It looks like Kurasi has buns in the oven and they are due around Valentine’s Day in Puyallup, WA. I will also plan to import another male to improve breeding options and would like to have him go right into a co-own situation in the PNW area. As with the first litter, I have created an Amazon wishlist for puppy needs: http://a.co/dWLL2IK. I can tell you with certainty, that the puppy care packages we received for Genko’s litter of 6, were much appreciated and got me through some majorly messy situations.
We did visit another dog show recently for health tests with all my Shibas and Ashi, and all the dogs enjoyed themselves. It was nice to see other breeder friends and have 3 generations of Shibas from Ike to his sons to his grand daughters all with perfect eyes. His registered name is “Idol Eyes” and I find that fitting, given that at nearly age 11 he has great vision and so do many generations descending from him. It’s nice to see the older Shibas that are verifiably healthy, but I have come to expect nothing less from the fantastic lines that his breeder Leslie Engen has labored to perfect.
Umma finished her OFAs recently and has perfect knees, full dentition and EXCELLENT hips. We are thrilled and feel she will pass on her many admirable traits in future breedings. Ashi’s heart exam was also perfect and he is slated to complete his CEA swabs with Umma. I went ahead and ordered several CEA/Cardiac/coat color swab kits from Paw Print Genetics for Genji, Miki and Kurasi as well. Doing all these tests for the number of Hokkaido I have worked with is no easy task!
Completing all the registrations and translations for Genko and Yezo, their 6 puppies, and the last 2 imports has been a long process. In addition to all the dogs ongoing care and upkeep including classes, dog shows, breed education, travel and routine vet care, the health testing has been a challenge to balance in regards to coordinating with owners and completing DNA swabs on dogs that may not even be in the country any longer or are not tolerant of the handling required for a sample collection. To be honest, it is hard juggling all of this considering I have had to also deal with several untimely rehomes and emergency vet visits.
I try to keep everything in perspective however, and am always working to improve and strategize without neglecting my home and own needs. I think work/life balance and burnout are very real issues facing breeders who have 9-5 jobs and also are passionate about their dogs. I also think it is a terrible disservice to enthusiasts to represent this passion as being all pleasantries and not discuss the moments when things go wrong for fear of judgement…there is heart ache and tears and nobody needs someone who is self righteous with very little on the line, to undermine the hard work that has been done. These are interactions I won’t forget as I move forward with Hokkaido.
Lastly, I received some Hokkaido Club gear I ordered from the club Red Bubble store. The shirts are very comfy and the little makeup pouch is pretty handy.
And very lastly, here are some photos that make me happy and sad at the same time: Top left is Riku, Farrah’s last puppy, owned by and photo by Leah Crowley. Top right is Taiyo, Farrah’s first puppy, owned and photo by Sandra Tung. Both of these are especially significant to me and their stories especially poignant. Someday I will share them. Middle and bottom left are some of the gang recently at the beach in Port Townsend and all passed out on the ride home. Bottom right is of course my very favorite sleepy man, Ike, the boy who started it all for me.
I realize as I loaded these, that these photos are bitter sweet, and most have special stories. I hope that when I am old, and these dogs long gone, that these photos will give me some comforting thoughts. How these little souls manage to nestle in our hearts so deeply and enrich our lives so profoundly, is truly one of life’s greatest joys and greatest sorrows.