Friday, April 24, 2009

Sadie Wins!

I just got a message from Ellen--Sadie was Winners Bitch for one point at the Wilmington Kennel Club show in Delaware! She'll be coming home on Sunday for a little bit of break.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Happy Birthday, Puppies!!!

The puppies turned one year old today! Hard to believe that that much time has passed already, even with all the highs and lows we experienced with this litter. It has been a learning experience that also brought us the lowest of lows--we miss you Tucker!--but we have met so many wonderful people through these puppies and deepened friendships, truly a blessing!!
Here's how they were just one year ago:

It's Spring!

Friday, April 10, 2009

What Happened????

I've been following the National through the results listings on the Collie Club of America website. I know that Sadie did not place in her class, but other than that....For every other class, the cuts are listed but Sadie's class doesn't! I've noticed that it has happened to a couple of other classes so it must be a web page format thing, but it's our girl's class, I need to know! Did she make the cut, did she have fun, did the judge have a good comment about her? I left a message with Ellen but I know she's really busy with long, long days so I won't bug her with another phone call.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Good Omen?

Ellen gave me a quick call this afternoon. As she was crossing the bridge into Massachusetts, the radio station she was listening to started playing "Keep on Rockin' "! Could this be a good sign for our Sadie (Hillcroft Keep on Rockin') on Wednesday??

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Goin' to the National!

Sadie has been washed, dried, brushed and fluffed! Now she's on her way to DE and tomorrow leaves for the Collie Club of America National Specialty show in Massachusetts. I'm not able to go so while she's competing on Wednesday morning, I'll be home, pacing the floor and biting my nails until I get word how she did!

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Home for Gibson

Gibson now has a permanent home---here! With his early show successes, I had already started thinking maybe Gibson should stay here instead of actively try to find another show home for him. He will bring the same virtues to our breeding program that Tucker would have, just in a smooth coat instead of rough. We didn't think we needed two dogs that were so alike but we were also finding it hard to part with Gibson. While the two brothers are very much alike, we know that Gibson is not a replacement for Tucker--no dog could be! Gibson has his own unique personality, just like all the dogs in our kennel, and we love him for him. We're once again looking forward with hope and optimism.
I took Gibson on errands today to try to work out some issues he has with indoor shows. We spent about an hour in Home Depot. I supplied myself with a bag of Chipper's Dog Treats, which Gibson loves, to help smooth over any apprehensions over noise, which concerns him the most. In short order, he was fine with the p.a. system, carts going past, strangers petting him and even saws--hopefully he won't hear those at a dog show! We then walked over to Petco where we had to start the process over. He didn't like the music that was playing and had a most concerned look on his face. He relaxed enough to nose around the toys and helped me find a puppy pillow for the new baby. At the check out counter, he made a new friend and she gave him enough cookies that he wasn't worried about the music anymore. Walking back to the car, he couldn't stop admiring the dog he saw reflected in the store windows! Could our guy be vain?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Puppy Comfort

Ellen and I talked for a long time on Monday--long enough that my cell phone battery died! Her advice, now that we know Tucker did not have a viral infection, was to go cuddle the new puppy Dixie and look to the future. I promptly went downstairs, patted mom Phoebe and picked up baby Dixie. If you don't read Phoebe's puppy blog, Dixie is the only puppy in the litter and is rather demanding and headstrong. I was cuddling Dixie when she started rooting around my neck and cheek for a snack. When she couldn't find something to eat, she started screaming! This brought mom at a run who gave me a most disgusted look. Obviously, she had just gotten Dixie quiet and was getting some rest herself when I disrupted the whole schedule! To be chastised by a collie is most disheartening! I put Dixie down and slunk out of the room, wondering if I could bribe my way back into Phoebe's good graces with extra cookies...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Some Answers

We had an autopsy done on Tucker and got some results by Monday afternoon. Tucker did not have a viral infection (good news for the other dogs!) but had a condition called megaesophagus which caused food to go into his lungs and cause infection. His lungs were consolidated, also. Tissue samples have been sent to the University of Georgia for more answers. This is not a common condition and it would be highly unlikely the other pups from the litter would have it--a huge relief.
I'm still trying to understand not only how this all happened so fast, but also this disorder. I found a good explanation at this website,
"The esophagus is the tube connecting the throat to the stomach. When food is perceived in the esophagus, neurologic reflex causing muscle contraction and relaxation lead to rapid transport of the food into the stomach, like an elevator going down. Other reflexes prevent breathing during this swallowing process to protect the lungs from aspiration.

When these reflexes are interrupted such as by disease in the esophageal tissue or nerve disease, the esophagus loses its ability to transport food. Instead the esophagus loses all tone and dilates. Also, the reflex protecting the lung is disrupted and aspiration pneumonia commonly follows."

We have heard from so many people after our devastating week-end. David and I want to thank you all for your kind words and support. It really has been a comfort and has helped more than you could know. Dog people are the best!