Updated: Apr 23
4/5/22 April showers bring May flowers, but more importantly for me is that April will finally get me back into the show ring come mid month when Kathy and I go to Grand Island. It seems weird that I have not shown Winston since last December (though he did go to Des Moines in February with Kathy). It will feel good to get back in the ring with him again. I will also be taking/showing Major, Kathy's pup from the litter that I raised and now living with Valerie Smidt. She is unable to go and Major was needed point-wise for a possibility for Champ to get his Champion title, so when Valerie asked of course I said yes. She and Larry will be dropping him off here at home this coming weekend so that he can get accustomed to new surroundings and me before the Grand Island show the following weekend. Right now the plan is that he will also stay with us through the end of April and go to Tulsa, OK with us as well. The Tulsa, OK show happening April 30 - May 1 will also be where/when we leave Winston with the Harpers for Westminster.
The puppies are now over 7 weeks old and finally have names; Lila, Lexi, and Levi. They had their first vet check up and puppy shots yesterday and all checked out healthy & well. Dr. Rhine did find a very small umbilical hernia on Levi but was not to concerned and said that it could be repaired when he gets neutered. I've also read online that there is a possibility that if small enough it could possibly close on its own by 3 or 4 months of age. I hope that's what happens. Levi's new family are falling in love with him through the pictures and updates they've gotten and are anxious to meet him. Saturday, April 23rd is the date they set for a quick trip here to come meet him since he will be with us until mid June due to a vacation they have had planned for over a year. They've announced on their Facebook page about their new family member so I know they are excited!
4/13/22 Well darn, that didn't work out the way we wanted it to. . . . Valerie & Larry brought Major on Sunday to stay with us with the idea that I would keep him and show him through his AKC Champion title. Though Major seemed to be happy the two days he was here, he would not eat anything at all by himself so I was resorting to spoon feeding him as I did for the last 6+ weeks with Dolly. But with Major only weighing shy of 5 lbs, and maybe because he was more stressed than he seemed, he did have a hypoglycemic episode on Monday evening, causing Valerie to decide that it would be better to bring him back home, so they returned on Tuesday to take get him. Our routine here is MUCH different than what Major is used to and for some reason he was highly interested in Dolly (as if she was in heat) so he spent a lot of time following her around trying to mount her. These I think were major reasons for his stress level as well. Disappointing to say the least that our plan did not work out, as I was looking forward to having that beautiful little boy to show, and the timing was perfect with Winston leaving once again for his Westminster adventure at the end of the month. leaving me with no dogs of my own to show. This also means that Major will not going to the Grand Island show this coming weekend (or Tulsa), but I will have Winston to show, as well as a pup or two that Kathy is bringing. The litters she's had are all getting close to or are at 6 months of age and old enough to show, so she will have her hands full.
Dolly's puppies continue to do well and are over 8 weeks old now. Valerie was able to see them and liked what she saw and seems to think the girls will turn out well. Levi's new family will be coming to meet him on April 23rd; I think they are going to be very pleased with their very fluffy, loving, and playful little boy.
And last but not least, I did it! Wanting (but not wanting) to cut Skye's hair, and after getting the "just DO IT" from Kathy and Valerie, I finally did it. She got a bath and a hair cut yesterday and for as much as I hesitated cutting it because I thought her coat was so pretty, oh my she looks adorable with the shorter cut. She looks like a puppy again and no doubt she will be so much more comfortable now, especially when the weather gets warmer. My next ordeal will be when it's time to think about cutting Winston's coat down when he is truly down showing. That will be another hard decision to make
.4/19/22 It felt so good to be back in the ring again and Winston being the "natural" that he is showed really well! Winning BOB/BOBOH both Saturday and Sunday (there was one other adult bitch as competition being shown by a handler), we of course were eligible to move on to the NOHS and Toy groups and won a Toy Group 4 on Saturday and NOHS Toy Group 3 on Sunday. The BOB's gave him two 5 point major wins making his total points towards his GCHS title at 147 out of the 200 needed. With Tulsa, OK show coming up in two weeks and then on to more shows with David/Jennifer Harper (handler) I think there is a pretty good chance he will reach that goal maybe even before Westminster in June. Still kind of sad to retire his show career after that, but by then it will be time to show Dolly's girls and hopefully I will have more success in the ring with them.
4/20/22 Well, I don't know what to think or do besides make a post here to get things off my chest. Kathy took Winston to her vet today to get his teeth cleaned and while there I had her also check his knees hoping for a 0/0 so that I would be able to breed him with Skye (per Christine's contract). To my very unpleasant surprise, his left knee was found to have a Grade 2 patella issue! This not only means that I can't breed him with Skye, but from what I've read, in reality means that he shouldn't be bred at all. What the hell!!!???!! After coming so far with him in the show ring (almost a GCHS, Westminster invitee, etc.) and after all of the $$$$ we've spent on him in his show career, I can't even fathom not using him for breeding. . . . . . . once at least to try and get a nice pup from him, especially since Kathy has had multiple litters with him. The only connection I have with a pup out of him is our co-owned boy Champ who so far is doing well in the ring, but lives with and is being shown by Kathy. Needless to say I am totally bummed, sad, and depressed about it all, taking away some of the excitement of Westminster, feeling pointless if having him as a stud may be down the drain. For now I think I plan to take him to my vet after Westminster for a second opinion, for whatever it will be worth (hoping to bring it down to a Grade 1), and then go from there. No doubt I am leaning toward breeding him at least once with Dolly before making any decisions. Of course Kathy will have her say in this as well since we do co-own him. She hasn't said anything about it at all . . . . . . typical of her lately. Our conversations though seeming normal when we do talk, are not as frequent as they had been. I assume we will talk about it in more detail on our trip to Tulsa at the end of the month.
4/23/22 Puppies are 10 weeks old today; weird to think that under normal circumstances they would be ready for their forever homes in 2 weeks. Of course the girls are staying for the time being hoping to get them into the show ring, and LEVI won't be going to his new home until mid June. His new parents did come meet and visit with him this morning, bringing him some toys and I think they were pleased with their fluffy new family member. We sat and visited for about an hour or more and they hope to return for another visit in a couple of weeks.
I spoke with Kathy on the phone the other day with news that Brad was not feeling well and would likely be going to the hospital. With that, they of course will not be at the show in Tulsa so Kathy had to pick up the dogs they had and it seems we will have our hands full showing lots, and lot of dogs/puppies. Hopefully we can find some help at the show or its going to be a bit crazy. We spoke a bit about Winston's knees; Kathy too seems unsure of the Grade 2 seeing that neither of us has seen any sign of it in his walking, running, etc. and agreed that maybe a second opinion is in order. Keeping my fingers crossed for a better diagnosis, but again it will be after
Westminster. Hope & pray in the meantime........