Let’s talk AIs (Artificial inseminations)

9 July 2017

Last night I brought my new friend Lynne Fardell to a gallery opening at West Branch in Stowe.  I’ve enjoyed and supported this gallery, since they opened.  It’s Chris and Tari’s and I’ve brought sculpture, paintings and stone into my home from their wonderful gallery.

Chris Curtis cut the stones and Tari Swenson sandblasted the caligraphic 1846

The boys (it took five) mounting the ‘other’ stone about the AGA alcove

I love living with art.  My art, these days, are my Kensington Tibetan Terriers.  Each is art-like in its physical form and movement.  My breeding program is an art form that uses both sides of my brain.  There are technical, intuitive, analytical and suggestive sides to what we do as breeders.

And toward that end?  That, which we’ve come to take in stride . . .  remains fascinating to others.  And I do understand just how weird it is to even think about doggie sex, nevermind ‘collecting’ a male dog.

The art form of my breeding program starts with sex.  Doggie sex.  You want to know about doggie sex?  I know you do; otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this.  ;>)  Here, we’re going to talk about AIs.  Soon, I’ll write about classic copulation and the famous ‘tie’.  In the meantime: AI stands for ‘Artificial Insemination’.  There are several types.  We’re going to stay focused on manual collection and insemination by tube and syringe.

The first time I ever witnessed a dog being ‘collected’ for an AI, Doc Truesdale wore his tennis whites.  Never in my wildest dreams, never! did I ever think that THIS MHC girl would be on her knees cheering ‘Get the girl!  Get the girl!  Come on, big boy; get the girl!’  Doc told me to do it and I would have done anything for him.  Still would.  ;>)

Doc was and remains amazing.  There HE was on HIS knees, doing the unthinkable and in his tennis whites.  Just off the court.  He did it successfully and I felt traumatized.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I WOULD BE THERE TO PARTICIPATE.  I figured that I’d hand over the money and someone would take care of it.

Oh, those were the early days.  I’ve since become rather laissez-faire about it all.

Today, I’ve got a new partner in crime.  Doc’s still down in Seekonk, Massachusetts.  He is a breeder vet and breeds Westminster quality Affenpinschers and Boxers.  Lynne Fardell’s a former Golden Retriever breeder and has been in TTs, for the last fifteen years.  Her hands are just as good as Doc’s; because she’s a clever girl – and she’s got history.  ;>)

My friend, Lynne Fardell

We laugh about our ‘times on the floor’.  But we’re also extremely serious.  We each take our breeding programs very seriously and study pedigrees back more than nine generations.  We put our puppies and dogs on the table and she runs handling classes out of my basement.  I welcome the help of live-in doggie au pairs and even more, the help of my dear friend Mary.  Mary is not a dog person.  But Mary has responded to my midnight calls and dashed over in her nightie to help me whelp puppies in the middle of the night.  She’s always said, ‘But I didn’t DO anything’.  Just taking the notes, as I call them out, is wonderful help.

But last night?  We were hungry and decided to hit the 4 Corners barbeque place for supper, after we left the gallery opening.

Mary wanted to know something.  She wanted to know EXACTLY what Lynne meant, when she said that Henrik had a huge penis.  And she wanted to know why I said that I didn’t want any of my girls near it for a natural.  She wanted to know why I said, AIs ONLY!  She didn’t fully understand and wanted to get clear.

So, Lynne told her.  Lynne said (and I concurred) that Henrik’s member was akin to that of a small pony and that Ziva’d had a reproductive wellness exam and was deemed to have a small vagina.  Her anatomy had rejected Charlie’s penis in 2016 and back then, I didn’t know why.  I didn’t know whether it was a tough hymen, a vaginal stricture or something else.  So, I took Ziva to the wonderful Dr. Michael Norris of Broadview Animal Hospital in Rochester, NH for a digital exam.  With humans?  The gynos use a metal or plastic speculum.  With dogs?  Up goes the finger.  Seriously.  It’s called a ‘digital exam’, for lack of a term more chic.  And it is very serious business.

Dr. Norris was clear: no stricture, no tough hymen – but a small diameter vagina.  He prescribed a stud dog with a small penis or an AI.

With a small vagina?  Norris told me that I needed a dog with a small penis.  Yogi’s small, his penis is small and perfectly sized for Ziva and the two of them actually seemed to have fun doing the nasty.  Five ties in 36 hours.  Five.  Unbelievable and not just seminal fluid.  I collected some of it myself to examine.  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10209335147966274&set=pcb.10211194576593873&type=3

Yes, I did.  Me.  Next step?  Lynne’s going to teach me how to collect Henrik, as he was ready to rock, right out of the gate – but gynormous.  I believe that I can do it and it will be great on several counts:

  1. My skill set will be broader;
  2. I will be more versatile, when confronted with the next stud dog with a large member and
  3.  It will be that much more comfortable for my girls.

Just call me madame.

Thank you, Ms. Fardelle.  ;>)


  1. Mary says:

    Thank you both, for the education. I’m grateful. I think…..

  2. Sonam says:

    You are a riot, Wendyll. Loved reading this!