Thursday, 31 January 2019

New Carpet

Jezi making sure she got first dibs on sitting on the new carpet in the dogs bedroom! I must say it looks nice in there now it's laid and my heartfelt thanks go to family members who shared in their financial gain. (Though sadly it was not through good fortune!)

We Fell Out ... Again

Yesterday Ross was like a coiled spring. From the moment he first saw the lying snow it was like someone had flipped the stupidity switch. He was flying around like an idiot, grabbing at everybody and everything and I was filled with panic and dread, he hasn't got the best track record for staying on his feet has he!
After his walk he settled well, but my mistake was to put the kong on top of the cupboard instead of back in the van. Around 7pm  he decided he wanted it ...I said no! The kong is only for walks. It's perfect for keeping him from ragging and grabbing at Kaiah. It's very precious to him so it works a treat .. but he's not having it around the house as it would then loose it's value to him and also he swings it round by the rope making it a danger to all, including the fish tank! I gave him his blue chuckit ball, his usual household favourite toy .. he didn't want it! Ross has never easily accepted "No you can't" very well and I could see him staring up at the kong on top of cupboard and considering his next move. So then it was "Get your paws off the cupboard Ross!" By now he was also objecting vocally, and we all know he likes the sound of his own voice, but I was as determined as he was, he was not having it.
After about 30 mins of his winging, pacing and staring I threw him out .. Kaiah went too .. of course. I moved the kong to a different spot and called them in, they didn't want to come in, there was snow to play in and ice to eat, I left them a short while but with the continued munching of ice I decided they had to come in. Kaiah settled, he looked up to the top of the cupboard ... Oh it wasn't there .. so he started whinging again and now he was really getting on everyone's nerves. I told him to "down" (as in lie down) he stared at me his eyes simply said "No!" He then thought he could get on the sofa ... but Sammi was there, so he tried to literally dig her off, I said "No" and pushed him off. Again I said "Down" and he said "No!" Well that was it .. I grabbed a lead made him sit and told him down, he didn't. I tried to push him into the down but with all his strength fighting against me I just couldn't physically make him do it. But with all the work that's gone into him, I can not, I will not let him win. As I tried again a concerned Kaiah came over, of course her perfect friend was not misbehaving, in her eyes he never would. Steve called her away and I managed to catch Ross off guard and tipped him over into the down. I held him in the down until he relaxed and stopped fighting and then I let him go. Unfortunately Sammi had got off the sofa so he got his "seat" but he did also settle and didn't get his kong.
Photo taken now as I try and type! 
Last night reminded me of a previous times, of a far more difficult and defiant Ross. The Ross who tried using his teeth in objection when he didn't want to do something .. though of course it's been well over a year since he last did that and I doubt he will ever do it again. But last night was a reminder that Ross is a very very bright young chap, the kind of guy who makes up his own mind and isn't afraid to try and say "No!" To be honest he's on a par with Kai and not meaning to take anything else away from the other boys past and present but he's got far too much going on in his little brain box for his own good. He runs rings around Loki, and at times he makes Loki look like the village idiot! (Sorry Loki!)
We've had three "fights" in 18 months, that's me and Ross, and last night due to his determination and physical strength I came the closest ever to loosing a battle with one of my dogs. I've said previously that Ross was not an easy puppy, but generally he has become the most loving and obedient of adults, but the defiance and determination is still there obviously. I have struggled with him at times but if truth be known it has only made the bond stronger, I absolutely adore him and I think him me. For sure these days on a walk he is more incline to be with me than running riot with Kaiah. I can't easily put into words how close we've become, he makes me smile everyday and I well up with love and pride for him, watch out the person who dares criticise him now! I guess the harder the battle the more rewarding the outcome.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

A Little More Snow

The snow came, though again there wasn't that much which left us a little shocked to discover we couldn't get home at lunch time! Ah well it's not the first time and won't be the last that we've carried the shopping up those hills! 

Bye Bye Car! 

Handsome Perry

Cold Feet? 

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Long Coat Question

I had to ask and here is the reply .. If Kaiah did carry the L/C gene and I did mate her to a L/C then the litter would be about 50/50,  as apposed to 25% L/C - 75%  S/C if I mate her to a S/C who carries the gene!  Now I know it I need to remember it!
Sammi may not carry it as Ziva to Nico produced 50% S/C who carry the gene, 25% L/C and 25% S/C who did not carry the gene. Sammi did not produce any in her litter but Merlot does carry the gene ... so half the "J" litter may carry it, half may not .. one and a half puppies  Oh bloody hell £45 to find out ... I'll do it!!!


Ross' new coat is starting to come through at last. It's 5 or 6 weeks till the dreaded Crufts so that should give him a decent amount of time to improve. 
This photo was taken 3 weeks ago on the 8th of January
And this today, to be honest there's a long way to go, but I'll try and get another photo, say in 3 weeks to compare how he looks by then. To be honest as long as he's looking at his best by the April/May Champ shows then I'll be happy!

Snow Still In Short Supply

Despite a promising weather forecast this was all we got!
 Hammering it down ..  
Nico doesn't look amused but believe you me he loved it
 My Lovely Ladies
The Young Guns 
I know there where only 2 Young Guns - Andrew and George but maybe Kaiah can be Pepsi or Shirley today!

Making Plans

A long chat with a friend this morning had me thinking about testicles and DM again. I feel sorry for her as she's in a similar position to the one we were in with Kyle. A beautiful pup with hopes for the show ring, but at 12 weeks he only has one testicle, and that is not always in the scrotum. (It's amazing how puppies can pull them back up!) Anyway she is now of the same thoughts as I was at the time. She can't hang on any longer, the pup needs his life, he needs stability and her heart is aching so much she cries. I know exactly what she means. I cried so much over Kyle, did we keep him as "a pet" did we wait a little longer, should we sell him? It all went round and round. Now hand on heart I know we did the right thing by Kyle .. he has the ideal life and I'm so happy for him. I also know I did the right thing for me as I now have my lovely Ross who can share all my days with me at home and at the shows.
We then went on to talk about DM, she had siblings that where tested. One was clear, one was a carrier. To know where the gene had come from she then tested the mum, she was clear so it had to have come from the sire of the litter. (as I said this test is new so the older generations could not have been tested) That made me realise that of course having one sibling as a carrier did not mean all the litter would be carriers, it would depend on the genes the siblings had inherited from the parents. That's why genetics can be so complicated. I will not be testing Asha, she's 10 and a half and has no clinical signs of DM. Mind you neither does her sister. DM is a slow progressing condition with no pain involved, Asha's sister went suddenly lame and bless her she has been in a lot of pain.
As I said Merlot, Kaiah's dad was tested after my litter was born and he was tested clear. Sammi is not tested and I will only test her should I want to breed from her again. That will only happen if for any reason Kaiah can not go on to produce the "K" litter at the end of the year. With Merlot testing clear theoretically Kaiah and her siblings can only test clear or carrier as they could only have inherited the clear gene from their father, to be affected they need to inherit the DM gene from both parents.  That means that there is no reason not to go ahead and breed from Kaiah this year. Of course until I have that piece of paper in my hand I'll just be mulling it over .. and over!
Nikki - Lledfegin Camri 
So it will be the registered "K" litter .. and of course my hope is to have a standard coated bitch. Zalu is a sable so a standard coated sable would be the dream this time. But of course Zalu is also a Long coat and I don't know whether Kaiah carries the l/c gene .. or not! £45 to find out ... shall I? But I need a carpet for the middle room, it's not a necessity to know about the L/C gene but curiosity may get the better of me. If she does not carry it she will not produce it .. simple, but mated to a L/c some of her progeny will carry it. I know that if you mate two S/C's who carry the gene then 25% of the litter will be L/C .. but for the hell of me I can't remember the ratio if you mate a L/C to a S/C who does carry the gene! (But I know the woman to ask .... again!)
I now need some nice names beginning with "K." Nikki's registered name was Camri and in tribute to her I may use Kamri  which means "Very pretty and cute with a little spicy attitude." Kamry is a variant form of the name Kamri. Variant forms share the origin and meaning of the name so a choice on spelling too.  Sounds good to me! My God look at me it's only January and I'm making plans for the Autumn!

One Year On

And we still miss you dear Tali 

Happy photos taken just weeks before we lost her, she was blessed to be so well for so long.

Monday, 28 January 2019

Kong is Safe

Ross is blessed to have amazing friends. Thank you so much to Csinos the Vizsla for putting her gundog skills to practice - Ross thinks you are ace.
Kaiah could have gone down there, she's agile and light on her feet ... 
but I bet she couldn't arse. I'd never let Ross go, he's far too much of a clumsy teenage boy, guaranteed he'd break something!

I Went Looking For The Old Kong

Ross dropped it from the top, so I thought with more sensible dogs for company I'd see if I could get it from the bottom. He couldn't have dropped it in a worse place, it's about half way down. I decided from here it was a no go. Look at the trees in the top photo .. I'll zoom in
Can you see it?  Zooming in more
This really is a great camera! 
Ah well Ross will have to just be happy with his new Kong. I'll do mostly anything for my dogs, but not that! If I broke something there would be no more walks would there! . 

On Cilgwyn Mountain Today

Nico and Jess Babies -12 Days Old

Well worth watching full screen

Two Dogs 

And one cuddly little girl

Sunday, 27 January 2019

We Made It Out

 It was bloody cold in the biting strong wind today, but peaceful walks they were not to be. A typical Sunday the mountain was full of walkers, joggers and cyclists (Pushing their bikes as it was too windy to ride them .. and they had shorts on .. fecking idiots!!!) The shooting range was full and noisy and one of my parking spots had 6 cars in it! (there's usually only me and if I'm unlucky the odd other one .."odd" being the operative word!!) Still there was no hassle and we had a great time being blown about the mountain. Today was definitely the right clothes kind of day! 
Just to prove I went out with them and didn't send them out on their own. 

Ears and DM

Yesterday morning I had a humorous message from a Blanik owner saying that she thought her boy had huge "bat ears!" I looked at him and disagreed .. though maybe they are a little wide set giving a false impression. We'll blame dear Ziva for that! Then strangely on the walk I took this photo .. it's the classic "boys only as Kaiah has fecked off after one click" photo. It often happens and I'm left with just the two boys. But what is absolutely strikingly obvious about this photo is the difference in ear size between the boys.Weirdly I don't see it in everyday life but in a photo like this you can't miss the fact that Loki's ears are too small for the size of his masculine  head.
Precious Asha still fighting fit 
On a more serious note, Asha's sister has been having a really hard time. She had been slowing down but all of a sudden she went completely off one of her hind legs. Following Xrays and a diagnosis of spondylosis at the vets her owner asked for her to be referred to a specialist animal hospital. Following ct and mri scans it was also confirmed she has a trapped nerve and a partially slipped disc. Poor girl no wonder she was in pain. Though she had no clinical symptoms she was also tested for DM and the owner was told that the DM genetic test revealed that she is a carrier of the mutation and therefore at major risk of the development of dm.
This has confused me greatly as the DM test is new to us all and absolutely worth doing but I was under the impressions there where only three results possible, clear, carrier and affected. Clear and affected are self explanatory but that a carrier had one gene from one parent and is at low risk of developing the condition. Indeed a carrier can be bred from providing the partner has tested clear. This contradicts the results given to the bitches owner.
Last night I went on The KC site and found this ... "DM is a progressive disease of the spinal cord in older dogs. A recessive mutation that is linked with this disease has been identified. There is evidence that having two copies of this gene (one inherited from the mother and one from its father) is strongly associated with the development of DM. However, having two copies of the recessive mutant gene does not necessarily result in clinical disease and similarly an absence of the gene is not a guarantee that the condition will not occur.
 • Two copies of the normal gene (“Clear”/ homozygous normal) – likely to be free of DM
 • One copy of the mutant gene (“carrier”/ heterozygous) – low chance of developing the disease
 • Two copies of the mutant gene (“affected”/homozygous affected) – high risk of developing DM"

That also confirms what I had been told but I looked further going onto Fitzpatrickreferrals page ..if you don't know who he is then shame on you .. lol
"Genetic testing is available through laboratories and breeding guidelines are available to identify dogs at risk of degenerative myelopathy. Test results identify dogs that are ‘clear’ i.e. the dog who is extremely unlikely to develop DM; those who are ‘carriers’ and are less likely to develop the disease and those who are ‘at risk’ of developing DM. It is important to understand this genetic test does NOT confirm degenerative myelopathy. In addition, some dogs that might be destined to develop the disease do not do so in their lifetime and pass away before getting degenerative myelopathy."
Here is a link to that page as it's well worth a read

An Old Finlay showing weakness in his hindquarters
I also contacted my friend last night, the breeder of sable 2, she is a fount of knowledge. She has written books on the breed and is always the one I turn to for help and advice .. she also agreed that a carrier has "less change" of developing HD.
The test is so new that Sammi was not tested for it ... and neither was Merlot. But being used regularly Merlot has now been tested and is clear, so theoretically Kaiah and her brothers should not be affected .. they can only be clear or carriers. Kaiah will be tested before I breed from her, If Kaiah is a carrier then she must be mated to a clear dog .. and Zalu, the dog on the top of my list for her has been tested  and is clear. I think I will also test Ross as it will give me an idea for the future.
Blade at the front - 1997
As far as I know no Blanik bred dog has ever developed DM, but those of you who have known me a long time know that I have lived with the heartache of DM at it's most cruel. (or CDRM as it was called then.) It quickly stripped Blade of his mobility and it was heartbreaking to see him deteriorate so quickly. Thankfully Blade was never bred from. Finlay also developed it, but for him it progressed a lot slower and though he was loosing strength he managed to get about until we lost him to an unrelated condition. Finlay was 13 when we lost him, Blade was only 10.5. It has been said that trauma and surgery can bring it on more aggressively and Blade had had his second torsion in the July when he was 8.5 years old, (1999) before then he had no clinical signs and to be honest I don't remember when he did first show significant signs.(Early signs are easily missed) I do remember showing him at Crufts in May 2000 the foot and mouth outbreak moved the show forward 2 months that year .. and I remember he deteriorated rapidly after that as the restricted exercise did him no favours. Jill Hubbard told me to walk Finlay as far as I thought he should go .. and then a little bit more .. he definitely progressed at a slower rate than Blade who was confined to our own land because of foot and mouth. 
I wish Asha sister all the luck in the world and hope the conservative pain management and hydrotherapy give her the quality of life she deserves in the Autumn of her years and I thank her owners from the bottom of my heart for loving her so much and doing the very best by her.

Edited to add - A post on this blog about Finlay on the 30th of July 2015 I wrote ... "As we suspected Finlay has CDRM, which is a pain free, but degenerative and paralyzing condition of the nerve endings of the spine. The condition progresses at different speeds in different dogs, sometimes taking years, sometimes months to cause any real difficulty. Sadly I have come across it before, and watched Blade loose his mobility with it over his twilight years. Anyway Vet Jill stressed that we must carry on with the walking, she said do what your doing and then do a little more! Stopping is the worse thing you can do for CDRM, though the progression of the condition can not be stopped, it can be slowed down. Thankfully everything else is in good working order for his age so now we plod on and enjoy every day that we share together!"
It was only 13 months later that we lost a 13 year old  Finlay - and though the condition was progressing as I said we lost him to an unrelated condition.

Saturday, 26 January 2019

New Kong

Fantastic next day delivery from the seller, postie had been whilst we where out walking. Mr Ross is now a happy chap. I tried to convince him to carry the gundog dummy that the girls take on the walk, but he didn't want to know.  Funny how they have their favourite toys. For Ross it's an orange kong and a blue chuckit ball. The orange kong is more than me pleasing him though, it keeps things a little calmer on the walk between him and Kaiah ...

Three Bridges

If the weather forecast is accurate then tomorrow it will be too windy to walk so we made the most of our morning today. Yes we had a bit of horizontal drizzle which affected some photos, but generally we had a great time. Lots of people heading towards Talysarn lake, not a soul on the footpath by the river or in Cwm Dulyn. Happy Days

And Some More Photos Of Everyone 
 My favourite photo of the day - love Ziva's expression
The girls on the track following the river from Talysarn towards Penygroes
 Jezi and Nico on the path back from Tanyrallt to Talysarn
Cwm Dulyn with The Young Guns 

Friday, 25 January 2019

Crisis of the day

 A very very precious Kong was dropped down a thirty foot drop today. It looks less steep than it actually is and there was no way I could get to it from the top or the bottom. Ross considered going down himself, but thankfully he doesn't like drops so he didn't go. I swear he looked heartbroken ... He doesn't ask a lot in life  but a Kong is a priority .. I came home and instantly ordered him another ...
Bye Bye Kong
Bye Bye Ross ..
My poor boy didn't want to leave without his Kong, but there was nothing I could do. 

Walks to Llyn Cop