Back in the Saddle Again – October 2017

I’m not sure if anyone is still following my web site but just in case there are a few determined souls out there I thought I’d give an update on the craziness at Spectrum House.  Between my (paying) job and a variety of significant but not dangerous human health issues there has been  little time to post basset news.

So, in one fell swoop I’ll bring things up to date:

  • Libby & Puppies.  No success, again.  I bred Libby (GCH Vision Spectrum Topsfield Love A Mystery CD BN RA NJP CGC) using surgical implantation to Wheaties (CH Topsfield-Sanchu Wheaties) but there were no puppies.  I am very sad and disheartened.  The sperm was good so Libby must not be able to either produce viable ova or retain fertilized ones.  She’s approaching 7 years old so she’ll retire from the whelping box and spend full time on obedience and rally from now on.  She may even make an appearance in the Veteran Class at some conformation specialty shows.
  • Pippin.  Pippin (CH Spectrum Topsfield Pippin of Sanchu BN RN) has been training hard in agility, obedience and rally with very good results.  Due to a shoulder injury (torn rotator cuff) that eventually required summer surgery I have not been able to run Pippin at full speed.  His agility instructor, Karen Hocker, has been graciously running him in class and then competed with him at the Wachusett Kennel Club agility trials in September.  Pip earned Novice Preferred FAST and Novice Preferred Jumpers with Weaves legs with Karen!  At the Basset Hound Club of America National Specialty Shows & Trials I was able to compete with Pippin in Rally and Obedience.  He earned 2 Beginner Novice Obedience legs to complete his BN title!  He also earned 2 Rally Novice legs to complete his RN title with an extra leg!  Next up for Pippin is taking the TDI qualifying test.  If he passes we will look for an organization to start therapy visits later this fall.
  • Beatrice.  Bea (Spectrum Topsfield Vision Dante’s Beatrice) continued with conformation training but due to injuries she has not been in any conformation competitions since February.  I hope to be released from restricted running at my next post-op visit and then start Bea in conformation again this fall.  She just needs a few non-major points to finish her championship.  Either way, we will breed Bea when she next comes into season and hopefully have some puppies this winter.
  • Noodles.  Noodles (MBIS MBISS CH Topsfield Vision SilverNoodles CD BN RA NJP NAP CGC TDI) continues to enjoy retirement.  She turned 14 years old in August and all things considered is doing well.  She has been battling a yeast infection and may have lymphoma (biopsy inconclusive) but she doesn’t know it and is as mischievous as ever, opening gates and peeling back Velcro from the dog food bins so she can have an unscheduled snack.  To keep her from getting bored I have started teaching her Scent Work.  She is amused but still willing to work for treats.

So what’s next for the Bassets of Spectrum?  We’ll try to finish Beatrice’s AKC Championship and then breed her.  Libby will complete her AKC Open obedience training and begin competing.  Pippin will compete in agility and hopefully complete his AKC Novice Standard, Jumpers and FAST titles. Noodles will continue to enjoy life and maybe try a scent trial or two.

More news next month.


News from the Pack

A New Champion!
Another one of the Divine Comedy litter became an AKC Champion recently.  Dante, handled by professional Candy Carswell, finished his title on February 25, 2017.  He is now know as: CH Spectrum Topsfield Vision Dante’s Paradiso.  Dante is a sweet boy but we have decided to neuter and place him in his forever home.  On April 9 he’ll join the Puntillo family in Shrewsbury, MA as their new basset boy.  Until then he’ll be at home recovering from surgery and keeping us entertained with his silliness.

Therapy Dog in Training
Pippin is taking Therapy Dog training at DogStar Activity Center in Acton, MA.  As you can imagine, the hardest tests for Pipping (and most bassets) are the “leave the food on the floor”  and the “don’t jump on the lap” tests.   However, he is making progress and we hope to pass the Therapy Dog International test in May.

If Libby cooperates we are still working towards our new schedule for a fall 2017 litter.  Stay tuned for progress.

No Plan Survives First Contact

Well, for those who were waiting for news about the next Spectrum litter you won’t be happy with what I have to write.

I am very frustrated!

Libby came into season on March 6, 2017 – early by her old schedule but consistent with the five month interval she has been experiencing recently.  Assuming she would be ready to breed 7-14 days into her season and knowing that puppies are born 63 days from ovulation, we would expect puppies roughly 10-11 weeks after the start of her season. That would be the end of May.

Hannah & Patrick!

I knew that this would be the earliest possible time for puppies, assuming Libby went with her new schedule.  And that would have been ok – I had no travel or events planned for mid-May 2017 through mid-June 2017.  We need to go to a wedding in Baltimore at the end of June but could have managed that with the help of friends and our pet sitter, assuming puppies were 3-5 weeks old at the time.

Irma Zetterlund, 1923 – 2017

Sadly, my mother-in-law passed away in late February.  This was not unexpected, as she had been fading slowly for several years, but the issue is that we must travel to Sweden for her funeral and internment.  The date for the internment has been set for the end of May and I must go to support Bjorn.  So, I could not breed a litter of puppies of which I could not take proper care.  So, I did not breed Libby and there will be no potential for summer puppies.

I could really use some luck!

If Libby stays on schedule she will come into season next in mid-August.  I will definitely breed her at that time.  If we are lucky, pups would be born in mid-November.  Keep your fingers crossed that nothing else comes up!


On Your Mark … the Puppy Plan

Most people don’t understand the care, thought and money that goes into the careful breeding of dogs by responsible hobby breeders.  As I begin the journey again I thought I would journal the steps I use to give you an idea of what is involved.

“Libby” – GCH Vision Spectrum Topsfield Love A Mystery CD BN RA NJP CGC

If you have read my site you would know that I bred Libby back in the winter of 2014.   She had one litter in February 2015 and was an excellent mother.

She produced four healthy and happy puppies, three of whom had or are having good show careers.  The fourth is having an excellent career as a canine companion in a loving home in Bedford, MA.  Based on the success of this litter I decided after careful consultation with my co-owners to try again.

[If you are wondering how a black-masked, open tricolored dam produced four red-and-white puppies, chalk it up to the vagaries of color genetics in bassets.  Libby’s dam was red-and-white and her sire was tricolor, and the sire of the litter was red-and-white, so we were pretty certain to get most or all red-and-whites.  The sire of the next litter is a classic black-saddle tricolor dog so I hope we get some tri-colors!]

As a team we reviewed pedigrees, discussed conformation strengths and weaknesses and reviewed the detailed pros and cons of each puppy from the first litter and first sire.  After going back and forth for a while we decided to do artificial insemination using frozen semen from a dog I had always admired for his intelligence, personality, and conformation; he also had the correct pedigree to bring in characteristics that would hopefully produce even more beautiful as well as happy and healthy pups.

However, Libby had other plans, coming into season six weeks early while we were over 1000 miles from home attending the BHCA Nationals in St Louis, Missouri.  By the time we got home Libby’s progesterone levels were at the high end of target for breeding.  I decided to give it a try anyway but it didn’t work out and there were no puppies.

In order to have the maximum probability of success this time I took Libby to Dr. Ann Huntington, our reproduction veterinarian, for a full battery of tests in January, well ahead of Libby’s next cycle.  We tested for any medical conditions or underlying illnesses that might prevent pregnancy from occurring:  broad spectrum tick borne diseases (Idexx), detailed thyroid levels (U Michigan), reproductive system infections (Cornell U).

We found a minor vaginal infection that we are treating now so that Libby will be 100% ready when she comes into season.

So now we wait.  Normally Libby is on a roughly six month schedule of seasons meaning late March or early April would be her next cycle.  However, since she was over a month early the last time, I am preparing for her to start as early as the end of February.  I continue to feed her a high quality food (Purina ProPlan Grain Free) and high quality supplements (VetriScience Glycoflex III, Wholistic Pet Canine Complete, Wholistic Pet Salmon Oil), make sure she gets plenty of mental and physical exercise through play and formal training, and hope we have luck on our side this time.

Pedey has Landed

Congratulations to the Solitro family – Kathy and children Ava & Joe – on welcoming Pedey (CH Spectrum Topsfield Vision Dante’s Inferno) to their family.  Pedey is settling in well and enjoying his new life in Central Massachusetts.  I hope to see Pedey and Ava some day in the Junior Showmanship ring!  Pedey loves to show and Ava loves dogs, so it’s a match made in heaven.

I like it here, I can sleep on the bed!

2017 Plans

I am getting a lot of inquiries about puppies so here is what’s in store for 2017.

Libby should come into season in the late winter (February/March).  We will try again to breed her.  If it works puppies will be born 9 weeks later.  Depending upon the size of the litter there may be puppies available for placement.  We do not make any final decisions on which dogs to keep for competition and which are available for new homes until they are at least 12 weeks old.  This also allows us watch them grow, perform temperament tests and health screenings, and complete initial vaccination protocols.

So, realistically and in the most optimistic situation, puppies would not be available until the summer of 2017.  Frankly, summer is a great time to bring a new dog into a home as you have the easiest weather for housebreaking and training.

Check here and on my AKC Marketplace page for updates.  I will start a formal wait list if/once pregnancy is confirmed by ultrasound and potentially take deposits for 1-2 puppies depending upon the estimated litter size.

Also, I am still considering placing Dante in a new home after he completes his AKC championship.  I will be following up on inquiries about the young boys I mentioned in an earlier post.  Pedey will be heading to his new home in a few weeks after reference checks are complete and he is neutered.

Questions?  Comment below or send email.


New Champion Pedey – now with photos!

Spectrum Basset Hounds were very successful at the Holiday Cluster dog shows December 9-11, 2016 at the Better Living Center of the Eastern States Exposition Center in West Springfield, MA.

Pedey and Beatrice both were competing but Pedey was the big winner!  Here are his results – Pedey was handled by Candy Carswell in all of the competitions in the Open Dog class.

  • Friday, 12/9/2016.  Best of Breed/Best of Winners/Winners Dog under judge Fred Vogel.  Pedey defeated four champions for this win to earn a 4 point major!
  • Saturday, 12/10/2016.  Best of Opposite Sex/Best of Winners/Winners Dog under judge Jackie Fogel.  Pedey defeated three dog champions for this win to earn a 3 point major and New Champion!
  • Sunday, 12/11/2016.  Best of Opposite Sex under judge Eddie Dzuik.  Pedey was moved up to the Champions class and defeated three other dogs for his first (and only) breed points as a special.

On the way to his championship Pedey earned 4 majors and a total of 16 championship points, pending AKC confirmation.  He will now be known formally as:  CH Spectrum Topsfield Vision Dante’s Inferno.

Beatrice did well although not quite as well as Pedey.  I handled Bea each day in the Bred By Exhibitor class.

  • Friday, 12/9/2016.  Best of Opposite Sex/Winners Bitch under judge Fred Vogel.  Bea defeated a bitch champion for this win and earned a 3 point major!  This was Bea’s 2nd major win.
  • Saturday, 12/10/2016.  First Place in BBX under judge Jackie Fogel.  No championship points although she did beat 2 other bitches for the class win.
  • Sunday, 12/1012016.  Reserve Winners Bitch under judge Eddie Dzuik.  There was a major to be won but no award this day.

Bea now has 11 championship points,pending AKC confirmation.  We’ll try to gain those remaining championship points this winter.

Congratulations also to Pedey on gaining his forever home!  He’s been promised to the Solitiro family of Holden, MA after his championship is confirmed and he is neutered.

Next Up:  campaigning Dante to earn his Championship.  He will be available to his forever home when that is complete, hopefully in the Spring of 2017.

Pictures are on the way from the show photographer for posting soon!

No Puppies for Libby, but Two Young Boys are Available!

Well, last week’s ultrasound showed we missed with Libby so there will be no puppies in the Spectrum household this Christmas.  It is very disappointing to work so hard (and spend so much money) and end up with no result but that is the reality of being a careful breeder.  We will try breeding Libby in the spring so stay tuned for updates.

Two of Libby’s puppies from the “Divine Comedy” litter are available for re-homing this winter.  I have to decided to try complete AKC championships on Dante (Spectrum Topsfield Vision Dante’s Paradiso) and Pedey (Spectrum Topsfield Vision Dante’s Inferno) but do not plan to use either dog in our breeding program.  I’ll post pictures of the two boys shortly.  Each will be neutered before going to his new home.  Contact me by email if you are interested in learning more about Dante or Pedey.

You can see Pedey in dog-show-action in December.  He and Beatrice are entered at the following shows, all held in the Better Living Center at the Eastern States Exposition Center, West Springfield, Massachusetts:

  • 12/3/2016.  Worcester County Kennel Club
  • 12/4/2016.  Worcester County Kennel Club
  • 12/9/2016.  Champlain Valley Kennel Club
  • 12/10/2016.  Eastern Dog Club
  • 12/11/2016.  Eastern Dog Club

These are the last shows we’ll attend in 2016.  Shows resume in early January 2017 – watch for details.