Monday, December 29, 2008

8 1/2 Weeks Old and How to Place a Show Puppy

I have been with Marion for almost 10 years and I have Never seen her place a puppy before 12 weeks of age. Well, that changed with this litter as we placed our first baby at 8 1/2 weeks.

We consider ourselves blessed to have found Melissa and Greg and welcome them into the Legacy/Winsor family. More to the point, they found us. They came to Westminster 2008 and searched out the BTs, where we exchanged business cards. Melissa has wanted a bully for years. She is a groomer and comfortable with all kinds of dogs and they have both been dog owners. They followed up with a phone call, then drove almost 6 hours to come visit. They then joined the BTCA AND came to Silverwood, using up their only vacation week. This is all before they owned a BT. They impressed everyone they spoke to; their knowledge and passion is obvious. At the mention of a dog, Melissa could recite a one, if not a two, generation pedigree! She has been looking to get into showing and we sponsored her BTCA membership and asked her to wait for one of our pups. They were more than happy to wait for the Hope/Grimi babies. Here are some pics of the litter at 8 1/2 weeks.

This is Baby Huey, who will be Legacy Hughes Your Daddy of Winsor, with Marion. His left ear is mostly fawn in color (which you can barely see in the second pic) and quite distinctive:
Below is Legacy Lucky Rose of Winsor, the tri girl we have kept.  She is playing with Momma Hope in the second picture. Hope, as you can see, is still nursing.

Next is my Buddy; my baby brindle boy. This was his first venture into a large side yard and he is watching his brothers and sisters in the first pic.

Here in the pic below he is in the middle of a hucklebutt:

Here is Hope with the smallest baby, Glo "aka Baby Hope". She has Momma's lovely turn to her head:

Here is two of us trying to get Glo to "stack" LOL:

Marion and I decided early on that the pick show pup that we were willing to let go, would go to Melissa and Greg. We kept them in the loop during Hope's pregnancy and whelping. As the babies began to show their virtues, Marion and I honed in on the tri girl with the white splash on her back as a great bitch for them. She has a fabulous body, an extremely alert expression, energy and a head and total package that we believe will work in both all-round and specialty venues. That said, Melissa and Greg wanted to come up for two days, spend time with the litter, get to know them, and see if indeed that girl clicked. They all fell in love! Here are some pics of them socializing with their new baby. We think this will be a long relationship; look for them at shows with us!

After Greg, Melissa and "Caia" got home to NJ, Greg got busy with photoshop and created a triptych of Momma Hope, Caia and Daddy Grimi:

Here is a pic of our other white girl, who I have referred to in previous posts as our big boned gal. Yes, she is peeing; it is the only time I could get her being still that day!

Here is David, our babies "Daddy" meeting and hanging out with Huey and Rose for the first time:

And last but not least, here is a photo of my Dad, Moses Acosta, who along with Marion is the reason I have chosen LEGACY as my kennel name. He gave me my first BT when I was 9 years old. These are his great-grand children! He is holding Buddy.

Friday, December 26, 2008

BAER testing

Bull Terriers are one of those breeds that can carry deafness and the only way to tell for sure if the babies can hear is to do BAER testing. We live fairly close to Tufts and used to go there, but their machine hasnt been working for over a year at this point and they have no plans to fix or replace it! The closest place for us was Weymouth, MA at the VCA South Shore Animal Hospital, so we drove about 2 1/2 hours out there to have the tests done. The vet tech, Lydia, was wonderful and said our babies were very well behaved! She said she tried to do a Border collie the week before and they could barely keep him on the table. This is one time that the non-reactivity of BTs is a godsend. Here are a few pics of the test.

The pups are placed on the table one at a time. Each ear gets an ear-plug and then 5 needles are inserted. One behind each ear, one at the top of the head, one at the base of the neck and one in the back. Different machine will have different configurations. All of these are attached to wires, which are attached to the machine where we can see a digital read-out. They are registering brain activity and how the brain receives sound.

Here at VCA they have a very strict protocol. The machine sends a series of audible clicks into the ear plugs. They do one ear at a time. Lydia said that some technicians run the machine for 250 clicks to get a thorough read-out. VCA does it for 500, then they do 500 in the other ear, then repeat the entire process, so they are four times as thorough! Each series of 500 clicks takes just a few minutes. The babies were Very good. Occasionally they would wiggle, but none of them tried to remove the ear-plugs or needles! (I would have!)

I am pleased to announce that All the puppies can hear in Both ears! Yeah! Marion always likes to have this done before she places any puppies and we also need to know this for future breeding purposes.

BUT always remember, just because a BT can hear DOESNT MEAN IT WILL LISTEN!

Better Late Than Never

I love living in the backwoods of Massachusetts but we have no high speed connections! Among other things it makes it very difficult to post pictures! Here, better now than never, are pics of the pups at One month and One Day.

Below is our one white male, still Un-named. Marion is beginning to like him A Lot. When we was a week or two old I noticed what was then a very small colored area at the base of his ear. It looked fawn to me from the get-go and low and behold, it is!

Here is our brindle boy who has the shortest back of them all. I think he had an itch because that back leg was just going and going and I couldnt get a good pic. I call him Buddy, but that's just because he IS my buddy. Not sure of what his name will eventually be.

Next is our larger white girl. She still is showing the most bone of any of them:

The tri girl with the white splash on her back is going to be a great show dog. She is the one in the litter with the most alert expression and attitude to spare. Her body is looking great ....and for now, ALL of their bites are looking good including canines:

Below is "baby Hope". Comparing Momma Hope's baby pics with this girl and they look so much alike. She is the smallest, being more feminine than her sisters, but her head is the best of the bunch. Marion loves her, as you can see:

Rose is our tri girl with the solid black back. She is turning into a lovely girl who we think will great for all-round as well as specialties:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

They're Getting Bigger! Weeks 2 through 5

Weeks 2 and 3 are an adventurous time for baby bullies. The eyes have opened, the ears finally open (for those that dont know, they are sealed shut at birth) and the first wobbly walks around the whelping box occur. You think you begin to see personalities emerge - who is bossy, who is laid back, etc., but time will tell if these "stick". I thought this "chorus line" below was particularly sweet. This is three of the girls on the right, facing the same way, and the brindle boy on the left.

The brindle boy, shown here to the left, likes to sleep on his back whether he is alone or cuddling with his siblings.

Pam and Jeff Rys came to see the puppies and Pam said she thought our little white boy showed similar expression to his grandfather. Below are 2 pictures of Willy, Hope's father. I Love his expression and if Pam is right, I will be thrilled!

Here to the right are some pics of 
Pam holding our larger boned white girl.

At the end of Week 3 we decided it was time to get the babies out of their "shower" whelping box and into a proper, larger whelping box. Marion likes to keep them in the draft-free shower for 3 weeks, after which they are better able to regulate their own body temperatures. Also, as you can see below, they were planning their escape from the shower, even though they had this tack box as a barrier. When we placed them in their new larger surroundings, there was some whimpering and quivering. They seemed a bit confused and nervous to me but it literally lasted maybe a minute or two at the most. They quickly settled in. We brought Hope in to let them nurse to settle them down. Here you can see BJ pulling Hope's bottom leg out from under her, so that the lower nipples are better exposed for easier access by the babies. In the following picture BJ is stroking her face, which for Hope, seems to mentally relax her and she then lets her milk down.

During their 3rd week, Marion wanted to give them goat's milk as a supplement to Hope's milk. Marion has a special technique. You warm the milk and place in a bottle. Hold puppy on lap and place fingers on either side of the mouth; not squeezing, just kind of holding their head still. Then squeeze the bottle with the other hand creating a flow of milk and direct the flow at the pup's mouth. Once they start to lap at it, make sure to direct the flow down onto the tongue, and not at the back of the throat, which can make them choke. Everyone asked me why Marion did this as opposed to just putting down a bowl for all of them. Two reasons: they stay cleaner And we can keep track of who is getting what and make sure that each belly is filled up good!

At 3 1/2 weeks it was time to have their first semi-solid meal. Marion feeds her dogs kibble. I feed my dogs raw. Marion indulged me and their first meal was finely minced raw beef and beef organ mixed with goat's milk. Below is a series of pictures showing the first meal. The tri bitch and large white bitch to the left were so piggy we had to pull them away! Look at them bracing their legs to practically climb in the bowl. First meal was a huge success and Marion decided to give them this once a day, at night, and they seemed to rest quite well with full tummies.

We might start feeding them Orijen food occasionally as I would want them to be at least familiar with a kibble-style food, as they might be fed this way in their new homes. I will certainly have the Raw Talk with all the owners, but we will see what happens with that. Here is some info on this food (that my Java eats sometimes). It is protein and veggies with no grain and while expensive, an interesting option to those interested in high quality dry food.

Freeman came to see the babies and here he is with one of the white girls. She was apparently hungry as she immediately started sucking on his finger, whereas she had never done that with anyone else. Or maybe he just smells and tastes good and thats why all the bullies behave so well for him in the ring!
He fell in love with the smaller boned white girl. Here is a side shot of her.
I cant wait to see how she matures. Her ears look tiny and she has quite the profile right now. She has the tiniest spot of color over her left eye. Cant really tell what color it is. It looks gray! And no it isnt dirt - I checked. maybe it will be a faint black smudge or a fawn smudge.

Thats it for now....stay tuned