Friday, December 5, 2014

A bit of everything

We've been neglecting our blog again but I figured it was time for an update. Below is just some of what has been going on around here.

I've been to a couple dog shows with Ebby, Ruffi, and one with Zac.  We're going to do one more show before the end of the year and then look at some for February.   While at our shows we coordinated and participated in two meet the breed booths.  Breed education is so important.  It made for some really long show weekends but Ruffi is turning into a booth pro.

Working at our meet the breed booth at the Caledon dog show last weekend after winning Reserve Winners Bitch and Best Puppy in Breed with her good friend Jen.  
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Ruffi - Our little lady is growing up!
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At the end of October the Cavalier Fanciers of Southern Ontario held their annual heart and eye certification clinic.  It's an event that I feel is very important and make sure that I am around to help all day if needed. We completed close to 100 exams for both heart and eyes and I was at the clinic from 8:30 to around 5pm.  This is a clinic that any owner can attend, breeder or not.

Most of the Embee crew attended and had their heart and eyes updated. As we all know, Mitral Valve Disease is very prevalent in our breed.  It's not a question of IF it's going to occur, it's almost always a question of WHEN. Our goal is to eliminate early onset cases of MVD from breeding programs, breed knowing the inside and outs of their familial history, and to monitor all Cavaliers closely so that treatment can be started immediately if symptoms start occurring.

An old picture of Mylee helping with an echocardiogram
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The problem with MVD is that it doesn't have a consistent pattern.  Cavaliers can be diagnosed with murmurs early in life and have them never progress.  They can also get murmurs when they are older and have them progress quickly.  There can be many variants and you never know what path it is going to take.  That is why having an annual auscultation by a cardiologist once a Cavalier reaches 5 years old is extremely important for both breeding dogs and family pets.  If you are still in contact with your breeder (and I very much hope that you are!) let them know the results.   Monitoring heart health, feeding a high quality diet and keeping your Cavalier fit  are the best defences against the disease. 

Our news on the day was mostly good.  Molly at 5 1/2 years was heart clear, along with her sons Loki and Bucky.  Ebby and her brother Hansel also had clear exams.  Both Sadie and Zac need to be updated in the next few months, and Nika isn't due until April.  Zoey's murmur (originally diagnosed when she was 6, has progressed but only slightly. It hasn't progressed very much in two years.  My downer of the day was my little red dog.  She just turned 7 and had a clear heart on her previous exam.  She now has a moderate murmur that we will be watching carefully. No matter how prepared you are to hear the news that your Cavalier has a heart murmur, it still completely sucks. Everyone had uneventful eye exams. 

Mylee says if you are over 5 consider having your heart checked by a Cardiologist!
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After getting his health clearances all up to date, Loki received the news that his painting was done.  He's now convinced that he is famous!  Talented artist Charlene Elliott fell in love with one of Loki's photos (taken in our magic photo bathroom!) and approached me about painting him for her collection.  It certainly wasn't a hard  decision for me, of course she could paint him if she wanted to!  I believe that prints of Loki's sweet face will be available to purchase. I will let you know when I know more.

Charz is so incredibly talented, LOOK at this gorgeous piece
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Mr. Famous himself has adorable puppies in Kansas.  I've been very much enjoying watching them grow up from afar.  Every time their breeder/owner sends me cute pictures, its taking all of power to not jump in the car to go for a visit and snuggle.

Can't.handle.the.cute
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I've also been having some fun with my camera again.  I took this beautiful photo of Lolly, now 15 months old at the Caledon dog show.  She's officially known as Brinklow Embee Lollipop and I co-own her with Norma Moffat (Brinklow Cavaliers).  Some may recognize her as Dottie! 

People are usually surprised to learn that both of her parents are black and tans.  She's just my type!
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While Zac was visiting for his show he had to put up with my photo taking as well.  I'm so thrilled with how this boy is turning out.  He is such a sweetheart and completely gorgeous.  He's just the right combination from his parents.

So handsome - Embee's Burning Bright "Zac"
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Poor Riff-Raff and Zo had to visit the Vet to have teeth pulled.  Zoey cracked a tooth right along the gumline and it was starting to abscess underneath.  I of course was freaking out about having her put under anesthesia due to her heart.  Ruffi had retained puppy canine teeth that needed to come out at some point, so I decided they both could go together and keep each other company.  They did just fine, despite my worry and anxiety over Zo especially!

What do you mean I have to go get teeth out?!
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Zo is feeling much better and is back to chewing with both sides of her mouth.
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That's it for now!  As a bad blogger I won't promise anything but I do have more to write.... at some point, ;)  Happy Friday!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Party of Parties - Embee Fam Jam 2014

We held a party at the end of August.......and it was awesome. 

The Embee Fam Jam is a time to get together and celebrate, connect with other Embee Cavalier owners, and visit with family.  For me, there aren't enough words to describe the feelings of pride, love, and admiration that is seeing our puppies being adored by their owners.  It just means the world and makes it all worth it.

A very special thank you to Debbie at beyondthedogdish.com and her husband David for their always beautiful photos.  We had a fun photo booth this year and without their help it wouldn't have been possible.  Also thank you to Jen who coordinated and kept the photo booth running smoothly, and to my sister Julie who snapped many of the pictures below when I was otherwise occupied.  We'll do it again next year!

Getting the party started!  Everyone ate well including the doggies. Handmade cookies courtesy of Madison's owners and dehydrated sweet potato treats.
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Mylee always loves a good party
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Pretty baby Tess, taking it all in and having a blast
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Remy looking adorable
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Bingley checking out the photo-booth!
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Booster, can you tell that this is his favourite spot and person?
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There may have been some brother tail pulling antics.  Fenton pulling his sister Tess' tail! Photo courtesy of David Souch
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Jetta, enjoying the BBQ
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Calvin came to visit all the way from Utah, I haven't seen him since I kissed him goodbye at the airport over 2 years ago.  I was spoiled and got to visit with them for several days, more photos of our adventures soon
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Zoey's sweet Charlie Bear.  Charlie hasn't been feeling well over the past several months. Between Mitral Valve Disease and a incredibly nasty ear infection we've been very worried about him.  His Mom was worried about bringing him but he had so much fun and he even played ball for the first time in months! Love his happy smile in this photo
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Meshayla with her wagging tail, what a happy party girl!
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Madison's sweet little face, she came decked out in bows and stole a few of the boys hearts, one in particular.  Poor tricolour Charlie was head over heels in looove. 
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Max and Jax, the definition of bromance.  These two spent the entire time playing together. Photo courtesy of David Souch
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Molly made sure that everyone had a good snuggle and a visit with her.   She is the Queen after all and everyone needs her cuddles.
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A beautiful photo of Charlie waiting for the ball!  One of the photos I did manage to take
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Visiting with family, what it's all about.  Molly and her son Charlie
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Ball crazy black and tans, Guinness (with the ball) and Bucky in front, Loki and Ruffi behind.  Party girl Ruffi played and played and played.  Photo courtesy of David Souch
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Zoey, Fam Jammed out!
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Annnd last but not least, the Photo-booth  slideshow!   I'm also going to put it up on Our Family page.
Eludemb's Embee Fam Jam 2014 album on Photobucket

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Shameless bragging, a BBPIS win and a new Champion

So we had an awesome party on Saturday but more on that later (with pictures)...

For now I just want to shamelessly brag about my dogs and their recent accomplishments in the show ring. 

Ruffi went to her first show at the end of July.  She is the type of puppy that self taught herself to be a show dog.  I put the show lead on her and she knew exactly what to do.  It's so weird to have a dog like that.  Many Clubs are offering a Baby Puppy class for puppies under six months of age.  She was a week or so shy of that magic date so I thought the baby puppy class would be a perfect opportunity to give her a no pressure and hopefully positive first ring experience. 

I think we'll call it mission accomplished.  Never in my wildest dreams did we expect to bring home Best Baby Puppy in Show.  Really looking forward to the future with this smart and sassy girl.  I love our big orange ribbon, she adores her alligator toy that came with it. 

I edited myself out since this is a very public website but it was me who handled her!

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My next brag is about my good friend Jen and her boy Bucky.  He is Jen's first show dog and they learned how to compete in conformation together.  Their journey started with a bang but like most it had a few bumps along the way.  What that has meant for me is having the best dog show buddy I could ever ask for.  Showing dogs is so much better when you have a good friend to do it with. 

Conformation itself is an intimidating and dare I say; an extremely frustrating sport to be introduced and involved in.  You are at the mercy of someone's subjective opinion and unfortunately that can mean many things.  In our breed it is much harder to finish wholecolours than particolours, and newbie handlers can easily be overlooked for experienced ones.  All part of the game and yet we enjoy it, and even worse end up bitten by that darn show bug!

Needless to say I am thrilled to introduce Champion Embee's The Winter Soldier, owned, handled and adored by Jen and Erik.  He finished the point requirements at his and Jen's favourite hometown show by going Best of Breed over specials, just like his Mom Molly and Brother Loki.  Black and Tans gotta do it in style!

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Super proud of you both!


Monday, July 21, 2014

Importance of Crate Training

Before our puppies are ready to leave on adventures with new owners, I always have their eyes tested by an ophthalmologist.  I do this for my own benefit more than anything but I do feel it is appreciated by their new owner as well.  Mainly I want to know what eye issues (if any) are showing up in my litters and how often they are occurring. It gives me a much clearer picture of the overall eye health of the dogs I am breeding than just testing the parents yearly (which of course we do as well).

My last trip to our wonderful ophthalmologist with puppies resulted in a story I wish to share.

I always strongly encourage my owners to peruse crate training with their puppy.  I do introduce them to a crate here but it is up to the owner to continue moving that training forward.  Most puppies hate it at the beginning, they wine, they howl, they bark, and some will keep you up most of the night.  If you are consistent, use well timed rewards and are super good at ignoring, you soon have a well behaved puppy in a crate.

Mira "Crate training in progress"
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Loki demonstrating some of our crate games


When I have this conversation with new owners about crate training I can often tell that they aren't fully on board.  They listen carefully but aren't really engaged with what I am saying.  Most will go home and give crate training a try, but I think some give up easily or don't bother because they don't see the need.

Sometimes we end up with more than one in the same crate when giving our "go box" command
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Overall the use of a crate seems to be greatly miss understood by most of the pet owning public.  A crate for whatever reason is attached to negative connotations when it should be thought of as a safe place your dog can call its own.

Mylee and Zo taking a time out at a busy picnic
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While at the ophthalmologist an incredibly sweet older collie cross dog was being discharged from having cataract surgery.  He was at least 10 years old and his owner was expressing concern about his welfare to the point of being a bit belligerent with staff.  When they brought his dog out to him instead of being relieved that he was ok, the conflict escalated. 

"I have never been away from this dog for more than a few hours in his entire life."

"Can he see?"

"Does he have to be in SUCH a large cone?!"

Looking down, "His bandage is way too tight, it is making his leg swell!"  (pressure bandage)

And then;  he saw it.   The top of his long collie nose was scraped from just below his eyes right down to almost his nostrils and he also had a scrape on his leg.  The man lost it.  He began to yell at the poor tech who was looking after him.

"How did this happen?!"

"Did you let this happen?!"


"I need to speak to the Dr. RIGHT NOW"

"What the @#$# did you do to him?"

The tech calmly explained to him;  "Sir your dog was extremely stressed while visiting us.   We've had three emergency surgeries today not including your dog.  We had him in a crate to keep him safe while waiting for his surgery but he was barking, thrashing and digging at the door of the crate to get out.  He was becoming extremely agitated and was panting a lot, I was worried that he was going to injure himself in the crate.  I decided to take him out and attach him next to the crate while we worked on other patients nearby.  He was calm if we were was close but very stressed if no one was right beside him.  I think he scraped himself on the bottom of the crate door trying to get free.  I'm very sorry, we did clean it up and put ointment on. It should heal in a few days."

The man's rage grew.

"THIS DOG HAS NEVER BEEN IN A CAGE IN HIS ENTIRE LIFE!"


There were a bunch more of sentences after that but it was all I needed to hear to have my heart break on the spot for that sweet senior dog who had never experienced being in a crate.

At almost 6 months old Ruffi is a little lady about going and staying in a crate
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Even Zo is much better about being in a crate than she used to be
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Even if you don't see the point of crate training now for your lifestyle, please don't let your dog end up being like this poor senior.  It's just not fair.  Undergoing a painful surgery and recovery in a strange place, with strange people is enough for any dog to handle in one day.

Introduce a crate early and train it often.  It is a life skill. You may not need it today but you will need it at some point and be thankful for it. 

Our puppies and dogs are crate trained using Crate Games developed by Susan Garrett

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Molly turns 5 and her son becomes a Champion

She's been the very best companion, mouse hunter, cheerio chaser, wubba lovin', face hugging, downright demanding, rain hating, farm girl momma in the entire world, and we love her dearly.

Happy Birthday to our beautiful Molly!

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Her son Loki decided to give his Mom an early birthday present at the Erie Shores show the day before.  On the first day of the show he went Winners Dog and Best of Winners over a decent entry.  On Friday when I thought things couldn't get any better, he finished his Championship by going Best of Breed.

My boy is now formally known as CH. Embee's Mischief Managed, our first home-bred Champion.  So proud of my stinker and his accomplishments.  Along with conformation we've been having a lot of fun doing a foundations agility class, he's fearless and fast!

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Molly finished her Championship in a similar fashion, with a Best of Breed or two. 

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Maybe her naughty daughter Ruffi will be able to do the same thing one day.  For now we're having training discussions about doing doggy business on wet grass (I wonder where she gets that from?!) and trying to convince her that shoes and bowls are not dog toys.

Would you believe the starving puppy routine? photo ruffibowl_zpsf3518d26.jpg

What shoe?  I don't know what you are talking about! 
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I think we have some more work to do.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Time wasters of the best kind

I've been told I'm a bad blogger lately.  It's true, I am.  Hopefully adorable puppy pictures will make up for our lack of content.

Our Molly kids are 10 weeks old in the next few days.  They've done incredibly well and I've really enjoyed them.  Since the weather has warmed up some, they've been able to spend lots of time outside.

Xandra looking adorable at 4weeksish
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Ruffi and her sweet face.  She is so demanding and sassy already, there is no doubt about who her mother is.
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What's that you are pointing in my face?
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Pretty Secret girl
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Clark, now known as Percy is a true outdoors kind of guy
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Secret looking mischievious
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Zenya alert and ready!
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Ruffi, posing for the camera
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We've also done a lot of evaluations in the last week.  Breeder's are constantly thinking about the future.  We look at which puppies best conform to standard in terms of structure, movement, and type.  We are also always evaluating temperament and thinking about how individual puppies are going to fit into their world.   

With the help of unbiased eyes, Molly's puppies underwent several evaluations with other breeders in the past two weeks.  It's really helpful for me to hear what others think, I know what *I* think, but other viewpoints help form the most realistic picture.  It's impossible to have a breeding program that will move forward and constantly improve, without having unbiased opinions from others. One could argue that it also depends on what you do with those opinions!

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Along with puppies we have been attending our weekly handling classes.  It's been really amazing watching Lolly and Jetta grow up.  I took these photos of them several weeks ago when they were around 5 months old. 

Brinklow Embee Lollipop (was known as Dottie)
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Embee's Jet Black Jellybean (Jetta, was Rodeo), looking pretty balanced for a 5 month old puppy!
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We've also celebrated some more incredible news with our Ebby receiving the results of her MRI scan.  She's matured into such a beautiful girl, and it's an amazing feeling to know that so far she is as healthy as she is pretty.  I really do believe you can have both in this breed.
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And last but not least, I'm hoping to travel to PA for the ACKCSC National Specialty with my sunshine boy.  We have a few other factors to consider before making our final decisions about travelling, but hoping for the best.  Very excited to see so many gorgeous dogs in one spot, visit with old friends, and make some new ones.
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Have a wonderful Easter Weekend.