Saturday, December 29, 2012

Claire Has Been Bred

Claire at Dr Hutchison's clinic
We've had a very busy week with Claire, making three trips to Cleveland for progesterone testing and breeding with the remaining frozen semen from Bango du Pre de Redy. Last year's transcervical insemination (TCI) breeding with the Swiss frozen semen produced two wonderful puppies, Ch Hickory Tavern Intl Intrigue (Solene) and Ch Neigenuveaux HTF's Intl Hanna (Hanna). While these girls are just the kind of puppies we hoped to get, we did wish for a larger litter with a lovely male. For the final use of the imported semen, we made the decision to use Dr Hutchison's renowned repro clinic, Animal Clinic Northview, in North Ridgeville, Ohio, for all of the testing and breeding. Luckily, our Christmas Eve reading of 4.3 and the two days later value of 14.2 showed that Claire had ovulated on Christmas Day. When reading progesterone numbers, ovulation occurs when progesterone levels reach 5 nanograms. Breeding is then scheduled for 72 hours later, when the bitch's eggs are mature and ripe for fertilization. Frozen semen has a very short life when thawed, living for just 6-12 hours, so the window has to be accurately pinpointed. David and I were able to observe Claire's surgical insemination from the viewing area of Dr Hutchison's beautiful clinic, and the procedure was quick and efficient, while giving Dr Hutchison the opportunity to evaluate Claire's uterine health. The semen was injected directly into the fallopian tubes, giving the sperm the ideal positioning for uniting with the waiting ova. The semen motility was above 80%, indicating excellent quality after the freeze/thaw cycle.

6 hours later, we used the last Bango straw to perform a TCI and give ourselves a larger window of viable sperm. Again, David and I were present with Claire and I was very interested in the different method used by Dr Greenfield at Northview when compared with Dr Mantell at the CLONE facility in Philadelphia last year. Dr Mantell uses the Norwegian catheter, which is a blindly threaded rigid tube that is inserted through the bitch's cervix while the vet palpates the cervix. At Northview, Dr Brian Greenfield used a tiny, lighted endoscope to view the path through Claire's cervix, and deposit the semen into the uterus. (A bitch's cervix is not a straightforward opening, but rather a Z shape that does not lend itself to easy navigation)  Both methods offer a manner for depositing the semen into the uterus without requiring general anesthesia. Claire weathered the day quite well, and was happy to eat a special dinner on our way home.

When we imported Bango's sperm from Switzerland in 2011, we were bringing in a line of Barbet that had not yet been used in America. The resulting puppies from this breeding are just what we hoped for. For the final attempt at breeding Claire with the Bango semen, we wanted to have the highest possible odds at conception, which is why we utilized both surgical and transcervical insemination. However, all breeding is a gamble, and there are no guarantees that a pregnancy will occur. We have our fingers and toes crossed that Claire will carry a successful pregnancy. Stay tuned for further updates.

Friday, December 21, 2012

A White Christmas?

Looks like we may have a white Christmas this year!


Snow Barbet

Monday, December 3, 2012

What A Barbet Weekend!

Barbet UKC
Nuphar's Gift Wrapped, Nessa, winning two groups, and Ch.Hickory Tavern Intl Intrigue, Solene, winning Best In Show
This past weekend was a dream come true for me. At the Mason Dixon dog shows in Dayton, Ohio, both of my puppies won Gun Dog groups, and Solene won Best In Show! For Nessa's show ring debut at just six months, I never imagined that she was capable of beating multiple Best In Show-winning dogs in all-age Group competition, but twice she was chosen by the judges as the winner of the Gun Dog group. All I wanted was for her to have a great first experience in the ring. Nessa thinks she owns the world!

At the final show of the weekend, Solene won the group, and her performance in the Best In Show ring was truly wonderful. I know that when I looked down at her as we were gaiting in the huge ring, I was so proud of how beautiful and happy she looked. The judge gave her really nice comments, then awarded her the huge BIS rosette and a crystal trophy platter. As a breeder, it makes me so proud for Solene to be appreciated by so many people, and for her to win a Best In Show before she is even 11 months old is just an incredible honor.

Solene is following in her mother's footsteps, as she and Claire are now the only two Barbet girls in North America to win Bests In Show. I am so fortunate to have these wonderful, sweet dogs with me.

Nuphar's Gift Wrapped
Nessa      Thanks to Anne Plomp for sharing this wonderful puppy with me.
Hickory Tavern Intl Intrigue
Solene      Breeder/Owner/Handler Best In Show winning Barbet
Claire      Thanks to Florence Erwin for giving me this incredible start in Barbet

Monday, November 5, 2012

Upcoming Barbet Puppy Plans

 This winter, Claire will be bred to Bango du Pre de Redy, the beautiful brown Swiss boy who sired our litter that brought us Solene, UKC Ch Hickory Tavern Intl Intrigue; and Hanna, Can Ch Neigenuveaux HTF's Intl Hanna.  We love these girls and are very impressed with the combination of Claire and Bango. A breeder is nothing without great bitches, and I am very lucky to have Claire. She is a vibrant, solid, loyal and friendly girl who also won many excellent awards in the show ring due to her proper conformation and correct and beautiful movement. Claire and I have traveled many miles together, and she is always a pleasure to be with. I am so proud of her.

Her health testing is all found online through CHIC

A pedigree for the litter can be viewed here.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Another Best In Show Barbet

UKC/CKC/FCC Ch. Neigenuveaux's Gambit and Francois Menard
Last weekend at the Quebec City UKC dog shows, Claire's little brother Bosch won a Best In Show with his owner, Francois Menard. This is a proud moment for us; there are now two Best In Show Barbet in the UKC, and they are both out of the same mom, Ch. La Cour Alee Magic Charm (Bernadette). Our Claire is the first Barbet to win a Best In Show in UKC. It's really great to see the Barbet getting so much recognition in the ring!

UKC/CKC/Intl Ch Neigenuveaux's Ermagarde (Claire) with judge Joanne Hurst and Judy Descutner

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Eyes: Perfect!

Neigenuveaux's Ermagarde - Claire

Today Claire went for her biennial CERF check to assess her eye health. As part of a breeding program that includes testing for heritable diseases, we have our dogs examined and approved by a Board Certified Canine Ophthalmologist. It is important to me to maintain Claire's CHIC status by keeping all of her health records in an online database that is open to anyone, and having regular updates to her status. Currently, there are only 3 American Barbet listed with the CHIC program.

Monday, October 22, 2012

True Angels

Angel On A Leash
Polly and Lexie at AKC's Meet the Breeds

One of the best parts of being a breeder is experiencing the joy that my puppies bring to their families. 9 years ago, I bred my last litter of English Cocker Spaniels. One of these puppies, Lexie, went to a 16 year old girl named Polly, who lives in New York City.  Polly was a very special teenager who attended a children's performing arts school in Manhattan, and performed on Broadway in "Phantom of the Opera" at night. Over the years, Polly and Lexie have traveled North America in the national touring company of Phantom, and Lexie has made many friends for the breed. Polly also uses Lexie's sweet and gentle personality to bring comfort to sick children through the "Angel On A Leash" program at the New York - Presbyterian Children's Hospital at Columbia University.  

"Science is finally confirming what people have known intuitively for years: therapy dogs help people physically, emotionally and socially. It's known as the "therapeutic touch," the proven scientific fact that when a human pets or interacts in some other way with a dog, within minutes they get a massive release of beneficial hormones."  

 I am so proud of Polly, and everything that she has accomplished with Lexie. They have brought joy and improved healing to many, and Lexie has laid by the side of children as they died. Truly there are no words to express my appreciation for the life that Polly has given Lexie. They are a beautiful pair who give of themselves every day. I was thrilled to visit with them this weekend at the Meet the Breeds event at the Javits Center.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Meet the Barbet at AKC's Meet The Breeds

Tracey and Tug pose with Judy and Claire at AKC's Meet the Breeds
This weekend, Claire and I will again be hosting the Barbet booth at AKC's Meet the Breeds for the third year. Meet the Breeds in New York City is a gigantic event where over 40,000 spectators have the opportunity to see over 160 breeds of dogs and 50 breeds of cats. Unlike a traditional dog show, Meet the Breeds offers visitors the opportunity to spend time speaking with owners and breeders, meeting and touching the dogs, and learning why or why not a breed may be the ideal choice for their family. It is an incredible educational experience for anyone interested in purebred dogs. In our Barbet booth, Claire and Tug are well accustomed to the busy day with throngs of  kids and adults who want to meet, kiss, touch and visit with this wonderful French breed. Several younger Barbet puppies will also be at our booth throughout the weekend. If you're in the New York metro area, come to the Javits Center Saturday or Sunday for a day filled with beautiful purebred dogs.

For more information on AKC 's Meet the Breeds, click here.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Barbet Champion Solene

Today was a big day for our pretty Barbet puppy, Solene. Her UKC Championship papers came in the mail, and the show photographer posted a lovely picture of her in the Gun Dog group at the Carnation City Kennel Club in Ravenna, Ohio the day she finished her Championship. I am really pleased to see her lovely outline, beautiful head, and how nicely she carries herself while on the move. Solene is just 8 months old in this picture.

The UKC is an enjoyable way for breeder-owner-handlers to participate in Conformation in the United States while we work for full AKC recognition. UKC shows can usually be entered on the day of the show, and they offer temporary listings for dogs with registration papers from other registries.

Although our January 2012 Claire/Bango litter was small, the quality is wonderful, and Solene exemplifies just what we were looking to get out of the combination. Her head,  movement, shape, and carriage make me very proud. Her fun personality makes her a special little girl to live with.

Solene Demonstrating Beautiful Extension

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Another New HTF Barbet Champion

Isabel with Hanna, just a few days old
After a quick campaign, Ch. Neigenuveaux HTF's Intl Hanna recently earned her Canadian championship at just 7.5 months. I was really pleased to see her twice win Best Puppy during the Club Barbet Canada National Specialty weekend. We are proud to have bred this sweet girl, and now look forward to seeing her in the performance arena where we hope she will excel at Agility. Hanna is the sister to Solene from our Claire/Bango breeding, and she is owned by Veronica Matthews and Florence Erwin of Ontario, Canada. Congratulations on your new champion!

Neigenuveaux HTF's Intl Hanna at the Barbet Specialty in Long Sault, ON

Hanna on the move

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Lake, the Whippet, and the Barbet Puppies

With our warm summer weather winding down, we have been busy going to dog shows with Calla the  Whippet and Solene the Barbet, Agility training classes with Bob, and preparing the lake house for winter.  Calla has finally gotten her first points, after a long year dealing with her broken leg, repair at Ohio State Vet School, and lengthy rehabilitation. Seeing her finally entered into the AKC records was a gratifying achievement. There were many months when I doubted that she would ever be sound enough to show. Huge props go to Jonathan Dyce and his team at the OSU hospital for their tremendous work repairing Calla Lily's leg.

Calla Lily wins Winners Bitch at the Butler County Kennel Club
Bob, our 7 year old Pembroke Welsh Corgi, is showing a lot of promise at his Agility classes, thanks to our wonderful instructor, Irene Barrie. We still have a lot to learn, and I'm trying to figure out the intricacies of agility handling, but by spring, I think we will almost be ready to try our hand in competition.

Bob practices his jumping skills
Last weekend we spent a beautiful weekend at Deep Creek Lake, MD, visiting with family and friends, and preparing the house for the winter. Unfortunately it was time to pull the boat from the water, but David did manage to squeeze in one last run behind the Mastercraft. It was some of his best skiing of the year, and he is always sad when water ski season is over.

The early morning fog on the lake -- Worth getting up early

David gets one last run on Deep Creek Lake, MD
Solene, Nessa, and Calla came with us to the lake, and the Barbet girls were very happy playing in and around the water. Calla? Not so much :)

Nessa soaks up the sun

Curious Nessa

Solene with her little partner in crime hiding in the background

Solene and Nessa

Nothing demonstrates great conformation like a wet dog

Monday, September 24, 2012

Alba the Model Barbet

This beautiful dog, doing her best imitation of the Club Barbet Canada National Specialty logo, is Ch Quaciendas Alba Aqua-Aura. She is the mother of our Nessa, and she is one of the best quality Barbet in the world. Bred by the Quaciendas Kennel in The Netherlands, she is owned by Anne Plomp and Wouter Lemmen. We are so grateful that they shared Alba's lookalike puppy, Nessa, with us.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Simple Pleasures

American Barbet Puppy

Late summer is a wonderful time for the dogs. The temperatures have cooled, and the pace is less busy. I really enjoy taking 3 or 4 of the dogs out for a walk through the fields each day and watching them run, play, and explore. Our newest Barbet puppy, Nessa, enjoys this chance to check out her new American environment. She races up and down the hills, plows through the grasses, and watches the hawks that often fly overhead. Here she stops to smell the flowers :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Solene is Our Newest Barbet Champion!

barbet puppy
Ch. Hickory Tavern Intl Intrigue
Carnation City Kennel Club
September 9, 2012
Judge Barbara Lauer

We are so proud of Solene...she finished her UKC Championship in just one weekend of shows by placing four times in the Gun Dog Group. She is only 8 months old, and we really look forward to her future with us. We are very pleased with her pretty head, moderate size, and nice angulation.
barbet breeder
Bango du Pre de Redy x Multi Ch. Neigenuveaux's Ermagarde

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Barbet Dogs Featured in Best In Show Daily Online

Last month, Christi McDonald of Best In Show Daily featured the Barbet in a well done article about the history and status of the breed in North America. To read the article online, go to Best In Show Daily 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Club Barbet Canada - First National Specialty in North America for our beautiful dogs!

Barbet breeder
Judge Jim Bricknell awards Solene BOS Sweeps

Barbet Breeder
Judge Dr Francisco Chapa placed Solene First in the Jr Puppy Bitch Class

This past weekend, an historic event was held in Long Sault, Ontario, near Ottawa. Club Barbet Canada sponsored the First National Specialty for the Barbet in North America. With an entry of 34 dogs from Quebec, Ontario, and the United States, the competition was the largest group of Barbet ever assembled in North America. When the Specialty was first announced, Solene and her sister Hanna were just a few days old. Now at close to 8 months, they were both old enough to compete in the Specialty weekend. Solene won her Jr Bitch Sweeps class, and BOS in Sweeps to Florence Erwin's lovely male Bogart. In the Regular classes, she won the Jr Puppy Bitch class. Her sister Hanna, owned by Veronica Matthews and Florence Erwin, won WB and Best Puppy twice during the weekend. I was really proud of my girls!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Calla's Ring Debut

whippet breeder
Bo-Bett O'Calla Lily of Hickory Tavern Farm

This was a very special weekend for us. Calla injured her front leg last November, and eventually it required surgery in April. 6 weeks of total crate rest was followed by several more weeks of hand walking. In the summer, she was given clearance to resume exercising on the leg and her first weeks found her very short of breath after running. My heart stopped every time I watched her jump off the sofa, but Dr Dyce had given the ok for her to resume her previous activities. It was hard to watch! I felt like her plated leg was more fragile than it really was but I eventually learned to let her play hard and run fast. She got into beautiful condition, stayed sound, and I finally entered her in a few dog shows.

With a tear in my eye, I proudly showed Calla to RWB at her first two shows, starting her show career after a long and questionable layoff. For months, I was uncertain whether she would ever recover enough to be a show dog and prove to the world just how beautiful she is, but this weekend turned a corner for Calla and me. Now it's time to hit the road in pursuit of her Championship.


Justin Smithey with BIS GCh. Bo-Bett's Speed Demon and sister Calla.



Justin in the Best In Show ring with Demon

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Settling In

Nessa and Isabel
Nessa is adjusting to her new life beautifully. She is so confident and self-assured, and is enjoying exploring the farm and playing with the dogs. She has such a knowing, wise expression and has proven herself to be quite a smart girl.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Newest American Barbet Citizen

Today I have copied Anne Plomp's Nuphar's Blog post with translation by Google. Anne speaks perfect English but Google does not! Anne had a really big heart and entrusted her baby to the care of Zoo Logistics and KLM to safely deliver her to me. We flew her from Amsterdam to Washington DC (Dulles) so that she did not have to deal with changing planes. We wanted to make her travel time as short as possible. By driving 5 hours to Dulles, I was able to let Nessa eat, drink, and exercise before we headed back to Pittsburgh. She traveled like a pro, and bounced out of her crate when she was finally cleared through customs. She is a testament to all of the hard work, love and devotion given to this litter by breeder Anne Plomp.|en&u=

A world for Nessa

Yesterday we have a long, exciting day behind. It started early in the morning when we have Nessa to Hoofddorp, where they by the people of Zoo Logistics was collected. This company ensures that animals must travel by plane to go well cared for. Nessa has given the car does not beep and also in the waiting room at the office while we were handling the paper trade, she was very good.
We found it extremely hard for her to give, how well you know they know very well what they do and this is much better than himself transferred to the airport. Therefore, I have cried a lot on the way, I will admit. 
The rest of the day there is nothing useful came out of my hands, except regularly look at the flight-checker how far they have had and whether they were still on schedule. I got an email nicely after the plane had departed, she was on board and that everything had gone well. Judy was called again to check that they meet Nessa came off. 
Luckily I have all day contact with Judy, who of course in America just as nervous as I was waiting.
Last night was the redeeming word they landed and delivered at the desk. After a lot of paperwork then came the first picture of Nessa with Judy in her arms. Again reason for tears, though I have not had enough to flow but this time of relief! 
Nessa has it all brilliantly: her benchje was only a puddle after another clean, they even had water and she showed no sign of stress. Good Girl!