It is Taya in the photo with Teo pup.
Newest photo of Teo (foreground) who turned 7 months on Oct 12. It is hard to believe that I have had him six weeks already. Teo is a cool pupster with many layers to his character. He is high energy and thinks quite a lot of himself, strutting often like a little prince! He is spurlaut, has good ground clearance, moves very efficiently, is highly attentive, weighs 19 lbs, and has the most coarsely-textured top coat I have ever had on a longhair. I love all these things about him and more. The biggest surprise to me is that OWL is spending the most time playing with him! They are looking something like kindred spirits.
It is Taya in the photo with Teo pup.
After running errands, I attempted to take a short nap this evening. Since I hadn't fed the dogs yet, it didn't work too well. I noticed the after-the-storm light through the window was interesting. So I got up from the couch and one at a time invited the dogs to take my place for an impromptu photo shoot. Didn't have to twist their paws, Owl and Taya had been trying to sleep on me on the couch anyway! First photo is Owl, next two are Taya, then Nexus, and Viljo. They are good dogs, good friends really, and I very much enjoy them all.
Sometimes you just have to laugh. After their digging and wall-wallowing snake expedition, I made some coffee and walked into another room. Taya, eyes closed, was lying with ball tucked in safe. I thought of Robin Mousseau's photos of her Trouble and got my camera. When Taya heard me click it on, she opened one eye. haha! She closed it again. Then Owl, coveting the ball and whining softly the whole time, came and said to me, would you PLEASE make her give me the ball? (Nine other balls and toys scattered around and he HAD to have the one Taya had.) Owl will tear down walls for snakes but he won't go for a ball that Taya has! That's just been the case the past couple of months. Taya is now a mature, well, you know, little bitch. Owl may be driven but he's not dumb. : )
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.
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!
Taya was entered in her first field trial today. I really debated putting her in because I didn't think she was quite ready. She has been out on rabbits five times and all those times were within the past 10 days. Stan Knoll talked me into it and I filled out the entry form 10 minutes before closing time.
After a very good first series run, Tayter was called back High of 17 Open Bitches and went on to Win the class. Yay Tay! (There are no runs for Absolute this weekend.)
I have decided not to enter Taya tomorrow or Sunday. She may be pregnant, the weather is going to be warmer than we have seen in five months, and I want to develop her a bit more before she competes in the fall which is what I originally had planned for her.
But I am very pleased with how Taya handled herself and her running mates today!
Opened my eyes this morning, saw sunshine in the window and couldn't get out of bed fast enough! Now I am waiting for the sun to move up over the evergreens and shine on all those iced up trees!!!
In the meantime, these are photos of my dogs that I took on our walk early evening yesterday. I DID figure out how to walk four dogs and carry my camera, too. And I felt safe carrying it with me on the icy road because I had on my Yaktrax. If not for the Yaktrax, I would not have been able to walk the road.
Played around a bit and had some fun with effects, too. I haven't quite figured out how to tone down the reds. It shows up pretty dark and brilliant in snow. But then, they are brilliant. : )
This afternoon, Viljo and Taya were playing hard and Taya dashed under the dining table. She was effectively surrounded by table legs and chair legs and rungs. She was daring Viljo to come in after her. Queen of the Fort, a version of King of the Hill. As I watched, Viljo picked up what is left of some stuffed toy they have demolished and tossed it in the air. Taya watched it hit the carpet while Viljo watched Taya. He was using it to entice her to come out into the open! Taya wanted that thing and tensed as if to go after it, but in the end, she didn't fall for it. But I thought it was quite clever of V to do this!
In this weather, my dogs are getting more chew time than usual. After lunch, I gave them American-made rawhide to chew for 30 minutes so that I could get some stuff done. They started in on their rawhides, I watched 'em for a minute and decided to take photos. There went my 30 minutes!
The photos are interesting from a lighting perspective. All of them were taken in the same room. As I have said before, the coloration of red dogs is an evolving, revolving light show anyway, and different lighting makes the red tones even more interesting. The 1st and 3rd photos, the older Owl and Nexus, have more artificial lighting, because Owl claimed the couch and Nexus the dog bed which are further from the patio door. 2nd and 4th photos, Taya and Viljo, were taken on the carpet nearer the natural lighting from the glass door. Natural light is really beautiful, isn't it.
Nope, I said 101!
I love to read. Over many years, though, I have collected far too many books. All the bookshelves are overflowing and there are stacks of books too many other places.
On January 1, I began the slow and sometimes painful process of re-homing books. My original goal was to move 50% of them on to other people. I have revised that to 30%, at least until after I have been through all my books one time!
Tonight I reached the milestone of 100 books that are no longer 'mine' and have gone OUT THE DOOR. I have many, many more books to sort through but it feels good to get this far down the path to a reasonable number.
After I posted the photo of Siiri yesterday, her owner Ilse Kokkonen sent this picture that I have not seen before. It was taken this past August during a duck hunt, which Siiri loves to do.
Sirri is paternal grandmother of the youngsters Taya, Tasha, and Thor, who also love to swim and are steady to gun. You can see photos of Taya's First Swim at age 10 weeks.
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.
Awesome weather we're having after rain and heavy winds last night! And if I have had a tree that needed to come down, it is multiple blessings that:
1. The wind did it for me
2. It blew over from ground level
3. It fell directly away from the house
4. My neighbor came over and said he would like to cut it up for his wood stove!
Taya and Viljo were checking out the downed tree when Viljo saw me and dropped everything. It is the same thing he has been doing in field trials, either "There's Patt!" or "Where's Patt?!" and he comes running. Other than when Ilsa first started, it is not a 'problem' that I am used to having!
Meanwhile, Taya continued following her nose while simultaneously following me with her eyes. Dogs can be at once so similar to each other and so blatantly dissimilar!
It never fails. Every new dog teaches us new "truths."
For years, I have used the following vignette as an example of the difference, in my experience, between male and female dogs:
"Several years ago, I was mowing grass and it was hot. Under the bright sun, my male dogs sat at the kennel fence and watched my every round on the lawn tractor. Their devotion stuck out like major headlines. Where were my female dogs? They were in the kennel building, lying on the cool cement in front of a big fan!"
Today, I had a lot of (overdue) mowing and weeding to do. It was the first time I have mowed this year and I was at it for three hours. The sun was bright when I began, and it was one of the warmest days we have had this spring. Who do you think sat - alone - at the kennel fence persistently monitoring my whereabouts? Taya. The female. The three boys had all gone inside!
It was very interesting to me to see it after years of telling a different tale.
I decided to get my camera to illustrate a new conclusion. Maybe the two genders are not that different after all.
[Nexus is ABS6 DC Nexus v Dorndorf L CD TD JE RN NA VC Wa-T BHP-G LH, owned by Patricia Nance]
What a nice honor that Nexus is on the cover of the Spring 2013 Dachshund Club of American magazine. This is the quarterly publication of the national breed club. Nexus made the cover by virtue of having earned titles in seven AKC venues: Field, Tracking, Earthdog, Rally, Show, Obedience, and Agility. He is the first male longhair and second longhair of either sex to do it.
I am especially gratified by the presentation of the three-page article on Nexus inside the magazine. In fact, I was so very pleased with the graphics that I called the editor to express my appreciation. KUDOS AND THANK YOUS to Lynne Dahlen, Siren, Wisconsin, for her considerable effort, not only on my behalf in this issue but for all of DCA - month after month and year after year.
The national club published the photo and article gratis and I very much appreciate that, too.
I also sent a full page ad "Goodbye to a Godsend" about Nexus' mother Marta. Lynne placed this page at the end of the article on Nexus. And I received several extra copies of the magazine. THANK YOU, Lynne, for everything!
While I was enjoying the magazine and on the phone with Lynne, Nexus' 10 month-old great-niece Taya got hold of the box that the magazines came in. Maybe Taya, too, is saying, "Great job, Lynne! You TORE it up!"
Taya is 17 days in heat today. I have noticed the past few days that she is leaving a trail of urine when she voids. Normally, she just squats and pees all in one spot but not lately. Some snow allows me to take a photo with a line of urine visible. This one is about 10 feet long, I could not fit it all into one photo frame.
I have never had a female urinate like this. So I have googled a bit to see if I can find whether some bitches in estrus blatantly announce their reproductive status by leaving a long trail of urine. So far, I have not found anything. If anyone is familiar with dogs doing this, I would be interested to know about it.
It will also be interesting to see if the behavior stops in the next couple of days.
[Taya is Tranevang's MA Tayatax, 7.75 months, breeder Lise-Lotte Schulz.]
Three weeks ago, I had reasons to suspect that Taya was coming in heat. The males were more interested in her and her vulva was a bit puffy. I thought that I was being smartly proactive by separating her right away. Well, she still has not actually come in heat and to this, combined with isolation and the bitter cold we have had the past couple of days, I have finally said the heck with it, and brought Taya back in. (I have a small heater and a heat lamp in the room in the pole barn where I keep bitches in heat but their production is limited, especially when air temps are in the single digits.)
First, I let only Viljo be with her in the house. He rode her a bit but soon they were playing 'normally.' And boy, how they have played!
Nexus and Owl have been flirtatious with Taya but they, too, have reached the conclusion that she is not in heat.
Until that time truly arrives, it is so nice to have Taya back with us.