Shaksper News

An aperiodic blog about Shaksper Norwich dogs - both mine and those in other homes. To see how the dogs are related, use the relationship feature of my pedigee database.

Latest update 6 December 2019

20 Jun 2019
Several people have suggested that I continue my puppy blogs, telling what happens to the puppies after they leave my home. Other people want to know what is happening with my dogs. Hence this blog, which I expect to aperiodically update.

21 Jun 2019
Mandy ("Shaksper Amanda Seyfried") and I are entered in a three-day agility trial in Sanford NC. Also entered is Mandy's son, Boo ("Shaksper Guiderius"), owned by Jennifer and Keith. Boo has done very well in recent agility trials, but this is the first trial that Mandy and Boo are competing on the same courses. And the first course both ran today was Premier Standard - one of the hardest courses in AKC agility.

Mandy ran first. She was running "clean" (no mistakes), but towards the end I heard her tick a bar when she was going over a jump. I thought the bar had fallen to the ground - which would mean we would not qualify - but instead the bar fell back down into the cups that normally hold the bar. So no call by the judge! We finished clean and qualified. Boo, handled by Keith, ran a few dogs later. Keith and Boo ran very smoothly, with no mistakes. So they also qualified. So now the question - for bragging rights only - was who ran faster, Mandy or Boo. When the results were posted, we found that Mandy had run six seconds faster than Boo. Mandy of course is very experienced. I am sure that as Boo gets more experience, he will run faster.

Boo (on left) and Mandy (on right) with their Premier ribbons. Mandy got second place (red) and Boo fourth place (white).

I also heard today that Tavi ("Shaksper Octavia Minor"), owned by Helen, had her OFA eye exam. The veterinary ophthalmologist reported no problems. Yeah! The OFA eye exam was the last thing that Tavi needed to get her CHIC number. As soon as the eye exam results are recorded, Tavi should be awarded her CHIC number.

22 Jun 2019
Mandy's daughter, Siri ("Shaksper Serena Mckellen"), came with us to the agility trial yesterday and today. Here is Siri with two girls visiting the trial.

Mandy had a great day at the trial today. In addition to qualifying on a very difficult Premier Jumpers course, Mandy also qualified on both the Master Standard and the Master Jumpers courses. Qualifying on both Master Standard and Master Jumpers on the same day gives Mandy another "Double-Q". Double-Qs are difficult to earn, and lead to titles.

23 Jun 2019
Bentley ("Shaksper Prince Edvard Williams") and his owner Larry, wife Marty, and son Alex came to watch the agility action. Bentley was recently bite by a copperhead snake. Fortunately Larry noticed the bite almost immediately, killed the snake, and rushed Bentley and the snake's body to their local vet. The snake bite was right between Bentley's eyes, and just missed his left eye. Larry said that Bentley's face swelled up. Fortunately all turned out well, and Bentley did not suffer any lasting effects, other than having his coat shaved to make sure there were no other bites. This was the first time I had seen Bentley since the snake bite, and I was very happy to see that all is well with him. Here is (from left to right) Keith holding Boo, myself holding Mandy, and Larry holding Bentley. Bentley is Mandy's uncle and Boo's great uncle.

Jennifer handled Boo to a qualifying run in Master Jumpers today. But the big news of the day is that Keith handled Boo to a his third qualifying run in Excellent Standard, thus earning Boo his Excellent Standard title! Go Team Boo! Here is (from left to right) judge Rhonda Bermke, Keith holding Boo, and Jennifer.

In other news, Mandy got a double-Q; her third towards her next title. (She needs 20 to get the title.)

25 Jun 2019
Lynn S. sent me this photo of Polly ("Shaksper Hippolyta") with big sister Cayenne (Westie) and baby brother Beau (Cardigan Welsh Corgi). Polly is from Mandy's second litter and already has her Novice Jumpers agility title. Go Polly!!!

28 Jun 2019
Forwarded by Gail:

Hi Papa Blair! Look how much I'm growing! I love to chew the buttons off of Daddy Edmunds trousers, but he is not too fond of that. Love you. Percy ("Shaksper Thane Of Lennox")

30 Jun 2019
Larry, owner of Bentley ("Shaksper Prince Edvard Williams") forwarded me a news link about the FDA's investigation into a possible link between certain dog foods and canine heart disease. The FDA recently released (a third) update on their investigation.

The bottom line is that the FDA is investigating, but no definitive conclusions have been made yet - although the news headlines seem to indicate otherwise. My advice continues to be to feed a good quality kibble, supplement with appropriate cooked or raw food, occasionally switch brands of kibble, and watch the dog's weight. Obesity in dogs (as well as humans) is a known risk factor for illness, and a higher risk - given what we currently know - than any particular dog food.

July 2019

1 Jul 2019
Forwarded by Lynn T., owner of Duffy ("Shaksper Thane Of Fife"):

Hi,

Hope Mom and the Aunts are doing well! It's been a hectic couple of weeks at my new house, so sorry for not writing.

Life in the new house is pretty fun. I'm pretty much the center of all attention (as it should be!). I've trained the humans to wake at the right time (5:30am), give me treats and play with me when I want. Sometimes I bark and try to get their attention, but they just ignore me. I think they are a little stubborn at times.

The bigger human tries to race me around the house - not sure what he's doing but I'm soooo much faster! I can run from room to room, under the dining room chairs, around the couches, over and over - it's not even a contest!

Last weekend, we went back to the playground [editor's note - puppy class] and I got to go through the tunnel, over the teeter and up and down this big hill! I'm still not sure about the down part of the hill - if they'd just put a big steak at the bottom, I'd be there in a heartbeat!! Oh, yeah, and I got to go over the playground without a leash! I followed the humans and we went through all the steps and I got a big piece of cheese at the end. BTW ... just sayin ... the golden, a shepard, and some skinny brown dog just kept running off to the woods - do they not know how to play on a playground?? This week was pretty exciting - we went see the doctor. I'm not really sure I like that place because they poked me, but the doctor thought I was just the cutest!! In fact, after she finished and left, she came back and introduced herself to the humans (apparently, she forgot the humans were in the room when she saw how, yes, adorable, I am!). While she thought I was cute, she did think I was a smidge chunky and suggested (how could she!!) that I cut back slightly on the food. The doc did say, though, that I could have celery whenever I want - Yay!!

The humans are taking me on walks and trying to keep me on a schedule, but sometimes, I just don't want to pee when I go outside. Then, after playing for a while, you know, you gotta do what you gotta do and the rugs are just like grass! I don't think I'm supposed to do that, but it is kinda fun watching the humans get all red and frustrated! I think they are catching on b/c I'm having more trouble sneaking away when nature calls.

So, today, one of the humans had me chase this ball and when I brought it back to her, she gave me a treat! See, all I have to do now is go get the ball, bring it to her and I get a treat! They are soooo trainable - although I can't seem to find the ball anymore - huh!

Oh, yeah, and I got my weekly shower today - the humans have to shower everyday (which I supervise, of course, and jump in when they are done) but I'm so cute, I only have to do it once/week.

The humans played some sounds yesterday- really loud popping sounds, sizzling sounds, etc. I'm not sure why they wanted me to hear those sounds - I just ignored them and kept chewing my chew stick. They did say something about a holiday next week, but not sure what that's about?!

Anyway, I miss you guys - I need to come see you, soon.

The Thane of Fife (aka Duffy)

With the Fourth of July approaching, it is a good time to remind everyone that dogs do not like the sound of fireworks. So if you live in an area where the neighbors set off fireworks, my recommendations is to close up your house on the evening of the fourth, retreat with your dog to a bedroom, and watch a movie that contains a lot of loud noise. Hopefully your dog will tune out the fireworks along with the loud noise of the movie.

2 Jul 2019
Last night was the last class meeting of the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) class that Siri ("Shaksper Serena Mckellen") and I have been taking. So it was test night, where a CGC evaluator tested us on the ten CGC exercises. Siri passed all ten and so now has earned her CGC title, her first AKC title. Go Siri!

In sad news, we heard from Johanna about the prognosis for Ben ("Shaksper Ben Miller"). Ben has chondrosarcoma - a form of bone cancer. To my knowledge, cancer is rare in Norwich terriers - unlike in some dog breeds where certain cancers are particularly common. A while ago, Johanna found a lump on Ben's side, which her vet thought was suspicious. A surgeon removed the tumor (and part of two ribs). Here is Ben after he came home. Unfortunately the pathology report came back with a diagnosis of chondrosarcoma. Now the oncologist who was consulted says that there is no treatment and expects that Ben has nine months to a year to live. My heart just goes out to Johanna and Ben. Ben is only eight years old. (His birthday is in September.)

Johanna plans to keep Ben comfortable for as long as possible. She tells me that Ben is recovered from his surgery (except for a large shaved spot), and recently went on his first long walk - which he loved! - since his surgery.

8 Jul 2019
Lynn S. reports that Polly ("Shaksper Hippolyta") this weekend earned her Novice Standard agility title, and her first Open Jumpers leg. (A "leg" is a qualifying run; Polly will need three to earn her Open Jumpers title.) Go Polly!!!

And Lynn T. sent me these pictures of Duffy ("Shaksper Thane Of Fife") entitled what not to chew on and what to chew on.

10 Jul 2019
Keith and Jennifer who own Boo ("Shaksper Guiderius") have reminded me that Boo has his TKI (Trick Dog Intermediate) title, earned for demonstrating tricks that Boo has learned. Way to go Team Boo! For more on Trick Dog titles and how to earn them, see the AKC trick dog web page.

Here is a photo of Boo looking at a photo of ... Boo!

11 Jul 2019
I heard today that Tavi ("Shaksper Octavia Minor"), owned by Helen, has been awarded her CHIC number. Yeah!!!

16 Jul 2019
Gail send me the following pictures of Percy ("Shaksper Thane of Lennox"):

18 Jul 2019
I have written out instructions on how to do inexpensive titering, Comments are welcome.

19 Jul 2019
I heard today that Boo ("Shaksper Guiderius"), owned by Jennifer and Keith, has been awarded his CHIC number. Yeah!!! Besides the CHIC health tests giving information about the health of the dog, the test results give us important information for the breed.

20 Jul 2019
I received another message from Jennifer and Keith today. Boo ("Shaksper Guiderius") today earned his first double-Q in agility! To earn a double-Q, a dog has to run perfect (no mistakes) on two master-level courses - a standard course and a jumpers course - on the same day. A double-Q is very difficult to earn. Double-Qs lead to titles, and also to attending prestigious national agility events.

22 Jul 2019
Today I remembered to look up to find out if Mandy ("Shaksper Amanda Seyfried") had qualified for this year's AKC Agility Invitational, which will be held in Orlando in December. Mandy has qualified in previous years, but because of "mommy duty" has never been able to attend. For the Invitational, the AKC invites the top five agility dogs of each breed. When I looked up her rank a couple of months ago (when the qualifying period was still open), I was surprised to find that Mandy was in the top five. I thought that the time she took off last fall to have her last litter would knock us out of the top five. But evidently her scores were good enough to make the top five. Now that the qualifying period for this year's Invitational has closed, I find that Mandy is ranked as the #4 agility Norwich. So Mandy qualified for the Invitational! This year, we plan to go.

Jennifer, owner of Boo ("Shaksper Guiderius") and Lynn T., owner of Duffy ("Shaksper Thane Of Fife"), got toether for a "play date" and Jennifer sent me the following pictures:

26 Jul 2019
Today is the birthday of my Mandy ("Shaksper Amanda Seyfried") and her brother Peanut ("Shaksper Victor Garcia") owned by Max and Carrie. Mandy and Peanut are seven years old today. Happy Birthday!!!

27 Jul 2019
Even though Siri ("Shaksper Serena Mckellen") is eight-months old, her mother Mandy ("Shaksper Amanda Seyfried") still cleans Siri's ears. Here are Mandy and Siri taking a nap together (Mandy is at the top of the picture, Siri below). Siri still has never been stripped, although she now needs to be stripped. But right now I am working on stripping her aunt Tami ("Shaksper Tamora Queen Of The Goths").

28 Jul 2019
Sandy (grandmother of Max and Carrie) sent me this picture of Peanut ("Shaksper Victor Garcia").

29 Jul 2019
Keith and Jennifer sent me these pictures of Boo ("Shaksper Guiderius"): In other news, Mandy received in the mail her invitation to attend the AKC Agility Invitational in Orlando in December. It is official! (And yes, we plan to go.)

August 2019

2 Aug
Claudia sent me this picture of Robin ("Shaksper Robin Goodfellow") with his new food puzzle. Claudia says that she filled all 20 compartments with Robin's dinner, and that Robin got it all but it took a few minutes.

3 Aug
Jennifer and Keith have to make a short weekend trip where they can not take dogs. So Boo ("Shaksper Guiderius") has come to stay with me for the weekend. Here are Boo (on the left) and Siri ("Shaksper Serena Mckellen") relaxing on my porch.

4 Aug
Today I met Lynn S., owner of Polly ("Shaksper Hyppolyta"), and Carolyn, owner of Sayer ("Shaksper Soothsayer Of The Ides"), at a spot halfway between our respective homes. Polly and Sayer are coming to stay with me for a week in order to go on a road-trip with me. It is easy to distinguish Polly as she is a fluffy and so a different color than everyone else. Sayer is a sweet boy, but it was fun to watch Sayer and Boo ("Shaksper Guiderius") via for "most studly" with all my girls. Siri ("Shaksper Serena Mckellen") was very interested in both newcomers and managed to get in both pictures.

5 Aug
Before setting out today, I took the rare opportunity to try to get a group photo of Mandy ("Shaksper Amanda Seyfried") with a dog from each of her three litters: Boo: ("Shaksper Guiderius"), Polly ("Shaksper Hippolyta", and Siri ("Shaksper Serena Mckellen"). Getting everyone to look at the camera at once did not happen, but I got these photos: I also got this photo of Siri and Polly laying next to each other.

Today was road-trip day. I first returned Boo to Jennifer and Keith, and then dropped off two of my dogs with my petsitter. Then Mandy, Tami ("Shaksper Tamora Queen Of The Goths"), Sayer ("Shaksper Soothsayer Of The Ides"), Polly, and I began a two-day drive to Michigan State University in Lansing, Michigan.

I heard from Garry that Argus ("Shaksper Arvirargus") had his airway scoped at Texas A&M University, as part of the longitudinal study of Norwich airways. This was the second time that Argus was scoped. According to Garry, there were minimal changes in Argus's airway and no surgery was necessary.

6 Aug
On the road with Polly ("Shaksper Hippolyta"), Mandy ("Shaksper Amanda Seyfried"), Sayer ("Shaksper Soothsayer Of The Ides"), and Tami ("Shaksper Tamora Queen Of The Goths"). We arrived late in the day in Lansing, Michigan.

7 Aug
Today I took the four dogs that I had brought to Lansing Michigan to the Veterinary Medical Center at Michigan State University. All were admitted for airway scoping. Mandy ("Shaksper Amanda Seyfried") and Tami ("Shaksper Tamora Queen Of The Goths") have each been scoped twice before, and are participating in the airway longitudinal study. Polly ("Shaksper Hippolyta") and Sayer ("Shaksper Soothsayer Of The Ides") have never been scoped.

Mandy and Tami were scoped today. The good news is that their airway had changed very little since being scoped two years ago. And neither needed any surgery. Yeah!

8 Aug
Polly ("Shaksper Hippolyta") and Sayer ("Shaksper Soothsayer Of The Ides") had their airways scoped today at Michigan State University. Both have effaced saccules (a mild form of Norwich Terrier Upper Airway Syndrome), but neither needed surgery. Yeah!

Tomorrow we will start the drive home back to North Carolina. Then I will return Polly back to Lynn S. and Sayer back to Carolyn.

9 Aug
Keith and Jennifer sent me this picture of Boo ("Shaksper Guiderius") at dinner.

10 Aug
After seeing some spots on my bed sheets, I flipped Tami ("Shaksper Tamora Queen Of The Goths") over and found that she is in season. This is a month earlier than I expected. I have contacted the owners of the possible stud dogs that I have lined up, as I hope to breed Tami.

11 Aug
Lynn T. sent me these pictures of Duffy ("Shaksper Thane Of Ross"):

12 Aug
Gail and Edmund sent me this picture of Percy ("Shaksper Thane Of Ross").

15 Aug
Today I took Tami ("Shaksper Tamora Queen Of The Goths") to my repro vets at NC State University. Since Tami is in season and I want to breed her, it was time for Tami to have blood drawn to start checking her blood progesterone level. Tami's progesterone level will give us an idea when to breed her.

Afterwards, we went to visit Tami's son from her previous litter, Duffy ("Shaksper Thane Of Fife"), now owned by Lynn T. This was the first time that I had seen Duffy since he left me at the beginning of June. As a young puppy, I had wondered if Duffy had a "fluffy" coat. His coat color and texture were different than his littermates. A DNA test (and fellow breeders) said Duffy was not a "fluffy" ... and they were correct. Now it looks like Duffy is going to have a nice red coat.

We let Tami and Duffy play for a few moments. (Duffy still has some of his dark "guard" hairs.) Tami is not ready to be bred and Duffy is not yet (at almost six months) sexually mature, so it was safe ... but to be extra cautious, Tami spent the rest of the visit in her crate in a quiet room. I have fun playing with Duffy and talking with Lynn and her daughter Kaetlyn about Duffy. Lynn took this picture of me holding Duffy. Kaetlyn has done a great job of teaching Duffy several commands: sit, down, and stay.

Joe sent me this picture of Olivia ("Jerusalem Olivia Lenox"), now twelve years old. With the exception of my first litter (who are now all dead and who did not have any progency) Olivia is the maternal ancestor of all Shaksper dogs. Olivia was my second MACH Norwich. I fully expected that Olivia would spend her entire life with me .. but then Joe came along and made a better offer (only dog, winters in Florida, summers in Maine). I still miss Olivia and think of her often.

18 Aug
Tami ("Shaksper Tamora Queen Of The Goths") had another progesterone check at NC State today. The value was sufficiently high that my repro vets said "put breeding plan into action". So I contacted the owners of the stud dogs, and actived "the plan".

20 Aug
Today Tami ("Shaksper Tamora Queen Of The Goths") was bred with shipped chilled semen. The semen came from two stud dogs - Dusty ("GCH Bunratty's Dust Devil") and Watson ("CH Bunratty's Partner In Crime"), who both live in Washington State. The semen was collected from the two boys yesterday, and shipped overnight to NC State where Tami was inseminated today by transcervical insemination (TCI). The reason that this is a "dual-sire" breeding is to increase the chances of a pregnancy. While it only takes one sperm to fertilize an egg, sperm does not do well being shipped. So the more sperm, the better! Of course, any puppy from a dual-sire breeding will have to be DNA tested in order to accurately determine its father.

But before Tami could be inseminated, I was asked if Tami could be a "teaser bitch". NC State was trying to collect sperm from a light-colored Irish wolfhound. Letting a dog smell a bitch in season increases the dog's libido, which helps in the collection of sperm. So Tami got to be a tease!

The idea of a a transcervical insemination is to directly deposit the sperm past the cervix directly into the uterus (where the egss are). This is done using a long hollow probe which has a camera at its tip. The camera allows the vet to pass the probe past the cervix into the uterus. Here are serveral pictures:

Once the probe is inserted into the uterus, sperm is then squirted down the probe depositing the sperm directly into the uterus. While it only takes a few minutes, this is a procedure done only by repro specialists.

21 Aug
Tami's ("Shaksper Tamora Queen Of The Goths") progesterone level yesterday indicated that today would probably be the last good day for insemination. So I asked the stud dog owners to ship more semen, which was collected yesterday and shipped overnight to NC State. Tami had another transcervical insemination. And afterwards, Tami was again a "teaser", this time for a dalmation.

And now we wait. There is no pregnancy pee test for dogs, like there is for humans. In about a month, Tami will have an ultrasound and we will see if she is pregnant.

24 Aug
Gail sent me the following note and pictures from Percy ("Shaksper Thane Of Lennox"):

Hello Papa Blair! Me big strong dog! This bear weighs more than I do, but I am one determined puppy, and I can conquer it and drag it anywhere I want to!!! I have also going lots of places in the car with Daddy E and Mom and I am liking it a lot! I wuff you!

25 Aug
Mandy ("Shaksper Amanda Seyfried") and I competed this weekend in a local three-day agility trial. While Mandy qualified in six of her ten runs, we were not able to get any of those hard-to-get double-Qs (qualifying on both the Master Standard course and the Master Jumpers course on the the same day) ... each day a single mistake cost us the prize. Mandy did earn three Premier "legs" (qualified on three Premier courses).

Mandy's daughter, Siri ("Shaksper Serena Mckellen"), came along with us to the agility trial ... for socialization, as Siri at nine-months of age is still too young to compete. Today, Julie brought to the trial her six-month old black-and-tan Norwich, Chaucer ("Kaleidoscope Biathlon"), who it turns out is Siri's grand-nephew. The two played and played ... and I got this photo.

Lynn T. sent me a picture of Duffy ("Shaksper Thane of Fife") heading out for a walk.

27 Aug
On Monday, I left the (hopefully pregnant) Tami ("Shaksper Tamora Queen Of The Goths") with friends, took Mandy ("Shaksper Amanda Seyfried") and her daughter Siri ("Shaksper Serena McKellen") to my petsitter, and drove home with just Portia ("Shaksper Porcia Catonis"). Today Portia and I drove north, picked up Sayer ("Shaksper Soothsayer Of The Ides"), and then started driving for Michigan State University. On our trip earlier this month to Michigan State, Sayer had his airway scoped. While Dr. Stanley found that Sayer had mild "Norwich Terrier Upper Airway Syndrome" (for which he did not need surgery), they also found something in his one nostril that confused them ... something that they have not seen in all the Norwich whose airways they have scoped ... and is the likely cause of Sayer's breathing noise. A CT scan did not explain what is in Sayer's nose, and the vets were still discussing it a week after we left. Finally Dr. Stanley recommended to Sayer's owner, Carolyn, that surgery was the only way to resolve the mystery and also help Sayer's breathing. Dr. Stanley wanted to the surgery, and Carolyn wanted Dr. Stanley to do the surgery. Since Carolyn can not easily travel for medical reasons, and I had another dog (Portia) whose airway I wanted scoped, well ... road trip!

Since Sayer and Portia are brother and sister, I had a long talk with Portia and told her that she could not come into season during the two-day drive to Michigan. So what did I find when we reached our hotel on the first day of our trip ... yes, Portia has come into season. Fortunately Portia is not yet receptive to Sayer's amorous advances, but in order to keep Sayer from getting too frustrated, I now have to crate one or the other at any one time. The only good news is that after Portia has her airway scoped at MSU, I can drop Portia off to be bred to a dog in Michigan. I will later have to make another trip to Michigan to pick Portia up after she is bred.

28 Aug
Gail sent me the following about Percy ("Shaksper Thane Of Lennox"): Percy's new favorite napping place. The laundry basket!! Guess I will have to get another one.

On our way to Michigan State, we stopped and visited with Portia's ("Shaksper Porcia Catonis") "intended" - Sammy, ("Abbedale Earl Of Sammywich"). They checked each other out (Portia is on the left, Sammy on the right). Sammy started to court Portia, but Portia let Sammy know that she is not interested yet.

29 Aug
Today Portia had her airway scoped. As I suspected Portia has mild "Norwich Terrier Upper Airway Syndrome"), but did not need any surgery. Yeah! In the late afternoon I drove Portia to Sammy's breeder, who is going to keep Portia until it is breeding time, and then take care of breeding Sammy to Portia.

This morning I took Sayer ("Shaksper Soothsayer Of The Ides") for a long walk before his surgery. Sayer got surprised when some lawn sprinklers suddenly started. Recall that Sayer has something blocking the back of one nostril, which you can see in the CT scan. (Notice how in the picture on the left, in the center of the head there is only one dark spot, when there should be two symmetrical dark spots. The dark spots are air, and the light grey the obstruction.) Sayer had a 2.5 hour surgery to remove the obstruction, but we still do not know what it is. Dr. Stanley reported that the obstruction was "crunchy" when she cut into it. The mass has been sent off to a lab for identification. Sayer will spend tonight in the ICU and hopefully be released late tomorrow.

30 Aug
My petsitter sent me this picture of Siri ("Shaksper Serena Mckellen") meeting a goat. And my friend Jan send me a picture of Bob holding Tami ("Shaksper Tamora Queen Of The Goths").

31 Aug
Today is the birthday of Tavi ("Shaksper Octavia Minor"), Sayer ("Shaksper Soothsayer Of The Ides"), and Portia ("Shaksper Porcia Catonis"). There are four-years old today. Helen (Tavi's owner) sent me this photo of Tavi. Portia is in Michigan being bred. And today I returned Sayer to his owner, Carolyn, in Maryland. Sayer will have to wear his cone for a month, so that he does not disturb the tubes in his nose. Sayer is on strong pain meds after his major surgery, and anti-anxiety pills so that he tolerates the tubes in his nose. Carolyn tells me that Sayer was very happy to get home.

September 2019

2 Sep
Gail sent me this note from Percy ("Shaksper Thane Of Lennox"): Hi Papa Blair! I’m looking for Deer and, oh my goodness! There’s one right there eating Daddy Edmund’s plants. My bark drove it away! So now I have earned my guard dog badge! Hope you have a wonderful day! Percy

3 Sep
Carolyn, owner of Sayer ("Shaksper Soothsayer Of The Ides") forwarded me the following pictures that she received from Dr. Stanley. The pictures are of Sayer's surgery on 29 August to remove an obstruction at the back of one of his nostrils.

We are still waiting for the lab report to say exactly what was the obstruction.

5 Sep
Carolyn, the owner of Sayer ("Shaksper Soothsayer Of The Ides"), forwarded me a copy of the lab report regarding the obstruction that was surgically removed from the back of Sayer's nose. Good news! It was some sort of seed (definitely plant matter) that had gotten stuck in Sayer's nose. So not cancer or anything scary. Unable to expel the foreign body, Sayer's body started encapsulating the foreign object, which cut off air flow in his one nostril. Carolyn tells me that Sayer is slowly improving after his surgery. Sayer still has another three week of wearing a cone so that he does not disturb the tubes in his nose.

I believe that I have three times in the last twenty years or so been to the vets because one of my dogs inhaled a piece of grass that got stuck in the dog's nose. If your dog suddenly starts repeated sneezing and pawing at his or her nose, grass up the nose is one thing to consider.

I was informed by the breeder of Sammy ("Abbedale Earl Of Sammywich") that Sammy was bred today to Portia ("Shaksper Porcia Catonis") by side-by-side AI (artificial insemination). Based on how Sammy and Portia were acting, the breeder thinks it may have been a bit early. Another breeding attempt is planned for Saturday.

6 Sep
Keith sent me this picture of Jennifer and Boo ("Shaksper Guiderius") during their visit to New York City. They are watching an outdoor production of the Shakespeare play "Othello". Here is a picture of Keith, Boo, and Jennifer.

7 Sep
I live about a two-hour drive northeast of Raleigh North Carolina. I am about 15 miles west of the I-95 corridor, and about 100 miles from the coast. Thus I figure most hurricanes would be downgraded to a tropical storm if they come inland towards me. Plus I am on high ground near the Virginia border, so flooding is very unlikely. The building in which I live is newly constructed, and I have a backup generator. Consequently I feel comfortable riding out a storm unless the forecast is very bad.

However because I have a judging assignment this weekend, the forecast for my local county being for tropical storms winds, and not wanting to deal with down trees and power lines when driving to the airport, I took advantage of the standing offer of friends who live in Raleigh to stay with them. So on Thursday just as hurricane Dorian began to bring rain to my area, the dogs and I relocated to my friends' house in Raleigh and spent the night. In the morning I took the dogs to my petsitter, and then went to the airport. When my flight took off, there were blue skies as the storm had already passed by.

I am judging in southern Indiana this weekend. Sadly there are no Norwich terriers in my ring this weekend.

9 Sep
I heard today from the breeder of Sammy ("Abbedale Earl Of Sammywich") that Sammy was bred on Saturday and Sunday to Portia ("Shaksper Porcia Catonis") both times by an "outside" natural tie. Evidently Sammy's penis started to swell before it was fully inserted in Portia, so the breeder held the dogs together for 15 minutes or so until (hopefully) the sperm got deposited. Based on how Portia were acting, the breeder thinks Saturday may have been the best day, as that is when Portia seemed the most receptive. Now we wait for a month until we can do an ultrasound to see if Portia is pregnant. I will drive to Michigan later this week to pick up Portia.

10 Sep
An ultrasound today of Tami ("Shaksper Tamora Queen Of The Goths") did not show any puppies. If true, this is sad news. My repro vets want to do another ultrasound in a week to confirm.

13 Sep
Portia ("Shaksper Porcia Catonis") was able to hitch a ride to the Asheville North Carolina area, saving me a trip to Michigan to get her. So Siri ("Shaksper Serena Mckellen") and I drove west and most of the width of North Carolina to pick her up. Abigail and Edmund, owners of Percy ("Shaksper Thane Of Lennox") and who live in the Asheville area, were kind enough to offer me a bed for a night. It gave six-month old Percy a chance to play with ten-month old Siri. And play they did, with occasional rest stops, then back to more playing. The next day Siri and I picked up Portia and headed home.

17 Sep
Carolyn, owner of Sayer ("Shaksper Soothsayer Of The Ides"), sent me a photo and a story. Recall that Sayer had surgery back on 29 August for an obstruction in his one nostril (which turned out to be some kind of seed) and now for a month has to have tubes in his nostrils and wear a cone so as not to disturb the tubes. Carolyn says that Sayer's appearance when he goes out for short potty walks usually causes questions, and Carolyn explains about the obstruction and surgery. However yesterday this man said (very seriously) "Lady, why did you pierce your dog's nose?". Carolyn thought he was joking so replied "Because he is a stud dog".

19 Sep
Today is the birthday of Ben ("Shaksper Soren Ben Miller") owned by Johanna, Bentley ("Shaksper Prince Edvard Williams") owned by Larry, and Paige ("Shaksper Paige Morgan) owned by Trish. Ben, Bentley, and Paige are nine years old today. Happy Birthday!!!

Recall that back on 10 September, Tami ("Shaksper Tamora Queen Of The Goths") had an ultrasound that did not show any puppies. My repro vets asked to repeat the ultrasound in a week or so, which happened today. Today my repro vets saw two possible sites, but no heartbeats as they would expect. One of the sites is very small, the other is smaller than would be expected. They are guessing that these two sites might be reabsorption sites. Progesterone both on 10 September and today is sufficiently high to support a pregnancy. Blood work today was unremarkable. My repro vets have asked me to bring Tami back in a week for another ultrasound.

So I still do not have a definite answer as to whether Tami is pregnant or not ... although the signs do not look promising.

A Tami selfi while waiting for the repro vets.

20 Sep
Peanut ("Shaksper Victor Garcia"), owned by Max and Carrie, sleeping on a couch.

21 Sep
Since Sayer ("Shaksper Soothsayer Of The Ides") has been getting a lot of attention, Carolyn sent me these pictures of Hobbes ("Shaksper Titus Andronicus"):

22 Sep
Gail sent me this picture of Percy ("Shaksper Thane Of Lennox"). Clearly Percy has way too much stress in his live! (not).

24 Sep
Lynn sent me these pictures of Duffy ("Shaksper Thane Of Fife")

25 Sep
I friend sent me an appropriate quote - Silence is Golden ... unless you have a Norwich terrier ... then it's "Suspicious".

26 Sep
The mystery of the maybe-pregnant Tami ("Shaksper Tamora Queen Of The Goths") continues!

Today I took Tami in for her third ultrasound. This time my repro vets at NC State University saw three spots. (Last time they saw only two.) The attending (senior) vet said that one of the spots looks like a reabsorption site. And she said that one of the spots looks like a possible puppy, except for the fact that it should be much larger given the breeding date. The phrase "delayed development" was mentioned as the vets discussed what they were seeing. But they are really scratching their heads about Tami. I have been asked to bring Tami back for yet a fourth ultrasound!

I also had Portia ("Shaksper Porcia Catonis") ultrasounded to see if she is pregnant. As it was early in her pregnancy, all my repro vets would say was "maybe" upon seeing one spot.

I also heard today from Carolyn about Sayer ("Shaksper Soothsayer Of The Ides"). Recall that Sayer had surgery a month ago to remove a blockage in a nostril. Since then he has had tubes in his nose and has had to wear a cone so that he would not dislodge the tubes. Today under anesthesia, Sayer's local vet removed the nose tubes and flushed everything to remove any debris. Now Sayer is cone free, which I am sure makes him happier. Sayer is under orders for restricted activity for a few days, and Carolyn is to watch for any congestion or nose bleeds.

28 Sep
Over the past two weeks, I have been stripping Siri ("Shaksper Serena Mckellen") doing a little every day. Siri had never been stripped before, and at ten months of age badly needed to be stripped. Here are some "before" and "after" photos: Here is a photo when I was half-way done. And a nice photo that shows (look closely) that her black hairs are really just black on the tips of the hair.

Of course, I look at Siri and say to myself "If I just take a few more hairs off of here, she would look perfect". But at some point one has to stop.

29 Sep
Keith and Jennifer, the owners of Boo ("Shaksper Guiderius") are getting married today. Unfortunately I can not attend, but I was able to attend the wedding rehearsal and the rehearsal reception. Unfortunately Boo will not be taking part in the wedding, but I understand he will be allowed to attend in his stroller.

I heard from Carolyn, owner of Sayer ("Shaksper Soothsayer Of The Ides"), that Sayer is doing extremely well. Sayer has done a 1.5 mile walk without getting out of breath and no nasal sounds. No breathing issues at all. It sounds like Sayer's surgery was a success!

Today Mandy ("Shaksper Amanda Seyfried", Siri ("Shaksper Serene Mckellen", and I are driving to eastern Pennsylvania. (My other dogs are with my petsitter.) This is the beginning of "Montgomery week" - usually the largest gathering of terriers in the world. Mandy and I will be competing in four days of terrier-only agility at the Montgomery Terrier Agility Cluster. (Siri is coming to cheer her mother on.) Then there are the events of the Norwich Terrier Club of America (health seminar, banquet, annual business meeting) of which I am a member. And finally we will attend the big Montgomery County Kennel Club's terrier-only conformation show ("Montgomery"). There are also other dog events, but one has to choose otherwise one goes crazy! I attended my first Montgomery in 1997, and I have attended every year since.

Octoer 2019

8 Oct
Montgomery week is a week of long days - up early each day, go all day long, dinner with friends, and then falling into bed to do the same thing the next day. One wag has described Montgomery week as "Something for everyone, too much for any one."

On Sunday 29 September, Mandy ("Shaksper Amanda Seyfried"), her daughter Siri ("Shaksper Serena Mckellen") and I drove to Pennsylvania. The events of Montgomery week take place is various locations in eastern Pennsylvania. We arrived on Sunday in time so that Siri could participate in some agility practice runs. Siri is still too young for competition, but I was curious how she would do in a venue where we do not regularly train. I am happy to report that Siri did not run out of the ring to go play with the dogs outside the ring (as I feared she might), but rather Siri did the obstacles that I asked her to do. This gives me hope that sometime next year I will be able to debut my eighth generation of agility dog.

Also on that Sunday, Jennifer and Keith, owners of Boo ("Shaksper Guiderius"), got married. Here are photos of the bride with her nephew and Boo, and the groom with Boo. Jennifer and Keith are now in England for their honeymoon, and I am taking care of Boo until they return.

On Tuesday 1 October, Polly ("Shaksper Hippolyta") and her owner Lynn S. earned Polly's Rally Novice title. Rally is sort of the obedience version of agility - handler and dog walk from station to station on a course, and at each station have to do an obedience commend. As Polly is also a Mandy daughter, we had a mini family reunion. I am holding Siri and Mandy (with Mandy between her two daughters), and Lynn is holding Polly. Polly was also awarded her CHIC number last week, meaning that Polly has done the health tests recommended by the Norwich Terrier Club of America. Way to go Polly!!!

I should explain about the decorations in the background. At the Montgomery Terrier Agility Cluster (the four days of agility), many people crate their dogs with others of the same breed. Each year we have a contest to decorate the crating areas (each breed "village") according to a theme. This year the theme was "Witches and Wizards". We have judges who come around and award prizes to the best decorated villages. The Norwich and Norfolk crating area - the two related breeds crate together (we call it "Norville") - this year won "Best Use of Theme".

And yes if you look closely, you will see that I am wearing a kilt. The weather in Pennsylvania in early October is changeable, and one has to be ready for anything. Monday and Thursday were nice and cool, perfect weather for dogs to run agility. Tueday and Wednesday this year were warm; hence I wore my kilt on those days.

Tuesday evening was the Noragility banquet - a social gathering of anyone with a Norwich or Norfolk who does agility (plus guests).

The Montgomery Terrier Agility Cluster (MTAC) is hosted by four terrier parent clubs (one each day) on a rotating basis. At the trial chairs meeting at the conclusion of judging on Wednesday, I was once again elected to be the coordinator (organizer) for next year's MTAC. I have been the coordinator now for six years running. Being coordinator mostly involves work through out the year prior to the cluster.

So how did Mandy do during the four days of agility competition? We had a great Montgomery. Mandy earned four double-Qs - one each day - meaning that Mandy ran without any mistakes (ran "clean") on two hard courses each day. She ran faster than the "standard course time" - the time that the judge thinks it will take the average dog, earning lots of speed points. Speed is not Mandy's problem ... but accuracy is. We had a lot of heart stopping moments ... but Mandy and I pulled it off and earned those elusive double-Qs that lead to advanced titles. In addition, Mandy earned four Premier legs (qualified on four Premier courses) over the four days. Premier courses are the hardest of AKC agility courses, and are very difficult.

Thursday night was the Norwich club's health seminar. The topic was emergency medicine. It was a good talk, but I wish the topic had been more specific to the health issues of Norwich terriers.

On Friday, I drove Mandy and Siri to a friend's house in Maryland where they stayed for the rest of the week. While in Maryland, I stopped and visited Ben ("Shaksper Soren Ben Miller") and Johanna. Ben had surgery earlier this year for bone cancer on his ribs, and I wanted to see how he was doing. Other than not wanting to be touched on his sore side, I was happy to find that Ben wanted to play. After the visit, I returned to Pennsylvania for the Norwich club's annual banquet.

Saturday was spent in various club-related meetings, culminating in the club's annual business meeting. For my sin of asking about our club's finances in previous years, earlier this year I was nominated to be the treasurer for the Norwich Terrier Club of America. Since no one ran against me, I automatically became treasurer and hence a board member. Since I am a (self-appointed) member of the loyal opposition - I advocate in favor of health testing - it is going to be an interesting two years being on the governing board of the club.

Sunday was the big Montgomery County Kennel Club's terrier-only conformation show ("Montgomery"). This year there were 92 Norwich entered. I watched the pretty dogs walk around the ring, played the guessing game of which dog would I choose if I were the judge, and kept an eye out for possible stud dogs for my girls. During the week, Larry sent me a picture of Bentley ("Shaksper Prince Edvard Williams"). I was pleasantly surprised when I read the show catalog to find that one of Bentley's daughters, "Coventry's Rock And Roll Ruby", was entered at Montgomery. She did well, winning the 9-to-12 month old bitch class. After Montgomery, I drove to Maryland, picked up Mandy and Siri and drove home to North Carolina, getting home around midnight.

Also that same Sunday, in New York City was the annual "Blessing of the Beasts". Carrie and her father took Peanut ("Shaksper Victor Garcia") to be blessed.

9 Oct
Today I took Tami ("Shaksper Tamora Queen Of The Goths") and Portia ("Shaksper Porcia Catonis") to NC State University for ultrasounds to see if they are pregnant.

Good news - Portia is pregnant! My repro vets saw two, maybe three, puppies. The repro vets also saw at least one reabsorption site, which has them concerned. They have ordered some medication for Portia.

Tami's (fourth) ultrasound did not show any blobs, so the repro vets confirmed that she is (sadly) not pregnant. They did see some cysts on the ultrasound, and have diagnosed Tami with "presumptive" cystic endometrial hyperplasia. (It is presumptive because a biopsy would be necessary to confirm, but they do not recommend a biopsy.) I have never heard of cystic endometrial hyperplasia before, so I am reading up on it. The treatment they recommend involves Tami getting three shots of prostaglandin a day for ten days. So I came home with a bag of 30 filled syringes. Because I will be travelling this weekend, I will start giving Tami her shots on Monday when I get home. Poor Tami!

14 Oct
This weekend I took Mandy ("Shaksper Amanda Seyfried") to a three-day agility trial in Tennessee. Mandy got another double-Q on Friday (qualifying on two hard courses on the same day), but we were unable to do so again on Saturday and Sunday. I originally had planned to bring Mandy's daughter, Siri ("Shaksper Serena Mckellen") along. But Siri has come into season, and so is not allowed to be at agility trials. So instead I took her older brother, Boo ("Shaksper Guiderius") along, who is staying with me while his owners, Keith and Jennifer, are in England on their honeymoon. On both Friday and Satuday after the trial ended, the club put on a match (practice runs). So I entered Boo in each match. Now Boo already has his Excellent titles, and Keith and Jennifer switch off who runs Boo. So I was curious if Boo would run for me. After being at an agility trial all day watching me run Mandy, Boo badly wanted his own time in the ring! I was pleasantly surprised that Boo ran with me on the Standard courses that were set up. The match also had a games class involving three tunnels. On Friday we ran the game for practice to learn the rules. On Saturday to make things interesting, the club offered money as prizes for the fastest dogs. Boo got second place in the 8 inch class, winning $12 dollars.

20 Oct
Since coming into season, Siri ("Shaksper Serena Mckellen") has been dragging around this toy alien and trying to make love to it. I hope there will not be any alien puppies!

24 Oct
I finally had a chance to put up Portia's litter web page. Details about her pregnancy and puppies will be there, with only major announcements here.

27 Oct
Today is the birthday of the brothers Argus ("Shaksper Arviargus") and Boo ("Shaksper Guiderius") who are three years old. Happy Birthday!

This weekend, Boo and her mother Mandy ("Shaksper Amanda Seyfried") competed in an agility trial in North Carolina. Mandy had a great weekend, qualifying in eight of her nine runs, and earning two more of those difficult to get double-Qs (qualifying on the Master Standard course and the Master Jumpers course on the same day). Boo earned a Master Jumpers "leg" (qualified in Master Jumpers) and also a Premier Standard leg. (Premier courses are the hardest in AKC agility.) Afterward, we took a birthday picture - from left to right, Keith hold Siri ("Shaksper Serene Mckellen"), Jennifer holding Boo, and I am holding Mandy. Jennifer is holding Boo's birthday balloon.

29 Oct
Garry sent me a picture of Argus ("Shaksper Arviargus") and asked me to pass on a Happy Birthday wish to brother Boo ("Shaksper Guiderius").
31 Oct
Halloween pictures!!!

November 2019

4 Nov
At a North Carolina agility trial on Saturday, Boo ("Shaksper Guiderius") handled by Jennifer earned his Master Jumpers title. Congratulations!!! Boo also earned a double-Q, qualifying in both Standard and Jumpers on the same day. (His second double-Q I understand.)

At the same trial, Mandy ("Shaksper Amanda Seyfried") got a double-Q on Friday and Sunday, but dropped a bar on Saturday in Standard.

At a Maryland agility trial over the same weekend, Polly ("Shaksper Hippolyta") earned her Open Standard and Excellent Jumpers titles. Way to go Polly and Lynn S!!!

The progression of titles in AKC agility is Novice (3), Open (3), Excellent (3), Masters (10) and above that is the MACH (Master Agility Championship). The numbers in parenthesis are the number of qualifying runs ("legs") you need at each level to earn the title. And as as you go up in level, the courses get more difficult.

Since Mandy is the mother of Boo and Polly, it was a great Team Shaksper weekend!

6 Nov
Some pictures:

7 Nov
As I do most mornings, after their morning feeding I let Mandy ("Shaksper Amanda Seyfried"), Tami ("Shaksper Tamora Queen Of The Goths"), and Siri ("Shaksper Serena Mckellen") out my gate so they can check out the field and forest around my house. They normally do not stay out long, just long enough to patrol the permimeter and make sure that all is right with the world after the darkness of night. As I usually do, when I got out of the shower I checked on them. Mandy and Tami had come back and were curled up on pillows around my house as they usually do for a post-breakfast nap. But Siri was not on my bed where she normally does her post-breakfast nap. Nor did she come when I called. This was worrisome. I had breakfast, and then called her again. No Siri. Now I am really starting to worry. Had Siri chased some wild animal (deer?) and gotten lost? Or - even worse - been attached by a wild animal like a coyote? I called her with increasing urgency in my voice, but she did not come. Finally I had to leave to take Portia ("Shaksper Porcia Catonis") to her appointment at NC State. We were gone for five hours, and I worried about Siri the entire time. I hoped that when I returned, Siri would be sitting by my gate, waiting to be let in. But when I drove down the dirt path leading to my place and turned the corner and could see my gate, there was no Siri. My heart just sank. I got Portia settled, said hello to Mandy and Tami, and started to head out to search for Siri - although I was certain in my heart that she was gone forever. Just then I heard a sound from my bedroom. I investigated and saw the comforter on my bed move. When I pulled it back, I discovered Siri. Evidently she had crawled underneath, gotten tangled up in my sheets, and - not having anything better to do - settled down for a nap. I chastised Siri for giving me even more grey hairs, even though I was overjoyed to see her. I must admit that I was a nervous wreck for the rest of the day.

8 Nov
Portia ("Shaksper Porcia Catonis") had two boys and a girl. Pictures and the story are on the puppies' blog.

15 Nov
I nominated Mandy ("Shaksper Amanda Seyfried") for the Dog Aging Project.

18 Nov
Today is Siri's ("Shaksper Serena Mckellen") birthday. Siri is one-year old today! For her birthday present, Siri now gets to start training weave poles. Weave poles are the most difficult agility obstacle. Weave poles put a lot of stress on a dog's joints as the dog weaves through the poles. Consequently I do not start training weave poles until a dog's growth plates - new bone growth near the ends of bones - have "closed" (finished growing). For small dogs, this is around one year of age.

20 Nov
Helen sent me this photo of Tavi ("Shaksper Octavia Minor") who recently had her teeth cleaned and also was spayed.

26 Nov
Lynn S. tells me that this past weekend Polly ("Shaksper Hippolyta") earned her Novice FAST title. FAST is an agility game where the handler gets to make up a (hopefully efficient) path among the agility obstacles (as opposed to the more usual case where the judge specifies the order in which the obstacles must be taken). In addition there is a sequence where the dog has to work at a distance from the handler. Congratulations Lynn and Polly!!!

28 Nov
Larry sent me this picture of Bentley ("Shaksper Prince Edvard Williams") with his Thanksgiving bandana. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

29 Nov
Gail sent me this note from Percy ("Shaksper Thane Of Lennox"):

Dear Papa Blair,

Well it looks like I am an adolescence now. At least that's what my Mom and Dad think. Why? Because I am now not only lifting my leg to pee like a real boy dog, I am wanting to lift my leg in the house!!! So far I have been caught before I can do the deed. I am really sneaky and honing that ability day by day. I like to steal things that I know I'm not suppose to have. Mom and Dad seem to think I am pretty cute when I run off with something with my head held high and my tail very tight over my back. Ha ha!! They have a very hard time catching me and usually have to corner me somewhere or offer me a treat to drop whatever it is I stole. They also call me "the destroyer" because I am really good at making something totally unrecognizable after I'm done killing it. Well, it's bedtime for all three of us to pile into the big king sized bed, so I'll say good night for now. I hope you are doing well with the new litter. Mom says she is glad that one of them is a little girl.

Here are two pictures of me. I love to play ball and I'm very good at fetching it and bringing it back for another throw. Sometimes it ends up in the dishwasher and hard to find but I always get it. The other photo is my latest "portrait". Aren't I just so good looking??

Percy

December 2019

6 Dec
Sports and statistics seem to go together. It is no different with the sport of agility. Normally we recognize accomplishments in agility with titles, which reward both speed and consistency. But one can just analyze running speed. There is even a web site that does this. Keith and Jennifer pointed out to me that, in the latest speed rankings for Norwich terriers, their dog Boo ("Shaksper Guiderius") is at position number five, right behind his mother, Mandy ("Shaksper Amanda Seyfried") who is at position number four. As Jennifer and Keith are fond of saying, "Go Team Shaksper!".