Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tears of our founding fathers

The enlightened, brave men who built the US were strong, independent, free thinkers who were determined to set a base of freedom and equality unlike any the world had known from which to direct the future of their new country. The writing of the Constitution was an exercise in compromise and idealism that has carried us over 200 years through wars, both foreign and domestic; the Great Depression; many changes in social, economic and ideological battles. It has stood strong and has given us a compass to guide our decisions and keep us pointed in the right direction. It was, and is, the owners manual to the greatest possession we have to pass down to future generations. Now I wonder if they're not shedding tears of shame.

Samuel Adams said, “The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men.”

When I look at what's happening today I am sick at heart. We've strayed so far from the original intent of this country that it's hardly recognizable. The Constitution flatly stated what powers and guidelines we were to live by, yet we keep trying to posh those limits with ifs, ands or buts till what was originally written is completely lost. We've become such a nation of entitlement programs that our taxes have made slaves of all of us. We no longer work for ourselves, but for programs and ideals that much of the time we don't understand and wouldn't agree to if asked. Yet we're forced to accept what's supposedly best for us whether we want it or not.

Both the Republican and the Democratic parties have become drunk with power, ignoring the people who voted them into office and focusing more on retaining their power than keeping our nation great.

72 years after the Constitution was signed into law, we saw the first major drift from it when our civil war began. Regardless of what the history books would like us to believe, the civil war was about the north preventing the south from leaving the union. Slavery was only a by-product that made Lincoln look good in the retelling. The South was suffering due to the policies of the federal government. They decided to withdraw from the Union and to institute a new government as guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence clearly states, “That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” The federal government declared war with them to prevent them from doing so, and in the process declared that the rights of the states were inferior when it came to the will of the federal government.

When you consider the massive impact the civil war has had on our countries history, and how sadly twisted the story of it became, why should it surprise anyone that our government lies to us now? We've been fed the babble for so long that most seem to have quit questioning it and would rather just drift along for the sake of peace for the moment. It seems to take too much effort to think before accepting. It's easier to leave the politics to the politicians and just hope they know what they're doing.

I for one can't do that any longer. I will speak up and I will voice my disdain even if it means being labeled a trouble maker. I do hear the sobs of the founding fathers; yet I know they are nothing compared to the agonizing screams that will fill our nation when all of our liberties are gone. And they are going... one by one as our government grows and we become nothing more than slaves to it's bidding.

"It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Seeds of thought

First they came for the Jews, but I did nothing because I'm not a
Jew. Then they came for the socialists, but I did nothing because
I'm not a socialist. Then they came for the Catholics, but I did
nothing because I'm not a Catholic. Finally, they came for me, but
by then there was no one left to help me. – Pastor Father Niemoller

It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong. – Voltaire

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and
car keys to teenage boys. – P.J. O'Rourke

There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he
does not want merely because you think it would be good for him. –
Robert Heinlein

When the government's boot is on your throat, whether it is a left
boot or a right boot is of no consequence. – Gary Lloyd

[On ancient Athens]: In the end, more than freedom, they wanted
security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all –
security, comfort, and freedom. When the Athenians finally wanted
not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the
freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility,
then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again. – Edward

A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which
debt he proposes to pay off with your money. – G. Gordon Liddy

It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a
reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating
the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for
independence. – Charles A. Beard

A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves. – Edward R.

The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as
are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to
say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor
breaks my leg. – Thomas Jefferson (1781)

The government was set to protect man from criminals – and the
Constitution was written to protect man from the government. –
Ayn Rand

A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big
enough to take it all away. – Barry Goldwater (1964)

We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is
like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the
handle. – Winston Churchill (1903)

The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be
reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and
controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced. If
the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt, people must again learn to
work, instead of living on public assistance. – Marcus Tullius
Cicero, 55 BC

Liberals want the government to be your Mommy. Conservatives
want government to be your Daddy. Libertarians want it to treat you
like an adult. – Andre Marrou

National Health Insurance means combining the efficiency of the
Postal Service with the compassion of the I.R.S. … and the cost
accounting of the Pentagon. – Louis Sullivan/Connie Horner
quoted by Novak in _Forbes_

When they kept you out it was because you were black; when they
let you in, it is because you are black. That's progress? – Marilyn

We are living in a sick society filled with people who would not
directly steal from their neighbor but who are willing to demand
that the government do it for them. – William L. Comer

The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do
nothing. – Edmund Burke

Any story sounds true until someone tells the other side and sets the
record straight. – Proverbs 18:17

When the mass media in some foreign countries serve as
megaphones for the rhetoric of their government, the result is
ludicrous propaganda. When the mass media in our country serve as
megaphones for the rhetoric of the U.S. government, the result is
responsible journalism. – Norman Solomon

The ideal tyranny is that which is ignorantly self-administered by its
victims. The most perfect slaves are, therefore, those which
blissfully and unawaredly enslave themselves. – Dresden James

It's illegal to say to a voter "Here's $100, vote for me." So what do
the politicians do? They offer the $100 in the form of Health Care,
Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, Food Stamps, tobacco
subsidies, grain payments, NEA payments, and jobs programs. –
Don Farrar

Christmas is a time when kids tell Santa what they want and adults
pay for it. Deficits are when adults tell the government what they
want and their kids pay for it. – Richard Lamm, former Gov of

Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal. –
Martin Luther King Jr.

An election is coming. Universal peace is declared, and the foxes
have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry. –
George Eliot

A caged canary is safe but not free. – Walter Williams

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hayley Westenra I Dreamed a Dream

I Dreamed a Dream

Les Miserables Fantine - I Dreamed a Dream Lyrics

There was a time when men were kind
When their voices were soft
And their words inviting
There was a time when love was blind
And the world was a song
And the song was exciting
There was a time
Then it all went wrong

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
And they turn your dream to shame

He slept a summer by my side
He filled my days with endless wonder
He took my childhood in his stride
But he was gone when autumn came

And still I dream he'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I'm living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What a relief!

I got the DNA reports back on my final 2 breeding age Labs today. I always hold my breath when I read them, because one bad gene would mean I'd have to spay and remove a dog I really like from my breeding program.

So far I've been very fortunate, and this pair was no exception. They both tested clear of every genetic defect that it's currently possible to test for. What this means is that I can give a lifelong ironclad guarantee to my puppy buyers against all of these defects. I know before I breed these dogs that they're as healthy as I can make them and my pups new families can rest assured that they're not going to face heartache over things that could/should have been prevented.

Hickory shows as carrying yellow and chocolate color genes, where Ava carries only chocolate. Since Chip carries both, I will have beautiful colored pups out of their pairing.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Finally Marching toward spring

With spring just around the corner, there's hope again; but also much more work to plant and protect and raise what we can so that even if the recession becomes a depression we will be prepared. I'm watching eagerly as the snow melts and ground warms. Seeing blades of green grass poking up makes even the cold days seem a bit easier to bear.

This winter has been a long, cold, harsh one. We've had far more subzero weather than normal and windchills down to -45. We've weathered it and managed to keep safe, managed to keep up with the gas bill, still have food in the freezer and pantry. Once more we have survived.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

How do I know when to worm my puppy?

As a breeder, I automatically worm all my pups at 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks. I purchase a liquid wormer from my vet so I can be sure they’re parasite free. After this, you might want to take a stool sample with you when you take your pup to the vet for his vaccines so it can be examined for worms. A pup with untreated worms can go down hill quite quickly, so it’s always best to catch them early. I worm my adult dogs once a month when I give them their heart worm preventative.

Are all Labrador retrievers hyper?

Labs can be quite hyper and bouncy dogs. They’re often thrilled to find someone who will throw a ball for them so they can retrieve it over and over again. There are many labs that are hyper and absolutely need a lot of exercise. They usually come from hunting lines where they’re bred to be able to go all day without wearing out. If you prefer not to have a dog with life-long puppy energy, these are not the dog for you. If you run several miles a day for your own health and enjoyment, one of these dogs could be your ideal running partner.
Show type Labs on the other hand, can mature into real couch potatoes. They’re bred to be calmer, less needy of daily runs and can actually be very content as house pets. It is the more calm type of labs that I have and breed. I’m too old to be trying to keep up to a hyper dog. Mine can certainly enjoy a good run and love to play fetch, yet if they don’t get to do it every day they’re quite content to lay at my feet and follow me from room to room in the house instead.
Knowing up front what type you want and the energy level you can enjoy living with is a major factor in the selection process. Labs are wonderful dogs, but you do need to consider their energy level to get one that best suits you. A high energy dog in a low energy setting will quickly become noisy and destructive through their frustration. It is as predictable as if you were asking an active toddler to sit still all day and not act out. Neither of you would be happy with the results.
So do your homework and observe the parents… ask questions before you buy and be honest with yourself if you’re not going to provide the opportunity for the exercise they might need.

Why do some poodles have such funny “fru fru” haircuts?

Because most of us only see standard poodles in a dog show on TV or at the end of a leash in an old movie, we’ve developed a faulty perception of poodles. I’ve heard of many men who refuse to have a poodle because they’re viewed as a feminine dog; when in truth, they’re wonderful water hunting dogs. Can’t get much more manly than that!
The “fru fru” haircut, began when hunters wanted to remove some of the heavy coat from their dogs so that when wet, they weren’t so weighted down. The hair trimmed from the torso helped them not to hold as much water and to be more streamlined swimmers. The hair was left in places where the dog needed more protection and warmth. So the chest and back, brain, and joints of the legs were usually left untrimmed. The tuft on the end of the tail was left so that a ribbon was tied to it to be able to identify individual dogs when they came together for hunting events. With a raised tail, the ribbons were easy to spot so you could see which dog in a sea of poodles was your own even from a distance.
Since poodles have very little if any doggy odor, even when they get wet they’re more pleasant to be around than breeds that smell like a “wet dog.” Because their mature coats are wooley, poodles can shake themselves fairly dry and remain quite warm even when fresh out of the water. In Europe, Poodles are quite widely used as the hunting dogs they were bred to be. They make wonderful pets, but that’s not what they were bred for and not how they got their hair cut style.

How long is a dogs heat cycle?

Dams (female dogs) are in season (heat) for 3 weeks, but are usually receptive only during the 2nd week. Because there are individual variations, she must be kept confined from male dogs for the full 3 weeks unless you’re planning to have her bred.
Dogs generally have 2 “seasons” per year. If you want a litter, they’re usually bred on the 9th, 11th, and 13th days of their season. There are no reliable early tests for pregnancy in dogs, so it’s a wait and see situation. You may see no outward signs for the first 5 weeks.
Some dogs are very obvious about being in heat and leave small blood spots behind when they’ve been sitting. Others hide it very well and if you’re not watching closely for it, you might miss it altogether. Male dogs however WILL KNOW. So if you’re not planning to have pups, you can save your dog from risk to gender specific cancers and accidental litters while making her an easier dog to have around by spaying her at 6 months of age.

How long is the Dog Gestation period?

Once bred: The average gestation period is 63 days. Some will deliver healthy pups a few days early, some will deliver a couple days late… but if she goes past the 65th day, you need to have a vet examine the dam to see if there is a problem. Days are counted from the first hook-up with a stud.
1st week
2 cell embryos are in the oviduct.
2nd week
Embryo will be 4 cell at start of week and 64 cell by end of week.
Embryo enters the uterus.
3rd week
Embryos implant along uterus wall.
The main organs begin to develop.
Morning sickness may occur.
4th week
Morning sickness should improve and appetite increase.
The dam may need twice the usual amount of nutrition from this point on.
Development of eyes and spinal cord and faces take shape.
Moms may begin to shed some belly fur and crave more attention than usual.
5th week
Vet may be able to detect pregnancy (85% accuracy) by feeling the abdomen.
You may be able to feel the little puppy heads
Development of toes, whisker buds, and claws.
Eyes now close and gender can be determined.
The puppies are now considered fully developed miniature dogs.
She may be showing… She may gain a little weight particularly if she is going to birth more than 1-2 puppies..
6th week
You may need to feed small meals several times a day.
We feed puppy food through the end of lactation (nursing) and have it available full time.
Increased water consumption.
Enlargement of mammary glands as nipples darken and enlarge. Diagnosis by x-rays is usually possible after 45 days (95% accuracy for determining the number of puppies).
7th week
She may shred papers, blankets or bedding in an attempt at “nest building” in the last weeks.
During the last 2 weeks, Mom may become irritable and should avoid contact with small children “just in case”.
Neither forced rest nor strenuous exercise is a good idea. Short periods of gentle play and short walks are good.
You may feel the puppies now but counting them may be difficult.
You may feel only a very big, hard stomach that gives few clues as to how many are inside.
There should be definite abdominal enlargement.
8th week
Dam begins to spend more time grooming herself.
Her breasts become swollen as her milk forms. She may leak milk as early as 9 days prior to delivery.
Nesting begins as she looks for a place to have her puppies… Make sure you have her birthing spot ready and start getting her comfortable with it.
Appetite may decrease as her belly can be too crowded with puppies to have room for big meals.
You can feel the puppies move now.
9th week
Dams are wormed again.
She may leak milk from her nipples.
Watch for her temperature to drop. You may take it rectally if you want, but she’s just plain old cool to the touch compared to what she has been the last 8 weeks.
She may also become restless, seek seclusion and in the last few days, or even soil in the house.
She will be ‘nesting’ .
Shortly before starting labor it’s common for a dam to have loose stools to clean her system out. She may throw up and refuse food. She should be drinking more water than usual to build up her milk supply. She will be tired and restless. Once she’s in active labor someone should monitor her in case she has complications even if she’s an experienced dam. Pups can get stuck in the birth canal or she may bleed profusely and need to see a vet. While birth is a natural event and it’s best to leave her to her own devices as much as possible, you also need to be aware if there are complications or you could lose your dam and the litter.
Delivery usually takes several hours. Most dogs do not seem to be in extreme pain during labor or delivery and instinctively know what to do.

What special care do newborn puppies need?

Most dams will give them the care they need without hesitation. At birth they need to have the birth sac removed, and be rubbed to stimulate them to start breathing on their own and to dry and clean them. If mom doesn’t do this, you may help by rubbing them with a towel. Mom will also chew off the umbilical cord. In rare instances it will continue to bleed and a newborn can bleed out quick, so if you must stop the bleeding, simply dip the cord in a bit of flour to help it clot.
Once the pups are born, they should be seen by a vet and have dew claws removed on the 3rd day.
Provide twice as much food as usual to Mom and have clean fresh water available at all times to help her in her milk production.. I keep my dams on daily vitamins, puppy chow and give them raw beef liver a couple times a week to keep their iron levels up. If they start to look thin, I top dress their food with puppy formula powder to help them.
The first 3 weeks, the dam will spend most of her time taking care of her puppies. She will lick them to stimulate urination and bowel movements and cleans up after them for this time frame.
Check the pups nails and trim them if they are scratching the dam during nursing.
For the pups:
Check on the pups several times a day to see that they are round, nursing, and seem content. Noisy puppies are generally hungry puppies. If they spend a lot of time crying you need to figure out why. Keep the puppy nursery warm, draft free, and dry for the pups’ optimum health. Don’t let a lot of people come in to see them until later as this may make mom nervous which can affect her milk production and how well she cares for her pups. She may also feel the pups are threatened by people she doesn’t know well and become aggressive to protect them. They should be seen by a vet and have dew claws removed on the 3rd day. The umbilical cords should fall off in a matter of days. Puppy eyes are closed at birth, and generally open between 10 and 14 days.
At close to 3 weeks you can offer a bit of puppy chow soaked in puppy formula to make it form a gruel type consistency. Make sure they’re getting plenty of liquid with it so they don’t become dehydrated and develop urinary tract infections while adjusting to the new diet. I worm the pups at 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks with a liquid wormer I buy from my vet. Parasites can be devastating to a pups health, so it’s money well spent.
I strongly believe they should be allowed to nurse until their dam decides to wean them. I’ve had many pups still sneaking occasional snacks off mom at 7 weeks of age. It’s easier on her and the pups if this process is as gradual as possible. This is just one of several reasons why my pups don’t leave Mom until they’re 8 weeks old.

Poisons and dogs

What “people foods” are poisonous to dogs?
The food humans eat is not always the best choice for our canine friends. They tend to make them fat and don’t fulfill their dietary needs like a canine diet does. Even giving treats off the table is a very risky proposition. There are several things we enjoy that can actually poison your pup. They include: Raisins and grapes; macadamia nuts; yeast dough; onions or onion powder; mushrooms; chocolate; coffee and cocoa; sugarless candies sweetened with xylitol; alcoholic beverages; raw salmon; avocado; and broccoli. If they’ve eaten any amount of any of these things you should call your vet immediately. Or call :Animal Poison Control Center 1-900-680-0000
How do I make my dog throw up if he ate/drank something poisonous?
First of all, call a vet or the poison control center and ask if you should make them throw up. Some substances do as much damage coming out as they did going in… you don’t want to make the situation worse. A caustic product or substance being thrown up can cause internal tears that will make them much worse off if they vomit than if they didn’t.
If convulsions, seizures, shock or lethargy are present as symptoms, do NOT induce vomiting regardless of what they’ve ingested.To induce vomiting, give one teaspoon of Syrup of Ipecac, or two teaspoons of Hydrogen Peroxide. In a desperate pinch, a teaspoon of table salt will also have the desired effect. Vomiting only buys you more time to rush to the vet… it’s not a cure for the poisoning, so you still need to take them in.

What are the outward sings of a healthy dog?

A healthy Lab should have a shine to their coat that resembles velvet under a lamp. Their eyes should be clear and sparkle, their tale should act as a rudder while they trot. They should appear well muscled, look interested and excited about the world around them. You should never be able to see a labs ribs. Obesity isn’t healthy for them, and many do tend to be chow hounds, so you might have to watch for that. You should see some definition where the ribs end, and be able to find the ribs with your fingers by pressing on the dog.
A healthy Poodle has sparkling eyes, a bounce to it’s gait and seems to float when it trots. A poodle coat will not shine, but should be wool like in texture and free of mats and snarls. Their gums and tongue should be pink and ears clean and without odor. Their tale should be carried high and point toward the sky.

What to do about flies biting my dogs ears?

A coat of Vaseline often helps… the flies don’t like it and it helps the ears to heal if they’re kept moist.
Some dogs will get hundreds of bites a day for weeks at a time. Anyone that has ever been bitten by a horse fly knows how painful the bite is! The bite wounds attract flies which may lay their eggs in the damaged tissue. These will later hatch into maggots… so you surely want to prevent that!
Clean the ears with warm soapy water on a cloth… don’t get water IN the ear… a cotton ball in the ear will prevent water from running in. Water in the ear can cause an ear infection. Wipe dry and put antibiotic cream or petroleum jelly on the parts the flies are bothering. You might even need to remove the dog from the area if there is other livestock or dumpsters in the area attracting the flies. Since the flies are the worst during the hottest part of the day, bring them indoors during that time if possible.
You defintitely want to deal with it before you have maggots… once those occur it’s time to visit the vet.

What vaccines should my puppy have?

A large breed pup like a labradoodle can have their first vaccine at 6 weeks of age. Toy breeds are usually held off till a bit older simply because they’re so tiny. I give my pups a 5 way combination vaccine at 6, 8 and 12 weeks. At 16 weeks they get a lymes vaccine and their first rabies shot. Depending on whether they’re around other dogs and what part of the country you live in, you might also consider Parvo, corona virus, and any other dog diseases that are common to your area. Your local vet can suggest for you what should be given and when. Please don’t take your pup to a dog park, doggy daycare, a pet store or any place they could possibly become infected with disease prior to vaccinating them. It’s NOT worth the risk.

At what age do puppies lose their baby teeth?

At around 4 months of age pups begin loosing their milk/puppy teeth. Don’t be alarmed if you don’t find any laying around as it’s normal for them to swallow them and pass them without you ever knowing. Unless the baby teeth refuse to come out so the adult teeth are coming in along side them, there’s no need for concern. Your pup will very likely be doing a lot of chewing during this time, so provide things they can chew on to save your shoes and furniture legs. A small amount of bleeding is normal when they lose a tooth, just like when a human child loses theirs.

What kind of puppy chow or dog food is best?

I know there’s a lot of controversy about dog foods. I’ve read the reports, have checked into different raw food programs, and have had long winded discussions with vets, other breeders and pet owners. I’ve tried a lot of different foods over the years and for several reasons I always return to feeding Purina.
The recent dog food scare with products from China had no effect on Purina, but many other dog foods from the cheapest discount brands to the most expensive specialty foods were actually killing perfectly healthy dogs. Price was no guarantee of safety. So Purina proved to be a good choice during this crisis.
With Purina, my pups are strong, energetic, healthy and have a shine to their coat and eyes that speaks volumes to me. A Lab should shine like velvet. On Purina foods, mine do.
Purina is a mid-priced product, is easily found, and is tried and trusted. I start my pups out on Purina puppy chow at 3 weeks of age soaked in puppy formula. At 6-8 weeks they’re eating dry puppy chow and when they turn 18 months of age I switch them to Purina adult dog food.
My breeding dogs eat Purina. While pregnant my dams get beef liver a couple times a week, they get a daily Osteo-Form vitamin, and all the clean water they can drink. While nursing they’re fed Purina puppy chow, their daily vitamin, liver, and their food is top dressed with puppy formula powder. My dogs can feed a litter of 13 pups and never get thin or run down. I swear by Purina.

Isn’t it cruel to put a puppy in a crate?

When your puppy takes a nap… chances are they crawl off into a quiet corner out of the way and where they can feel safe from being attacked from behind. Getting them used to being crated provides just such a spot for them. It keeps them safe when you can’t be watching them so they don’t chew on electrical cords, or swallow a Barbie’s head and choke on it. It prevents anyone or anything from sneaking up on them or hurting them so they learn to feel safe in their crate which is why many older dogs will choose to rest in theirs.
When house training, a crate provides a limited amount of space for the puppy to soil, and no self respecting dog wants to wet and then lay in it, so they will generally accept the idea that outside is the place to do that so they don’t have to lay in it.
Crates are very effective means for protecting a pup and your home at least until the training has been done to teach them what they can and cannot do.

How do I teach my puppy I am the boss without being mean to him?

What a puppy understands is consistency and leadership. In a pack you will always find a leader and a pecking order from the leader on down. Dogs expect this and if you’re not the leader, they will try to be.
The perks of being a leader are that you get the best spot to sleep in. (Keep your puppy off beds and couches); you get the best food and eat first (never feed your dog off your plate or while you’re eating); the leader walks ahead of the pack through doorways, down halls, or anywhere that they cannot walk side by side. Once you show your dog in terms they can relate to that you are indeed the leader, they will happily follow your lead and instructions. If you slip up and let them think they need to be the leader because you aren’t acting like one, they will try to lead, and you will not like the results.
Puppies like children, need you to define their boundaries for them and to enforce the rules so that they feel safe and cared for. Please don’t confuse and frustrate them by failing to do your part.

Why do some breeders let pups go at 6 weeks and others not until 8 or more?

In some states it is illegal to take a pup away from it’s dam before 8 weeks of age. They start eating gruel at 3 weeks, but most will still be sneaking a sip off mom for a good month after that. So for proper nutrition, and to maintain their immunities (which they get from Moms milk) until they can be vaccinated, allowing them to nurse is essential. Shots shouldn’t be given before 6 weeks and it takes time for the pups body to respond to the shots after they’re given.
Another major factor in my opinion is that during that extra 2 weeks, the pups are learning from mom how to be decent well adjusted dogs. If you’ve ever watched a pup attack it’s mother too roughly and seen her reaction you know that mother dogs will discipline their pups. They teach them when to back off, that they are NOT in charge and they have limits and expectations. After the pups leave mom they already understand when you say no to them that they must accept that. They have a good foundation to deal with the natural pecking order between themselves and other animals, and are more willing to be submissive when needed rather than become little bullies.
My pups don’t leave mom before 8 weeks and she decides when it’s time to wean them. The result is happier, healthier dogs. Usually toy breeds are older when leaving Mom because due to their size they’re more fragile and need that extra time.

How do I know what type of personality and temperament my puppy will have?

I interact with and spend a lot of time observing each litter from birth. I handle them every day and I watch them closely so I know which ones are more dominant, passive, playful, rough, affectionate, etc. I also usually see one or 2 that are the quickest learners and tend to reach all their milestones first and often lead the others into new things.
In our fall 2007 litter there was a single pup out of the 12 that always stood out from the rest. He was more curios, reasoned things out days before his littermates, and was by nature a leader. There was also a female that wanted nothing more than to cuddle and be pampered. She needed a bit of extra help when it came time to start eating puppy food because she was constantly pushed out by the more assertive pups. Both pups loved people, yet their basic personalities were very different. Only because I spent so much time with them was I able to see their place in the pack pecking order and help the correct families get the specific type of pup that best suited them.
Some breeders will tell you that’s it’s impossible to determine the basic personality type of a pup at this age… but I’ve had very positive feedback from those who’ve gotten my pups that what I saw in their pup is what they got. So I’m convinced it can be done… you simply need to spend the time with them to see it. This is one of the big reasons why I limit the number of litters I produce. I want to be able to spend this time with all of them and help to direct them into the right home where they’ll be enjoyed and spend their entire life. If their basic temperament and personality are a good fit, that is much more likely to happen.

What advantages are there to DNA testing dogs?

DNA Fingerprinting
A DNA fingerprint is literally your pet’s genetic serial number.
Having a record of your dog ‘s DNA fingerprint can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that your pet is “your pet”. Even if your pet is a mutt, DNA testing can tell you many of the breeds in it’s ancestry.
DNA testing can screen for dozens of inherent, genetic diseases.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Hypothyroidism with Goiter (HTG)
(Congenital Hypothyroidism)
Cystinuria (CYST)
Globoid Cell Leucodystrophy (GCL)
Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (NCL)
Phosphofructosokinase Deficiency (PFK)
Von Willebrand Disease (vWD)
Narcolepsy (NARC)
Cone degeneration (CD)
Canine Leucocyte Adhesion Deficiency (CLAD)
Hemophilia B (HmB)
Muscular Dystrophy (MD)
Myotonia Congenita (MC)
GMI Gangliosidosis (GMIG)
Retinal Dystrophy (prad)
Mucopolysaccharidosis Type VII (GUSB_NOSVVIII)
Thrombasthenic Thrombopathia (THROM)
Most dogs will test negative. This means they don’t carry the gene that causes a particular disease. Obviously, this is good news. Its also good information, particularly if you are a breeder, to know absolutely that your pet will not get the disease in the future.
Unfortunately, some pets will test positive or as a carrier of a bad gene. A positive result means your dog definitely has or will develop the disease in the future.
A carrier means that your pet does not have the bad gene(s) but could pass them to future offspring if bred with an animal also being a carrier of the particular disease.
As a breeder these are things I need to be aware of to be able to offer healthy pups.
DNA Color Traits
DNA tests can also show me for certain which color traits each of my dogs carry. With this information, I am able to take the guesswork out of producing litters with a good range of color. Some prefer white dogs, some chocolate, or apricot, etc. With this information I can better predict whether my black dams will produce anything other than an all black litter and whether my male is a good genetic match for my females.

Why are hybrid dogs priced just as high as purebreds?

It takes 2 purebred parents to produce a purebred pup. It also takes 2 purebred parents (even if they’re of different breeds) to produce a hybrid. Since hybrid breeders like myself are on a mission to eliminate a lot of what we object to in purebreds, it costs us to do the testing, we have to learn a basic knowledge about genetics and be able to screen out any dogs that don’t fit the criteria. I don’t take “just any” purebred dogs and put them together like some opponents of hybrid breeding believe all hybrid breeders do. I take this business very seriously and put my heart and soul and long hours into doing it the right way.
In the past year I’ve gotten 2 pure bred poodle males… one had to be put down because of a genetic defect.
I’ve bought 4 pure bred lab females… One was barren, 2 were not old enough to breed yet. After purchasing and caring for all these dogs I’ve had one litter to show for it.
I still need to feed them, vaccinate and worm them, house and care for them, am in the process of DNA/OFA/CERF testing them and have to keep learning all I can about them to be sure I’m doing the best I can to make this a good life for the dogs while providing quality pups to my buyers. I offer guarantees so if I mess up I will be paying for it. The majority of pure bred hobby breeders don’t go to the lengths that I do to raise good pups. It all comes with a price, and still I charge less than many for pups out of health tested parents.

What is meant by multigeneration Labradoodles?

When first introduced to North American breeders, multigeneration Labradoodles were given this Lab-Poodle breeding program as the breeding model. It suggested that Poodles should be reintroduced into the early generations:
Original multigeneration program (Standard terms)
Poodle X Lab = F1 Labradoodle
F1 X F1 =F2
F1 X Poodle =F1b (b means they were bred back to poodles)
F2 X F2 = F3
F2 X Poodle =F2b
Above this are multi-gens…
In Australia where Labradoodles originated, they were infused with several different breeds. The Austrailian Labradoodles are quite different from the American Labradoodles, which include only Lab and Poodle lines. It can get very complicated once you get past the first few generations and that’s where controversy can start, so I will just stick with those. It’s unlikely most will ever need to know more, but if you do there’s plenty of information online to check out; unfortunately, according to Beverly Manners, one of the original Australian Labradoodle breeders and the woman who was instrumental in getting them recognized as a breed therre, much of the information is false or inaccurate..
Most North American breeders stick with only Poodles and Labs, but a few are venturing out into the multigenerational breeding. Of course as the generations rise, so do the prices of the pups since it takes many years to breed more generations into them.
I personally prefer to stay with the original generation, so offer only F1 Labradoodles.

What’s the advantage to hybrids rather than pure bred dogs?

As evidenced in MANY pure breeds, there has been a lot of careless and thoughtless breeding that has led to a lot of genetic problems being rampant. Liver shunts, renal disease, blindness, deafness, bad backs, elbows, hips and so on are often the result. The dogs suffer, the owners are heartbroken, and everyone loses.
Since many genetic problems require that both parents carry the faulty gene in order to pass it on, if you’re breeding 2 distinctly different breeds you can eliminate a lot of that. For example with Juvenile Real Disease… which is what stole my poodle Moses; JRD requires both parents to carry the gene to pass it on and thank God Labradors don’t get it. So even though Moses died of it, his pups are safe. If I had bred him with a poodle it could have been devastating.
This is one reason why I require my pups to be spayed or neutered before they can breed. With them being half poodle, they might carry the disease but won’t get it. They could however, pass it on to their pups if they were bred with a poodle who was also a carrier. Sadly, there is no test yet to prove who carries it and who doesn’t, so we must act on the side of caution.
The same is true of other genetic issues, so in eliminating them through hybridizing we can guarantee healthier dogs who will live longer and happier lives. This is what’s known as “hybrid vigor”.

Why are dog breeders so afraid to speak out?

Between PETA and other various animal rights organizations, dog breeders are painted to be some cold-hearted money-grubbing bottom feeders who make a living off the abuse of animals.
Farmers raise cattle, pigs, chickens, and so on and are seen as the “salt of the earth” types. Their lifestyles are glorified in movies and most often they’re portrayed as humble, honest, loving folk. Horse breeders can sell their animals for huge prices and gain world wide acclaim for it. Not so with dog breeders.
So why is it different for dog breeders? PETA’s goal is to eliminate pet ownership entirely. If they can convince people that breeding dogs is shameful, their battle is half won. If they had their way, no one would own a dog… no dogs would exist! Does that sound like a group that loves animals?
They scream about the huge number of dogs that are in shelters and have to be euthanized each year… but don’t advertise the fact that their shelters are among the highest kill rates known. They’ve been proven to kill dogs before their owners have time to even pick them up or anyone has a chance to adopt them. Their kill rate is over 90% in many areas!
A responsible breeder health tests their dogs, carefully chooses the parents for health, temperament, personality and intelligence. If you’re looking for a puppy, isn’t that the kind of effort you WANT put into their breeding?
Most dogs aren’t show dogs or working dogs. Many more are simply beloved family pets .
The dogs in shelters aren’t there because of over breeding, they’re there because of careless, thoughtless owners who either haven’t trained the dogs so can no longer stand to live with their bad behavior; who have neglected to spay or neuter their pets so end up with unplanned litters; who’s life has taken an unexpected turn so they can no longer keep the dog; etc. HAD they gotten the pup from a reputable breeder who always takes back any dogs produced in their kennel, they would never have gone to the shelter. The responsible breeder would have gotten the dog back and found a decent home for them or kept them themselves.
Dogs have been family companions for longer than any of us can remember. When properly cared for, they live happy lives with people who truly care for them.
So what happens when responsible breeders are afraid to speak out? Puppy millers flourish! They do everything on the cheap, including the food and medical care the dogs need. They crowd the dogs into wire pens and treat them like items rather than beloved beings. They sell to pet shops and other mills so they never have to deal with the public reaction to their way of raising dogs. For each responsible breeder that hides, a puppy miller is able to grow their business.
I don’t work my dogs; I don’t show them; and I am a responsible breeder. My goal is to produce healthy, well tempered animals that can be therapy dogs, and wonderful family pets. I SELL them and try to make a bit of income because I put a lot of time and effort into doing things the right way and deserve to be paid for that. I refuse to hide and am proud of what I do. I encourage others who have been shamed into hiding to step up and speak out too. We do provide a valuable service that can change lives and improve a system that’s really fallen into bad hands.
Stand tall beside me. Be proud when you do the right thing . Lets work together to educate and correct the MISinformation that’s being stuffed down peoples throats. It’s high time the record was set straight.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Walter, Greg's long lost twin

Sometimes we just need a good laugh. Something to take our mind off the bills, the aches and pains, the misbehaving kids, and drama that drags us down in our daily routines. Since it's hard to be funny surropunded by all the negativity, I married a funny man. It's worked pretty well for me actually, so when he's home (which isn't often since he's a semi driver) he will do a stand up routine for me that often has me rolling on the floor.

Most of his material is borrowed, and I know he listens to sirius radio and dvd's to help him memorize his material for when he really wants to wow me. He has his own twist on things though, which can be a bit confusing to those who aren't prepared for it. One of our favorites is ventrilloquist Jeff Dunham and Walter. Greg's learned a lot from this pair, and oddly enough, was born with much the same sense of humor and twisted view of the world that this pair uses professionally. Just to clarify, Greg is nothing like Jeff Dunham; it's Walter who seems to be his long lost twin. They have the same hair style, facial expressions, outspoken manner and cynical nature. To meet one is to know them both.

For those who aren't familiar with this pair, please get a taste of their style on Youtube. If they don't make you laugh, check your pulse.