Search Results for Crystal Ball

The Crystal Ball is Broken

Where do I turn for help?

Zula Blue's NewbornWe always feel bad telling people that we have no idea when we can get them a puppy. In reality, we have a plan in the works. Nevertheless, our plans can be thwarted. The female who produced eight pups last year–all females may not this year. There is a possibility of not getting a litter. By chance, we might get more pups, or in the getting, we may realize only a few pups. This year, the litter might be all males, or who knows what sex? The coat color is predictable within some matings, whereas in others it is a guess.

Precious to say the Least

The pup cradled in Cliff’s hands is a newborn blue male–Zula Blue’s first born in her fist-ever litter. Once he arrived, we knew we had a blue male in the litter. We could celebrate his arrival even if everyone waiting (on our waiting list) wanted a silver-gray female. He is precious. We knew the odds of having several blue-coated pups was good, but (in the past) we have mated a Blue Stud to a Blue Female, and produced one blue pup in the litter. A cocky-attitude often leads to embarrassment. We are not much for the unsubstantiated,  or for lofty promises.

Zula Blue's NewbornsThis litter was the kind we hope to get in many ways, but some people were disappointed. It is always the way things work. Zula produced eight pups (3 males, and 5 females). One was silver gray–a female. Anyone hoping to get a silver or gray male, was sorely disappointed.

Some of the eight are Internet-Infamous. Others of this litter go about their business of tending their family, and delighting their circle of influence.

Questions Continue

The questions that usually remain unanswered until the pup’s arrival were answered. The sex, the coat color, and the number of pups was evident. Octavia (the only silver female) always seem to be found wrapped in a pile of blues. Zula Blue's Newborns-2These are precious memories to us, as well to those that got one of Zula’s puppies.

The first two weeks are crucial. It doesn’t happen often; however, it is not uncommon to lose a puppy during this critical period of development. It is nature’s way of taking care of a problem we suppose, but it doesn’t make it any easier. Neonatal extreme care for puppies is not a practical affair. A puppy born with a congenital (birth) defect often succumbs to it. The loss is devastating, and something we hope to avoid. Keep in mind there is a very small window for a viable birth–fifty-three days from conception is a must, and normally the pups arrive around day sixty-three. They may be a couple of days late for a safe delivery too!

Not every pup is the same age, because life begins at a special individual moment. The swimmers deposited by the Stud Dog are viable for about forty-eight hours. When they arrive at the destination (the ripened, and ready egg), conception happens. Many never find their target, and fail to produce anything. There are more than enough to produce a good-sized litter. Nonetheless, some litters are tiny (1-3 pups). With the pup’s being conceived at varying moments–the whelp may produce a puppy who is not perfectly formed. They are not able to live, because all those inner-workings didn’t have enough time to come together. There are many reasons a pup may not survive. Therefore, we realize we need to wait and assess the situation.

Regardless, the first two weeks everyone holds their breath. Breath-abated we rejoice over every milestone. Each week that passes holds sweet promise. Zula’s babies all thrived, and found the perfect forever-home. It is a storybook ending, and we hope they all live long, and continue to delight for many years.

We mention this to shed light on what a breeder must face. It is our affirmation that healthy (well-adjusted) parents produce, likewise, results. Remember the focus is on similar, but not alike. We have raised enough pups to realize that recreating results is a rare occurrence. Duplication is called cloning. Each puppy is a unique creation, with its own pocket of potential. Some people want a second just like the first, and that is simply-put impossible.

The Internet has Brought Change

Breeders have had to adjust to the new technology. The demands are many, and things that would not have come to light (such as mortality) are brought to the forefront. Anyone who says they have never suffered a loss, is either not telling you the truth, or they have not raised all that many. With increased numbers, comes additional risk. This is a risk worth taking. We choose to focus on the positive, and at the same time disclose the reality. You cannot bring a living creature (even a human baby) into your life without risk. There is no fail-safe program. The Information-Age means that there is an abundance of information, and everyone believes they are an expert. Therefore, any new puppy will come with a plethora of advice from your breeder, friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, trainers, and even the passerby. Despite the intrusion on our lives, the Internet has brought many of us together. This is a fact we can celebrate.

Crystal Ball Challenges

Anyone looking for a puppy has questions. Did we mention it is the Information Age? You cannot go far without reading some horror story, or how someone was scammed. Even beyond those facts, we are confronted with other challenges. Yesterday, the phone rang. We were at a place (and time) when Cliff could grab the call. He did so, and it was an inquiry. He handed me the phone.

Caller, “Are any of those pups still available?”

Shela, “I am sorry, they have all been promised.”

Someone behind the caller tells them to ask me if we plan another litter. Caller, “Are you expecting another litter?”

Shela, “I cannot say exactly when, but sometime between now and November.”

Caller……”click–disconnected.”

Maybe I should have said that our crystal ball is broken, but some people might think that is a flippant remark. Maybe you can understand why we use this terminology, to handle all we cannot control.

1623758_10152566279622920_5898911833702537737_nWe Prefer Email

More often than not, the phone call inquires come to naught. Many folks are wanting to price-shop, or looking to find an instantly available pup. They are frustrated that we cannot give them something more concrete. Nevertheless, we cannot make promises we cannot keep. To allude to being certain you can get a puppy by a specific date is to give false hope. If the litter doesn’t develop, what do we say? There are so many unknowns, and things that are beyond our control.

Note: This is Zula’s eighth born puppy. You may have seen her around Facebook, etc. Hazy (AKA Hazelnut). The blue female seen with Skye. 

Availability, Part One

Can You Tell Me?

When Will You Have Puppies Available?

group_mousse-x-stack-d-p-3Gosh, that is the Million Dollar Question with a very complicated answer. :O)

 

5_hattee-x-stackhouse-2016-wk-1-3

Newborn Longhair Weimaraner

Predicting when and what we will have born is a bit like predicting the weather; you know what is coming (or think you do).

 

You have a good idea the probability of its arrival. Nevertheless, not every mother carries her litter to the whelp. So, we might mate a pair and not get any pups. This loss is very upsetting for us as well as others.

(We hope you enjoy seeing the photo of the pup that was born moments prior to this photo. He is a Longhair Weimaraner. At birth, it is tough to tell the Longhair apart from the Smooth Coats within a litter. We use DNA testing to ensure we get it right.)

 

g_mesquite-x-stackhouse-wk1

Litter of Four–3 Blues and 1 Gray Ghost Puppy

Litters come in various sizes. The smallest OwyheeStar litter (which is isn’t really a litter) produced one puppy. Over the years there have been many with two-four pups. More frequently, we see five to seven pups. Occasionally, there will be eight or more pups. The largest litter we were ever involved with was a joint venture. The Mama produced fifteen pups. We could not save them all. Our preference is something between five and ten. Most mothers can handle that many–they have plenty of milk.

 

Our Crystal Ball is Broken

~Here are a few behind the scene issues

Unless it is a first time mating, we typically have some idea of that lineage’s litter size. Even then, we can be surprised. The first time we mate a female with a chosen Stud Dog, it is unknown territory. If we know the ancestry, we can make a decent guess at the outcome. Think of this phenomena a bit like cooking donuts, biscuits or bread. These foods are all related, but each is unique. A breeder of pups learns that they do not control what DNA markers are going to pull through–with few exceptions. Two silver gray or gray parents will produce all silver gray or gray pups. The homozygous Blue mated to any color Weimaraner will produce all Blue babies. A Blue mated to the Gray, or Silver Gray will yield both Blue and Gray Pups–they could be Silver too!

The Longhair Factor

4-hattee-x-stackhouse-week-five-15For those curious about the Longhair, we can share this information. As long as both the parents do not carry the DNA marker for the Longhair (fluffy coat), there will be no Longhairs born in the litter. If you mate two Longhairs, then all the pups born will be Longhair. If you mate a Longhair with a traditional smooth coat Weimaraner that carries a recessive Longhair marker, you expect to get some Longhairs in the litter. How many you get can vary dramatically. We learned the hard way you cannot count on the percentage prediction. We mated Sadie (carrier) to Stackhouse (Longhair) and the first time we did this we had two Longhair pups born (in a litter of eight). The next year we repeated the same mating. Again, we whelped a litter of eight. There were six Longhairs in the litter.

When you mate two traditional smooth coats that both carry the trait, you will also get some Longhair pups. This is a simple explanation. More details and an in-depth scientific approach will be featured in a future OwyheeStar Blog. The point is we cannot control how many Longhairs a mixed parentage litter will produce. Longhairs are relatively unknown. There is not a high demand for them yet; however, interest is growing. We have never mated two Longhairs. That would be a lot of Longhair babies to place. For those concerned about us having an unknown Longhair born–that would be virtually impossible as long as we are sure of who the sire is and the if the parents are carriers.

Predictions

7-zula-blue-x-blue-2016-week-5-11There are many factors out of a breeder’s control. We receive inquiries from people all the time who waited for months (with another breeder) for a promised pup that didn’t happen. Our Wait List situation helps us prevent this type of scenario. Our continuous planning and moving forward process allows us more flexibility. Therefore, even when a litter doesn’t present, another option will. Please accept the brevity of that explanation.

We look at it like a big juggling act and a waiting game. We are all in it together. Those waiting to see what options present and us waiting to share them. There is not a week that goes by that we do not receive many inquiries all asking about availability. Sometimes they write repeatedly and then disappear for a myriad of reasons.

Here are some ideas why answering with specificity is nearly impossible.

  1. Until the litter arrives, we cannot guarantee the pups will be born.
  2. In many cases, we cannot predict the coat color
  3. We can never be sure of the litter size–the number of pups born.
  4. We cannot predict the sex of the pups.
  5. Then there is the human factor–the people who are waiting can change their mind about the coat color, the sex or more commonly the timeframe.

All of these factors contribute to a situation that requires us to embrace and appreciate what is born–regardless of what we hoped to get. The vast majority of our clients are those who trust us and are willing to wait as long as it takes. We so appreciate each of you!

Part Two in this series will discuss other factors that affect availability–it is coming soon.

 

 

This Week’s OwyheeStar News

Summer–we are doing it!

DSC01507The heat is what we expect. It has not been oppressive though. Can I say thank God for air conditioning?

We live in the midst of farm land (on every side). We watch as the crops are harvested. Farmers face many challenges. Equipment failure during the crunch is one thing that plagues nearly everyone who is farming. These big machines are asked to do so much, and (all too) often they work around the clock to get the job done in a timely manner. As I type that, I feel a bit like the hay swather–sometimes we feel like we are working around the clock. In truth, there are too many nights when we don’t find enough zzzz’s. Sometimes we feel like we cannot get the job done, but we do. We do the crucial things, and other things call to us. Puppies, the Weimaraners, farming, hunt-training would all qualify for must-do work. For us, it is vitally important to keep our connection to family. That is not always easy to do when you find yourself working long hours.

Cliff’s wheat field produced a more than decent crop. We didn’t use a lot of chemicals. Our good neighbors (the Kamashige Family) harvested it for us. They did an excellent job with the harvest. Chris Payne, our hay guy, is coming in to prepare the field to be planted to alfalfa. I don’t pretend to be an expert on the farming process. I do know a bit about it from being married into a farming family for the last forty-five years. We are so thankful for the custom farm work these two families provide. The quality of work makes a big difference.

 

  • Sunday August 3  — Wolfie and his Bowtie
  • Monday August 4 — Socializing the Weimaraner
  • Tuesday August 5  Kula and Pilikia

  • Wednesday  August 6 — Gracie is Five Months
  • Thursday  August 7 — Layna
  • Friday August 8 — The Crystal Ball is Broken

Puppies…

Slater, Kyle, and Emily

Slater, Kyle, and Emily

Summer puppies are on the ground. We have been fortunate to have our granddaughter (Lauren) to help us. Without her help, I don’t know what we would have done. She has helped with photos, puppy socialization, paperwork, cleaning, and whatever. (Despite the fact that) we are guarded about foot-traffic due to:

  1. The danger of having disease tracked onto the property–we even spray our own shoes every time we arrive home.
  2. We never have enough hours in a given day.

We have had a couple of visitors this week. Lauren brought her brother Slater, as well as her good friend (Kyle, and his sister Emily) on Friday afternoon. Kyle will be getting one of our pups in the near future. He may also be helping Cliff build some exercise pens for his birds, and training with Cliff.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

On a personal note……

Cliff and I will be going to dinner to celebrate our 45th anniversary. Tomorrow, is my birthday. We are thankful for all the good years, and for our wonderful family. We count our blessings, which are many.

As Always…

Thank you for your love and support. Keep the puppy updates coming. In the weeks ahead we can use them. We appreciate you all!

 

Many blessings and warm wishes from Shela and Cliff–(and the OwyheeStar Weimars too!)

~Thank you for being a part of our lives!

You Want a Puppy

Our Application Process

6_Lacee X Blue 5WKSThe process starts evolving once you contact us with an inquiry; nevertheless, the most important step to get things rolling forward is to complete our application. It is an online application; however, you must get the password from us. We have a lot of folks that ask to complete the application. We answer each one, and provide comments as we do so. There is a percentage of folks that follow through by giving us a deposit to lock in a place on the formal waiting list. We ask for the small deposit, after we have approved your application, and before we add your name to the waiting list.

We get countless requests to save a person’s name, and to contact them when we get something. There is no way we can do that. If you completed an application, and you have not gotten us a deposit, you are not on the waiting list. The one exception is for our repeat clients. Otherwise, we keep adding names in the order we receive the Waiting List Deposit. This is the order of priority. It is still a juggling act to manage everyone’s wants, needs, and their timelines. It is also a guessing game; our crystal ball is certainly broken. We cannot predict the number of pups that will be born, their sex, and in many cases the coat color. There is always a risk that the litter will not be carried the full term. There might be no pups born.

 The Waiting List

7_Lacee X Blue 5WKS-32There is a waiting list. People want to know how long the wait might be, but we make reference to our prior comments. We cannot be certain what will be born. Interpreting the way the waiting list will unfold is another factor out of our control. Sometimes a client on the waiting list cannot move forward due to life circumstances. People change their mind about the sex, color, and timeline. Everything in the entire process is in a constant flux. There is little we can control. We make the best possible decisions based upon the projected need, and we stay thankful whatever is born. If we needed four females, and four males are born–they are still very precious.

 In the End

6_Sadie X Stackhouse WK5-1378_Millee X Stackhouse WK5-13When the puppy comes home it is always smaller than you imagine (or almost always). It is far cuter than expected; our photos don’t do them justice. The wow-factor melts hearts. In fifteen minutes, the pups begin to adjust, and bond with their new family. We are not even a fleeting thought. This is not a sad end; it is the beginning.