15 April 2020
So, today may as well be Sunday, after yesterday’s ‘Sunday’, and before tomorrow’s ‘Sunday’ . . .
I’ve been cooking, washing & ironing bed linens, grooming dogs, making doggie treats and cleaning my house, with not much else to do. Next on the agenda is to vacuum the carpeted stairs to the second floor and maybe even Spot Bot them. And last night? I went to bed with a blank head. It was the weirdest thing but as I was drifting off to sleep, I lost track of the thought I had in my head and there was nothing left in its place. I had nothing in mind. I don’t know that I can remember a time when I had nothing in my head, just before dozing off. We all yearn for a more complex lifestyle and for things to ‘get back to normal’. I realized that my next credit card bill is going to be considerably lower than usual, as there’s been no dining out, nevermind impulse buying. I’m following orders and ‘staying put’.
Those with the responsibility to do so have begun strategizing on how to get the show back on the proverbial road and how to slowly open things back up. I know that they’re soon to do it in Vienna, Austria and that is especially exciting for me – you want to know why? Because my friend and fellow TT breeder Veronika Kucerkova bred a sable male TT for me who was born in December 2019 and is now happily playing with his littermates outdoors in Slovakia, as we all wait for international air travel to eventually open back up. Once that happens, we’ll be able to resume planning how to bring our new boy Kristof to Montreal and then, from Montreal to Stowe to join our pack of ladies.
It is ideal to have a stud dog in residence and that is how I started my breeding program. Kensington’s foundation stud was CH Shalimar’s James of Kensington. He sired his first litter in 2009; born on 19 March 2009. GRCH Kensington’s Oliver Twist was my pick out of that first litter and he went on to become Kensington’s first Grand Champion. Since then? We’ve bred a bunch of Champions, five Grand Champions, two Bronze Champions and GRCHB Kesnginton’s Questa o Quella? is five points shy of achieving our first Silver Grand Championship title. All very exciting but not helpful, if you don’t have a boy in the house when the girls come into season.
So, I chase boys around New England; something that would thoroughly embarrass my mother, if she were still alive. But they are boy doggies – not humans – and I think that would embarrass her more! As I’ve just about had it with ‘the chase’ (and the driving), I bred Questa to be our in house stud dog but he’s so gorgeous and successful out on the Conformation circuit, that he spends more time with his handler Rebecca Bradley than he does at home with me and the girls.
Having Kristof in the house will accomplish the goal of having a resident stud dog and as an Erbosedition boy? His mostly unrelated pedigree will allow me to use him with all of the Kensington girls and then, breed whoever I keep in the future to the fabulous GRCHS Questa in order to maintain genetic diversity in the Kensington line and take advantage of Questa’s gorgeous structure and temperament. Veronika’s Tibetans are similar in ‘style’ to mine and that means that I shouldn’t have to manage too many ‘surprises’ out of the future Erbosedition x Kensington breedings. It sounds like a terrific plan to me and so, we are moving forward.
That said? I now fully believe that the Questa x Ziva natural breeding on March 9th took, as Ziva’s belly is expanding nicely. We await Piccolo coming into season and hers will be our second litter of puppies to release this summer.
Please know that all of our 2020 puppies already have forever homes and we don’t expect to have any puppies available to new applicants until 2021. It takes time to develop a breeding program and also, an incredible amount of time to plan and raise a litter. Literally, it starts with a seven or eight month cycle – then, the breeding – then, nine weeks for gestation – then, nine to ten weeks for socialization of the puppies and then? Your new life with your new puppy will begin. Even if I could speed things up, I wouldn’t be able to do it my way, with more than three or four litters annually – and that’s why Kensington peeps choose to wait.
I have scheduled Ziva’s XRAY for Wednesday, May 6th, down at Broadview Animal Hospital in Rochester, NH to count puppy skeletons. This is going to be a very long three weeks! She’s eating like a horse and stole raw beef off of the counter, yesterday. Chunks of raw beef were air drying, before freezing, slicing and drying them in the AGA for special beef treats. Well, Lady Ziva stretched tall on her hind legs and got at least four chunks into her mouth and down the hatch they went! Pregnant girls often get into things and I’ve lost chicken sandwiches, raw salmon filets and other edibles off of the kitchen counter in the past. You’d think that I’d learn! But, non – apparently, I have yet to learn that lesson.
Thank you all for checking in on us. Thank you for sewing & sending masks to me and for your cartoon text messages & letters by mail. We remain well & happy and I am grateful. The stonemason will begin working in the courtyard next week to fix the big holes to China that Campari & Piccolo have been digging. Campari went down a hole and got stuck under the porch floor last week and I had to remove the snow grate, in order to get her out. FORTUNATELY, she did not like the experience and I do not think it will happen again with her . . . but . . . action needs to be taken and the lovely courtyard pea gravel will soon be replaced by a Vermont quaried slate patio that will be inpenetrable to doggie paws!
Never a dull moment, up here at Kensington Palace. Only wish we had a changing of the guard to keep me entertained. ;>)
We hope that you’re all hanging in there, while safely sheltering in place. This will soon be behind us and slow & steady is the way to go. That is also the way that you climb a mountain. ;>)
May you all stay safe & remain healthy. Let’s ZOOM again, soon – that last time was fun! Thank you for your interest in my breeding program and for staying in touch.