Thursday, 20 February 2020

After The Morning Rain

Some sunshine and lots of fun in the fields. 

The Male And Sammi (Of Course)

Fransisco Di Casa Gregori as I'm sure you've guessed is a dog imported from Italy and now lives near Nantwich in the Rafaye kennel. Known around the show circuit by his pet name "Sisco" he has created quite a reputation for himself and he has successful progeny In Italy as well as in this country.
Sisco is a dog I looked at for Sammi last time, and also considered for Kaiah, but my plans for Kaiah still remain the same.  Sisco took my breath away when he won his class at Crufts last year, I said then and maintain now that he really should have been Best Of Breed that day. He was V1 British Adult Sieger in 2016 and he made breed history in the UK in 2019 by siring both male and female British Adult Siegers - Xibor Chase and Natalie di Casa Gregori. Sisco was the Arden Grange/Our Dogs Top Producing UK Sire of 2018. (Based on progeny success not the amount of progeny)
The dog has a calm self assured disposition. Even Sammi found herself flirting with him, and she really only generally flirts with Sully Sarah's dog and her long standing boyfriend Rio the Border Collie. (who plays hard to get!) Sisco is not an overly tall dog, he's bang on height at 65cms, a better size than my two youngsters who are over height. Joe's only negative remark about Sammi was that she was tall ... hell I know and though Nico her dad is not tall himself he does seem to produce larger offspring than himself. Of course we know there is a tendency for height behind him .. Kai was his mother's brother and he was 69cms at the wither!
Sisco has harmonious unexaggerated proportions, dark eyes and a kind expression. Though he has a mask my personal preference is for a very darker head .. his colour is second to none with only a small white patch which is acceptable and really barely noticeable when you see the dog.  He does carry the L/C gene ... but I don't know if Sammi does. She didn't produce any to Merlot who also carries the gene but I guess 3 puppies would not really given us an accurate idea as only 25% of a litter from standard coated parents carrying the gene will be long coated. (though 50% will carry the gene leaving 25% only carrying the S/c gene) It is quite possible that as Sammi was one of 6 with two sibling L/C's that she does not carry the L/C gene .. but without testing her like I did with Kaiah, who knows? .. and actually at this moment in time who cares?
I've booked Sammi in for a second "normal time" scan next week. No I'm not saying when but I've just looked and it forecasts snow so I may have to change it!  I'm not being secretive just protecting myself. This time I'm going back to the Pitter Patter Pet Pregnancy Scanning, after the bleeding I did feel it was better to go to the vets yesterday but at £48 I won't go back unless there is a problem! It will be easier to see the brood after 35 days and maybe get more of an idea how many are there. I've no memory, certainly in recent years of a bitch showing abdominal enlargement so early in the pregnancy before, though my records confirm that Sammi did have other early signs last time too. Asha had 9 and didn't show till after day 34, Sammi has been showing since about day 30. The difference being of course that it was Asha's one and only litter .. I have to go back to Krizzie here for a bitch that has had two litters and of course I can't remember how early she did show on the second litter, I only remember the panic of the bleeding between 4.5 weeks and 7 weeks.  My gut is telling me there are more than 5 puppies here, though of course I would be delighted with 5. Having an idea if there is more can only help with appropriate feeding. With only 2 scanned and one hiding I was careful not to over feed Sammi last time but they still grew to be huge at birth. Seffe also had a smaller litter - 5 and needed a cesarean as in those day I had no idea how many were on the way and I fed her as I had done with Nikki. Just having an idea, less than 5, more than 5 will be useful. Sammi didn't have breakfast today - but had lunch! lol I will update this page regularly now .. too bloody often maybe? Lol But until hopefully our little family arrive safely I will refrain from posting on Social media, anyone who is really interested can catch up on here anyway can't they!

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Can You See Them?

Little Italians cooking in a Popty Cymraeg ! 
The vet and Steve's beady eye saw 5, I've no idea what I saw and who I saw how many times. LOL 
I think I may well take her to Anglesey in a week for a progress report and maybe by then more of an idea on numbers. 
Now I feel confident to say it, Sammi has been "Showing" a little since the weekend and has since then developed an abdominal enlargement. Yes of course I measured her - just like I did last time. She is 30" now on day 32 - she was that size on day 38 last time. Well there is no conclusion really from that other than she is bigger than she was last time .. HaHa ...  But she has grown 2" in 12 days.
Little Italians 
Will be posting updates on here now, but not on Facebook.   

Sammi's Diary - Part 2

02/02/2020 (day 15) What a date! -Panic stations here this morning, Sammi has started bleeding. I contacted Katrina who said I should get some antibiotics from the vets .. she tried to reassure me with "sometimes they can bleed during pregnancy." I rang the vet and after checking Sammi's temp was normal I was allowed to go and pick up the antibiotics for her. Obviously I'm stressed and worried and as usual I see worsted case scenario. I'm trying to comfort myself that Krizzie bled from 4.5 weeks to 7 weeks on her second litter and had a normal health litter .. but to be honest it's not working!
03/02 - Nothing has changed, Sammi is still bleeding but her temperature is normal and she's eating. She's fine, I'm not. I'm so worried that something is going wrong with the pregnancy .. so worried that she is loosing the pups. I know that normal when pups are "miscarried" at this stage that they are reabsorbed into the body and you generally never know they were there, but again today that gives little comfort. Implantation bleeding has been mentioned, this was not familiar to me, but google says ... "Implantation bleeding is thought to happen when the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus." But according to Book Of The Bitch that happens at 20 - 21 days not 16 days, and that's a huge difference in a 9 week pregnancy. I now have at least 3 weeks to worry about this, 3 weeks before we can know one way or another for sure. God why does this always happen to me, why can I not enjoy a pregnancy with my bitches like I did with Ziva and others before her?
05/02 - Day 18 -The blood has now stopped and throughout Sammi has been fine. Yesterday and today we have done short walks ... vet agrees to get to normal now.
07/02 - Day 20 -Sadly the blood started again. Following advice I took Sammi for a progesterone test today. It was 42.1 .. relief, so theoretically she should be able to hold puppies if she is pregnant. This is the same test as was used to determine the ovulation day .. this now poses the questions, in which case, does a high result two to three weeks after mating point to a successful pregnancy? Would you expect the result to be low if she had missed, or not been mated at all? If so could we use the progesterone test as a pregnancy test? Very interesting, someone must know ... Sometimes I really miss Jill Hubbard!
08/02 - Day 21 - There has been no blood today and we did a short group walk down a single track lane. I do hope I didn't do the wrong thing. I'm writing this here as I don't have to show it or justify it to anyone, but my gut tells me Sammi is pregnant. She is so clingy with me and her totally out of character reaction to Luther last week can only have been hormonal. " In the first trimester, the bitch may show mood changes and variable picky appetite. " No picky appetite but definitely mood changes! Now the second trimester begins (day 21-42).
09/02 - Day 22 - Sammi has been sick and left her breakfast this morning. A promising sign. This afternoon a third person with experience of bleeding in a pregnant bitches has told me her bitch went on to have a large litter .. We'll see.
12/02 - day 25 - Left her breakfast again today, but took my hand off for a carrot. We went to Cwm Dulyn but just did the walk along the wall. So plenty of time out but no space to run like an idiot!
14/02 - Day 27 - Sammi ate breakfast today. Until today she left it 4 days out of 5. She's still clingy
and loving but I don't trust her if the cats come near me. She's so jealous of them being close to me, but has no issues with the other dogs, odd yeah. Because she is showing signs of early pregnancy I go from being so excited and hopeful to cautious and worried because of the bleeding between day 15 and 22. (Going from the first mating) Sammi's nipples have doubled in size over the last week or so, if she is not pregnant then she truly believes she is ... I'll organise a scan after day 30 ...
17/2 - Day 30 - Sammi is eating her meals normally now. A scan is only available after day 30 from the second mating and these dates are from the first mating, so the scan would show up what I need to know after tomorrow. Normally I would leave it till nearer 35 days but with bleeding between 2 and 3 weeks then knowing everything is OK is so important. As much as I want to know I'm also so so scared of facing a disappointment. I explained this to Steve this morning expecting that he wouldn't get it, but he totally did. So maybe I'm not so daft after all? Haha
19/2 - Day 32 - Scan day. I'm excited and I'm terrified. My head tells me she is pregnant, she is showing all the classic signs, but my heart refuses to believe it and we all know that hormones can fool the best of us. I've tried to keep myself guarded from disappointment, but it didn't work, I'm too invested in the situation. I keep telling myself I'll know later, but then I take myself back to Sammi's previous first scan and the unnecessary heartache that followed .. I must also prepare for similar results just in case Sammi is again hiding a secret, but if I am to go with my gut feeling today then Sammi is pregnant and carrying more than three pups .. there I've said it, hope I haven't hexed it.
Great news at the vets then - Happy Bunny ...

Sammi's Diary - Part 1

2/12/19 - I guess things are a foot - Though there is no discharge or blood, Nico is showing a little interest in Sammi and Asha has started marking over her wee. I will take her to the field with Loki tomorrow to see what he thinks and when I change the bedding in the morning I'll give her a white vet bed. Please please let her not time this badly and need mating over the three days of Xmas .... Either come in now as in the next 2 days or hang onto it Sammi ... Please hang on a fortnight or a little more ...
I forgot to take her out with Loki but there are no further developments. For convenience I really need her to hang on till after the 15th now ideally ...
08/12/19 - Well I spoke too soon and last night Sammi had a pink discharge. After my initial panic I did calm down and think, well Sammi does tend to dilly dally before she starts to bleed properly. Hopefully she will this time too. If she came in today it would be a nightmare as her days of mating would clash with Xmas, any day after the 11th would help but that would make blood testing difficult .. so really we need to get to the 15th. Mind you knowing Sammi we could get to the 15th of January!!! lol
13/12/19 - Ahhh Red Blood. Shit! I've messages Sisco's owner and I'm now hoping he can accommodate us between Xmas and The New Year.
Ok, I'm now taking charge of it all ... I've booked Sammi in for bloods on the 24th and the 27th and confirmed that Joe is home and that Sisco will be available for the mating between Xmas an New Year. And breath!!! I think the 24th is too early for Sammi as it will be day 12 - but I'm not risking leaving her till the 27th (day 15) without knowing where she's at. Last time she was mated on day 18 - which will take us to the 30th. If her count is similar from these bloods then I think mating her on day 17 and 19 day maybe the best option.
16/12/19 - True to form Sammi is taking the piss. There has been no blood since Friday. I have not informed Joe or cancelled the vets appointment yet best keep everything as it is for now. But I think we can safely agree that was a false start that to be honest is quite typical of Sammi.
19/12/19 - Cancelled everything ... all I can do is wait now!
20/12/19 - Well now I have the answer to "noisy night" - Sammi is bleeding again. No reason to think that maybe she didn't have stomach cramps over night. Poor girl, I totally sympathise. I'm not getting back in touch with Joe today but I have made a vets appointment for the 31st - I'll give it a couple of days just in case she goes off again. I feel a phone call to Katrina coming on!!!!
I chatted to Katrina but still don't have an answer to the question of the day .. Do I class today as day 1 or a week ago when she showed first blood? She said she's had many bitches do the same with varying patterns of when it was day 1. Going from Sammi's previous seasons I would say today is day 1, but of course I'll have to be vigilant now. Thank god I have the boys to assist me!
26/12/19. Sammi continues to "Spot" but there has been no significant blood loss since the 20th. So I guess we are still in something like a pre-season which she has had before. For reference I decided to look back at previous notes
Sammi blood 30/4/19
Sammi Season?? - 25/5/19
Sammi Red Blood Day 1 14/6/19
Dogs in kennels 28/6/19.
So yes it went on for weeks before she finally came in season. The only difference was that she was due in season in June so the blood came prior to the due date. This time she was due in season in December and the spotting started at the due date. That's why it has led to further confusion and I presumed it was a normal season starting. Sammi really needs to come in season properly now if we are to have this Sisco litter otherwise it could clash with taking Kaiah to be mated in April/May. Obviously there is still plenty of time to have the two litters, but the sooner the better .. PLEASE Sammi!
28/12/19 - two tiny drops of blood this morning followed by greater interest in her wee from Loki. Nothing all day .. but now this evening red blood. I'll put white bedding back in her crate.
29/12/19 - Today there is nothing - absolutely nothing again! Ahhhhh I feel for Sammi's sake that after this season and hopefully a litter Sammi should be spayed. I know others say their bitches do it but I feel this can't be left to go on.
31/12/19 - Steve said that the two boys showed some interest in Sammi first thing this morning, but she was still not swollen and still only had that pink discharge. There was great interest in her wee on the walk .. Loki even went back to the spot on the return home. Tonight there is more red blood, I fear the roller coaster ride!
1/1/20 - We are back to nothing, this is just ridiculous, emotionally I'm not coping. I need this so much and ever day of uncertainty causes my further distress and anxiety. None of it is making any sense at all. I don't blame Sammi, it's just nature isn't it .. this is really taking it out of me, this is so hard.
3/1/20 - Blood - lots of blood - all day!
4/1/20 - Still bleeding - I won't book the vets appointment of contact Joe till Monday .. She's not making me look a tit again!
9/1/20 - Day 8, I guess .. some minimal interest from the boys, but Ziva soon put a stop to it!
11/1/20 - Nico has just gone into Sammi's crate to investigate, this is the first time my "Experienced" dog has taken an interest. Last night we had gushes of smelly blood .. things seem normal. I think the vet test on Monday will be far too early but because of the early bleeding I believe it's best I know where she is at. Th reading, however low will give me an idea of what happens next and when ...
The results from test one show Sammi's progesterone levels to be very low. Ideally I would test again on Friday, but as I'm at Manchester Ch. Show  I'll go on Thursday .. and again on Saturday if need be. If she develops normally then it'll be Sunday maybe by the time she's ready ... but I think I'm best to keep an eye on things just in case she shoots up like Kaiah did.

16/1/20 - Test 2 and she's up to 8.2 so we seem to be on the right track. I will test again on Saturday AM, I usually get the results within the hour. Katrina suggests I should mate just after ovulation and again in 48 hrs so if she progresses normally now that could be Saturday pm and Monday, or Sunday and Tuesday. Interestingly piece of information by the way, .. day 15 is the average ovulation day in the breed. Today is day 14 from this last lot of bleeding. Theoretically she should have doubled in 48 hrs so therefore by Saturday morning she will have ovulated.
18/1/20 -The result for test three on day 16 got us in a tiss 23.4. It looks like Sammi ovulated yesterday. (approx 16) Road trip today. On meeting Sisco, Sammi liked him and was quite flirty .. kisses and games were acceptable, but Italian or not, she didn't want anymore thank you very much! We had some difficulties getting her mated as she's a bit of an odd shape internally and awkward about it too.. no wonder the inexperienced Ole didn't manage it! I have to say Joe was just lovely, calm and reassuring and had a wonderful rapport with his dogs. He told me off for shouting at Sammi for being a bucking bronco!!! Anyway the end result was a 20 min tie. Sisco is just lovely, so impressive. Because Sammi has jumped up so quickly Katrina suggested I take her back tomorrow and Joe agrees that she is bang on ready now, by Monday the ova maybe starting to age ..
19/1/20 - Day 17 - Part 2 of the Italian job went well. Again some initial difficulties as Sammi swung her bottom in all directions, but we got there and once she's mate she's quite calm about it all. (25 mins tie)  It takes about 6 hours  for the sperm to get to the eggs and the sperm lives about 48 hours but sometimes up to 7 days - we can do no more! Sammi's count  must be in the 40ies by now.
20/01/20 - This evening the dogs are already a little quieter, so it does look like she's going over quickly.  The waiting game begins now ...
22/01/20 - The dogs are quieter since last night. Ross is now back with Sammi. I won't try Loki till the weekend as he doesn't get it for days. It's only day 20 - she's gone off really quickly, they use to say that was a promising sign for pregnancy as the eggs were fertilised and not continuing to mature into old age. Still best I put it in the back of my mind now and get on with the next few weeks!
26/01/20 - It's all over - Loki is now back with Sammi.

Cold Last Night

Perry and Luther
Junior, Jimmy Choo and Jamie
 No not photographic genius -
 just 5 boy cats warming their bottoms on a cold night reacting to a packet of lentil curls! 
And someone asks where is Isla? 
Making her feeling known - I'm not sitting with smelly boys and sod off with the camera!

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Still On Short Walks

I'm still not up to walking for miles, and I guess a little fatigue is setting in after the last couple of weeks. Mind you I shouldn't complain, my head has been pretty good since the Suffolk trip. I know from experience that sitting indoors doesn't help and if I can swallow some pills and go out then I must... well I did! 
"Fatigue is experienced by everyone at some point after a period of physical or mental activity and is a signal from our bodies telling us to take a break. ‘Normal’ fatigue is time-limited and alleviated by rest, whereas ‘pathological’ fatigue, such as that experienced following brain injury, may be present most of the time. It may not improve with rest and is likely to significantly impact on people being able to do the activities they want to do.
Many people experience fatigue following brain injury, but the underlying causes are still poorly understood. Fatigue may be a result of direct damage to brain structures or due to other factors such as needing to make more effort to think or move......."

Monday, 17 February 2020

Around And About

 Not sure what was going on today but Jezi kept yelping. We've looked her over and can find nothing, but something must be catching and hurting 
 Ladies - So far so good with Asha's sore. It's dry and healing nicely, just hope the bugger leaves it alone now. 
The Young Guns 

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Oh Asha!

Looks like Asha has been at it again over night. You can see the sore on the top of her thigh. Just as it heals and dries she has a go at it again. It must itch all of a sudden, I can't think why else she would pick at it. She leaves it alone for months and then we have a spell of this. 
The small top photo shows it as we found it this morning. This time I've cut the hair further back and cleaned it with Hibiscrub and then by the last photo smothered it in antiseptic powder. Nothing else I can do, good thing I didn't enter her at Crufts! 
Talking of Crufts, looks like Kaiah has decided to fall apart so she won't be going either ... 

Two Days With Dennis

Yesterday was one of those day when the right clothes simply would not have been enough. Unless you had led filled boots and a crash helmet then you simply could not walk on the mountain. To be honest I struggled to make it to the gate to collect the mail from our post box, but I had to go as I saw online that the Crufts passes were arriving.. Steve refused to go for me so I had to or suffer the consequences of soggy passes ...
I got irritated by photos of people walking their dogs in places were it was ridiculous to do so. I appreciate the weather was not the same everywhere but some people took stupid risks. There were photos of dogs by fast moving water, photos of dogs near high tides, what is wrong with people? It's announced on the news and social media to only go out if you have too, it's announced that there is a danger to life and still they risk it and walk the dogs or go to shows! But what irritated me more was the gloating "Oh yes we've walked the dogs, why haven't you?" And the criticism of people like myself who decided the dogs had to have a lazy day. Listen I don't like it when we miss out, I love to walk, they love to walk, but missing the odd day won't kill them .. going out yesterday could have done!

Thursday, 13 February 2020

All Out In The Afternoon


My parents still live in my childhood home in the the village of Tremadog. Though I have great memories of my childhood as well as the disruptive days of the teenage years, my fondest memories are from the village of Penmorfa where I spend weekends and holidays with my grandmother. My grandfather died when I was 11, but I was blessed to have my other grandparents well into my adulthood. My "Nain Penmorfa" - my mum's mum was a lot like me I guess. Much to my Mum's horror we were/are both a little rebellious, a little mischievous and a little naughty. Without doubt my love for animals came from my Nain and I guess I was destine to spend my free time with her in her large garden with the dog and cat. I just loved it there and as I child my dream was live in that property or a similar one.
So this morning on my way to Aldi I stopped at the top of Penmorfa and walked down one of the tracks I use to walk with my Nain and Sandy. I considered going down to the playing field .. but time was against me so I initially stuck to the path then wondered off into the woodland at the base of "Allt Wen!"  I have such wonderful memories of that village, the footpaths .. the surrounding countryside ... and of course my Nain pictured here with Sultan in 1996.
Is it my imagination or has Ross' head broadened all of a sudden? I guess he's approaching 3 now so I guess maturity is kicking in ... 

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Cats - Mostly

 Sammi and Junior 
Had to include this as it's so funny 
 Jamie and Junior
Jimmy Choo and Luther 

Cwm Dulyn With The Kids

We stayed clear of the lake today, but with plenty of choice for walks we had a great time. 

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Bitterly Cold

One of the coldest days so far, bitter wind but wrapped up we had fun. The first two walks in the more sheltered location of the bottom track but the last lot as usual need more .. and they got it!

Monday, 10 February 2020

The Blizzard Begins

And of course we were out in it 
Sadly it's stopped now 

A Change In The Weather

 Dry for the first walk
 Then came the showers and the hail 
finally celebrations as the snow closed in 
 and yes an hour later it's still snowing

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Bye Ciara

The storm has now cleared. I have to admit it was pretty shit out there but we have had much worse. Ok, it would have been pretty stupid to go out, but from what I can see everything is where it should be. We were glad of the fields and everyone got to stretch their legs at least.