First Look at W-Litter

Well…still no action, the pups are happy hanging-out inside of Kira. Kira is miserable and wants these puppies out. She is ready and her milk is in…the puppies just are not ready. Not standing the suspense, Mos and Tiffany took some xrays, it took two shots to get a view of all the puppies. As of this evening Kira is refusing to eat, even Iams biscuits.

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How Big is She?

Oh the humiliation of it, here are the obligatory “how big is she” photos.  Kira (U-CH V Quellie vom Kirschanetal SChH3 KKL1a LBZ, CD, U-RO1) is due on the 20th with a litter sired by Lorie’s Gavin (U-CH V Alta-Tollhaus Gavin SchH3 KKL1a ) . This is the second litter Gavin has sired.
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How low can she go? That belly is almost touching the ground:
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Multi-tasking—playing tug and nursing Cadence’s pups
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Just me and my kong:
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Nikon update

Warning: this is a long post! I have a very talented, versatile, and handsome dog on my hands 😉

Nikon has had a very busy year on many levels. He has earned five new titles this year, all in different disciplines. It should also be said that so far none of the clubs I’ve trained with have been “official” which means that every time we want to show and title, we are traveling to a new club, new field or building, new helper. Nikon knows no daily routine and puts in a ton of miles. In March he finished his UKC Championship. In June at the UKC Premier he finished his lure coursing Coursing Aptitude and completed his first dock diving title (UNJ) start to finish with a few jumps to spare. The day after we got back from our Big Star Lake vacation in August, Nikon earned his American Temperament Test Society “TT” title at Muskegon Lakeshore Obedience Club. Yesterday we finished out our year earning the Schutzhund 1 title under USCA judge Randall Hoadley. Nikon earned High SchH1 and High Obedience. Some things I am proud of are his tracking score (94) since I do not particularly enjoy tracking, the fact that he earned High Obedience (highest OB score of the trial, all levels) despite my nerves and a cat streaking past the field as we started, he got “pronounced” TSB in protection, and he did the best escape bite I’ve ever seen him do (the escape bite is not his strength). While we were not perfect I am thrilled with his work and satisfied that I made no handling mistakes and Nikon did nothing that surprised me. We all hate those, “my dog’s never done THAT before!” moments. Our group swept the awards winning everything but High SchH2 because we didn’t have one entered. Nikon was two points short of being High In Trial (all levels).

Nikon finishing UKC Champion

Nikon’s SV/USCA/WDA, AKC, and UKC conformation awards (minus the UKC Champion certificate)

Dock diving at the 2011 UKC Premier

Lure coursing at the 2011 UKC Premier

2011 UKC Premier awards

Me, Nikon, and judge Randall with Nikon’s SchH1 awards

SchH1 retrieve over 1meter jump

Guarding in the blind

Launch into the escape bite

Drive with stick hits (Nikon’s strength in protection is his fight, never shifts the grip or shies away from the drive)

Besides his new titles Nikon participated in lots of other dog activities this year. Over the summer we had two protection seminars. It was VERY HOT for both of them but Nikon worked hard. At one he was worked by seven different decoys and helped certify three new SDA trial decoys. I joined a new SDA club and am currently the Vice President (though I’ve been slacking there while busy preparing Nikon for the SchH trial). We visited two other Schutzhund clubs (Liberty Working Dogs and Der Michigan Schutzhund Verein) on several occasions over the summer. In June we did a dog safety and obedience demonstration ad Phil’s school and they loved Nikon’s tricks. Then we were invited to walk in several parades to help promote the school. Nikon got to wear the school t-shirt and I think some of the people in the crowd were convinced that he is THE German Shepherd from Beverly Hills Chihuahua, haha (I haven’t seen it). He also came to Pan’s CGC class and helped proof the younger dogs heeling and doing obedience next to a “strange” dog. Nikon is now doing flyball and this will be his “winter sport”.

Nikon at flyball

Helping certify new decoys at the SDA protection seminar

Marching in the parades

Hanging out with kids at Dutton Christian School

We accomplished a lot this year despite some obstacles. First we moved to a new house. That took a lot of time and money away from training for a while. Then I was gone for a week with my parents and when I got back, Nikon injured his foot and had a rough few months dealing with infection and the possibility of amputation but by the Premier he was healed and ready to work again. I also had a lot of traveling this year that kept me away from the dogs and interrupted serious training at times. I went to Florida with my parents in April, then a few U2 concerts that were make-ups from summer 2010 when Bono injured his back, then a family reunion trip to Tennessee with Phil’s side, and then our two weeks at Big Star Lake which is my favorite but the dogs get to come and enjoy swimming, hiking, and dock diving (I make a point *not* to do any formal training while we’re on “vacation”).

Nikon’s “boot” wrapping for his foot injury which needed to be cleaned, soaked, medicated, and re-wrapped several times a day (thank goodness Nikon doesn’t give a flip about having his nails trimmed or feet touched!)

Nikon, almost 3 years old, in our new front yard

Nikon is doing well and looking great. His ear tips are kind of scabby right now which happens when it first gets really cold and dry, but once they heal up I may try to show him for his Grand Champion. When he turns six (a long way away!) I would like to do his USCA Breed Survey which we now have all the requirements for, he just has to be six to opt out of the AD. He is done with Schutzhund for this winter but we have an SDA trial planned for May 2012 and I’m sure he will be back at the UKC Premier in some fashion.

Nikon at 3 years old

Pan my working line puppy is also doing well. He got SG2 (13 months) at a WDA show last month and earned his AKC Canine Good Citizen last Wednesday. Unfortunately he is two weeks too young to have done his BH at our trial and I don’t have any vacation left for traveling to a December trial so we’ll wait for spring 2012. Coke is the same as usual, just being his lazy, happy self. Chopper is doing great with my family but they are not camera people so I don’t get many photos. She was in perfect health at her vet check in July.

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Chopper on vacation August 2011

Coke fall 2011

I think that’s all for now!