The Christmas Tree is Up
We put our tree up early just to see if we could still do it!!! Here is Gracie showing Harley the ropes in that usually fenced off area we call the living room! She didn’t go near the tree – nothing to eat there. He gave it a sniff and then they both stretched out on the sofa for a nap! Yawn. We’ll wait on ornaments until December. One step at a time!!Best to you and happy Thanksgiving!!Nancy & Tony
Older Girl Learning New Tricks
Here are a few pictures of Mesquite out in the field today, south of Prosser in the Horse Heaven Hills. I have been waiting to be sure the snakes are in for the winter.
She is having a good time. She loves to get out.
Everything is going well. She eats good. Just to be sure, she reminds me when it is time to eat! We both love her dearly and are very happy with her. She has adjustedvery well. I think she has trained us.I still don’t have her dialed in on hunting pheasants yet, butshe is comingalong. I have been using pheasant wings, which I hide in the tall grass andweeds. She has no trouble finding them at all. I hide them and tell her tofind the pheasant, and that light the burner and she is off. I can’t figureout how to get her to range out from me farther. She has trouble with arunning bird when she gets the scent she thinks the bird is right there,but of course, the bird has moved on. She has trouble telling fresh scent from an oldscent. That may be a drawback of using old wings. She will figure it outone of these days. Mesquite loves to go hunting. I get a kick out of her,when I go somewhere and don’t take her when I get home, she goes around andsmells the tires on my Tahoe. I guess she is checking to be sure I haven’tbeen out hunting. She is sharp as a tac. She will click one of these days.A big problem is there aren’t enough birds around.~Lyle
Cliff says to keep working on it. You’ll get it. It is amazing how well you are doing in a very short period of time. Her lineage is well known for their ability to hunt. Thanks for loving her so much!
Until Proved Otherwise
It is said we are believed innocent until proven guilty. The Weimaraner knows how to play the role of innocence. Looks are everything, right?
And when all else fails, and you are caught in the act, what do you do? Then there is denial I suppose. It was the neighbor dog, the cat, the kids, or dad. Well, the fuss on my lip was from me cleaning up you know. Don’t you appreciate my effort?
Didn’t I say it was someone else? I am just the innocent bystander I tell you. Now, where is that Puppuccino?
Greetings From Far Eastern Oregon
~November 18, 2017
The week rolled by in quick order. We were caught doing all the typical OwyheeStar things. The more temperate weather (above freezing) is welcome. It allows us to use the hose for cleanup. That is much easier in many situations.
Our winter wheat is planted thanks to Chris Payne. The haystack is gone as well.
Dixie’s whelp was the big event of the week. She had a projected due date of November 14th–Tuesday. She kept her appointment with destiny but only by a bit. The first pup arrives at 11:09 PM. You can guess what we did early Wednesday morning. The cuteness helps overcome the exhaustion associated with the lack of sleep.
This Week on the Blog
Here are the week’s posts. Special thanks to our contributing OwyheeStar Weim parents.
Sunday— November 5 — Service Dog (Porche)
Monday — November 6 — Lap Dog (Ari)
Tuesday — November 7 — Blast From the Past
Wednesday — November 8 — Lucy and Toby
Thursday — November 9 — The Question
Friday — November 10 — Gobble Gobble
On a very personal note
I counted fifty blossoms and buds–surely I missed some in the count. Eleanor, you sure picked a great gift. This cyclamen has produced thousands of blooms since June 2012 despite the abuse suffered. The extreme cold has not taken the last outdoor blooms either. It was 26 degrees when I got up. The temperature has risen, but when I checked out front, these little gems continue to soak up the sunshine. Lesson learned–despite harsh and unkind circumstances we sometimes survive and maybe even thrive. It is a good lesson. I take hope in it.
The rainbow also brings a message in the sky. God’s promise. We must not forget that despite the trend to disregard it. The beautiful sky looking from the valley to the mountains lifts our spirit too. In many ways, the week was quiet except for the arrival of Dixie’s babies. Cliff is at work in the old farmhouse carport. It was probably constructed sometime around 1957 or 1958. There was no such thing as pressure-treated wood. Cliff’s father was by no means a carpenter sort, but he did a great job on this structure. Nonetheless, Cliff is replacing wood at the foundation and doing as much straightening as possible. Our home is smaller than the previous one. Thus, we need this area for the Weimaraners. Once the work is completed, it will help us a great deal. Regardless, there will still be fencing and pasture to finish to make it fully functional. Honestly, there is no end. We are focusing on the most important things and doing what we can.
The dental and medical are a part of our lives. Cliff is supposed to go back to the doctor about his hand. They are researching what options are covered by our Medicare and supplemental insurance. He is slated for a full dental exam the first week of December–it will be great to have a follow-up visit too. We will celebrate Thanksgiving with family at Ashley’s home on the hill. We so look forward to this time together.
~What We Don’t Want
The emergency Vet Vist probably tops our list. It is the quickest way to spoil our celebration. Nonetheless, is there a time when our attention is more divided? The snatch and grab Weimaraner could abscond with some spectacular finds. They are everywhere–the counter, the dining table, the plates, and possibly on the floor. One thing you might overlook–the rising bread dough or rolls. Bread Dough Toxicosis can prove life-threatening. Maybe a toddler is waving a turkey leg. Is that an invite? The opportunist Weimaraner will make the most of this food-driven holiday gathering.
The humans at your table–they are a significant threat to the Weimaraner. Who doesn’t want to sneak the pup a treat? But too many sneaks and the gut can become overloaded even with acceptable food. The sensitive Weim might have a bout of pancreatitis from too much fatty food. Then there are the cooked poultry bones–be sure if you throw them out it is where the Weimaraner cannot steal them.
You Might Consider
What if you made a plate for the Weimaraner that everyone could help share? This plating idea might work. Here are some excellent choices.
- Turkey — no bones
- Green beans (plain)
- Squash or Pumpkin (plain)
- Apple slices (without the seeds)
~ to mention a few
- Mashed Potatoes
- Corn on the Cob
- Nuts (pecans and Macadamia)
- Grapes and Raisins
You can bake a Weim cookie or a Weim pie that forgoes the seasonings. Eggs and pumpkin and a tiny bit of milk will bake up nicely. You could make the crust using treats. Possibly make them in a silicone cupcake pan or cupcake papers. We are not saying it cannot be a lot of fun for the Weimar too. However, no one wants the unthinkable to spoil all the fun.
When do you expect your next litter?
A simple answer it would make things oh so much easier. The complexities of answering what others imagine as absolute, it anything but the case. No one knows this more than people who have waited for a lengthy season to get an OwyheeStar puppy. (Thank you, to everyone who stuck it out and stayed loyal. To those whose trust was implicit.)
The inexplicable craziness associated with raising the Weimaraner cannot be precisely defined. Nonetheless, we would like to shed some light on things from our side of the fence. We understand that many folks who come to us in search of the Weimaraner have waited until the eleventh hour and now they are in the hope of finding a pup sooner rather than later. On a rare occasion, we might see ourselves with an available pup upon your inquiry. This scenario could happen if the folks on the wait list are not ready (have a different timeline). There are the other factors too–the sex, the coat color, and the coat length to mention the three biggies. Also, for example, some folks want to hunt upland game, truffles, or sheds. We are looking for the Weims with the most hunt-potential for those engaged in hunting. During our Discovery and Placement Test process, we ascertain whether the pup is more inclined towards scent, and other cues. That doesn’t mean the less hunt-potential pup could not be a suitable hunting companion; however, we hope to place those pups with the Companion Weim folks. Other than the Weim-seeker’s preferences, availability and litters are affected by factors we often have little to no control over.
The female’s heat cycle might not be entirely consistent. Certain age-appropriate females will come into season every six months–others not so much. We figure on average any female might cycle about every seven months; however, there are times when our best guess is off. Last winter, for example, all the girls came into heat way behind schedule despite the chagrin of many. The lateness caused the arrival we got to be later and for some people, this time change was not going to work.
The complexity of mating cannot be understated. There is a reason we have more than one sire–we don’t keep breeding back to the same lineage. The right sire choice is essential. In some situations, we have had the luxury to use multiple sires; however, many times we have but one option. Or, where we have mixed in the Longhairs, we might have one option if we don’t want any Longhair pups in a litter. For example, Boone doesn’t carry the Longhair DNA marker–whereas, Stackhouse is a Longhair. Any female that carries the Longhair marker and is mated to Stackhouse would produce some Longhair pups. All this planning doesn’t always end up producing a litter.
Who You Get Nothing
There are times when a mating happens, and it doesn’t produce pups. We suspect this happens a lot more than anyone talks about because we get inquiries from folks who have waited elsewhere and after two matings they never got a puppy. We also know, as we talked about with the four (from the Callie X Zee litter), not every female is a good producer. Vidalia never produced a single pup despite many efforts. Ginger and Cindee inconsistently produced small litters. Only Mousse produced the average-sized litter consistently. Who would have guessed? The lack of litters from a mating thing is not the end of the challenges.
To list a few other things–some females do not carry the litter to term. You watch their tummy grow, and they miscarry. Yes, it happens to the Weimaraner just as it does to some women. Or the litter might only produce one or two pups. All that time spent hoping, and you have not much to show for it. Those folks waiting for a puppy can become disillusioned. We can experience these feelings too! We have to shake off anything negative quickly. After waiting, and the pups arrive new information is available. Sometimes it is not as we hoped.
What a Year
2017 was such a year. Our litters leaned toward producing more males than females. Who can guess why? The opposite has happened in the past. When there are only one or two females to six males, soon the Wait List becomes prevalently female oriented. It would be easy to sigh and grow frustrated. Instead, we opt to rejoice in each pup as they arrive.
Our Wait List
We hope you can better understand how difficult the earlier question is to answer. When is our next litter expected? Those simple words imply more than a matter of who is pregnant. Reading between the lines, we believe the real question to be–when could I expect an OwyheeStar puppy? It is complicated. It is impossible to reply with any measure of accuracy. For some, they might turn in an application and find the option to move forward coming swiftly. Others, while vetted for some time must continue to wait. Know one thing–we are waiting and hoping with you. Nonetheless, we can only raise pups for which we know we have a quality home. That means, although we might hope for seven females, we cannot mate three additional litters to meet a quota.
We leave 2017 with the shortest Wait List in a decade. Therefore, we assume that the wait will be less. Nevertheless, keep in mind, we have to wait for the girls to be in heat to mate. Then is nine long weeks of waiting until the whelp (or if you prefer–the delivery). It is then we learn the outcome of the former mating. Typically, we mention it is between four and six months on average. Sometimes longer depends upon what is born and who is on the Wait List. People imagine if they could look at all the details they could figure out what is going to happen. Can I say that is laughable? Cliff and I have been raising pups for forty years. We continue to be surprised. The juggling act and the unknows require us to breathe and to (patiently) wait to see what happens.
From Liberty Lake, Washington
Toby is sure a great dog. Full of love and cuddles and super soft. He’s got a great nose and is getting more and more adventurous!The adventures of Lucy Goose she was happy to get out and get those legs moving today. She treed a porcupine and I didn’t think to take one, only to get her away from it.It’s sure amazing what healthy dogs can do for your health! ~ Jeff
Weaving DNA is tricky. Very often, you rely on experience, information gathered, and your best hunch. At OwyheeStar, we have kept the DNA pools fairly consistent. The way in which we did this was a bit too complicated to explain. Overall, the result has been similar–looks, personality, and general temperament. Even so, there are differences. At one point in time, we were desperately trying to get a particular mating to achieve a specific goal. There were many failed attempts–matings that didn’t produce a litter. Nonetheless, we kept trying and eventually, we had four females born to a litter of four pups (Cindee, Ginger, Vidalia, and Mousse). Some of these you will recognize. The parents of the four were Callie and Zee–in case you are interested.
Vidalia never produced a litter–not even a single pup. She probably was the finest-looking if you want to nitpick. Cindee and Ginger produced a few small litters of very lovely and well-received pups. Mousse was the one who has produced multiple litters and a couple of title-earning Weims–Juniper and Molly. Juniper has a show title and the NAVHDA Natural Ability; Molly has the latter as well.
Hollee (also pictured) was nearly the same DNA pool (missing one-leg in her pedigree if you want to compare to the other girls). She was a single pup born to Deli in a litter sired by Zee. Honestly, when Cliff said we would keep them all, I shuttered. It is expensive and a lot of extra work–impossible to give everyone the attention you would like too! Nonetheless, over time Cliff’s decision proved correct.
The fenced garden sat alongside our backyard. The pumpkin you see escaped the garden fence to the driveway. I pulled it along the fencing to make sure it was out of the way. For the photo, I turned this golden gem around. The nibblers were able to get their teeth and tongue through the fence to help themselves to the super healthy snack. Not only did they enjoy this but many of the prized heirloom specimen tomatoes turned out to be hollow at picking. It is amazing how they got their tongues through the fence and emptied the red gems. Therefore, you might say a fence is a fence, but it might not stop the Weimaraner from finding a way to get what they deem theirs for the taking.
What Does Your Weim Do?
We who love the breed know they are the ultimate velcro dog. This attribute can work against us; however, most Weimlovers are addicted to this trait. New to the Weimaraner–you might be shocked at a large breed being this clingy. They are also prone to separation anxiety.
How This Works
When present you are their security blanket. When their humans are absent, the unprepared Weimaraner may freak out. All too many have ended up in rescue or a shelter because unaware admirers acquired them only to discover they couldn’t live with them. Not understanding the separation anxiety lead to unearned freedom and coming home to destruction. It might be your favorite shoes. The sofa arm by the front window or the carpet might be the target of the Weim’s reaction to feeling abandoned. The arm-missing-castoff-sofas greet the unsuspecting returning owner. Most often the human counterpart is perplexed. They might have had a Weim before that didn’t behave like this; however, in this instance, something went awry. Your absence causes them to act out–typically chewing up something to relieve their stress. They fear you will not return to them. You forgot them. The amount of destruction can vary. Sometimes the Weimaraner can escape the environment and give chase looking for you–desperate to find you. The last scenario has ended in a loss more times than you can imagine.
Twists and Turns
Separation anxiety can take other forms. Some Weims sulk and then chew because they are upset with you. Nevertheless, they might withhold their love and refuse to even look at you. When your response is heartbrokenness and trying to win back their affection, they have the upper paw. Now, they can expand their toolbox with extreme manipulation. So, they can chew to relieve stress. They can chew because it has become a habit. They can chew to punish you. For those who are less committed, you can see how this can spin out of control.
Spiraling Out of Control
When coupled with incessant barking (and your neighbors are reporting you to the police) the destructive Weimaraner soon becomes abhorrent. People imagine that they would never dump their Weim at a shelter. Unfortunately, it happens too often. Therefore, our application process looks to discover the potential for failure with the breed as well as to gather the vital information necessary. Someone who is offended by us wanting the information may look elsewhere for their Weimaraner. It has to be that way. There are too many ways things can go awry–even for the most dog savvy person.