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Springtime is soon to be upon us and that means deer ticks . . .

29 March 2020

Thank you all for reaching out to check on us, during these last few weeks.  We are safe & well in our little house and grateful that so far?  Everyone we know is ok.  So, with those details behind us?  Let’s share a happy photo!

Leo and Molly, 25 March 2020.

Meet Leopold!  Leo was planning to move to Florida on April 13th to join his Kensington cousin Yoshi, out of Murphy x Koko 2019.  However, a couple of weeks ago it became apparent that we might not be able to get the little guy on a flight in the cabin with his hoomans, come April.  So, we had a couple of tearful conversations, switched gears and now?  I am planning to breed and raise a different puppy for these lovely Miami folks and will deliver her personally, come August 2020.

Instead of becoming a Floridian, Leo became a resident of Brookline, Massachusetts last week and has joined a family who has been in our breed for decades.  Leo switched seasons, leaving the snow up here and is now enjoying spring in Boston.  It is closer to winter up here in Stowe and even with trees starting to bud?  It still feels cold outside.

Freshly harvested ramps, from the Percy woods.  When carmelized?  They taste like sweet garlicky shallots.  Spring 2019.

The intoxication of spring after a lengthy winter is better than cocktails at 5pm.  Here in Stowe, we can forage for ramps, once the trilliums begin blooming.  Fiddleheads will soon be in season, too, and harvested from unfurling ostrich ferns.  Then, come the mushroom gatherers.  I have a neighbor across the street who brings me freshly foraged oyster mushrooms every spring.  What a treat!

We woodland foragers are a most amusing lot; hiking off the Rec Path and into the woods, with garden forks, pruning shears and fabric sacks in tow.  Sometimes, we bring plastic buckets.  I have learned NOT to take a dog along for these seasonal adventures, as they slow me down and pick up more flotsam and jetsam in the woods, than they do at the beach!

Fresh fiddleheads of the Ostrich fern and ramp pesto. Spring 2019.

While I look forward to the changing of the seasons, our traditional springtime activities will surely be impacted by these current and curious times.

The Corona virus is serious and we urge every one of our hoomans & peeps to be vigilant and obey the suggested ‘social distancing’ six foot rule with frequent handwashing (and moisturizing).  Stay inside your homes, be kind and love your friends, family and pooches.  Be grateful that we have electricity, food and water and try to take it down a notch.  Trust me, I get bored, too!  And that’s when we go for a drive in the country with the doggies in their crates in the back of the car.  I truly hope that none of you has lost or will lose a loved one to the Corona virus.  I feel like I’m living in a science fiction novel.  But there is hope and winter will soon be behind us!

Young Ben, enjoying our CH Oskar x CH Gigi puppies, Memorial Day weekend in Marblehead, 2016.

With warmer temps and budding trees come ticks.  Ticks are serious business and today, I want to emphasize that we stay clear on how important it is to repel the damned things and keep them OFF of our dogs and ourselves.

The THREE PRONGED APPROACH

  1. Repel
  2. Protect
  3. Treat, when necessary

REPELLENTS

CH Shalimar’s James of Kensington with some of Kensington’s 2015 puppies. At the farm on the Randolph Road; Morrisville, VT.

There are those of us who try to stay ‘natural’ and use plant-based repellents.  This is great, if they work.  For the folks who lean toward the ‘natural’ approach, know that the annual vaccine is a great protocol, as it does NOTHING to your dog.  Rather, it is designed to be taken up in the blood meal of the tick and that is where it does its work, as it kills the Lyme bacteria in the tick, so it cannot infect its next host.  I think if you’re going to try the ‘natural route’?  Consider the annual vaccine and do not discount the topical repellents.

PROTECTION

There are oral and topical options.  The oral options generally require that the tick bite your animal.  The topicals are neurotoxins and the same compounds that get sprayed topically on bananas coming from South America by boat.  Your vet will have suggestions for what is ‘best’ in your area.  There is also an essential oil based spray that kills both ticks and mosquitoes for up to 30 days.  I’ve been using one called TickKillz – I might have the spelling wrong and I do NOT spray my yard myself.  Rather, for $90?  My pest people spray my 1/4 acre and it takes only an hour to dry.  We’ve had zero Lyme issues, since 2011, when my boy Oliver presented with symptomatic Lyme and that awful fever that fried his little gonads.  After that?  It was war.  Never did that fabulous boy ever sire a litter, as the fever took his sperm count down to negligible levels with high abnormalities.

Bobby and Ava de Brodeaux on the Essex River. A man and his dog!

I know that most of you wouldn’t ever consider participating in a breeding program but that doesn’t mean that you should disregard the potential for longterm ramifications of a Lyme bacterial infection.  Dogs can live with Lyme without obvious symptoms, until the longterm ramifications present themselves and you end up with a dog in kidney failure.  Where you have deer, field mice and tall grasses?  You will have ticks.

Anytime you consider a proactive ‘course of action’ for your pet, here are three questions I suggest you ask your vet:

  1. How many incidents of this malady have occurred in your area in the last year?
  2. Has the vet personally seen and treated a case of whatever you are discussing?
  3. How severe is the treatment?  If it’s life threatening?  Perhaps the repellent protocol is better.

TREATMENT

As I’m a planner and an Aries, I am constantly mindful of the options that might present themselves in my world.  One way to evaluate your situation is to do an annual spring SNAP test.  A vet tech can do it and in my world?  I think they charge me $26 per dog for the test (which is now a ‘four way’ test for all four tick-borne illnesses).

SNAP tests give a Positive or Negative result.  The course of action when exposure is detected is a 30 course of Doxycycline.  This should kill the Lyme bacteria in your dog’s system and alleviate symptoms fast.  There is a follow-up test that will tell give you another number for interpretation.  Between the two?  You should have a clear understanding of your situation.

Here’s hoping for a Spring season without Lyme disease!

Yours truly!

WB.

 

 

Here we go, again . . .

4 March 2020

Pipes, on the right. Dr. G, on the left. Planning to breed Piper next week.

Once again, it was off to New Hampshire that we drove yesterday.  Piper was a very good girl in her crate in the way back and the lovely Lady Ziva sat next to me in her harness and seat belt in the passenger’s seat.  At 28.4 pounds, my car knew she wasn’t a handbag.  ;>)

Yesterday’s blood draws down at Broadview gave us very important information.  By now, you all should know that I’m a data junkie and simply ADORE my spreadsheets, graphs and charts.  Yesterday’s numbers confirmed that progesterone levels are on the rise, we are pre LH surge (and ovulation) and I have previous charts to study, in order to begin preparing for breedings next week.  People often ask me why I’m willing to drive three hours each way for progesterones.  Well, I’ll give you the straight answer: accuracy and timeliness.

The rise and fall of hormones associated with reproduction in canines.

The Broadview Animal Hospital has four full time repro vets and at least seven full time repro vet techs – a TOSOH machine that delivers results in 20 minutes AND it gets tested and calibrated every two days.  It is accurate below .5ng/ml and above 30ng/ml – so, we’re covered, whether we’re working with fresh, chilled or frozen semen AND whether we’re doing natural, artificial or surgical breedings.  This is very important to me.  I want accurate information and I want it fast.  And I love working with a team of repro vets, any one of whom I trust.  And I get all of that at Broadview – so, it’s worth the three hour drive each way.

BROADVIEW Progesterone comparison chart

With Piper at .45ng/ml of blood, we might need three more blood draws on her to assess her peak fertility.  As I have only one previous chart for a breeding that did NOT take in April 2019, I’ve got less history to study with Piper.  But I can tell you that the love dancing between Koko and Piper has begun and I’ve got behavior to study now, that I didn’t have last year.  Piper has been with us in residence for close to 15 months and she has fully transitioned into the regal queen of our pack.  Leo x Piper is the plan.  Fingers crossed and oranges to Buddha for a litter of vigorous healthy females!

Mark Desrosiers with Ziva, Best of Breed win. 2015

Ziva was at .56ng/ml yesterday and I am guessing that we’ll catch her LH surge on Friday.  I’ve got both girls on the schedule for blood draws at 11am and with our Friday numbers?  I will make a ‘final’ plan.  From where I sit right now?  It is looking like an artificial insemination for Ziva with Questa’s frozen semen down at Truesdale’s, sometime early next week.  And if we’re lucky?  Natural breedings between Leo and Piper in Stowe.

Meanwhile, our weather is now milder and the chickens have started laying for their 2020 season.  We get between one and three eggs daily – well, sometimes we get none.  Gordon has dubbed them the ‘thousand dollar eggs’.  And as with a canine breeding program, the up front cost and effort is very high, with a very slow payback.  We’ve gotten twelve eggs out of my girls, in the last two weeks.  It’s going to take at least 2,000 more eggs to break even.  Hang on – let’s do the math: 5 hens laying 5 eggs daily?  Gonna take two years to break even.  ;>)

Campari in the courtyard garden. Turk’s Cap lilies started blooming today! 8 August 2019.

So, with spring around the corner and Daylight Savings Time coming up this weekend?  It’s almost time to start thinking about the gardens.  We have some lovely daylily beds on the eastern side and raised beds on the southern side of the house for vegetable and herb gardening.  Digging in the dirt is both a favorite puppy activity and my antidote for dealing with dirty puppy linens.  If Mother Nature looks kindly on us and holds the course?  We’ll have puppies, come mid May 2020 and I’ll be planting & sowing seeds before Memorial Day.  Sounds like the timing just might be perfect!

Fingers crossed and oranges to Buddha!  Here’s to healthy litters for Ziva and Lady Pipes and no surprises, along the way.

Thank you for your interest in my breeding program and for the trust & confidence you all place in me.

Woof.

And what do you do with your free time? ;>)

22 February 2020

Isn’t it a curious expression, ‘Free time’?  I wonder what the etymology is of this phrase.  You know what?  I’m going to check . . .

Well, this is very interesting and it explains why ‘leisure’ rhymes with ‘pleasure’, when spoken by an Englishwoman.

Oh, how Leo loves being the center of attention! With a bunch of 8 year old girls in Newton, MA.

Apparently, ‘free time’ is time available to one’s self when not working.  It is something you have in your ‘leisure’, and the development of the word ‘leisure’ during the last few centuries is also associated with the development of the word ‘pleasure’; hence, their rhyming pronunciation.

So, there you have it!

I have been enjoying ‘free time’, since our litter of Oskar x Piccolo puppies departed en masse on January 16th, 2020.  And what have I done with that ‘free time’?  I have been to the Post Office several times, caught up on my personal laundry, packed up the aero bed and removed it from the dining room, washed the tile floors in the living and AGA rooms, washed all of the cage banks and prepared them with fresh wee wee pads, washed and sterilized all plush puppy toys, run all of the rubber toys through the dishwasher, dried chicken treats in the AGA, made sweet potato chips on the AGA, replenished the freezer inventory of rare loin lamb chops and blanched green beans, tried a couple of new recipes, given up wine for two weeks . . .  I don’t know that these things sound like ‘leisure’ or ‘pleasure’, as I go back and read the list.  But I can assure you that having a clean fragrance free house and empty laundry room give me great pleasure!

Oskar x Billie’s litter of three. Shot by Kate Carter. November 2018.

Earlier this month and with more of my ‘free time’, I drove down to Pomfret Center, CT to bring Questa home for a couple of weeks.  Our boy turned two years of age on 8 February and needed to have his hips XRAYed and sent in for evaluation/registration by the OFA.  We also need to get him collected/evaluated/frozen for the second time, as a fellow breeder wants to use him later this month and I’d like his pipes to be cleaned and see what he’s shooting, before it’s time to perform for Bronte.

Last week, with more of my ‘free time’ I drove down to the Boston area to visit the grooming operation of one of our forever gals who has a littermate of Piccolo’s and to take care of a couple of errands.

He can sire, but he can’t drive. ;>)

And last week and with more of my ‘free time’, I drove up to the Canadian border for my NEXUS interview.  It has arrived and will allow me TSA Pre-Check/NEXUS expedited boarder crossings, as I prepare to bring Kristof (the Erbosedition puppy from Slovakia) into the US in April 2020 and continue my recreational jaunts over the border to Montreal, with more of my ‘free time’.  ;>)

Snug as a bug in a rug. Leo! Same breeding as Campari = Oskar x Billie. DOB 6 Sept 2018.

Meanwhile, my waiting game continues.  Past experience and cycles indicate that Ziva will next come into season in March, Piper in April and Piccolo, in May.  We’re going to skip Koko’s upcoming cycle, as I like to give the girls a season off periodically – and we’re shooting for lots of sable coated puppies with these next breedings.  Leo is at the top of the list and frozen semen from Oskar will be considered, if logistics with Leo become difficult.  Questa x Ziva is something I’ve wanted for her last breeding, but I don’t know that we’ll be able to swing that.  Questa x Campari will be a 2021 breeding and once Kristoff arrives from Slovakia?  His sable coat color genes will replace Leo and Oskar’s in my breeding program.  We’ll be able to accomplish two things with our Erbosedition boy: a genetic outcross and getting back to coat color diversity, as we had in the beginning of the Kensington breeding program.

Leo, ne Rocky. Seven months old and stunning. 10 April 2019.

I am excited for spring!  It has been wonderful to have been able to take a break and get my house back in order.  Lady Cheryl’s bedroom has been prepped and is ready for her next visit and the laundry hamper is empty, thanks to all of the ‘free time’ I’ve had.

We’re ready for visitors and look forward to breeding & raising our upcoming 2020 litters for the Kensington peeps who’ve been waiting so patiently.  As soon as there’s news to share?  Trust me, I’ll be eager to share it!

Thank you all for the trust and confidence you’ve placed in me.  We very much look forward to sharing future joy with you!

The best year yet and the next one begins . . . now!

9 January 2020

(Can’t believe that I actually typed the correct year: 2020.    Perhaps I am more rested than I’ve been in years past?)

Billie Jean’s Top 20 rosette from 2016 graces the corner of our living room. To me? It looks like an evening gown that Grace Kelly would have worn. ;>)

Regardless, we have achieved the one goal I set for Kensington in 2019 and that is to have eclipsed Billie’s 2016 #14 National Breed placing.  Billie was our first US Top 20 Tibetan Terrier and she achieved the Bronze Grand Championship medal in 2017 before retiring.  She is our GRCHB Kensington’s 1st Dance with Michael and with Lady Cheryl’s Yogi?  They produced Questa.

Questa finished 2019 with a #6 National Breed placing and we couldn’t be more proud of him and his handler, Rebecca Bradley.  Questa was born on 8 February 2018 and he is GRCHB Kensington’s Questa o Quella?  He will be returning home after the Florida shows later this month to breed the lovely Ziva in March 2020.

Rebecca Bradley with GRCH Kensington’s Questa o Quella?. In the ring at Westminster, 11 February 2019.

Whoo freakin’ hoo!  Well done, Becky!  Well done, Questa!  and Well done, Wendy B!  We’re all very, very pleased by his national placing and tonight?  It will be time to celebrate with Miss Elizabeth up at Edson Hill.  Where is that Veuve?  ;>)

Meanwhile, we also have a plan for the hand off of Piccolo’s puppies on Thursday, 16 January.  We will arrive in Newton, Massachusetts at 11am for our Wellesley, Newton, Lexington and New York families at another Kensington family’s house.  Then, once contracts are signed, puppies are kissed goodby and all questions are answered?  I’ll set off for Logan to meet a lovely lady (for the second time) and her daughter who are bringing Piccolo’s two female puppies into their home lives and flying back to Texas on Thursday afternoon.

Annabel with Judi & Friends in her new forever home. May 2019.

I swear, we have the most wonderful forever homes on the planet.  We are grateful for the trust and confidence each of our peeps place in us to breed and raise happy, healthy and smart TTs as future family members.  It is not all a bed of roses and I encourage everyone to lead a mindful ‘natural’ lifestyle – offer fresh veggies and fruits as treats to your doggies and keep the fat off the table.  Ditch the ferilizers and pesticides.  NO FEBREZE or SWIFFER!  Royal Canin is my choice for kibble – but I know there are other fine kibbles out there and Purina Pro Plan is a great alternative.

The Other End of the Leash is a great book to have on hand – read it and get a glimpse into your dog’s perspective.  Puppies for Dummies isn’t bad, either.  Remember, EVERYONE will have an opinion!  Use your head – be mindful and ask questions of your vet, your groomer and your breeder!

WB as May pole. Kensington play date in Newton, MA. Thank you, Justin & Regina! 4 May 2019,

Wagging Tales at Kensington is a private group on Facebook that we established recently, as Kensington peeps wanted a place where they could share experiences and ask questions.  Check it out.  It’s a great place to arrange to meet for play dates, especially in the Boston area.

Thank you for your interest in Kensington Tibetan Terriers and in my breeding program.  I take your confidence very seriously and hope that with every passing year, our TTs will just keep getting better and better.

Let’s make 2020 fabulous!

Happy New Year to all from Dolce, our newly available male puppy!

30 December 2019

Miss Paige, Yogi x Star 2019.  A delightful and precocious  female.  Splits her time between NYC and VT.

It has been a wonderful year for my little pack.  I have very much enjoyed this latest chapter chasing fifteen quadrupeds around my house and yard.  Huge thanks go to Jen & Andy for watching the babies, while I shower –  thank you to Lady Bernadette for loving me and all of us – and more huge thanks go to Lady Heike, without whose grooming we’d be a mess!  Our days are well organized and overnight snowfall makes what I’ve missed, go away.  How very pretty it is, in the morning!

We are a beautifully managed little operation, as long as I have my triple Nespresso with foamed milk in the am and my vino in the pm.  And there’s always a second Bosch washing machine, should anything prove to be a wicked big mess.  Oy.

Our lovely GRCH Piccolo and her five babies. 26 Nov 2019.

Most importantly to announce: we now have one very newly available male puppy named Dolce.  Please reach out to me, if you’d like to see a video of Dolce and the other puppies in his litter.  He is available because I have decided not to keep my Beckham-sired male out of Beckham x Koko, as Veronika Kucerkova of Erbosedition in Slovakia has bred a beautiful sable male for my next outcross in 2021 and Questa will be coming home soon.  That will give me two intact males in residence and that is full capacity.  We will bring the sable boy into the pack, come April 2020, and I have plenty of Beckham’s frozen semen for future breedings.  So, I have released Kensington’s Zapata to a very nice Massachusetts family and now, Dolce, their former Oskar x Piccolo puppy is available.

Normally, folks have to wait several or many months for a Kensington puppy . . .  but someone out there just might get lucky, if they make the cut and prove to be ready for a puppy, come mid January.  Dolce will be nine weeks old on 16 January 2020 and ready to leave us anytime during the MLK weekend.

Rudolf posing with the sleigh on the porch at Maple Street. Happy Holidays! Glad they’re over!

In the meantime, we are going to have a New Year’s Eve party to get Rudolf and his sleigh out of the garage and onto the front porch.  We missed Christmas and the Thanksgiving wreath remains on the front door – but there was no available time for decorating frivolity!  Puppies and their mums are always the most important thing around here and Rudolf can’t go anywhere on his own.  We might get really lucky and have Lily & Daisy in town to help with his rigging, as I don’t know the first thing about rigging a reindeer!  And their wonderful mum Lizzie donated Rudolf’s tack.  But if the girls aren’t here?  I’ll call Tom Sequist to the rescue.  He and his wife are equestrian pros and I know they will know how to hang Rudolf’s silver bells.  ;>)

BFF, A man and his dogs: RR, Freddie and Whitaker. June 2016

We wish everyone out there a healthy and rewarding New Year.  Please, act with heart and help us make the world a smaller place.  Tell the folks you love that you do!  And smile at a stranger.  Hold the door and help an elder.  ‘Tis the season and that should be the way we behave, year-round.

May 2020 bring you blessings and joy!

Happy Holidays 2019 and Status of Puppy Availability

22 December 2019

Season’s Greetings to everyone!

Monsieur Moustache (Beckham x Ziva), in the front of the crate. Crate training begins at six weeks with a crate included in the X-pen setup.

It has been a terrific year for Kensington Tibetan Terriers and we are grateful for so many things: our FIRST Non Sporting Group 1 awarded by Judge Mrs. Cindy Meyer, several litters of healthy puppies born & raised, great new forever families who’ve been welcomed into the fold, our second Top 20 Breed finisher (like mother, like son), Grand Champion and Bronze Championship titles, Medals and Awards of Merit won and television performances at Westminster AND in The National Dog Show on Thanksgiving Day 2019.

We simply couldn’t ask for anything more.  We have snow outside – heat inside – smiles on our faces – and plenty of Stella & Chewy’s on hand.  ;>)

Kensington’s Questa o Quella’s sire Yogi in show coat – not to be confused with Erbosedition’s Yogi.  ;>)  July 2019.

And now, with the high holidays upon us?  We look forward to holiday dinner parties and the departure of Beckham x Koko and Beckham x Ziva’s last puppies.  I finally got my litters out of Beckham, Shadeacre Fast Love at Kensington.  And Kensington’s future will include breedings of my female and male pick Beckham-sired puppies to Yogi-sired Questa and Yogi-sired Piccolo.  We remain dedicated to the breeding & raising of healthy, happy and smart Tibetan Terrier puppies for the best forever homes who find us.

Applications for 2020 puppies are now closed.  We are holding plenty of applications with deposits and wanting to fill the wishes & wants of these forever families, before we open applications up again.  There are a number of applications that have not yet been returned and we will do our best to breed and raise puppies for those folks, too – but then?  We will next accept applications only for 2021-born puppies.

Oh, how our Kensington-bred sable Leo loves being the center of attention! With a bunch of 8 year old girls in Newton, MA.  2019.

It looks like I’ll be traveling to Slovakia in April 2020 to pick up an Erbosedition sable male puppy bred by my friend Veronika Kucerkova.  I am very excited about V’s latest litter, as the puppies are out of Waterley, Falamandus and Kashi bloodlines.  There are two sable males in her litter and I am letting Veronika select the one for Kensington.  We got to know one another in 2016, when my Billie (GRCHB Kensington’s 1st Dance with Michael) and her Yogi (Erbosedition) traded Best of Breed wins several times during the late fall.  Our dogs are similar in style and I will need another outcross in about two years.  Who better to breed our future boy than a gal who grooms, breeds & shows her own conformation Champions AND performs agility & rescue with them?

Happy Holidays, eh! Canadian Whittaker enjoying a moment with Santa. Whit is one of Billie and Annabel’s brothers. December 2018.

September 2020 will find Lady Cheryl and me traveling to France for the next Tibetan Terrier World Congress, just north of Paris.  I love France and ANY excuse will do to get me on a plane bound for the country I love.  I never tire of practicing my questionable French on the shop girls.  ;>)

So, Joyeaux Noel! and Bonne Annee! to all of you great people who keep me laughing, when the going gets tough.  And thank you for staying in touch and for sharing the great stories of life with your Kensington TTs.  Together, we are making the world a happier and smaller place.

Yours truly!

Wendyll Behrend, a Grand Champion in my own right.  ;>)

 

No wonder we have cave paintings . . .

If I didn’t write things down, I’d be lost.

Daily weigh ins are vitally important, so that I find out early, if anyone is having a problem.

Think about it.  The shopping list.  Directions to a destination (before GPS).  The times you administered a medication.  Who’s eating which kibble?

There are 19 dogs in this house right now and that is down two, because Mlle. Campari and GRCHB Questa are both competing in Springfield, Massachusetts under Rebecca Bradley’s professional hands.  Three of the girls here have litters and we hope that dear Piper will come into season in the next three months, get bred and have puppies.  We’ve been hoping that, since she was bred last April and did NOT conceive.  But I have way, way, WAY too much on my plate now to worry about when Piper’s coming into season!

How else can I keep it all straight? The easel pad sheets from Kensington’s September 2018 litters.

You should see the clipboards and easel pads that hang around my house.  And scales – I have three.  And hygrometers and thermometers – there are at least six of those.  My own office gets repurposed, with every litter.  For the first four weeks, the new litter and their mum hang with me in my office off of the kitchen, as I attempt to stay on top of daily weighing, note taking and mummy dog care.  Once the puppies can climb out of the whelping box (and that will be happening within days)?  It’s time for the 2″ height extender that will buy me most of a week’s more time, before we move the puppies down to an Xpen in the AGA room at about five weeks of age.  This year?  That is scheduled to happen, just as Ziva’s puppies begin leaving for their new forever homes.  Thank you, Mother Nature!  A four week gap between litters is just about perfect.  Now, she needs to work on her ratio of males to females.  ;>)

Monsieur Moustache, in the front of the crate. Crate training begins with a crate included in the X-pen setup.

And then we have the oldest litter which will be the first to leave, beginning on December 14th.  At nine weeks of age, Monsieur Moustache will depart for a wonderful new home that’s been grieving the loss of their Golden for some time.  He will move to Richmond, Vermont to live with an athletic couple and their seven year old son.  Mrs. will be home 24/7 for the first week with the new puppy, as they have their own contracting business.  I’ll get to see the puppy occasionally and will always offer him board & room, when requested by his humans.  His first day on Albon was Thursday – boy, THAT was fast!  They just met him on Wednesday and moved quickly with their decision making.  The Albon protocol is important, as we proactively treat for the potential of coccidia by putting each puppy on a ten day course of Albon liquid, timed ten days backward from the departure date.  And Pinot and Preta’s Albon protocols began yesterday.  Kuro starts today, as he’s leaving next weekend, too.  Yvette (formerly Chesty and no laughing  ;>) is staying with me and so, she won’t need it.  And then, depending upon Preto’s departure dates, we’ll add him to the Albon calendar, too; that will be five out of six in that litter.

The big blue balls provide first exposures to unexpected touch and moving obstacles.

Koko’s litter is only four days behind Ziva’s and I’m keeping Eddie, one of the Beckham x Koko puppies and, yes, named for Eddie Redmayne.  That puppy won’t need the Albon (as he’s staying with us) and I now have departure dates for the other two; have figured it out and added their Albon protocols to the calendar.  And the only tricky thing to remember and calculate about the Albon protocols is that the first day is a double dose: .5ml per pound for the first day vs .25ml per pound for the next nine days.

Piccolo’s puppies are too young to have to worry about anything other than the Nemex II dewormer protocol (administered at two, three, four, six, eight and ten weeks), although the two females are going to Dallas by jet plane on January 16 . . .  count back ten days and add those two to the Albon calendar.

My desk, after a big Questa win – like his BOB and Group 2 placings on 6 Dec 2019! ;>) Perrier Jouet rose on my laptop. Panacure, show photos and temperature data in the background.  Cheers!

Understandably, sometimes I just want a break and need to take it down a notch or we celebrate a Questa win!  Where’s the wine?  Only issue there is that with my overnight sleeping interruptions?  I sleep better without the alcohol.  And I remember in the early 2000s, when my dear Italian aunt was still alive and suffering from Alzheimer’s with me as primary caregiver . . .  I’d meet my brother for a two martini lunch at Legal in Chestnut Hill to ‘dumb’ myself down . . .  only to realize that she was exactly where I left her, upon my return.  I drank to make her go away, but it didn’t work!  (Anyone out there who’s done the same?  It’s pretty funny and absolutely pointless, in retrospect.)

So, the training routine continues and morphs a little bit with each passing day.  Puppies are now outside playing in the freshly fallen snow, twice daily.  Car training is in full gear (pun intended).  Lady Bernadette is here daily and becomes more highly valued with every passing day and tomorrow?  Nothing will have changed.  Clean laundry will await folding by early morning – dirty laundry will predictably be waiting my morning arrival down in the AGA room – the Albon’s sitting on a windowsill to keep cool and the ladies will greet me with circular wags of their happy tails – and out they’ll go to bark at the world and announce the beginning of another day.

One day at a time.  Nevermind the wine; where’s the coffee?  ;>)

When the nights become days and the days become nights

Questa’s sire Yogi in show coat. July 2019.  Very handsome and prolific sire!

It is quite normal and has become part of my routine to be up between ~ 12:30am and 3:30am every night.  It’s either the ladies down in the AGA room who ‘boof’ for a potty break . . .  or dear Piccolo who comes to the gate between the kitchen and my dining room/bedroom to make her request clear.  As I’ve said innumerable times in the past, it’s a good thing that I live alone!  The doggies need care 24/7 and long ago?  I happily signed up to be the caregiver, laundress and chef extraordinaire.  ;>)

Beckham x Ziva’s puppies out for their first adventure. 30 November 2019.

Ziva’s puppies are seven full weeks old and they’re quite mature physically.  Still finding their emotional ‘sea legs’ and trying on all sorts of behaviours including biting something soft, until they get a blood curdling scream.  I think we’re almost past this stage, as I’ve come to the rescue more than a dozen times and by now?  They’re on the brink of realizing that it’s not fun to be on the receiving end.

Koko’s puppies are only four days behind Ziva’s puppies chronologically, but they are hard to tell apart visually from their older friends.  All are on straight kibble & water, 4x per day.  Carrots and apples come next.  Both litters are producing tootsie roll stools and I am very pleased about that.  The Royal Canin kibbles I use seem to yield smaller and less fragrant tootsies than other kibbles we’ve tried, ESPECIALLY the salmon based kibbles.

Look hard! There are five puppies nursing on Lady Piccolo. Oskar x Piccolo.

And then, there are Piccolo’s five beautiful babies who are still nursing: two females and three males.  Today is Day 19 for them.  I only wish that I could handle more for the wonderful forever families out there who are waiting ever so patiently – but three litters is my max.  This time?  It’s more like two, as the first two are only four days apart – but the laundry doesn’t lie and it feels like three litters to me!

But what is life without the occasional upset? Even with apparent total quarantine for the youngest litter, one managed to catch an upper respiratory infection.  How now, brown cow?  Well, apparently, his mummy Piccolo must have brought the germs into their whelping room and for whatever reason? He caught a cold.  Three .1ml doses of Clavamox later?  The apparent congestion seems reduced and it truly is 24 hours, since I noticed it yesterday morning.  I know that with humans, we think very seriously about whether to ingest antibiotics and I, for one, prefer to ‘tough it out’.  But when the patient is 18 days old with newly opened eyes?  Give me the drugs!

This morning?  We had our second outdoor snow experience with Ziva’s puppies.  The first car training with outdoor snow fun happened on Saturday, this past weekend.  With Koko’s puppies about four days behind Ziva’s?  Car training will begin tomorrow.

Winter is upon us. Maple Street in Stowe, Vermont, December 2019.

We didn’t get the 20″ of snow they got in southern Vermont and boy! would we have liked that!  But the 2″ dusting we got makes for a pretty morning and shortly, I am off for my solo walk to town.  Wishing everyone a terrific day!

 

Weigh ins, feedings, laundry, indoor/outdoor play; REPEAT

Our lovely GRCH Piccolo and her five babies. 26 Nov 2019.

The lovely Piccolo has hit her stride and seems to have settled into her maternal routine and is FINALLY back to eating her kibble.  Here she is, comfortably nursing her brood of five in her whelping box.

Ziva’s enjoying playing individually with the October born puppies, whether hers or Koko’s.  We let them out individually to scamper around the perimeter of their Xpens.  It gives them a great opportunity to taunt and tease their littermates, as they test out their newfound freedom.

And Koko’s enjoying outdoor sunshine and the best that the Maple Street kitchen has to offer.  She has learned that patience pays off in the kitchen.  What could be better?

A life without puppy poops on the linens, I’d say!  ;>)

Oh, how Leo loves being the center of attention! With a bunch of 8 year old girls in Newton, MA.

All is well, here at Maple Street.  Thanksgiving is only days away and Piccolo’s puppies will be two weeks old that day.  There are five of them: three males and two females . . .  and they keep Pic and me MORE THAN BIZZY!  I still have the baby monitor on their pen, so that I can hear any nighttime calamity . . .  but they’re all happy and quiet.  We’ve got the temperature stabilized, nursing is happening predictably & every four hours – and everyone’s digging Jazz Piano on Pandora, while yours truly plays in the kitchen.  Life is good.

Meanwhile, we await the second television broadcast with a Kensington Tibetan Terrier up on the big screen – please watch with us on Thanksgiving Day!

Here we are: like mother, like son, thanks to Photoshop!

Questa took Best of Breed down in Oaks, PA on 16 November 2019 at The National Dog Show.  THIS is the dog show that is televised annually at 12pm on Thanksgiving Day.  Watch it on NBC.  They are airing it in every time zone at 12pm.  Tibetan Terriers are in the Non Sporting Group.  We already know that he did not place in the Group – but that’s ok by me.  He’ll be up on the big screen!  Questa is out of a Yogi x Billie breeding and he has a number of brothers and sisters out there including Gryffin and Bodhi.  If you’ve got the time?  Please ‘watch’ with us!

Meanwhile, it’s back to the laundry for me right now.  I am changing pen linens today, so that I can have a couple of hours off on Thanksgiving to WATCH THE DOG SHOW on NBC!  Join me at noon on Thanksgiving Day, as we root for one of Kensington’s finest.

Woof.  ;>)

You’d think I had it made, playing with puppies all day . . .

Young Ben, enjoying our CH Oskar x CH Gigi puppies, Memorial Day weekend in Marblehead, 2016.

I’m REALLY clear that I’m wonderfully fortunate to have an opportunity to live my passion during my retirement by breeding & raising the dogs of my dreams in a place that’s clean and beautiful.  And that is exactly how it looks, from the outside. . .

With or without a litter in the house, I begin my day between 5 and 6am, if not earlier. Usually, it’s the sunlight that wakes me. These days? It’s Piccolo who ‘boofs’ at midnight, again at 3am and by then?  I walk down the hall to the other mums in the house and let them out, too, hoping that between the three of them?  They’ll let me sleep until 6am.

This morning, I got lucky – but it was a tricky day.

Sable Louis in the Puppy Warmer incubator and Oxygen Concentration equipment. Staying warm, as he dries. Newly born!

Last evening, we lost the second sable male and Piccolo & I each had emotional reactions.  I cried and wished the little animal well on his spiritual journey . . .  and Piccolo washed him, so that he’d be clean for his trip.  This morning?  She and I were both despondent.

I was in a bit of a trance walking down to the big doggies to let them out into the snow – but was crystal clear that I needed a triple Nespresso this morning.  Piccolo appeared out of sorts and stuck very close to me, through my morning routine.  She walked with me to the laundry to grab the fresh load and bring it back to the kitchen for folding.  As soon as I put the basket down?  She burrowed into the basket and emerged with the pink monkey.  Piccolo took her monkey dollie back to the whelping room with her puppies.  The poor little dear curled up around the dollie in the corner under my desk, in the same manner as she does with her live puppies, and I couldn’t help but think that it was a substitute for little Ralph.

Rebecca Bradley with GRCH Kensington’s Questa o Quella?. In the ring at Westminster, 11 February 2019.

We got through the day and tomorrow will be another day.  Questa’s in the ring down in Springfield for the first of four days of Conformation competitions.  Ziva and Koko’s puppies are now five weeks old and starting to act like precocious puppies.  Lord, help me!  There are nine of them!  And I spend 15 minutes with each of those puppies every morning, handling them & letting them play individually on the towels that ring the puppy pens.  In this way, they begin to show me their unique puppy personalities.  I make notes and use these notes, as I begin studying each puppy with the forever home lifestyles we have ‘on deck’. 

From yesterday morning to this morning, weight gain was great for three of Piccolo’s puppies but not so great for the other two.  We now have five vigorous and apparently healthy puppies from Oskar x Piccolo.  I think the latter two will have plenty of time on the nipple overnight tonight, as I gave Piccolo some freshly cooked liver from The Frozen Butcher and the B vitamins, iron, minerals & other trace elements will be good for her pretty little head.

We will have a better day tomorrow!