Monday, December 31, 2007
Some Labradors don't like loud noises. I can remember that Stella would always put her head down when she was in the group ring because she didn't like all the clapping. She definitely wouldn't make a good gun dog. I'm not sure whether it's just anxiety over the noise or whether she had more sensitive ears than some Labradors.
It's best to not subject your dog to fireworks if the dog is anxious about loud noises. Leaving the dog inside and perhaps even it it's crate is the best idea. Dogs feel safe in their crates. And with a cover over the crate, it's even a better safe haven.
Hope that everyone has a Happy New Year!
Saturday, December 29, 2007
These are great spots to get photographs, although Crab Bank is a protected rookery that is only available for human visitation after October and through the winter months. In the spring and summer, it is inundated with pelicans, gulls and other water birds. No dogs are allowed on Crab Bank but you can bring dogs to Morris Island.
Morris Island has a great beach for exploring and looking for shells and shark's teeth. You can walk for several miles and not see another soul in the winter. In the summer, weekenders come with their motor boats and like to cook out or party at Cummings Point. It can get a bit noisy but the winter months are sheer bliss.
If you want to camp with your dog in the winter, there is driftwood near the beach. There is no potable water so you have to bring that as well as any food or supplies you might need. I haven't tried camping there yet but hope to soon. Also, the Morris Island Lighthouse is a beautiful sight on the ocean side of the island. It's a hike but worth it to see the old lighthouse. It's now being worked on to stabilize the base.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
All the gifts have been delivered and the dogs are snoring in their kennels. Tilly is inside sleeping on her dog bed. The cats are tucked in for the night. And I'm heading to bed as soon as I finish up on the computer.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
The photo above came from Ann and Paul Key. It shows Neilley (aka The Pinkster) on her sleigh. She seems to be enjoying being dressed for the holidays. Neilley was very small at birth and there were worries during the first week whether she would make it or not. But she learned to nurse from a bottle and has grown to be a beautiful girl who is much loved by Ann and Paul.
Happy Holidays to all of you and your canine friends.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Well, I've put in an application to adopt a retired racing greyhound. I decided that it would be good to go this route because there are so many greys that are euthanized every year. And Cayenne and Cooper who hang out with Stella also had a big influence. They are sweet and seem to enjoy the company of a Labrador.
So the next step will be a home site visit. I'm reading a book on adopting the racing greyhound. There are physiological differences between Labradors and greyhounds for sure. Anyway, after Christmas, a couple who have a retired grey will visit Surry and take a look around. If approved, then there is the next step of finding a female who is a good match for us.
I'm sure that the Labradors will wonder what a stilt legged dog is doing at Surry.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Labrador males are very sweet. But they are also noted for being horny. Sometimes I have to laugh as one of the males will decide that it's time to grab one of the girls and begin humping their head! It's a lot of misplaced passion I guess.
Maybe it's fortunate that Labrador males are studly because that makes them easy to collect for semen. But even though you may be able to collect your male there are other things that you need to consider, such as whether the sperm is healthy.
Unfortunately, low sperm count and malformed sperm can occur in dogs. And infertility is also something that occurs. The causes of infertility in male dogs are divided into two main groups, congenital infertility and acquired infertility. Congenital infertility is present at birth and is caused by abnormalities in chromosomes. Those dogs that are affected cannot produce sperm.
Acquired infertility develops during the dog's lifetime. There are several causes, some of which can be rectified. For example,incomplete ejaculation, usually occurs because the male dog is uncomfortable in the breeding situation. Males often won't "perform" if there are unfamiliar surroundings or if the female is aggressive. There can also be obstruction of the reproductive tract that can result from an infection or inflammation. Prostatitis can often cause a dog to not produce sperm. And then there are hormonal abnormalities such as hypothyroidism that can affect fertility in the male. Another culprit is heat. Male dogs that are kept in kennels and sleep on warm surfaces can become infertile because heat damages sperm.
If infertility is suspected, have your dog evaluated by a vet who will examine a sample of semen for sperm count and morphology. Treatment may be necessary, either in the form of antibiotics or heat reduction and perhaps changes to the diet. If the problem isn't congenital, then there is hope that with proper treatment, the testicles will return to normal functioning within about 60 days. So it is possible to turn your dud into a stud with proper care and patience.
Examination of semen should always be done before shipping semen or doing a breeding.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Tobias has really good manners and enjoys playing with the ricocheting puppy. This morning it seemed as if Tobias hadn't been away since early fall. He went right up into his old kennel and wagged his tail.
I'm just glad that he is home. And he never has to go to a dog show again.
Friday, December 07, 2007
I did own a German shepherd as a child. She was a great dog and one that I enjoyed doing obedience work with. Later, I also owned a Rottweiler who I also did obedience work with. Zoe was a tough girl though and had to be muzzled and Ace'd before going to the vet. She didn't like being stuck with needles and would get that black look in her eyes which meant: LOOK OUT. She and I had an understanding though and we enjoyed 9 years together.
Now I'm starting to think about getting a greyhound. I've been fascinated with the two rescue ones that a friend has. They are quiet, gentle, and seem to be good house dogs. I've learned of an exceptional breeding of a top ranked greyhound and am thinking about getting one of the puppies. Let's just say, I'm very interested. I don't see many of them at the dog shows but would want to show any puppy that I get. I am also interested in lure coursing but will have to explore more about that as I have 3 cats and am not interested in having one of them become bait for a greyhound.
I guess that more will be revealed in time!
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Justin sent along these photos of Bess on her first trip to the beach. Labradors are natural water dogs but going to the beach is a special treat. Not only do they get to wade, wallow and enjoy the water but there are generally other dogs to greet and lots of people around to give scratchings. Every inch of the beach has to be sniffed, peed on, or otherwise checked out.
Just check the beach rules when you take your dog there. Some beaches have leash laws, dog tags, and restricted hours. Also, be sure to pick up after your dog so that all dogs can continue to enjoy the privilege of going to the beach.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Labradors don't stress over much but sometimes with a disruption in routine and a lot of guests, they can act out. Chewing on household items (generally the most expensive couch, rug, or heaven forbid a light cord) is generally a sign of stress or boredom. Make sure that electric candles and the Christmas tree don't become food or a fire hydrant for your dog.
Counter surfing is another thing that can occur during the holidays. The turkey has been cooked, the stuffing and other yummy items are on the counter and then you're distracted by a phone call or a guest arriving. This can present a golden opportunity for the Labrador sport of counter surfing in which the Labrador puts paws on the counter and proceeds to either pull dishes off or gets the whole turkey on the floor. Not a pretty sight.
It's also tempting to give your Labrador left overs from the table. A few pieces of turkey or some green beans will be okay, but too much rich food can cause the DD's or dreaded diarrhea. The DD's can sometimes be accompanied by the Urka Gurkas (you know that great sound that dogs make when they are heaving), all of which generally occur in the middle of the night and on the most expensive rug that you have in the house. Best to be conservative on the table scraps and save yourself an expensive rug cleaning bill.
The Holidays can be a fun time. Make sure that your dog is not forgotten in the hubbub.