Thursday, May 26, 2011

Out My Back Door

At first I thought my horse had gotten out. This is why I love living in the middle of nowhere.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Violet and Dinah

Here is one of the last pictures I have of Violet and Dinah - shortly before Dinah's new owners showed up to take her home.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

3 - 2 - 1

Mac/Diesel left Friday, Patrick/Wesley left Saturday. Just Bridget/Dinah left - to her new home on Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Puppy Health Check-Up

Pups went in for their first shots and health check last night. We highly recommend the minimal use of vaccinations for puppies. So many health issues can be caused by over-vaccinating young animals. Here is what we use as our standard. Not the vaccine only has Distemper and Parvo. We do not recommend the more powerful vaccines for diseases the puppies will never encounter. Also, equally important, NEVER give Rabies before absolutely necessary and NEVER in combination with any other vaccinations.

The vet, Dr. McLean at Kind Animal Care, is always impressed with the condition of our dogs, from the young puppies to Linda's old man Wallis. He gave them all highly passing grades. Because he does work out of his house, there is no worry about encountering sick animals in a waiting room. So nice to have his services available.

A Google search of Dr. Dobbs website will provide a wealth of information on raising healthy puppies.

Dr. Jean Dodds,

Note: The following vaccine protocol is offered for those dogs where minimal vaccinations are advisable or desirable. The schedule is one I recommend and should not interpreted to mean that other protocols recommended by a veterinarian would be less satisfactory. It's a matter of professional judgment and choice.


9 - 10 weeks

Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV (e.g. Intervet Progard Puppy DPV)
14 weeks
Same as above
16 -18 weeks (optional)
Same as above
20 weeks or older, if allowable by law

1 year

Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV

1 year

Rabies, killed 3-year product (give 3-4 weeks apart from distemper/parvovirus booster)
Perform vaccine antibody titers for distemper and parvovirus annually thereafter. Vaccinate for rabies virus according to the law, except where circumstances indicate that a written waiver needs to be obtained from the primary care veterinarian. In that case, a rabies antibody titer can also be performed to accompany the waiver request.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Puppy Play Time

Trying to get pictures of puppies playing with the greatest of Mom's, but it's all a blur!

Lucy - Tracking Dog Excellent

At the Dog Tracking Club of Maine's Tracking Dog test on May 8th, Lucy was the only dog to pass. We are so proud of her accomplishment!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Puppies Learning Agility

Puppies in the tunnel. Patrick as the blackest of eyes, but the reflection from the flash and tunnel gives him an unusual look. And the inside of the tunnel is a dark green, so the flash did not due justice to any color scheme.. Then, the garbage can lid became an whole new toy. Tippy boards are to teach puppies to like things that move. This one became a game of "King of the Trash". Puppies are time wasters, but so much fun to watch!

Daisy Wins the TOP 20

Daisy - Gch Blackthorn's Flower Power - WON the Dalmatain Club of America's Top 20 competion for 2011. This very special event showcases the best Dals of the year, using a grading system against the perfect Dalmatian Standard. And the winner was Miss Daisy. She is owned by Bertha Little, Joan Eversole and Jeff Langevin and always presented to perfection by Jeff. We just could not be prouder! Photo is Dasiy at 7 weeks!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Road Trial Comments

I just got home from the Road Trial and wanted to make sure I sent out my very heart felt thanks to the DCA Road Trial committee for allowing me to have the opportunity to judge this wonderful event. What fun to watch Dals doing what they were bred to do. To watch the novice dog drop into perfect hock position while the rider was just trying to stay on the horse brought tears to my eyes.

With the addition of a Champion Road Dog title now available, several Dal owners brought out their dogs to pursue those required legs. The level of performance was mind boggling. I started to wonder if I could give out perfect scores. Finding places to deduct even minor points was hard. There were several riders who gave a soft, single command and their dog (or dogs) never moved from perfect position while plowing though grass and mud. To see single commands given and watch the dogs immediately sit or down in the mud was amazing. Because of such deep water and mud and wet grass the speed exercise was a mess. Huge congrats to those exhibitors who got their mounts to canter and a few into a good hand gallop with the dogs running joyfully along side, with mud being flung up in all directions.

The trail conditions were challenging and the layout modified even the night before to avoid the swamps that kept appearing in the landscape. The final loops meant competitors often met each other and there could easily have been 3 or 4 teams any of the fields at the same time. From what I could observe, those wonderful Dals kept in near perfect position and under absolute control for the entire 12.5 miles. The courtesy shown by every exhibitor to their fellow riders was a sterling example of what good sportmanship is about. Yielding to the oncoming rider and making sure the dogs were under perfect control. What great examples of solid temperaments by all the dogs out there.

The veterinarian's final comments were that they were all in suburb condition, and it was virtually a dead heat as to who was in the best condition, even including our veteran exhibitor.

The two novice exhibitors were had previously passed their Coaching Certificates and decided that obtaining the Road Dog title might just be an achievable goal. One could see the natural affinity those dogs had to be with the horses and riders, and both riders worked through their nerves to let the dogs do what the dogs do best - be true coaching dogs..

The coaching certificate dog that passed did a very creditable job and maybe that rider will plan to continue on towards a Road Dog title.

Of course, this trial would not have been this successful without the wonderful work by Cindy Ingalls Gootee, Lynn Luikart and the best steward anyone could ask for, Dave Galloway. Dave ran the entrance gate to keep things running on time, ran hundreds of errands I would send him on and smiled the whole time. His horse knowledge and experience paid off when he stepped in to hold horses for some the inexperienced and nervous riders during the stay exercises. I'm sure those exhibitors were sure happy to be able to watch their dogs without the added worry of trying to control horses that would rather have been at the stable with their buddies.

And a special thanks to Peggy Strupp. I cannot express how glad I was to have her there. A person can read the rules hundreds of times and still have questions on certain points. And then this sport has such changing variables that not every situation could possible be covered. I would have been lost without her guidance. The rules have evolved from where they were in the early 1990's and the future is in her very capable hands.

Then, again, a huge thanks to Camp Kern and their staff, most particularly the head wrangler Natalie. Her expertise in matching horses and riders was amazing. When necessary she swapped horses without hesitation or complaint. I think she got about 3 hours sleep Wednesday night. She was at the barn when we left at 9 pm and there when the first exhibitor showed up at 6 am. And I saw her in the saddle and on the course during the entire trial. She responded quicly to every request, from chasing off the raccoon to getingt the judge a horse with the patience to stand still for hours and watch the other horses come and go. I would most highly recommend this stable for any future Road Trials.

Now, to try to do a write up for the Spotter. Wish I could have stayed for the rest of the National. Best of luck to all the exhibitors.

Back from the Road Trial

Back from judging the DCA Road Trial. What fun in Ohio, wish I could have stayed. Here are some recent pictures of Bridget. She may be available to a show and or performance home. She is quite pudgy in these photos and we did not get the best photos. All the puppies are now on a diet! I cannot keep feeding them like I was feeding a litter of 10! Those are fat rolls over her butt. Hasn't missed any meals! Inquiries are invited.