2018-The Year Of The Dog!
A Look Back @ 2017!
Each year for Christmas, at least for the past several, my sister gifts me a personalized calendar. Most often they're created from my own photos -those which she selects as her favorites. This year Drita, aka Miss Orange from my most recent litter, made the cut and appears as Miss January.
On the eve of a brand New Year I find myself reflecting on the last. 2017 was a good year for the most part. As with all years, of course, there were highlights and low. It's most easy it seems to recall the lows -probably because they are most stress producing. Good times unless they are exceptionally great find their way to the back of the memory bank to be called upon when something happens that triggers a resurface.
I find myself reviewing my blog from time to time and realize so many things have gone unmentioned. Time it seems is always an issue. But blogging is something I think about and miss. It's something that starts to kind of nag at me when too many things go unmentioned. I guess if I were to make a resolution it would be to make a point of getting on here for more frequent updates. If only for myself. My posts are somewhat of a journal of life, even if for the most part centered around my dogs. I enjoy looking back on them. That aside from their main purpose of allowing those who have interest in a pup to know something about me as a breeder and where and how I raise my pups. With that said, as a review 2017 I'm disappointed in the limited number of entries I see. So, I guess to start the year out right a good place to start would be to acknowledge some of the events of the past year.
February brought the addition of Galtero, a pup I imported from Oreto Mia Kennel in Russia. Based on a desire to concentrate on a particular type of Doberman and settling on European, I figured it made sense to add a European male to the line up. Galtero is everything I hoped he'd be. He's fairly good sized but not oversized or bulky. He's beautiful and moves with grace and like the others exhibits a sweet disposition. Like all Dobermans he's intelligent and eager to please. And I think he'll allow for some really nice breeding options down the road. Plans for him include matings with both Getka and Ritz. And more than likely Skye. I very much look forward to seeing his progeny.
In an attempt to recall the year I find myself taking advantage of photos uploaded to Mac. I love it's ability to save photos to the month in which they were added. In review April and May were fun months! April brought my first litter of the year- a repeat breeding between Majestic and Serious. Again, I met and have become well acquainted with some fabulous people who are now pawrents. Among them, one decided it would be fun to create their own "litter specific" Facebook page which of course is a group I'm member of and follow. While I've always gotten periodic updates on most of my pups, the Facebook page mentioned has given me a much greater view and understanding of how the pups incorporate with their families. Turned out it was a great idea. Parents of the litter are active posters and the page has been both fun and a source of support for them as they face the challenges of puppy rearing. And it seems good news travels fast. There are now 3 litter specific pages I follow. One on each side of the original. To some degree, I think the creation of the individual groups however correlate to less activity her on my blog and website in general. One thing's for sure though. I've accumulated a ton of photos! Getting them uploaded to the individual pup pages of past is my next project.
In May when the pups of the litter were about 5 weeks old, my cousin Mary Ann came for a visit from Idaho! Being a previous Doberman owner, she looked forward to and enjoyed the time spent with the pups in addition to the vacation itself. I appreciated her company and the additional socialization was good for the pups. I'd like to say it was two weeks of nothing but fun but I'm afraid I have to admit to putting her to work. Seems there's always work to do around here and sometimes two hands are better than one. On top of helping me with the pups, she was kind enough to help me rebuild and replace the chain link fencing of the small dog run that extends from the back of the house. Not only was the project done more easily with the addition of an extra person, it was much more fun to do with two too. No Florida vacation is complete without a trip to the beach though and a lunch or two out. We ventured off, with Getka and Galtero in tow for a trip to St Augustine one day and on our own for lunch @ Eatons Beach in Weirsdale another. We also enjoyed a short day trip to Cedar Key and more locally a quick stop to check out the happenings in Micanopy.. The day at Eatons, as I recall happened to be my mom's birthday. I looked across the table at Mary Ann and noticed, maybe for the first time, the striking resemblance she has to my mom. For a moment there it was almost like she, my mom, was there. And maybe in spirit she was. My cousin, in my opinion looks much more like my mom than either my sister or I. It was great to see Mary Ann... it doesn't happen often enough. But this year, April will bring a repeat visit. One which my sis plans to partake in as well. A year later- roughly the same time , maybe a few different places and again the inclusion of a litter of pups to the mix. This time, Getka's first!
And Growing Pups
The litter did have a few pitfalls though. One of the pups developed a fungal infection on his snout that was evident right about the time pup selection began. Although it was harmless and easily treated it was unsightly. Especially so being on his face.
Then their was the cropping fiasco. With pups loaded in the back of my Xterra, I experienced a breakdown mid way to the Vet. I was able to arrange transport fairly quickly but even so, two of the pups who were scheduled for crops didn't receive them. That in itself was bad enough but with the breakdown I was left with no means to retrieve them from their appointment or to deliver the 2nd group for their appointment two days later. In the end, as things generally do everything worked out. But it was a crazy busy time. Fortunately, a friends husband had a shop and was able to get me in and place a bandaid on my Xterra. He thought it would suffice to get me through the week but his recommendation was to begin my search for a new vehicle. And that's what I did. With back up in place, I made my way back down to Wildwood, fortunately without incident, and retrieved the pups. Two days later, again with back up in place, I delivered the 2nd group for their crops. In the time it took for the pups to undergo their session of breed specific beautification, I was able to locate a great little used, but new to me Nissan Frontier. Normally, I would probably take a bit more time with such a purchase and do a lot more looking around but time was of the essence and another breakdown in the boondocks was definitely not desired. All in all I think I was in the right place at the right time. I really liked the 2nd salesman I dealt with and love my little truck! It fits my life and my lifestyle perfectly. And I like it's look too!
Work came next when just a few days after my trip down the river, down came a branch destroying the gate to the small dog run.
Ugh! Always something!
September brought us Hurricane Irma!!! And what a storm she was...
Watching day after day we'd hear a different report as she kept changing course. Originally forecast to skirt the entire east coast causing wide spread and catastrophic damage the entire length, I was actually glad to hear she changed course even if it meant it brought her closer to us! I think she had the entire state on alert at one point or another. And she was a monster of a storm when she came ashore blasting Cudjoe Key as a strong cat 4. Ironically, I have acquaintances, parents to Ritz's brother, that reside in Cudjoe after purchasing a home directly on the water there earlier this year. Fortunately, although the Key's were hit hard, their home sustained no structural damage. I've had the opportunity to watch the rebuild and re-beautification of the Keys via Debra's Facebook posts since. They had quite a job in front of them but they tackled it full on and things are once again looking fabulous. Looking back, I don't recall Irma's exact path but know she zig zagged a little making landfall not once but twice south of us. From there she was predicted to come straight up the center of the state which she did. Working in a hospital we are assigned teams during times of anticipated disaster and I was notified of my assignment via phone prior to the time Irma's effects reached us. Problem was, there was no way I was going to leave my animals with no clear picture of when I might be able to return. I informed the boss of my predicament and was met with resistance along with what I would consider a threat of consequences of the worst kind if I failed to report per my assignment. I understand their need to staff a hospital but after working for the company for just short of twenty years their threats didn't sit well. There are exceptions, after all to every rule. Everyone in the state was experiencing the stress that comes from the unknown. I think it's about as bad as it can get when animals are involved. They are after all our responsibility and we can't just up and leave them to fend on their own in times of disaster. And I wasn't alone in my predicament. As it turned out, I have two breeder friends that were in potentially worse predicaments than myself. One lives much further down south and very close to the shores of the Myakka River. The other a little further north but in a manufactured home surrounded by large Oaks. Not knowing what to expect myself from the storm, I offered a safe haven to both families, or maybe I should say "potentially safer haven" based on structure, location and path of the storm. While none of us knew for sure, I figured a two story block house would provide a pretty good buffer even if a tree, of which there are many, decided to topple on top of it as long as during the worst of things we remained on the ground floor. As it turned out, with little time to spare and availability of gas questionable both families along with an out of town guest and a slew of animals made their way here. The dogs, mainly Dobermans along with a few smaller ankle biters were settled in crates throughout the house. All 26 of them including my own. Goats too, 5 total made the trip north and were settled into one of the dog runs adjoing a storage building with a covered porch. Once all settled, despite the stress of the entire situation, we were all able to stop moving and finally relax a little while we waited. Admittedly it was actually nice to have some company to weather the storm with. Not unexpectedly we lost power late in the evening of the 11th but that I can honestly say was the worst of it. Power was not regained here for 4 days but it was manageable as I'm well equip for camping, it was expected and therefore prepared for. Small sections of Hawthorne were powered up within about 24 hours and a short drive allowed the use of WiFi and cell service. I lost the entirety of contents within my fridge and freezer but found that to be somewhat cleansing in the end. I lost one big tree by the barn and several large branches but fortunately no structures were damaged. In the end... we all survived Irma. Including the goats and my chickens who were locked in their coop surrounded by ancient Oaks. My horses, two of them, who were allowed free range of their pasture with access to the run in seemed no worse for the wear when we went out the morning following the storm to assess damage. We were lucky. There was a lot of clean up in store for everyone but all had structurally sound homes to return to.
By The End Of September
I Was In Serious Need Of A Break and A Good Time!
The Rainbow Was Calling My Name
Just A Cupcake
Hurricane Irma definitely left me with plenty do during my first few days or weeks of my newly acquired status of "freshly unemployed"
Things were finally starting to dry out and I did what I could... I knew my little chainsaw wasn't going to handle the bulk of the burden but in order to save some money I figured I'd get a start on things before bringing in the professionals. The small stuff I could deal with. The larger could wait. Days were spent stripping the main branches from the tree that fell near the barn and in the end a I had a couple large bon fires. Those I enjoyed. At some point I'd bring in my tree guy with his heavy equipment for all that remained. Some day. I assumed he'd be busy with downed trees of his own and with others who had things much worse than myself. The stump and bulk of the tree near my barn wasn't causing me any trouble... just an eyesore.
Turns out one of my good buddies at work left the job shortly after I did. The one in the slide show with the biggest smile!
we joined some others for a day
November came in like a breath of fresh air as we welcomed new life. A litter coined "The Hurricane Irma Litter", conceived the day before she hit. Skye's first litter and my first Reds.
Skye's litter was well documented and can be viewed on her litter page similar to those past.
Suffice it to say, Skye proved to be an awesome mom. We had fun and of course plenty of work. But work of a different kind. For the most part the kind I find enjoyable.
Raising pups... my passion.
I had a little Christmas party for the pups with gifts their parents in waiting had brought for them when they came to select. It was a celebration delayed a couple days but I don't think they noticed. I thought it fair to dedicate the bulk of the day to my own dogs. Each had some mom time, a game of fetch and a photo shoot. I managed to get all their photos uploaded to Facebook but getting some of the better ones loaded here remains on the to do list. It was a fun day and they looked handsome and gorgeous in their big red bows and fancy collars. And that's my year in review... quite the year as I myself review it!
Looking ahead, I've got some projects lined up for 2018... Some already mentioned.
I discovered through recent photos, the orange paint on the walls is not at all conducive to Christmas photos. Or any photos as far as that goes. Time for a change.
I'm desperately in need of updating the pup pages with photos I've gained via Facebook posts as well as many that have been emailed.
And I need to fit in some time for training of the crew here. Galtero is doing well but has yet to enter any kind of organized training sessions. Purchased some classes... just haven't found the time to go yet. Soon though. He's high on my list of priorities for early 2018. Something I'm looking forward to actually The others simply need some time and refreshers. Hoping to set up a type of beginners agility course in the back forty... more for fun and a break from basic obedience than anything else.