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My sweet boys

My sweet boys


I breed dogs. I enjoy breeding dogs. I even think I am pretty good at breeding dogs. I would go so far to say that my animal husbandry skills are exceptional.

How did I get to that place? It was not by chance that’s for sure. I grew up with my parents breeding English Bulldogs. My dad was passionate about the breed, my entire life and until his death he loved his dogs. I learned some things from my dad, pedigree research, breed type, love of a breed – but animal husbandry, common sense dog breeding – because there is a lot of common sense needed, and what is means to be a better than good breeder came from my mentors. I have had several but one is a standout.

My first well bred Corgi came from a breeder that has bred dogs now for fifty years. A retired nurse, she has bred BIS dogs and at one time had bred the most titled Corgi in the country! She is kind, blunt, honest and you may not always like her answers but she gives you her truth if you ask for it.

She taught me it might be better to simply pay the stud fee. Reason being the stud dog owner is looking out for their best interest and they want the best puppy for their line and that 9 times out of 10, that little stunner that you and your family fell in love with will be the puppy the stud dog owner will fall in love with too! It is not about emotions it is about common sense and doing the best by your lines. Needless to say I prefer to pay my stud fee. If the stud dog owner wants a puppy they can buy one but I will not have my first pick puppy going to anyone but me.

She has walked me through many labors, including ones that went south. She has coached me through hand raising puppies and what to do for fading puppies and how though it is hard to accept maybe it is a blessing to have lost them when they are little and not when they are older and it hurts worse. She has helped me to nurse sick dogs and what meds I needed and where I could get them and what I could do myself.

I was talking with her yesterday and she remembered how I had a puppy with an infected eye, and they weren’t open yet. It was a weekend and I wasn’t sure what it was and what should be done. She opened the eyelid ever so gently and put warm compresses on the puppy’s eye, pus poured out. She said she had never seen me so pale, my lips were almost white and she said she was doing her best to remain calm and matter of fact because she was scared to death I would pass out on the floor in front of her! I remembered that day well. Scared the sh*t out of me. I have had that happen since then and I knew what to do and I was able to deal with it with a degree of confidence.

She also taught me when not to wait, what I shouldn’t try to do on my own. When to head to the vet and make sure I have a vet that I trust and more that loved what they did. I have gone through many vets to get to the one I have today and I will say with some confidence my vet is a diamond, a total jewel, she is priceless! My mentor taught me well.

I had never thought about all that I have learned, in fact I took it for granted until I have been talking to a friend that doesn’t seem to have the same skill set. It was never taught to her. Her mentors did not know themselves is all I can figure.

Breeding dogs is not for the faint heart. Whelping a litter is without a doubt one of the scariest experiences of my life. Every litter’s labor worries me. Getting those littles on the ground is just the beginning. Sometimes you have to watch around the clock that the pups are thriving, feed them if not, watch them fade as you valiantly continue to work with them. Get the pups where they are steady and strong next it is worming, vaccines, keeping the area as clean and cootie free as you can – which for me is I don’t go to dog shows, I don’t go to the vet, unless I must and hopefully after the pups have been vaccinated at least twice. During this time you  are working with the puppies, exposing to all that you can so they leave you sound of mind and body. It is a continuous process.

Should you decide to breed, think hard. It is a huge commitment. When you look for your foundation stock look for a breeder to mentor you. Be willing to wait for the perfect dog and the perfect breeder for you. I have waited for over two years for a dog from a certain breeder, over a year from another. The wait is always worth it. It is as important who that person is as what your dog looks like. Let them know you want to learn, ask them would they mind you calling, emailing, and otherwise sitting at their feet in order to learn what they have learned. Find someone you respect, that other breeders respect, that is ethical and that loves their dogs. Someone that smiles and their eyes shine when they talk about their dogs. It’s not about the money, it’s about heart. It is about the love of a breed. Share your passion and they will see it shining out of you too. Look for mentors in breeders of other breeds. People that you admire that you see at the dog show or read about. Don’t limit yourself to just your breed. Be open. Be honest.Be willing to do whatever it takes to learn more.

I am blessed. I continue to be mentored by my breeders and friends that are breeders. As long as I breed I will be learning. When I stop learning or God forbid I think I know it all, is the day I need to stop breeding.

Parvo Virus



I am not an expert, not a vet nor a vet tech but I have survived Parvo. Several years ago I had a litter of nine start getting sick exactly seven days after one of my dogs came home from being shown.

It started with one little girl throwing up.I was lucky that I was there and I saw it. I had just moved the littles to the puppy house, mom was with them but they weren’t big enough to open the puppy door to go out on their own. It was early summer, so they had the air on in the puppy house and it was comfy inside. So I see the puppy throw up. I pick her up,look her over, didn’t notice anything unusual so I tagged her with a paper collar so I could find her again. I started giving her a couple syringes of water with a little honey every time I came and went, she didn’t seem sick but I didn’t want to take chances that maybe she had a bug of some sort. The next day another puppy threw up, again the puppy did not act sick but just because I tagged it too and started that on syringes of fluid. Third day another puppy. So I tagged that one,and loaded the first one up and took her to the vet.

My vet was on vacation and she had a substitute vet that I did not know and did not know me. They took a stool sample and come back in a little bit, telling me my little had a STRONG parvo reaction. I about lost my mind. HOW ON EARTH DID MY BABY HAVE PARVO? I mean, we constantly cleaned, sprayed OdorBan and bleach and every other thing I could find to clean up with. We scooped our yard, never left our dogs in dirty areas. HOW THE HELL DID MY BABY GET SICK?

Turns out there was a breeder that lost a litter and decided to load up her cooty-fied dogs and take them to the show. Turns out her dogs though not visibly sick were still shedding virus. Turns out it was not just me. Others had puppies sick too. Puppies that died.

So here it goes. My dog was at a show. Her handler is a very thoughtful, neatnik that keeps an impeccable site. Somehow, somewhere my dog walked through something that left enough parvo cooties on her feet that she left her handlers set up, rode in a van with a friend, rode in my Yukon, walked down my driveway, across my puppy yard to her yard and seven days later my babies started to get sick. My friend who gave my dog a ride had dogs and puppies at that show too, 3 of the four puppies did not make it. One of those puppies went from the show to a new home and got sick and passed away. So we know the place of origin.

I am lucky, I am blessed. I am a trauma ER nurse by trade. I am tenacious by nature and relentless in my pursuit of you do not get to die at my house. At least not without a fight.

Poor vet. She wanted to keep my sick little and I told her absolutely not. There was NOTHING they could do that I couldn’t do better and I was there 24/7. The vet looked at me like I had lost my mind – I had and luckily the vet techs knew me well and backed me up. I was sent home with a giant box of meds and directions. I went home to the scariest few weeks of my life.

The point of this? The point is Parvo is everywhere. You cannot see it. You cannot initially smell it – though once your dog get sick and you will smell a very distinct smell that you will know forever as Parvo. You can do things to prevent it. Vaccinate. Vaccines can and will save your dogs life. Don’t take your young puppies out places that you know are harmful – you would not walk your dog in the middle of a busy street so why to you drag your pups into cesspools of cooties? Call your vet ask if they have had any really sick dogs before taking dogs that could be susceptible to illness – the young, sick and old. Carry the dogs you can carry through the vet rather than walking them esp if they have never been vaccinated. Wipe your dogs feet off before getting into your vehicle after going to the vet, the dog show, Petsmart – wherever.  Wipe your feet too. Can’t hurt to wipe them off the dogs again and you when you are home before you unload too.

Does it seem like a lot? Like a bit of a pain in the ass? Maybe? I survived Parvo with nine puppies that luckily, blessedly walked away. This week my dear friend has lost puppies, she is working her ass off to save the rest. We all believe that it can’t happen to me, to my dogs, but it can. Having lived through the nightmare of Parvo I don’t like taking chances. I cannot bear the idea that I did less than my best and if I lost one of my dogs I would know forever that it was my fault because I do know better. I know what it takes and what I should do.

I would love to hear from others that have survived Parvo or those that rescue and fight Parvo regularly.

Nina Ornholt - September 11, 2016 - 5:57 pm

Thank you for sharing your wisdom and experience. Parvovirus is scary and puppy owners and breeders are mostly helpless when it strikes. The vets own this illness, and we know well that many of the sick dogs pass in their care. With your background, tenacity and 24/7 care, your 9 puppies pulled through. A small miracle that inspires and brings hope to other people battling to save their puppies.

Cold weather

I do not like the cold. Not here not there not anywhere. The only good thing that I can get out of the cold is that I can wear my Christmas sweaters comfortably. Unfortunately where I live if it is cold it is humid and the cold just sits in your shoes, settles on your shoulders and is generally nasty. It is gray, damp and dreary. It is so bad I have to work to dig up the effort to even stay awake.

I am waiting for the warm weather.

kim - January 20, 2014 - 8:01 am

Hello came accross your website ..I am a Dane owner as well wanted to know if you had a litter coming up by any chance


It is funny how our children’s birthdays stir such feeling and emotions. Tomorrow is my youngest son’s birthday. Pretty much all my friends know that Dev was determined to get here in a most memorable fashion – by making record time…We arrived at the hospital at 0602 and Dev was on the ground at 0642. Oh, yeah and I was the banshee down the hall throwing the fit! Dad missed the show by stopping for donuts. He was so sad too, as he had missed Cheyne’s birth since we were out of state.

Thinking about the birth of my boys and then seeing the reality of them today as grown men of twenty five years and twenty four years is mind blowing. They are truly grand men! They are tall,broad shouldered, handsome, dark eyed, smiling, laughing, kind, sweet, funny and truly fantastic in ways that people that are your own children can only be. I am always amazed at their size. They are so big! The nicest thing is that they are truly a joy to be around. I look at them and I am truly so very blessed. These boys of mine have my heart at tied up in knots. I am brimming full of pride watching them make their way into the world. It is so hard stepping back and allowing them their own choices and keeping my opinions to myself, but I am glad that I do. I am liking the choices that they are making. I am liking the men they are still becoming. I am ever so proud, surprised, amazed that these two absolutely amazing beings have blessed me with being their mom. Of all the titles they I may rack up in a lifetime none mean as much to me as the one of being my sons’ mother.

Happy birthday, Baby Boy! I love you forever.


Cancer Sucks. Really Sucks. We have had several experiences with cancer. None were good. None made me happy.  This past year we had two encounters. Pepper ,our tri Corgi had breast cancer, her second time. She made it through surgery and is still with us today.My Pepper is always near my side and I am thankful. Gracie, one of our Danes, was not so lucky. I noticed that Gracie’s pastern was a tad swollen and took her to the vet. I knew seeing the swelling that it was osteosarcoma – the swelling on the pastern is often the first sign you see of the cancer, by the time you see it  – it is too late. We xrayed, biopsied and prayed. Prayed that it wasn’t so, prayed it was something, anything else but it was what it was. I decided to take Gracie with us to Kansas to the GDCA Nationals with her daughters and Bree. Carol ,Nina and I had the most wonderful trip. Everyone that met Grace commented on how pretty she was, how kind she was – it was seen by all that met her. It was only marred by the fact that I knew that every day was a blessing and my time with Grace was to be brief.

I can’t say that I was there when Gracie was born, John and the boys delivered her litter and updated me all day at work. Grace was special from the first day, she was always a good ,kind puppy, never a problem,only wanted to be with her people. Gracie was the same throughout her life. She showed because we asked it of her, never because she loved it. She protected Viva and her car because she loved Viva. She totally won over Carol to the breed by sitting on her lap and staring soulfully in her eyes until Carol fell in love with her.

Grace was a great mommy, giving us Vin,Gianni,Ida, Sherman, Honey,Lulu, Reece, Wyatt, Sookie, Riddick, Sugar,Hope,Chaos,Gus, Angus, and two more whose names escape me – leaving an indelible paw print behind  forever, thankfully.

I had more time than most, less than some. Gracie’s days were good, with soft cushie dog beds all over for her, kisses and hugs. I worried that she knew I cried daily, I tried to simply enjoy being with her but it was so hard to look at my beautiful girl and know my time was so short and I was so powerless. Gracie was graceful to the end. She let me know when it was time and I honored her as best I could.Doc Sherry and her staff were supportive and kind and though I already love them, I love them more for helping me so kindly that awful day.

I miss my Gracie daily. I love her daughter and son that I have with me. I love them and give them her and their kisses daily. I am so blessed to have had my Grace. She gave me so much, her blessings are with me daily and I am thankful.

I miss you my Grace, I always will, you took a giant chunk of my heart with you. I know you are with your mommy,grandmommy and grandpa and that all is well where you are  – there is no pain, no limits, there is sunny days, cool breezes ,shady places to lay and we’ll all be together again, where ever dogs go to heaven that is where I want to be. One day.

I have read this post and if I could I want to suggest you few interesting things or tips. Jones sabo my best grandpa and my my father experi

Jan Conner - May 21, 2015 - 2:34 pm

Awe you had me crying. I lost my yorkie 3 years ago and my Maltipoo recently had cancer on her spleen and bladder. I know she won’t be around to much longer so I’m enjoying the time I have left with her.

Jane White - August 21, 2015 - 1:28 pm

The love of my life and companion “Kayleigh Crea”‘s cancer has recently returned. My sweet wheaten has been with me for 12 years. I am a widow and we only have each other. She is beginning to deteriorate with arthritis.
I cried with her until I couldn’t cry anymore. I lost my husband the same way, day by day cancer just took him away. How will I know when to say good bye to me best friend?

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