It’s been a little while since my last blog. I have finally finished my Masters project and presented it to Middlesex University! It has been a long and arduous 3 years but boy am I pleased to be seeing the wood for the trees now and how exciting that I will be able to add the letters MA to the list after my name. Graduation is July – can’t wait!
So having conquered that hurdle my attention is now back on my puppy journey and I have made lots of progress here too.
Sadly, for a variety of reasons I have had to take my search away from the lovely Hugo and so I have spent several weeks sourcing a good stud dog, bitch and approachable breeder. I was lucky enough to have Diana Stevens of Wylanbriar Labradors recommended to me by a friend and so I did my investigations and made contact with her.
While she didn’t have any litters available for July with her bitches she did have several stud dogs booked for April/ May and their CV photos and reference to previous litters was all on her website. As a result I have made contact with 2 lovely breeders whose bitches are in pup to Wylanbriar Bondy and Wylanbriar Ray. I found myself in the enviable position of having to make a decision.
I had made contact with Rosemary Reeder of Chantilly Labradors who’s Bitch is Ebony, she had been mated with Wylanbriar Bondy, and also Derrie Cattell who’s bitch Blossom had been mated with Wylanbriar Ray.
The pairings are below:
I can thoroughly recommend both breeders, but I have chosen the Blossom: Ray pairing for my puppy as it was Derrie who I made contact with first, Rosie has kindly said she will keep me on her list should I miss out for any reason.
Visiting the Bitch and Breeder
So last Thursday I made a visit to meet Blossom and also Derrie in West Sussex. I couldn’t be happier at my choice. Derrie is experienced at breeding, kind and dedicated to her role. Her home is beautiful and the pups will have everything required for a fantastic start. The whelping box is already in place in case of any early arrivals.
The 28 day scan revealed a positive pregnancy:
Here is Blossom in all her glory:
Blossom is endearingly shy and calm. Her waggy bottom on our arrival was all I needed to see. She is heavily pregnant now and was content to just sit by us while we chatted.
Blossom’s little friend Lola – an older black lab – was also present. It was clear she will make great support for Lola and a positive association with another dog for the pups.
Blossom is almost 3 years old and this will be her first litter. She was bought by Derrie with the intention of one day mating her as poor Lola hadn’t had much success through no fault of her own.
While Derrie is experienced as a breeder and the wife of a retired vet, she only breeds sensibly for her own pleasure. Blossom has a hip score of 0/0 and is unique in the fact that she is the fifth generation to retain such a score. This is very rare and bodes well for a dog with good hips!
While I would have loved to have met the stud dog ‘Ray’, it just wasn’t possible. Di (the owner) has several stud dogs and breeding bitches and can have involvement with 8-12 litters at a time. I had to appreciate she has very little spare time. That said I was content with Rays reputation and having chatted to Derrie she confirmed his character and personality.
Rays stats are as follows:
BVA/KC Eye cert: Clear Nov 2014
EIC DNA: Clear
Optigen DNA: Clear
CNM DNA: Clear
(FTW Wylanbriar Wierd Fish x Bramble Ramble Pippa)
Colour: Black – DNA tested to carry yellow
So the litter is due at the end of May and will be ready to leave at the end of July. I am second in line for a black boy and so hopefully won’t be disappointed. I will visit again when the pups are around 3 weeks old and then the next visit will be to bring him home.
This has felt like a long process of emotions, decisions and hurdles. During this time, one of my very close friends bought a dog from a local pet shop, I was shocked not only because she was my friend and I didn’t know, but also that this is still considered to be ok. It’s just not fair that the public are led to make life changing decisions through emotional black mail.
This puppy will have spent nearly all its critical learning period lurching from long periods of isolation to periods of over stimulation and inherent fear. Who knows what, if any damage has been done, whether this pup came from a puppy farm or has been exposed to damaging experiences. So far all is well while he is just weeks old but I wonder how things will progress as he matures.
This got me thinking, is it any wonder the behaviour of the domestic dog is on the decline and dog attacks, particularly on children is at its highest rate ever. If my journey helps just one person think about their decision, or realise the considerations that should be addressed when buying a dog, then I have done my job!
I have today received news that Blossom gave birth during the night to a litter of healthy pups. It’s early days so I’ll come back with more detail, suffice to say all is well and my little boy has arrived safe and sound!