Happy New Year, and happy third birthday to my lovely Adhara, and her siblings: Fleur, Rana, Leisha, Dubh, Theo, and Zo. Wishing all my poodle family people, friends & family, and anyone else happening upon this blog prosperity and happiness in 2017, as we look forward to the coming of spring!
Adhara: you are very special and every day I am grateful
The cria are now coming up to 6 months old. Trident is enormous, and his mother Poppy has lost a bit of condition from feeding him. As Poppy is hopefully pregnant, Trident needs to be weaned so she has time to recover her reserves before the foetus growing inside her and the cria it will become start to place more bodily demands on her.
Meanwhile, Olivia and her son Trebuchet have the opposite problem -- Trebuchet had a difficult start and Olivia is overweight and does not feed him well, and as a consequence he is runty. Despite being covered with dense fluff, his back feels like a knife. He stopped accepting supplemental feeds of artificial milk some months ago, and although we keep trying to feed him concentrate, he tends not to eat a lot of it. He needs to stay with Olivia at least until the weather gets warmer, hopefully to try to get some of the weight off her as well as to put it on him.
Poppy and Bess, who didn't have a cria this year, are therefore going on holiday together (we hope they enjoy it and behave themselves there!) for a short time, leaving Olivia with the two cria, to hopefully enable Trident to get used to socialising with other alpacas rather than relying on his mother all the time. When they come back, we should be able to split the alpacas between the two paddocks to keep them apart, which does not work at the moment as Poppy and Trident can see each other from them and spend all their time trying to escape.
The cria are getting more training and handling at this stage. Once a day we catch them and feed them whatever they will eat in the corral -- Olivia isn't allowed concentrate because she's too fat, and the emus will steal anything they can reach!
After a reasonably pleasant and mostly clear-skied autumn, the most miserable season of the year has set in. The house is cold and leaking and there's not enough light to take pictures of anything really. Adhara needed clipping today and I could barely see what I was doing. Winter means four months of rain and dark and sliding around paddocks that have become a perpetual quagmire to check on saturated and mud-plastered birds and alpacas, and no eggs to hatch or cria to be born.
I have been making some festive jingle collars, which are a bit more cheerful than the weather, and useful for locating dogs on miserable winter evenings. They're available in any number of combinations of leather, stitching, and bell colours. More information on the Etsy page.
Here is Cally getting out and about a month after surgery to remove her eye. Her coat has grown back enough for her to be clipped with a #7 blade and blend in the 'hole' on her scalp. All she needs now is some time to grow back a proper poodle bonce. :-)
Adhara and Indi have both had their SA biopsies and are clear. :-)
Cally also had her left eye removed last week, which was a tough decision, as it wasn't causing her pain so much as just discomfort and general nuisance, and she did have some vision in it, but I hope she will be more comfortable now. The underlying problem that caused this to happen affects both eyes, but since the right one has never developed the same issue I'm hopeful that she will continue to manage with reasonable vision on that side for the rest of her natural life.
She will look a lot better when her coat grows back. So far she is doing well and should be having the stitches removed next week.
Summer is coming to an end, the harvest is in, and all that can really be done is enjoy the remainder of the good weather until it's gone until next spring. The pacas have been moved down to their new grazing (the 'salad bowl') as it needs grazing down before winter.
The bitches went to the beach for an afternoon:
Pictures of Odette, Odile, and Siegfried the emus.
(As one person has already astutely noticed, my poodles are wearing their leather collars to play in the sea. I let my poodles do 'extreme' things in their collars to test their limits and so I can have some idea of what's fixable and how and what isn't, and I don't recommend dogs wear leather collars to play in water, particularly salt water as it's extremely corrosive and will damage the leather and reduce its lifespan.)
The new Twill and Chevron leads are now available. Both these leads feature an attractive woven strap and are made from high-quality vegetable-tanned leather. The weave on the strap gives it an elastic quality, and this gives the lead a natural shock-absorbing capability so it is gentle on your dog and you!
Twill lead is designed for moderate-to-small dogs who don't pull too hard. It's made from the same Italian vegetable-tanned leather as the poodle collars and can be made to coordinate with them with a choice of two leather colours and many stitching colours in French linen thread. It's fitted with an English brass trigger hook and rivets and has a 1/2" hand strap.
After designing this lead to match with the poodle collars, a customer asked if I could make a collar with the same twill weave pattern on to match with the lead(!) Hence I can also make this twill collar in any colour combination I have should anyone else want one.
Chevron lead is for bigger dogs and dogs who pull. It features strong black leather and a 1" wide hand strap to distribute the force when your dog pulls so your fingers don't get hurt. It can be made to coordinate with the poodle and Samson collars with your choice of colour for the interweave, handle lining, and stitching.