Friday, November 16, 2007

Dog Stories Part IV -- Haven

Haven was our first show quality dog. I purchased her from a woman that breeds and shows her poodles that also lives in Michigan. Picking out a show prospect is serious business. Four of us were there to evaluate the quality of the litter at 8 weeks of age and determine which would be the most suitable to show. Haven had the conformation I was looking for as well as that "look at me attitude" that is essential for a show dog to have. If you would like to learn more about evaluating a litter of puppies, look at "Puppy Puzzle" by Pat Miller.

Unfortunately, Haven broke her leg at a round 10 weeks. The break was very close to the growth plate and the vets at MSU Veterinary School thought that the bone may not grow anymore and she may end up having to have the leg amputated. We are very fortunate that did not end up being the case. The leg did end up being about an inch shorter than the others so she actually walks like she is missing a shoe. It is because of the injury that she was unable to be shown.

She is from beautiful health tested parents and has been very healthy thus far. I am currently working on competitive Rally and Obedience titles with her. We do think she may have some arthritis issues from the break, because she does move slowly when she gets up in the morning.

Haven is wonderful with people of all ages and very loving. She loves to nuzzle you and sit on the couch resting her head in your lap. She has her Canine Good Citizen certificate and can also do the local children's reading program.

She is not, however a lover of other dogs. She absolutely hates Ruby and will try to kill her each and every time she sees her. You can imagine this has posed quite a logistics problem for us because all of our dogs are loose in the house. We are very careful that Ruby and Haven are never in the same room together.

Despite her nice pedigree, since temperment problems can be hereditary (not always) I did go ahead and spay her because of her iffy temperament. I just didn't want to risk it being passed on to puppies.

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