Dog Breeding – it's where the money is!

Wow, we dog breeders sure do know how to rake in the big bucks! Why, take a look at the balance sheet for the last few months here at Chez Bullmarket.

We decided to breed Journey to my deceased male, Rebbie. That’s not really as gruesome as it sounds, since we have frozen semen on him. Sounds great, right? Just pop that bun in the oven, and start percolating some puppies! Not so fast, actually. Frozen semen breeding is pricey.

First, I had to pay off the remaining balance at the facility where the semen was stored. Then, I arranged to have it transferred to a new, closer facility, where I had to pay another full two years in advance for storage. Total cost with shipping, storage fees and container rental?


OK, that’s not so bad. After all, I don’t have any storage charges now for two years, and I still have almost forty straws of semen. Well, but ten of them are low count straws. And it takes at least four straws to do a breeding. Huh. I guess I don’t have as many usable breedings left as I thought. OK, still not so bad. I have more than enough for now, and I don’t have to pay a stud service for this breeding!

But I do have to pay for timing tests for Journey.

LH and progesterone daily, plus Draminskis and slides to check for cornification.

Grand total for nine days of testing? $1600.02

To be fair, I should also factor in the thirty minutes each way drive to the veterinarian’s office, plus the gas, plus the time off work. I’ll skip that cost, though. Let’s just call it a labour of love. Or stupidity. Whatever.

In the middle of this, J Dog’s mom, Sailor, decided to come into heat. Well, I really didn’t want to breed Sailor this summer, but this is likely her last heat for a while, and I planned to breed her one last time. Well, Sailor’s litter is different, too. I plan on keeping everything out of it – and I mean everything, unless they’re born with an extra eye. Or two. , so… ok fine. Let’s do it.

Coincidentally, my choice for Sailor’s last litter had also been Rebbie, and so:

LH and progesterone daily, plus Draminskis and slides to check for cornification.

Grand total for nine days of testing? $1600.02


And let’s not even talk about the gas or the driving. Oh well, it’s all worth it if we get some good puppies.

Speaking of puppies, since we can’t be sure until the ultrasounds if anyone’s pregnant, we supplement and change feeding just to be safe. That means fish oil caps and b vitamins and raspberry leaves and folic acid and prime chicken and turkey. Twice a day.


Right, we’re at the 30 day mark – let’s do some ultrasounds! So, we’re back to the vet – and this time, we’re dealing with some pricey equipment. Two ultrasounds, at $340 a pop. And guess what? Journey – isn’t pregnant. She’s fat, thanks to all that chicken and turkey, but she’s not pregnant. Sailor? Probably. Maybe. We need to re-check at 50 days with an x-ray.

So, here we are, today, at day 50. X-ray day. Sailor is definitely pregnant – I don’t need an xray to prove that. I do, however, need one to try and determine how many puppies she has, because this is of vital importance in a c-section breed. In we go, then, to do an xray. A bargain, really, at just $140, and it shows us..

One puppy. Just one. One puppy that will still require a $2000 c-section, and follow up care for mom, and shots and registration and micro chipping and weaning and time off work to care for. One really, really expensive puppy. Which I’m keeping.

So, yeah. Dog breeding, it’s how I’m making my fortune. That, and the scratch and win tickets that will help me pay for all of this…

ps: just wanted to post this for all of the “you charge so much for your dogs that you must bathe in caviar” people…

Another Vicious Dog Attack!

Ah, not another one – and this one was captured on video!

It’s hidden behind a cut, in case the trauma of seeing an American Bulldog brutally mauling a small boy is too much for my sensitive readers to take.

You probably really shouldn’t keep reading this. Seriously.

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Wobbly Dogs and Aging

Tessa woke up the other morning listing. She’s like a ship that’s lost it’s ballast – leaning to one side, head cocked in what should be a cute sort of tilt. Only it’s not cute, not at all. She’s having a hard time negotiating stairs and any kind of uneven ground. She’s barrel rolled herself a few times going down the outside steps, and we’re not even taking a chance when it comes to the basement stairs.

The veterinarian isn’t 100% sure what the problem is. It’s not her ears – they’re fine, thankfully. Tessa has been spared the ear problems which plague so many French Bulldogs. She Tessa tanning with Penelopecertainly has bad teeth – she always has. One or two of her back molars need to come out, and she’s on antibiotics to clear up any lingering infection before we tackle this. I’m hesitant about putting her under anesthetic  for anything less than a life threatening condition, but bad teeth can cause all sorts of issues in a senior dog, and I guess we need to take the plunge and have them extracted.

Mostly, though, Dr. Boyd believes Tessa has had something commonly called “idiopathic neuropathy” – idiopathic being a fancy word “designating a disease having no known cause”, and neuropathy being “any diseased condition of the nervous system”. So, idiopathic neuropathy, meaning “We don’t know what it is, or what caused it, but it has something to with the nervous system”.

I’m consoling myself with the studies which seem to indicate that the majority of cases of idiopathic neuropathy just disappear, as mysteriously as they came. Already after a few short days, Tessa seems more steady on her feet.  All of this, of course, is a symptom of the greater truth, that my dog is aging. And, like of all of us who are aging, she’s become plagued with mystery ailments. A hip that clicks, hearing that’s failing, a bit more wobbly on her pins that she was in her youth.  I know it’s all to be expected, but none of it makes me happy.

Still, Tessa’s a remarkable healthy dog for both her breed and her age. Infirmity doesn’t stop her from occasionally charging and rolling the cat, or from staking out her claim when the puppies get too close to  her pillow. She still rules the house, with a little bit of help from me when it’s called for.

She’s also looking forward to making it to the Nationals in Minnesota in 2008, as am I.


Cosette Needs Your Help

By now, everyone in the French Bulldog world has heard the story of poor little Churchill, the French Bulldog with the horrific skin condition who was taken in by FBRN. Churchill inspired an outpouring of generous donations from readers who were heartsick at the appalling condition he was in. Unfortunately, FBRN had to make the wrenching decision to let Churchill go, when Veterinary care was unable to stop the advancement of his cancer.

Now, there’s another sad little Frenchie who needs your help – and she’s with a rescue without the deep pockets and well organized financial backing of FBRN.

Meet Cosette

Cosette Needs Your Help

Cosette is being fostered by French Connection Rescue. Here is her story:

Cosette was found wandering the streets and a family tried to take care of her since November. The Dad lost his job so now they cannot take care of her and turned her over to The Connection Rescue, AKA us!

She is clearly a puppymill breeder and is probably almost the worst case Frenchie her foster mom has ever seen. She is emaciated, bare skinned, eye and ear infections (a clubbed ear too), heart murmur, fluid in the lungs etc. Her nipples hang so far down and look like balls on a string. She has no front teeth and is about 7 years old.

Although she has had a rough life, she has the personality of gold! A real sweetie pie. 🙂 She is a tiny thing weighing in at 13.9 lbs right now and is very petite.

She is going to need all the help she can get! My vet who opened just for me to bring her in said he believes we can get her better. I hope he is right.

Cosett A female french bulldog that needs donations!

Cosette needs your help. Here’s what you can do:

  • Donate to her care – as much or as little as you can afford
  • Blog about Cosette – help spread the word, and get her the readers she needs to help FCR raise the funds needed to care for her
  • Post about Cosette to your newsgroups and forums

Let’s all help show Cosette that she is as cared for as Churchill was, and the one poor little used up puppy mill dog can still have a shot at a happy life.


A Walk With the Dogs

One of the best things about having moved from downtown Toronto to our property near Mount Forest is the backyard.

Our acreage is actually an east west stretching pie shape. Our technical ‘backyard’ isn’t really huge – in fact, we can easily see our property line from our deck, or our pool. What’s behind that property line, however, makes it all worth while.

Behind us lies an old access road – one of what are called, in this area, ‘Heritage Roads’. It was the moving of this Heritage Road that actually carved out the piece of property we now live on, and the original road borders us to the south. It’s been declared by our township a protected road, due to its being Heritage designated. The property to the south of the road itself is owned by our neighbor, who has designated it as protected woodland. This leaves us with the perfect combination – a road which is really just a tree shaded pathway, ambling through woods and past streams, for almost three miles. For the dogs, its heaven.

Walking the dogs in the city required a car. Frenchies – or mine, at least – aren’t great fans of the structured sidewalk meander. They prefer parks, and for parks, we had to drive, or use the tiny and perilously close to the road school yard near our house. Taking the dogs to the off leash park required loading them up, driving, finding parking, and then hoping we didn’t run into any out of control off leash (and unusually un neutered) dogs while we were there. More and more often, it seemed we were having issues with this – dogs whose owners were unable or unwilling to control them, putting our dogs at risk. In one memorable case, a huge Lab mix attacked and rolled Ellie, while his owner cavalierly yelled that he was “Just playing”. Incidents like this started to make the park less and less appealing.

Now, we walk the dogs every night. Each dogs sets it own pace, walking as far ahead as they’re comfortable, running when the mood strikes them, poking noses into bushes and grass, chasing frogs, sniffing deer tracks on the trail, and, in one case, flushing a covey of pheasants.

It sure beats the sidewalk.

Continue to view a video of the dogs on their walk yesterday. Better yet, view it here – the quality is much, much better.

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