31 May 2011

Hello world!

Introducing 2 females and 4 males born May 31, 2011 to
Miska (BIS (Veteran) Am/Cdn/Int'l/UKC CH Varazs Kiralyi Kedvesem FDJ, FD, NAVHDA NA Prize III, JH, Am/Cdn CD, Am/Cdn RE, Am RAE, CGN),
and "Brick" (Int'l BIS, BISS, Int'l/Am CH Pirok Tegla MH).

First out of the starting block - Mr Green

Miss Red makes her debut

And then there were 4

Then 5

And then 6 (final tally I think hope)

Pulling an all nighter

After starting to worry about whether we were going to have whelping problems because Miska's temperature dropped more than 24 hours ago, Miska finally started to really go into labour after midnight this morning. I had hoped to maybe get an hour or 2 of sleep before the party started but she was far too restless and doing too much panting.  She kept wanting to go outside. I made sure she was on a flexi and I had a flashlight.  I didn't want my pregnant Vizsla wandering off into the dark in the woods on her own and never returning - as happened to a pregnant Vizsla in Missouri almost 2 months ago.  That Vizsla and her pups have never been found but prayers are still being said for their safe return and reunion with the owner.

Hubs went to bed at midnight - he has a golf game today, a rare event in his life right now - but asked me to wake him when the activity started.  At 1:45 AM, Miska gave her first big push and at 1:50, out slipped the first puppy.  A boy! Pass the cigars out! And then a girl followed by another boy, another girl and finally two more boys, the last one arriving at 4:48.  Crack open the champagne! I managed to handle the last 2 whelps by myself and let Hubs sleep. It's 5:40 AM and so far (and I hope that's it) the final tally is 6 puppies. When we had Miska ultrasounded in April, the technician admitted she wasn't very good at counting the embryos in utero but her hazarded 5, maybe 6. She was adamant it wasn't going to be a large litter - like 8 or 10.  More than fine by me!!

So far, it's 6: 2 girls and 4 boys. Not exactly the gender mix I wanted as more people want a girl  - for some reason. So a few people are going to be disappointed as they will only take a girl.  Really, the boys are incredibly sweet!! Much sweeter and more sucky than the girls. Interestingly, this is exactly (so far), the same combination as in Miska's first litter. But as in humans, it's the male who is responsible for adding an X or a Y chromosome and I used a different stud dog from Miska's first breeding. So it's quite a coincidence that both litters produced 6 puppies & both (so far) have 2 girls and 4 boys.

Pictures coming soon!

30 May 2011

Still waiting . . .

It's almost 2 PM on May 30. No sign of water breaking yet.  Miska's doing a little panting now & then. She's in & out of the whelping box. Ate a cookie & a bit of my cracker earlier - which surprised me.  "Dad" is planning on going out to hit some golf balls & run errands. Betcha when he's out, Miska will start delivering her babies. Let's hope so!  Although of course, I hope he'll be around to help. Just in case I fall asleep on the job from lack of shut-eye last night.

Waiting Game

Taken earlier on Day 57 and at 57 pounds.

A sleepless nite for us last night but no pups yet as of 9:30 AM. Miska even refused a cookie this morning - not like her - but this is a unique time. Her temperature is staying down (98.5 F) so that means she should start to whelp sometime today. All the whelping supplies are laid out and ready. Just in case, my vet will be on call for us outside of the clinic office hours but I hope we won't need him. But it's better to "Be Prepared.".

Miska resting quietly in the whelping box.

29 May 2011

Parturition has started!

Miska's thinking - will this ever be over?

Miska's temperature dropped suddenly by 2 degree F at 6:45 PM today.  She wasn't very hungry today and it took some hand feeding and coaxing to get her to eat most of her breakfast. She wasn't  interested in lunch.  I took the dogs for a 45 minute leash walk late this aft. She was panting when she got out of the car on our return but the humidity was high and the ambient temperature was warm and muggy.  MORE rain is on the way. Ugh!  Enough already.

Miska resting up for the big event.

Kibble wasn't of any interest tonight but she wolfed down a scrambled egg (v.g. protein) and rice and almost took my finger off when I offered her some baby carrots. At 9:50 PM she ate 4 small cookies and then a few minutes later, vomited them up.  All these signs are pointing to the start of parturition - i.e., going into labour.  Although the due date is June 1, this is an estimate just like any human birth. She may whelp sooner or a bit later but we don't want it much later than June 1.  However, it looks like it could be May 30th or the 31st at the very latest.  Stay tuned!

The whelping box is ready for Vizsla babies!

It looks like a bathtub from the side but it's really a whelping box.

27 May 2011

Top 10/Top 20

TOP 10 - UKC

I was surprised to receive certificates from the United Kennel Club informing me that Miska and Diva had tied for 5th place in Vizslas overall in the United States for 2010. There aren't a lot of Vizslas being shown in UKC conformation but it's always a nice touch to know one's dogs did well in such a big country!

TOP 20 - CKC
Diva and her brother Quest out of our 2008 litter between Ch Hubertus Quality Control FDJ and Am/Can/UKC/Int'l Ch Varazs Kiralyi Kedvesem Am/Can CD, Am/Can RE/ Am RAE, JH, FD, NAVHDA NA PRZ III, CGN finished in the top 20 in Canada in 2010.  Quest (Ch Varazs Kedves Quester) is #11 and Diva (Ch Varazs Kedves Quickstep) is #17. These results are unofficial as Dogs in Canada which tabulates the official results, only determines the Top 5 in each breed. Nonetheless, it's still a thrill to be in the Top 20!

21 May 2011

Miska, week 7

Miska weighed in at 55 pounds on Wed., May 18th when these photos were taken. That's a gain of 5 pounds in the last two weeks. During weeks 2-4, she was off her food although still ate. Now her appetite is clearly back and she's getting fed 3 smaller meals/day instead of larger quantities 2X/day. Puppies are due June 1, in two more weeks!

17 May 2011

Next Americanine Idol?

My friend Joan White sent me a link to this video. OK, it's not about our Vizslas but it is funny & this dog is talented. After all he, can play piano and sing which is more than many people can do!

If Randy Jackson of American Idol were judging, his comments would probably be:
"A little pitchy."
"But he's in it to win it!!!."

Steven Tyler would say:
"Man, you stole my heart."

J Lo:
"[Laughing]. You know, you have incredible talent! You just need to find the right song choice."

Simon Cowell:
"Very pitchy. That's the worst performance of the evening. You're definitely going home!"

So you be the judge!

16 May 2011

Group shower

It's back to Ontario from AZ. Spring in Ontario usually means rain and there was a lot of in April when we were still in AZ. And it appears rain and cool (cold!) temps are continuing throughout May. How quickly one forgets, after being in AZ for the past 5 months, that Ontario = rain = mud = muddy dogs = dog bath after each walk. Sigh.

So it was the case after today's walk. Everyone needed a shower. I suppose I should consider ourselves lucky that we even got out for a walk today since it's been raining for the past 3 days and more is forecast for the rest of the week. But all 3 dogs came back with muddy undercarriages. Plus both Miska and Diva had rolled in something smelly. So into the large walk-in shower they went, all 3 together. I don't have a photo of the group shower but here's one taken of Diva last year.

14 May 2011

Frustrated Hunters

You can take the dog out of the hunting field but you can't take the hunting out of the dog.

A cactus wren decided to make a nest in the eavestrough of our house in AZ. And BTW, very, very few houses in AZ even have eavestroughs because of the lack of rain. For some reason, our house does. They do serve a purpose during the monsoons so they aren't wasted. But when the wren decided to set up its home on our house, the dogs got a little excited. After all, it's been months since Miska, Tyro and Diva 'hunted' birds.

10 May 2011

Best Dressed Dogs in Anthem!

Since temperatures started rising here in AZ, I began walking the dogs early in the mornings as well as having them don their 'cool coats'.  I got these coats before we left Canada. They were made by MustLuvDogs.ca

Miska (wild salmon) & Diva (electric purple)

Tyro, Diva & Miska

Miska & Tyro
We get stopped a lot by people on our walks.  The locals think I'm crazy having my dogs wear coats when it's in the 80's & 90's. Of course, they don't realize these are 'cool' coats.  One lady who stopped us yesterday commented, "These are the best dressed dogs in Anthem!"

Cool coats certainly help to keep my dogs cool(er). They pant less and therefore drink less water. I still carry water for them, But without their cool coats on, they would need to drink a lot MORE water which is heavy to lug around.  However, I've discovered that because of the very low humidity here, the coats start to dry out after about 60 to 75 minutes. In fact, after soaking them, I don't even bother to ring them out.  If I did, they would dry out even faster.  They are really no complete match for the AZ heat and low humidity.  I found one public bathroom in town where I stop and resoak them and refill water bottles.  Only works when it's on my route.  On the other side of town, I can refill our bottles at Starbucks. Nevertheless, I am so glad my dogs have these coats here.

In utero

Here's a picture taken April 27, in utero, of one of Miska's puppies. Wonder which one this will be?

5 May 2011

Week 5

May 4th marked the start of week 5 for Miska's puppies. She weighed 50 lb yesterday, a gain of about 5 pounds. And her nipples have really enlarged already.  Her grand-mother Nekah never showed at 5 weeks; in fact, I was showing Nekah in conformation to finish her Cdn Championshipship and even I couldn't tell she was pregnant.  Not the case with Miska.  Those nipples are a dead giveaway!

Dolly Parton - eat your heart out!

Hard to believe a newborn will be able to grasp this!

3 May 2011

Cassini NASA Saturn Project

Woo-hoo!! Katya,, a.k.a. Ch (Cdn & UKC) Varazs Sziv Jump For Joy RN, RA, RE, CGC CGN from our 2003 litter and her owner, Pauline Helfenstein are in the NASA Saturn book as Cassini team members.

Katya "helps" Pauline on the space project.

"Cassini-Huygens is one of the most ambitious missions ever launched into space. Loaded with an array of powerful instruments and cameras, the spacecraft is capable of taking accurate measurements and detailed images in a variety of atmospheric conditions and light spectra.

Two elements comprise the spacecraft: The Cassini orbiter and the Huygens probe. In 2004, Cassini-Huygens reached Saturn and its moons. There the spacecraft began orbiting the system in July 2004, beaming home valuable data that will help us understand the vast Saturnian region. Huygens entered the murky atmosphere of Titan, Saturn's biggest moon, and descended via parachute onto its surface." Click Cassini Solstice Mission to learn more about this fascinating space project.

2 May 2011

Missing Milo

There are some dogs that are "once-in-a-lifetime" and one of those dogs was Milo.
Two months ago today, on March 7, Milo crossed the Rainbow Bridge. 

June 13, 2002 - March 7, 2011

I had bred and kept Milo for the first year of life, hoping to make him part of my breeding program. Due to the gradual appearance starting at six months of age of white hairs in areas of his body where white is not permissible, I knew I wouldn't be able to use his for breeding. I found his new 'forever' home in Toronto with Corrine Sellars. He was her first dog and first Vizsla. My requirement of Corrine was to obtain one title on Milo and since it couldn't be a show (conformation) title due to the white, it had to be either in field, obedience or agility. I helped her obtain that first title - a hunting tile (Field Dog Jr.). Corrine then began an incredible journey with Milo which culminated in him achieving 28 titles! Not only did Corrine far exceed my expectations (I knew Milo was always capable!) but she was terrific at sending me tons of photos and videos of their achievements and life and times together. In some ways, it was like Milo never left me.

So we were both totally devastated to learn that Milo developed subcutaneous mast cell disease, a malignant tumour, which was in his groin where removing it couldn't be done without 'radical' surgery. Several months prior to this, he had had a small mast cell tumour in the same area which was removed. It's possible the vet didn't excise a wide enough margin around that tumour and that's why another developed in his groin. Tragically, this second tumour proved to be aggressive and because of the location, not possible to remove surgically. He underwent chemotherapy at the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph which extended his life for 6 months. I saw him a few times during his many visits to OVC. My last visit with Milo was in November, just before we headed to AZ for the winter. Sadly, it was my last with him. On March 7, 2011 it became apparent that the quality of Milo's life had deteriorated and Corrine had to say farewell.

All of the dogs I breed are 'family'. Because of their proximity to me and because of my closeness to Milo for his first year, his passing was very difficult for me and it's been hard to write this Blog entry. And his owner, Corrine, has been utterly devastated by his death.   Only time will heal her grief but she will be always have thousands of wonderful memories and probably just as many photos of Milo to make her smile again.

Milo - you were truly a one of a kind Vizsla and you are terribly missed.

1 May 2011

Tyro's fav toy

For some reason, Tyro LOVES these toys. He is usually always carrying one in his mouth. I don't know how this happened, but he managed to get them all lined up in a row and then laid down for a rest.