Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Baby Claire

This video was taken two years ago when we first brought Claire to live with us. She has brought so much joy and happiness to our home. She is a complete delight!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Safe and Sound

Finally I can breathe a sigh of relief...Bango's frozen semen is safely frozen at CloneUSA in Philadelphia.

Last Thursday, Bango du Pre de Redy, a five year old Swiss Barbet male, was taken by his owner to a Clone facility in Switzerland for collection. Renate Zuber took her recently in season bitch Flora along to aid Bango with the procedure. Collection was achieved quickly and easily, and Dr Hiltbrand evaluated the semen and found the quality to be excellent. He then froze it slowly and allowed the semen to rest in the nitrogen filled container for the weekend. Monday morning, Ziegler Logistics picked up the shipping container from Orbe to truck the container to Geneva. From there, the container was flown to Frankfurt, Germany.

On Tuesday, the container was put on a cargo plane and flown to Philadelphia, PA, USA. Thursday I was contacted by the US logistics company, Pilot Freight Services. They needed me to fill out a power of attorney giving them the authority to retrieve my container from US Customs. Friday morning I emailed Pilot for an updated status on the journey through customs. As they had not heard anything by 1:30 pm, they told me that it would probably be Monday or Tuesday until the container was released from customs. This made me very nervous. Even though the nitrogen would more than likely last through the weekend, I tend to obsess over everything that could go wrong and I kept picturing damages or leaks in the tank.

Then, at 3:30 pm Friday afternoon, I received an email from Pilot stating that the shipment had been cleared and that they had a driver who could pick it up in 15 minutes from US Customs at the Philadelphia Airport. They anticipated that the 30 mile trip would put their arrival at the clinic between 4:30 pm and 6:00 pm depending on customs release and Friday Philly traffic. I called the veterinary office to confirm that someone would be there to accept the delivery. Although the vet clinic closed at 5:00 pm, they assured me that someone would wait to meet the truck. At 5:36 pm, I received a call from Angela at Clone Bucks letting me know that the shipping container had arrived in excellent condition, properly sealed and frozen, and that the semen was now safely stored in their big freezer at the vet clinic. What a relief!

When the Swiss vet had such difficulty arranging the shipment of the nitrogen-filled container, he hired the courier Ziegler Logistics to handle everything. I paid for the collection, evaluation and freezing of the dog; a new Brucellosis test; tank rental, liquid nitrogen, and shipping both directions for the container. I spent a small fortune in freight but I am truly comforted that through all of this stressful shipping, my beautiful dog has been safely lying at my feet in her own home.

I am chronicling my experience with importing frozen semen for anyone who is interested in the procedure or who may be considering it for future breedings of their own. I have learned that Switzerland is definitely not the easiest country to import semen from, but it can be done! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Now to wait for Claire to come in season...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sheep Breeding 2011

Today was a fascinating day spent with my West Virginia sheep friends and Oregon repro vet Martin Dally assisting with the insemination of 45 sheep via laparscopic AI technique. Many sheep breeds are limited in their genetic diversity and frozen semen has enabled Dr Dally to travel internationally collecting different bloodlines from many sheep breeds. He then flies to locations throughout the United States where progesterone and PMSG prepared ewes all ovulate simultaneously. Six of us had a great system lifting the ewes on the cradle, shearing their bellies, and cleansing them with Betadine and alcohol while Dr Dally administered Banamine, Penicillin, and Lidocaine. They were then tilted into position and Dr Dally made two small incisions, then inserted the lighted endoscope into one and the probe into the other. When he was satisfied with the positioning, the semen was injected into the uterus. We then lowered the sheep down and clipped their incisions with stainless staples. Finally, we untied their legs, rolled them off, and they got up and walked outside to the grass. From start to finish, no sheep took more than 6 minutes! A hectic day for sure, but we worked great together and accomplished so much. I can't wait to return in a few months to see all of the babies!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Me? On TV?

We are very proud to announce that Claire has been asked by the American Kennel Club to appear on News 12 New Jersey's "The Pet Stop" on November 9. They are featuring four rare FSS breeds - Barbet, Berger Picard, Cirneco dell'Etna, and Mudi. An AKC Breed Spokesperson will discuss each breed and explain their unique qualities and traits. We are looking forward to this wonderful opportunity to showcase the Barbet.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Our Sire Selection - Bango du Pre de Redy

Bango is a lovely brown dog who has sired some beautiful puppies in Switzerland and the Netherlands. He is 58 cm, normal eyes, and A hips. At this year's World Dog Show in Paris, his easy way of moving and correct conformation won him RCACS. I am grateful to Margrit Zbinden and Renate Zuber Morganthaler for all of their work in making this breeding a reality. 

Pedigrees for this breeding can be seen here

How to Find the Right Stud Dog

 A great article from my favorite magazine, Dogs In Review

How to Find the Right Stud Dog

Monday, October 3, 2011

Meggie is 16 1/2!

Meggie today at 16.5!
Today Meggie is 16 and a half years old. She is the last living pup from the wonderful litter I had from Darlin x Lover and she is the sister to our sweet Gus. Meggie has lived with my sister Jan and her daughter Lindsey her entire life. She escaped for a few days several years ago and spent her time traveling the countryside, and was miraculously returned unscathed.

It's so nice to have a dog reach such an advanced age, especially for all the other dogs who weren't so lucky. Happy Birthday, Meggie! You are a beautiful girl!

One year old Meggie winning a 5 point major

My New Full-Time Job

I have decided that I am unwilling to ship Claire to Switzerland. Expecting to start a healthy pregnancy while enduring 24 total hours of flight and crate time coupled with the stress of a foreign environment is more than I think is fair to ask of her. It is also against the Live Animal Regulations of the International Air Travel Association to fly bitches in season. This leaves frozen semen as my only alternative to access the beautiful Swiss dog who I have chosen for Claire. Kindly, the Swiss Kennel Club and the Swiss Barbet Club have granted their approval for this. The CLONE Switzerland clinic is scheduled to collect and freeze the dog. Everything appears to be in order when I get an email from the vet in Switzerland stating that he is unable to locate an International shipper for the frozen semen. DHL, UPS and FedEx are not possibilities. Of course this makes no sense to me as there is a huge industry in Europe shipping frozen semen to the United States for horses, cows and sheep. Trying to go back and forth with our emails in different languages proves to be tedious but the bottom line is that in Switzerland, semen has to ship through Geneva or Zurich. FedEx flies through Basel. DHL and UPS just will not ship the semen. Ultimately, we have hired a courier to transport the semen from Orbe to Geneva, where it will be flown to Frankfurt, Germany. From Frankfurt, it will be shipped to Philadelphia. Now we just have to hope that the collection goes smoothly, the sperm freeze well, and the transport is successful. 4,500 miles for the semen to travel from Switzerland to the USA, all for an implantation that takes about ten minutes. SO many things have to go well for a successful pregnancy. We are ready to roll the dice.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Calla celebrates 6 months

Calla has just turned 6 months of age! We have so much fun with her and we all enjoy her demanding and talkative nature. She is really growing into a nice young girl and I am anxious to begin her show career. I am so grateful to Carol Harris of Bo-Bett Farm for sharing her with us.