Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Kippie's Health Clearances

The little guy is two already (of course) and while he'd had preliminary OFA x-rays taken, it was time to get his finals done. OFA processed his films in record time - they received the images on 7/10 and I had results back on 7/15! Kip's hips were rated OFA good and his elbows OFA normal. Kip passed his eye and heart clearances back in March at the Salt City Cluster. Which just left the Optigen/Antegene genetic tests - which I sent out at the beginning of June - all three genetic tests came back clear/normal (prcd-PRA, PRA1 and Ichthyosis) meaning even if he were bred to a carrier or affected he could never produce an affected puppy (Teller is also clear for all three genetic conditions).

What does that mean? Kip now meets all the criteria put forth by our breed club's (Golden Retriever Club of America) code of ethics to be used for breeding. If you are in the market for a puppy you NEED to go to www.offa.org and look up the parents of your potential puppy. If they do not have CHIC next to their names their owners have not completed all of the testing that the parent club as determined are required for breeding stock. The GRCA has not yet updated the COE to include the genetic tests, but honestly puppy buyers need to be demanding answers to these tests too. At least one parent  should be triple clear or both parents need to be tested. That is not to say that we shouldn't breed carriers of these conditions (carriers have one 'bad' copy of the gene and will never be affected by the condition, but could provide a 'bad' copy of these genes to their offspring) - but we need to make sure we breed carriers to clears so that we never produce affecteds. If you're at all a biology/genetics geek you know what I'm talking about - if you aren't a genetics geek go read about Gregor Mendel and his peas, play with some punnet squares and look at genetic inheritance on a very small scale (Ab x Ab).

What doesn't it mean? There are no guarantees in life or in dog breeding. It's possible that an OFA good hipped dog bred to an OFA good hipped bitch will produce a dog with less than ideal or dysplastic hips. BUT it's all about hedging our bets and doing our best by the breed and the dogs we love. As for Kip? He'd really like to go swimming some more tonight as he only got to swim for 45 minutes tonight before he got kicked off the pool deck. Tough break kiddo.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Between thunderstorms...

The boys have gotten quite a bit of pool time - or if you ask Teller, NOT ENOUGH POOL TIME!

Monday, July 08, 2013

CSSC - July 6-7, 2013

This weekend we were off to Rhode Island via Mass for a quick trip to get Kip's hips and elbows x-rayed for his OFA clearances. On that front obviously no results back yet, but the kid was a champ on the table - no sedation in a cradle while three people (including myself) hog wrestled him into a stable position. "You hold the head Erica, that's the most important part because when the head moves the hip moves". Great, no pressure, I'm just the amateur pig wrestler.  The films look really good, nice hip conformation, great positioning, femurs nice and tight in their sockets - all really good things, let's hope the review board at OFA agrees with me!
Back at the hotel Murph relaxes in AC.

As much as I'm no fan of winter I have to say that it's summer driving that makes me a nervous wreck. Why you ask? The roads are clear right? Yes, but - it's the time of year when any travel issue becomes a real life-or-death situation in a hurry. This becomes apparent when I'm in MA with three dogs and a vet appointment for one. In any other weather (it was 95 and anout 60% humidity) I can stash my kids in a fully open van with ice packs, fans, shade cloths and they can be comfortable in the shade for a bit of time, especially when the car starts out cool. In this case though, there was NO keeping the dogs cool unless the car was running. So for the vet appt, that means that I need three dogs in the office when only one has an appointment. Sorry folks, but that's what I've got to do. Not ideal for anyone, but at least Murph and Teller are so experienced in the life of abuse and pathetic animals that they were absolute angels in pop-up crates in the waiting room while Kip and I were in the back room - even when tempted by a stray toddler that 'just wanted to say hi'.

Of course once we were done with x-rays we're now stuck with being too early to setup in the trial site, and too early to check into our hotel - AND too hot to find a place to swim. Thankfully the host club took us in (in exchange for free setup labor from ME) and we managed to get in a good deed as well as keeping everyone cool(ish) and comfy. Good times :-)

Was not Teller's best weekend - just one lousy JWW Q for the boy this weekend - the hardest course of the weekend, super low SCT (32 seconds for the 20" dogs) lots of handling choices - THAT was the one he got through and earned a paultry 5 points for his effort. The rest of the weekend he was silly - running by a tunnel, missing a weave entry or like Sunday's standard run - running amok entirely putting us one save away from the Q there.


Kip channeled his inner rock-star extending his QQ and perfect weekend streak through one more weekend: four for four weekend and 51 points. We're going back to the a-frame work, he's losing A LOT of time on the a-frame in standard - on Sunday loosing EIGHT points!!!


Tuesday, July 02, 2013

ACNH - June 29-30, 2013

Every so often the stars align and we have one of 'these' weekends when I can sit back and smile and think "my boys didn't put a foot wrong all weekend" - it was one of those weekends for us back in NH. Net tally for Teller was two QQs and 57 points and for Kip two QQ's and 61 points. Four double-Q's: eight for eight for team Magica. I pretty much walked around with a stupid grin on my face for the remainder of Sunday afternoon and a good chunk of Monday.
Kip's standard Q on Saturday completed his requirements for his invitation to the 2014 AKC National Championship in Harrisburg, PA (the same event that Teller and I went to in Oklahoma in March). The AKC changed the qualification requirements for entry from 6 double-Qs and 400 points to 4 double-Qs and 500 points (and at least 20 Masters JWW/Standard Q's). I thought the 500 point requirement would put the 2014 trip out of Kip's reach this year. He's by and large still a very green dog - he only got himself into masters in the middle of January and he didn't bring home his first Masters double-Q until the last weekend in February. That's a lot of ground to make up for (three months behind the pack). I was fully prepared to have a miss there, to not be able to get enough trials under his belt to really get him together enough to start bringing home the points.
Sharpie Kool-Aid 'tattoo' from the weekend.
Long story...but, Yes, THAT's the giant
red splotch on my leg in the videos :-)

The funny thing is that as soon as we all returned from Oklahoma Kip stepped up his game. As though a taste of going as a passenger was enough 'koolaid' to get the kid going. He's gone from "wouldn't it be nice to qualify TWO dogs for Harrisburg because it's so close" to "wouldn't it be nice to be able to finish Teller's MACH4 and Kip's MACH at the same trial?" Pinch me!