Pooches in the Ballpark 

Our favorite annual tradition!  Thankfully it was moved earlier in the spring to a May Cardinals game instead of June/July.  The dogs appreciated the much cooler weather!

Everybody enjoyed some hotdogs and nachos! :)More photos on our Facebook page!


PCA Recap and The Scramble To Breed Lula! 

What a whirlwind week (and some!) it has been!  Last week, April 20th - April 28th, was the Poodle Club of America National Specialty show (PCA).  PCA has been held in Salisbury, Maryland for many years but this year was the first (of many to come) years that it was held at Purina Farms here in St. Louis, MO.  Thursday - Sunday included field/hunt events as well as tracking.  Monday was a day of agility and a grooming competition, Tuesday was obedience, rally, performance parade and performance sweepstakes, Wednesday was dogs (conformation), Thursday was bitches (conformation) and Friday was Best of Variety/Best in Show. 

Charlotte, Ch. Apparition Deagra Dream Weaver RN, spent the week with us and earned her first Beginner Novice obedience leg on Tuesday. 

Millie, Peckerwood's Thoroughly Modern Millie CD BN RA CGC TKN, earned her final leg of her Rally Advanced title with a score of 96 to complete her title!  Love my Millie girl. 

Marcus, Ch. Apparition Deagra Penumbra BN RN CGC, competed in the inaugural performance sweepstakes and in the parade of the champions!

And.....Our Lulabelle, FINALLY came in season after nearly 14 months of waiting, and was ready to be bred right in the middle of the PCA rush.  We did manage to get her bred early in the week of PCA and we are now crossing our fingers and toes that she is indeed pregnant!  If she is, she should be approximately 11 days pregnant right now, with puppies due June 22nd. Stay tuned for an update after ultrasound confirmation, which is scheduled for May 19th.  


Lula, Lala and Millie's Latest Accomplishments!! 

Last weekend was an exciting one for our girls!  First, our Charlotte (aka LALA) finished her Rally Novice title on Friday.  Mary and Lala did a fabulous job earning a score of 96 and a pretty rosette to top it off!  Yay Mary and Lala! On Saturday and Sunday, Millie earned her first two qualifying legs in Rally Advanced.  She did excellent on Saturday earning a score of 96 - impressive since we haven't really trained in a couple of years, when she earned her obedience CD title.  On Sunday, my nerves got the best of me and we had some handler error issues (me ending up at the wrong sign a few times....) and Millie was tempted by the food bowls on the offset figure 8 - but she still earned a leg and a placement!

And - last but certainly not least - Lulabelle finished her Beginner Novice obedience title on Saturday and earned her first qualifying leg toward her Novice (CD) title on Sunday.  It was a fabulous weekend all around!  And - the best news - is that finally it appears that Lulabelle has come in season!  She has a slow biological clock and is one of those girls who only cycles once a year.  So - stay tuned for updates on the planned breeding between her and Winston this month!

Lula earns her Rally Advanced Title! 

Lula earned her first qualifying RA leg at the Lake St. Louis obedience and rally trials in January.  Just like with her RN run, she came out with a bang for her first RA leg earning a score of 99!  Last weekend at the Greater St. Louis Training Club rally trials, she completed her RA title with two more qualifying legs, both with respectable scores!  Next on our list of things to do is to finish her Beginner Novice obedience title (she needs one more leg) and then come out for her CD title in Novice Obedience.  She has also been busy training in tracking the past few months!

Yadi Earns his Rally Novice Title!  

Huge congratulations to Yadi and his owner Teresa for completing his Rally Novice title at the St. Charles Kennel Club shows!  Yadi is Lula and Marcus' littermate and lives with his adoring family in Kansas.  It was awesome to see and cheer for Yadi and his owner in the ring! 

Lula earns her Rally Novice Title! 

Lula, Ch. Apparition Deagra RN CGC, completed her AKC Rally Novice title this past August.  She came out with a bang scoring a perfect 100 for her first leg and respectable scores in the mid to high 90s for her other two legs.  This was our debut in companion events since the completion of her championship last January.  It's always a blast coming out for the first time in a companion/performance event!

Purina's Better With Pets Exhibit! 

Purina Farms, located only about 20 minutes away from us, opened up a brand new exhibit yesterday called, "Better With Pets".  About 10 different breeds of dogs and cats are featured in the exhibit and real live examples of those breeds were present during the reveal of the exhibit.  Lulabelle got to represent the Poodle!  We thought it was very fitting that the poodle in the exhibit is named, "Lulu".  Lulabelle was a fantastic ambassador for the breed and we even got to get our photo taken with Tony La Russa. 


Five Weeks Old! 

The puppies turned five weeks old on Friday.  Faces were shaved again over the weekend and the puppies spent lots of time exercising and playing outside.  Big sis Lulabelle is turning out to be a great nanny and loves to entertain the puppies.  Five weeks is approximately the time of a first fear stage, so I have begun working on confidence building with the puppies. Last night, I put down a plastic tarp with some wire crate panels underneath.  A few of the puppies bombarded over the tarp and thought it was the coolest thing ever.  Most of them exercised some due caution but all were able to be convinced that it was OK to carefully walk around on it. 

I'm continuing to work on the Communication Trinity exercises from last week.  I am mainly focusing on Manding, which I am finding to be very time consuming!  Most of the puppies just stare at me and eventually get bored and start exploring before they ever decide to sit.  They will get it! :)

Four Weeks Old! 

This weekend was very busy!  All of the puppies had their faces, feet, and tail bases shaved.  They were bathed and fluff dried.  They also got to go outside for the first time to begin to learn about the exciting world they live in.  In following Jane Killion's Puppy Culture, the puppies were introduced to step 1 of the Communication Trinity.  This is being conditioned to a training marker - a clicker.  A clicker is an incredibly useful training tool for marking desired behavior in puppies and dogs. 


The next two steps are teaching the puppy to offer behaviors, and teaching the puppy to "mand".  More on the next two steps later this week.

Enjoy some photos from their first jaunt outside!  This was before their first bath/fluffy dry.  :)

Three Weeks Old! 

The puppies turned three weeks old on Friday!  It's been an exciting week for them learning how to lap liquids from a bowl, enjoying their first kibble & goat milk gruel, having a potty area added to their pen, and families who have reserved puppies have been invited to come visit the puppies starting this week.  The window of socialization begins at three weeks of age, so all of these visits and experiences are important to the emotional and social development of the pups. 

I've been following Jane Killion's Puppy Culture video http://www.puppyculture.com/ to raise enrichment seeking, problem solving, well rounded puppies.  It's not very different from I've done before, but there are small tasks to focus on each week with the puppies.  This week, one focus is startle and recovery.  Starting at 21 days of age, puppies will startle upon hearing sound and something suddenly placed in front of them.  They don't yet have fear, and will recover immediately, so this week is the time to practice and become desensitized to being startled!  This can lead to a quicker recovery time once the puppies are older and do have that fear response to scary things. 

I have of course continued to handle each puppy as much as possible daily - rubbing toes, ears, stroking faces and tails - so that they are accustomed to being loved on! :)