Cold summer, hot news!

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.

We are back in business

Timing is hard with hormones. I had hoped to mate Rita in January. Maybe the delay was good, because in May I received a message from our chosen sire’s owner: there was a possible health issue to be looked into before using him. I appreciated being told, but it was a disappointment. Everything had seemed perfect in the dna-database and we had already been granted the Finnish Lagotto Romagnolo Breeding Board’s recommendation for the mating.

It was obvious that we needed to have plan B ready right away. With the help of breeder friends I found a new fiancé for Rita. His dna-profile proved him a fine match, so we invited him and his owners for a visit. Rita seemed pleased with the handsome and gentle 3-year old Romeo. Indeed, soon after that she finally started her heat. We were just in time to send in the forms for the Breeding Board’s recommendation once more.

Fighting for Rita’s love

It was easy to tell the right moment was approaching, when one day we woke up with our neighbor’s Australian sheep dog, Welmu, sitting on the porch and scratching our front door. Welmu is an experienced male, whose judgement can be trusted 100% in these matters. Jokingly his owner often talks about “the Welmu test” which is quicker and cheaper than the progesterone test.

Strangely enough, my castrated male Toto also gets very amorous with our bitches at the peak of their heat. He guards them as his own, frequently trying to mount them. Hearing Welmu at the door caused a fit of rage in Toto, who was able to push the door open from the inside to give Welmu a piece of his mind. There was a fierce, but short episode with lots of growling and mouths full of fur before Welmu decided to give in and go home. Sorry, Toto, but all the same you did not win. The winner is Romeo and that’s that.

Eloping lovers and pouring rain

Romeo’s family was driving home from their summer cottage through our town that day, so I sent my husband to visit some friends with Toto and Lola to give the lovers some privacy. As soon as Romeo arrived, Rita was setting the rules for the game. 

Romeo was willing, but Rita was determined. She lured him into the most intimate hide-away: a sandy spot in the middle of the high lakeside rushes on the neighbor’s side. For a while we did not see or even hear them. They totally eloped! 

When I finally heard Rita moaning, the best part of everything had already been taken care of. All that remained for us “assistants” to do was to make sure the first-time groom staid put as long as the two were stuck together. Just then it started pouring down with rain and in those very meaningful 15 minutes we got absolutely drenched.

What next?

It has now been three days after our second date with Romeo. In a few days Rita will have her first herpes vaccination, I shall make an appointment for the ultra sound 28 days into the gestation and start a diary to remind myself of the deworming routine and possible changes in Rita’s mood, appetite, temperature etc. If everything goes as it should, the puppies will be born around August 25th.

Thumbs up for Rita!