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      News

      Did I mention the puppies?!?!

      I've been off the blog really since March 2014...and a lot has happened in that time!  The last update on Biddy and Tristan was right after Biddy's trip to NYC for the Westminster Kennel Club - her retirement show!    It was an amazing trip and she looked so beautiful!  My husband had her official show photos framed for me...it is hard to get a good picture of it since it is already up on the wall but you get the idea! image   We came back home and changed gears and competed in the AKC Hunt test - which was our last official post.  Our long tim plan was to breed Biddy and Tristan for one litter.  So fast forward a year...and our beautiful litter of Tristan and Biddy puppies was born on February 7, 2015.  We had nine...yes nine!  adorable puppies...5 girls and 4 boys.  I created a blog for the puppies that I kept up until the time that they all went to their new families.  A wild and wonderful experience it was raising these pups.  Here is the link to the puppy blog with pictures galore: www.tristanandbiddypuppies.blogspot.com  you can follow them from just a few days until their last days at home with us.  You can also see all kinds of information about their breeding, health tests etc. We co-bred this litter with Biddy and Tristan's breeders and had Cheryl from their breeding team come down and perform the 8 week evaluation for our puppies.  It was a tough decision, as we had an outstanding litter...but at the end of the day my husband and I decided on Boy #3 - and he is now Dogwood Hollow Indialucie's Native Son - "Nate".  Nate just turned a year old last month.  He is in training to begin his show career shortly and is getting ready to go to his first Hunt Test this weekend and get on some birds!!!     [caption id="attachment_680" align="aligncenter" width="768"]image Sweet Baby Nate ~ he is around 7 months old in this photo[/caption]   It is hard to let them go, but we feel so lucky to have found eight other wonderful families for our puppies.  They keep in touch,, so we are able to watch them grow and it is a real joy to know that they are all thriving with their families.  Here is the whole gang!  Everyone sent in pictures on the puppies' first birthday - it is amazing how much they all look alike and also like Biddy and Tristan!   [caption id="attachment_679" align="aligncenter" width="768"]image All the puppies right at about 1 year old ~ in their birth order - same as on the puppy blog! I think "Lily" was the popular dog name this year!!!  [/caption]   [caption id="attachment_279" align="aligncenter" width="2048"]Biddy and Tristan -Christmas 2013 Naughty or nice? Biddy and Tristan -Christmas 2013
      Naughty or nice?  Our proud parents![/caption]   So....as you can see, between raising a litter of puppies, then just one new puppy, and a business (oh...and a move across the state and back for my husband's job....) ~ not much time to sit down and write the blog!  We are now back home and re-settled in!   So stay tuned....we will be back out at the hunt test next weekend to see how we do on some birds.  If Biddy has a good weekend and gets a Qualifying Leg both days, she will earn her Junior Hunt title.  Tristan is going into the weekend with one...so I'm just looking for forward progress.  He love, love, loves to hunt!  This will be Nate's first time on wild birds and being out in the field with the horses, the other dogs and the guns...I think once he figures out what the game is he is going to be so excited!!  He is a lot like Tristan, he can hunt in the yard all day...so I am anxious to see how he does! Thanks for coming back to visit us!!!

      Check it out!!

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      We are proud to say our first round of treats has hit the shelves of stores here in Florida!  We are now offering three flavors of treats - all baked with love, using only 100% certified organic ingredients. Our current line up includes:  Pumpkin Snaps, Berry Banana Coco Chunk and Butternut Kale Bites   DSC_5182   Visit our store at:  www.dogmammas.com!   Pet Business logo

      Big News Coming!!!!!

      We have some big changes coming to Dog Mamma's soon!  My dream is finally becoming a reality!!!!!  Back in 2012 I walked into my local bank and opened a business account.  The lady at the bank asked me what my new business was.  I told her that my dream has been to have my own organic dog treat business.  I told her that didn't know how, but I knew that if I stuck to it...it would become a reality.  It has been a lot of twists and turns, ups and downs and uncertainty, but we are finally here! As I got up to leave I told her that by the time I was 50 my brand was going to be out there, serving pet parents that believe what we give our dogs matters. I was going to build my little company on my desire to intentionally treat, choose small and give back.  So....as you might guess, 50 is right around the corner, I'm taking a giant leap of faith and we are on the launch pad!!!!  Stay Tuned!!! cropped-cropped-Dog-Mammas_Logo_512x512px.jpg

      Switching Gears...gotta keep moving!

      So now what?! What do we do next?! That is the typical attitude that I get from my dogs...they are high energy sporting dogs...so while they enjoy a little R & R, like a lot of dogs, they are always up for something new and fun. So the next thing for Biddy and Tristan is to begin working on their field and hunt titles. It is late in the season for us down here, starting to get quite warm, so we will really be limited to practice and training at this point...which is much needed for all of us...especially me, and a lot of fun for the dogs. Last weekend I took Biddy and Tristan to our first AKC Hunt Test. This is the place to start for beginners in the world of field trials and hunt test. Brittanys are a pointing breed, as opposed to a retrieving or flushing breed. So the ultimate goal is to have your dog 1) find the birds 2) go up on point...to indicate to the hunter that is where the bird is at, 3) stay steady while the hunter flushes the bird out 4) stay steady while the bird takes flight and the hunter shoots...and the 4) depending on your level, bring the downed bird back to you without mangling it all up. [

      Bird dogs hung test photo

        The Brittany is the smallest if the pointing breeds and was really bred to be a gentleman's (or woman's!) walking gun dog. The are not a long ranging dog - like say a Pointer or Setter, but meant to work closely beside the walking hunter, pointing upland birds. For us in the South, it is all quail. For other areas of the country it can include woodcock, grouse, pheasant, Huns. Just so you know..at the hunt test are firing blanks, but when we practice, we take birds in season to our limits...and we do eat them....quail cooks up like a small Cornish hen and is quite delicious! So..the first goal for us is our Junior Hunt title. For pointing breeds the dogs run with a brace mate but the are scored individually. Each dog is given a score between 1-10, and an average score of 7 will earn you a qualifying leg. To receive your JH title you need 4 qualifying legs. A typical event is run on Saturday and Sunday, so each dog entered has the opportunity to earn up to 2 qualifying legs over a weekend. Christmas tree dogs holidays They are given scores in the following areas: hunting, bird finding, pointing and trainability. There is a Senior Hunter and Master Hunter title also, where more skills are added and the level of difficulty is much higher. One if my favorite blogs is 2 brown dawgs They do lots of hunt and field work, she has great photos and really explains the finer points to the sport. I need that other person to take the photos while I'm working my dogs! I haven't had my dogs out in the field for over a year...so my approach was I just wanted them to have fun and get their feet wet again. Well, we did that and then some! Tristan received one qualifying leg on Sunday with very high scores! He handled really well on Saturday and nice scores in "trainability"...which means your dog listens to your commands. I was very pleased with this. Meaning when I called him he didn't just take off and run the other way. He wasn't able to find any birds on Saturday though. They do a random drawing for the running order. He got the 2nd brace after lunch. It was the heat of the day and almost 80.

      The birds were down and it was hot, hot hot! In spite of the heat, he ran really well...my dogs are used to hot and humid.

       

      had a ball and got 2 qualifying legs. Her overall scores were not as high, butTristan 1st qualifying leg! AKC Hunt Test she qualified both days! These events are so fun for the dogs. They love being able to get out there and do their thing. I have a ways to go with my skills, but practice will get us all there. It is also a fun weekend in the RV with great dog people. There were a lot of different pointing breeds at the event. There are a lot of Vizslas here, as well as German wire haired and short haired pointers. We had a few Gordon setters and an English setter as well. Conditioning is super important for your dog when you enter any if these performance events. If your dog is overweight or out of condition...you really shouldn't enter until your dog is ready. There is a LOT if excitement for the dogs and I think if your dog isn't in shape, you put them at risk by turning them out there.

      We do a lot of running in warmer weather as well as strength and conditioning exercises to keep in shape. It really pays off when your dogs are going hard and fast!

      Tristan  training day  fall pointing dogs Tristan on a Training Day in the Fall

      for performance events keeps their minds and bodies working. What do you do with your dogs to keep them mentally and physically active? While all this seems exhausting...working a high energy breed out is the way to go....if you leave them to their own devices to work off their energy, you might not be happy with the outcome! A tired dog is a good dog!

      The easier said than done team photo !
      Bird dogs hung test photo
      image
      Tristan and his 1st qualifying leg!

      Westminster~we can check that box!

      Whew! It has been a busy month! After Biddy's whirlwind trip to New York City and Westminster....I've been playing what feels like a constant game of catch up while trying to run forward at the same time. While my girl didn't win anything, she made the cut at the end, with the very best dogs in the country of our breed. I was so thrilled with how she looked and handled herself and so very proud of her! This closed out her "show" career for the time being and I couldn't be happier!

      Art, Westminster~we can check that box!

      As my first show dog, she has by far exceeding my expectations! She finished out the year ranked the the #21 Brittany in the country in breed points (meaning she won Best of Breed enough times and beat enough dogs to get a ranking), and the #20 Brittany in All Breed points - which means she has had enough Group placements to rank in this area. She was the #4 Brittany bitch and #3 Brittany bitch all breed in the country as well. Typically the top dogs in our breed tend to be males...bigger, showier, so I am so so proud of her rankings. She has also had placements at our national American Brittany club events...so I am so, so proud of her. The whole WKC experience was kind of crazy....millions of people, thousands of dogs, and a lot of ice and snow! It is a benched show, meaning the dogs are on display for public meet and greet during the day...there are very few of these left in the country, but it was really fun and Biddy handled her "fans" very well! The dogs are all in aisles, in their crates or on leash with their handlers and then nothing short of MOBS of people all day long, wanting to pet, talk, ask questions and meet your dog....a great opportunity for people to learn about all the breeds.

      I kind of wish more shows offered this part...while it is exhausting...it is very educational... As a former shelter employee...I experienced a LOT of dogs turned in and many of the owners seemed to say...if I had only know, x,y, z...so an opportunity to learn for people who are interested is a really good thing! During the course of the afternoon...I would say at least 100 people took a selfie with Biddy...which was really funny...but she loves the camera and is super friendly...she gave out a LOT of kisses that day! By the end of the afternoon, she was still basking in all the attention...but so tired that she would stand there with her eyes closed as people petted her. While a chaotic experience, to say the least, I would do it again in a heart beat with the right dog, and maybe again with Biddy...it was an emotional moment for me as I took her around on the big stage one last time...as she nailed her free stack...I knew win, lose or draw....I loved my most beautiful girl. I have very few photos that I took of the experience, because as you can imagine, I as trying to hold on to my dog...so working the camera required that third hand! This is the photo that one of my friends snapped off of her computer. You can watch the live feed of the Brittanys (and all the other breeds too) by going to the Westminster Kennel Club Webiste...she was on Tuesday.

      I've ordered some of the photos taken by the ring side photographer but they haven't arrived yet...as soon as they do I will publish!   We stayed a few days on the way up and back at my sister's house in northern Maryland...Biddy got to experience snow for the first time and have a little fun with baby Hank...my sister's Bernese Mountain Dog puppy....isn't he cute!?

       

      Biddy and baby Hank! Biddy and baby Hank!

       

      Snowy yard dogs After a week on the road, thousands of miles (we drove from S. Florida), a lot of fun, excitement and snow...we are glad to be back home, doing what we do best...lounging by the pool! image Biddy catching some rays...

      Biddy catching some rays...