As soon as a baby is born, families usually start arguing about whom the baby looks like. The same with puppies: head from mom, tail from dad and so on... And then begins the big debate on how to name the babies.
Although considered as one of the oldest breeds in Europe, according to present knowledge, the global population of our breed, Cirneco dell’Etna, is relatively small. Cirneco-like dogs have appeared on the Italian island of Sicily for about three thousand years. During the last centuries the Cirnecos have been used in hunting wild rabbits on the challenging slopes of the volcano Etna.
Rita’s puppies were born on exactly 62 days after the mating. As I am writing this they are 3.5 weeks old, cute beyond any verbal description and getting more active every day.
Finland has so far seen the coldest summer in fifty years. It is nearly July and we are still waiting for the temperatures to rise beyond 20°C. The only bit of hot news in the middle of this is that our puppy plans were finally reactivated with Rita’s heat.
The thought of Nordic winters often makes people yearn for that magically white, glistening fairytale scenery from Christmas cards. But that is not nearly the whole story. With dogs in the household it can get rather muddy & messy.
New year, same old unpredictable life
Apart from the weather being very whimsical this winter, my dogs keep coming up with all kinds of new follies as the season drags on. Unpredictability is the word that best describes our life for the last month.
I breed Coton de Tulear dogs under the kennel name “Lighthouse Friend’s”. I got interested in DNA testing and in monitoring the test results in 2010 when my Breed Club organized health testing at our annual autumn event. Then, among other things, it was possible to test the dogs for a canine retinal disease (Canine Multifocal Retinopathy type 2 – CMR2), identified in the Coton de Tulear breed.
I was never a very patient person. That is why I love my dogs. They have taught me more about patience than I ever thought possible. And I enjoy every unpredictable day with them.
People make plans, dogs don’t
I am still waiting for the first signs of my lagotto bitch Rita’s heat. According to my calculations she should start any day now. The sire recommended for her by MyDogDNA Breeder database lives abroad, so at any given moment I shall be busy booking progesterone tests, flight tickets, hotels... But so far all I can do is wait.
All breeders have gone through this once: the first litter! But maybe it feels even more exciting to me, since my “dog life” is altogether very recent history.
One is never too old to learn
I used to be very allergic to dogs and never dreamed of owning one until we moved away from the city and our first rescue beagle Steffi moved in. This was sixteen years ago and I had just celebrated my 50th birthday.