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Updated: 2 days ago

6/14/24 Summer fun is getting into full swing. Our sister swim days at Mark & Karen's pool have started and are just as wonderful as always! Jim and I also decided to go ahead and join the Oak Hills pool in Ralston, so with Jenny & Brandon frequenting it as often as they can, and with Kristen also getting a membership, it might be a fun summer meeting up there. With guest passes available, I am hoping to get John and family to join us sometimes as well.

Dolly's pups are 8 week old today; still doing great. They went in for their first check up and puppy vaccines and got rave reviews from Dr. Grant. She seemed impressed with my breeding which made me feel good. Coming up on 8 weeks, I decided I'd better start looking for a pet home for Otie and was excited after sending an email to Debbie Frye, (a Heartland family member from my "F" litter 9 years ago), who had expressed interest late last year in adding another Biewer to their family replied that she was still interested and after seeing the photo of Otie that I sent in the email, actually set up a day to come see him. She and her adult daughter Averie visited this past week, fell in love with him, and decided to adopt him. He will actually be Averie's dog who will be moving into a house of her own in a month or so, right about when Otie is ready to leave here. Debbie also mentioned "still wanting another one" (a female), and said that she was in no hurry and that she would even consider Dolly when she was retired from breeding. This also made me very happy knowing that I may already have a place for her when the time comes. I told her I would probably be breeding her one more time on her next cycle. So we'll see . . . . .

Matt is doing okay, had a really bad low blood sugar reading a week ago while I was visiting where they even called 9-1-1. The paramedics got his blood sugar back up to normal range at the facility, so thankfully he did not end up in the hospital. We think an issue with his Dexcom monitor and/or his insulin pump was the cause, but not sure.

Looking forward to more dog shows, but probably none to go to until July sometime. Amber, 8 months old now, is maturing nicely and I'm anxious to get her back in the ring. She is a nice solid 6 3/4 lbs. I ordered her some beautiful new bows for when we start showing again. When AKC website finally got the points up from the Lincoln, NE show I was excited to see that she received 2 points for her BOB win(s) against Kathy's 2 girls, AND even ore excited when I noticed that they gave her a 3 point MAJOR win for Saturday's show when somehow one of Christine's girls that were NOT there got marked as being there, which with the one additional dog "there" gave Amber the additional point for the "major". YaY!! Connie is still up in the air about showing Finn, putting him on a diet of sorts hoping to control his weight.

6/3/24 Moving into summer this month; swim days will be starting soon. The kids (or grand-kids in my case) are out of school and we have Gage scheduled to spend a few weeks of the summer days with us, this first week of June being one of them. My 70th birthday on the 31st of May has come and gone without too much hurrah. Jim and I had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory and shared a piece of salted caramel cheesecake for dessert. Earlier in the day we picked up my free birthday bundtlet at NBC and ended up buying a dozen bundtinis to take home and share with anyone that stopped by, as well as taking one to Matt so that he could celebrate my birthday too. On Saturday (the day after) Kristen and Jenny picked me up in the morning and we went to the Old Market to walk around, and had brunch at a place called the Twisted Fork. John met us there and joined us afterwards for the remainder of our walk around downtown. When we got back home, Jenny had called Brandon to join us there and we all spent the rest of the day on the patio and cooked burgers and brats on the grill. A pleasant surprise when Emily texted me a belated happy birthday and when I told her what we were doing, she decided to join us! As distant as she always seems to be I still love any chance to have her included in the family. Now if she would just go visit her dad regularly. She did mention that whenever she had been there he seems to shun her, and I tried explaining to her it was because she has been so distant and that if she visited more often/regularly that would change.

Dolly's pups are going on 7 weeks old now, still nursing and eating some kibble and/or wet food, but not as regularly yet, as I would like. I still make sure Dolly eats plenty of food to keep up her milk supply but I feel like this is about the time to think about shutting down the milk bar. But I need to see the pups eating on their own more before I feel comfortable doing that.

Dog shows are slim so far; I refuse to go to any knowing that Biewer numbers are slim to none (besides us) meaning no points to earn which makes going pointless. And now earlier today, Connie brought Finn over to get a weight on him and found that he is slightly above the 8 lb top tier of the standard weight, so she is bummed and I doubt will want to continue to show him. So, maybe a good thing there are no shows to go to in the near future. Will I need to go alone? Will she travel with me, get another pup? And or there is the possibility that maybe, hopefully one or two of Dolly's boys will be show prospects. We'll have to wait and see, but I hope so.

5/26/24 The pups are 5 weeks old now, growing fast and getting very active and fun. Will be setting up the pen in the living room this coming week to give them some all day stimulation and getting them accustomed to everyday noises and the sights and smells of the other dogs in the house. They officially have names now; Oliver, Otie, and Oscar with their registered names yet to be determined. Not sure I like the "Oh, . . . . ." idea anymore, but we'll see.

Had the "sisters" birthday dinner for my & Dodie's birthday the other day w/dinner at Duffy's house. The food and little gifts were good/fun as always, but how I wish I was just a little bit more like all of them so that I could feel that I fit in. They all can sit and chit chat about so many things whereas I don't/can't causing me to feel left out and less loved, and it's not fun. Still, it's not that I don't want to be included, but even being a part of it all I still end up feeling left out. :(

Right now, I'm not sure when or where our next dog show will be. I told Connie that I really don't want to go to shows where there is no competition because there is not point then to the expense of entry and travel fees.

5/19/24 We had our first day of showing in Lincoln, NE yesterday, this time with a little competition in two of Kathy Totten's Biewers. This was the first time seeing Kathy since she ended (what I thought was) our friendship; she didn't say a word to me all weekend meaning I guess that she has not put the past behind her, and though sad, no words are better than starting an argument. At least that initial meeting is over with. Valerie and Larry Smidt were also there with her and they were friendly, but still being friends with Kathy, our friendship will not be the same. Could be that we were friends only because I had been friends with Kathy. Not meaning to be snobby but truthfully neither of them were much to contend with. One that I believe was 6 months old was VERY tiny and did not walk well in the ring, the other I think was in the 12 months class and seemed long bodied with shorter than average legs. Her coloring was okay but her coat was not very well maintained (typical for Kathy's dogs as I remember). So needless to say, Amber did win Best of Winners and BOB/BOBOH. I missed getting into the regular Toy Group ring (not paying enough attention) but that didn't bother me to much knowing that Amber likely would not get a placement, and unfortunately there was no love for her in the NOHS toy group ring. But at least Amber has her first (1) point towards her champion title. Not surprisingly, todays wins were the same as yesterday. Poor Connie is having a hard time getting any 1st place wins with Finn. I hope it's not due to his being on the bigger end of the standard and more to the fact that he AND CONNIE still need lots of practice. IMO, Connie coddles him to much, treating him more like a pet than a show dog, and she herself needs a lot more practice (and sternness) working on getting him to stand on the table. IF Finn does not work out as a show dog I'm hoping that Dolly's two boys will, and I hope to let Connie show one of them. But we'll have to see about that as it will be a while before they are even old enough to show in the 4-6 month beginner puppy ring.

5/12/24 Yikes! Just about 2 weeks have past and here we are, well into the month of MAY. I guess tending to Dolly & her pups, mixed with getting ready for our sisters trip to Florida, visiting with Matt and just taking care of business as usual has kept me busy. Dolly's pups are just over 3 weeks old and doing well. Their eyes opened right at 2 weeks and after a 5 day trip to Florida they went from crawling around on their bellies to get around, to walking a bit on all fours, sitting up, and playing with each other, along with making cute little tiny puppy growls and barks. They are showing interest in Dolly's wet food when I've had it in the crate and I will no doubt be moving them into a bigger pen later this coming week. My sisters trip to Florida was as good of a time as last year. Michelle & Denise made such fun plans for while we were there and are such awesome hostesses. The weather was perfect each & every day. I think my favorite day was our day at Jax beach; sun, sand, and the ocean . . .my favs!

Exciting news of this post is about mine & Amber's first time in the show ring! The show was in Grand Island, NE; I hadn't really intended to go since it was immediately after returning home from Florida but Connie talked me into it. There was no competition in the breed ring, so no points to earn, but that also meant no real pressure for Amber's debut which is kind of why I decided to enter. Good chance for practice and acclimating her to the noise and commotion of a dog show. She definitely was a bit overwhelmed and we've got lots of work to do with her, but she did show a bit more at ease on the second day of the show. Of course with no competition, her wins in the breed ring were a given, BUT what a nice surprise when we earned a GROUP 3 placement in the NOHS Toy Group with compliments from the judge of how nice of a Biewer Amber is and that she felt that Amber should do well as she matures, stating that she had judged many Biewers in the past even before they became full AKC. Another show coming up next weekend in Lincoln, NE.

4/30/24 With Dolly not eating on her own and having had thrown up 2-3 of her meals in the past couple of days, I decided to err on the side of caution and take her to the vet to see if anything was wrong. I really didn't expect anything, as she has been acting perfectly normal otherwise and still taking good care of her puppies. But with me being gone for almost a week starting on Friday, I wanted to be assured that she was well so that Jim didn't run into any big issues while I'm away. As expected, Dolly checked out perfectly fine at the vet and per my request was given a few doses of Entyce, an appetite stimulant that might help getting her to eat on her own; that or as always at some point her appetite really kicks in as the puppies demand more from her body. But at least now, knowing that she is healthy I feel more comfortable leaving them in Jim's care.

4/27/24 Dolly's puppies are now 1 week old and all three are doing well. They all have reached or surpassed the "double your birth weight at 1 week" mark and seem healthy & content. Two of the boys are very chubby whereas the last born pup and the smallest of the three is gaining slower than his brothers, but still content. Dolly is being the attentive mother she's always been with each of her litters, and as with previous litters she is needing to be hand fed, showing no interest in eating on her own just yet. So spoon fed canned food and/or Stella & Chewys rehydrated raw mixed with kibble is her diet for now until she decides to eat on her own. Past experience is this will happen as the puppies demand more from her and her real hunger kicks in. I will be getting ready for a fun 5 day trip with the sisters to Florida this week so will have to make sure to leave detailed instructions for Jim on how to feed and care for Dolly and her puppies while I'm gone. The pups will be 2 weeks old on the day that I leave; I'm hoping that they will maybe have their eyes open before I leave for the airport.

Connie (across the street) talked me in to going to the dog show in Grand Island the weekend after I get back from Florida with her so I entered Amber. I figured there likely would not be much if any competition there, but it will give her and myself a little practice before the Lincoln show the following weekend. Connie will be showing Finn in the 4-6 month beginner puppy shows.

4/19 IT'S BIRTH-DAY for Dolly's puppies! Overnight I was awakened a couple of times hearing Dolly nesting and walking the floor a bit; nothing like she was in actual labor (no panting or shivering), so I just talked to her a little bit & let her in bed with me for just a while. At around 4 am I heard more nesting and saw that she was snuggled in a couple of folded crate pads; when I tried to get her to come to me she didn't move and seemed uncomfortable. This is when I decided she was definitely in early labor, so I got up to get myself and things ready. The first puppy was born around 7:45 am, a large 6 5/8 oz male. When the sac emerged all I could see was/were his foot/feet and when enough was showing that I could help pull I noticed that he was also facing up towards Dolly's back rather than down towards her tummy as it should be. A bit stressful, but I was able to get him turned enough while pulling and delivered him alive and wiggling. Pup #2 was born about and hour and a half later at 9:05. Again, a bit stressful when the head began to emerge along with a small fluid filled sac. Once the head was completely out I was a bit worried for the puppy being choked with Dolly's vagina around the neck, but I stepped in "hands/fingers on" and was again able to deliver him (another male) alive and well. This was another good sized puppy weighing 6 oz. Dolly settled down then being a very attentive mama (as she's always been), and the third puppy didn't arrive for another 2 hours, all the while with that small fluid filled sac hanging out. I've seen this once before with one of my other girls a long time ago but this was before any pups were born rather than in between puppies. I couldn't remember for sure what it was or what if anything I should do about it. Just as I was about to call the vet Dolly started pushing again and I noticed that the sac I'd seen was getting bigger and then realized that the small sac was just a portion of the water sac that the third puppy was in. I was so glad that I didn't decide to pop it earlier! The 3rd puppy was another male weighing a much more manageable size of 5 1/4 oz. Whether that is way it seemed he slipped out easily or because of the sac protruding I'm not sure. Now, one more puppy to go, or so I thought......... but after waiting another 2 -3 hours with no puppy and Dolly very settled I decided to call the vets office, just too verify that they too see 4 puppies on the x-ray rather than the 3 that I was originally told. As it turns out, after explaining to them that I could clearly see 4 skulls/spines on one of the photos sent to me, I was told that only one view was taken on Monday (showing 3 puppies) and the additional views I had been sent were x-rays from her previous litters; that they had no way to send just the one. Oh geez, that would have been nice to know ahead of time. But at least now I knew that Dolly's labor and delivery was done and we have 3 healthy puppies! They are all pretty nicely marked, with only one of them with a slight color fault having black on the front of his neck. The other two are very similarly marked and at this time look promising color-wise for the show ring. Fingers crossed to have my first bred-by to take into the ring in the future.

4/15 At the x-ray this morning I was told Dolly is having 3 puppies again, without being shown a picture of the x-ray as was done in the past. (a different vet that I wasn't to impressed with) HOWEVER, when the copies of the x-rays arrived via email later in the afternoon it is very clear to see 4 skulls and spines; what a great surprise!!! There was one image where only 3 could be seen; I suppose the vet only took the time to look at that one (again, not impressed with her at all). Dolly is maybe eating a little less these past couple of days, I assume due to her crowded belly, but is otherwise doing well. Now we just wait for the big day. With Charlie's visitation and funeral tonight and tomorrow morning I'm hoping she waits until Wednesday at the earliest before going into labor.

Amber's dental to have 8 puppy teeth removed went well and didn't seem to bother her much. I am so glad to have that done, and immediately it seemed her bite looked better to me. Is it possible that the two upper canines needing to be pulled could do that??? (I wouldn't think the back ones would make much difference); Maybe . . . . . Entries opened up for the show in Lincoln in mid May and I got her entered right away. Very excited to get back in the ring!

Not much else going on this past week; time to wait for puppies!

4/9 Wow! According to my scale and documentation from this last week to now, Dolly gained 11 ounces this past week! That seems like a lot; the largest one week gain I've ever seen is 8 ounces. I sure hope it slows down a bit with still about two weeks to go, and I'm hoping for a larger litter than her usual 3 puppies, wanting a safe and easy whelp for her (and me). Other than that, she is doing well. Her appetite has been good which might explain her big weight gain, and with her growing belly I've noticed that she is having a bit more trouble jumping onto the furniture, opting to take the doggie stairs to the couch more often than not. I've gotten the whelping supplies out and took inventory of things I need. I also set up the nursery crate that will be home for Dolly and pups for the first few weeks, getting things ready for the big day.

Amber is doing great and such a wild child! Wanting to get her puppy teeth pulled I called 24th Street Animal Clinic (where we used to go) to see if they had any sooner openings for a dental. I was glad to hear that they could get her in later this week (on the 11th) to get it done. I did have to take her in for a wellness check up for their records. The drive to the office reiterated one reason why we no longer go there (6 miles vs 2 blocks), and when I paid the bill for her "office visit" another reason was obvious with them being quite a bit more expensive, That's when I remembered that when we left them a few years ago the practice was being sold and going corporate causing the rise in prices. But, I will go with it this time in order to get Amber's puppy teeth removed sooner rather than later.

In family news, sadly Dodie's husband Charlie was taken to the hospital last week by ambulance having trouble breathing. He's been in ICU and his prognosis is grave. For now he is still with us, but all of the out of town family has been called home. The last I heard, he was in a deep sleep with shallow breathing and very low blood pressure and they were just waiting for him to pass.

4/2 Dolly is officially 6 weeks along in her pregnancy and doing good. She is eating on her own terms and as long as she is eating I've decided to let that be enough. With her past pups' birth weights being in the 5-6 oz range I am being cautious not wanting these pups to get bigger than that, actually preferring just a tiny bit smaller would be nice. . . . . .but just as long as they are healthy and born with no difficulties is what is most important. Dolly seems BIG to me for 6 weeks, but I always say that so maybe she's not. She still thinks she pretty agile and will walk the arms of the furniture to get from one place to another. Wish she wouldn't as it makes me nervous that she will lose her balance, mis-step and fall one of these times.

Coming up on one week with Amber here; she is such a PUPPY . . . . all over the place showing no fear and bounding up and down off the furniture. Very athletic; would probably make a good agility candidate if I knew anything about training her for it. I'll stick to conformation though and very anxious to get in the ring with her. She had her initial vet visit yesterday and checked out fine which I knew would be the case. I noticed she still has a few puppy canines and made an appointment to have them pulled but can't get her in until May 1st. Hoping they will come out on their own before them.

Nothing else new, Easter came and went like any other day, Matt doing okay at the skilled nursing facility.


3/27 Amber arrived home today! She immediately fit right in showing no fear in the fact that she was in unfamiliar hands, new surroundings, and amidst other dogs she didn't know. She is a typical happy energetic puppy that loves to play with toys, she eats well, and showed us right away that she can easily jump on and off of the furniture, and . . . . that she has a voice. Her coat seems great, more silky than cottony and I love the nice gold coming through on her head. With her looks and personality I feel that she has a good chance at doing well in the show ring.

3/24 It's getting exciting around here. GREAT news in that as of yesterday I am 100% certain that Dolly is pregnant; puppies due around April 24th. Like magic the night before last, she decided to eat dinner all on her own and is doing okay with eating since then. With that, poof!, her belly started getting rounded. AND . . . Amber is on her way home. Tammy and Jerry left Arizona yesterday and says it will likely be Wednesday when they arrive. Finally, some good things are going on after a rough past 9 months.

3-18 It's official, Amber is coming to the Heartland! Her Wisdom results came back perfect, showing her clear of 250+ genetic tests, but most importantly clear of the CDDY/IVDD gene which her mom carried one copy of. With that it was just a matter of finishing up with contact signed and payment sent. We even have her travel arrangements made either straight home or at least brought a little closer via Tammy Ryker. Tammy and her husband have been spending the last month or so in Phoenix, AZ and will be heading home to Iowa soon. Carol Elkins asked Tammy if she would be willing to bring Amber this way. After talking with Tammy, they will be dropping her off here so it looks like she will be home as soon as next week!

3-16 I received 3 short videos of Carol's puppy walking on a lead, and she looks GOOD! Tail is held up nicely curled over her back and she is walking well; CHECK. Also, Carol said that her current weight (at 23 weeks old) is 5.5 pounds which puts her shy of 7 lbs as an adult which is perfect; CHECK. Hoping for no negatives with her Wisdom panel results; I am ready to bring this puppy home!

3-12 Today marks a full 3 weeks since breeding Dolly/Winston. With her appetite dwindling to next to nothing, having loose stools the past few days, and throwing up a time or two I think it is pretty safe to assume that she is pregnant. I've had a few inquiries/applications come through from people looking for a puppy in the past couple of weeks; I think spring, with the weather getting warmer is a popular time that people start searching for new pets. Still talking with Carol Elkins about her puppy, though no pics this past week because she was out of town. Right now more than anything we are waiting on the results from the Wisdom panel she sent in for the puppy, so it will probably be a couple of more weeks before any decision is made. It will basically come down to whether she carries the gene for IVDD, and whether or not that is or isn't a big issue. I'd really like to NOT have to have it to think about it when the time comes to breed her, so I am hoping that she will show clear. She's such a pretty pup and I like the lines the sire and dam come from so hoping it all works out.

3-5 Conversations with Carol Elkins continue about her 5 month old puppy that I am considering as my new show puppy. The sire and dam health tests are okay as a match for breeding her to Winston in the future. The mom does have one copy of a gene for IVDD and shows her "at risk" rather than "notable". Since the breeder did use her for breeding (to her male who is clear of that genetic marker", I would assume it's nothing to be to concerned about; I'm not even certain that is a breed relevant issue. Carol also did a Wisdom Panel DNA swab on the puppy a few days ago which will be nice to have already done, and should help clear up any uncertainties about whether she is a carrier or not. If there are no issues, I will likely choose to get this puppy, but waiting on additional information, pictures and/or videos before proceeding. Everything is always hurry up and wait but as I have always said, good things come to those who wait. Still, waiting is not fun . . . . The same can be said for the wait and see on whether or not Dolly is pregnant. It's only been about 2 weeks since the breeding's were finished; seems so much longer. Only thing I've noticed is that in the last day or two, though morning meals are being eaten slowly by both her and Winston, Dolly does seem to be eating less as well. Yesterday I even added a cooked egg to the kibble and she just sniffed at it and walked away. Waiting, waiting here too . . . . .

Skye is living with Jenny & Brandon, possibly permanently. They had her there all last week while she was in her standing heat stage, and brought her back on Sunday for a "visit". Even though she was very late in her cycle it seemed Winston was still eager for her, and Dolly would not leave her alone, wanting to show dominance by getting in her face constantly. When Jenny was ready to leave and asked about leaving her or taking her back home I told her it was up to her/them, and back home with Jenny & Brandon she went. I'm hoping the stay will be permanent, but if it does not work out, of course Skye can always come home.


2/29 Yep, 2/29. . . . it's LEAP day. Didn't realize it was leap year until yesterday when I noticed that February had the extra day. Well since it's leap day, let's just leap into the decision to buy a new show puppy shall we? Yikes, I think I'm doing it!! At first, seeing two 3 1/5 month old girls posted on Facebook by a breeder I am familiar with, I messaged her inquiring about one of them. She is keeping one and will sell the other as a show prospect but has not made the decision on which she will keep yet and said she will let me know in a couple of weeks. However, after that conversation I decided to message another lady I am familiar with, Carol Elkins (she in fact now owns LILA, the pup from Dolly's first litter that Deborah Billings took as her pick of the litter). I had often thought about messaging her about Lila, and today decided to do it and why not ask about whether she had any puppies available as well! Surprisingly, I was very surprised when she said that she does have a female puppy that she says she's held back for show and is willing to sell her to me and even better that the pup is already 5 months old. She sent me a few short videos of her and tonight we talked on the phone, and it all seems promising. It certainly looks like I just may be adding a new Biewer to our family soon. Already being 5 months old, we have a better idea of her adult size and of her quality as a show dog. It's not quite a done deal or set in stone just yet, but I think by next week I should know for sure. Happening fast, but I think it will be a good thing and just what I need after all I've been through in the past year. I am so ready to get my life back. 2/23  Dolly/Winston breeding days are done. We did not get any natural ties in, but thankfully I was able to perform several AI's. Because both of her previous litters were born about a week early (according to breeding dates), I did start breeding her earlier this cycle assuming that she ovulates earlier in her cycle. IF we are successful puppies would be due to arrive APRIL 20-24.

2-11  Albeit a bit late, it's a new year and I'm hoping to get back into my more normal life. Things seem to have settled down a bit with Matt; maybe finally into his new normal. Though

not the life he or I would wish for him, it is what it is and we're doing the best we can in getting him taken care of. Since the beginning of all of this in May of last year, he has been in and out of the hospital many times, has had his right leg amputated below the knee, multiple small strokes, and chronic diarrhea, to name just a few of his health problems. Having tried to be his care giver until October of last year, it became very clear that it was much to much for Jim and I to handle. After finally getting him set up on Medicaid he has been in a skilled nursing facility, which though not ideal, is where he needs to be, and much better than alone in his apartment.

Since the beginning of this year things seem to be settling down. It's been a bit over a month now since his last hospital stay and I'm hoping that continues. With him settled into his new normal, I am going to try getting my "normal" life back. So, when Dolly came into heat the other day I decided to breed her hoping to get a litter of puppies, and hopefully a show puppy out of her/Winston. With it having been so long since I've been in the show ring and breeding, I have had thoughts of whether or not this was all a sign that it was time to end that chapter of my life. But all along at the same time, I still found myself drawn to having more puppies and getting back into the show ring. So this litter will kind of be my trial on whether or not this is something that I still want to continue. Connie (across the street with Lexie) bought herself a little male puppy hoping to take him into the show ring, I think wanting me to be her mentor, so all of the possibilities are still around me. Plus, my hope is to breed her male to Skye when he gets old enough, since I likely cannot breed Skye to Winston again. Time will tell what this year holds. . . . .

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