The last four months seem to blur together in an endless chain of sleepless nights, anticipation, and the joy of having puppies in the house once again. From Roux’s artificial insemination on Valentine’s Day, using frozen semen collected in 1995, fulfilling Alyce’s wishes for the final Bayou Oaks litter, to the sight of nine puppies playing together in the yard, it’s been an investment of time, money, and love to prepare these puppies for the next phase of their lives and today I wanted to take a moment to talk about each of the puppies and my plans for each as of today.
Forrest was the first born of Roux’s litter and he has such personality. He loves people and is always “looking up”; always looking for the next big adventure. My friend, Alyce (Bayou Oaks Beagles), loved the movie, Forrest Gump, and we’ve had such fun quoting the movie while we raised this litter, saying the lines as she would. I had another theme chosen for the names for this litter but the moment Forrest arrived, we knew that he was Forrest, and that theme has stuck. It seems fitting that Alyce’s “final” litter should be a “dessert”.
We had many conversations in her final year and in one of conversations, Alyce mentioned two young breeders that she felt had a good eye for a dog; good people that she felt were good young breeders. I filed that information away for future reference and when one of those breeders reached out to me when he learned that I was breeding this litter, I told him that if he saw anything that he liked, all he had to do was ask. I am very pleased to be co-owning Forrest with Joshua Grant of Johgra Kennels in Australia and I know that Alyce would be very pleased with this new partnership. ❤
When I flew to Texas last April to attend Alyce’s funeral in Louisiana, I had a connecting flight from Dallas to Houston. The plane was packed and as they started to prepare for departure, I felt lucky to be the only one on the plane with an empty seat next to me. How could I have been so lucky?? I could relax and think about what I was going to say at the memorial service the next day. It wasn’t long, though, before several people began to board the plane and I realized that they were wheeling someone on. That young man was a Mexican-American veteran, a double amputee at the knees who was on his way to Houston for a paralympic basketball tournament. We talked throughout the whole flight and his sweet, positive nature in spite of all that he’d been through was inspiring. I could hear Alyce’s voice saying the word “Precious” as we talked, something I’d heard her say so many times, and I realized that I hadn’t needed silence on the plane to formulate my remarks for her service…I needed a precious young man who had been through a great deal to inspire my words. When I realized that the puppy that I was going to keep from Alyce’s litter was Lt Dan, named for the character in the movie who had also lost both legs, it seemed both ironic and fitting…and as if Alyce had a hand in the decision.
Jenny will be co-owned with long-time friend and breeder, Ellen Parr, and with Lori Bulmer (Canada). It was important to me, when selecting homes for Alyce’s puppies, that I chose people who knew Alyce and for whom these puppies would have special meaning. Ellen and Lori are not only involved in conformation but also in performance events and Jenny will be going to live with Ellen in early July.
The frozen semen used to breed this litter is stored in Houston and for a variety of reasons it made sense to send Roux to Houston to be bred there. I am immensely grateful to Laura Hiatt for all of her help in getting Roux bred and in return for her assistance, Sally will be going to live with her. She will be co-owned with Laura and available to me for breeding in the future but she will have an exciting future ahead of her at Matador where she will be known as “Luci”.
Martin will be joining Sally in Texas next month. My agreement with Laura Hiatt was a puppy in lieu of a stud fee and Martin will be her puppy, in co-ownership, from this litter. He’s a really lovely puppy and I’m excited for their future together. The call names for all of the puppies in Hanne’s litter were inspired by comedians; the registered names all begin with “No…”. I have a long list of names and it was hard to choose which names to use with each puppy but for Martin, going to Matador, the choice was easy. His father is “Lone Star” so “North Star” seemed just right for this puppy from the north.
Moira is the puppy that I would most like to keep out of all of the puppies. I’ve worked for several generations to create this puppy…but…I am breeding again thanks to the generosity of German Carignano, Dukeang Kennel (Argentina), who sent me a puppy in 2013 so that I could start breeding again after my own battle with cancer. This is the puppy that he has fallen in love with and this is the puppy that he will have. ❤
That Leaves Me With Three Puppies To Consider…
There are things that I like about each of these puppies but I’m not ready to make a decision yet about the placement of any of them. They will be “Running On” for a while longer, a term we use to describe time spent with the breeder, growing up for a bit longer to see how they mature. Earlier this week I wrote to families on my “short waiting list”, giving them an update on the puppies. Any one of these nine puppies could be offered as a pet in the coming weeks if we decide that they don’t quite meet the mark. I realize that can be hard to understand, they’re all cute and adorable, but as breeders we want to be very careful about the selection of the puppies and some things just can’t be determined when they’re still so small.
So…thank you all for your patience and support…to the pet families, especially, who are eager for news. I’m anxious to have decisions made, too…but patient enough to make the right ones.
I DO have plans for a fall litter and a litter in early 2021, which I will share very soon…so stay tuned.