Pregnancy Ultrasound

Time for the ultrasound to confirm pregnancy. LOVE those tiny heart beats!

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It’s finally time to get the girls, Deja and Doodle, in to have their ultrasound to confirm pregnancy. I/we are THRILLED that Deja is pregnant with more than a few puppies! Sadly, Doodle is NOT pregnant 😦

It is such a bittersweet moment when you can be so happy yet so sad at the same time. And then I think… This is EXACTLY why we bred both girls. No matter how much we might try to “control” things, Mother Nature will always have the last say in what will happen. I guess I don’t need to worry about borrowing another whelping box or making a second separate area for both girls. Still sad about Doodle, we are very excited about the upcoming Journey x Deja puppies! I had hoped we would receive an ultrasound photo but unfortunately, due to technical problems, I didn’t get one. Still, watching those little (very little!) heart beats was such a thrill!

Deja will now be started on a maternity diet to help her help the growing puppies. Deja’s due date is June 12, give or take a day on either side of that date. We will have a maternity x-ray done a few days before her due date to count “skulls and spines” to know exactly how many puppies to expect on the big day. I keep whispering in Deja’s ear, PLEASE have these puppies during the day! Alas, it is most common to have puppies in the wee hours of the morning. Still, I will keep whispering in Deja’s ear! One can hope, right?!

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This will be Deja’s second litter of puppies; here is “Pixel”, a puppy from her first litter. 

I hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day weekend! Whether you may be celebrating your mother or be a mother yourself, all mothers should be celebrated! That is exactly what we did for Deja; celebrated her as a Mother-To-Be! We can’t wait to meet her babies!

Well Bred Dogs

Breeding puppies to the conformation standard is more than just “pretty dogs”.

I saw this illustration today and knew I just needed to SHARE it! It so perfectly shows how “purebred” dogs can look so different from well-bred dogs!

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Ahhh… My very first golden looked like the dog in the lower left hand corner. We loved her dearly and she was a very sweet dog but… She just wasn’t “pretty”. Fortunately, she had a wonderful temperament and lived a long, happy life with us. This dog started my life-long love for this breed and helped convince me I wanted not just “pretty” dogs but also dogs that were health tested (long before they were ever bred!)

Health testing is major event here held every year at a local health clinic put on by the Cavaliers of The West breed club. Why do I go to this particular clinic? I just love how organized and competent the gal that organizes and works so diligently every year to provide this service for the dog community. Every year, ALL of my dogs have their eyes dilated and are seen by a veterinarian ophthalmologist. They say “the eyes are the windows to the soul”. They can also be the first indicators of other disease processes!

Dogs over a year of age are also “heart tested” by a veterinarian cardiologist. Genetic heart diseases such as “SAS” (sub-aortic stenosis) along with other heart anomalies can be ruled out.

Then, all the paperwork is sent to OFA (Orthopedic Foundation of American); the registration organization that provides online access to health clearances.

The other big health clearances done in Golden Retrievers are x-rays of hips and elbows. I usually have my regular vet, who is adept at positioning for these x-rays, do them. Again, that information is sent to OFA. For a permanent “clearance”, dogs must be over two years of age. Another registration organization for hips is PennHip. These x-rays measure slightly differently than OFA x-rays; I usually have these done also. You can’t get too much information regarding “hip health” when considering a future breeding.

Copies of these health clearances are always given to new puppy owners. I just believe in total transparency in puppies I’ve bred.

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Deja (8 weeks old): April 2014

Other factors to consider when considering breeding a litter of puppies: Temperament! I live with what I breed and “good temperament” is a hallmark trait for this breed! By following the pedigree of any litter, I can generally predict the temperament of each puppy. Other factors of good temperament is socialization of puppies. We work hard here providing a LOT of early puppy socialization and send home information to new owners on how to continue that socialization for the benefit of that puppy as it grows into adulthood.

Last but not least is Longevity! Sadly, “man’s best friend” is never with us long enough. But through genetic research of ancestors, hopefully they live a long life for this breed. This is a big goal for us in any litter also.

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Doodle (7 weeks old): December 2014

“Looks”, by this time, that is almost icing on the cake! But by breeding to the Golden Retriever standard and after being evaluated by judges through dog shows, our goal is always to produce the next conformationally correct dogs! Do all of our dogs end up in the show ring? No! But many could be shown! And many live in “pet homes” pampered and loved that attract attention and praise when walking down the street! They are “pretty”!

Lofty goals for any breeding/litter of puppies, huh? This is what we’ve done over our thirty years being involved in this breed. Generation after generation, staying true to the golden retriever standard, improving each generation as we continue our life-long love for this breed.

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Grand Champion Tazo: Gone but never forgotten! Blessed to have had this dog in my life!

 

JEnnifer & MArk ~ Jema Golden Retrievers

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Puppies!

Breeding plans and puppies excitedly anticpated this summer!

I think the actual breeding of two dogs is always the most stressful! Many think the most stressful time is the actual delivery/whelping of puppies but to me, that has always been fairly straight forward. It is the actual breeding of the two dogs centered around timing, testing, and trips to the vet that stress me out!

After much consideration, we’ve decided to breed our two girls now. CH Deja is being bred to CH Journey who lives in Las Vegas, NV. Journey’s owner and vet have been wonderful to work with to make this breeding happen. So far, we have had one breeding done and are watching Deja’s progesterone level to time the second breeding that will mostly happen this Friday.

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CH Hillcrest Blessed Crossing to Avalon; “Journey”
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CH Jema’s Deja Brew; “Deja”

 

We have also decided to breed our “almost champion” girl, Doodle. We are going to use frozen semen from our Grand Champion boy, Tazo, who is no longer with us. Doodle’s cycle, like Deja’s, seems to be a quick rise in progesterone (ovulates early in her cycle) and it is only by chance that after taking her in for a progesterone test to see where she was at that we realized she had already ovulated! Because we are using frozen semen, we can successfully breed Doodle a bit later in her cycle so we haven’t “missed” with her breeding. Doodle’s first breeding will be this afternoon.

Tazo (New Champion)
GCH CH Jema’s Mocha Kiss; BISS “Tazo”
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Jema’s Rule The Roost; “Doodle”

Now I had hoped the girls would be a week or more apart of each other in their cycles but that is not the case. We potentially could have them deliver their puppies on or close to same days! Oh boy! In truth, they will likely whelp their puppies, if they actually conceive, a few days apart! I’m already thinking exactly how I will manage two litters of puppies at one time? Hmm??

The reason for breeding both girls is simple. In case either of them have problems, the other can “foster” any of the other puppies. I don’t expect any problems but you just never know. And if I’m going to be home with puppies, I will be home with puppies! It does seem like a good use of my time to give both litters the time and attention they will need to be the most well-adjusted, healthy puppies as possible!

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CH Gaitway-Jema’s Kiss And Tell BISS; “Rooster” as a 9 week old puppy

This week has been hectic; we will be at our vet’s office every day this week! Between progesterone tests and inseminations, we will have one or both girls at the vets. Thankfully, dear hubby is available to help most of the days. Other days, I will take the girls to the vet. The “plan” has been outlined, based on testing, so at least I have the support of my wonderful vet and her staff to help make all of this possible!

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CH Deja and her puppy, “Pixel” (Jema’s Focus On The Future)

I’m looking forward to having puppies again! It has been almost two years since we’ve had puppies! It seems so much has happened in those two years… we’ve lost our wonderful boy, Tazo and his daughter, Deja has now become a champion in that time. We are looking forward to the next generation of champions in the making! Crossing our fingers as we move forward here at Jema Golden Retrievers!