Naco 1/8/1995 - 4/14/2010

It's hard to write about Naco. I loved that dog more than tongue can tell and pen can write. In an earlier post I told the story of how he came into our lives. When I worked for Arizona Game and Fish, some of my duties were law enforcement related. I always took Naco with me- he just looked the part, and he had the best nose of any dog. One time I was checking the licenses of hunters and I stopped to talk to some hunters in a pick up truck. Naco was sitting on the front seat of my work truck. The window of my truck was rolled down, but I had gotten out of the vehicle to talk with the hunters. The next thing I know Naco has jumped out the window of my truck and is sniffing the edge of the hunters truck where the cap meets the bed. The driver seeing this says, "is that a meat detection dog."- Thinking quickly I say, "yes, and he is telling me that you guys aren't telling the whole story of your success." Sure enough Naco had alerted me to an illegally taken deer. I have a lot of stories like that. He made me look good more than once.

I always felt secure with Naco. He was my great protector. He was just so confident, so easy, and I felt he was wise. No matter where we lived, Naco slept next to my side of the bed. He was my dog. I loved to put my arms around him and give him a big hug. I miss him terribly.


Bliss is not having to share your chew toys



It's Spring- and that can only mean....... the start of BASEBALL season. I love baseball (sorry Utley- I am a Red Sox fan). When Mike and I lived in Tucson, I used to go to as many spring training games as I could (which was a lot). My "west coast" team is the Seattle Mariners and they did spring training in Arizona. This picture is of Acadia's Rocket Man- aka- Utley. He is sired by Ch. Acadia Rock Solid, HT x Ch. Acadia It's My Treat and owned by Sally and Dave. He is now beginning agility training. We look forward to hearing more success's from Utley (and how could he NOT be successful with that name!) Click HERE to see a video of Utley when he was 4 weeks old.


Health Testing Gift Certificates for the breeder in you life!!! Great Idea!

What a GREAT idea!!!

This morning I was looking up information on heath tests and VetGen offers the opportunity to purchase Gift Certificates . If you are ever thinking you would like to say Thank you to a dog (or cat) breeder- give them a Gift Certificate for future health testing. You will know that it will be used to improve their breeding program, and they will be very thankful for the assistance.

For Shelties, VetGen is the place to send DNA samples for the disease Von Willebrand's disease (vWD). vWD is a serious blood clotting disorder that can be fatal at times of trauma or surgery. This is particularly important since most dogs are spayed or neutered. Although it is becoming more rare (only 0.3% of TESTED dogs are affected, 9.4% are carriers), we can actually eliminate it from our breed through genetic testing. Unlike eye and hip tests, the test for vWD is a genetic test which lets a breeder know if that dog carries the gene for this disease.

If a breeder is doing the testing just for their own information, so they know they are breeding healthy dogs, they can take the sample themselves at home (it is an easy cheek swab- not drawing blood) and submit the sample to VetGen. The test price from VetGen is $140 for the first test - the price goes down per dog as you go up in the tests submitted together, but you spend more upfront to get the discount. If you want to have this test listed on OFA's website and counted towards a CHIC number, you have to pay OFA another $$7.50-15.00 (depending on who submits it) to list it, and also either have a licensed vet to do the collection and submission, or have VetGen "positively identify" the dog by doing a DNA Profile ($40). If you go the Vet route, they will charge you a minimum of an office fee, plus shipping the sample to VetGen. My Vet charged me $80- so one vWD test cost me $235.00 (sadly- if I had done it at home, it would have cost $187.50 and a lot less time!).

The great thing about genetic tests, if you breed two dogs who are "clear" together, all of the offspring are "clear by parentage"- but if you want that listed on the OFA site, or you need VetGen to verify this, each dog (both parents and the one you are attempting to get the new certificate) HAS to have a DNA Profile and then they charge you $50.00 to "verify" that what you claim is true and issue a "Clear by parentage" certificate.

Now, I think tests that are based on genes are really worth that price, but you can see how a gift certificate (in ANY amount) would really help.


house and yard

These two pictures just show a bit of the front of our farm. All of the area within the split rail fence (its 2 acres) is for the dogs and a few fruit trees. As you can see, it is on a hill. Our dogs have great muscle tone!!


7 weeks