Oodles of new French Bulldog puppy photos…

Not much time for writing, but I did take some new photos —

Delilah’s kids are here

and Bunny’s kids are here

Here’s my favorite photo – it’s Bunny with her kids. I swear, they’re all almost as large as she is. Mind you, Bunny is on the small size – and those are some mighty chunky puppies!

Bunny and her French Bulldog puppies

You can check out the slide shows below, or see the images full sized over on Flickr.

Summer Heat Kills Dogs – Again

Every year I hammer home warnings about what happens to dogs left in hot cars, even for a few moments. Time and again, people underestimate just how hot it can get, and how fast, inside of parked car. Windows partly rolled down? No difference. Parked in the shade? Ditto.

The simple truth is that dogs die in parked vehicles. The only way around this? Never, ever, ever leave your dog in a vehicle, even if the weather only seems mildly warm to you.

From FPRC comes this note about a temperature study done by Stanford University:

Stanford University School of Medicine conducted a study to measure the temperature rise inside a parked car on sunny days with highs ranging from 72 to 96 degrees F. Their results showed that a car’s interior can heat up by an average of 40 degrees F within an hour, regardless of ambient temperature. Ambient temperature doesn’t matter – it’s whether it’s sunny out. Eighty percent of the temperature rise occurred within the first half-hour. Even on a relatively cool day, the temperature inside a parked car can quickly spike to life-threatening levels if the sun is out.

Further, the researchers noted that much like the sun warms a greenhouse in winter; it also warms a parked car on cool days. In both cases, the sun heats up a mass of air trapped under glass. Precautions such as cracking a window or running the air conditioner prior to parking the car were found to be inadequate.

This summer, a well known professional handler has already learned that lesson, the hard way.

From the St. Louis Dispatch:

Seven high-priced show dogs, including one of the top Akitas in the country, are dead after being left by their handler for several hours in a hot van in Jefferson County.

Police say Mary Wild, a 24-year-old woman who was caring for the dogs, left them in a cargo van early Monday and went to bed after returning from a dog show in Iowa.

Ms. Wild, who is by all accounts an excellent handler, had moved the dogs from their kennels in a garage to her van, in the belief that it would be cooler there with fans running.

She told police she put six electric fans in the van to keep the dogs cool. She also left a door open to the van and the van’s windows partly open, said Capt. Ralph Brown of the Jefferson County sheriff’s office. The van was apparently parked in the driveway, Brown said.

She left them in the van about 1 a.m. Monday and went inside the home to sleep. She told police that, three hours later, she went outside to check on the dogs. They were fine, she told police. Then, about 6:30 a.m., all eight dogs were in distress. She found five of the dogs breathing, but not responsive. The other three were clearly in distress, but could at least raise their heads.

She tried reviving the dogs, by hosing them down, then took them to a veterinarian in House Springs. Only one of the eight survived.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of handlers allowing dogs in their custody to die in this fashion, either. Every summer brings stories of dogs left in cars at shows who have succumbed to heat stroke. If we can’t get pet professionals to believe that there’s never a safe way to leave dogs in parked vehicles, what hope do we have in convincing the public?

Just like a pet owner should choose to leave their dogs at home in the summer when they run out to do errands, those of us who show dogs have to weigh the risks in attending outdoor shows. If it’s too hot, and we don’t have someplace 100% safe and cool to house our dogs, then we need to just skip that show. What points can possibly be worth the death of our dogs?

Pet Connection has an excellent article on the dangers of heat stroke, and how to deal with it if it does happen to your pet.

Bunny Pups Birthday, and Delilah is Slightly Better

Possibly Po (His mom & Dad aren't 100% on his name yet)

The Bunny pups turn two weeks old today, and I have to say that they are one of the most stress free litters I’ve ever had (thanks mostly to Bunny’s exceptional mothering skills). They rarely cry, and they’re all unbelievably chubby little babies. Bunny keeps them immaculately clean, and rarely is out of the whelping box. Every litter should be this easy.

Basket Full of Puppies

Delilah, on the other, is a graduate of the same slacker mom school of parenthood that her sister Penelope attended. She is getting better – she has some milk, finally, although not very much, and she’s occasionally cleaning the puppies, but over all her attitude is one of “this is all a bad dream”. Hauling the puppies to Bunny for feedings was starting to stress Bun out – she became agitated every time I took them back away from again, barking and jumping up and down in a way that clearly said “Where do you think you’re going with those babies?”. We were faced with a choice – either leave the puppies with Bunny for good, or start supplementing with a bottle. The size difference between the Bunny pups and Delilah’s wee babies would have made it risky to leave them with Bunny, so we chose bottle feeding. Thankfully, the bottle is just there to ‘top them up’ after they’ve nursed, so it’s a little less onerous than a full regimen of bottle feeding four puppies would usually be.

We’re still getting up every two hours for feedings, but now the routine is –

  • Get up, put Delilah on bed, get puppies, put on bed with Delilah
  • Put Delilah on her side (she’s still not thrilled with this, but it no longer requires wrestling moves to get her into position)
  • Put puppies on nipples, making sure the smaller ones (the two brindle girls) get the premium real estate
  • When pups drop off, top pups up with a bottle feeding. Each puppy drinks about 10 ml of formula, which doesn’t sound like much, but is making all the difference in their weight gain, and yet is still little enough to not impact Delilah’s milk production
  • Clean puppy bottoms, trying first to get Delilah to lick them, and then, if that fails, using cotton balls dipped in warm water
  • Put pups back in whelping box, feed Delilah, let her outside to pee, stagger back to bed

.. repeat in two hours. With any luck, Delilah’s motherhood skills will increase over the next week, so that I can start getting some real sleep, instead of just running on coffee and adrenaline. In the meantime, kissing Vela’s fat little tummy is a remarkable pick me up.

The rest of the photos are over here on Flickr.

Your AKC Registration Dollars at Work

Since Sean and I are thinking about opening a pet supply store, we’ve subscribed to all the trade publications we can find.

One of them, Pet Age, seems to carry advertising that leans pretty heavily towards pet stores that also sell puppies. There are frequently ads in Pet Age from the big mid western puppy sellers like Hunte Corporation., and Hunte Corp. has booths at all the trade shows this magazine and its parent company, Backer, promotes.

Imagine my surprise when I opened the June issue of Pet Age and found a FULL page ad from the American Kennel Club – an ad touting the fact that “nine out of ten puppy buyers prefer their puppies to have AKC papers”. The gist of the ad is that store owners should skip the ConCK and APRI registered puppies, and sell only ‘authentic’ AKC registered puppies in their pet stores. That AKC puppies somehow carry more consumer appeal, due to their conception as being a ‘superior’ product. An appeal, I should add, that’s based on the public’s perception of the AKC as being the arbiter of good breeding practices.

At a time when everyone is decrying the allegiance between AKC and Hunte, and AKC and Petland, and when people are insisting that AKC take a firmer stand against the sales of puppies in pet stores, what does AKC do? They spend registration dollars touting AKC registered puppies as great money making products to sell in pet stores. They get in bed with the very groups that they should be opposing, and they tarnish the very reputation that they claim their paperwork conveys. What’s truly ironic is that the ad touts the fact that the AKC is “Not for Profit”. I suppose that’s true, if you put aside how much money they pour into salaries, real estate and perks. I understand the theory that NGOs have to pay decent salaries to attract decently skilled people, but after a certain point it becomes a vicious cycle – you have to make more so that you can pay more to get people who can make more… (repeat endlessly). It’s similar to the statistics about the HSUS — they are, in effect, nothing more now than a vicious cycle of fund raising to make money to pay for more fund raising, with the barest minimum actually going to anything concrete.

The AKC, of course, excuses their behavior by claiming that all of these registrations are needed – are necessary! – for them to be able to continue to run dog shows. On their own website, they state that they’d have to raise fees to a ‘staggering’ $20 per entry to be able to make up for declining registrations. Is this true? Possibly. I believe, as do many others, that they could trim this number down through selling their prime New York City real estate and a few other belt tightening measures. And if that isn’t enough? Then raise entry fees. Ask your average exhibitor which they would prefer – higher entry fees, and an AKC that refuses to allow puppies sold through pet stores to be AKC registered, or the current artificially subsidized entry fees. I’m pretty sure I know how that vote would turn out.

Every single time AKC does something like this, it makes it harder and harder for me to believe their line about being the ‘purebred’s champion’, and to believe their PR about how they’re all about sportsmanship and breed preservation. Clearly, the only thing that matters any more to the AKC is making more and more bucks off of registrations, no matter where those registered puppies end up being sold. With this as their mantra, someone tell me – what REALLY is the difference any more between AKC and America’s Pet Registry or any other registry for that matter?

When you start touting your services to the very people your organization is supposed to oppose, haven’t you lost the entire “We’re better than those other guys” moral high ground?


The Joys of Being a Dog Breeder

Bunny with Pups

First off, I’m bone tired, so if this post makes little to no sense try to bear with me..

Delilah finally got a wee bit of colostrum at about 2 am last night. The operative term here is ‘little’ – the most minuscule droplets I’ve ever seen out of a bitch. Not nearly enough to nourish the pups, but at least they did get a little bit from her, which is important for their immune systems.

Since I happen to have another nursing bitch in the house, I’ve so far avoided having to bottle feed the pups to help them out. I’m not sure, however, that bottle feeding wouldn’t possibly be easier. Here’s our current routine:

Get pups, put on the bed. Grab Delilah, put on bed next to pups, wrestle her onto her side (I’m not kidding about this, either – you have to physically wrestle her down onto her side, then pin her there so she can’t bolt for the door).

Put pups on nipples and let them at least try to nurse, as their suckling will help Delilah’s milk to come down. There’s a fine line here, however, because if they try to nurse too hard, for too long, they’ll exhaust themselves and give up. So, as soon as they start to get restless, I remove them, pack them in a basket, and haul them down to Bunny’s room.

Once there, I grab whichever one of Bun’s pups is awake, then grab Bunny, and put them both on the bed. Once the Bunny pup is nursing, I sneak Delilah’s pups in as well. Bunny isn’t thrilled about this arrangement, but she’s being very tolerant. So long as one of her own pups is nursing, she’ll lie still long enough for Delilah’s pups to top up.

I then wipe bottoms, pack them back into their basket, put Bunny and her puppy back into the whelping box, and take Delilah’s pups back up to Delilah’s room.

Repeat every two hours. Whee, dog breeding sure is fun.

Silver Brindle Girl

First photos of Delilah’s pups (who we’ve been referring to as the Deedle Bops, which should be proof enough of how sleep deprived both Sean and I are) —


Twelve day photos of Bunny’s pups, who are all FAT as can be and finally have open eyes. They are the cutest, chubbiest little monkeys you can imagine, and it’s impossible to see them and not want to pick them up and blow raspberries on their tummies.