Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Finally...Claire's OFA Results are in!

Over a month after Claire's xrays were taken by Dr Gardner, we finally have excellent news from OFA. Claire's elbows are Normal and her hips are Good. In FCI scoring, her hips would be A-2. Thankfully, we can continue to pursue a breeding program based on winning show records, great temperaments, proper conformation, and healthy dogs.

OFAFCI (European)BVA (UK/Australia)SV (Germany)
ExcellentA-10-4 (no > 3/hip)Normal
GoodA-25-10 (no > 6/hip)Normal
BorderlineB-219-25Fast Normal
MildC26-35Noch Zugelassen

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dock Girl

Claire spent a nice weekend at the lake house where we had chilly, rainy weather due to the hurricane. Since we had time inside, I completely brushed out her hair. Then she didn't want to get wet! She is now extra puffy from being brushed. Usually when she is combed out, we follow it with a swim or a bath. Apparently she thought it was too cold!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Perusing Pedigrees and Studying Sires

Breeding dogs is an art. Mixing pedigrees in complementary ways requires vision, luck, and honest information from friends and breeders who are familiar with the bloodlines being considered.  I've been spending a lot of time these past few weeks searching for just the right stud dog for Claire's first litter.  So many factors come into play trying to fit together a perfect puzzle of temperament, size, coat, movement, type, and health factors that will complement Claire's strengths and improve on the areas where she could be better.  Pedigrees must be carefully researched so that unwanted characteristics aren't emphasized through related dogs.

I've now settled on just a few dogs and am consulting with the owners as well as other breeders who have used the dogs for their own litters.  All of the dogs are European so Claire and I will be taking a long journey later this fall.  She is due in season mid-October and if everything goes well we will have puppies for New Years.

I have a perfect dog in my head that I will be striving to breed.  Claire is a beautiful, stylish girl and I hope that we are able to find the ideal match for her.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

French Macaron - the Unofficial Cookie of the French Water Dog

Isabel and I sampled macarons in several French bakeries while we were in Paris, including Laduree and Pierre Herme. After I fell in love with the beauty, texture and taste of these almond flour and fruit cookies, I came home to find a Pittsburgh bakery that makes authentic macarons.  Then I had to wait for his vacation to end! Today I finally made it to Jean-Marc Chatellier's French Bakery in Millvale...mmm...they are delicious! They lasted just long enough for this picture before we devoured them.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ava's Final Summer Shed

Today Isabel and I spent a few hours removing the rest of Ava's hair from her annual summer shed.  She looks so beautiful!

Ava is a wonderful dog with the most loyal, affectionate and sweet disposition.  Her severe dry eye issues cause her to require many different medications each day.  Unfortunately there is no cure for her and she will always require frequent application of her eye drops and ointments.  Her eyes have remained stable and we continue to monitor them.

The only other option is a parotid duct transposition surgery and it really may not solve her problem. Poor girl. Fortunately she is extremely patient about her medications.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Calla at Canfield

Today I got to do one of my favorite things in the world -- watch a big entry of whippets at the Midwest Specialty. I had the pleasure of hanging out with Cheslie Pickett and we saw a lot of beautiful dogs. Cheslie also helped me get some new pictures of Calla while she was enjoying her first dog show. I was really happy with Calla at the show -- she took it all in as though she had been to twenty other shows. I am so excited about this puppy and I cannot wait to start her show career. Thank you, Cheslie!

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Ears of a Growing Whippet

Calla is a little over 4 months old and her ears are going through that wonky stage where they are different every time I look at her. Sometimes they are the perfectly folded rose ears that she will have as an adult and other times they are folded over her head like a hat.