Ultrasound – there are puppies!

A poor picture of the ultrasound machine. The black circles are puppies.
A poor picture of the ultrasound machine. The black circles are puppies.

On Wednesday January 13, Dr. Helen Szostak, DVM palpated Sonic and said, “Yes, there are puppies!”

On Friday January 15, I took Sonic for an ultrasound at Remrock Farms and Dr. Larry Letsche, DVM said he saw 6 to 7 puppies. This is not a definitive number, but at least gives me an idea of how many to expect.

First due date is Friday February 19, five weeks from today.


Ultrasound scheduled

I have scheduled an ultrasound for Sonic on Friday January 15, 2016 @ 9:00 AM, which is day 28 from the first breeding. My understanding is the ultrasound will show whether or not she is pregnant and whether there are a few puppies or a lot, but not exact numbers. Fingers are crossed!


All together, I had Sonic’s progesterone level tested three times:

12/14/15: 1.82 ng/ml (Day 7 of season)

12/16/15: 3.73 ng/ml (Day 9 of season)

12/17/15: 4.19 ng/ml (Day 10 of season)

I decided that instead of running a 4th test on 12/18, we would take a trip to see Arrow instead.

Arrow and Sonic were bred 3 times, on December 18, 20, and 22, 2015, on days 11, 13, and 15 of Sonic’s season. They accomplished the breedings with minimal assistance from their humans. Based on her progesterone tests, puppies will be due around February 19, 2016.

Why am I breeding a litter of Flat-Coated Retriever puppies after all these years?

I got my first FCR, Tramp (Am/Can Ch. OTCh. U–CD Grousemoor Some Like It Hot TD WC; Can UD), in 1986. She was my first FCR, my first Champion, my first Obedience Trial Champion. Tramp had a litter of puppies for her breeder and co-owner, Helen Szostak, in 1989. One of her sons, Grousemoor Nike Air Jordan, went on to sire a dog named Valeycrst Boot Scootinboogie, who won the Veterans Sweepstake at the National Specialty. Although I had little to do with the breeding, I love knowing that my girl lives on in her descendants.

When my 2nd FCR, Treasure (Ch. OTCh. U-UD Grousemoor Forget Me Not UDX RN OA OAJ WC; Can UD; RL2 (1 JH leg earned when she was 11), reached the end of her life at 12.5 years old, I regretted two things: not doing more field work with her when she was younger, and not breeding her. Alas, it was not the time in my life to devote the time required to raising a litter of puppies, so I never even considered it.

I strongly considered breeding my 3rd FCR, Ty (Ch. Grousemoor Timeless UDX OM2 SH RE WCX; RL3), but for various reasons, never did.

So here I am, breeding Sonic. I adore her: her temperament, her looks, her biddability and huge desire to work, but also who she is as my every day companion.

To produce athletic, sound puppies with correct FCR structure, outstanding FCR temperaments and strong retrieving desire and abilities.

Sonic’s strengths
Outstanding temperament
Biddability/trainability/desire to work
Very birdy
Fabulous athlete
Beautiful head, feet, top line, tail set
Nice front
OFA Excellent hips

Want to improve on
Movement – would like more reach and drive, and she’s a bit too close in the rear
More forechest
Bit more coat and furnishings
Bite (Sonic is just a bit undershot)
Water courage – she finds long water entries and big water some what intimidating