I am working on a few articles (more on hunting journals, Keeping and Using Pigeons for Training, The Six Pillars, What Traits are Inherited and What Traits are Learned in a Bird Dog, Importance of Nutrition in the Llewellen Setter, How to Pick Your Llewellin Setter Puppy, I Have my Puppy—Now What?, and more!), but in the mean time I thought I would do a quick update. I lost Internet for a few days (arrgghhh!!!) and am a bit behind schedule (as usual).
First, Shay is doing great and seems to get bigger every day. She still has a great appetite and needs to go out more frequently. When she is on her side, I can see a pup kick here and there. 🙂 She is still quite active and insists on “hunting” the boundary of the property several times a day. I also take her for walks as often as I can. I like to keep the girls as fit as possible which makes their entire pregnancy, delivery, and recovery much easier. She is becoming more and more uncomfortable sleeping and prefers the cool cement floor or her crate of all things over anything, including the sofa (although the terribly blurry photo above is of her on the sofa). Funny girl. I’ve been trying to keep her downstairs where she will whelp, but she gets restless at night and isn’t happy until I allow her back upstairs. She goes in her crate and is content there. I think it is because it is much cooler upstairs away from the wood burner. Shay is such a sweet heart and loves to just sit by me and get petted. She’ll whimper every so sweetly in delight of it and sit there as long as I continue. But put her in the grouse woods and she will hunt a l l d a y l o n g and never consider stopping for a pat. All business when it comes to hunting. She has just about 2 weeks to go, although I am sort of hoping for a Super Bowl Day delivery (if the first breeding took that wouldn’t be out of the question at all and very highly likely).
I really only want healthy puppies and could care less when they arrive, I had only thought if they did arrive that day, we could have a Steeler’s theme or combination of Steelers and Packers-themed names! If the puppies do arrive that day and before the showdown, Shay x Ike’s puppies just might have to take on a Steelers/Packers theme, don’t you think? If the pups arrive after the game, it might have to be all Steeler’s names (the winning team of course). Okay, okay, truth be told if Pittsburgh wasn’t in this, I would totally be for Green Bay. I’ve just always had a liking for them (as well as the Patriots). My only problem with Green Bay is the color scheme. I am not the sort of girl who really much cares about that, but I just could never wear that color scheme. 🙂 Anyway, we’ll see. There are some really excellent themes submitted by many and I love all of them! Perhaps I’ll need to put it up for vote.
A male pup from this litter will be going to live and hunt in Sweden. This will be the first LML pup in Sweden and did you know there is an upland game bird in Sweden called the Capercaillie? It is also known as the Wood Grouse and is the largest member of the grouse family weighing around 14 lbs. Wow! That’s like a turkey! I have much to learn about upland bird species in other countries. I found the photo below showing both the male and female Capercaillie:
In other very exciting news, Santana has been bred to Steele. Puppies expected the last week of March, going to new homes the last weekend in May. Very stylish, high heads and tails, excellent drive and intelligence, biddable, bold and beautiful. Blizzard lines.
Ruffed Grouse season in PA is now, sadly, over. Winter is certainly bearing down on everyone in the U.S. this year and I have enjoyed all the snow we’ve received. We are in the midst of another storm bringing 6–10 inches this afternoon/evening. I am loving every flake of it! I took most of today to prepare ahead of the new snow by stocking up on firewood, cleaning out the pigeon loft, running errands to get the dog food, pigeon food, some new tarps, bales of straw, and then restrawing (is that a word?) all of the kennels.
There is now a nice, fresh, thick layer in all the kennels and the boxes are stuffed full. The boys go in the boxes and kick most of the straw out and many times I will look out and the dogs are not even in their boxes, but are snuggled in the straw in the front of their kennels by the gates keeping watch over the yard and neighborhood below. Funny. Even in the deep freeze of the past week (single digit temperatures), they were quite content just hanging out in their self-made “day-beds” in the straw so they could see everything going on. I’ve even seen Boone laying on the top of his Dog Den, perfectly happy to keep watch from the highest point, instead of being all snuggled up inside. As much as I fret over them and they are perfectly fine and happy (just like Scott always tells me).
The girls (inside) are plagued with ice balls on their feet every time they go out for a romp. They come back inside shaking their feet and must take time to pull it all off immediately. They can’t stand those ice balls! Frankly, the boys even seem to look better right now! They have beautiful, thick glistening coats, are fit, alert, and ready for anything. The girls are shedding terribly at the moment from the dry heat inside and are rather restless. I will have to start taking them to the preserves to keep them happy, fit, and sharp (ok, yes, I mean me, too).
In other exciting news, the famous Llewellin Setter, Count Noble, made The Pittsburgh Post Gazette this week. Check out the full article here.
I will leave you with one more exciting thought–there are just 217 days until September 1st (the opening day for upland bird season in some states)! Yahoo! Are you ready?