Happy Mothers' Day!
Let's talk about the gals who are the most recent Mothers here at SP Kennel. These four dogs have produced all of the dogs under the age of 4 years and 75% of the 5 year olds. Next season, these dogs' puppies will make up over 80% of our racing dogs and all of our yearlings.
Of course, there's SuperMom Olivia (below left). She will turn 9 years old this summer. Olivia currently has the largest number of offspring at SP Kennel: a ridiculous 21 from three litters! This is actually a huge percentage of our racing dogs for next season. We could literally, have a team consisting of only Olivia's pups! Visually, nearly 50% of Olivia's pups resemble her with a tri-colored coat and bright blue eyes. They are also very talented sled dogs - eleven of them raced in the Iditarod 2016.
Olivia is a patient Mom. Who wouldn't be patient after raising so many puppies? She has always been very caring and happy to be with her pups. After weaning, she still liked to visit her puppies throughout their puppyhood. She still enjoys checking in with her youngest litter: the now 7 1/2 month old Coffee Litter. Olivia is spending the summer next to her boyfriend of many years, Nacho, and her son and daughter; Decaf and Creamer. She should have plenty of time in the next few months to bond with her offspring while on dog walks (and hopefully whisper racing secrets in their ears.) Olivia is still intact and could have more puppies.
Quito (above right) is a Mom of three litters as well and a total of 17 offspring here at SP Kennel. Quito turns 10 years old in June. Her first two litters were fathered by Biscuit and do not resemble their Mother whatsoever. So much so that people forget that Quito is actually their mother. Her only pup, who even slightly resembles her, is Chevie (P.C.) who is from her 7 month old litter fathered by Kosak. Every other pup either looks like "Dad" or some mysterious Milkman. Quito is still intact and could have more puppies.
Quito is Quito. She is the Boss of the yard, the house, any racing team that she is on and any other situation she finds herself in at the time. She is a good mother but isn't overly sensitive. She enjoyed 'harassing' her youngest litter throughout this past winter and wandered over to visit her pups after every training run. These days, when she is running around loose, she doesn't make a point to visit anyone anymore. I guess she feels that at 7 months old her pups should be 'on their own'.
Chica (below left) is sweet and sensitive. She is the Mom of two litters and 6 offspring here at SP Kennel. Chica turns 10 years old in June. Mac is the only pup left at the kennel from her first litter. He was an "oops" breeding, but we sure are happy to have him. He resembles his Momma with his exuberance (when it's time) and mellow (when it's not time) attitude. This 'Jekyll and Hyde' division of personalities is amazing to watch - when they are in harness racing you wouldn't imagine them sleeping soundly indoors on the oriental rug. But, when they are dozing indoors visitors will ask "does this dog ever race?" Chica is spayed and will not have any more puppies. Chica's second litter has a difficult start to life with a major health scare. But now the Five litter is a group of amazingly happy, tough and talented almost 2 year old dogs.
Nutmeg (above right) is a 'go getter' even at age 12 years. She is the Mom of one litter and two offspring here at SP Kennel. She is one of the few retired dogs at SP Kennel who has not graduated to a spot on the couch or throw rug indoors. She is a tough, hardy dog who is opinionated and loud. She has always believed that she's simply the BEST.
Nutmeg is a good Momma. Her two puppies were born later in the summer. Cayenne takes after her Mom as far as 'cocky' personality so she picked on her brother Champ constantly. So, her first winter she shared a pen with her older, bigger half brother, Torch, whereas Champ is truly a Momma's boy and spent the entire winter sharing a pen and a dog house. Sweet!
FYI -- We have no expectant Mothers as of yet this year.
But… we'll keep you informed should "anything" happen.