Monday, June 10, 2013

The Wind Litter Birth Story

The nine puppies in the Wind litter were born on June 2, 2004. Their birth story is one of my favorites because it was a breeding and birthing for the record books. I would guess it had the most phone dollars spent on a breeding and most miles logged at birth of any of our litters! :-)

The Wind litter's story begins long before their birth. For 15 years, Andy and I had been planning a 2004 trip to Australia and New Zealand. We'd saved hundreds of thousands of air miles, spent years planning the trip, and made reservations for a time that we were sure would not conflict with my club's specialty show or the dogs' breeding cycles. Hah, so much for planning!!

As only Corey (LornaDoone Encore Encore UD SH MX MXJ WCX OD VCX CCA TT) can do, she came in season early, in fact, months early. As soon as she came in, I realized that she would need to be bred while we were in New Zealand. We couldn't call the trip off without a huge monetary loss so I canceled the breeding. Then my friends, Marcy and Lise volunteered to take Corey and manage her breeding while we were traveling. Since we were doing a natural breeding to another Gaylan's dog, I figured there wouldn't be a lot of challenges. You know, they could just put the dogs together and the dogs would do their "job."

Alas, nothing ever goes as planned, at least in dog breeding. My original choice of stud ended up being unable to consummate the mating but only after Marcy and Lise had dragged him and Corey to vets all over NY State. I was communicating with them through Internet cafes throughout western New Zealand but when we got to the eastern coast, we could not find on-line access so I sent the phone number of our hotel, beautiful Larnach Castle in Dunedin, NZ.

I'll never forget the manager quietly passing me a beautifully handwritten note telling me to call home in the midst of a formal dinner. I excused myself from dinner but had to stand two feet from the hotel clerk, discussing what to do about the breeding challenges Marcy and Lise were facing. I won't go into detail but will say that the poor young man's face was quite red when I gave him the phone back. I can't imagine the tale he told his friends after I left.

In the midst of the crisis, one of us thought of using Goose (MACH Gaylan's Born to Fly CD SH WCX OS VCX CCA) as an alternate sire. I had intended to breed Goose and Corey eventually but not until Goose had gotten his final health clearances. Lise had just had his hip and elbow x-rays done but we did not have the results back from the OFA. Dr Jim thought they looked good and Corey (and her entire litter) had OFA Excellent hips and normal elbows, we decided to go for it. In the end, Goose was quite happy to help us out and he and Corey got along famously. :-) Two weeks later we got word from the OFA that he too was OFA Excellent with clear elbows!

Nine weeks later, the Wind litter arrived right on time. Today these pups are nine years of age and are still amazing. At an age when many goldens are retiring, the Wind litter is still going strong. As with all litters, the second most wonderful thing that came from it, in addition to nine beautiful pups, are the friendships that have developed through these pups. They make me realize that these dogs make our live very rich in many, many ways.

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