th birthday present. Out of Kim and Mark's Dash x Ana, she's a really lovely bitch in many ways and has been such a wonderful addition to the family.

Then a few weeks later I got a boy from Paul Chen

This remarkable guy is named Sirius (no registered name as yet). His dam is Paul's fabulous Jolene and the sire is Rocky. This boy wows me every time we're out for a walk. Impeccable movement. Gorgeous front. The sweetest temperament to boot. I can hardly wait to get to take him out in the ring.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hopes and Dreams

First time I'm flying solo in a breeding. Well, sort of solo. I have listened to lots of advice from some great mentors and friends. Not everyone agrees which dog would make a good husband for Rogue. But the vast majority advocated for this 10-year-old old boy:

I had the opportunity to go over GCH Shadowalk Trademark (TM for short) a couple of weeks ago at the Richland dog show weekend. Him and some of his kids. TM has a marvelous shoulder well laidback and the longest upper arm I've ever felt on a dog, nearly as long as his shoulder blade.
The standard asks for: "Shoulders -slope downward and outward from the withers sufficiently to accommodate desired rib-spring. Shoulder blade (scapula) long and well laid back, meeting upper arm (humerus) at close to a right angle. Humerus nearly as long as scapula. Elbows -should fit close, being neither loose nor tied. The forearms- (ulna and radius) should be curved to fit spring of ribs." The shoulder and upper arm thing is really hard to find in our breed.
TM was also entered in the show and moved great for an old man.
No dog is perfect and you don't always get what you intend for in a breeding. But I'm hopeful.

TM is DM normal, OFA good on hips and elbows, PRA clear. Wonderful temperament. When I picked him up to put him on the table he snuggled his head into my shoulder. I had never laid a hand on him before so I fell in love with his sweetness.

Rogue too is DM normal, OFA good on her hips, PRA clear. I love her happy clown spirit.
She's in the beginning of her heat cycle now. I'm progesterone testing waiting for that magic moment to call Susan, TM's mom, and have her ship the other half of the puppies.

Fingers crossed for happy, healthy pregnancy, whelp and several silly puppies to snuggle for a couple of months afterward. Click on the link below to view their pedigree.
TM x Rogue babies

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Puppy Boys available

I've heard there are 2 lovely black boys available to companion homes.
See their pictures and who to contact here.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Moxie for sure!

I love my puppy families. I'm glad they are loved and happy to hear from them. I know life is what it is so I understand when there are problems or people fall out of touch.
Sometimes there are people who make the puppy I was able to bring into their world the luckiest in the world. If I ever come back as a dog I want to live with people like Ruth and Sean.
Moxie used to be Raven. She's a Panda and Carbon kid. Much like her mother she has oodles of energy and is super smart. Here's what they're doing to embrace everything Moxie is.
The Dancing Moxie

The Herding Moxie

Thank you so very much for loving this special baby!!! You've made my day!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

... in a word Temperament

I have been talking a lot with a couple of experienced dog trainer-breeders about temperament. A couple of online definitions to get me started... says temperament is:
"the combination of mental, physical, and emotional traits of a person; natural predisposition."

"characteristic or habitual inclination or mode of emotional response" 

We all know what we don't want. But it is possible we aren't really sure of what we do want. People will say they want a good temperament on a puppy to take home. We're pretty sure this means a puppy who won't attack their kids. It takes a lot of conversation to try and figure out what they do want. It's even harder to figure out whether they really want what they say they want. Especially with people who are inspired to try performance. They certainly don't want a dog who just wants to eat and sleep all day. They hear of something called drive and they think they want it.
I found this great video of a puppy who has high drive. It's a Belgian Malinois baby, 9.5 weeks old. 
and at 13 and 15 weeks with LOTS of intense training
While we all want to have a dog that looks as fun to be around as the 15 week old it really needs to be appreciated that a high drive dog needs to be working virtually every moment it's awake or not eating. And it may need to be working while it eats and who knows what they're dreaming about. 
I think people need to consider if they are high drive themselves. And if the rest of their life allows them to actually be interacting with their dog as much as this requires. There are varying degrees of drive and ideally we can find a dog with a drive that matches our own.
Another key ingredient to temperament is biddability. While it may be argued that the puppy in the videos is biddable I'm learning that may not be true in the strict sense of the word. The videos don't show the rest of the 24 hours of living with Endy and so I wonder how it goes when Cindy has to deal with the rest of her world.
 "easily led, taught, or controlled"
One of my mentors spoke of one of his dogs in explaining biddability. When he takes his dogs out on the road and he hears a car coming he tells all of his dogs to go to the side of the road and lie down. There's one young dog who is so sure of what his feeder-walker wants that now when he hears a car, and since he's a dog it is way sooner than when his trainer can hear it let alone give a command, he goes to the side of the road and lies down. That's biddable! 

Another aspect of a herding dog is instinct. This link is an excellent article on distinguishing herding instinct from prey drive. And it also goes into drive and biddability.

We're learning more and more that these traits are heritable. While environment can modify the traits one way or the other, they have to be in the DNA. So breeders will breed for a temperament they want. But the question is: Since there really aren't enough herding and performance enthusiasts out there what traits should we focus on? In my mind the highest priority should be biddability. And something else too.

That something else that isn't brought up very often is attitude. A dog can be high drive, biddable and have wonderful instinct but still have issues. A dog may want to please its owner but more out of anxiety than out of joy in doing so. Just like people dogs can be motivated from both places and you can tell. The anxious dog can't relax, has a more difficult time with playing. Or they can have separation anxiety where they have to be with their person in order to be calm on some level. 

This last item I think is in a grayer area of nature vs. nurture with nurture (environment) being critical in the early life of a puppy and becoming more cemented in the older dog's nature. A dog that grew up in an anxious home might always retain a certain level of that no matter where they live. Conversely, I do think it's possible that a puppy can grow up in a happy environment and still be a worrier. I learned in my genetics class that environment can cause certain genes to remain dormant or be expressed. Maybe this is the way it works with attitude. I do believe you can teach an old dog new tricks but it might be limited to how much change can be had. It depends on the dedication and skill of the trainer and the degree of intensity of the environment that shaped the behavior traits and what the genes say about the essential dog.

I'm by no means an expert on this stuff. But it was an interesting bit of dialog and I felt compelled to share it and open it up to others to share their thoughts.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Rogue's ad

I had some fun learning the software I've had for forever...
The print version will be in the next Bulletin.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Summer Heat Wave


Those aren't temps here in SW Washington. We've barely had any day over 80.

No, they're my final grades in Human Genetics, Human Biology, and Human Biology Lab respectively.

I loved it. And I hated it too. But I mostly loved it.
I just feel like I ran a marathon for 8 weeks. I'm pooped!

(heart showing valves and coronary arteries.)

I think I would like a nap now...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

WHOOP! WHOOP!!!! There it is....

Rogue got an OFA rating of GOOD.


Saturday, July 2, 2011


I have been trying to get to this for a while. Or maybe it's more accurate to say that I have been avoiding it for a while. But I promised someone I would let her know and post an update about a certain puppy and so here it goes.

Shade. I love this puppy. But yet again I had to have a hard conversation with myself on the limitations of being a small scale breeder with a lot of other things on her plate.

A couple of weeks ago someone found me via the Breeder's Directory and asked if I had any available puppies. The more I talked with this person and learned about her family the more I realized I could provide a great home for my girl. Long story short, Michelle and Guy and their 3 young children have brought Shade home.

Her new name is Hero after the Shakespearean character in Much Ado About Nothing.

I am sooooo happy with this family. Shade... er, I mean Hero... is their first dog as a young family. And they're all getting along great from the sound of things. With the exception of one of their cats (not the one in the above photo) but hopefully he'll come around.
Hero will be an easy baby for them to learn on. The whole time I was at their home talking to them about how to teach her things she sat at my feet fully attentive to me, waiting for me to direct her. Very gentle with the children (ages 2, 4 and 6) but happy to be interacting with them too. Love, love, love!!! that gentle, confident demeanor!

Other puppy news:
Wilson (fka Boo) is well and happy with his momma Donna and buddy Rudy.

I will be saving this photo to show how you can tell a Pem from a Cardi without looking at their butts.

Moxie (fka Raven) is doing equally well.

All three of these kids really took after Panda, being athletic and snuggley clowns. They are making their families smile everyday.

Also wanted to pass on some history of the breed. Moxie's mom, Ruth, has been doing a lot of research and happened to fall upon the Norwegian Lundehund. She writes:
"One source suggested that though they have a lot of connections to the Spitzes, they are most closely descended from the "Norwegian Lundehund". (When I look at the different breeds, I could see more Spitz in the Pembroke and more of a Lundehund look to the Cardigan.)

When I looked up the Lundehund, I was quite fascinated by it's similarities to the Cardigans in particular.

They were bred for hunting Puffins in the mountains and are exceptionally agile.

They have 6 toes including an opposible thumb which makes them capable of grasping in a manner similar to humans, making them excellent climbers. They can leap in the air and grab things with their paws. They are the only dog that is capable of spreading it's forelegs straight out to the sides in the same manner as humans. (I checked and Moxie can do this very comfortably also - but not quite straight out.) They are extremely flexible and can fold themselves completely backwards - something I see Moxie doing frequently when sleeping and have wondered how she can possibly be comfortable. They can shut their ears completely to keep out water, etc - Moxie also puts her ears back and down in a similar fashion (though I don't know if the corgi ears are quite as efficient at keeping out water?). I have also noticed that Moxie takes like a mountain goat to climbing."
"Most sites I found feel that there's a connection with the Cardigan to the Lundehund and probably the Dachshunds and the Basset Hound early on and then, later, more Spitz, possibly Vallhund was added to the breed later, producing the Pembroke. Early Cardigans worked as herders in mountainous regions on rough terrain, so a Lundehund connection certainly makes a lot of sense. . .

Moxie closes her ears when she rushes to greet me or when she goes through high grass, and, when she does, she looks just like this Lundehund."

Note: I have started some classes this summer. Human Biology plus Lab for that course. And Human Genetics! It's only been a week but I'm having a blast. On top of gardening, kids and dogs I might be over the top busy for blogwriting!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Postcard from Milo (fka Leila)

Aren't her and her momma pretty?!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Aurigan puppies available!

Dayl Phillip writes:

Here are some photos of the 2 boys. Photos taken just a couple days
less than 8 weeks old.

Bastion is sweet, jet black with full white collar, good bone and
very nice structure, very nice movement too. He'd be in a show home
already except for the extra hair. He'd be good for anything - pet or
performance - or anyone breeding that doesn't mind using a fluffy.

Rainier is going to bright red brindle. Full white collar and splashy
white blaze, white stripe on show side ear. He is very promising with
good reach and push off from the rear already. Show prospect, or Jrs.
prospect. Very outgoing and happy puppy.

They are 9 weeks old and ready to go. 1st shots, wormed 3 times,
started on crate training. AKC reg. applications, simple contract
with health guarantee and pedigree and more go with each puppy.

See them at:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

It Gets Better

This article was written by my mentor and dear friend, Paul Chen. The link will take you to a digital version of the AKC Gazette, June issue.

"A Helping Paw"

It Gets Better website.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

CH Rogue

I checked the AKC website yesterday and it's official. Rogue is CH Toreth C-Myste Rollin' On The River. We should get her certificate any day now. Oh and the medallion and an invite to Eukanuba for getting all her points out of the Bred-By class!

Tomorrow she goes in for her OFA x-rays, hips and elbows... Who me nervous? Well, maybe a little. Her parents' hips are very nice but still we need to be sure.

After that she'll be making her way to the whelping box I think.

Photos by Mark Thorson

Friday, May 27, 2011

Look who's 2 years old!

Happy Birthday to the X-Men litter!! Bred by Toreth and C-Myste. They're all champions to the humans that love them! Thanks for being such awesome families for these deserving babes.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Judgment Day

In case you hadn't heard, a momentous event of biblical proportions was supposed to happen today.

1. The state of being transported by a lofty emotion; ecstasy.
2. An expression of ecstatic feeling. Often used in the plural.
3. The transporting of a person from one place to another, especially to heaven.

So I guess, in a manner of speaking, ...

well, I wouldn't say biblical proportions exactly but

Rogue is now CH Toreth C-Myste Rollin' On The River (pending AKC approval). Thank you Judge Garry K. Newton!

It certainly makes her human ecstatic. But I won't be quitting my paying job right away.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

someone to watch over me

"Why do you think she keeps going down there?"
"Humans have some weird obsession with laundry."
"Glad we don't have that problem!"
"When do you think she'll get around to making our dinner?"

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It's my birthday...

... and I'll bark if I want to!




And the amazing Zelda!

And Little Bear and Karis too!! Happy Birthday you goofballs! We definitely count ourselves as lucky to have had you grace our lives. Love you!!