It took HOW long...?

When you’re trying to finish a dog, it often feels like it takes a long time. Such was the case with our new Champion, Quinn. (CH Banner Signed Sealed Delivered.)

Quinn’s first show was at 7 1/2 months of age…a little young but we wanted him to get some experience before showing him at MCKC 6 weeks later. He was BW that first day for a major. Professional Handler Andrew Green showed Quinn for those first few months, and before he was 11 months old, Quinn had 12 points, 3 majors and 2 Bests of Breed over experienced Champions.

Easy peasy, I started creating his “finish” ad.

Did you notice the date on that photo? Quinn was just over 2. So what happened in that year?

Adolescence is tough on all of us…and Quinn showed us it was tough on dogs, too. When he went to a few small shows, we figured he’d celebrate his 1st birthday by becoming a Champion. Uh…no. He apparently decided he wasn’t interested in behaving. Wisely, Andrew said to let him grow up. Quinn took a few months vacation, still was disenchanted with the ring and took a couple more months.

Finally, Quinn’s brain clicked back into gear. Well…know how human teenagers go through an awkward stage? That was Quinn…mind was back, coat wasn’t.

A few more months, Quinn turned 2, his adolescent coat started to change. First weekend back…a 4th major and BOB over specials. It seemed to take forever…but when we counted up the number of times he was shown, he actually finished quickly.

Or, as John likes to say, slower is faster.

Quinn+BOB+Major+Finish+03-10-2019.jpg

Feed Me --- Part 2

My rants about dog food are legendary….you can scroll down and see “Feed Me”, a post from some time ago., and our owners have heard them.

Recently there has been a lot of concern over grain-free diets and a possible link to cardiac problems. In a Facebook group someone posted a couple of links to the Petfoodology blog published by the Clinical Nutrition Service at Tufts University Veterinary School. To me, that’s a pretty reputable group so I’d encourage readers who are concerned about their dog’s diet to check it out:

On the topic of grain-free: It’s Not Just Grain Free

Some really excellent questions to ask about ANY dog food company: Questions You Should Be Asking About Your Pet’s Food

And the main page for the blog: Petfoodology

Our "crusty old girl"

CH Marymore Banner Gabriel’s Choice
5/5/2005 – 2/2/2019
(CH Hullabaloo Alchymist x CH Marymore First Triple Axel)

That was our much-loved Gabby. Oh, she was a happy, charming puppy, the California girl who always looked on in wonder at the “cold white rain,” a hoot as a youngster with a glorious coat in the show ring, a great mom.  But in late middle age, she took on the persona of a “you kids get off my lawn” old fart.  We joked her motto was “Only the good die young…I’m living to 18.”

 But after 13 years and 8 months, it was the day the candle in our wonderful vet’s office was lit for us.

 It had been the better part of a decade since we faced saying good bye to one of our own.  We’d held many owners’ hands in the interim, giving them advice and listening to them.  We said all the right things we believed: better a week too soon than a day too late, don’t let their last day be their worst day.  That experience didn’t make it any easier when it was our Gabby.

 In those conversations, we also thanked all those owners for giving such good homes to those puppies whose first breaths were taken in our hands. 

Every dog comes with a cast of characters…

  • Mary Peltier, her breeder who was willing to let us have her, even though I wasn’t her “real friend Pam”

  • Anna Kutsukos Marzolino, who made that happen

  • Gabriel Rangel, who decided she was the one

  • Meg Ryan, who got her from CA to the East Coast

  • Ernesto Lara and Andrew Green, who both showed her a few times and found her as comical as we did…and eager for liver

  • Carl McGill and Molly O'Connell, whose dogs were her "Mr. Wonderfuls", making some pretty puppies

  • Barbara Miller who made her BOS at the Veterans' Sweepstakes, her last time in the ring and first she ever behaved for me!

  • Kelly Sinnott Vrettos and her family with whom she stayed a few times and who couldn’t wait for this "crusty" old girl to come for more visits

  • Our wonderful vet, Dr. Kurt Blaicher, and his staff for making an awful day more bearable.

Thank you all.

 We didn’t love Gabby in spite of her crankiness.  We loved her for it and for every minute of her life….and give us a magic wand and every owner’s experience would be like ours with Gabby.

Gabby montage.jpg

Growin' up

When you do this for a while, you see the passage of time in a unique way.  You measure it in the dogs...what was going on when a litter was in the house, the stories in the news when you were showing them, and most of all, how long they live.

One part of time stands still...your perception of the owners who take your puppies home.  Somehow, the kids are always the apple-cheeked youngsters and gangly adolescents in your memory.  

Last year, it was brought home to us when "Jon" called about a puppy.  We last saw him as a teenager with his family's dog, Shea.  It took a while to wrap our heads around the fact he was now an independent 30 year old...who wound up taking home Tesla from Nola's litter.  Then it was Samantha, who grew up with a puppy from our first litter, now a married teacher wanting a puppy for her new family.

Recently, we heard from McGee's owner who reported that their daughter...now an employed adult missing her Wheaten...had featured him in her blog.  Her post was about a homemade dog biscuit recipe McGee likes...which we are happy to share with all:  https://eatillcutmore.wordpress.com/2018/04/20/homemade-dog-biscuits/

Time certainly flies, doesn't it?

“Being Nice is So Gangster”

Social media and dog owners just seem to go together.  Facebook, Instagram…anyplace we all can show photos of our dogs, we’re there!  Of course, some of us….Pinch The Wheaten, cough, cough…take it to extremes.

Others of us bring out the very best in people and that’s Norman and his owners.  Norman is from Pinch’s third litter.  He has been an Instagram star for some time and garnered many buddies.  When he was under the weather a year ago, they banded together to support him under the tag #NormansGang. 

We’ll let Norman (through his owner Lou) tell what happened next:

Norman

Norman

Well, it stuck; people never stopped using this hashtag.  Then more people started using it.  Then we created a page with a profile for each pup who wanted to be a "Member of the Gang."  Then we started doing fun things for some pups when they got hurt or sick.  That lead to a worldwide gift exchange.  That lead to well over $10,000 donated to charities all over the world.  Next were Hurricane Relief donations over $5000 for Texas and Puerto Rico.  Then another worldwide gift exchange that over 150 people participated in.  We have paid medical bills for pups.  We have paid for Christmas gifts for families with nothing.  Tomorrow a gift goes out to one of the members who had to put down his beloved Lexi.  The hashtag has been used over 21,000 times this past year and there are now almost 270 Members.  It is absolutely beautiful what is happening!!

There’s more exciting stuff that may be coming…but we have to say, we are so awed that one of our guys is spearheading such goodwill in a world that can use it.

Thanks Norman, Lou and Lindsay for making the dog world look so good.

Check out @Normanthewheaten, @normansgang on Instagram…and of course, @Pinchthewheaten too!  (She had to get in on it!)

Being Nice is So Gangster.jpg

How healthy are Wheatens?

It's a question that every breeder gets and we all answer with our general impressions often based upon our own experience and that of the many breeders we all know.

Soon, however, we can know more.  The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America, Inc. has developed a Wheaten Health Survey with the assistance of the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals.  ANY wheaten owner ANYWHERE in the world can fill it out...takes about 5 minutes...for dogs they've owned since 2000.  It's confidential...only aggregated data will be seen.  

Understand...there will be limits to the assumptions that can be made.  The respondents are self-selected...meaning there's no guarantee there will be a cross representation of all Wheatens...and it's not unusual for owners of dogs with problems to respond in greater numbers than owners of healthy Wheatens.  And remember, the survey went online on January 23, 2018 so the numbers will change over time.  But it will help with our general impressions.

So...got a Wheaten?  Then help out...go take the survey!  Here's how:

  • Go to www.offa.org. 
  • On the home page, scroll down to bottom left. Under the word Breeder, there is a blue button that says, “Learn More.” Click that button.
  • That will take you to a page with an orange button that says, “Click here to find the health survey for your breed.”
  • Click and scroll down to Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier.
  • Click on orange button that says, “Answer Survey” and you are ready to complete it. 
  • Please complete the survey one time for each Wheaten (purebred, no mixes) that you have owned between 2000 to the present, living or dead, healthy or with health issues.
  • At the end of each survey, click "Finish" and then, if reporting more than one dog, simply take the survey again.
  • For the survey to take as short a time as possible, be sure you have the dog’s health records at hand when you begin the survey. Each survey should take about ten minutes. 
  • For a number of questions to which you respond “yes,” there will more questions to follow about that condition.

Thanks for helping out all Wheatens!

Mea culpa...

One thing we take some pride in is that we usually respond quickly to puppy inquiries.  We try to give information and referrals and try to get back to everyone within a few days.

Ooops. 

Seems like over the last few weeks, we haven't been all that prompt...and some messages get buried and missed.  Sure, we've been suffering from "puppy brain" brought on by Evie's litter and we've had a LOT of inquiries...but that's not an excuse.

So our apologies to anyone who hasn't gotten a response...and if it's more than a week since you sent us an email, please resend it and we'll try to do better.

Early morning hours

They say babies always come in the middle of the night...and it's very often true for puppies, too!

Evie, CH Banner On The Road Again, had her first litter of puppies in the early morning hours of June 25th.  Sired by "Leo", GCH DIamonds Ain't Misbehavin, there were 4 females and 1 male.  Thanks to his breeder and co-owner, Betty Ann Hillwig, for making it happen.  And as always, thanks to Evie's co-owners, Mike, Michael and Steven, for giving our girl such great attention.

Evie was a No Drama Mama whelping the puppies and as an attentive, nursing dam.  You can follow their progress on their page here.

Ups and downs

Well, this spring reminded us that Mother Nature always wins!

We'd bred Nola, hoping for a nice Spring litter.  As they say, timing is everything and apparently ours wasn't quite right so we didn't greet May with a bunch of puppies.  So she's back in the rotation and will likely be bred in early 2017.

Luckily, Evie, CH Banner On The Road Again, hadn't come into season when we learned Nola had missed.  So her great owners did a lot of scurrying around, we connected with the dog we'd always hoped would be her Mr. Wonderful….and now Evie will have her first litter this summer.  Watch for news and photos in a few weeks.

Ok, Mother Nature…you won this round!

It's a wheaten TERRIER

I saw this meme on FaceBook recently and really got a kick out of it...because it's so true about terriers.  I wanted to share it with visitors to our site because...well, it's also true about Wheaten Terriers.  Sometimes, I think people read that Wheatens aren't typical terriers or are good family dogs and immediately think "Great!  A non-shedding, smaller Lab or Golden!"  Well, nope...they are...Terriers!

And is little Vibe, the 6 month old puppy in our house reminding me of these lessons every day!

Feed me

All of my owners have heard the rant: there is absolutely NO need to feed anything other than a complete kibble to your healthy Wheaten.  That "grain free" and "organic" and "human grade" and many other claims of very expensive foods are just ways to get you to pay more because you think it's better.  And that they are all current fads and some time down the road, there will be a new fad.

Of course, seeing an article from a vet that agrees with me is always welcome!  http://tinyurl.com/h5ach7y 

But here's the important thing in the article...that if you change food to address an allergy or other problem, you are likely missing the real cause of what's wrong with your dog.  And that means that your dog isn't going to get better.

So...hey, if you want to spend more money, fine.  But if your dog has some sort of issue...get to the bottom of it and don't think that some sort of marketing ploy is the answer.

And then there were two...

Pinch's puppies have left for their new homes...except for Tempo and Vibe.  They're growing up here and we're looking forward to what they might become.

December 2015 update...and now there's just one!  Tempo left for a new home recently and Vibe (Banner Still Rock N Roll To Me) is going to continue to grow up with us.  So far, she seems to think that she's winning....

Show me...

We breed Wheatens for a lot of reasons.  As you should have seen from our site, one very big thing we do is show our dogs.  It's important...it keeps us honest about the quality we are producing.  And it's something we enjoy.  

Beyond that, we believe that when you get a puppy from a "show breeder", you're getting a dog that was bred the right way.  They have to be sound of mind and body.

Here's the perspective of another breeder: Ruffly Speaking

And here are some of our show dogs...