Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What could be cuter?

What could be cuter than these dozen babies that were born at Lighthouse Labradors. The sire is Ch. Surry's Brick in the Wall and the dam is Lighthouse Albemarle Witch. The puppies pictured are 8 days old. That's the time when I can finally breathe a sigh of relief and actually get to sleep in my own bed.

I think that it's great that Marle was able to have 12 puppies and they are all doing well. I know that when one of my girls have had a large litter, I worry that one will get laid on simply because of sheer numbers. Puppies tend to crawl under an armpit and if the bitch decides to lie back, often the puppy is smothered. It's a heartbreak when that happens.

But when they get to be around a week old, the babies are finally big enough, and generally quite round, so that the mother can more easily feel a puppy. Most of my girls are so careful when they walk into the box or get up for a break. They place their feet very gingerly.

So congrats to Mason and Marle for their babies. I know that Lynn will have her hands full when these babies get to be four weeks and are bouncing around. Ahh...but then you get to have that puppy breath and it's wonderful.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ch. Ashlyn Surry Sea Eddy

I heard from Dee Avard that Eddy is enjoying life. She writes:
"This was taken at a friend's dock this afternoon. The ole boy is pretty gray, mostly underneath, moving a little slower but still as happy and smiley as ever. He continues to make us laugh and knows it. "

I'm glad that Eddy is still enjoying life. I love the old dogs. They are just so sweet and they provide me with so many good memories. Thankfully, I have Eddy's son Tobias who is doing great and will be home soon.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Well, today is my favorite Holiday. It is a no stress holiday with just good food and happy times. The Labradors seem to always enjoy their special treat of left over turkey, dressing, gravy, ham and vegetables that gets mixed in with their regular kibble.

We started this doggy holiday years ago. I don't believe in table scraps fed to dog except for the holidays. Then all the table scraps and the turkey and ham carcasses get boiled and strained, leaving just left over meat and good juices. Every dog gets some on their kibble. The heads go down and the dogs never look up until every bowl is licked clean. The sounds of munching are great to hear.

Hope that you and yours had a great Turkey Day.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Those goofy Labradors

I received this cute photo of Maggie who is owned by Lisa McCain. Maggie is the younger of two Surry girls that the McCain's have. Lisa wrote that she was working in her office at home and that Maggie was making noises because she had been displaced from her normal sleeping area near Lisa. But being a Labrador seeking comfort, she was able to squeeze her 65 lb. plus body into a laundry basket and appear perfectly content. So Lisa said that Maggie moaned and groaned.....
"And finally got quiet.. usually this means she is into something.. but she surprised me. She used to do this all the time when she was a puppy.. but I guess the pics are proof that Labradors are always puppies..."

Lisa is certainly right. They stay puppies until they are around 3-4 years old. Some don't become mature mentally until they are much older. It's like having a human in the Terrible Twos for several years.

Lisa wrote further:
"Raison is getting so grey. But she still is the sweetest and most loving dog I have ever met. She still climbs up beside me and puts her head on my shoulder and looks at me with those gotta love me eyes, the same way she did when she was a pup.

"Maggie is still the baddest dog in town. Not a week goes by that she does not get into something , steal something, or in general get to running around the house tagging the other two dogs then dodging. She makes us laugh. She is a clown."

Yes, that's what they are: clowns. And they make us laugh even in the worst moments.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Tobias is a Champion for real

I just heard from Jenn Howard that Tobias finished his AKC championship today in Ohio. Thankfully, this time the right number was on the right dog and he truly is finished. I am really looking forward to getting him home within the next couple of weeks.

Tobias should actually have finished in the spring but there was a mistake in which the handler went into the ring with Tobias but the wrong armband. Thus, the points were awarded to the dog whose number was on the armband. The handler immediately notified the AKC field rep and did everything possible to get the situation righted. I sent photos of Tobias from his first major but AKC refused to award the points. It was disheartening but at least now it's official. Mistakes happen sometimes. I just tried not to think about the fact that he had to go back out again and get yet another major.

Finally, though it's happened.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Yikes, proglottids!

I was picking up the kennels the other day and noticed that one of the fecal piles had something that looked like grains of rice in it (yep, we dog owners look at poop and inspect it carefully). These grains of rice are actually the segments, called proglottids, of the tapeworm which is one of the more common parasites of domestic dogs. This parasite grows to around 10-15cm in length, with individual segments shed in the fecal matter. The tapeworm attaches to the wall of the intestine and sheds segments as it grows.

The intermediate host for dog tapeworms are fleas. The eggs passed out in a dog's feces are eaten by the larval stage of the flea, and the immature tapeworm stays with the flea through its metamorphosis to the blood-sucking adult. When the flea bites, the dog may bite at the flea and swallow the flea that contains the larval tapeworm.

The segments of the tapeworm are capable of limited movement, and if this happens in the dog's rectum or anus, it causes intense itching. Afflicted dogs may be observed to "scoot" or drag their butts to relive the itching. This, of course helps to crush the segments and release the eggs into the environment.

Tapeworms aren't dangerous to dogs or humans. And humans can become infected, it they are licked by the dog in the mouth. Mostly, tapeworms are indicators that there are fleas about and that premise control needs to be done as well as worming of the dogs. In order to treat tapeworms, one must use a broad spectrum anthelmic such as Droncit.

This hasn't been a horrible flea season at Surry; however, all of the dogs have been treated with Droncit. And it is also time to plow up the paddocks and put down lime in order to treat the entire kennel area.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fun time at the specialty

I enjoyed the specialty. The weather was wonderful--cool in the mornings and warm in the afternoon. It was fun as usual to see friends.

The dogs had a good time. It was Deacon's first time in the ring and he won his class both days. Amelia placed fourth in her Bred By class and Emily placed fourth in American Bred. Stella was placed second on Thursday in Sweepstakes Veteran Bitches 7-9 years and got a first on Friday. In her non-regular veterans class she placed third on Thursday and first on Friday. She really enjoyed showing again! I'm hoping to show Stella in greater than 12 year Veterans at the January supported entry here in Charleston and Stella in the 7-9 year class.

It was nice to talk with Valerie Walters who judged at the specialty. Her dog, Ranbourne This Bud's For You, is Tilly's dad. Valerie said that Bud lived to the ancient age of 16. It was nice to have his great-great grands being shown at this show.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Heading to the Raleigh-Durham specialty

I'm leaving this afternoon to head to the Raleigh-Durham specialty. I've always enjoyed this specialty show and have been going to this show for many years. Probably one of my greatest thrill in dogs occurred here when Ch. Castlewood Whyaskwhy at Surry took Best of Breed here in 1996.

This year I'm taking Tilly's daughter Stella who will be showing in Veteran Bitches for the first time, a Tilly granddaughter Amelia and a Tilly great grandson Deacon and a great granddaughter Emily. Stella was Winner's Bitch at this specialty several years ago. It's hard to believe that she is now in the Veteran class.

I'm looking forward to seeing friends and some really nice Labradors. More news when I get back from the specialty.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


The Coastal South Carolina's Labrador Fun Day was held today. It was a beautifully warm day and everyone seemed to have a great time. There were demonstrations of retrieving, obedience, and grooming, as well as fun games and a CGC test.

The games are always hysterical. I think that the funniest is the dress your dog contest. This year the girls had to wear a necklace and the boy dogs had to wear a tie.

A few of the Surry Labradors were there. Dusty actually got his CGC at this event. You can see lots of pictures from this fun event at

If you are interested in getting involved with your Labrador and being in the club, please contact any of the officers or board members. I'll be glad to forward an application for membership to you.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Getting a CGC

If you've done some basic obedience with your dog or have taken a beginning obedience course, then your dog should be able to pass the Canine Good Citizen test. This test was established by AKC for either purebred or mixed breed dogs to demonstrate responsible dog ownership, as well as to introduce people to AKC and it's programs. The "tests" can be sponsored by: "Any AKC Club of record or any qualified dog training organization as well as 4-H Clubs, private trainers, and others." AKC has an excellent kit available that explains the test, and how to run one. They also have a booklet that walks a person through the test, as well as giving them training tips.
It's a great way to get a certificate for your dog and is fun.

Here are the basics for the test and are from the AKC web site:

Test 1: Accepting a friendly stranger
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday situation. The evaluator walks up to the dog and handler and greets the handler in a friendly manner, ignoring the dog. The evaluator and handler shake hands and exchange pleasantries. The dog must show no sign of resentment or shyness, and must not break position or try to go to the evaluator.

Test 2: Sitting politely for petting
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler. With the dog sitting at the handler's side, to begin the exercise, the evaluator pets the dog on the head and body. The handler may talk to his or her dog throughout the exercise. The dog may stand in place as it is petted. The dog must not show shyness or resentment.

Test 3: Appearance and grooming
This practical test demonstrates that the dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit someone, such as a veterinarian, groomer or friend of the owner, to do so. It also demonstrates the owner's care, concern and sense of responsibility. The evaluator inspects the dog to determine if it is clean and groomed. The dog must appear to be in healthy condition (i.e., proper weight, clean, healthy and alert). The handler should supply the comb or brush commonly used on the dog. The evaluator then softly combs or brushes the dog, and in a natural manner, lightly examines the ears and gently picks up each front foot. It is not necessary for the dog to hold a specific position during the examination, and the handler may talk to the dog, praise it and give encouragement throughout.

Test 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead)
This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog may be on either side of the handler. The dog's position should leave no doubt that the dog is attentive to the handler and is responding to the handler's movements and changes of direction. The dog need not be perfectly aligned with the handler and need not sit when the handler stops. The evaluator may use a pre-plotted course or may direct the handler/dog team by issuing instructions or commands. In either case, there should be a right turn, left turn, and an about turn with at least one stop in between and another at the end. The handler may talk to the dog along the way, praise the dog, or give commands in a normal tone of voice. The handler may sit the dog at the halts if desired.

Test 5: Walking through a crowd
This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places. The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three). The dog may show some interest in the strangers but should continue to walk with the handler, without evidence of over-exuberance, shyness or resentment. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise the dog throughout the test. The dog should not jump on people in the crowd or strain on the leash.

Test 6: Sit and down on command and Staying in place
This test demonstrates that the dog has training, will respond to the handler's commands to sit and down and will remain in the place commanded by the handler (sit or down position, whichever the handler prefers). The dog must do sit AND down on command, then the owner chooses the position for leaving the dog in the stay. Prior to this test, the dog's leash is replaced with a line 20 feet long. The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command to get the dog to sit and then down. The evaluator must determine if the dog has responded to the handler's commands. The handler may not force the dog into position but may touch the dog to offer gentle guidance. When instructed by the evaluator, the handler tells the dog to stay and walks forward the length of the line, turns and returns to the dog at a natural pace. The dog must remain in the place in which it was left (it may change position) until the evaluator instructs the handler to release the dog. The dog may be released from the front or the side.

Test 7: Coming when called
This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler. The handler will walk 10 feet from the dog, turn to face the dog, and call the dog. The handler may use encouragement to get the dog to come. Handlers may choose to tell dogs to "stay" or "wait" or they may simply walk away, giving no instructions to the dog.

Test 8: Reaction to another dog
This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 20 feet, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 10 feet. The dogs should show no more than casual interest in each other. Neither dog should go to the other dog or its handler.

Test 9: Reaction to distraction
This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations. The evaluator will select and present two distractions. Examples of distractions include dropping a chair, rolling a crate dolly past the dog, having a jogger run in front of the dog, or dropping a crutch or cane. The dog may express natural interest and curiosity and/or may appear slightly startled but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness, or bark. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise it throughout the exercise.

Test 10: Supervised separation
This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain training and good manners. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like, "Would you like me to watch your dog?" and then take hold of the dog's leash. The owner will go out of sight for three minutes. The dog does not have to stay in position but should not continually bark, whine, or pace unnecessarily, or show anything stronger than mild agitation or nervousness. Evaluators may talk to the dog but should not engage in excessive talking, petting, or management attempts (e.g, "there, there, it's alright").