• @jengosmonkey
    That photo💕should be on a postcard or greeting card!! So sweet!🥰🐾❤

  • I suppose I should wrap this puppy chapter up...

    Kind of struggling with my feelings on this…
    It’s been an incredible experience. Working with a tenured Basenji Breeding expert has given me invaluable insight in the breed. Especially the standard. I’m no expert now, but I think I can understand it better and talk about it now. I also believe I have much more appreciation for the choices breeders are faced with while selecting traits. Again, I’m no expert now, but I understand better.

    I also appreciate the costs much better now. Showing to demonstrate a championship line (entry fees, lodging, and travel); veterinary exams, x-rays, dewclaws, etc.; OFA certifications (Fanconi, PRA, hip x-rays, etc.); infrastructure necessary to keep adults of opposite sex, whelp pups and keeps everyone safe, healthy and happy; food, supplements, vaccinations, etc.; time to socialize, train to show and live in a house with humas; and I know I’ve only scratched the surface. Breeding responsibly is costly. Selling puppies helps recover some costs, but I’m not seeing that income beginning to cover all of them.

    Responsible breeders really are the champions for the breed. Think of your one dog. Think of the effort and love you invest to keep that dog thriving. Now multiply that by a factor of 10 or more. Day in, day out, week after week, which soon leads to years. As pet owners we’re lucky if we get 15 years with our pet. Some breeders have been doing this for more than 30! Add generations of selective breeding to create a line that supports the standard while expressing some personal taste within reason. The commitment and difficult decisions required to be a breeder are enormous. Something I’ve really come to appreciate more than I can adequately express.

    Another side to breeding is purely emotional. At least for me it is. I loved breeding my two, watching Sparkle grow and give birth. I loved seeing them born, getting them breathing, cutting cords and seeing them nurse from mamma for the first time. Weighing them every day to ensure they were thriving. Sleeping next to the whelping box on a cot for the first three weeks. Watching their eyes and ears open. Watching them take their first steps. And watching their personalities emerge. It’s hard not to get attached. I couldn’t do it. I definitely got attached.

    Logically I know all the reasons why I couldn’t keep six puppies or even one right now. Not the least of which is they’re not my puppies to keep. Emotionally it hurts to see a couple of them go. Neither were the best of the litter show or breeding wise, but damn… I loved their spirits so very much. I’ve had to come to terms with never seeing them again. For me… this is the part of breeding that hurts the most, for me. It’s just hard to let them go I guess.

    I’m still enormously thankful for the opportunity. Just struggling a bit with my feelings about certain parts of it. Bye Tank, D’Otto, Zowie, and Spike, our beautiful piranha babies. I’ll get to see Tri Baby and PW again as it looks like Stella is going to hang on to them, which I love!

    Meanwhile I remind myself that I still have Sparkle and Logan. Two champions and dogs I love very much. Sparkle has bounced back so well. She’s playing with Logan again big time. And, I think she and I have bonded much more, if that’s possible, having shared trust in one another during this journey together.

    Maybe I’ll get my head back in the game and show Logan again soon. We still need 19 points and 2 majors to hit our goal. That may ease the sting a little. Till the next chapter… see you then.

  • @jengosmonkey
    Greg - thank you for sharing your journey with Sparkle and her pups. It was so exciting and I always looked forward to your posts and photos. I can’t imagine how hard it is to see the babies go.

  • @kembe Thank you so much. I had fun sharing the experience. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'll pick out a few more puppy pics to share soon.

  • I think we all enjoyed this Greg! You did a great job sharing with us along the adventure. It might be the closest I will ever get to experiencing a litter from birth to home. Thank you!! ♥

  • @Kembe, I thought I'd respond here to your question about how Sparkle dealt with separating from her puppies.

    On a Friday morning a few weeks ago we cleaned up the puppy pen for the last time, fed the pups, played with them until they passed out, and then carefully loaded them into a crate already sitting in the car. I had the task of delivering the pups to their next interim home. I think I'd gotten about two blocks from my house when one of the females, Spike if I recall correctly, started crying. Then Tri Boy joined in. Then D'Otto. Crying and screaming went on for 45 solid nonstop minutes. At the same time the phone starts ringing. Everyone's curious about how we're fairing. I thought my head was going to explode. Nothing I could do but keep going.

    My wife and I had discussed the subject prior to the trip and decided she would stay home with Sparkle. We were concerned she might become despondent and felt it best that one of us remain with her to provide comfort if she did. She didn't. In fact, once I'd left with all her puppies, she could not have cared less. She was done. I could hear her thinking "Ahhhh! A day off. A spa day without the bath or nails. Finally. My day." My wife said that continued for the rest of the day.

    The next morning was different. She'd slept with my wife on the big bed that previous night. Once Sparkle woke up, she stretched, yawned and moved to edge of the bed. She dropped off the edge then headed for the stairs. She meandered downstairs and into the family room, which was now empty. No whelping box, no heat lamps, no cameras, no puppy crate, no puppy pen, no puppy toys and... no puppies. This is when it finally dawned on her what had happened. She raced back upstairs, jumped up onto the bed and began whining while doing the frantic dance. My wife was able to settle her down and provide distractions pretty quickly, so she snapped out of it pretty fast.

    I returned late the next day. I pulled everything out of the car and stacked towels and crate pad covers on the laundry room counter. The next morning my wife went into the laundry room, saw the pile and decided to throw everything into the wash. Sparkle had followed her in. Sparkle immediately smelled puppies! She was excited! My wife felt bad throwing the things into the wash, but whadaya gonna do?

    Fast forward a few weeks. My wife and I went to visit the puppies one last time before they went off to their forever homes. Of course, we were all over the puppies and they were all over us. When we got home Sparkle smelled them on us. She would not leave me alone. I finally took the shirt off and placed it on the floor next to the couch. Sparkle would not leave the shirt alone. The next morning, she pulled it out of the laundry basket and was still sniffing it incessantly. I should, but I haven't washed that shirt yet.

    Other than that, Sparkle is doing fantastic! She doesn't hate Logan anymore. She's happy. She plays hard with Logan racing through the house. She's excited to go on long walks again. She looks fantastic! I could take her into a ring today and she would place well. So she's back!

  • Banned

    what is your sun

  • @jengosmonkey Goodness I'm so glad my attention was drawn to this post! I spent a good long while reading through here, feeling your emotions as you raised your first litter from birth to new homes, and I have to thank you so much for sharing your experience. Sparkle, Logan, and the monkeys of your household did a wonderful job raising those babies and I hope you do get to see them again often!
    I completely agree with the highest priorities being health and disposition and I'm nervously looking forward to the results of Roux's testing so I can do my part of continuing our custodianship of this wonderful breed in my corner of the world!
    In the meantime, I'll be showing Roux once she gets a smidge bigger; I've got to get some ribbons and a title for this pretty girl!

  • Oh thank you @Roux! This was a fun thread to be able to create. Not possible without a great breeder/partner. Stella did a fantastic job of finding great homes for all the pups and we’ve gotten updates and pictures of all of them. They’re all very much loved. In retrospect it was a worry that’s proven to be needless. I am going to get to see two of our pups show for the first time in a couple of weeks. I’m very excited and hope they do well. I also have Logan entered as well during that weekends show. Hopefully we can get a few more points towards his GCH. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

  • @jengosmonkey FINGERS CROSSED! I'm excited to see more photos if you get any!
    There is only one basenji breeder here and due to reasons that really have nothing to do with dogs, I can't work with him, so I've been looking for a mentor with experience with another similar breed. Considering the lack of quality breeders here on my little island and some amount of language barrier, I may have to resort to remote mentorship. You were lucky Stella was only a few hours away!
    I'll hopefully start a similar thread in a while documenting Roux's journey one day!

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