Sunday, January 17, 2016
It was a busy holiday season, but so much to be thankful for as we barreled toward the end of 2015.
Our crazy plan of throwing medical science out the window and using pack mentality to try to "trick" Danica into getting and staying pregnant WORKED. Danica welcomed 4 puppies on Halloween, Misty followed suit with 7 puppies on November 4th, and Nita had help bringing a singleton boy into the world two weeks later on November 18th.
Having run into a long-time Bouvier owner at Warner Center Pet Clinic one day, she commented that we've "had an awful lot of puppies lately". The total was 12 out of three different litters. In 2013, we welcomed 11 puppies in one single litter while also tending to a litter of 5 Scotties born a week prior to the Bouv babies. And our last Bouvier litter of 3 boys (Danica's first litter) was almost 2 years ago. We were more than prepared.
Danica managed to free-whelp the first two puppies (both bitches), but after 5 hours had passed from the 2nd puppy being born in the lobby of our vet's clinic, she had had minimal contractions and an x-ray showed that the two remaining puppies were at an impasse and a c-section was necessary. She took to mothering these new babies like a pro.
Misty managed to free-whelp all 7 of her puppies over the course of 12 hours. Thanks to Danica being the mother she is, we were able to spend our time watching over our maiden bitch with her new babies. Motherhood kicked in for Misty and she reminded us very much of her own mother Passion.
Nita nested and festered, but never had a contraction. Rather than spend our time worrying for days about a singleton, her progesterone level had dropped to confirm she was in labor, but there was no way she would be having that singleton on her own. Back to the vet's for another c-section, we had a new very black brindle boy pup.
The Ottcienda was more of a Maternity Ward during the holidays and it was busy, but delightful. We enjoyed watching these 12 puppies grow up and noticed such consistency among all 12 of them.
In the midst of all of the puppies, River managed to finish her championship on December 7, 2015 by going Winners Bitch and Best of Winners under judge Dr. Dana Massey at the Shoreline Cluster in Costa Mesa. River won all of her points from the Bred By Exhibitor class (our second to accomplish this from this litter) and became the 5th champion out of our Garrison x Passion litter.
Mal, her littermate brother, continued on his path to accomplish many things to show off the versatility of the Bouvier des Flandres. The day after he became a father, he earned a Coursing Excellence Title - the first Bouvier in the history of the AKC to earn this title. He also earned his Canine Good Citizen title before the end of the year. In January of 2016, he accomplished two more titles - Novice Barn Hunt and Novice Draft Dog. Brenna and Lenore are doing so much for this dog and for the breed and we are so thankful for them.
Jack Dog also earned his first Coursing Ability Title in November. It was delightful watching our dogs show off how swift and agile they are in a huge field while chasing the lure. Incredibly impressive. And they love it.
Our batch of 2015 puppies started going to their new homes in January. We are delighted to have a puppy in Mexico, the country of Columbia, several on the east coast and some are staying on (or near) the west coast, too. We appreciate everyone who traveled from afar to visit our home and to see where their babies were raised and to meet the Ottcienda menagerie of Scotties and Bouviers.
We will strive toward River's Grand Championship prior to breeding her this spring. We are thinking of hitting our heads against the wall one last time with Danica in hope of one final litter from her as well, this spring. And we have one Scottie litter planned for this spring, so it may be another fun-filled second quarter of the year, but we are also hoping to take another family vacation in late summer. Last year reminded us that we have to take time away for ourselves to be re-charged, re-focused, and to "not sweat the small stuff".