Yoga position for sleep. This is Blitzer. ~ Darja Krivonossova, Estonia
Dachshund breeder Darja Krivonossova posted this super-cute photo of one of her "Huntaks" puppies. Thank you, Darja, for permission to copy it to my blog!
Unfortunately, I must report that the patter of little half-pints will not be heard here this summer. Neither Taya or Tasha became pregnant by Owl. It is very disappointing to all of us.
As Owl was becoming older, I had his semen evaluated in February 2013 and it was good. But with both of these girls failing to conceive, Owl's fertility is today a looming question. I have an appointment for Owl with Dr. Robert Hutchison in northeast Ohio coming up on June 19. Dr. Hutch is known to breeders nationwide for his expertise in canine reproduction. We will see the results of the evaluation and make decisions based on that. I AM planning to mate Taya again in her next heat. At this point, though, I do not know who the male will be. I will keep you posted.
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!
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.
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.
I posted this on Facebook for 'throwback Thursday.'
Marta's second (and last) litter was by the Swedish import Hound's Kashmir who was out of venerable old hunting lines. Four males and three females were born in June of 2004. It was my O litter and I was working on coming up with O names. These were days before my photography went digital, so I had to wait to see photos. When I got this batch, I studied one particular photo of the four males together. The expression of one pup caught my eye. I said, hmmm, he looks like a wise little owl. Which is true to this day. I'm pretty sure you will know which one I am talking about.
I have been saying that Seiko is owned by Tina Knoll, which she is. Today, Tina's daughter Laura wrote to me, "Seiko is actually owned by me, too. I just needed some credit on my awesome little puppy."
Yes, you do, Laura! Pleeaase accept my apology.
Today in eastern Maryland, Taya's conformation was V rated (rated Excellent) by DTK judge Andreas Tornau from Germany. Herr Tornau evaluated the conformation of 30 dachshunds at the fall zuchtschau of the North American Teckel Club. As some readers know, the DTK (German Dachshund Club) requires an official conformation evaluation of Excellent or Very Good before a dachshund can be approved for breeding. So this was the next step on the path to having puppies from Taya in the spring. I plan for this litter to be dual registered with both the AKC and DTK.
[Babe is ABS3 FC Bob's Babe von Knobydox, owned by Tina Knoll of Mississippi.]
The main reason I drove to Georgia in the first place was to get Babe back to her owners. When Stan called a couple of weeks ago to tell me that Babe had come in heat, he asked me how I wanted to handle the mating. I thought about it and told him my first choice would be to meet him halfway between southern Mississippi and southern Ohio to get Babe. Then, because I knew Stan planned to be at the Atlanta field trials, I said that I would go, too, for the timing was likely to be good for him to get Babe back this weekend.
The timing was great. Babe and Owl mated three times. First time was on Wednesday, March 13. Second time was Friday, March 15. And the third time was Sunday, the 17th. I decided to hold off on updating the Puppies page until we know that Babe is pregnant. For the sake of the good people waiting on puppies, we would like to know as soon as possible. The plan is to have an ultrasound done in mid-April.
In the meantime, I realized that I have very few photos of Babe. So this evening after the field trial, Stan took Babe out and I took some photos.
Babe is of correct size, good temperament, excellent conformation, and has a lot of ability on game. She could use more pigment which is one of the reasons why she was bred to Owl who is quite dark. Babe could also use more coat. So could Owl, frankly, but more hair is not so high on our list of priorities. Besides that, all four grandparents have or had more coat and it is entirely possible that the puppies will, too.
Babe wants to track rabbits! But Stan did not want to enter her in the trials and I agreed with him. The first couple of weeks after mating, we want to keep things as stress-free as possible, including good stress. Babe is 6.5 years old and we are focused on maximizing her chances of "settling" and having a litter.
Babe was grinning a lot. She was happy to see Stan and also to be out of her crate in the car.
By the way, the scars on her muzzle are from Babe being bitten by copperheads. This happened more than once. Afterward, Babe's face was very swollen and she was sick for a few days but bounced back nicely.
Let us hope that Babe is expecting!
True to Stan's assertion that their bitches are ready to breed sooner than has been the norm for mine*, Babe accepted Owl last night. First day of mating, then, is March 13. Due date to be the middle of May. Here's hoping!
I will update the puppy page soon.
(*Even though they are closely related to mine. Any thoughts or conjectures as to why this might be? Much more sunshine in southern Mississippi than in the Ohio Valley? Living many hours closer to the equator? Different food? ??)
Owl himself as an owlet
[Owl is ABS5 FC Alpine Owl von Dorndorf TD JE NA OAJ SchwhK SchwhKF Wa-T BHP-G LH, owned by Patricia Nance.]
Owl had an appointment today with Dr Mark McCloskey, canine reproduction specialist at the Canine Semen Bank of Columbus. The purpose of the visit was twofold. First, Owl, 8.5 years old, is our choice to father Babe's litter this spring. Second, due to his outstanding individual qualities and his pedigree, I intend to have some of Owl's semen frozen and stored for the possibility of future use. So a good evaluation was the next step.
Taya is in heat so I took her with us. Her presence made collecting Owl very easy. Dr Mark was pleased with the quantity of semen until some blood, too, came with it. He said that Owl has some prostatitis going on and that we should treat the prostate before collecting semen for freezing. Microscopically, Owl's sperm appeared to be about 70% normal and functionally motile. Mark noted that this is quite adequate for natural mating but, ideally, he would like the number of normal sperm to be about 90% before processing for storage. He thinks obtaining this increase is very doable.
Owl will be on 250 mg of Cipro twice a day for 30 days. Then we will reevaluate. I will keep you posted.
Lise-Lotte Schulz has written that she is planning to repeat the mating that produced her Terra, my Taya, Cliff's Tasha, and Derek's Thor. You can see more about the Tranevang T litter by clicking on their names under Categories in the sidebar.
If you desire a dachshund with excellent temperament, tracking ability, size, coat, and game voice you will want to consider a puppy from this litter.
Lise-Lotte's email address is at the end of this post.
And certainly you are welcome to contact me for more information about the T litter and my experiences with importing dogs from Scandinavia.
I am expecting to mate Longhair standards in January or February.
It was a fairly good size doe that my neighbor shot on my property this afternoon. Jimmie had already field dressed it and dragged it for a way in the woods. When he was walking back to his house to get his ATV and a line to drag it with is when I saw him 'cause I happened to be outside at the time. When he told me that he had a deer in the woods is when I ran in to put on a jacket. Taya was already with me, as usual, and I wanted her to see the deer.
Following Jimmie, we went down the ravine into the woods. I inspected the doe and ran my hand through her beautiful thick hair. Taya was mildly curious about the deer but for the most part was surprisingly uninterested. I thought she would investigate it and want to taste it, chew on it a bit but she didn't.
What she WAS interested in was the blood line that was there from Jimmie having previously dragged the deer about 50 yards. Taya was going from leaf to leaf licking the blood. She followed the scent line up and down. Jimmie remarked, too, on how she was interested in where he'd dragged the deer. But the deer itself she was not impressed with. Not scared (she came up to it okay), not excited, not sniffing, licking, or biting it, she just wasn't that interested. She pretty much acted like she has seen a dead deer every day so what's the big deal. haha! The blood on the other hand, and there was a decent amount of it, really drew her attention. Wouldn't you love to know what they're thinking sometimes!
Jimmie tied his rope around the deer's neck, I grabbed a front leg, and we heaved and pulled the doe straight up the ravine to the edge of the woods. Jimmie went to get his ATV which he'd parked by the pond and Taya followed him. When he started the ATV up, Taya ran back to me. Which was good because I did not want her running around in the tall grass while he was driving it. (Although I do think she would have stayed clear of it, still...) That was the thing that bothered her some, the ATV. It's a small old Kawasaki that makes a lot of noise. I was still standing by the deer and was holding Taya then when Jimmie drove up. Taya did not like the ATV coming right at us and up to us! But when he tied the deer to it and began dragging it across the field toward his house, then of course Taya followed him. Or should I say followed the deer. She did not continue following Jimmie once he left my yard and went onto his own place. I was happy that she knows where she belongs! She is such a good girl.
So, I would say all in all it was a good experience for her. Jimmie said that he would give me a couple of parts and some meat when he is done cutting his deer all up.
Later, since he doesn't have a computer, I helped Jimmie report and tag the doe online which was cool.
Sage, the third and final female in the Dorndorf S litter was spayed yesterday. Her owner just did not want to have puppies - and that was known when she acquired Sage.
Nevertheless, knowing that Sage is spayed has not been an easy pill to swallow.
It is the end of eight continuous generations of Dorndorf bitches, or the "bottom line" on all of our pedigrees.
Our very first bitch, CH Dorndorf's Dana v Bricken, was obtained at nine months of age from a kennel in Texas in 1972.
1. 1973 CH Dorndorf's Andrea L (Winners Bitch at DCA in 1974)
2. 1981 CH Dorndorf's Ericka L CD TT
3. 1983 Felda v Dorndorf L CD TD TT
4. 1986 DC Grissel v Dorndorf L CDX TD VC
5. 1990 ABS15 FC Ilsa v Dorndorf L
6. 1998 ABS6 FC Marta v Dorndorf L JE LH
7. 2002 DC Nadja v Dorndorf L SE CG
8. 2009 Sonic, Sage, and Seiko v Dorndorf
Nadja, owned by Stan and Tina Knoll, produced three litters numbering 1, 2, 3 puppies, all females. Of these six offspring, one is dead and four are spayed. The one remaining intact Nadja daughter is Tina Knoll's ABS3 FC Bob's Babe von Knobydox. On the distaff side, then, though not a Dorndorf bitch, it will be up to Babe to carry on. She was bred to Owl in May this year but did not become pregnant. Our plan is to try again in the spring. Wish us luck!
One thing that I have learned from all this is that it is ultimately unwise for a breeder to put all of her eggs in one basket. Yes, it worked just fine for me to have only one producing female at a time for 29 years (!) but...
Here's to Owl x Babe puppies in the spring.
[Taya is Tranevang's MA Tayatax, bred by Lise-Lotte Schulz, Denmark.]
Happy Six Months Birthday to Taya, to her sister and brother Tasha and Thor who are also living Stateside, and to their three littermates overseas!