Monthly Archives

December 2011

puppies

Papers, papers, papers

After one of the most snag-riddled and ridiculously complicated registration processes EVER, the Juno puppies’ papers are here and I have been PROMISED that Clue’s are on their way. This has been like operating under a mysterious computer curse, seriously – everything was totally fine and filled out normally and actually very simple, but AKC found every possible reason not to just process the dang things. When I’d call them they’d say “Oh, yes, I do see that that’s fine. All right, I’ll get those going for you,” and then three days later I’d get a letter saying “We’re sorry, your registration could not be processed because you have too many owners on the dam,” and then I’d call them again and they’d say “Oh, yes, I do see that you have a lease on that bitch. All right, I’ll get that going for you,” and then three days later…

Anyway, the six Juno babies’ registration applications are in my hot little hands, Sarah came up and signed them, and I have a stack of envelopes waiting for addresses. So those of you who have one of the Fairies will get your papers (hopefully) the beginning of next week. If you don’t receive them by next Friday please let me know.

The Clue babies’ papers will still need Sarah’s signature once they get here, but we get together every few weeks so the delay shouldn’t be too bad.

I am not filling out the name fields because I have given you permission to abbreviate our kennel names, so I didn’t want to fill in “Blacksheep Wolfwood” when you had in mind contracting it to Blkshp Wlfwd or similar in order to get your puppy’s name in the proper number of letters. Please do not forget the kennel names when you fill them out! We all understand that it happens, but I always have to smile when I see in a list of litter registrations the lofty siblings Ch. Kennelname Terribly Handsome and Ch. Kennelname Wonderfully Fabulous and Ch. Kennelname Pretty Lovely Lady and their brother, George Pees on Trees.  George is probably the most loved pet in all the land, but he’d be even better with the kennel name he deserves.

Thank you for your patience as we wrestled with AKC’s ancient computers about this, and have a very happy December Solstice-adjacent celebration of your choice.

clue, Juno

The Enormous Puppy Roundup Post

Quince landed safely in California on Monday night, so my six months of puppy bliss has come to a close and you deserve a giant roundup post so you know where they all went.

Clue’s Eight:

Felix: Now Dante. In the Southeast, destined for a life as a super agility dog. Already herding and doing fantastic.

Iggy: Now CJ. In Minnesota and going to be a show dog and beloved pet of one of my favorite families on earth. He’s already been put on sheep and shows a ton of talent too.

Bosco: Now Van. In a loving local home with his very own young man.

Sebastian: Now Tucker. Lives near Boston but gets to visit snow country on a regular basis – and I get to see him too, which is a MAJOR bonus!

Bernard: Now Zen. Sarah’s stud fee puppy. He’s showing great promise as a show puppy, already out and about at the UKC shows and doing great.

Bridgid: Became Sofie and went out to the Northwest to be a service dog puppy in a big warm family that I’ve known for years. Having the time of her life playing with a Ridgeback and soon-to-be-five kids.

Hedwig: Became Corra; in a great local home that takes amazing pictures and blesses me with them often. I cannot get enough :).

Zeno: Stayed Zeno – the man, the myth, the legend! In a fantastic local home where they love him to distraction.

Juno’s Six:

Oberon: Sarah’s stud fee puppy, though she’s lovely enough to let me co-own him. He’s hopefully going to be a show puppy and he’s quite the stunner. Fiercely attached to Sarah; it’s really very touching. He may be service dog material as well. Hanging out with me for a few weeks to learn some survival skills in the chaos and kid mountain.

Titania: Now Minnie. In a wonderful local family home.

Moth: Stayed Moth. Lives with her aunt Harper, and we get to see her often.

Peaseblossom: Became Irie. Co-owned with us because she was the bitch pick of the entire group; lives with Julie and is going to be an amazing performance puppy and maybe a show baby as well.

Puck: Stayed Puck, living in California and destined for an amazing life as a service dog.

Quince: Became Quincey, living in California where he can hang out on the beach and eat at the dog restaurant. I asked his owners if they’d like to buy me instead, especially as the temperature dropped.

So that’s it – I am feeling SO SO thrilled with the homes that came to me for these babies. I felt like each puppy went into the place that was just right for THEM, and from what I’ve heard the owners think the same thing. I am especially proud of the puppies who were evaluated so well and went into service homes and performance homes; those are the achievements that make my heart glow.

Now that I’m sleeping through the night every night and not cleaning up pee every morning, I have to admit I’m looking to the future and how much I love puppies. We’re already planning the next steps, especially as we have some bitches that are getting toward the age where we need to fish or cut bait breeding-wise. Watch this space, but I hope to have some announcements for 2012 over the next few weeks. Then you can make fun of me when I complain that I never get any rest and that all our food money goes to evaporated milk and minced lamb :).

chickens

So much love in that whelping box that even the chickens were not immune.

The puppies’ whelping box found new life when they’d outgrown it, as the winter home for the tiniest and most vulnerable of Honour’s Serama chickens.

The permanent residents include Sticky Feet, above, who was born with deformed toes because her mom abandoned her nest a few days before the last of her eggs were supposed to hatch. The hours of cold before we got them into the incubator killed most of them, but Sticky Feet got herself going again and hatched beautifully – with toes that disqualify her from ever being a barn chicken.

There are two or three others, the ones who aren’t even a pound at full size and a few who get chilled too easily and move in and out according to the weather. Honour has made them into pets; they run to her when she calls them and they ride in her pockets and on her shoulders. One even plays dead on command. She cooks for them and worries over their little hurts and bathes them every few days like they are parrots.

To their number, Honour added seven chicks who were hatched last week. She hadn’t done a hatch since Sticky Feet herself, so I didn’t mind the return of sweet peeping and soft round bellies. These chicks were incubator babies, so they went into the corner of the box under a heat lamp.

Well, Sticky Feet and the others also love a good sunbathing, and they think the heat lamp is the best thing ever. They’ll edge closer and closer and then, very slowly, stretch out one leg and then the other until they are on their sides, mouths open, panting and faintly groaning, like feathered beachgoers who wore black socks out on the sand but can’t bear to leave the bone-melting heat long enough to take them off.

Today when Sticky Feet began her stretch, a tiny chick saw an opportunity and raced under her wing. She looked around wildly, but didn’t move. And then she got swarmed. They stuffed themselves beneath both wings, between her legs, down her neck feathers, and under her tail. Then they all collectively sighed and closed their eyes and put their heads down.

Now Sticky Feet is barely above babyhood herself; she is not even clucking yet and her face is the pale pink of immaturity. She should have zero broody instinct, and I held my breath and prepared to save seven little babies from the beak of a ticked-off pullet.

Instead, she very gingerly tried to move away until the boldest of the chicks opened his eyes and shrieked in protest. She froze, and then slowly stretched out her wings and settled down over them, and after a moment she closed her eyes too. They slept away the afternoon, beside the fire, making tiny chicken snores and sleepy peeps.

The next time somebody comes over and asks me why in the world I have chickens in the corner of my living room, I’m going to just say “Sticky Feet.”

clue

Sebastian, my dear heart, is now warming others’.

I had the whole story all written out with hilarity and drama, but I chucked it all. There are certain puppies that I can’t be flippant about. Clue’s last son, the shining light of her last litter, is now in a wonderful – WONDERFUL – new home. They adore him, he adores them, I’ll get to see him often. I didn’t “need” him; I have access to a rather large bunch of puppies should they eventually meet the needs of our breeding program. He had some faults that meant he probably wouldn’t be the top choice for breeding anyway. But man, I WANTED to keep this puppy.

Doug and I made a decision a long time ago that puppies must never displace older dogs. So when we’re at our personal adult-dog limit or close to it, we don’t give ourselves the luxury of keeping babies. That is absolutely my least favorite and – I think – most important rule as I’ve bred dogs.

So, Sebastian, thank you for leaving so I never have to worry that I’m not taking good enough care of your mom or your aunties. Thank you for moving so effortlessly into your new place. Thank you for being one of the last to leave, so I had a few more weeks of you sleeping on my feet and playing with the cat and looking at me with those peaceful eyes. We love the dickens out of you, and that’s the truth.

Daisy Poppy, General

Likes long walks on the beach and meowing noises

We had a really great day today, for reasons I will explain later, but before I do that I need to introduce you to someone.

This is the oldest-newest member of our Cardigan clan; she came to us from the Midwest. I have loved her for years, and when I saw that she was available I moved heaven and earth and Doug’s ever-tolerant heart to get her here.

Her fancy name is Merrymoon Pluperfect Panache, but at home she’s Daisy Poppy. She came to us with the name Daisy; to avoid confusion with friend and neighbor dogs (there’s kind of an epidemic of dogs named Daisy here) we decided on Poppy. So we started calling her Daisy Poppy, with the intention of switching to the new name, and of course it stuck there and refuses to move. We also call her Daisy Poppy Honey Boo, Daisilina Poppington, and about a hundred other names, because she is the sweetest thing on earth.

She’s brindle, a fluff (FIST BUMP!), and four years old. We hope she may contribute her many wonderful qualities to the Cardigan gene pool, but honestly that was the last thing on my mind when I asked for her. She just spoke to me in her pictures and personality, and we can’t imagine our couch without her now.

She adores Doug and she is a special favorite of his, and she’s best buds with Clue. That is a great blessing, because as Clue has reached middle age I have missed having Bronte’s quiet companionship for her. Daisy Poppy is a perfect fit for that job. I just walked by them a few minutes ago and they’re curled up around each other on the couch next to the fire, paws twitching gently as they dream.

As an added bonus, she appears to like Honour making meowing noises behind me almost as much as Meriwether does.

clue, puppies

Guess who?

It’s Corra!

If you see her face markings you may recognize her as Hedwig, Clue’s baby girl.

I am super lucky that Corra’s owner is a talented photographer and even MORE lucky that this is an owner who REALLY fought for this puppy.

Right after Corra came home, her owner was diagnosed with severe allergies. We were of course ready to take her back with open arms, but her owner wouldn’t take no for an answer. She and her doctor figured out how to get her well and now things are great.

And she has the most joyful baby girl in the world, so we’re happy too :).