Miracle of Life

My friend, Bethany Tracy from Wasatch Canine Camp, and WCC’s Berners invited me to experience something incredible. It was a very cool day, but a night full of waiting. Yep, I got to see a puppy brought into this world. It truly was something I will remember forever.C-Section on Luna, Wasatch Canine Camp, WCC Berners

I was just at home, hanging out with some friends, while training some dogs around distractions. I get a text from my friend saying that her dog, Luna, might be having her puppy (yeah, singleton puppy) tonight. I immediately said I would be right over and sent my friends home, and packed up some overnight essentials to head over. Of course, this just included kit-kats, graham crackers, and m&m’s. I’m serious about overnight essentials. 😉

What was truly amazing was that this particular bitch was bred around 2 months ago, and 2 ultrasounds later said no puppies. Pregnancy didn’t take. So, we were not expecting a litter at this time. About a week ago, Beth saw something moving in Luna’s abdomen while she was laying on her back. It was either something out of Alien, or this dog was indeed pregnant. She took her in for an xray, and sure enough – she was pregnant with one puppy!

C-Section on Luna, Wasatch Canine Camp, WCC Berners

This little life is brought into the world!

Anyway, I head over to her house, and we camp out, waiting for Luna to go into labor. We were seeing signs of her starting to get ready, but still no puppy. Around 1:30, she was starting to get awfully uncomfortable, but again – still no puppy. Heavy panting, eyes darting, wanting to snuggle constantly, and couldn’t get comfortable. We were looking for our her to ‘nest’ in her birthing pool (where she would shred the sheets and blankets in there) or at least a contraction. Nothing. We fall in and out of sleep, as the sound of Luna’s panting waking us from time to time. She didn’t sleep either.

She had an appointment to get a c-section at 9:00 in the morning. We were really hoping for a naturally born puppy, but that doesn’t always work out. Beth said that normally, she would just wait for the puppies to be born, but with singleton puppies, you have to be careful not to put too much stress on them. So, I went home, let my dogs outside to potty, fed them breakfast, and then we headed to the vet.

C-Section on Luna, Wasatch Canine Camp, WCC BernersWe were really hoping there may have been more puppies in there, that we just couldn’t see in the xray. We impatiently wait in the waiting room to get Luna prepped and ready for her procedure. We see many dogs come and go, and finally she is ready. We get to watch the c-section, and see this puppy be born!

We go back into the room where she is under anesthesia already, and the vet makes the first cut into her abdomen. It happened so fast! First, Luna was on the table, and they were asking us if we were ready. Then,  A PUPPY! A little boy was born into the world.

They got him out of his sac, and then the vet tech cleaned out his throat and nose, and there he was. A healthy little boy weighing 1.2lbs. He was so small, and cute, and just figuring out how to breathe.C-Section on Luna, Wasatch Canine Camp, WCC Berners

I was able to hold him the whole way home. Luna was a little nervous at first, but figured out he was her puppy soon enough. He figured out how to nurse, and she figured out how to clean him. One of Beth’s other dogs, Sasha also had puppies a long time ago. She was a great helper! It was like she wanted to be a mom all over again. She hovered over the little guy, cleaning him every once in a while, and was very concerned about his well being.

I didn’t get to see a natural birth, but this was just as awesome.  It was so awesome, that I wanted to share it with all of you!

C-Section on Luna, Wasatch Canine Camp, WCC Berners

Welcome to the world, little man! Click me to find out more about me, and see more pictures of me!

I’m Alive!

Sorry I haven’t updated in so long! With building my business, the holidays, and taking some much needed time to myself, I am back in the game.

Heather Hamilton blog Project K9 Dante cropped earsLet’s see.. I already told you about my little puppy, Dante. Well, he’s not so little anymore. I can barely pick him up now. He’s all legs, and reminds me a baby goat! He’s clumsy, but wants to run super fast, so he runs into everything.  After the first month or so with him, we have adjusted and learned more about him. We have learned his good and bad behaviors. He is a little shit in the crate sometimes (was horribly when we first got him), but he’s learning and is getting better every day. He is trained on Halti now, and we go on nice walks around the neighborhood every day. He has experienced seeing cows, goats, donkeys, ducks, etc. We are still working on socialization, so I’m not so concerned with obedience. That’s the easy stuff that can come later. He has already learned absolutely no nipping ever, and the jumping up has gotten 1000x better. He is well on his way to making himself be a wonderful member of society.

Heather Hamilton blog Project K9 DogsJinx is progressing in her training as well. She is super comfortable at home, and is off-leash reliable for the most part. We are working on off-leash reliability around people now. According to Marc Goldberg, ‘eCollar fixes everything. Except for when it doesn’t. But it usually does.’ We are finding this to be true. She loves her eCollar, and she is making improvements. Over New Years, we had my in-laws in town, and we had some changes in her that we haven’t seen before. She has moved a little from avoidance/flight stages to avoidance/fight. Which, is actually progress. Now, I want to move her into avoidance/acceptance. As we knew when we got her, she is a project, but she couldn’t be in a better place. We are giving her the training, understanding, and love she needs to be successful, and get over all her fears.

As for Napoleon, he is getting older. I notice it every day. He’s not anywhere near close to being done with this life, but I do still notice it. He has become quite the helper with all my training dogs. He’s not great at social queues, but he is damn near perfect at house rules, and a great example of walking nicely on and off leash. He has calmed down quite a bit in the last year. I think taking him to clients’ houses and expecting a 1-2 hour ‘place’ command has really helped.

Well, that’s it for my kids. How about my board and train dogs? Well, in the last few months, we have had 3. A shih tzu/schnauzer mix puppy, a chocolate lab, and a boxer. All did wonderfully with their training. The lab and the puppy were both residency programs, but my boxer is here for the full boarding school. She came to us for dog aggression, which turned out to be excitement and adrenaline. We have been working on calming commands, rest, and learning to be calm when she would normally go straight to excitement.  She is doing great, and progressing every day. We received some wonderful pictures of the chocolate lab for Christmas. He was doing a perfect ‘place’ with 15 people, and an excited energy around the house. Wonderful! The little puppy came to us all the way from Oregon, and unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time with this kid. He was super jumpy and sensitive. Didn’t really like being touched or handled too much, but was a champ around other dogs. The family had children, and it wasn’t a good fit, so he was rehomed into a different family. However, they are continuing his training and it sounds like it is working out a little better for the dog.

Heather Hamilton Blog Project K9 Calm Dogs

Please excuse the mess, lol.

I have so many plans for this year, I just need to get the ball rolling and take initiative. This week, I have been working at K9 Lifeline for some extra experience. I have helped run a social with them, did some daycare, kennel tech stuff, and worked with a few tricky dogs. It has been a really good experience for me, and I learned a lot from the staff there. My little Dante found a bigger Dante to play with while we were there. MY Dante made friends with a blind pit/bulldog (I think) mix. His name was George, and I kind of fell in love with him. Unfortunately, I just went from 1 to 3 dogs fairly quickly, and I don’t think we should do another one so soon. Hubby and I discussed fostering him, but I just feel I’m a little busy trying to get my feet on the ground still, so maybe later this year.

Speaking of fostering, I want to foster a pregnant mom this year. I want to do the delivery, and rear the puppies until they are 8 weeks old and ready to go to new homes. That is the biggest project/experience I want this year.  Hubby is like ‘OMG NO!’… but I’m sure I can convince him once our puppy gets a little older. I just attended a ‘Proper Socialization and Natural Rearing of a Litter’ seminar through WCC Bernese Mountain Dogs. Bethany Tracy is one of a kind with the way she raises her puppies. With all of her experience in training and breeding, I take her advice above anyone else’s when it comes to how to raise a litter. That’s why I took this seminar: So I could be ready this year when we foster our mamma and have puppies. I learned so much more about puppy development and behavior. I was exhausted after the seminar! So glad I had this opportunity!

Whew, ok, I think that’s enough for now.