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Archive for May, 2013

When I started taking the Labrador to class, I started meeting Golden Retrievers. I met some in the class and three owned by our instructor. I was impressed with the breed. Every one I met was sweet. The Labrador’s best friend was a Golden and we even had a few play dates. I started thinking, and commenting that perhaps my next dog in the far away future would be a Golden Retriever.

When one of my friends with Goldens planned two litters this year I volunteered to help. I wanted the experience of watching them grow, and seeing them learn and it has been amazing! In April both litters were born, and I was there for the birth of all of the first, and arrived just after the second came home after a C-section. They were born just three days apart.

I’ve have the luxury of helping (playing with the puppies), watching, and being involved while having none of the Vet bills! Considering both dogs needed emergency C-sections after the first few were born naturally, I understand why most breeders say this isn’t something they do to make money. This has been a labor of love, with a desire to improve the breed and create something greater than the sum of it’s parts.

Now the parts are amazing. I’ve spent time with both sire and dam, and have researched their pedigrees. Both have several OTCHs in their lineage, as well as Outstanding Sires, and Outstanding Dams. One has more of a confirmation bloodline, and the other more a performance dog bloodline. They are both very sweet dogs, with great temperaments who I love playing and training with.

Now while experiencing all this I firmly claimed over and over that no, I was not getting a puppy. Now wasn’t the time. I was in it for the experience, enjoying watching these little lives develop and grow, eager to see how the breeder’s predictions played out over their lives, learning about bio-sensor and matching puppy to owner.

Only I’m a sucker. Today we made the decision that one of these adorable little bundles of fur will be coming home to join the pack in a few weeks.

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She can walk!

I realized I haven’t come out and stated that, though she’s been walking for several weeks now. Each day she seems to get stronger and be able to go farther. It’s been six weeks since the Beagle had her surgery. These six weeks have passed far differently than I envisioned when we watched them take her back to be operated on. I have a vivid imagination. Sometimes it’s not on my side. But in this case since I’d envisioned the worst, having the best happen has been fantastic.

The day after she came home from surgery she stood up. Four days later she was moving her back legs as we took her out with a sling to use the bathroom. Now we are up to 15 minute walks twice a day with no harness, plus an added 15 minutes on the water treadmill twice a week. We do balance exercises, and strength exercises. We’ve started working on cavaletti, and we’ve started heeling again!

We still have work to do. Strength to build. Balance to regain. But we are getting there. Now I just have to resist the urge I have to wrap her up in bubble wrap to keep her from injuring anything else! Especially since we know there may be more issues down the road.

The Beagle has been officially diagnosed with IVDD (Intervertebral disk disease). Beagles are predisposed to this disease. There is no cure. There is only management. In the Beagle’s case, she had an explosive episode, which alerted us to the degeneration and disease. We are aware there are issues in other discs, though only time will tell if they will cause problems. So management now is our main focus — this means lots of strength and balance training. Keeping our sweet girl at a healthy weight, and keeping her as active and as healthy as we know how.

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