I'll start by saying, I hate August! The smoke from the surrounding fires is keeping us all indoors with severe air quality warnings and it's really putting a damper on our outdoorsy way of life. The trees are already changing color so I hope flying snow is next... and comes soon.
Dog shows are going full swing and both Iceman and Maverick have had moments of glory in the obedience and show rings, albeit brief. It's just your typical up and down roller coaster ride that only crazy people enjoy. I'm hoping it will all be over by early October and we can take a well earned rest. Next year I will reduce or eliminate the dog shows (especially conformation) and will go back to field stuff. I can't believe how badly I miss it!
I am going to try and breed Chica one more time this week or weekend, and will know in a few weeks if it works or not. I'll probably (definitely) cry if it doesn't, but will try a specialist next year and will get one or two more shots at it. Spanky and Mia both had their first litters at age five, so I haven't lost all hope.
Haley has been bred for the final time and we are hoping for puppies around October 6th. If I waited until her next heat cycle, I would end up with summer puppies again, and I'm really trying to avoid a repeat of this year and having to travel so much whilst having puppies on the ground. It's now or never!
Can you feel the pulse of summer quickening? Even the crickets are chirping a month early.
July has been a tough month. Two weeks after losing his litter brother Cougar, I said good-bye to my magnificent Tobster - FC AFC CFC Abitt's Highlanders Lord MH RE VCD1 OAP OJP WDX - he was 14 years old. My house feels so quiet and empty, I miss them both!
No dog shows or obedience trials to report, but a busy August-October is planned!
The Mia/Mickey puppies are all spoken for and I am already taking bookings for the next two future breedings, into 2016! I am going to try an avoid summer litters next year and get them done early in the year because I am just too busy with other things, and the puppies have taken up way too many good weather summer training days this year.
Cate (Mickey X Mia 2013 ) passed her Hip/Elbow OFA with a Good/Normal rating.
Not looking forward to the July heat wave, but happy the June chaos is almost over with.
The Stormy/Mickey puppies are finally starting to trickle out the door - there is a girl available as I have decided not to keep one. I really had no idea how much work the Sussex puppies would be, and I'm opting to keep a Mia kid since this is her retirement litter. It will make me cry to see her leave, but ready to go now!
Mia had 9 "Triple Crown" puppies on June 6 - all black and white! There is currently one girl available. I would expect them to be ready to leave around August 8th. I have a week long dog show out in WA the week of the 15th so I will NOT hold them back past then. Please don't ask me to.
Maverick finished off his RAE and became the third Sussex to ever earn one. I told myself never again, as it's grueling and monotonous...and expensive. He is continuing on with trial obedience though, and has a date with Grad Novice in September. He has also won 5 NOHS Sporting Group 1's since the end of May and even took an O/H Best in Show at the Electric City shows in Great Falls. June is our kick off to the season, so we are just getting started! Hopefully we will be going to the Eukanuba National Championship in Orlando in December.
Ice got his first Utility B win, and even has OTCH points now! Especially amazing when I remember that day he flunked Beginner Novice three summers ago. He has a LOT of trials planned for summer and fall, and our goal is really to smooth out some consistency with a few things, then go for UDX.
Cate finished off her Senior Hunter title and I have a few more started youngsters in the pipeline.
I said the final goodbye to my much beloved Cougar - Toby's littermate. He was 14. It hurts. :'(
Two hundred pheasant chicks arrived today - and 100 more chukar are coming after July 4th, so at least we will have something to shoot at other than pigeons this fall.
I am still trying to decide if we will be heading out to Western WA for the 4 day hunt test or doing a 4 trial obedience show over Labor Day - oh, decisions, decisions...
The Maverick X Faith Sussex puppies are 5 weeks old! I am so proud of myself for surviving the ordeal - seriously. Tony is a clone of his dad (so far) and the girls are especially super hero active. I am so used to Maverick's gentle, quiet, docile temperament that his daughters are going to be a real challenge! All of them are just unbelievably adorable.
Mav had a great show in Coeur d'Alene picking up a Group 1 and Group 2 in the NOHS (for amateur owner handlers) and a Group 3 in regular Sporting...and with a great line up of top ranked sporting dogs. Ice struggled in obedience and had a hard time letting go of all those girls in heat that crossed his path on the way to the obedience building. Unfocused squirrely would be an understatement! The girl distraction has been a major issue for him at the shows that have conformation as bitches in season are allowed to show - and boys must be well mannered gentlemen about it. He wasn't.
We had a close call last night when this guy fell off the front porch after what I suspect was an older dog had gone through the doggy door and plowed through the ex-pen that is supposed to keep everybody SAFE. The puppies are just now starting to use the doggy door to go outside to potty, so I don't block it off when the weather is decent.
I woke up to what I thought was one of the guinea hens being killed in a stranglehold out in my front field, but when I counted puppies I came up one short! Lots of scenarios started going through my head all at once, including death by coyote. When I went to check the pond and nothing was there I turned around and this little guy ran up to me. He was cold, and I have no idea how long he had been out there in the dark all alone, but he was sure happy to see me! He got warmed up and enjoyed being snuggled in the bed covers. Today it's all forgotten, back to playing and napping. Whew!