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24 December 2009


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Nancy Freedman-Smith CPDT

That is fantastic! Made my day.


Sending good thoughts! And lots of best wishes and hopes for puppies!! How exciting!

Gina Spadafori


Deerhound puppies!

Gina Spadafori

Dec. 31 is a good birthday. Just sayin'.


Fingers & toes crossed for puppy breath in the New Year

Alex V.

She's beautiful! Hope all goes well for her (and to see puppy pictures soon) =]

Colorado Transplant

Sending a whole array of positive thoughts to the birthing--whatever day it happens to be.

Like they ask pregnants moms--have the thought of a name yet? :)

May you smell puppy breath before Springtime!

Paula Pascoe

Good thing I'm not superstitious. Well, not too much. :) I don't think she's going to be as late as Dec. 31, Gina! All of you kind people may send good vibes our way, starting on Monday or so...

Happy holidays to all!

Susan Fox

Wishing you a very merry Puppy New Year!

The Other Lori

Paula, the good vibes are already on their way! And of course, they will continue to come!

Best wishes for the new momma!

Gina Spadafori

I just had to come look again. She's so beautiful! Hope she's an easy whelper (McKenzie was) and an attentive mom (McKenzie wasn't).

And I hope we see lots of pictures!


My Rottie has cystinuria, so I totally understand where you're coming from..

He will have a urethrostomy at the end of January when the surgeon I wish to perform it will be doing surgery. He blocked about 5 months ago, and I've been a bag of nerves ever since, at least if I have the SU performed I will hopefully be able to tell myself I've done all I could if the worse should happen again. I would prefer it done sooner (once I'd finally made the decision I wanted it done immediately of course) but this surgeon is highly recommended. So for now, I just have to hope for the best. I would far prefer to have it performed electively than as a emergency, and since he's still young (5) and fit there will never be a better time.

I'd never heard of the wretched condition until my boys blockage, (ignorance is bliss & all that), now it all but rules my life.

Thiola would cost about $ 450.00 PER WEEK, which surprise, surprise I cannot afford, so this is the only other option open to me, aside from doing nothing, which I could not do.

Carol V

Oh how exciting!!! I so hope all goes well and you get a new loved one in your new year! And this saturday is also a good day if they don't wait for Gina's choice!!

Christie Keith

To Erich: All Paula's dogs are family pets. :)

To Alison: She's spectacular. I am leaning towards a bitch because I absolutely do not want to deal with cystinuria ever again in my life, but I think a male might be a better fit with Kyrie. So I'll probably just let Paula make the call as to which is the best puppy for me -- assuming there are puppies and everyone is well and there IS one suitable for me, of course!


She must look unbelievable in the showring if she looks THAT GOOD heavily in whelp, what a stunning girl !!!

Do you have any preference for a dog or bitch puppy Christie ?

Gina Spadafori

So is this what a good dog breeding setup looks like?

Comment by Erich Riesenberg — December 25, 2009

Uh, no. This is NOT what a "good dog breeding setup looks like." This is what a WELL-LOVED FAMILY PET looks like, pregnant with a planned litter. With generations of careful planning, detailed attention to health, temperament and appropriate breed type. And careful pre-natal care of the mother and proper care and socialization of the puppies.

THIS is a matter of LOVE and DEDICATION, not MONEY. This kind of dog breeding has as much to do with puppy-milling scum as raising beloved children has to do with running a child-slavery brothel.

More here.

And THANK YOU for asking! :)

Erich Riesenberg

So is this what a good dog breeding setup looks like? I mean, it looks very dog friendly to me, my pointer would be quite happy with that outdoor space, I think.

I recently saw a video of an Amish puppy mill (apparently the Amish are very involved in the Indiana area) and it was depressing. I am in Iowa and we are in the top few states for the number of puppy mills.

I work against factory farms and it is good to see how the good side works.

Anne T

Looking at that free stack, all I can think of is what a beautiful dog! Here's to an easy whelping, a healthy litter, and a puppy for Christie!

jean weiss

Christie, what wonderful news! we send our wishes for an easy and fruitful whelpday. She is lovely.

Colorado Transplant

Still sending all the wonderful vibes I can gather to the birthing of the pups. I know they well be stunningly gorgeous.


Oh, I hope all goes well. You deserve some puppy kisses all the other fun stuff that goes with a new pupster after the year you've had.

Paula Pascoe

Thank you all for the very nice comments. I am very proud of my Caragh, and have had a lot of fun with her in the ring. (She has four all-breed Best in Shows and two specialty wins, exclusively handled by me.)

Erich,none of my dogs actually live out in the fenced pens/yards, but most have access to those areas at all times, from our house (which has dog doors).

Happy New Year to all!


Wow, look at that belly! There's a lot of love in there!

And Gina, it's not an "unattentive mother", its "dam initiated seperation anxiety prevention training" LOL

Mary Mary

Like Erich, I too was wondering about the setup when I saw the photo.

Do the dogs live outdoors in pens with doghouses? (Is that the red structure in the background?)

Mary Mary


I just saw the post from the breeder a few above mine.

Christie Keith

Mary Mary, how could you ever imagine I would get a puppy from someone who kept her dogs in pens?

I don't mean to pile on you personally, but this is an example of why breeders sometimes feel persecuted, that we can't even post a photograph of our dogs standing in our driveway without someone assuming negative things about how we raise or care for them, based on virtually zero information.

Mary Mary


I remember someone writing on this blog once that it is OK -- actually, might be best -- to have dogs in kennels outdoors if they are hunting dogs. I don't remember all of the details but the argument made some sense.

I don't know anything about Deerhounds but I assume they are hunting dogs. I know you intend to have your future puppy live inside as an INDOOR member of the family ... but is that the only way a dog can be a member of the family?

(In my opinion, yes, but I am always open to hearing the other side.)

I can understand how you would feel persecuted, but the only way people like me are going to learn is if we ask questions.

I didn't assume that the dog would give birth outside, or that her puppies would spend their first weeks or months of life outside.

I was raised in a neighborhood full of outdoor hunting dogs. They were mostly sweet dogs, the kind that would calmly greet me when I came home from school. I lived on a dead end street, woods beyond that, with next no traffic, so some dogs were allowed to roam their yards (and mine) loose.

H. Houlahan

I've met many farm dogs in the past decade who do not live in the house, yet are far more members of the family than 90% of the pet dogs I know.

That includes ES pups who are whelped and raised in the barn and barnyard in summertime -- because the working farm family is outside or in the barn all day long and the pups would be alone all day if kept in the house. Plus their mother would be going buggy trying to get out and join in the chores. These same families raise the pups indoors in cold weather, bringing them out on warm days as they grow.

The two sires of the two litters I've bred each sleep outside on the porch by their own choice -- because are were guarding the homestead at night.

It's not the way I keep my own dogs, but it is humane, does not isolate the dog, does not confine the dog away from company or expose him to the elements in a way that bothers him. These are happy, productive members of the household economy who are greatly loved and valued.

Staying on these farms and participating in the life of the people and animals on them has definitely made me more expansive in my definition of what makes a "family dog."

I don't cut any slack for those who claim to be this kind of farmer-breeder, but whose dogs are chained, kenneled, or just kicked out the door and neglected. IME, you have to actually visit the place and stay for a while (or get a report from someone you trust) to find out which one someone is. Lots of people have learned to talk the talk.

I've also visited sighthound breeders whose dogs live much the way Paula's seem to. I was impressed by two things -- the great height of the fences (!!!) and the large number of hounds who can live happily together. The first would be unnecessary for the kind of dogs I have, and the second would be impossible for my infidel dogs. It would be inappropriate to apply the husbandry standards for one kind of dog to the other. They have different needs, and different things make them happy.

Christie Keith

I had to take a little while to consider what I was going to say here.

No, Mary Mary, Scottish Deerhounds are not "hunting dogs" in the sense you mean. They are almost exclusively raised as companions, with some of those who keep them as companions also participating in dog shows and competitive coursing.

The number of people who go to the considerable difficulty to find one of the few places left on earth, let alone in the United States, to let their deerhounds hunt is so small that it makes no difference in the breed. However, if there were/are "hunting kennels" or "hunting lines" of deerhounds, that is not where I would look for a dog to live in the city and be a pet.

It is, to an extent, unfair of me to make this all about me, as if anyone who drops by this blog should automatically know what I think and feel and do. I get that.

But Mary Mary, you've been involved with many discussions of this with me on this blog, and I think my position is and has always been extremely clear and very loud: Family dogs from family homes.

I am looking for a companion dog, so obviously, I would seek out a breeder whose dogs live as companions.

This applies also to Heather's comments vis a vis the ES, although hers were general and didn't appear to be suggesting that was the same case with the SD.

Dogs acquired from breeders should ideally be raised in the same circumstances in which they'll be expected to live. I have no issue with hunting dogs coming from hunting kennels, nor farm dogs coming from farms as long as you mean real working farms and not a euphemism meant to white wash a puppy mill. In fact, I think working dogs SHOULD come from working situations.

And family dogs, like my deerhounds, should come from family homes, like Paula's.

So I repeat: How could you ever think I'd get a puppy from someone who keeps their dogs in pens?

I hate feeling like I have to re-state everything I've ever written about a subject every time I write about it or refer to the same issue even in passing. That may be somewhat like hating the feeling of gravity, I don't know.

H. Houlahan

And by "the way Paula's dogs appear to" I meant -- in the house, with access to outdoor fenced areas.

The coursing greyhound and saluki folks I visited had this constant stream of hounds coming and going from inside to outside back inside. There may have been some method to it, but it seemed random to me, and the hounds' choice. Each had dozens of hounds.

There were many sofas scattered about these houses, all occupied by multiple hounds.


She is gorgeous Christie and Paula.. you must be very proud to have bred ans shown such beautiful dog ( bitch). best of luck with the litter and Christie best of luck with the new addition. I would love to see "puppy pictures". I have never seen deerhound pups at an early age....Here's to new year filled with puppy breath

Christie Keith

Heather, I've had as many as 11 living in the house with a dog door access to the outdoors. At night I'd close a gate so they couldn't get beyond a small "potty yard," but most of the time they had access to my acreage. When I lived in the country, I had property that was "landlocked" by ranches etc, so no one could get to my fences or indeed, even see onto my land. I wouldn't do this if my property was accessible/visible to others.

Sighthounds are wonderful house dogs.

Mary Mary

So I repeat: How could you ever think I’d get a puppy from someone who keeps their dogs in pens?

Comment by Christie Keith — December 28, 2009 @ 2:28 pm


I would never think you would support a person who neglects her dogs.

But I also don't automatically assume that every dog that lives outside is neglected or that they aren't, or won't produce, good companions. Especially a breed I'd never heard of until I read this blog. It doesn't mean they are outside 24/7, with no access to the family. Most people leave their dogs for 8-10 hours a day anyway. Do they have to sleep inside to be "family pets?" What if a basically decent hobby breeder has, say, five dogs, and three sleep in the garage? Or in a huge fenced yard?

I probably have a bigger issue with a dog left alone 10 hours a day every day indoors than two or three dogs living outside together (in decent conditions). This example assumes that all of the dogs get ample time inside with their people; this isn't a banishment. And that they don't bark all day and drive the neighbors crazy.

For what it's worth: This has been a challenging year for my pea brain as it relates to animal advocacy. I have been on an almost continual relearning curve about what is "right" and "best" and "never." I work a lot with the local shelters and I cannot believe what I now consider a good, or good enough, adopter vs. the standards I had a year ago, which were very rigid and unrealistic given the sheer volume of animals being admitted. I am a volunteer and do not have any control to veto a potential rabbit adoption, and I would gnash my teeth for days over some of them.

But now when a new volunteer vents to me about an adoption I usually try to say (and mean), "Well, you never know. They might turn out to be a great." My standards on "good home" have changed.

Back to outdoor living. As I wrote on an earlier thread today, I do not think rabbits should live outdoors for many reasons. I have ALMOST zero tolerance for it. But as with dogs living outdoors, I know there are exceptions to the rule, that it does not always mean the animal gets no time inside with the family or stimulation, that a smart and involved owner matters most.

When I found this blog many months ago, it was yet another learning curve. I landed here believing that MSN was a good thing. And that all breeding should stop for five years. And lots of black/white thinking, which is far easier than all of this (waving hand at blog).

I don't take much for granted when I read posts here.

The fact that I could even type the words "basically decent hobby breeder" shows my level of mutation.

Gina Spadafori

The fact that I could even type the words “basically decent hobby breeder” shows my level of mutation.

Comment by Mary Mary — December 28, 2009

If only your mutation were viral ...

mary frances

Looking forward to the photos of your new puppy - thanks for the good news.

Christie Keith

HAH! Caragh DID have her puppies on Gina's birthday after all! Four boys, one girl, born today!

David S. Greene



Hmmm...do I sense the winds of fate shifting, nudging the new year towards a good beginning? I hope so. Congrats on the new pups. I hope one makes its way to you.

Colorado Transplant

Well, how did Caragh know when Gina's birthday was? :)

Wonderful that she delivered her pups, and you have a girl to choose from or a boy if that is better for you. Great news, and may 2010 be an upbeat year for you and Gina. I expect to see some photos, please, of pup(s).

Happy New Year, everybody, and may all of you experience a lot of joy in 2010!

Christie Keith

Well, I am quite sure I won't have a girl to choose from, LOL, as with only one, I'm pretty sure there will be plenty of folks in line ahead of me. And with such a small litter, who knows if I will even get my shot at a boy? But I'm just so happy mom and babies are fine, and for now, that's enough!

Anne T

Back in the 15th century in England, the hunting dogs were kept in a specific walled in area, with a large greensward and a separate house with either a fireplace or with braziers if needed. There was a specific whelping area as well, where the bitch and her pups could be safely kept. Not only was there a Hunt Master, but depending on the size and wealth of the owner there was at least one kennel boy who lived with the dogs 24/7/365.

Congratulations on Caragh's new babies. May they and their Mom thrive! I hope you start the New Year Christie with one of the boys being destined for you! You'll never forget to commemorate Gina's birthday that way! lol

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