Clue is on day 13 now and still no sign of anything happening. She didn’t really get going until day 16 last time so I am not panicking yet but I do hate long heat cycles.
The great thing about this opportunity is that it’s not as desperately hoped-for as the last one was. I got my wonderful litter from her and, while a “spare” would be fantastic, I have her daughters to carry on with. Doesn’t mean I don’t want it to work this time, but it does mean there’s less tension. If she doesn’t make it happen this heat I’ll talk with the vet but my instinct is to spay her. I am seeing that she is putting more weight on her front than she used to; she still has no pain and she runs like an idiot but I am sure the pelvic bones are tightening up as she ages. I don’t even want there to be a question about whether it’s hurting her to carry a pregnancy.
I haven’t given an update on Bramble in a while; we’re continuing the nightly recall training. He has come an enormous length, really stunning. I can stand on the front stoop and let him out and he goes about his business and then, at my first whistle, comes bolting back. No more fear when I go get him – he knows he’s doing the right thing and he gives me about ten high-fives in a row when he runs over the doorstep. I have no plans to test him when the road is traveled, because he does need to have his little routine (he trots across the road and hunts for three or four minutes in the woods before he comes back, and I don’t want him meeting a car), but I am very encouraged that he’ll be able to begin joining us on our off-leash hikes even as soon as this winter.
Juno comes out with him and me every night to practice corgi-style off-leash training, meaning that she has to be under voice control and not follow him even when he tracks a toad or something really fascinating. She’s got a lovely little brain and is incredibly herdy; she does this wonderful thing where when she alerts to a movement she sinks on her own into a crouch and eyes it. She really thinks she’s a sawed-off border collie. She is also incredibly mouthy, which is our biggest challenge right now; when I praise her she leaps up and joy-bites me. Funny to watch, as I jump and scream, but not so funny to experience. She does the same thing to Friday and to her mom; she’s an equal-opportunity nipper!
Bronte is just wonderful. She’s our sweet, sweet girl. Her surgery scars are almost completely furred-over again and she looks amazing. The repair on her ouchie back door was flawless, just beautiful. Since the surgery she’s moving better than she’s done in years and she’s as happy as a clam. I need to get some video of her and some new pictures and update her “available” page but I’m in no hurry. She’s so lovely to have around.
I am going down to Hartford next week sometime; I would like to wait until after I breed Clue (assuming I breed Clue) but I am watching the home page and will swoop down there if there’s a dog that I think looks like The One. I cannot bring back a pit bull, as desperate as their situation is (I love them, but with winter coming I can’t reliably separate dogs at all times and I won’t bring in dog-aggressive breeds unless I can do so), so it will be some other breed but I haven’t the slightest idea what.
Enough rambling, back to work! A couple more hours to go before I can sleep.