Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mac!

Happiest of birthdays to the Yahtaris Miracle litter!  xoxo

Sorry that it is still winter, buddy.  Soon you can swim again. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Happy Birthday to Apolo and Allie!

Allie visited for over two weeks after Christmas, Apolo was exhausted from entertaining her. 

On January 14, the little pups turned two years old!  They are growing up to be the nicest dogs, we could not be happier.  As is tradition, I was able to get a couple photos of the January Ice Moon, from which Apolo draws his registered name.

Cold night again this year, managed to get a little break in the clouds.

I happened to be back at my mom and dad's lake home for their birthday, so Apolo and I ventured out to Maplewood State Park for a long snowshoe.  Most roads in the park are not clear for vehicle traffic in the winter, but make for perfect snowshoe paths.  We had fresh, delightful, unbroken snow for the entire day...and very cold wind.  No matter for us, we were able to hike in to some of my favorite spots, and enjoy them with all new perspective!  Plus, you all know how I love quiet hikes where we don't see any other visitors (the only other person at the park was the ranger, he was clearing the parking area and only gave us a little wave.)

Apolo is becoming as beautiful on the outside as he is on the inside.  I can't wait to see what this next year brings for him.  We are so lucky he is our dog.  :)

Bonus moon shot...cloudy skies were forecast for the full moon, so I snapped this picture two days early, just in case.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Autumn In The North

With the coldest December in 17 years, we are quite removed from autumn now in Minnesota.  We spent many weekends this fall relaxing and enjoying the sunny, crisp days.  There was not much time for blogging.  :)

Some of you know that Mac received a cabin on Wabana Lake for his birthday.  Which really left us wondering what we could possibly do for his NEXT birthday, as this gift is pretty hard to top?!  I'm short on words tonight, but wanted to share some photos from September and October of the things we do (and the wild friends we encounter) while we are far away from the city.

Mac requests all meals delivered to the dock.  There is no need to look for him until the car is packed on Sunday.

Wabana Trail and Wildflower Sanctuary

Running, running, and more running!

Juvenile Bald Eagle perched above a White-tailed Deer carcass.

Apolo Dog!

Eastern Chipmunk fattening up for winter -- I do my own December variation with wine and cookies!

Mac does this all day.  Makes for a sleepy pup on the ride home.  :)

A friendly Junco

We hope you enjoyed autumn as much as we did.  :)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Family Time!

Visiting my parents at the lake...and had a chance to see Joyce of Clarenjoy FCRs.  Joyce owns the lovely Bea, and is the breeder of our young dogs, Apolo and Allie.

I love my boys.  But today I was reminded of how it is the girls who connect the threads of my line.  Bea is granddaughter of Eva, daughter of Nikka, sister of Mac, and mother to Apolo and Allie.  It is a blessing to hold her in my arms and know the blood of all my dogs is there.

It is difficult to describe the spectrum of emotions that flow from being a FCR breeder--joy, sorrow, worry, hope.  Breeding dogs is all of this--my best pursuit yet also my hardest. With cancer striking our dogs younger and younger, it is these moments that keep me from giving up.

Bea remembered her babies, as did all the moms before her.  :)

Bea, CH Yahtaris Clarenjoy Blessed Be JH WC with son Apolo, Clarenjoy Yahtaris Ice Moon Rising

Allie!  Clarenjoy Yahtaris Aurora Isbre

Monday, April 15, 2013

Do You Believe In Miracles?

Tomorrow, the Yahtaris Miracle Litter will turn six.  They had an interesting start.

In 2006, I flew Nikka to Vancouver to be bred to Klute.  We had a positive palpation, but when her due date passed, it became apparent that she had resorped the litter and progressed to a false pregnancy.  I was disappointed, of course, but it was no time for giving up.

Undeterred, we tried again the next year, with a surgical implant of chilled semen on Valentine's Day.  Nikka had extreme suture reaction as a result, which we could not have known would happen as she had never had surgery before.  She was back at our regular vet for observation until she spiked a fever that could not be controlled, and I had to transfer her to the University of Minnesota.  When we arrived, her temperature was 106 F.  She spent four days in ICU, and we were just grateful she survived.  Medical consensus, not to mention all rational logic, was that the embryos could not have persisted, and I set aside hopes of continuing my line.  The dog I had was more important than the puppies I might have had.

On March 9th, I took her for an ultrasound.  I remember sitting in the waiting area with her--not wanting to be there, not wanting to hear there were no puppies, struggling to balance my disappointment against my thankfulness for Nikka's recovery.  In short, I was trying very hard not to cry in public.

I don't remember, exactly, what happened when the ultrasound picked up the puppies.  There was this mix of shock, disbelief, and the sound of heartbeats.  But, there they were, on the screen!  I am certain I swore.  I suspect a few people swore to be honest. 

When I got in the car, I called Jon immediately.  I reached for that famous Al Michaels line and blurted out, "Do you believe in miracles?"  Thank God for Jon, he never missed a beat: "I believe in miracles!"  And suddenly, against all odds, we were having puppies after all.
Proud Mommy Nikka on April 16, 2007

What sticks in my memory about the morning of April 16th wasn't just that all five puppies were born perfectly healthy.  Between Colt's arrival at 6:40 am, and Gem's a perfect three hours later, Seung-Hui Cho opened fire on the Virginia Tech campus, massacring 32 people in the deadliest shooting by a single gunman in US history.  We watched in horror as their birth was forever tied to a time of such national grief.

Mac on July 4, 2007
Today, their birthday is again tied to tragedy in the wake of terrorist bombings at the Boston Marathon.  But there is a lesson in these interwoven threads, and it must be one of hope.

I had a hunt test judge giggle when she read Mac's name, Yahtaris I Believe In Miracles.  She said, "Hey, maybe she named him that because as a puppy she was worried he wouldn't pass!"  I laughed, too, but I have never forgotten that his name came from Jon's quick response on the phone that day.  We picked his call name after Rob McClanahan, the St. Paul native who played not only for the Gophers, but for the 1980  US Olympic Hockey team.  Mac has been our miracle dog from the very first moment.

Happiest of birthdays to Colt, Skye, Bea, Mac, and Gem: five amazing dogs, who left us so boldly to go where they are loved.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Welcome, Sky!

Earlier this month, my sister rescued another Australian Cattle Dog after losing her beloved Charlie.  She found Sky through the Border Collie Rescue of Minnesota, and they are a great match.

When we went to meet Sky at her foster home, she was so friendly and cute.  She promptly emptied the bag Leslie brought containing her new collar, leash, toys, and treats.  While Les was signing the adoption forms, Sky was chewing a hole in the treat bag, joyfully sprinkling little biscuits all over the floor.  She has been a very bright light over the past few weeks.

A cuddle bug from the very first moments!

Sky is quite young, we suspect about 18 months.  She was a stray who turned up in a Kentucky shelter.  She was pregnant (teen mom!) and later whelped ten puppies, with seven surviving.  While most of her puppies have been adopted, there are still a few little gems left needing homes.

Apolo successfully cajoled Sky on her second visit, and they have become fast friends...which is quite humorous as Sky is almost small enough to walk completely under his tall legs, which gives her an unexpected advantage while wrestling.

Happy New Year!  May 2013 be full of love and joy for all.