I had a brilliant Idea tonight on my way home from work to start a blog about my dogs. Those of you that know me, know that I do love my dogs and they are a big part of my life. 5 years ago when I brought my first girl, Brandy home, it was with the hope that one day I could breed her and work towards improving the breed. Brandy did not turn out to be a dog that I wanted to breed, although she is an amazing working dog, I feel there are many other things that need to be considered when making the decision to breed.
I brought Ivie home from Europe in the summer of 2009 and it became apparent that she would be my dream girl and hopefully my foundation bitch. The hard part about breeding is choosing a stud dog. There are so many wonderful boys out there, where do you start. For me, it was picking a boy that had a good front and good orthopedics, these are Ivie's weakness' and I really started searching about a year ago. I loved so many boys but Anne Summer's boy Abbott really stood out for me. He has it all, type, temperment and a beautiful head. I couldn't think of a better boy and when I approached Anne about using him, she was just as excited about the possible match as I was. That really made me even more excited as she has so much more experience in these things than I do.
Ivie came into Season last October, while I was up in Canada at the Tradex Show. Arrangements were made and we planned on doing the breeding at that time. As a first time breeder I was so nervous, what if I missed the day that she needed to be bred. I drove my vet crazy, taking her in just about every other day doing progesterone testing. finally the day came, that my vet called me and said I needed to take her to the stud dog....Yeah the time was here. I called Anne and she suggested I come down to Portland the next day and we would breed her at that time. Unfortunately Ivie had other plans. during this time, she had a swollen jaw and my vet thought it was a clogged saliva gland, she assured me it would go away and I didn't need to worry about it...well that night, I had to worry about it. Her throat got really hot and red and she was obviously in a great deal of pain. I packed her in the car and raced off to the emergency vet, hoping to catch the first ferry in the morning, it turned out she had an abscess and it needed to be opened up and cleaned out...all hopes of breeding her at this time went down the drain. I had people tell me that I could put her on antibiotics and still breed her but I could not see the point. She is young, she would come into season again in 6 months and to me, I wanted her completely healthy so that she could have good healthy puppies.
I started to plan my summer around when I thought she would come back into season, around June. My good friend Mary, told me not to plan, these dogs have a way of totally changing your life and just do what you would normally do. So in March I decided to enter Ivie as a special in a dog show about an hour from the house. Her first time in the ring as a special and she won Breed. I was so excited and she showed so well in the group ring for her first time. The next day, I was told that the judge wouldn't put her up and not to expect it. That person was wrong and she won again. It was super exciting. We all love our own dogs and everyone thinks there dog should win any competition but it always doesn't happen the way we want. This time it did. So discussions were starting as to which shows we should take her to and I went home thinking I was going to be doing the dog show circuit once again. The next day Ivie came into season, two months early. so all plans for showing her went out the window and keeping her happy and healthy and getting her bred was my number one priority.
I was much more relaxed this time around and I only took her into the vet twice for progesterone and wasn't the crazy breeder lady this time. Of course we had her entered at a big show in Canada and that didn't happen, instead we spent Easter weekend in Portland doing the breeding. Ivie was a very good girl and a little bit of a hussy too. We ended up getting four natural ties and drove home feeling very confident that I had a pregnant girl in the car.
I spent the next month treating Ivie like a princess that she thinks she is. My whole goal was making sure that she didn't have to worry about anything. I cancelled all travel plans and spent time at home with her and my other dogs. Those friends that knew I had bred her were just as anxious as I was and I could hardly wait until the time came that we could do an ultra sound. I knew in my heart of hearts that she was pregnant, too many little changes had happened and I could see in her to not be. My vet's office doesn't have an ultrasound machine so they suggested I use another vet in the next town. They really must have thought I was the Crazy Dog lady. Who requests an ultrasound to confirm pregnancy? The first question they asked is if it was a planned pregnancy? It was super exciting, she only did a small area and in that area we could see three babies and possibly a fourth. Considering this was in a small area, I am sure we have more but it doesn't matter, she is going to have Babies!!!!