Saturday, 29 February 2020

Last Day Of Meteorological Winter

 This walked proved that Nico had assistance in stealing biscuits
both had yellow diarrhea -  oh and we met the cofi 
Young Guns - Here comes the black sky! 
And a hammering in the hail

6 Weeks

Sammi in her cuddle position - doesn't look much different to the last photo on Tuesday .. but she is now 33" so growing an average of 2" a week. She was 31" last Sunday at 5 weeks and 29" at 4 weeks - which is about normal for her - though I did see abdominal enlargements on day 30. Going for our short walk soon - before the next bloody storm arrives! 

Changing Plans Again

So (Don't start a sentence with "So" I hear him scream) So, 😜 the plan was to mate  Kaiah in the Winter of 2019 and Sammi in the Summer of 2020. To keep a sable bitch out of Kaiah and Zalu and a black and tan dog out of Sammi and Sisco. Well Kaiah put the kaibosh on that one didn't she! Plans changed, with no Kaiah babies they had too. Sammi was mated earlier, being older, but not old I hasten to add it was probably not a bad thing. In my head I kind of went along with the idea that Sammi would have another small litter and that I could then mate Kaiah at her next season ... well it looks like I now need to rethink again! I can't consider taking Kaiah to Suffolk to be mated whilst Sammi has a young litter here. It wouldn't be fair on Steve, Sammi or the pups. I am the breeder, they are my responsibility and to be honest I probably couldn't bare being taken away from them. We've not had a litter since 2016 ... and 2013 before that. No I want to stay home and enjoy them! Sod the shows and lets get Tesco deliveries ... LOL
The new camp bed arrived yesterday. The other had served me well and came here from my parents house. I'd slept on it for years with litters of puppies - going back as far as the A litter of 1996, yes I've slept a fair few nights in the kitchen. I guess we are lucky with this breed, they are quite careful with pups but accidents happen with large litters and as mothers try to get comfortable puppies get crushed and even killed. Whilst I've always slept in a room with new born pups I've never had a camera in the room before, but it will give added security and I can relax and watch TV in the living room in the evenings.
Sammi is six week today/tomorrow and getting bigger by the day. She looks huge in the evenings but less so in the morning. That is something I've observed many times before, fascinating .. I wonder where the bundles hide during the day? LOL  I'll get a photo and for my own curiosity and records measure her belly later. I know the recommendation is to weigh pregnant bitches weekly, but I'm not carting her to the vets for that now ... you never know who is there and with what conditions do you?

Friday, 28 February 2020

Nico Strikes Again!

1kg of bonio type biscuits missing - It wasn't me says Nico. 
Who believes him?

Thursday, 27 February 2020

The Black Panther

Luther is 10 months old now. Because of the size of him we forget he's still only a baby, and a bloody naughty one at that! 

Today's Walks

Blanik Bundles

So here they are, the first photos of hopefully for Facebook followers hundreds to come of the Blanik K Kids. These were taken on day 38/39 so too early to see calcification of the bones as this occurs after 6 weeks, but the black circles you see are the pups.
The new camp bed is ordered as I always sleep in the kitchen with new born pups. The other bed had severed me well, but it was knackered and went with a skip a couple of years ago. I've also ordered a camera so I can sit and watch TV in the evening and keep an eye on the kitchen on my laptop. Less disturbance for her and peace of mind for me.
I'm excited but of course nervous now.

Bitch Bleeding During Pregnancy

As you all know now Sammi bled during her pregnancy. My initial reaction was complete panic, followed by many phone calls. The vet prescribed antibiotics and rest.
Now what is important to stress was that Sammi was not ill in anyway, her temperature was normal,  she's was eating and enjoying life normally. Sammi was fine. I, on the other hand was not. I so worried that something was going wrong with the pregnancy .. so worried that she was 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 that gave little comfort at the time. Implantation bleeding was 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 spent hours on google and couldn't find anything that would give me piece of mind, everything was so negative. But in the early hours of one morning I did find an article that gave me hope. Click on this link if you want to read about a similar experience to Sammi's ...
Then, thankfully a knowledge friend who'd had a similar experience herself put me in touch with others. Ok so it's not common, but these bitches too bled at 16 days and stopped at about the three week period. They all went on to have large litters ...
What I don't understand is that in these days of knowledge and shared experience, why is this not well documented? Why are there no answers? Why is there no pages of advice to easy the worried minds of hobby breeders? Why is there no generally course of action? Thankfully I had 3 ladies that I know from the breed who gave me time and shared their valuable experiences, but not even they could tell me why. One simply said, don't worry it happens as it can in pregnant women ... but I ask again Why? Oh hell I'm not expecting any of us to know but surely someone does and is it always associated with bitches carrying large litters?
Anyway if this post pop us for anyone who's in a similar situation and googling in the middle of the night and gives them a little piece of mind then I'm pleased to say that I've succeeded in my quest! Sammi is now over 5 weeks gone and we have had no further bleeding .... as well as the growing belly the scan show a large litter!

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

No Scan Photos

I've been waiting all day for the scan photos to come through .. so I have just messaged Lowisa who took the ultrasound. She sent them through .. but damn she sent them to the old e.mail address and that doesn't exist anymore. So now I have to wait till tomorrow. Poo
Anyway I can't wait that long to share the news - it looks like there are about 8 puppies. We saw a lot today, 5 together in one area so who knows how many in total. From her early distended belly I knew in my gut that she was carrying a big litter. I've no memory of seeing that enlargement so early in my bitches before. Though of course my memory of Nikki and Krizzie's large litters are not that clear and sadly I did not document details like I do now.
Anyway I now know to start gradually increasing Sammi's food at the weekend, only by 10% to start off with but then we'll gradually increase it further. Only one of my bitches would have 3 puppies at 3 years old and be expecting maybe three times that many at 6 years old ... mind you with my health I was probably only capable of looking after 3 in 2016. With hindsight we did mate Sammi at least 2 days too late then though, the ova would I'm sure have been dying by then ... so we were lucky to get the three and even more lucky to have little Miss K in there. Talking of the letter K - this will be the Blanik K litter - good thing I already have a list!

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

That Belly Is Growing

I know the position Sammi is in possibly makes her look bigger .. but at least here you can see the extending belly. 
Had to laugh at Mr Ross peeking! 

Waiting For The Snow

That never came ...

Monday, 24 February 2020

Part Two - Just For Fun

Hounds On The Hill - Part 1

Just An Observation

No I'm not concerned, just a little bit of old age creeping in. I've recently noticed Asha miss a couple of important things, well important to her as it involves food! The only conclusion from those situations is that there is some loss of hearing so if it continues we may have to adjust are routine appropriately. I doubt it will cause any change to her walks but I may not leave her to her own devices quite as much, though unlike an elderly Tali as far as I know Asha can still see  perfectly well.
The weather is piss poor again today so I guess we'll be walking on the track again ... I consider myself as some who accepts and even enjoys most of the seasonal weather ... but even I'm getting fed up of wind and rain now!

Sunday, 23 February 2020

Sammi - 5 weeks

She doesn't look particularly pregnant to the eye and from the side, but her belly is growing underneath her long skirt. She's deepened 2 inches in one week. She's now 31" the size she was last time on day 44. I'll measure her and take photos every weekend now and obviously continue with her normal moderate but sensible exercise. 

Thankfully It'd Dry!

Saturday, 22 February 2020

Caernarfon C.S

Just back from Caernarfon show. Both my boys second in their classes. Well done to Angela Jones and Enzo on BOB and group 1 and to Debra Lloyd and Eira on BPIB, Puppy Group one and RBPIS. Also well done to Angela's Bolt on Best Veteran in show. Great to see the breed do well and be represented in the BIS ring by these lovely examples of the breed. As friends and supporters of the breed it was great to be there to cheer you on and I'm sure we all saw the bad sportsmanship. The green eyed monster couldn't even be arsed to watch BOB, turned her back to the ring so no chance of a clap from there was there .. great to hear she then went off moaning about the judging. When will these people learn that it all comes back to us before the end of the day. Hypocritically i read the comments from the same person on the photos of Eira ... speechless but at the end of the day people notice and all they do really is show themselves up ...
Thanks Mrs B for the pics of Loki .. all we got so only too pleased to get them.

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!