It's been nearly a week since I posted and what a week it was. Sit back for a longish blog post by me. I have a lot on my mind. And there are many more photos than usual.
Before we talk about the Imagine puppies, I have to talk about heart breaking news I received this morning when I opened FaceBook Messenger. One of Baili's puppies, Raj's brother, Thor (Sheldon as a baby) died suddenly and completely unexpectedly last night. He was loved by his family, Carl, Anna & Megan Ericksen, in Arizona, and by his sister and housemate, Lady Sif (Penny as a baby). Thor was very special to Carl who had always lived in a house full of women and female Dalmatians. Thor was his first boy buddy. We have no idea what happened that caused Thor to go from perfectly fine and outwardly healthy, to having a seizure (which he'd never had before) and moments later being gone. As a breeder, this is gut wrenching. I know the agony of losing a dog you love with all your heart far before his time. Please, everyone, say a prayer of comfort for the Ericksen's and hug your dogs close tonight. Please also say a prayer for Lady Sif. She is bilaterally deaf and depended on Thor a lot. I am just so sad for all involved. I know the Ericksen's will want to get a new boy puppy soon. If you are a breeder reading this, there is not a better family to love one of your puppies.
It is hard to segue from that, but life is a circle. Every Day IS A Gift.
So.... the puppies are 12 weeks old today! That means it is time for their second set of vaccinations. I've had the same vet since we moved here 20 years ago. He was a good diagnostician, but he disliked any input from the owner. (I always had input! LOL) When Raj got hurt, I asked him to get me an appointment at the Vet School with the neurologists and he wouldn’t do it. That just did it for me. I had been taking Lucy to this new vet office nearby that did acupuncture and laser therapy. I liked them. That’s where I had her euthanized and they were so kind and their offices were so comfortable and comforting (environment wise). So I decided to try them. Baili had an anal gland problem this summer and I liked the way they handled that. Anyway, I had the litter’s first shots at 8 weeks at our reproductive vet. He examined all the puppies thoroughly (which I was allowed to observe) and pronounced them all perfectly fit. But I decided to start Jo Jo with the new vet. It's all curbside there, so the vet calls me after her exam and tells me that he has pain in his hips and recommends some ridiculous surgery (JPS) to artificially close the growth plates. Then she tells me he should not be bred because it would be unethical if he has been surgically altered and he should be neutered. Are you kidding me? I was completely insulted that she would think I would even consider breeding a dog that had been altered to correct some serious condition! However, Dalmatians have almost no incidence of Hip Dysplasia (which is what this surgery is meant to head off). It is also a genetic condition, and this pedigree is full of CHIC Dalmatians with good to excellent OFA hip evaluations. He has shown ZERO indication that he has any pain in his hips at home - running up and down the hill in our back yard, zoomies with his mom, up and down the stairs inside and out multiple times a day, jumping on me, jumping over the ex-pen gate entrances, wrestling with his siblings, multiple leash walks every single day, etc. etc. What he does show is discomfort being manhandled! He is extremely independent and does not like to be messed with. I have never before heard of this “surgery”. I checked with a couple good friends who have been breeding a lot longer than me and neither had they. Oh, and this must be done before he is 20 weeks old. There is nothing wrong with this boy physically - maybe mentally, but not physically. Who suggests such a thing based on a palpation? I asked if they would confirm an abnormality via X-Ray or MRI before surgery and the answer was no. INSANE! I did research the surgery. It is legit, but X-ray confirmation of the abnormality is suggested and it is primarily for breeds that have high incidence of hip dysplasia Ok. Now I am all pissed off again. I shouldn’t have written about it. If he turns out to be dysplastic when I take him for OFA x-rays at 2 years old, I will go back and give them my apologies. But I’m pretty sure though that they are whacko! I did send them a well-considered email explaining why I would not be back to their clinic. I just feel bad for all the unsuspecting casual pet owners who take their little puppies there and are given advice to have a probably unnecessary procedure. Wow!
Thank you for letting me get that off my chest!
Now for 12 week old puppy adventures! Well - first they are growing! Imagine that! Maxwell and Jo Jo weigh 22 lbs. Kiki weighs 17 lbs. and we bet Aurora is 20 - 22 lbs. (She holds her own with her brothers!) Sadie goes for her shots Monday so we will find out about her after that! Here are their 12 week mug shots! I am prejudiced, but I sure think these are pretty babies! (Left to right/Top to bottom - Maxwell, Sadie, Kiki (PKA-Rita), Aurora (PKA-Lizzy) and JoJo.
Maxwell stayed with us from last Saturday till Wednesday AM while his girls played in miserable weather conditions at their golf tournament. We went to visit our friend Linda, and the puppies met a Mini Bull Terrier. Maxwell got to meet our next door neighbor's dogs - Bucky and Patch, as well as many of our neighbors. He also got some short walks along busy Clayton Road with traffic zooming by. Steven and Cat came to visit and played in the yard with the puppies. Maxwell taught Jo Jo the joys of using the pool cover as a trampoline! I will admit that after a day or so, I abandoned cheese as the "break 'em up" strategy and resorted to banging two metal pans together over their heads. It was equally effective in stopping the madness and much easier for me to manage! We had a grand time despite pedicures on Monday! I think Maxwell was happy to be home with his favorite bed though!
While this was the third week we went to class, it was the first "official" class in a 6 week AKC Star Puppy program. Aurora, Maxwell and Jo Jo are all enrolled and they make it interesting! This week we continued to work on "Come" and started work on "Down" and "Trade" which I call "Drop It"! Hard to imagine that these puppies will be AKC Star Puppies in just 6 weeks, but we will give it a try! Sorry no photos!
Kiki is starting training with a trainer at the house tomorrow, but her training is already well underway with the family! One of her self-acquired skills is digging and burying things in the yard. Oh Joy! She was a big hit at the vet clinic today! They sent me several great photos this week. She is just such a pretty girl!
I like to keep a diary of the puppies as much for myself as for prospective puppy buyers and interested friends. Sadly my blogs for Lucy's and Baili's litters are no longer available due to legacy systems, but I saved them off as pdf's and was reviewing them last night. It was a good refresher on all kinds of things and brought back lots of good memories. Looking forward to Imagine memories too!