The Reveal (Sort of)

It is time for the reveal — the mystery of the father we selected for the very wanted and hoped for Sparklers 2.0.

Berkeley, dressed appropriately for the occasion, agreed to help with this.

Note the sparkle shoes!

Note the sparkle shoes!

That moment when the presenter reads the winner to herself — unless the presenter cannot yet read, and then she looks at the pictures.

And the answer is....jpg

And the Winner in the Category of Best Dog for Siring Sparklers 2.0 is…

Frozen (2).jpg

True Story. Frozen.

Frozen Tank (1).jpg

Very, very Frozen.

pellets.jpg

LONG Frozen…

See the collection date?

See the collection date?

I have planned for some time to use this male — I knew and loved this dog; he is one of Dear Husband’s all-time favorite Berners. The only reason he was not originally Plan A is because I was nervous about using frozen given Sparkle’s age (almost six). I changed my mind because I learned a few things.

Isn’t that usually the reason we change our minds — because we learn to see things in a different way? I am reminded of the importance of an open, curious mind and the need to be a lifelong learner.

Anyway, it went like this…

About three weeks ago Cindy H. said that Kira (her daughter) said that their acupuncture vet said that a hotshot repro vet had recently relocated to Boise and was working at one of their clinics.

Then Plan A for Sparkle fell through and I decided to consider Frozen (the term we shall use for the currently unnamed male whose semen is frozen).

I did a telephone consult with the Boise repro vet — LOVED her. More important — I learned a few things that made me feel comfortable using Frozen.

We set the wheels in motion.

The semen was in another state. A form was needed to release it — and that had to happen within 24 hours in order to get the semen to Boise in time.

YIKES.

The Head of the Costume Department and her spouse win the BFF Award for printing the form I emailed to them (not quite as easy as it sounds), driving over to have said form signed by the owner of the semen, and then more driving to deliver that form to the clinic where the semen was stored!

Form at clinic (3).jpg

Much gratitude to them!

The cost of shipping the semen left Elizabethanne wondering if it had been sent on a Lear jet! But regardless of mode of transportation, it arrived safely the next morning in Boise.

Whew.

And then we watched the progesterone rise — slowly — until the timing was such that Sparkle had entered her fertile period.

Because the humans involved with Frozen are generous and want this to work — and because transcervical inseminations (TCI) are effective and not overly invasive — we have enough semen to do repeated TCI breedings to maximize the chances of success.

So much gratitude to Frozen’s people for so many things. As I said yesterday, this has been a community endeavor.

And so because of all that, TCI #1 happened yesterday and #2 is this morning; we will do a total of four!

More on the methodology of all this tomorrow but for today — don’t forget your Lucky Socks!

Future Draft Dogs

This is another one of the Sparklers — Lucas, who lives in Arizona with Kay and Sue (humans), and canine relations, Ruben (Glitterati) and Micah.

Lucas with cart March 2019.jpg

It is clearly draft season!

Lucas Draft March 2019.jpg

Lucas looks very relaxed in his cart — nice job! And thanks to Kay for sending along those great photos :)

Here in Montana we continue to be buried in snow but that has not stopped the draft training. Our long straight driveway is really perfect for draft because it allows a novice dog to get used to the whole thing without the need to do a bunch of turns or deal with distractions.

Yesterday Claire did the entire 1/2 mile round-trip on the snow covered driveway for the first time — of course I went with her! I give pretty continuous treats to reinforce the happiness of pulling a cart and to reward her attention on me; a draft dog needs to pay attention to the handler.

On these long forays down the driveway, I also work on stops (ALWAYS a sit and always rewarded), the change of pace, and I throw in a few “back” as well. My main goal, however, is just developing comfort in the cart.

We will do the driveway again today and then go to Missoula for the next two days to practice at a park. I will set up a very basic course in a large parking lot and we will evaluate our progress to get info about what needs extra focus.

My hope is that we will be ready for the draft test in southern California on April 6 - 7. If we can get that NDD, Claire will be a Versatility Dog and can be entered in that class at the Specialty. This is a lofty goal because of the winter challenges but we will keep training and see how it goes.

Draft Questions? Send me an email!

And have a terrific Sunday, even with the lost hour.