Wednesday, March 21, 2012

And the winner is...

Recently I posted some pix of Miss Abby, as Randy Thomsen calls her, and asked for guesstimates as to how many puppies she might have. Well yesterday we took xrays and we saw 8 puppies. So whoever guessed 8, oh wait, that was me, guessed correctly. There were guesses anywhere from 7 to as many as 10. I was a little nervous before the xray for two reasons. Number 1, Abby came from a very large litter, 16 puppies! The sad thing was that they didn't all survive and I would be devastated if anything like that were to happy to Abby. The other reason was a more obvious one, she is HUGH!

Well, now that pregnancy is not only confirmed but puppies are counted, of course there can always be a surprise puppy you didn't see, it is now time to get the puppy room ready. I haven't used my whelping and puppy stuff since BG had her puppies last June. So it will be fun getting everything out, cleaning it off and putting the room together. Once I have done that and actually have Abby in the room everything will become more real and that's when the pins and needles start.

Speaking of pins and needles, many years ago I had a litter of puppies. Out of my INT/NAT CH Smiln Dal Skies The Limit and CH Proctor's Starship Enterprise. When the puppies were 6 weeks old, I took them to the home of Ken and Eva Berg for their hearing test to be done. The Berg's are fortunate to have a vet who comes to their house to BAER test puppies and it was great that they invited me there to test my litter.

During our visit, we talked about just how many things there are to Dalmatian Puppy development and that before they are old enough to fully evaluate there are a great many unknowns. First thing is of course whether or not you are having puppies at all. But after that, there is spotting, eye color, hearing, dentition, temperament and last but not least, conformation. You don't want a puppy who is going to be too lightly or too heavily spotted for the show ring, although they make fine pets. You would prefer dark eyes as light eyes are a fault and blue eyes, while not a fault, are not desired. You want your puppies to all be bilaterally hearing, no deaf ears. Next the standard calls for a scissors bite, meaning
the top teeth fit nicely over the bottom teeth. Neither over by too much on the top or behind the bottom teeth. Temperament is very important. While most puppies will have a suitable temperament for a pet home, a show potential puppy needs to be stable, yet outgoing and confident in order to be a star in the ring. Then you have of course the conformation of the puppy, it's structure. Everything part needs to be in it's proper place creating the proper balanced picture or outline. This is crucial as anything not meeting that standard will maybe not stand correctly or move the way a Dalmatian is supposed to move. The Dalmatian is a coaching breed, it is supposed to be capable of endurance and anything that restricts or makes for an improper gait will hinder the dog from being able to fit that bill.

Anyway, that being said, I made the comment that waiting for all these puzzle pieces to come together was like being on pins and needles. I further said that one day I would name a puppy Smiln Dal's On Pins And Needles. Well, this litter is as good as any to use that name on one of the puppies. So, as things progress, I have a couple of themes in mind. One of course being a 'waiting' them such as 'pins and needles', or 'edge of my seat', things like that. The other idea I had in mind goes along with Abby's primary owner Mike's profession, he has a package delivery business. So I had thought about FedEx or UPS or Parcel Post, get it? So I will be open to suggestions along those lines and we will just 'wait and see', oh there's a good one, how it turns out.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

What's brown and white and big all over?

The answer is my sweet Abby.

I met Mike, Abby's primary owner today to bring Abby home so I can take her in for an xray some time this week. We want to try to determine just how many puppies to expect so that we can plan for the delivery.

Abby is CH PHD's Ravin Reviews and was bred by Patrick and Linda Jones in Montana. She is owned by Mike Bryan and myself. Abby finished her AKC Championship in 2011 with 3 majors and a few single points. All owner handled.

Abby was bred to CH Rashars Remember When, who is owned by Annelle Wilterding and Randy Thomsen. Oliver finished 2010 among the Top 20 Dalmatians in the United States and competed at the 2011 DCA National Top 20 event that was held in Kentucky. Here is a pic of Oliver.

As you can see, Abby is pretty big considering she is not a big girl, only about 20 inches at the shoulder and normally about 40 pounds. She came for a very large litter but I am hoping for a litter of about 8 or 9. Oliver is liver factored so we should get both black and liver spotted puppies in this litter.

The litter is Futurity nominated ith the Dalmatian Club of America. Which means Abby's puppies will be eligible to compete in a futurity stakes at the DCA National in 2012. Hopfully there will be plenty of nice puppies to choose from to take back to Missouri next year!