Updates to the blog are long over due! This past summer we (Duck Creek + Two Gun) were busy taking care of 2 litters of puppies to include Tule's two little rascals. Powder had 9 pups, we had 11 pups running around until mid-August.
Late this past Fall we had some circumstances lead to us wanting to breed a 2nd litter with Ember. Though things didn't quite go as planned (we lost Paxson in November and then Booker unexpectedly in December), we did manage to get a backup plan together, and Ember was bred to Tycho just before Christmas.
Tycho is lovely boy who lives in Northern California. He is the son of Booker and the grandson of Fowler. He has been very successful in AKC Open Shows, winning several Best in Group awards and a couple of Best in Open Show awards. This is a first for the breed in North America and we are very excited about him. He also competes in agility and barn hunt.
So, that being said - Ember is pregnant and pups are due around Feb. 22nd!
As we head into Memorial Day weekend we have found ourselves blessed with nice weather and some time to spare. We are anxiously awaiting x-ray day and to pass some time today I fiddled around with the camera and bribed Tule into some glamour shots! She has not been amused with me lately, so getting some nice shots of her doing something besides sleeping and giving me the stink eye is pretty remarkable.
Tule is now about 6.5 weeks along in her pregnancy. Not much to report - she's steadily getting larger and spends most of her days sleeping with intermittent spurts of squirrel chasing (because can't forget about that important duty). She also readily abandons naptime for meals and is currently insisting that she's being starved out. This of course is not true, but being pregnant has turned her already greedy self into a crumb seeking missile.
We have the x-ray scheduled for May 28th and we are hoping to get an idea of how many pups to expect. In the next 2.5 weeks most of the puppy growth occurs, so I will be posting more photos as that occurs.
Today we had Tule's ultrasound we have good news to share - Tule is pregnant! And minus the debate about shaving her glorious belly hair, there was no drama with getting her prepped and finding pups. The next step is to schedule the x-ray appointment, which I'd like to have done about 5 days before her due date. I'll update once I have that set. In the meantime, we are keeping our fingers crossed for an uneventful delivery and healthy pups!
It's been one week since the mating and today I called and set up Tule's ultrasound appointment for April 29th! It would be great to get an idea on how many puppies to expect, but the ultimate goal is just to confirm pregnancy. Nothing much else to report - fertilized eggs don't even implant in the uterus until after the 2nd week of pregnancy, so there wouldn't be any noticeable changes at this point. If you are also following the Two Gun litter with Powder, her ultrasound is set for May 2nd.
I was going to spend some time writing an article about breeding and proper timing, but Brian beat me to the punch. He wrote a nice article describing how we go about timing our breedings and the benefit of progesterone testing:
On Friday, March 29th, we measured Tule's progesterone level and the result was 2.4 ng/ml. Friday was day 12 of her cycle. Since I expected her to ovulate around day 14 (based on previous cycles and the boys' reactions), this gave us a good idea of how she was progressing. I anticipated her reaching the 5+ number needed for ovulation by Sunday, but decided to do another blood draw on Monday just to confirm. That result was 12.2 ng/ml. This was an ideal result because if confirmed what we already thought. We bred Tule to Fowler on Monday morning and again on Tuesday morning.
So what happens next? Well, we wait ~30 days and do an ultrasound to confirm pregnancy. I will get that scheduled in the next week or so and update when I have an appointment. Until then, keep all your fingers crossed!
Duck Creek Drents