Monday, June 27, 2011

23 days

The boys: clockwise from upper left: Dusk, Dusk, Smudge, and Smudge and Shiner, the spotty boys.

The boys, continued: Clockwise from upper lift: Crescent, Smudge, Confetti, Smudge

The girls, from upper left clockwise: Favor, Blackbird, Vivi, Blackbird.
Puppies got their first meal today and figured it out very quickly indeed. Thsi will help Ribbon out (and the puppies as well) since I think 8 puppies are only just getting enough from her now that they are 3+ weeks old. Now the work begins since they will get less cleaning from mom and I'll therefore be changing soiled papers several times a day. Next up: move them to the pen with a litter box of paper shred.

Fruitful trip to Richmond, VA

Thumper went Winners Dog for 4 points on Saturday at the Virginia Kennel Club show, under judge James White. (We didn't enter Sunday). . This brings us to 10 points including his first major, in 7 times in the AKC ring (and aside from USASA Nationals, only the 2nd time in the ring when a major was available; he had RWD that day). So I am very proud of my pupper, all wins out of the BBE class.  Just 5 points to go (but few majors likely to materialize locally...).  We shall see!

Friday, June 24, 2011

20 days old!

They are growing like weeds!  Eyes are open, they hear, they run across the whelping box (not in a controlled fashion, exactly, but they do run).  They range in size but everyone is sturdy and strong.
Here they are:
#1 girl Blackbird. Nice strong color and her nose leather is

filling in already, will probably be solid by 8 weeks.

#2, boy  Confetti. He is not a burly fllow but very easy on the eye. 

#3, Shiner, a boy.  Strong big puppy (well they're ALL strong but he is one of the larger pups).  Nice copper, a bit of dilute in his black body patches. Good clear merle.

#4, Smudge, aka Mr. Popularity. Those strong face markings and body spots ensure he  won't go unnoticed. He is a bigger boy. 

#5, Favor. She is so calm and relaxed, she goes all beanbag in my hand after a 

yawn if I turn her over on her back in my hand. She is a larger puppy, with plenty of substance.
#6 Vivi, a girl. Glamour girl with her clear color, eye makeup and sweet face. A smaller puppy.

#7, Dusk, a boy. He has a deeper silverly gray merle than the others, and merle darkens
with age, so he should be quite striking. Nice copper and his nose, like the other puppies',is already
spotting in with black. Everyone here has nice pigment

#8 Crescent, a boy. He has beautiful rich deep pigment like his 'mates and his nose leather is already black at age 3 weeks. Smaller size but good substance. These puppies' relative sizes are really not much of a predictor of later. final sizes. All have nice substance and I'll tell you in 5 weeks which ones look like nice 8 week olds!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

More from the weekend's ASCA show

Looking at his Auntie Raechelle,, behind the camera

Casual-cool look while awaiting his turn with the judge.

My favorite shot of him ringside, of any I've seen.

Got the other win shot from this weekend and also some wonderful ringside candids. Thank you to Raechelle Embrey for the photos, and again to Morgan Campbell for the handling.

The Local Dog blog by Alison Smith

A good friend and highly respected breeder of Aussies, Alison Smith (Paradox Australian Shepherds, Massachusetts) has recently developed a blog The Local Dog  in response to the growing negative associations being made about purebred dog breeding. As in any activity there is a continuum of ways of going about things from small-scale, careful responsible breeding (which I strive to do) through casual backyard-breeding-for pocket change, through to large corporate puppy mills. Unfortunately there is often no distinction made between these vastly differing producers of dogs. As a result the growing opposition to large scale puppy production and the growing animal rights movement that aims not to improve animal welfare but to restrict or end pet ownership, can sweep everyone with  dogs up in their indiscriminate net.
Most disappointing on an individual basis is this: I can be called 'evil' simply by virtue of the fact that I produce purebred puppies (once every 2-3 years) and sell those puppies. I don't ship to strangers. I don't sell puppies via paypal or Visa?MC. I treat the decision on who gets a puppy much like a true adoption, doing vet checks and getting references on prospective buyers, using spay/neuter contracts, and by writing contracts that protect not only me but the puppy (most importantly) and the puppy purchaser. And yet I can be the subject of nasty tshirts that say how evil we breeders are. This sort of sentiment fuels anti-pet legislation. Make no mistake, the bills being brought up in various states are not written to protect animals from abuse (even if some of the lawmakers think that is what they are doing). They are written to reduce your ability to choose a carefully researched pet. The paradox here is that these laws will ultimately penalize MY type of breeder; mill breeders will simply do the costly licensing and continue to breed an THOSE are the puppies that end up in purebred rescue or shelters across this great land, the puppies sold to whomever walks through the pet store's doors, the puppy with no breeder support offered to owners when a problem or question arises, the puppy with the serious health issues that can result from the early environment or lack of health clearances on sire and dam.

This is also not about purebreds vs mixed breeds and certainly not about whether purebreds are superior to mixed breeds. They are not, they are simply different.

The Local Dog concept is basically this: If you are looking for a puppy of a specific breed, seek out the local breeder who welcomes you into their  home to see the puppies and dam, who clearly is concerned with where THEIR puppies end up, whose actions and contracts endeavor to prevent any puppy bred by them from ever ending up in a shelter. The breeder who does not sell to or through brokers or other third parties, who expects to be a resource for the life of the dog. The concept also is intended to encourage breeders of quality dogs to reach out to newcomers and prospective owners when they come to dog events to learn about a breed or meet breeders.  There is no question some people end up with milled puppies because of a perception of exclusivity, snobbery or arrogance on the part of show breeders they've experienced. These are the puppy buyers who want our dogs but can be easily turned away by a bad attitude from a careless exhibitor.

At any rate Alison can say it better than I and so I strongly suggest you look at her blog. (You can easily subscribe to her posts too). She is a good writer and not remotely reactionary. She is discussing a subject most of you who are reading this, should take some interest in since you are seeking out info about MY favorite dog, Australian shepherds. You too can be the subject of the growing negative feelings being pushed concerning purebred dogs and dog ownership in general. Please take a look!

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Nice weekend in Pennsylvania!

 Thumper had a good weekend in Pennsylvania. The BVASC (Brandywine ASC) shows were held on a private horse farm in Pennsylvania. I ran up to show Thumper for one show in the morning but knew I couldn't stay for all 4 (ASCA shows usually allow for day-of-show entries and frequently have 2 shows per day like my club, BRASC, does). Puppies at home, you know.  Anyway the competition was VERY strong with 5 point majors (I believe) in classes, all weekend long. Thumper has his ASCA  Ch. so he is entered in Best of Breed for ASCA shows.  Well, nice Specials entered too (Thumper-and any Champion showing in Best of Breed is called a  'Special'). We didn't win the morning show I showed him in, but there was such good quality there it wasn't terribly disappointing. Anyway Morgan Campbell, a Senior Junior Handler from Massachusetts offered to keep him and show him for me for the remainder of the weekend. I was home later in the day when she called to report he was Best Opposite Sex (to a gorgeous Red Tri girl I've always admired) in the afternoon show, under judge Kelsey Jones of MontRose. This would be his first win as a Special in his first full weekend as a Special.

The following morning she showed him in the first show and judge Andrea Torres awarded Thumper Best of Breed. The final show under Lori Acierto he did not win but once again, the dogs in the ring were so nice that we couldn't complain!    Thanks to Morgan for handling him and to Raechelle Embrey for bringing him home to me after while I tended to the puppies, and for doing the photos!
Well, here is one photo from Morgan. I always like to decorate a crate in this manner.
Morgan sent this to me. Weird to be the Absent Owner of the Special. :)
Best Opp under Kelsey Jones, Mont Rose. Thumper's first Big Boy Ribbon!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Puppy mug shots!

Thanks to a friend I have the 13-day photos of the puppies organized with names attached. You can click on each photo to view larger, like any photos on the blog.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

They're here!

A pile 'o puppies


The family today.
Well, Ribbon presented us with 8 fat shiny babies on June 4, a nice 1-day-post-birthday gift for me. 5 puppies before she got a bit too fatigued, followed by a c-section and 3 more babies (and a quick spay since this was always meant to be her last litter). So the count is 5 boys and 3 girls. 4 blue merle boys, 1 tri boy, 2 blue merle girls, 1 tri girl. I have not really gotten good individual photos but will put up some pile'o'puppy pictures and a few individual shots.