Navigating uncharted waters with only a compass

12 April 2022

Proud mummy dog. Bellie with her puppies on their birthday, 22 September 2018.

Breeding animals of any kind is not for the faint of heart.  Let’s start there.

Situations present themselves and require one’s immediate and complete attention.  This can happen, both in the whelping pen or in a pet owner’s environment.  One of the things most important to me, when reviewing an application for a Kensington Tibetan Terrier puppy is to ensure that folks have the resources to get to a vet and afford the quality care that every Kensington kid deserves for the duration of its life.  I remember one application where the person didn’t have a car and I wasn’t comfortable placing a Kensington kid in a home where the person had to figure out how to get to the vet.  Never did I ever think about that – but – I need my peeps to have at least one car, if they’re going to care for one of my kids!

My first outcross: Michael winning BEST IN SHOW at Tunbridge, VT on Friday, July 12, 2013.

Now, sometimes, there can be an accident in a pet owner’s life that requires fast thinking.  Breeding dogs requires fast thinking, too.  Sometimes?  You need to switch gears, because you have a semen sample of questionable quality.  Don’t want to use questionable semen with a beautiful bitch, if there’s a chance the breeding won’t take.  Better have a back up plan!  Other times?  An anticipated whelping isn’t exactly going according to plan and you need to be ready for a C-section.  Sometimes, a newborn arrives dead.  Or a newborn can arrive weak and not thrive, with the inevitable happening a few days later.  Breeders have tools and they include a variety of foods, milk replacer, nursing bottles, hemastats, thermometers, hot water bottles, coolers, whelping pen(s) – I designed my own and have four of them in active use.  Not all breeders make the investment in an incubator – but I have and I also bought an oxygen concentration unit that works in collaboration with the incubator to give every neonate an immediately & appropriately warm, dry and oxygenated environment to help it thrive, right out of the gate.  The equipment also serves as a ‘second set of hands’, when I am whelping a litter alone.  I also have designed a humidification chamber that I use religiously, for the first two weeks.  Since the prototype, I’ve made a number of materials and design changes and am currently using version three, built with corrugated polypropylene, corner moldings, observation windows, holes for electrical cords, a door for the mum and a door for me through which I can lean into the chamber and attend to whatever has caught my eye.

WB in the kitchen with her girls. 6 August 2017.

At this point?  I have been feeling pretty damned proud of myself and then?  I get a curve ball like I’ve never gotten before.

Dear Allegra had a C-section on March 25th, as she was carrying seven puppies, had been eating only minimally during her third trimester and had been in the first stage of labor for close to 36 hours.  Her tummy was as tight as a drum and I knew things had to be crammed inside her uterus.  I took her to my Vermont repro vet and we did a progesterone.  While the test was running?  Her contractions began and Dr. Cindy and I agreed that with all of the contributing factors including low blood sugar mid-whelp, because she hadn’t been eating hardly anything?  A C-section made a lot of sense.

I had not been planning on a C-section but I made the call, as it was for the health of Allegra and her babies.  Their health always comes first and I cannot be in the position of having to worry about what things cost, as good health is invaluable and has no price.

First minutes of life, out of the sac. Look at that head! 18 March 2019.

$3400 later, I was asked whether I wanted to see the puppies.  Of course, I wanted to see the puppies.  What an odd question.  And on the way down the hall, Dr. Cindy explained that one of the puppies had a problem in utero and I was prepared to lose one to death, as it was a really big litter for a 14″ bitch who weighed 21 pounds pre-pregnancy.  But I wasn’t ready for what she told me.

She said that one of the two sable males was born with only three legs.  Apparently, an umbilical cord had wrapped around one foreleg during late stage gestation and severed the leg, just below the elbow – otherwise?  He was vigorous and appeared to be beautifully formed.  But with an umbilical cord connecting two puppies coming down the birth cannal?  This could have created a very difficult and life threatening situation in a natural whelping.  Two puppies were somehow entangled together and it wasn’t clear exactly how.  When the puppies were removed from the uterus during surgery, the surgeon and assistants were able to untangle the situation and both puppies and the mother survived.  But I’m going to tell you something:

I have absolutely no experience with three legged dogs, nevermind a three legged neonate with six much larger littermates.

He was named Marco, in honor of the ONLY three legged dog I’ve ever met.  The first Marco was brought in a box to Sequist Animal Hospital some years ago, having been hit by two cars.  He was a pit bull mix and needed emergency surgery, rehabilitation and a special home.  The second Marco, our Marco, was of beautiful conformation, gorgeous coat color (sable with classic white marks) and vigorous, even with his little stump of a foreleg.  While I had considered euthanizing him in the beginning, I couldn’t justify terminating his life because he had only three legs and was otherwise healthy.  But I did think about it because I am committed to exploring all options and the thought crossed my mind.  And it was extremely clear that I’d be venturing into uncharted waters, especially given my mission of bringing only puppies into this world that meet the breed standard and appear to be in line with my personal standards for vigor & apparent health.

Judi Fisher suggested that he join Indiannabel Jones’ posse and become the fourth member of her Barkaeology team.  She even came up with a name for him – but at the time, I was clear that I wanted him to be a solo dog in a home with one or two humans.  And we had plenty of time, from where I sat.  And I was ready for options to present themselves, as I have no experience with such things.  Maybe there are people out there in the Kensington community who do have experience and might have had some really great ideas regarding what to do.

Oliver in Charlestown, enjoying the breeze. 2017.

If you have thoughts to share on this subject, please reach out to me by email.  wendyll.behrend@gmail.com  I have learned the importance of being prepared and ready to turn on a dime.  Dr. William Truesdale, DVM and DDS taught me this in 2010.  My second stud dog and first Grand Champion presented with symptomatic Lyme disease and the fever fried his little gonads.  His sperm count went down so low that he was unable to sire any litters.  It was a tragedy for me and my first.  Doc said, ‘Listen to me.  You need at least two back up plans for everything, if you’re going to be a serious breeder.’  And that is how it came to be that I have multiple stud dogs living with wonderful folks who want to support my breeding program.  And I have each of them frozen, too – just in case I get a curve ball during a collection.  You cannot do what I do, with only one stud dog and it is challenging to live with more than one intact male at a time.  That is how I started: with father James and son Oliver Twist.  All was well, until I added a third intact boy and that was Oskar, the Imposter.  With daddy dog the alpha and son dog the subservient, the third didn’t know his place and needed to establish where he fit on the totem pole.  That created problems and Oskar was ultimately placed with a wonderful retired couple who have kept him in perfect condition, for the last ten years!  I’ve used Oskar to sire eight Kensington litters, Nina Wagner used him five times and I’ve allowed another breeder to use him as a stud dog once.  What a terrific career he has had!  And he is Allegra’s great grandfather, to boot.

Allegra with her seven babies. 28 March 2022.

While there was no reason to euthanize dear little Marco in the beginning, Mother Nature stepped in and invited him to join her in puppy heaven on Day Five.  The situation was doomed from the beginning; I knew it.  He was born at 5 1/2 ounces, while his six littermates were all born at 8 and 9 ounces.  He could not maintain his hold on mummy’s nipple with his unbalanced front end and while I advocated for him by cupping him with both hands to protect his hold, I couldn’t do that both day and night.  As it was, I wasn’t sleeping more than three or four hours a night, with all of the interruptions.  And I am grateful to Mother Nature for having taken him peacefully and gently.

And so, my peeps, as I was navigating uncharted territory, Mother Nature stepped in and changed my situation.  The six puppies we are raising now are all vigorous, have terrific body fat and their eyes have opened!  Today is Day 18 of their young lives.  Each has a wonderful home to which to look forward and I now have more experience than I did before.  I guess you could say it’s another notch in my belt.

The first hundred years are definitely the hardest.

Yours truly,

WB.

Online Resources for New Puppy Owners

12 March 2022

Lady Bernadette, Doggie au Pair Extraordinaire, out with all ten puppies for afternoon play in the courtyard. 5 Jan 2022.

The puppies from our winter litters are all well ensconced in their new homes and reports have been coming in, from all across the US and up to Quebec City.  I’ve crossed the Canadian border twice, having had two PCR tests at Copley Hospital – and Sienna and Farouki are two other puppies from these litters who I hope will be participating in my breeding program, come 2024.

Lady Pipes had four puppies, two male and two female.  Both females were sable and both males were black with white marks.  And as  soon as the babies were weaned and under the care of perpetual mummy Piccolo?  Pipes left us for greener pastures and hasn’t looked back.  She’s now living happily and splitting her time between New York City and Stowe, Vermont.  Reveling in her new uber posh lifestyle, she wears booties for all city walks and has met quite a number of NYC TTs who live nearby.  It sounds as though a safe NYC play date could well be a part of our future.

Mia, nee Siena, at home in Connecticut. 25 Jan 2022.

Piper’s pups moved to FL, MA, CT and NJ.  Piccolo’s kids have new homes in MA, CT, RI, VT and Quebec.  Enjoy a couple of the photos we have of the latest batch of Kensington kids, while I put some links together for all of you to reference and use for self education.

How frequently and how much ‘exercise’ should you encourage in your new pup?  The AKC, Purina and Hill’s have articles published online that can get you started.  This link takes you to a great little article by Hill’s.   https://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/play-exercise/puppy-exercise  Remember, for every ten people who hear your question?  You can expect at least eleven different opinions.  ;>)

Maxfield Parrish Piper. Sunset over Mount Mansfield, 2 July 2020.

What about grooming your new Tibetan Terrier?  How frequently?  What tools do you need?  Should you learn to do it yourself or hire a professional?  Here is a great link to explore.  The videos featuring Lynn Meyer from All Things Dogs College are terrific.  https://all-things-dogs-college.teachable.com/courses?query=tibetan+terrier  Yes, you have to purchase them – but Lynn Meyer is arguably one of the best groomers/handlers/breeders/AKC reps out there and she bred the 2021, 2020 & 2019 #1 US TT, and the #2 US TT in 2018, 2017 and 2016.  Her techniques and her Dzine Tibetan Terriers win Best in Show over and over again.  And her grooming is among the best in the whole dog industry.

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

I also wanted to call your attention to some of the most contemporary research out there pertaining to serious canine ailments including lymphoma & epilepsy.  The AKC’s Canine Health Foundation is absolutely worth supporting.  I donate for every litter that I breed, as I highly value what they do in the canine world.  This particular article mentions some of what the foundation has been focusing on, of late.  The paragraphs on lymphoma are definitely worth reading.  https://www.akcchf.org/educational-resources/library/2021-NPCCHC-Coverage-part-1-Canine-Chronicle-Oct-2021.pdf

Surprise visit from Annabel!  With WB in the driveway at Maple Street. 31 Jan 2022.

And while we’re all still home and trying to maintain our intellectual acumen?  The wealth of information available online can drown a person.  My hope is that these links will help you get to the core of the information you seek as new puppy owners – and existing TT owners, whether of Kensington kids or TTs bred elsewhere.

If you’ve not yet asked to join Wagging Tales at Kensington, a private Facebook page that I run – you might like to explore doing so.  We have about 150 peeps who live with Kensington kids or who are waiting to add one to their family – and these great folks love sharing photos and experiences they’ve had with their TTs.  You can introduce yourself & ask for folks who might live near you, so that you can organize a play date – or ask a question about grooming – training – or agility, rally or other kinds of group activities you can do with your TT.  Even asking about what other people feed their Kensington TTs – it’s a safe place to share thoughts and we would welcome you to the group.

Stay safe and warm!  We’re all looking forward to spring.

Yours truly!

WB.

Bears in the backyard . . .

15 November 2021

Lady Tracy with Suzi Q and Miss Paige. 4 May 2019.

How many of us live with wildlife?  I would propose that it is many families, if you want to include wandering deer, the occasional skunk and even, black bears.  Black bears have become commonplace in Stowe neighborhoods and it is because of loss of their native habitat.  I remember this past spring, Tracy was over helping me cut puppy toenails at Maple Street.  I was minding my own business attending to puppy paws and I heard Tracy say, ‘Look.  A bear.’

Well, before I looked up, I asked her, ‘How close to the house?’  And she said, ‘Up above the driveway.’

Fabulous black boy behind Dr. G’s house on Maple Street. May 2021.

And there he was.  ;>)  Looked like a two year old male ambling along an ancient cow path that curves through the forest above a stone wall that is just beyond my driveway.  She texted Dr. G and told him to bring Mojo inside and get ready for the visitor.  It seemed that no more than two or three minutes went by and G was already texting photos!  The bear came closer to their house than he came toward mine – but this is very normal in Vermont.  We have black bears in town and last year?  Lady Elizabeth and I were lunching outdoors on the Green Mountain Inn patio and I saw a mother with two cubs about thirty feet away going through the dumpster behind Von Bargen’s jewelry store.  I didn’t realize they had AirBNB apartments on the second floor and flatlanders ALWAYS throw food waste in with their trash.  Well, whaddaya know.  INSTANT ATTRACTION for black bears and then, folks whip out their cameras.

Q.T. in the courtyard at Maple Street. My pick from our March litters. 5 June 2019.

Anyway, I thought this year would be the year for my gardens to achieve new heights but that idea went out the window, as we had two Julius sired litters this spring and there was no time to manage conifers or perennials.

I’ve committed to myself that there will be no spring litters born in 2022, as the gardens at Maple Street look abandoned.  Enough puppies!

However, we are planning to breed Allegra in January 2022 – planning to skip Campari’s next season – breed Yvette a second time in early summer and then?  It will be time for a well deserved holiday.

WB and Annabel at Claire’s in Colorado, 1 December 2017.

We are planning a cross country driving trip with Questa and Campari as companions.  We’ll leave Stowe and, perhaps, take a northern route to visit our Canadian friends in Montreal and Ontario – then, drop down into the midwest to visit Earl Miller at Gemms, as I want to see Audi and Voodoo 3D.  I’ve got to visit Claire Coppola in Colorado and then, I’m going to go visit Chris Chance, my favorite ex.  He’s back to building bikes in Oregon – actually?  He never stopped building some of the most expertly designed and carefully executed bicycle frames on the planet.  And then, I’m planning to drop down south to Mendocino to visit Ani Diki-la and her human mum, Ann.  If I can drive 3500  miles in a breeding week?  I can surely drive 3000 miles across the country.  Anyone want a visit?  ;>)

Rudolf posing with the sleigh on the porch at Maple Street. Here come the holidays!

So, as for the gardens next year?  I expect to feel wonderfully refreshed upon my return from our trans American adventure and will respectfully attend to whatever survives our upcoming Vermont winter, unlike this past year of 2021.  Holidays are soon to be upon us, Annette & Dan will visit in early December and help to put Rudolf back up on the porch with his sleigh and, hopefully, we have Beckham x Campari puppies in the hopper now – and expected to arrive over Christmas.

Markus showing Moses, Sire of Beckham, 2016.  This dog is a DEAD RINGER for Questa.

The ‘Shadeacre Fast Love at Kensington’ (Beckham) x ‘Kensington’s With Tonic, Please’ (Campari) breeding is eagerly anticipated, as we have Yvette for comparison.  Yvette is the first Beckham daughter to join my breeding program and she continues to amaze with her shiny jet black coat, EXCELLENT OFA’ed hips, sweet disposition and terrific athleticism.  Granted, Yvette is a Beckham x Ziva girl and Campari is an Oskar x Billie girl – but either of these girls is a toss up for one of my best bitch bred bys, ever.  So, Beckham x Campari?  I cannot wait to see what is produced.  Look at Moses, pictured up above with Markus Gisslen of Shadeacre.  A spectacular dog and Becky continues to this day to ask for Campari to go back into the ring.  Campari is beautifully put together, has EXCELLENT OFA’ed hips and a personality that welcomes everyone for a belly rub.

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

So, while Christmas puppies will put a bit of a damper on my holiday activities, I know that come early March?  They’ll be ready for their new forever homes and I shall be ready for a road trip.

And between now and then?  The holiday season is about to begin and I’m getting my Moderna booster on Wednesday at 12:30pm, so that I can enjoy Thanksgiving with Jen & Andy.  Please be well, stay safe & smart and ENJOY the ones you love.  Every day has the opportunity to be the best day yet.

Happy Holidays, all!

A terrific opportunity for exposure to new ideas . . .

28 September 2021

Yes, you’ll see below that these webinars are scheduled for January 2022 – but – this is something worth sharing with you now and you might even like to share this with your own friends.

Puppyworks.com in New Paltz, NY is among the best in their presentation of educational events and seminars for dog training professionals and seriously interested pet peeps, like ourselves.

Questa’s home! He’s on the left, with his dad on the right. Questa is a Yogi son. September 2021.

Our breed of Tibetan Terriers does not respond well to punitive training methods. Tibetan Terriers are sensitive, intuitive, precocious and smart.  Very much like a six year old child, you can manage them well with distraction and invite them to learn new boundaries with positive training.  They like nothing better than to please and amuse their humans and I believe this trio of webinars will be of interest to more than just a few of you.

The epitome of joy!
Leo and Molly, 25 March 2020.

Note that there is a group pricing discount, if there are four or more of you to watch sessions together.  What a great idea for a play date sans doggies!

While I’m totally unclear on how this is going to format in an email – the draft looks good and so, here goes!

Yours truly!

WB.

 

 

Come Play with Us September 18 and 19!

5 September 2021

Happy girl with Pierre, awaiting the arrival of Marcel – Pierre’s little brother from Kensington.

Well, the sense I get is that the time is nigh to ramp up our safety precautions and I sincerely believe that it’s better to be safe than sorry.  I’m wearing my mask when indoors with people I don’t know and when I work at the wine shop.  Gosh, I look forward to the time when we will look back on these curious times.

But in the meantime, we’re planning two get togethers later this month for all of our Kensington peeps & doggies.  We want to do this, as long as everyone has safety in mind.  Two lovely Kensington families in Rhode Island and Connecticut have offered to host play dates and we welcome anyone and everyone who has a Kensington Tibetan Terrier in their family or otherwise has a connection with our little community.

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

September 18 at 12pm in Rhode Island and September 19 at 12:30pm in Glastonbury, CT; that’s the plan.  If you’d like to RSVP in the affirmative?  Please reach out to me by email at wendyll.behrend@gmail.com  I’ll forward your emails to the hosts and they’ll provide details.  We’d like very much to have an easy outdoor picnic and ask that you bring a personal favorite of something to share at the table – we’ll have drinks – and the fun is scheduled to start at lunchtime.

Bobby and Ava, en route to Crane’s Beach by boat. Some Kensington TTs actually enjoy life on the water!

Know that this post will be deleted, once the get togethers have happened, as there’s really no need for posts of this sort to be in the Kensington library.  I’m protecting everyone’s privacy, as some of you have very curious email addresses and I’ve no idea who you might be!

So, here’s to a well deserved holiday weekend!  Enjoy the extra day off, love your kids, your dog and the humans with whom you choose to share your life.  Every day is special.  Make the most of each one!  This is the lesson that I have learned from my Kensington kids.

We hope to see you at one of these play dates.

Happy Holiday Weekend!

Yours truly,

WB.

 

What do you feed your Kensington Tibetan Terrier?

4 May 2021

This all began a couple of days ago, when I got a notification from Facebook.

Felix! Living in Massachusetts with his humans. Oskar x Piccolo, 2019.

Sincerely?  I believe that Facebook is a bit of a double edged sword and can be a wretched time sink that leads nowhere, if you get sucked in.  But if you use it specifically to stay in touch with carefully selected people?  It can be a wonderful way to build community with friends and fans.

So, as I said above, this all began with a post from Audrey Harmon to the Wagging Tales at Kensington private group on Facebook.  Audrey wrote:

“Hello! Felix is about 1.5 years old. I’m wondering what type of dog food you all use? Thanks!”

and from there?  You have got to see what my peeps wrote back.  Here we go.  I hope that you enjoy the thread and if you haven’t asked to join this private group?  You are welcome to do so.  Know that I only accept folks whose names are familiar to me and who answer the questions asked of them.  It’s just too personal for me to open the group up to the world.

First response from a great lady who lives on the Cape with her female Kensington TT:

“Royal Canin small breed”

Organic sweet potato chips I make for snacks on the AGA.

(This is the food I feed my adult girls – although we supplement & treat with Stella & Chewy’s freeze dried patties, raw carrots, dried sweet potato chips that I make on the AGA, frozen green beans, dried pasture raised beef liver from Snug Valley Farm, frozen loin lamb chops – meat, bone and all, broccoli stems, banana, apple and salmon skin.  And I use DogZymes Digestive Enhancer probiotic proactively on all adult kibble.)

“Hi Felix! Which litter is he from? Minnie May is the same age, from Ziva x Beckham. Minnie May eats Acana dry food. Took some trial and error because she was picky, but loves this food!”

Minnie May with her pals, both human and canine.

“Felix is from Oskar x Piccolo (I think!). We brought him home in January 2020, right before the pandemic started. He is a love!”

And I wrote back to Audrey: “I’m so glad to hear that you’re enjoying him. Oskar and Piccolo are both very sweet and intelligent Kensington kids.”

And Leo’s human dad wrote: “That’s the kind of dog Oscar produces.”

“Ellie is six. She is very picky. She loves Natures Logic”  (Ellie is a Ziva littermate and expecting a new Kensington little brother to arrive and join her family later this month!  Ellie is out of Brady (my mentor’s favorite stud dog) and Coppi, one of my red brindle girls.)

And Leo’s human dad wrote again: “Leo, who is from Oscar x Billie, is 2 1/2 and he eats Royal Canin Adult Medium. He is the sweetest dog we have ever had.”

Stuey, ne Kuro.  2019.

“We do the same food. Stuey is 1 1/2 yo. from Ziva x Beckham. He’s a healthy 34 lbs. Hes a grazer so I never know what quantity of food he eats a day. Do you know how much Leo eats??”

And from Rooby’s human mum: “We feed Rooby Royal Canin medium adult as well. She is 2 1/2 and 24lbs. She gets green beans and cooked carrots with her meals and she loves it.”

“Have been feeding this to Chewie since he was getting adult food.  Have never changed flavor.  He is 30lb. and currently eats 2x day.  3/4 cup. Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food With Smoked Salmon”

A wonderful litter: Michael x Coppi = Billie, Whittaker, Chewie, Moseley and Annabel with Miss Alice from Taiwan! December 2013.

“Billie eats Nutri Source Adult rice & chicken kibble, a bit under 1/3 cup with added poached chicken breast, organic pumpkin puree, steamed carrots and frozen green beans + Dogzymes probiotic daily balance 2xday.  She weighs in at 25.5.  This 4-component meal has worked well for Billie.  I gave up on the Royal Canin small adult as the kibbles were too small, mostly ending up all over the floor.”

“Penny 3years old now. She was a very picky eater. Sometimes she would go 2 or 3 days without eating. We tried various brands of kibble, Royal Canine, Acana, Natural and Delicious. She would eat them for a month or do then get tired of them. I’ve finally settled on homemade food using Hillary’s Blend (recipe book and supplement powder). Penny loves her meals now and runs to her bowl at meal time. She is so appreciative of her homemade food that it’s worth all the effort.”

“What fun to read such thoughtful comments about individual favorite foods for your TTs! We will be bringing Tashi home in June at 10 weeks, so this is really helpful! You’ll be hearing more from me!

“Thanks so much everyone! It’s helpful to hear that there is a wide variety of food that the dogs are eating. Thanks for all the great suggestions with different options for us to try.”

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

“My brothers Whittaker (7 years old) & Freddie (12) Fromm Grain Free Game Bird Recipe. It is high protein and has probiotics in the kibble. They also love Stella & Chewys. They get fruits & veggies during the day and will get salmon skin and steak drippings mixed into the kibble when the humans have that for dinner. Freddie eats when he’s hungry and Whitty loves to eat. There was trial and error finding the perfect food for Freddie when he was younger but Whitty has no complaints with the food his brother chose.”

So, I’m signing off now – it’s 7:32am and I need to go down to the AGA room and check on puppies.  They had their breakfast and then, dried sweet potato chips that I dry myself.  Today?  Crate training continues and they will have their fourth car training experience.  We’re headed to the Elmore Mountain Road to say good by and good luck to Lady Stephanie.  We have light rain today – it’s intermittent – but it’s really great training for TT puppies, as TT adults don’t really like the rain.  We do try our best, here at Kensington.  And we wish you a terrific day!

Now, go feed your dog!  ;>)

Yours truly,

WB.

Happy Chinese New Year! Tales from an Aries Monkey . . . and not Wagging Tales!

18 February 2021

Who knew?

Caught on ‘film’. WB walking home from the Post Office.

I read that the most memorable thing about an Aries Monkey is their ability to entertain through language.  ‘They’ say that an Aries Monkey can ‘talk your ear off’.  Well, I certainly hope that whatever that means, you will be entertained.  ;>)

So, to the topic at hand!

We’re in the middle of constant in home entertainment & stimulation, let me tell you; Guinness x Piper’s six puppies are hitting their stride, enjoying play time outside in the snow, enduring crate training, loving car training & the new places they get to enjoy – and transitioning to big boy treats like Stella & Chewy’s freeze dried lamb patties, frozen loin lamb chops and the best of all?  Supervised protected play with Lillibet, their eleven week old hoodlum cousin out of Questa x Koko.  She is Kensington’s E. Lilli, The 1st by Q.  I train with the mantra: one hour out?  Three hours in.  And that is how crate training begins, here at Kensington.

New Year’s Day in the fast lane. 1 Jan 2021.

Some months ago, I told someone that I’d realized Kensington is my ‘life’s work’.  I’ve enjoyed every business challenge thrown at me, from bankruptcy turnarounds & warding off the IRS to designing & implementing quality control strategies at a sock manufacturer.  In retrospect, I even value having been kicked in the teeth by a near bankruptcy at Fat City and the soul searching that comes with chosen retirement after a planned three year consulting gig runs its course.

Enter Piper.  Total curve ball.

Lady Pipes came to me as a leased bitch from a fellow breeder in Colorado.  She’s an expensive girl and the only dog I’ve ever had to pay for, twice.  First, I leased her at the same cost as buying her.  Then, her first breeding didn’t take.  Progesterones, TCIs and several veterinary procedures later, we learned she was a ‘pseudo hermaphrodite’.  More on THAT, another time.

Remember Vidal Sassoon? Total Pipes with Holly, her daughter. 17 Feb 2021.

Then, I ‘bought’ her.  And then?  Her second breeding was missed, as my boys were immature and I sincerely believe that things happen for a reason.  Third breeding was successful and we have the most delicious puppies out of Guinness x Piper to share with the world.  Six gumdrops: three apparently black & whites and three brindle & whites.  I joke that she’s cost me $6K . . .  and she has!  But you know what?  If you’ve got the money, don’t bitch about it.  ;>)  Pipes is a gorgeous dolly wolly and I’m grateful that she’s part of the Kensington pack.  We had two forever ladies for this litter here during these last few days and would you look at the photo Beth took of Lady Pipes yesterday.

Introducing Bruce! The first of two Kensington TT puppies requested by a Massachusetts family. 17 Feb 2021.

Please be clear that NO PUPPIES ARE AVAILABLE OUT OF THIS LITTER!  Terribly sorry to disappoint – but – there are NO KENSINGTON PUPPIES AVAILABLE until well into 2022.  Don’t even ask, thank you very much.

What I DO want to say is how much I appreciate all of you wonderful peeps who trust me & believe in me, enough to be willing to wait.  It takes time, energy, my mind, my heart and lots of driving to do what I do.  It takes support from my peer breeders and dear friends; doggie au pairs and pals; and my handler, Rebecca Bradley.  Covid’s even been a bit of a blessing, if you can imagine such a thing.  It is the natural orientation of an Aries Monkey to see the bright side, take control and organize.  And I am doing my best for all of you.

Uniglow. Note the dot of pigment coming in on his left eye. Sweetie pie. 17 February 2021.

So, as much as one can ‘take control’ of a herd of cats, I would like to introduce this latest litter.  They are a fascinating combination of Atisha & Kensington – and crazy as it sounds?  It is a ‘related outcross’.

Each puppy is beautiful and several are superb.  Non, they’re not perfect but there is no ‘perfect dog’.  I think that is what they tell us, to keep us going.  ;>)  Guinness x Piper puppies will be joining their forever homes in late February/early March at nine weeks and they’ll be landing in New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Maine and Illinois.

Kensington’s next litter will be sired by Julius, ne Kristof: Enchanter Kristof Erbosedition.  He is enjoying life with Jen, Andy and his favorite girl, Miss Paige.  Julius is being shown by Andy (his owner handler) and has four points to date.  Two Majors and eleven more points and he’ll be the proud recipient of an AKC CH Conformation title.

Kristof with Tomas, in Slovakia. 2020.

We look forward to celebrating his achievement!

Oh, happy day!

Thank you, as always! for your support & patience.  Anyone out there with a kid who wants to become a vet?  Send ’em my way.  I’d love to share what I’ve learned in the last thirty years.  And I would welcome any and all of you for a visit via ZOOM.

Yours truly,

Wendyll Behrend.

It goes without saying . . .

HAPPY NEW YEAR! BEGONE 2020!

 

1 January 2021

Much older now and still helping me handle & socialize every Kensington puppy.

There is always hope in new beginnings.  Over time, I think we each become a little less dramatic with our New Year’s resolutions.  I, for one, don’t even have any today.  For me, the good that has come out of the last year involves new people and animals in my life – and the gift of free time; LOTS OF FREE TIME.  Most days, I immerse myself in the freedom & privilege of unscheduled time but some days, Covid has gotten the best of my mindset and sent me into the almost monthly downward spiral.  I have my safety net, as they have me – and when we start spinning down – we reach out to one another, whether near or far.  The ‘near and far thing’ doesn’t seem to matter as much anymore, either.

At the 2015 TTCA National with Claire, watching Gerry Gross handle Dug, I think. You know who else was there? The French mademoiselle . . . who lives in FL now.

So, my first lesson from 2020 is that I am part of my community.  I need them and they’ve made it clear that they need me.  In fact, we want to be connected!  What an uplifting clarification and note to self that I am not a lone wolf, as previously suspected.  ;>)  HA!  and au contraire!  I need & want my peeps and together, we will navigate the uncharted territory ahead.

Andy, Julius and WB. 23 August 2020.

Meanwhile, and back at Maple Street – we landed puppies out of Guinness x Piper on 27 December 2020.  All of the 2020 puppies we’ve welcomed into the world and the arrival of Enchanter Kristof  Erbosedition aka Julius were definite high points.  Thank you to our wonderful Kensington friends Isabela & Scott Crain for navigating Julius to Vermont . . .  and to my favorite flatlander couple ever Jen & Andy Levens for welcoming Master Julius into their home & lives and to Paige for her having welcomed him, too, even though he’s now faster than she.

From a statistical point of view, this Guinness x Piper litter is of particular interest.  I’ve been trying to breed Piper for two years with no success.  However, in October, the stars were aligned and we managed to pull off a TCI between sire and dam . . .  and then, we got fertilization.  Hooray!  I don’t know why the Oskar x Piper breeding didn’t take – but after that?  I wait until I see behavioral signs, before even thinking that we might have gotten lucky.  But back to the stats . . .

Piper’s XRAY from Broadview in Dover, NH on 25 December. Can you count the puppies?

Out of the six, three are male & three are female.  Three are brindle with dramatic white markings and three are apparently black & white with dramatic white markings.  ALL have lovely whiskey brown under their tails – ALL have white tips on their tails and NONE have Kisses of Buddha.  All are spoken for and I am keeping the big brindle female.  She has terrific substance – which is why I chose the male I did . . .  for SUBSTANCE! and that is what Piper’s offspring needed.  Not a problem, as she’s an absolute beauty queen and gorgeous mover – she’s just our resident South African supermodel or marathon runner; take your pick.

The epitome of joy!
Leo and Molly, 25 March 2020.

The bloodlines behind Guinness are 75% New England and if it’s one thing New England TT bloodlines have?  It is substance in our Tibetan Terriers.  We have great chests and heads – Yogi has a perfect rear end and he is Guinness’ and Leo’s sire (pictured at right at 9 weeks).  And the Kensington chests and heads have come through on all of these puppies.

Everyone always wants pictures and I apologize. However, I have very little time for photos and half the time?  Don’t really care where my phone is because I’m so focused on the doggies – plus, I can always ask my Google assistant to find the phone!  And when he does?  That phone starts to ring.  It is truly a wonderful life.  ;>)

New Year’s Day in the fast lane. 1 Jan 2021.

Here is one photo from this morning.  I do not like to interrupt a nursing mum or puppies with technology when they’re so young.  It goes a bit against my grain.  Photos will come soon, I promise!  We will be out of quarantine on 17 January and will resume welcoming visits at that time.  All we ask is that you come in clean cotton clothes, leave your coats & shoes in the garage and come play with puppies!  And don’t forget to make an appointment first, please.

Today will be a quiet day.  I will remain thoughtfully with Piper and her puppies – always watching and studying.  Looking for the right twitches and watching as the white hair comes in and starts to look more lush.  Lady Bernadette will be here for her daily noontime visit with Piccolo & Campari – and Koko-loko will get a walk to the village on snow covered paths.

Questa and WB. Westminster 2021, here we come. ;>)

I know that 2021 will bring more joy than 2020 – but this is not a new idea for me.  I believe that with every passing day, week and longer period of time in our lives, our capacity to experience joy expands.  And that means feeling joy becomes easier and more frequent.

I wish each of you courage, continued strength and hope that 2021 brings you the fruition of at least a couple of your dreams.  And the Kensington kids wish you lots of joy in 2021.  Thanks for your support and know that we’ll do our best for you, in return.

Very truly yours,

Wendyll Behrend.

GRCHS Questa x CH Koko puppies born 30 November 2020 by C-section

5 December 2020

We did! We did! We had three on November 30, 2020!

There are two schools of thought re: C-sections in the canine world: Once a C-section?  Always a C-section.

And then, of course, there is the other school of thought:  But why?

My repro vets at Broadview Veterinary Hospital in Dover, NH have advised me personally not to risk rupturing the uterus in a pregnant girl who previously delivered by C-section.  You might lose the bitch and have puppies without a mother.  Or you could lose them all – and I certainly don’t want to go there.

My repro vet up here in VT at Lamoille Valley Veterinary Services is always cautious and sometimes advises that the next cycle be skipped, in order to give the uterus ‘time off’.

First minutes of life, out of the sac. Look at that head! This was Annabel’s singleton born by C-section on 18 March 2019.

Now, I know that sounds a bit odd – but – the research that is ‘out there’ indicates that whether a bitch is bred during her cycle or not, aging of the uterus happens with every cycle and the older the uterus, the higher the potential for problems and smaller litters.

And for all of these reasons, we chose to follow the guidance of our professionals and are so very pleased to have landed two gorgeous females and one gorgeous male out of our GRCHS Questa x CH Koko breeding on October 1st.  Please know that no puppies are available out of this litter and Koko will soon be retiring to her new forever home in Massachusetts, as this is her final litter and she has found a wonderful young family to join.

Incubator and oxygen concentration units set up and ready, when needed. The incubator keeps its environment at 55 – 65% humidity for the newborns.

With this latest litter, I decided to change my whelping protocol a little by adding warm steam to the whelping room up to a humidity level of 55 to 65%, as this has been deemed ideal for newborn puppies.  It truly seems to have eased the puppies’ first few days and I will continue to keep the humidity high for the next two weeks.  Once the eyes have opened?  We will let the humidity drop to household ‘normal’ levels and remain in quarantine until three weeks from birth date have passed.

Happy Holidays, eh! Canadian Whittaker enjoying a moment with Santa. Whitt is Questa’s grandfather and this litter’s great grandfather!  December 2018.

Please know that you will hear from us again before the end of the year and we will have photos of the little ones for you at that time.  Right now?  The little ones are barely five days old and look more like blackish guinea pigs than they look like puppies.  This is no time to disrupt their young lives with electronics.  It is time for safe, warm, quiet days & nights with fresh linens, a heating pad for added warmth and a well cared for attentive mum to reign supremely over these little ones.

Please be patient.  Doing so will allow us to do our best and stay focused on raising happy and healthy dogs for all of you.

Stay safe, be well and act with kindness toward folks in need.  It is the greatest gift, to spontaneously give willingly of oneself.

Yours truly,

Wendyll.

Soon, the house will be quiet again . . .

Piccolo en guard with her litter of Leo’s puppies. 23 October 2020

2 November 2020

Greetings to each and all of you!

Life inside my house has been active, these last two months.  Leo x Piccolo puppies are scheduled for their nine week thorough wellness exams and first round of DHPP shots down at Broadview in Dover, NH on Friday.  And then, the exodus begins.

Thanks to Leo’s humans (and unlike Annabel’s UNGRATEFUL humans  ;>), we have a safe place for our hand off in the Boston area.  Families are driving from only as far away as Connecticut this time, unlike last time when we had peeps drive to Boston from Nashville!  But I’ll be driving AND flying, driving toward Montreal, QB with one of the brindle females.  Lady Stephanie is our hope for getting the puppy across the border, as she’s a Canadian citizen with a US work visa and that will allow her to cross and return, if the Canadian Customs agents don’t look kindly on our situation.  Then, on the 11th, I will fly to SFO on a non-stop out of Logan with Ani Diki-La (nee Pearl), be on the ground for 75 minutes and back onto another non stop returning to Logan and then, into my car.  I’m intending to stay safe – not sure what that will mean on the plane, itself – and I’ll be armed with my Thieves essential oil spray by Young Living, a mask made by our local Stowe tailor and safety glasses over my readers.  Folks might look at me and think, ‘Lord, that woman is mad as a hatter!’ – but I don’t care one iota.  I can not go down, I will not go down!, unless something totally out of my control takes me out.  And I will tell you why I’m so adamant . . .

TTCA 2019 National Specialty. Award of Merit for Questa, handled by Rebecca Bradley. Very exciting! May 2019.

All signs are indicating that the GRCHS Questa x CH Koko breeding took!  It is very much appearing that we’ve got action in dear Koko’s hopper.  Shortly after being bred to her knight in shining armour, the lovely Lady Koko started sleeping much more during the day and removing herself from play with her pals.  Then?  Her appetite went out the window, even for Helm’s freeze dried liver treats.  And lately?  Her appetite has clearly returned and she’s getting one frozen grilled loin lamb chop every morning, meat and all.  ;>)  Grilled to rare perfection?  Frozen loin lamb chops are my secret weapon to aid in crate training, air transport and the best possible nutritional supplement to the Royal Canin gestational kibbles I feed my pregnant girls.  The lanolin is fab for skin & coat; the fat supplies additional calories for fetal development; the meat provides essential fatty acids & amino acids necessary for proper organ development and the bones are great for calcium & minerals.  Definitely not the inexpensive way to go but necessary to achieve our goals of maximizing health and vigor, in both mum and pups.

My beautiful Koko-loko, out of CH Oskar x CH Kodi from Nina Wagner. 24 February 2018.

With this in mind, I’ve identified & contacted the next four families who will be offered puppies, once the little ones have hit the ground and I’ve had a few days to live with them to ensure their health and vigor.  A female for me, a male for Lady Carol and her family and then, three more who will hopefully arrive of the requested gender & whatever other attributes are of serious interest to their peeps.  We have our XRAY scheduled for 25 November and that will be my first day OUT of quarantine after my trip to San Fran.  My guesstimate is that pups will hit the ground ~ 30 November and then, we’ll be back in quarantine for three weeks – but at least, not COVID quarantine.  ;>)

Campari on the left and Paige on the right. BFF. 7 May 2020.

News from the conformation ring includes Questa having earned his SILVER Grand Championship title and Campari finishing her Championship in Conformation.  She competed this past Friday and took Best of Breed & a 5 point Grand Championship Major, the first of the three Majors required to earn her GRCH title.  We’ve earned six points toward the 25 required and are in no hurray.  However, there are still four more shows in November that will take place in Springfield, MA – and we remain hopeful that dear Campari will do well there, too.  And at that point?

While I would LOVE for Campari to come home, we’ll be in quarantine anticipating the arrival of Koko’s puppies and the LAST thing we need is to risk exposure to anything (especially canine herpes) that might come back with our lovely Campari.

Surprise! on the left and Blanche on the right. Blanche goes to Montreal and lucky Surprise! goes to CT to join her Kensington big sis and a family of very grateful humans! 23 October 2020

It will soon be time to bid the current Little Rascals in my house adieu.  They have been an easy litter to raise.  Overall?  They’re quite relaxed, adjusted to their crates very well, had no intestinal issues & tootsie roll stools – and they’re now on Day 5 of their 10 day proactive course of Albon treatment for possible coccidia.  Nina taught me: treat for coccidia, before they depart – and know that you’ve set them up for a healthy transition from your home to their new forever homes. Here’s a photo of the two brindle females, for your enjoyment.

We wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and continued good health, both physical and mental, as we stay focused on the things that we can control.  ;>)

Yours truly,

WB.