The “Heart” Litter
It has been a big week for the pups, ending in the big decision time!
The past week has been very eventful, and included two long trips in our van, which the puppies took to like little champs. It has been wonderful watching their personalities emerge as they interact with each other, our other dogs, their environment, and us humans. They are all eating well and going outside several times a day. They greatly enjoy going out, even on the coldest days, although they’re ready to go back in much sooner when it’s frigid and windy – as am I! All of the pups delight in chasing, tugging, and pouncing, and are also great cuddlers and face-washers. They are precious!
The “old timers” say that if you breed enough, you will eventually see everything. Well, in this litter we have seen something we have never seen before, thanks to a complicated group of recessives from way back that have come together unexpectedly. Isn’t that the way with those pesky recessives? In observing and interacting with this litter, we had noticed some profound differences in the behaviors and responses of one pup. She has a very loud voice when she wants something, louder than any of the other pups, and she seemed to be an exceptionally sound sleeper. Many times when all of the other pups would be up and hollering to go out, she would still be asleep. Even at times when we would come home from an outing, and all of the adult dogs would be “singing” their hellos along with the puppy voices, this one puppy would be sleeping. How could she sleep through all of that? So, we made an appointment for all of our little darlings, and trundled them off to the University of Illinois Veterinary School for BAER (hearing) tests.
The trip to U of I took three hours each way, and we were at the school for over 2.5 hours, so it was a very long day for all of us. We were very proud of how well the pups did in the van and at the school. They were very popular, and gave out many kisses, showing off their confident, friendly temperaments. All of the basic health checks were stellar, as were the hearing test results, with one exception. Our suspicions were confirmed: our little white girl is totally deaf. The neurologist agreed with what we had gathered from several other information sources, that this deafness is most likely connected to the “piebald” or “extreme white” gene combination, as well as the “China eye”, because she also has one eye that is half the milky blue “China” color. As little Dottie zipped around the room, pouncing on toys, siblings, and people, giving out nips and kisses, the doctor joked about what a shame it is that her deafness has slowed her down so much. Haha! Not a bit! She is a very happy, adventurous, smart, affectionate girl, and will be a wonderful companion.
The second big trip was an even longer one, over 4.5 hours of driving each way to visit our dear friend and mentor, Mary Magee of SaeSi Whippets, in the Indianapolis area. The purpose of this trip was for Mary to rate the pups on their structure and temperaments, to help us decide who our “keeper” will be, and what kind of home situation will be best for each pup. I’m very pleased to say that there are no “duds” in this litter, and all received fairly good marks in all areas, especially temperaments! No pup is perfect, as they say, but we’re thrilled with the quality of this bunch. As I type this, we have chosen who will be staying with us, and have future plans made for most of the pups, which is quite gratifying!
Enough words! On to the photos!
Click on images for a larger view.
Now for the stacked photos, with thanks to our dear friend, Mary Magee of SaeSi Whippets, for her puppy posing prowess!