Thought I would post this 15 second video of Viljo at about 5.5 months the morning he caught a vole. He was as happy as a piggy with turnips!
For the first years after I'd begun feeding Kiki the (formerly) stray cat, I really regretted it. Mostly because of Owl's obsession with ending her life but also because she uses wood posts on my porch to file her nails and she sometimes poops in the lily bed. BUT, there is nothing like a good farm cat to keep the rodent population under control. I see Kiki with mice and voles often enough to be reminded of it. I was reminded again this morning when I took the dogs out and she was having a chipmunk for breakfast on the porch. We startled her and she dropped it and hightailed it under the porch. Viljo snatched the awesome snack and boy did he enjoy it. Lip-smacking good, he said!
Thought I would post this 15 second video of Viljo at about 5.5 months the morning he caught a vole. He was as happy as a piggy with turnips!
And today is Taya's second birthday. She and her four sisters and one brother were born in Denmark at Kennel Tranevang. We are very grateful to their breeder Lise-Lotte Schulz. Many thanks, too, to Marie Gadolin who provided us with a number of photos and comments about each pupster. It was not easy, sitting here in Ohio, and trying to decide IF a puppy and WHICH puppy.
"Puppy" became "puppies" and half the litter is in the US. Taya is with me, Tasha is with Cliff Shrader and Cheryl in Louisiana, and Thor aka Seymour is with Derek Smith and Jennifer in Virginia. We are all VERY GLAD to have them!
Their sister Terra is at home with Lise-Lotte.
The photo is Taya, two weeks after coming to the States and a few minutes after a warm August tracking session. We walked to the pond for the first time and she, at 10 weeks of age, went right on in. It tells a lot about her nature.
Happy Birthday to the T litter!
Happy Memorial Day!
Taya's puppies were due on this date but we ARE celebrating a birthday here. Four years ago today, Viljo was born in Finland. Searching the web for photos of his father Svante, a dog I'd seen, liked very much, and 'lost' again, I finally found him. Lo and behold, I ALSO found that Svante had fathered a litter just three days previously. I emailed Svante's owner, Tia Eskelinen, we began
Taya's puppies were due on this date but we ARE celebrating a birthday here. Four years ago today, Viljo was born in Finland. Searching the web for photos of his father Svante, a dog I'd seen, liked very much, and 'lost' again, I finally found him. Lo and behold, I ALSO found that Svante had fathered a litter just three days previously. I emailed Svante's owner, Tia Eskelinen, we began corresponding, and I kept staring at the photos of the smaller, dark male.
The staring turned in to traveling to Finland in August. It was an awesome two weeks which included various standard longhairs in fox practices in two different areas and an entire day of badger hunting, also puppy testing, track laying, attending shows, an all-night ferry trip to Sweden, and it all ended with 12 weeks old Viljo coming back on the plane with me!
He is an intelligent and devoted CHARACTER and I am so glad to have him! With many thanks, especially to Tia, and also to Jarkko Eskelinen, Leeni Leinonen, Tero Ratinen, Pauliina Sjöholm, Ilse Kokkonen, and Marina Nilsson.
Happy Birthday, Viljo!
It is an annual spring event. A black snake stays and molts in the wall of the outbuilding. And it drives my dogs nuts. And when they bark and dig like crazy, I'm nuts, too. lol Last out yesterday before work, we came upon the molted skin. YAY! THAT'S done!
I pulled the entire skin out and had a good look. It measures 47 inches long. Particularly interesting is that the skin of the eyes is included in the whole molting shebang. Now if the snake will leave again, peace will reign. If not, I am going to have to spray a non-toxic something in there to get it to move on. Owl and the others have killed half a dozen of their tribe that I can remember.
The most memorable black snake appearance was when I got out of bed one morning and there was one on my bedroom carpet. Thank God, it had not crawled onto the bed. Speaking of which, I jumped back on the bed a heck of a lot faster than I got out. I am not afraid of black snakes, I actually like them. But I do not like surprises!
It seems that I have not, at least, had any problems breeding black snakes here. <she says with pride> But I forbid them to whelp in my bedroom.
May as well just say it. Taya is not pregnant. I am very (VERY) disappointed but I am not going to whine about it. I have been disappointed before and good things came later.
There are several reasons why having a litter of puppies is so important to me.
First, ultimately all I do in the dog world is routed through the perspective of a breeder. I do not have many litters but breeding is the lens through which I see just about everything else in dogs. In August, it will be five years since I had a litter, and they were born in Mississippi. The last litter born here was in July 2008. Yet everything I have done in the past five years, including acquiring Viljo from Finland and Taya from Denmark, and all the trials and tests, has been with a view to breeding my interpretation of excellent, fieldworthy, standard longhaired dachshunds.
Longhairs have their place in the working world and I am committed to seeing them there. As I said to Cliff Shrader this spring, "no puppies, no future." Well, no puppies this time.
Second is that I was not breeding this litter for a pup for myself. I have four dogs and that is plenty for me to manage as they should be managed. But I have had several people on board the wait list for puppies - for months. These are tracking and performance homes with really good people. It is not fun to disappoint them.
There is one more thing. Owl, Oslo, and Odin are the only possibilities to continue the eight generations that I have worked on, and with, for decades. I would really hate to lose that connection. And they are going to be 10 years old in June.
I had a repro vet do a semen eval on Owl in April, 2013. The evaluation was fine. I have no reason to doubt in the spring of 2014 that Owl is not capable of producing a litter. We will see what happens with Tasha.
I have created a new page called "Tally Ho!" and posted nine photos of dachshunds from the Madison Area Dachshund Club field trial on April 20.
Thank you to their owners for providing me with great models for my first little portrait session. Some of the photos are pretty good, others just okay, but I am able to look at them now and see what I like, what I don't like and how I might do things differently. I learned a lot and can use the knowledge to improve my picture-taking in the future.
You know that I have been steadily other-homing books. Two or three times, I have had a specific one in my hand to put on the Go pile but kept pulling it back. And I am glad that I did! It is a book that I have had since I was stationed at Fort Knox in my early 20s. And have never read. Began reading it yesterday and it is wonderful!
"A Sand County Almanac" by Aldo Leopold, written in Wisconsin in the 1940s. It is a collection of essays that were in draft form when Mr. Leopold died in 1948. His son Luna edited them for publication in 1949. I love the writing! Besides being a naturalist, he was also a historian and the pages are filled with both.
Here is a paragraph: "March. The Geese Return. A cardinal, whistling spring to a thaw but later finding himself mistaken, can retrieve his error by resuming his winter silence. A chipmunk, emerging for a sunbath but finding a blizzard, has only to go back to bed. But a migrating goose, staking two hundred miles of black night on the chance of finding a hole in the lake, has no easy chance for retreat. His arrival carries the conviction of a prophet who has burned his bridges."
Great stuff in this little book which I have only begun to read!
I suppose my birthday has put me in a nostalgic mood.
Looking through a box of photos today, I came across also a few letters written way back when. One was a letter from my mother to my father on Nov 22, 1955. It was the year after they were married and the year before I was born. She was in Columbus, Ohio with his sister, waiting on the feds in DC to call her up to take her US citizenship test. The Army had just sent him back to Germany. In the letter, she tells him that she is expecting, with a due date of July 9, and she is happy about this. Born May 21, I was seven weeks early, then, not nine weeks as I have always thought. Interesting to read these things all these years later!
I think that I never opened this envelope before because a lot of the correspondence was in German which I do no read well. But this one was in English and I can't believe how good my mother's English already was. Ever the dog lover, she mentions Blackie, the Cocker spaniel that she says "is a lot of company to me right now." She writes a lot about how she cannot wait until they are together again, and sealed the letter with lipstick. : )
A number of people have asked me if Taya is pregnant. Unfortunately, I do not yet have an answer to that question.
Or, I should say, the answer is "I don't know."
With Taya's due date next week, how is it possible for pregnancy to be so up in the air at this late stage of the game?
First of all, I did not have an ultrasound done to confirm pregnancy. With one exception, I have never done it. While it is nice to confirm that a dog is pregnant, especially on a highly anticipated or long-awaited litter, I usually figure that I will know in a month or two anyway. Besides that, ultrasounds are not infallible. Stan and Tina Knoll had one done on Nadja and were told that she was not pregnant but Nadja whelped three puppies. And Diane Webb and John WIllmore had an ultrasound done on Olive that showed two puppies. Two weeks later, the fetal sacs were empty. The puppies had been absorbed.
Through the weeks since the two matings with Owl, Taya's vulva has remained enlarged, and she has had a slight amount of clear vaginal drainage that has clumped hairs together and provided me with great hope that she is in fact pregnant. In the past, this type of discharge has been an infallible sign.
And her nipples, while not yet large, have never decreased in size to what they were before Taya came in heat.
I have prided myself on being proficient at determining pregnancy by abdominal palpation at about 30 days. But this time, my findings were inconclusive. I found myself doubting my fingers. "Yes." "I believe I feel a puppy there." "One, I think." "But did I really feel a puppy there?" "Maybe not." Like a broken record. As I have said, it is like I want this litter too much!
The last photo is Taya this morning, at day 57 or so. (All the photos were taken this morning.) She followed me with her eyes but remained in the position that allows me to point out a couple more things.
First, you can see that she is in marvelous "bloom". The fantastic sheen to her coat and extra-good physical condition are typical of a bitch during a pregnancy that is very much agreeing with her.
Second, see how large and solid she (often but not always) looks lately when she is sitting or curled up. I have noticed all along how "thick" she appears in the area of the lower rib cage.
Then she stands up and the bulk pretty much disappears. She has just as much waist today as she did two months ago. Sometimes she appears almost thin. And to date, I have neither felt a puppy move or heard a heartbeat. And, Taya knows, I have tried!
So, that is why I have to answer the question with I don't know. It has been a rollercoaster ride for weeks. She is. She isn't. She is. She isn't. She is. She isn't. She is. She isn't.
Taya is handling the mystery better than I am.
Abdominal x-ray on Friday will provide THE clue.
Tasha has passed the advanced test at the annual United Blood Trackers Trackfest which was held this year in North Carolina!
The UBT-II test is a tracking test where 6 ounces of blood, or three ounces of blood and a deer hoof, are used to lay a track of at least 800 yards. The track will have three turns and two wound beds and will be aged at least eight hours or overnight.
Super performance; It is a wonderful accomplishment, Cliff!
Congratulations to you and Tasha!!
Here is a full report from Diane!
We're back from the Dachshund Club of America National Specialty --
Thank you for a great report on your marvelous accomplishments and, too, the fabulous photos and videos!
I am so proud of all of you!!!
ps Wow, that Bossa is fast!
Maxine Brinker called:
"Patt, she did it!"
Nexus' sister Nutmeg, (they turned 12 in March), went into this weekend needing TWO of the 750 points required to become a Master Agility Champion for the fifth time. She ran a strong Jumpers course, first course of the day, and completed those requirements for MACH 5!!! She is just the third dachshund to achieve MACH 5!
Maxine said she will run Nutmeg in Standard today, may also, depending on how good Nutmeg appears to be feeling, run her tomorrow, after which Nutmeg is Retired from agility. A lot of swimming, some earthdog and barn hunt, and, hopefully, helping Maxine discipline a new puppy, are the plans for Nutmeg's future.
FANTASTIC ACCOMPLISHMENT AND C@NGRATULATI@NS TO MAXINE AND MACH 5 NUTMEG!!
Watch the run which was videoed for Maxine by Pam Dural and posted on Coach's Eye.
Owl's sister Autumn Olive von Dorndorf, nine years and 11 months old today, is the Triathlon Winner of the 2014 Dachshund Club of America National events!
HUGE C@NGRATULATI@NS to Olive's owners and handlers John Willmore and Diane Webb of California!!!
Owl and Tasha mated again this morning. Then Cliff laid a track for Tasha, an AKC-type track this time, meaning Tasha tracked where Cliff walked; it was not a blood track.
Graciously, Cliff invited me to run Viljo on the track first. And Viljo, who had not tracked in months, did a very nice job! After that, Tasha ran the track, too. It was becoming warm but she is one motivated tracking dog and her performance was impressive! Following are some photos I took of Tasha on this track, with captions.
While Tasha is in Ohio to be mated with Owl, Cliff Shrader and I visited Jennifer Fry and Gretel in Columbus. Before this weekend, Tasha and Taya had not seen each other since they were eight weeks old at home in Denmark. But they get along fabulously and have played hard. It is quite interesting to see that the sisters are so similar in habits, expressions, size, and even their voices.
Thank you, Jennifer, for the visit and photos!