If you were at the puppy party last weekend, you will know that we had a BIG FIGHT about Sebastian. He came up on the eval table after Oberon and Bernard/Zen, and so the criticism was that he was too slight to be a show puppy.
I thought then, and I still do now (and hopefully these pictures support that) that he shouldn’t have gone up after two puppies built like hum-vees. On his own he is not a heavy-boned puppy but he’s never going to look slight. He has a beautiful, classic Cardigan head, probably a little longer than the heads on Quince and Puck but also more soft and cushioned without being lippy.
Honour was playing around, joking that she was stacking him like a beagle – trust me that I know Cardis’ tails don’t go up! I just wanted to post this because it shows his lovely crook and front. He’s got extreme angles front and rear, lovely layback, good blending. Always stops square and stacks himself up, always trots.
However, the most important thing about this puppy is that he is people-oriented to the extreme. He is DYING to go be a double- or triple- or quadruple-ring puppy. He’s agile, athletic, a problem-solver, a dancer and thinker. Sebastian’s dating profile:
Size: He’s very long in body, up on a little more leg, definitely more extreme in type and angles than the other puppies. He won’t be tall but I would guess he’s going to be in the mid-30s as an adult when he matures.
Coat: Very hard, crisp, straight flat coat with very little moldability. Very dark pigment. He’s got a ton of white and a small white body splash, but is not excessive enough to make any judge look askance.
Performance? A must. Where Puck is drivey and hilarious, hates to be told no and loves to tell a joke, and Quince and Bosco are adaptable people-pleasers, Sebastian is a problem-solver and his ultimate reward is social interaction. This is a puppy who will spend ten minutes fighting to open a tiny space in an x-pen, walk along the top of the box like a cat to fight through it, push his way through another gate and over a laundry basket, and all to come in my room and watch TV with me. “He cannot be denied,” is what we always say about him.
Show? Absolutely, if you wanted to. Just as a reminder, though, I prefer to not sell show prospects unless you at least intend to keep them throughout their lives. I understand that things happen and sometimes placed dogs are happier, but I’m going to go on the record and say that in this breed there are far too many adolescent dogs being ground through and rejected. Please don’t come to me looking for a show prospect if your first thought is “Well, if he doesn’t turn out I’ll just place him.” Come to me if you want a family dog who can also be shown. Let me know if you want formal stacked pictures of him.
Breeding? We’d have to see what he ends up doing with himself; my concern would be whether he’s going to be deep enough. He’s definitely got the type to be an asset to a breeding program but I would want to look at him in a couple of years.
One more thing – I placed a puppy very much like him a couple of years ago, a puppy we really loved but decided to put as a pet rather than expecting a show home, and never heard from his family again. Please don’t do that to me with this puppy. I don’t want to be pushy and I really do believe that if I sell you a puppy it is YOUR puppy. If you want to go disappear into a quonset hut on the Siberian tundra and never talk to me ever again, that is your right. But it makes me sad, and it especially makes me sad when I am so attached to the mind and heart of a puppy. So I would sure love to keep in touch with you if you take him.
Show? PUH-LEASE. Finish me if you want, but I’m not all that interested. I mostly just want to snuggle. I am the champion snuggler of the entire group of fourteen puppies. Take THAT, CJ! I am SUPER pretty, with lots of bone and a handsome face and gorgeous markings, but I don’t have a long snakey body like some people I could mention.
Performance? If you can get me to stop snuggling long enough, fine with me. I’m not what they call “drivey,” but I am happy to do anything you want me to. I prefer to think of myself as “adaptable.”
Breeding? No, thank you. I’m looking for someone to complete me, but not in THAT way. Ewwww. I just want to live with you and be awesome.
Need something to seal the deal? Well, let’s just say I know how to appreciate comfort and an ample bottom.
Did you find me yet? The other puppies were all wandering around squeaking and looking for shoes to carry (REALLY, Puck, you are RIDICULOUS), or striking totally gratuitous poses, so I settled down to sleep on top of Joanna. Later, Bridgid selfishly knocked me off my perch, so I moved and curled up right between Joanna’s shoulder blades and snored. Joanna had to lie on her stomach for FIFTEEN MINUTES while everyone laughed at her.
And that is why I win. If you’ve got a snuggle to spare, I’ll let you win too.
He’s quickly losing all his face white and I don’t think there’s going to be any left by the time he’s an adult. With his mask and dense brindle he’s going to look like he’s got a completely black head.
Puck’s dating profile:
Size: Average, with moderate bone. That doesn’t mean moderate-as-in-a-code-word-for-light-or-weak. It means he’s built correctly and right in the middle. The bone is nice and round but it’s not heavy.
Coat: Short and plush. He’ll have a lot of undercoat and thickness as an adult. No curls. Dense black pigment.
Show? Why waste him on the ring, seriously. He’d never be an embarrassment in the ring; he’s got no disqualifying or even serious faults. But you’d be fighting to finish a dog with those markings and this size, and he’d so much rather be out pushing stock around.
Performance? YES. IN CAPITAL LETTERS. He’s moderate enough to do agility but he could do anything. He’s the kind of puppy I’d fight to put in a thinking home; SAR or similar. I’d give you a huge discount for that kind of placement. Farm dog? Absolutely.
Breeding? No, he’d come on limited registration, though he does not need to be neutered. He’s the kind of “failure” I am fighting to produce – lacking the extremes of type that would make him a breeding prospect but with a fantastic mind and a sound body built for work.
Puck is looking for a temporary puppy-socializer home even if you aren’t looking for a forever puppy. I would love to have him in his real home so they can start training now, but I for sure don’t want him sitting around not being exposed to stuff. If you’re reasonably local and would like to cuddle him for a few weeks, let me know.
This guy makes us laugh every day. He’s built like a little tank, round and short-legged, and he chugs along at a steady little trot with determination in his eyes.
Quince’s dating profile:
Size: Likely smaller for a boy, but heavy round bone and fat feet mean he won’t be light. Beautiful face, with a correct shorter foreface. Ears look they’re going to be round and big.
Coat: Something of a mystery. He has the softer, silky (gorgeous!) coat of a fluff without any of the length. He may fluff out as a mature dog or may stay short and soft.
Show? Nope – he has the little quirk in his tail. It’s straightening out by the week and I am pretty sure the bend is going to end up being invisible, but he’ll be ineligible for the ring.
Performance? His personality says he’d LOVE obedience, herding, rally, and tons of other stuff. He’s quite low-stationed and may not be built perfectly for a serious agility career; it’ll depend on how big he ends up. He doesn’t have excessive turnout and his front is sound and balanced with his rear.
Breeding? No; he’ll be sold on limited registration. I do not require neuter but you will not be allowed to use him to make puppies.
He’s going to be a dog that people stop you on the street to get a better look at. His color, markings, bone, face, and coat make an incredibly adorable baby and will make a striking and gorgeous adult.
Quince will be in the Albany, NY, area for the next few weeks being socialized; if you’d like to meet him there let me know.
If you ever get a point.
If you ever get a title.
If you ever get a Grand.
If one of my bitches ever gets an ROM.
If I ever have a Bulletin ad or a dog who is ranked or a kennel name with recognition or pedigrees that go on.
I hope, now that a bunch of you have been here and seen my (ahem) “modest” house and met my dogs and my puppies, you really do know that I mean that. It’s not sour grapes; it’s that those kind of things make it to about a point-five on my scale of What Is Important. I lose track of how many points my own dogs have all the time, let alone how many my dogs’ babies have. I show because I must, because right now that’s what you need to do to be a reputable breeder, not because I’ve ever enjoyed it or felt it meant very much.
That’s why I don’t sell show puppies to anyone who I don’t know; it’s why I am over the moon that I have local buyers this time. I am excruciatingly sentimental, always keep the wrong puppies, usually breed the wrong dogs. Please don’t ever send anyone to me who wants the best show dog; good heavens. I love and believe in my dogs but I look forward to being a flaming failure as a show breeder my entire life.
What I DO care about, what I DO want to hear about, what I DO treasure and print out and pass along and laugh about, is whether you have a good dog, a happy dog, a healthy dog, a funny dog, a fulfilled and silly dog, a working dog, a tired dog.
If you ever e-mail me and apologize that you didn’t get points or a Q this weekend, I WILL SMACK YOU.
Now send me pictures and puppy e-mails and keep me happy.
That is all. Back to your regularly scheduled programming, and I need to get back to video editing so I can show those of you who did not cram into my little house what the evals looked like. So far the scene where six people are looking for Oberon’s testicles is my favorite (and I rather suspect his as well).
I have video and pictures but I’m so tired right now that I need to sleep for a week. The short version is that we all had an amazing time, I felt so surrounded by friends and support that it made me get teary totally apart from the puppies leaving, and here’s the list:
Puck, Quince, Bosco, and Sebastian are still here. Thank God. I desperately need the transition time.
Oberon and Bernard: Went home with Sarah to live with their dad, and will be shown and do everything else that Sarah does with her dogs.
Iggy: Off to Minnesota with my dear friend Sue to be a quadruple-ring dog and live with Great Danes.
Felix: Leaving on a jet plane with Leila to be an agility star.
Peaseblossom: On an overnight visit right now; if things look good I’m very excited for her. More info as it comes.
Moth: Going to Dave’s to live with her aunt Harper and take over the world.
Bridgid: Going out West to be a service dog and hopefully get her toes wet in the show ring too.
Hedwig: Home with Alison and her husband; she gets to stay local and that makes me SO happy.
Titania: Home with Emily, her husband, two boys, and a Great Pyrenees. She will be small but mighty. Also local (yay!).
Zeno: Home with Nancy and David and loved within an inch of his life. Also local (oh my gosh, yay. I am so thrilled with my local buyers).
Thankfully, aside from a rather sobby moment when Iggy left for Minnesota, most of my puppy-related tears have been from laughter. I know these kids are going to be SO loved.
Tomorrow I will be a little more coherent, post new names and new pictures, and also introduce you to a Very Charming Lady. It’s all very exciting!
Seriously, these two are so similar that it’s almost impossible to tell them apart from their faces and fronts. I look at them every single day and I still get mixed up in the photos. One has a blaze that’s a few hairs thicker; one has a collar that’s a tiny bit wider. I can pick them out in the box without even thinking about it, but in pictures, especially if they have their heads turned, I’m lost. They have almost identical body types and heads, too. I think this set has four of one puppy and five of the other, but beats me, honestly.