The dam of this litter, Hazel, has been one of the recent Camelot show stars. She earned her AKC championship when she was Winner's Bitch at the 2014 RRCUS National Specialty in Salt Lake City. Hazel was shown sparingly as a Special and finished in the Top 20 in 2015. She was BISS in the 2015 OCRRC Specialty. In 2016 she was BOS in the OCRRC Specialty and BOB and BIS in the Western Hound Show, both in Silverado, CA. She has had one previous litter, born in August 2016. Five of the puppies from that litter have already earned AKC conformation championships, which earned Hazel's addition to the RRCUS Register of Merit.
I fell for Hawk when I first judged him as a puppy in a show in Chicago in 2006. Later that same year he was Best in Puppy Sweeps at the RRCUS National Specialty. I judged him again at the 2007 Canadian National Specialty and awarded him WD/BOW. In 2008 Hawk was BISS at the Raisen River Specialty and the following day he was awarded BISS at the Canadian National Specialty by Breeder Liz Megginson of South Africa. He is the sire of several previous litters and has five champion get.
The thing I most loved about Hawk when I was judging him as a young dog was his amazing movement, true coming and going with powerful reach and drive.
As this is also one of Hazel's strong points, we expect the Hazel-Hawk puppies to be great movers as well.
The pregnancy has been confirmed by ultrasound, which showed 8-10 puppies on board. The puppies are scheduled to be born by C-section on April 9, 2018.
If you are interested in being considered for one of the Hazel-Hawk puppies, please download our new owner questionaire, fill it out, rename it with your own name (for example, Smith.doc) and return by email to Camelot.
Hazel is still home but I get regular updates from Debbie Bozarth. Here is a photo she sent me today showing Hazel's big belly, which rests on the floor when she sits.
The pups will be born exactly one week from today. Hazel will be coming to Camelot on Friday morning, April 6. Debbie wrote me that she can see and feel the pups moving around in Hazel's belly, and she sent me this photo of the Princess and the Pea.
The whelping box is all set up in my bathroom, ready for Hazel and her brood next Monday.
The day is here. I will take Hazel to Bishop Ranch by 11 am and Dr. Cain will do the C-section about 1 pm. I will video the whole proocess and post a YouTube link later today or tomorrow. Hazel is not happy with foregoing breakfast today.
We checked in at Bishop Ranch at 11 am and Hazel was taken back for blood work, intubation, and initial fluids. At 1 pm I was called back to witness and film the process, which may be seen here. The Bishop Ranch people are fabulous. Here are a few photos from the clinic in the recovery hour and a few taken at home.
Hazel is a very good mom. She is pretty much over the groggy phase of her recovery and paying close attention to the puppies. She did not have an appetite last night but did eat a little this morning. She also went outside to relieve herself and remembers how to use the dog door under the bathroom counter to visit the little garden outside the bathroom where her whelping box is set up.
The chore this morning is to weigh the pups again and record all of the physical attributes to start the daily weigh-in log. Here are a couple of photos of snoozing pups from this morning.
Hazel and pups have settled into their routine and her milk is starting to flow. As is usually the case with a large litter, the pups don't gain for the first few days. I expect their weights to take off now. They are a very strong bunch and don't cry much. Probably because Hazel is so experienced at this mom thing.
I will be headed off for Southern California shortly for the Orange Coast RR Specialty and two Hould Shows. I am being accompanied by Sheli Cardova, who owns two of the puppies from Hazel's first litter, and David Bueno, who will show most of the dogs I am taking. So no more blog until Monday.
Five of the puppies have rear dew claws. This is a dominant heritable trait and one of the parents must have had rear dew claws for the puppies to have them. It has a 50% penetrance, so on average, half of the offspring of a dog with RDC will have them too. In this case it was 5 of 8. We have the rear dew claws removed because, unlike the front dew claws, which we do not remove, we think the rear dew claws are a significant hazard for being torn. The RDC are often "not articulated", meaning that there is not an underlying bone that connects to the bone structure of the foot. In this case, of the five puppies with rear dew claws, one of the males has fully articulated rear dew claws on both feet and a second non-articulated dew claw on his back right foot.
Louise will take the five puppies with RDC to Bishop Ranch tomorrow morning so that Dr. Cain can remove them.
I got back from the dog show trip about midnight yesterday and am unwinding and unpacking today. The pups virtually doubled in size in the four days I was away and as you can see from the weight chart, they are in the rapid growth mode with six already over two pounds.
The pups are strong enough to scoot around pretty fast and Hazel is being a very watchful mom so I took out the bars that are in the box for the first week. They are to give the pups a way to crawl around between mom and the wall of the box, but the pups are big enough now that they are getting stuck UNDER the bars.
With the help of Sheli Cardova, who owns Leo and Galli, two of Hazel's 20-month-old kids, we are assigning temporary names based on coctails. The boys are Martini, Collins, Fizz and Daiquiri and the girls are Margarita, Mojito, Gimlet and Sangria.
No blog the last few days because of press of other duties. Pups are continuing to grow like weeds. They are in the "stinky poop" stage. I don't know exactly why this sometimes happens--our recent Oakley puppies did not go through it. It may be coccidia. This is a parasite that many adult dogs harbor without a problem but it can cause diarrhea for the puppies. Hazel's pups had the same thing in her first litter and about the same time. So we will be getting Marquis paste to treat them all and hopefully clear it up.
One thing I need to report is that I have been mischaracterizing one of the puppies. It turns out that Mojito, one of the show potential girls, is really a blacknose, not livernose. She is light and the nose pigmentation wasn't really strong and I had her down as liver. Today I had two other opinions and we all three agree that Mojito is black. So that makes four black and four liver, just what genetics predicts for a BL x LL mating. As of now, here is the show-pet breakdown:
Pet (all kinked tails): Blacknose male Martini, livernose female Gimlet, blacknose female Sangria.
Show (so far, could change): Blacknose male Collins, livernose males Fizz and Daquiri, livernose female Margarita, blacknose female Mojito.
Here is a video taken Tuesday of first steps. And following are a couple of candids over the last two days. One thing I will say is that the heads of these puppies are awesome.
I took the Oakley pups to Bishop Ranch today for their graduation exam and picked up Marquis paste for Hazel and the eight puppies. This will deal with the diarrhea if it is due to coccidia, as is probable.