Updated: Jan 1
12-4-21 Happy December, a busy month for sure! Once all of Kathy's dogs and puppies left on Sunday, it was time to get the Christmas decorations and tree up. I must not have been in a very festive spirit at first as decorating the tree was not fun at all. For whatever reason, the ribbon I usually love was not co-operating and I ended up not using any of it at all (until a couple days later). The tree actually looked okay with just the red beaded garland and ornaments, but I did end up doing something with the ribbon I had a few days after the fact and that added touch is nice too. Next up was to start taking inventory of gifts I had, needed, and creative ways to give cash to some and am happy to have some plans in motion. I feel a bit better with that knowing that I will be in Orlando mid month until the week of Christmas. Need to be as ready as I can before I leave.
Had a surprise and impromptu breakfast & shopping day with Emily yesterday and it was so nice to get to visit with her finally and catch up on what is going on with her. Hoping she and Matt will be joining the rest of the family here on Christmas morning.
Winston will be leaving to be with the professional handler(s) in just a couple of days. I think I will be fine with him being there; I know they are looking forward to him being there and the chance to show a Biewer Terrier. What I might worry about more so is Winston adjusting to his new way of life for the next two months. No doubt he will be fine after a day or so, but it is that what I worry about more so than me missing having him here. I really, really hope they do well together especially in Orlando and even more especially at Westminster in January, making these professional handler fees worth while.
Biggest news in the past few days is that Dolly has started her second heat cycle, this being day 2. I knew she was due to come in soon and noticing subtle changes in her behavior the past couple of weeks, and some slight interest towards her from Marshall (when he was here) and Winston, I wasn't surprised to notice first blood yesterday. The problem with this is that the timing is not the best. After 2+ puppy-less years I have been anxiously waiting and looking forward to breeding her this cycle. But, here she is in heat and Winston is leaving on Tuesday for two months!! So there will definitely be no Dolly/Winston puppies this time. On to plan 2. . . breed her to one of Kathy's boys (Marshall or Justin). Well, still a problem with the timing; her best chance for breeding days will likely be while we are in Orlando, at the very least the day that we leave. So the only breeding we will be able to get is a quick artificial insemination (AI) when Jim drops me off at Kathy's house the day we leave. If we can get that done, hopefully that one time which will be on day 13 of her cycle, will be enough to get a litter of puppies. Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best.
12/13/21 Well tis the season for "visions of sugar plums....", yet I am feeling more like a season of lumps of coal after this weekend. It was Winston's first time in the show ring with the professional handler, competing mostly with other dogs I was familiar with (and what I considered at least even competition), along with one other one male that I did not know. Three days of shows and Winston was placed as "select dog" each day. A placement yes, and according to Brad and Kathy that was pretty good, since this was their first time out together. I on the other hand, as hard as I try to be okay with the results, am more so a bit disappointed at not having at least one day with a BOB or at the very least a BOS win, and can't help feeling gloom and doom at any decent placements in the Orlando shows, since there will be more (and probably even better) competition. I think part of my disappointment in all of this is that we are paying big time to have Winston with a handler, and I just really want to see some results for the money we are paying. I'm almost wishing that I was the one showing him in the Orlando shows, but I know Winston and the handler need each of these shows pre-Westminster to build on their working relationship before then. But I am really, really hopeful for placements with them that I was unable to get with Winston. . . BOB (resulting with more/better Toy group placements, a Group 1 even with a chance at BIS or at least a RBIS). There is still hope I know, with Orlando and two weekends in January that they will be showing him before Westminster. Oh how I pray that he will get a BOB or BOS placement, and/or at least the Select Dog placement at Westminster. If not one of those there is still the possibility of Award of Merit, but I am really hoping for nothing less that BOS. Maybe that is my problem. . . . . . I am hoping for to much. But really it is not to much.
Another lump of coal concerning me is Dolly and her heat cycle. We are on day 11 and similarly to her first heat cycle I am noticing that she doesn't seem to swell a lot. Okay, her first cycle I may have thought, "maybe I don't remember exactly what it's like since it had been quite a while since having a girl in heat", but after Skye had her first cycle a few months later and seeing her swelling, I knew that she seemed much larger in comparison to Dolly. This second heat cycle for Dolly is much the same as her first, so of course I am paranoid that she will be difficult to get bred (naturally or by AI), OR if there will be an issue with using her for breeding at all.??? Of course, worried me went to the internet googling about heat cycles and swelling and it sounds like she is swollen normally (for her), and that some dogs will swell more than others. So, maybe it's all in my head as I always seem to think the worst. Guess we'll see how it goes on Wednesday when we take her to Kathy's for a hopeful natural or AI breeding with Marshall.
On a brighter note, last Saturday Kristen, Crisler, and Jenny came over and we had our traditional Christmas cookie and candy making day. We had a fun day and a bag of sweets went home with everyone. Sweet Gage was there also and all day he wanted nothing more than to take a plate of treats to the neighbor. Once we had everything made, I made up a tray of treats, but unfortunately when he took them next door, no one was home.
Today is Monday. . . . . off to Orlando on Wednesday! I am excited for the trip and the little get away, feeling comfortable knowing that all of my Christmas shopping and wrapping is ready so there will be no panic when I return with just 5 days til Christmas. And though I feel somewhat bummed about Winston's placements this past weekend, and because of that, less than hopeful for much of anything (showing with the handler) due to the number of Biewer Terriers competing in Orlando, I know once we get there it will be a week filled with fun and friends. I am excited that I will at least get to show Winston in the NOHS Finals on Friday and am hopeful that we will have a better chance at doing well competing with just 5 other Biewer Terriers.
12-14-21 What a difference a day makes! All of the boo hoo's about the select placements in this past weekends shows have been replaced with a great big smile and excitement hearing earlier today that Winston won Best of Breed in Orlando today showing against 30-some other Biewer Terriers! I was able to watch him live on TV showing in the Toy Group ring and even though he didn't place there, it was so awesome to see it. I've got hope again, having this happen and hearing good things from Brad (who was there and talked with David Harper after their win). I hope their luck, their expertise, their bond will continue through the week and on into January and Westminster. Kathy and I leave for Orlando tomorrow and I am so anxious to see Winston and David in action.
12/20/21 .....and our trip to Orlando is in the books! Our travel to and from went without a hitch. There was no snow to hinder our travel, but instead a forecast of spring/summer like storms with extremely high winds. Fortunately it held off until the evening hours and though it did delay our flight out of Kansas City, we got to Orlando albeit a couple of hours later than planned. It was a fun and VERY busy week, so exciting to see and hold Winston again, and to see he and David in action together. Much excitement as well as some "meh" feelings on the non-win days, but all in all happy with their accomplishments, and seeing the bond that Winston and David are forming. All in all I'd say Winston did very well showing against so many (up to 40+ other Biewer Terriers) with the BOB win on day 1 and finishing the week with a BOS win in the AKC National Championship show on Saturday. Between those shows, on Friday in the NOHS Finals Winston and I came out with a BOS placement. Not quite what I was hoping for, but happy that he did at least get the BOS win. Kathy and I were so happy to finally get to meet David Harper and his wife Jennifer, and found them to be two really nice people, and seeing them with Winston ensured us that Winston was in good hands. They both mentioned more than once how much they enjoyed/loved Winston and when Kathy asked Jennifer if she thought Winston had a chance to "do something" in Westminster, she replied that he absolutely did, describing him as being a very competitive dog compared with the others. I totally agree. It was evident to me that Winston was just as good or better than many of the Biewers that were showing in Orlando, and in my opinion the main thing that may be holding him back is his blue/gray coloring on his back, even though it is approved in the standard. He showed VERY well for David in each of the shows.
On another note, with Dolly in heat and coming up on being in "standing" heat with no Winston to breed to and Kathy & I leaving for our trip, we decided to breed Dolly to Kathy's boy Marshall via AI on the day we left for our trip (which was day 13 of her cycle) and another for good measure on the day we returned from our trip, day 18 of her cycle. Both days Marshall did show interest and tried to mount her and Dolly seemed receptive to him. So I'm hopeful and keeping my fingers crossed that there will be a litter of puppies on the way.
Christmas festivities are up next; 5 days and counting. . . . . . .
12/26/21 Christmas 2021 is in the books, and another one without Matt included. I think he toyed with the idea of coming for a little while, but as usual in the end decided not to come. I go back and forth with my feelings about it; frustrated, sad, mad. . . .and trying to understand or to remind myself that his depression is a sickness. He also said it was not that keeping him away as much as it is the Covid crap still looming over us all, but I think that though that may be part of it, it is also an excuse for him to stay home. He did however tell me to check with John and Crisler to see if they were up to coming to my house on the 1st of January so that they could finally meet him; that he really wasn't comfortable coming on Christmas due to the amount of people together in the small area of the living room/kitchen. So for now, that is set up, but we will see if he changes his mind when the time comes. Hopefully he won't.........
Other than Matt (and Brandon, because it was his weekend to work) not being here for the festivities we did have our usual fun gathering. The now traditional Christmas bacon monkey bread, eggs, sausage, muffins, and beverages were served before opening presents. John, Crisler, and DK came dressed in their matching Christmas pajamas (something I've always thought would be fun if we all did, and it was obvious that they were very excited and happy to be celebrating their first Christmas together as a family. It seemed that those that asked for money or gift cards were happy with the so called creative way I tried to make the gift more "fun". I was especially pleased with Jesse's reaction to his "money Christmas tree", since for the most part he seems to be the usual non emotional showing teenage boy. Kristen and Gage, Emily, and Allie and Jesse left shortly after gift opening was over, but Jenny and John and family stuck around into the mid afternoon. After they were gone it was just a quiet rest of the day watching Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel. On to the new year to see what that brings. . . . looking ahead to Westminster in January and hopefully puppies in February......fingers crossed!!
12/29/21 WELL, didn't think I'd be making this entry in my blog!! Was notified today that Westminster has been postponed due to this damn covid pandemic! Now mind you, I don't mind not having to go to New York in the dead of winter, but the bad part is figuring out what to do about Winston. . . . .bringing him home?, before or after the two shows in January?, and how do we get him home?...... Right now we are leaning at leaving him with the handler through the two shows in January, then bring him home until Westminster whenever that may be. But just what a mess this is making of things having had everything all planned out. Just talking with Brad McDannald about it and he said something about being surprised David (the handler) has not mentioned getting a sponsor for Winston the rest of the year because he loves Winston so much. That would be so cool! But the fact is he has not mentioned it; now that I know of that option I kind of wish he would. Anyway, for now our flights to New York have been cancelled, will cancel the hotel tomorrow, then we wait and see when Westminster will be held and start over. What I'd really like is for this stupid pandemic to be DONE!