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 21 Aug 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"):


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 Apr
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.