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.