Thursday 31 December 2015

Happy birthday to the 2013 'Stars' litter

Happy 2nd birthday to the 2013 'Stars' litter!

Adhara my favourite is back home with me and getting into the routine here and making friends with the other dogs. We will be starting agility together in the New Year.

Dubh and his owners and their other dogs recently moved to a new house in the country. Dubh loves to visit the horses every morning!

Rana (I don't have an up-to-date picture of her at the moment) enjoys obedience with her owners and has given a new lease of life to their elderly German Shepherd, with the two having become firm friends.

Theo (right) is a happy and athletic boy who continues to bring joy to his owners.

Leisha was the naughtiest puppy in the litter, and was constantly escaping. She still is naughty and can open doors! She does agility and obedience with her owner to occupy her mind!

Fleur has matured into a stunning poodle with a gorgeous expression. She was a little character with lots of funny mannerisms and still is.

Zo (I would know this face anywhere), my 'Royal Male Delivery' because he was born in front of the postman, is 'quite the best dog ever' according to his owners!

Wednesday 23 December 2015

A Respite From Winter

Today was a day of unusually pleasant weather, and a break from the wind and mud and general sodden dismal state of outdoors during winter.

And it was possible to make a video of the Three Amigas playing outside, without it looking like a grey smeary mess with amorphous dark shapes moving against it:

Adhara has also been playing with balls and practicing commands, and learning about some of the agility obstacles (most of the ones made from wood have been put away for the winter). Our names are down to start a beginners' agility course in the New Year.

Tuesday 22 December 2015

Happy Solstice

We made a Solstice Turducken. It is a rare breeds turducken: a small Marans cockerel full of bread stuffing within a Khaki Campbell drake with spiced sausage stuffing, within a Bourbon Red turkey hen with sausage, cranberry, and sage stuffing.

Construction process:

Friday 18 December 2015

An Australian Addition

November to February tends to be a dead time of year. Not only is the weather wet and miserable and the daylight short, but farm animals tend to be at a stage when they don't do very much, and there is little in the way of laying and hatching eggs, and life revolves around maintaining and feeding small breeding groups who are waiting for spring so they can start breeding, and managing pens and paddocks so they don't get too muddy and worn.

So, I've decided to try a new species from Australia that lays in the dead of winter (presumably because in Australia it is the height of summer). It's probably not the sort of egg one who has never hatched anything before should start with. It comes from the second largest bird in the world, so is presumably the second largest egg, and takes nearly two months to incubate. It's an emu.

So here are my emu eggs!

The white egg-shaped thing behind one of the boxes is a temperature probe the size of a typical goose egg, to give some idea of scale.

So in February we are looking forward to hopefully having some emu chicks.

Friday 11 December 2015


Cally, Indi, and Adhara visited the ophthalmologist. Adhara and Indi have clear BVA eye certificates.

To my pleasant surprise, the ophthalmologist is happy with how Cally's eye condition is continuing to do so far with conservative management. The ophthalmologist feels Cally's problems are best described as 'multiocular defects' which is a general term for when a dog has more than one specific issue with its eyes contributing to a problem as a whole. There is not really a clear answer as to what causes this, and it might be genetic or epigenetic (something Cally's mother was exposed to during pregnancy). Cally's eyes are too small and she has atrophy of the irises, so her pupils don't contract properly in strong light. Because of both of these issues she has developed secondary problems with her left eye which causes it to be itchy and dribbly, and has caused a corneal ulcer to develop on a couple of occasions, although this has not recurred for some time now. There is not an easy solution to this, with the only surgical options being to try a procedure to remove part of her eyelid, but there is a serious risk if this does not work it could actually make things worse, or to just remove her eye completely, which will obviously leave her significantly more visually impaired than she already is. Cally has never been used for breeding, at any rate.

Unfortunately my camera has cataracts and will not be used for breeding.

Monday 7 December 2015

A Reunion

This is the puppy I called Pink from the 2013 litter from Pasha and Loki. She was my favourite puppy in the litter, but so much other stuff was going on it was not convenient to keep her at that time. She lived with a co-owner, and for various reasons we have both decided to end the co-ownership and she has returned here. I am very grateful to her co-owner for loving her and caring for her so well, and for allowing her to come back to me.

I am delighted with the way she has turned out. I can see a lot of her mother, who was quite frankly the best dog I have ever owned, in her appearance and character, but she is compact and solidly built like her father. I am looking forward to doing a sport with her, probably either agility or working trials, either of which I think she will enjoy and be eminently suited for.

The name she's had so far she happens to share with a person we know, so now is probably the ideal time to start with a new name. The obvious choices were to go back to calling her Pink (which was meant to be a stopgap name really, chosen because I put a pink collar on her as a puppy to make her easy to tell apart from the other black pups, but it reminded me of the rock singer called that, which is quite funny, and it's a nice short name) or to use her registered name, which is Adhara (the H is silent) which she seems to quite like, unless there any other names that happen to occur to me soon as suiting her.

The farmland doesn't have a good perimeter fence and some areas of land are a mire at the moment, which is why she's trailing my tracking line as she gets to learn the territory.