I went to Banner, MS in March for a week of field training. It is a great group of people to train with. We get a lot done and have fun doing it. Win happened to come into season so I had to pull her from the hunt test I had her entered in the following weekend. It would have been her first senior test. But we still got to come out and play at Coolwater Farms. Sadly for Abner I had to leave the boy at home.

For the good news, it looks like we should have puppies around May 8, 2024. I will take Win in for an ultrasound April 5. I had planned to run her and Abner at the Central Kentucky Retriever Club hunt test at the end of March. Now only Abner is going but he won’t mind being the only dog. I will update as things progress.

Thanks to Justine Embach of Dark Water Labradors for the great pictures you took during training.

I took a few as we were training. It is a perfect afternoon when the weather is beautiful and you can get out to work your dog.

Third Coast to West Coast

I have been busy the last few years. My covid puppy Win and I have been very busy. She has come a long, long way, from her first UKC hunt test where she stressed over the dog in line behind her to not noticing the other dogs because she is so bird motivated now. She has gotten several rally and agility titles, a dock diving title and of course her junior hunter title.

Last spring I got a crazy notion to drive over 5,000 miles round trip to Portland Oregon. I wanted to check out a stud dog. This would allow me to attend The Rose City Labrador Retriever Club Specialty and other events along the way. And I have a sister in Portland I had not seen in years.

It was truly an amazing trip. It was a challenge to coordinate dates and events but it all worked out. Our first stop was in Colorado Springs for a rally trial. We obtained our fist Rally Excellent leg. Then that weekend we drove up to Castle Rock to run in the Mile Hi Golden Retriever Club agility trial. We had some fun and challenging courses but she did not qualify. We were there for the experience.

Our next stop was Mountain Green, UT for the Golden Spike Dog Obedience Club agility trial. Again there for the experience. David Nauer was judging, he is one of my favorites with big open flowing courses. I’ll have to say we got a lot of distance practice in but she didn’t qualify but came close a few times. We have struggled with start line stays. Lots of friendly people and great lunches for workers.

Next stop Portland, OR for the Rose City Labrador Retriever Club Specialty. My sister came out to join me at the beautiful Champoeg Sate Park. The club provided some wonderful lunches each day. It was a very pleasant laid back outdoor show. We went out early one morning to compete in Rally. Win managed to qualify with a first place in Rally Excellent.

My sister and I did manage to have a little fun other than the dog show. We drove out to the beach at Lincoln City, much to my surprise it was dog friendly. We had a great time walking the beach. When we decided we were hungry we stopped at Chinook’s Seafood Grill for a to go order. We had the dog with us so we found a wonderful little park to enjoy the Bay Shrimp and Crab Cake Melt. It was a perfect day for a picnic.

We spent one afternoon at Potter’s Vineyard and Clay Art Gallery. It too was dog friendly so Win got to enjoy sitting out under the trees while we were enjoying the wine, food and conversation. The proprietors are great and they have the sweetest yellow lab, Terra, to great the guests.

As we headed back home we stopped once again in Colorado Spring to spend time with my sisters and brother. I entered the Pikes Peak Agility Club trial out in Latigo. Win did mange to finish her Fast Novice preferred title.

Six Weeks Old Today

With the beautiful spring weather I want to take the puppies out to play but I will wait until after next week when they have had their shots. Outside they have total freedom to run and play. Inside they are more confined. They are always making a mess and have found the water bowl a great place to play. It is constant cleaning and the cat lurking somewhere unseen. It is all fun and games until some pup turns on the Rumba.

Pups Week Four

Red collar pup decided that he was going over the wall. Once that happened it was time to remove the whelping box. Now they have more room to play and run. Mom is no longer with them at night and they seem to be much quieter. I have always been told that pups will go to the opposite end of the puppy pen to potty. They like to keep their sleeping area clean. I have never found this to work for me. It was always constant cleaning. But this litter seems to get it. They are certainlly making my job easier.

Yesterday the puppies turned five weeks old. They are eating out of the big puppy bowl. All are doing well up on thier feet. And Mom has decided she can spend time away from them. So I went online yesterday to see what dog shows were coming up. I found one over springbreak in Jackson, TN so Win and I will go up for two days. I usually go to Texas for springbreak and then stop in Louisiana for an agility trial on my way home. I am just not there yet, traveling to far from home. Maybe next year.

Photography and Puppies

I have a good friend that is a pet photographer. You have probably seen some of the photos she had done for me on my website. Let me tell you if you have never tried to photograph a litter of puppies before, it is like trying to herd cats. The first time we photographed a litter of eight. It probably took hundreds of photos to get those few perfect pictures where at least one puppy was not a blur. But I would pay her just for the fun of it. And some of the blooper shots were priceless. It was such a good time with lots of laughs.

I remember back in the day taking a photography class in college. We did black and white photography for this class. What fun it was to take all the pictures with film and then develop them in the darkroom. It was so satisfying to manipulate the photos to get the desired effects. Now days we have digital photography and Photoshop.

I always like getting that one photo of all the pups in the whelping box. I tried the other morning and this is what I got. I will try again for a more perfect photo. But his shot always signifies that it is almost time to move the whelping box back out to the shed. Mr. Yellow escaped one day last week, he managed to get himself up on the pigrail and then over the top of the box. At that point the pigrail came out. But it won’t be long until they are all escaping and the whelping box will no longer be needed.

Yesterday afternoon was cold and rainy. So I decided I would put some effort into getting some cute puppy photos. The yellow boy was the most cooperative being a little well fed, tired yet alert. I got some great pics of him. The others not so much as they wanted to walk around and investigate. I will try again later with them. It is easy to get a picture of a sleeping puppy. Maybe next week I will set up the adventure box, wobble board and tunnel and get some video.

Below are some candid photos of the pups from yesterday and this past week. They are now four weeks old. They are playing and barking. I have been letting them out to play and explore. Off course Maggie is always looking for trouble.

Three weeks old today

This was such an exciting morning. The puppies were introduced to thier first meal and they seemed to love it. With the puppies now weighing about five pounds their total combined weight is half of that of Mom’s. Mom is finding it hard to keep up with all the hungry mouths. They are still sleeping this morning with their bellies full. They have changed alot in the last week. From their eyes opening, starting to play and interact with each other and eating on their own . Now the fun begins. Of course Maggie is without her pink collar once again.

I don’t have litters very often as I enjoy training and working my dogs and hate taking the time off. Punch did have a litter last year. I wanted to get her second and last litter out of the way so I could get back to all the events I enjoy. Though many events are certainly limited now. So I thought I maybe I would not enjoy this litter as much; but I was wrong. I find it hard to get to the computer to post pics and videos as I would much rather be playing with puppies. I have spent a few late nights up with them but I don’t mind. It is somewhat sad to see them go at eight weeks. But I have never felt that I could not part with them as many think that might be the case. I know I could not give them all the love and attention they deserve, I want them to be that one special pup. And I certainly enjoy seeing them go to their new homes where they will get all the love and attention I have been sharing with six of them for the last eight weeks.

Puppies first meal

Pups at 12 days

Puppies are now 12 days old. Half of the puppies are tipping the scales at 3 pounds and the others are not far behind. They are starting to get up on thier feet and wobble around. The little white collar boy is starting to open his eyes. A week from today I bet all their eyes will be open.

Red Boy

Puppies are starting to move about more.

Huck puppies

Some gorgeous Huck puppies arrived Saturday morning, five boys and one girl. They are all doing well and Punch is taking good care of them. I had entered Winona in Starkville. I had planned to go over to Mississippi Saturday morning, show and turn around and come home with puppies due Monday. But when Punch’s temp dropped on Friday I knew we weren’t going to make it. It was a good thing I had prepared for puppies last weekend with only a few things to do Friday evening.

Huck and Punch puppies

Huck and Punch puppies due 1/18/21

Just five more days and these babies should be here. When Punch is done with this litter she will retire from motherhood. She can get on with her obedience and agiltiy career without any interruptions. She is such a great little performance dog with lots of drive, intelligence and personality.

I think we have everything ready to go. She has been sleeping in her whelping box that we set up last weekend. The girl is eating three meals a day and asking for more. She was such a great mom with her last litter. My husband is now working from home so I have an extra set of ears and eyes on the pups. Always exciting to have puppies but an amazing amount of work.