Tuesday, December 23, 2014

J-C Pups Day 3: Momma Jam is the best

How lucky am I to wake up to this?  Momma Jam is awesome with her babies, keeping them fed and immaculate.  Jam is an experience mother which makes my job easier. She is also very happy, notice the tail wagging.  And yes, she is a talker.

I sleep next to the whelping box for at least the first two weeks after the pups are born to make sure that they are safe, not accidentally rolled/stepped on and doing well.  They have been eating nonstop and the daily weigh ins show they have all gained weight.

Monday, December 22, 2014

J-C Pups Birth to Day 2 - Cuteness Overload

We have been super busy getting the Holiday litter settled and just spending time with these adorable pups. I had time to upload the photos we took during the whelping and the first two days. Jam had an easy time whelping the pups, which made things less stressful for us and it was a textbook whelping. As soon as the first pup was born, we broke the sack, made sure the pup could breath, dried the pup and then took care of cutting and cleaning the umbilical cord. These pups came out screaming and were so vigorous, there was no need to suction fluid out of them. We then let Jam take over, as she was anxious to do, and the pups began nursing. We would then clean the whelping box and get ready for the next pup.
After each pup was born, Jam was given a bowl of premium vanilla ice cream - she loved that part!  It wasn't just a celebratory treat but a needed boost of calcium to help with the contractions and extra nourishment.  She licked the bowl clean!
 Weim pups are born with stripes which fade within a few days.
 We use colored Velcro collars to safely identify each pup. In a few weeks, the pups will get their first set of real collars with a plastic snap release buckle.
 Jam spends all her time in the whelping box nursing the pups.  We also have a heat lamp and thermometer to ensure that the pups stay warm as at this age, the pups cannot regulate their own body temperature and if get too hot or too cold, can die. The fleece pad also helps to keep them warm and dry plus gives them traction as they crawl around the box.
 The white railing around the box are called pig rails and are a safety feature.  If the dam rolls onto a pup, the pup will be pushed under the pig rail and protected.  Jam is very careful with her pups but you always have to be vigilant to make sure an accident doesn't happen.
 The Holiday 6 are a robust bunch and spend lots of time at the milk bar!
 The pups are born deaf and blind and with their amazing sense of smell, find their way to the nipples to nurse.  They are also unable to defecate on their own and it is Jam's job by licking them to stimulate the pups to urinate and have bowel movements.  She also eats their poop which keeps the box clean.  This will go on for a few weeks.
And J-C stands for Jam-Chaz pups aka the Holiday Litter!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Welcome the Grayhart Holiday Litter!

Introducing Grayhart's Holiday Litter (Chaz, BIF/BIM GCH Roschel's Dauntless of Graykin x Jam, GCH Grayhart's Purple Haze,CD,JH,AX,AXJ,SD,VX), 4 girls and 2 boys whelped on December 19th! Making their appearance on the third night of Hannukah, all six are little miracles. Jam did a terrific job and all the pups are vigorous and eating well. Weights ranged from 15.5 oz to 18 oz.

In order of appearance and weight:

  • Miss Pink         15.7 oz
  • Miss Purple     15.9
  • Miss Teal         18.0
  • Mr. Black         17.6
  • Miss Red          15.5
  • Mr. Blue           17.8

Weim puppies are born with stripes which fade after a few day.  They are also blind and deaf but have amazing sense of smell to find their mother and nurse.
Jam is a fantastic mother, keeping her pups fed, cleaned and loved.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Getting closer to pups

The first official photo of the Holiday litter (Chaz x Jam).  Today, we took Jam to our reproductive vet for an x-ray to confirm how many puppies she is carrying.  Many breeders like to x-ray within a week of the due date to get an accurate count so that they can have this information during the whelping to make sure all the pups have come out or if there is a potential problem and a c-section is needed.  Our vet numbered the pups, matching skulls and spines and identified six pups - a perfect litter size.  We still have no idea of the sexes and wait in anticipation for Jam's labor to start which should be sometime on Thursday or Friday.  Her due date was based on LH surge and progesterone testing to pinpoint her ovulation and then a 63 day pregancy.  The whelping box has been assembled and all the supplies are ready, now it is up to Jam to start the show.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Flashback Friday

Savi from the Gap Kids 2011 "I Want Candy" holiday campaign.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Jam the expectant momma

Pregnant Jam, on day 54 of the 63 day pregnancy.  She is quite relaxed and loves getting belly rubs on her ever expanding stomach.  Her nipples are quite prominent, getting ready to nurse all her puppies.  She is extra sweet and cuddly during this time.

We will take her for an xray on Monday to determine how many pups she is having and will be taking her temperature multiple times a day to help chart when she will go into labor.  Her due date is December 18th/19th, which her vet based on progesterone testing and LH surge tracking.  Of course, we are beyond excited for this litter.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Weekends are for sleeping in....

From l-r: Savi, Trixie, Jam (pregnant with that big belly) and sitting, Presley.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Presley earns her Junior Hunter title and CeCe get her 1st JH leg!

Presley, with Qualifying Ribbon #4 for her JH title!
 We are thrilled to announce that Presley has earned her AKC Junior Hunter (JH) title and is now, Grayhart's Another Star, JH.  Presley completed her JH, handled by her breeder/co-owner,  by qualifying in four straight tests with terrific scores and at only one year of age!

Presley earned her first two legs at the Nutmeg Weimaraner Club Hunt Test in Simsbury, CT at the beginning of November under very difficult conditions.  The first day brought torrential rain but that did not deter Presley as she made her hunt test debut in style by finding and retrieving four birds to hand!
Extreme conditions call for the right attire & it worked for Presley's 1st JH leg
The next day, the weather was cold with swirling winds, which can be very challenging especially for novice dogs.  Presley hunted well and found her first bird, although did not point it and after the bird flushed, searched in thick cover and retrieved the bird to hand.  There is a rule that the dog must point 50% of the birds they encounter so we needed to find another bird and have a solid point.  She did not disappoint and with only minutes left, she made game, then a solid point before she went in on the bird.  She also caught that bird and retrieved it back. Chasing and busting the bird is allowed in the Junior level but not in Senior and Master so we will have to work on her training. Two tests, two qualifications on her debut weekend.
CeCe and Presley
I also ran CeCe, Grayhart's Almost Famous, co-owned with KellyAnn, in the Sunday test and this birdy girl qualified for her 1st Junior Hunter leg.  Tough conditions with few qualifiers but our girls made us proud by bringing home those orange ribbons. Guess we could call it a double Q!

After the test was over on Saturday, we took Savi, and her daughter, CeCe, out for a run and some training on the leftover birds in the fields.  What a beautiful sight to see CeCe back her momma!  Savi has her Senior Hunter and hunting is her favorite thing in the world.
CeCe honoring her mother, Savi
Savi on point
Presley with JH ribbon #2
The weekend after Thanksgiving brought the final hunt test of the season in the Northeast with the Nutmeg German Shorthaired Pointer Club Hunt Test at Flaherty Field Trial Grounds in CT.  Things did not look promising as we had a major snowstorm on Thanksgiving eve and the ground was covered with snow and ice.  Arriving at the test, those coming off the Junior course reported poor scenting conditions and the birds, Quail, were not staying planted.  Challenging conditions to say the least.  Plus it was cold!  

We met Presley's bracemate, a handsome, 22 month old male GSP, who turned out to be a hunting machine.  They took off from the start and after playing a few minutes started to hunt.  The GSP found a bird right away and hearing the shot of the blank gun, Presley upped her game and was trying really hard tracking and hunting to find a bird.  She found a quail under a log and pointed before flushing the bird.  She did not catch it.  She continued to hunt until the judges told us time was up and leash the dogs.  Presley qualified for JH leg #3.

On Sunday, we returned to Flaherty and fortunately, warmer weather.  Presley immediately knew why we were there and once we entered the bird field, boom, went on a gorgeous point.  The bird flushed and flew away.  Presley continued to hunt and the judge complimented her on how methodically she hunted.  We then saw her make game, showing the signs she was on a bird and boom, another beautiful, staunch point and to my surprise, she was pointing a walking bird!  Presley was easily 20 yards away so I couldn't get to her in time before she broke her point to flush the bird.  Very impressive for an untrained dog to point a walking bird and hold for a good 10 seconds!  It was exciting to see her perform so well and this was reflected in her scores of 9, 10, 10, 9,
Presley will now begin training for Senior Hunter and will return to the show ring in 2015. Her owners, Bob, Meridith and I are thrilled with how well she is doing and just adore this girl.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Major Win & New Rally Title for CeCe!!!!

It has been an exciting two weeks for CeCe, Grayhart's Almost Famous, CGC.  First, CeCe went with owner, KellyAnn to shows up in Springfield, MA, where Bonnie Lane, owner/breeder of Parker, (CeCe's dad and sire of our Fast Times Litter), piloted CeCe to Winners Bitch for her first major win in the show ring!!!  This gave CeCe a 3-point major and with her six single points, she is over halfway to her AKC show championship.

Then this past Sunday, KellyAnn had CeCe entered in back-to-back Cynosport Rally trials and not only did CeCe qualify in both trials with wonderful scores, she placed 5th and earned the final leg for her RL1 title!  

We are so proud of KellyAnn and all she is doing with CeCe, who is her first performance dog and allowing her to be shown.  CeCe has also been training for agility and field work.  A truly versatile Weimaraner.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Happy 1st Birthday to the Wonder pups!

Happy Birthday to the Wonder litter!

We can't believe these pups are one year old - the year has flown by! They are all doing well and loved beyond belief by their families.  The Wonder litter is out of Fala, GCH A GraytSky A La Fala Love'A and Jam, GCH Grayhart's Purple Haze, CD,JH,AX,AXJ,SD,VX.

A few of them have even started showing and earned titles.  The seven Wonder pups are: 
  • Quest, Canadian CH Grayhart's Travelin' Man
  • Presley, Grayhart's Another Star, JH (pointed)
  • Siri, Grayhart's Conversation with GraytSky (major pointed)
  • Zoe, Grayhart's Pretty Little Angel, CGC
  • Blaze, Grayhart's Beach Stomp
  • Brody, Grayhart's Master Blaster
  • Ensign, Grayhart's Ebb Tide (hunting dog)

Friday, November 28, 2014

Flashback Friday: The Black Friday 2009

Wishing all our family and friends a wonderful Thanksgiving!
The stunning picture above is Trixie, posing in cashmere for Banana Republic, taken by photographer Richard Phibbs, and this ad appeared on the Banana Rebublic website on November 27, 2009, promoting their day after Thanksgiving aka Black Friday sale. 
It was excited when I visited the local Banana Republic store and was quite excited to see this poster of Trixie everywhere! There was a giant size version in the store window and poster sizes located in the men's and women's departments with the cashmere sweaters she was promoting. I am proud of Trixie, our star!

Trixie is CH GraytSky's I'm Not Really a Waitress, CD,RN,AX,OAJ,V BROM

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Exciting litter news! Jam & Chaz are expecting!

Our fabulous and talented Jam has been confirmed pregnant via ultrasound and is due December 18th. Chaz is a Best in Futurity winner (2011) and was also Best in Maturity at the 2012 WCA National Specialty.  He is a proven producer of champions and multiple Best of Breed winners but most importantly, has passed on his amazing temperament and good health. All health clearances have been completed with passing grades for both Jam and Chaz, with CHIC numbers received. 

I have had the pleasure of spending a great deal of time with Chaz, at both dog shows and as a guest at his home, with his mother and daughter, all with wonderful temperaments.  Chaz is friendly, sweet and although has not competed or trained in performance venues, is biddable and smart.  Chaz has a gorgeous front assembly and typey build and we are hopeful that with Jam, will produce beautiful puppies.  Puppies from Jam's first two litters are already making their mark in the show ring, with major wins, at hunt tests earning JH legs, a tracking title, and training for agility.

We have decided to call this our Holiday Litter.  Not only will they be born during the Jewish celebration of Hannukah and a week before Christmas but the theme and puppy AKC registered names will be based on Madonna songs, one of our favorite artists, whose hit song Holiday is a classic.  As the Madonna lyric goes...It's Time to Celebrate!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Quest is a Canadian Champion!!!

Exciting News from up North!  Quest, at only 10 months of age, is now 
Canadian CH Grayhart's Travelin' Man!  

Quest completed his Canadian championship in only three weekends of showing, handled expertly by Hailey Griffith, winning multiple Best of Breeds over specials and also multiple Best Puppy in Group wins.  Quest, is out of our Wonder litter (Fala x Jam), and is the first to title in this litter.  His littermates, Siri and Presley, have been shown in the US and both are pointed, with Siri, major pointed.  

Quest is owned by Heather Fyfe and Linda Hartheimer.  He will be shown in the US and will be training for obedience, tracking, agility and field work.

Monday, October 6, 2014

2014 GSWC Independent Specialty Show

Trophies for the 2014 GSWC Independent Specialty & WCA Eastern Futurity/Maturity. Not all are pictured. Thank you to our talented club member, KellyAnn Kwiatek of 2K Designs, for the trophy design of the Weimaraner profile with scrollwork.
Sunday, October 5, 2014 was the annual Garden State Weimaraner Club Independent Specialty Show at North Branch Park. The club put on our usual outstanding show and everyone had a great time showing dogs, eating the delicious hot and cold buffet supplied by club members and winning raffle prizes.  As trophy chair, I was in charge of buying and organizing all the trophies and sponsors for them and was pleased with how they looked set up outside the ring and the winners seemed to enjoy them.

Our Grayhart entry at the show included three pups from our Fast Times litter (Parker x Savi), Ice, Grayhart's Going All the Way, CeCe, Grayhart's Almost Famous, CGC, and Reagan, Grayhart's Wild Life, NSD, and two pups from our Rockstar litter (Summit x Jam) Ella, Grayhart's How High the Moon, and Ember, Grayhart Light My Fire, CGC (major pointed).

After the big rainstorm the day before for the WCA Eastern Futurity, it was wonderful that the weather cooperated for our Specialty and was perfect.  The day began with the Sweepstakes and only Ice, CeCe and Reagan were eligible to compete.  What a thrill when CeCe, shown by Steve Lane, who is the breeder/owner of CeCe's sire Parker, went Best in Sweepstakes under breeder judge Michelle Govette!!!!
CeCe, Grayhart's Almost Famous, CGC, owned by KellyAnn & Chris Kwiatek & Linda Hartheimer, shown by Steve Lane, Best in Sweepstakes at the GSWC Independent Specialty Show!!!

In the Specialty Show, judged by Frank Washabaugh, CeCe, shown by Bonnie Lane, placed 3rd in her class. Reagan and Ice looked good in their classes but did not get any ribbons. Ember, was the only entry in the Bred-by-Exhibitor class and littermate, Ella, was 2nd in a large Open class. Ella went on to win Reserve Winners Bitch to the Specialty 5-pt major! I was so proud of Ella, who has had limited showing and showed her little paws off.
Ella, Grayhart's How High the Moon, owned by Brook Ryan and Linda Hartheimer, Reserve Winners Bitch to a 5-pt major at the GSWC Independent Specialty!

We had a great time with many of our Grayhart family visiting.  Nina, with Rigby, Grayhart's Rider on the Storm, TD, came to the show for a visit and Rigby was able to play with her littermates, Ella and Ember, who she hasn't seen since they were eight weeks old.  The day before after the Futurity, we took seven of our pups on a fun run at the park.
L-r: Ice, Presley, Reagan, Ember, CeCe, Savi & Ella

Grayhart Pups at the WCA Eastern Futurity

On October 4, 2014, Weimaraners from all over the US and Canada descended on North Branch Park, in Bridgewater, NJ, for the Weimaraner Club of America Eastern Futurity and Maturity.  My club, the Garden State Weimaraner Club, hosted the event along with our Specialty show on October 5th.  As there are only three futurities offered nationwide, other than Mica, Grayhart Lightfoot River of Light, (Parker x Savi) who was able to attend the Central Futurity, we decided to enter all our other futurity dogs who were available in the Eastern Futurity.

It was truly a crazy weekend, with five pups from two different litters (Rockstars and Fast Times litters) eligible, and we entered dogs in shows leading up to the Futurity to get them trained and ready for the big event.  Ice, Grayhart's Grayhart's Going All the Way, was able to stay with us for almost a month to train and get ready for the shows. Two of our Rockstars (Summit x Jam), Ember, Grayhart's Light My Fire, CGC, with owners Aimee and Josh, and Ella, Grayhart's How High the Moon, came for the weekend as did Reagan, Grayhart's Wild Life, NSD, out of our Fast Times litter (Parker x Savi).  CeCe, Grayhart's Almost Famous, lives local and her owners KellyAnn and Chris brought her to the show and were a great help with all the dogs.  I could not have managed without the help of Aimee and Josh, staying at the house, helping with the six dogs we had here for the weekend!  Trixie and Jam went on a mini-holiday to stay with Reagan's owners.  I have to add what fun we had with all our Grayhart family at the show for a mini-reunion.

The day of the Futurity started out with a big rainstorm but shows are held rain or shine.  With raincoats and nonslip shoes, we showed the dogs and were proud of how they all did among such tough competition, with many dogs shown by professional handlers.  We are proud of how well our dogs showed and three of them received placements.
Ice, Grayhart's Going All the Way was 4th place Junior Dog Futurity class.
 Ella, Grayhart's How High the Moon, shown by Steve Lane, was 3rd place Senior Bitch Futurity class.
Ember, Grayhart's Light My Fire, CGC, was 4th place Senior Bitch Futurity class.

For those unfamiliar with what the WCA Futurity is, this info is from a previous blog post on the topic with information from the Weimaraner Club of America website.

WCA Futurity and what it means

The owners of the stud or dam of the WCA Best Dog/Bitch in Futurity/Maturity receive the coveted "Pewter Dog"

Dual Show and Field Futurity Program

The Futurity Program is a breeder’s classic for Weimaraners, comparable to the Kentucky Derby for breeders of top running horses. In 1954, the Weimaraner Club of America inaugurated the Futurity Program. This program has proven to be one of the most important ever undertaken by the Weimaraner fraternity. No other program has done, or can do, as much to advance the cause of the breed both on the Bench and in the Field.

The purpose of the program is to insure the future excellence of the Weimaraner. Much time and effort has been expended in the past toward the development of the breed as we know it today. The Futurity Program is the means for the continuation of this development and improvement.

The Futurity is also a challenge, or a gamble on the future. The breeder has picked a certain Bitch to be bred to a certain Stud. It is his opinion that this breeding will produce offspring of the desired conformation and ability that will win in competition over the offspring of other breedings that are enrolled in the Futurity Program. To back up his faith in his judgment, he pays moneys into a fund that will be divided among the winners of the Futurity. These moneys are correctly termed “Forfeits” as the breeder agrees to forfeit the money if his opinion of his breeding did not prove to be correct.

Proper conformation for a hunting dog is the basis for the Weimaraner Standard. This standard describes the perfect Weimaraner. While we cannot hope to achieve perfection, the standard sets a goal for the conscientious breeder to strive toward. The conscientious Weimaraner breeder chooses, as a potential brood bitch, a female that most nearly approaches the standard. She will, in many instances, be from proven stock, and hopefully, she has been proven herself, by competition on the bench and in the field. When the breeder feels sure that his chosen bitch is an outstanding example of the breed, he begins to look for a suitable stud dog that will complement his bitch. The stud will also usually be from proven stock, and has also been proven, and has a reputation for producing high quality offspring. The use of proven bitches and studs gives the breeder little better odds, but this should not preclude using quality bitches and studs that have not previously produced. Many fine young Weimaraners were produced in the past from just such breedings. Since the Weimaraner is a hunting dog, the natural instincts of nose, desire to hunt, boldness and independence, and trainability, should also be given equal consideration when planning a breeding for the Futurity.

Because of the date lines that govern the W.C.A. Show Futurity, there are three age groups at the final date of judging. Show Futurity pups vary in age from approximately 11 months old to a maximum of 27 months. These pups are judged in three different age groups. Prior to the judging, the judge is provided with a set of the rules, which define the method of judgment. This procedure is followed so that each Futurity Class winner has an equal chance to win Best Dog in Futurity or Best Bitch in Futurity.

The W.C.A. Sectional Field Futurities are held in conjunction with the various National Classics and Championship Field Trials. The datelines established forthe Field Futurities are such that the ages of the pups in contention range from approximately 10 months to 30 months old. Field Futurity puppies are judged according to the AKC Derby Dog Standard of Judgment.

The goal of all Futurity Breeders and owners is, of course, to record a win in the Futurity. The “Ultimate Goal” is to win both a Bench Futurity and a Field Futurity with the same dog. A breeder or owner can also take great pride in a placement in any of the Futurity Sectionals. It should be remembered that all of these pups are bred for excellence, and a placement in this type of competition is indeed a prestigious accomplishment.
There are also financial rewards for winning.

Friday, October 3, 2014

LOST DOG! Henley is Missing!

Bergenfield, NJ — Have you seen Henley the Weimaraner? This sixteen-month-old male grey Weimaraner was staying with a relative in Bergenfield, NJ when he bolted out the door, possibly after a rabbit, at 1:00 a.m. on September 21, 2014. There have been two sightings that night, but none since. 

Henley is shy, and may run away if you approach him, so if you see him please call 201-456-0640 with a location. Henley is also enrolled with the AKC Reunite pet recovery service (1-800-252-7894 or www.akcreunite.org).  A reward is offered for his safe return. Updates and leads are being shared via Bring Henley Home on Facebook and through the hashtag #BringHenleyHome on Instagram.

On Tuesday, September 30, a professional canine tracking team joined the search for Henley.  Those dogs immediately picked up Henley's scent from the area of one of the sightings and headed north for miles. As a result, the family is concentrating the search in Northern Bergen County and possibly Rockland County, especially in the towns of Oradell, Haworth, RiverVale, Paramus, Closter, Westwood (NJ) and Nanuet, Nyack and Spring Valley (NY).

Henley comes from champion parents with hunting, agility and obedience titles, and his brothers and sisters will be shown at the dog shows in North Branch Park this weekend. But most of all, Henley is a treasured family member that has bonded closely with his owners’ autistic son.

Henley is from our Fast Times litter and we are all devastated that he is missing.  Please help find him. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Where has the summer gone! Cape Cod & other adventures...

This is probably the longest I have ever gone between blog updates and so much news to share.  We spent the summer vacationing, traveling from Cape Cod to Alabama, competing in dog shows and agility trials, visiting with friends and enjoying many of the pups we've bred in addition to our own girls.  There was also a major health scare with Savi, who has recovered completely, that I will share once the blog is up to date.  The summer included show wins, agility titles, legs and placements and great times with the dogs for all the Grayhart family. We were fortunate to have a number of Grayhart pups come visit and loved having them here.

Now that the weather has gotten cooler and the fall is almost upon us, we have switched gears and started field training, planning our fall show schedule which includes our favorite show, my club, the Garden State Weimaraner Club Independent Specialty, that is also hosting the Weimaraner Club of America Eastern Futurity and Maturity and gearing up to breed Jam.  Weekly agility classes are a highlight of our week as both Jam and Savi, along with their handler, continue to improve.

Here are a few pictures from our annual Cape Cod holiday and we are blessed to be able to spend two weeks in this beautiful place.  The dogs consider it heaven!

 Savi is our star swimmer and retriever!
 She loves to swim and impatiently waits for us to go for our multiple walks/swims each day on the Cape, and will even run down to the marsh with the bumper in her mouth.

 Presley, above, spent the summer with us at Grayhart boot camp, learning to swim and just having a great time!
 The gorgeous view from our deck.
 Plenty of room to run through the salt marsh.
 Presley, below, pure joy!
 A favorite activity for Jam and Trixie is squirrel hunting in the decayed wood pilings.