AKC Rhodesian Ridgebacks Ethically Bred and Raised in our Home. Therapy and Show Dogs raised with Children.

Blogging at Bwana

view:  full / summary

Bob of Bwana

Posted by bwanasrhodesianridgebacks on October 9, 2011 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)

I was asked by an old friend about the kennel the other day. She had seen some puppies for sale in a tent on the side of the road near our big Outlet Mall. They had Daschunds and fluffy mixed pups. Not AKC , apparently they were one of the off shoot registries, UKC or SKC. The woman running the booth was asking $300.00 each of the pups. Apparently an extra $50.00 got you the papers. We discussed the ramifications of her set up for a while and ended up talking about our kennel as I explained the value of our pedigrees and dogs verses the road side puppy shop.

One of the many things we chatted about was the division of responsibilities in running a kennel. She asked about training and showing, that would be me about 95% of the time. Training is an every day thing. From puppy hood on I train the dogs. My goal is always that they be well enough behaved that our young Grandchildren can safely walk them on a leash. We have a dear friend who pitches in and handles for us when I am not up to moving the dog around the ring. Linda's skills at showing are superb, and frankly I enjoy watching our dogs and pups work on her leash, listening to comments ring side as people watch them move effortlessly. Crystal, our daughter, handles the feeding of the dogs in the AM as she is up to put children on the school bus. Tristan and Bobby, our grandsons, have the yard duty. Keeping our yard tidy and clean. The kids are wonderful in the way the pitch in and by doing so they earn money. Baths, nails and daily maintenance is managed as a group. I take care of whelping our rare litters. From the moment our breedings are confirmed it is up to me to deliver the pups and then train them until they join their Furever families around 10 weeks old.

 My friend laughed saying Bob , my husband, Sure gets the best of the bargain. Devoted dogs to lounge with and none of the labor! I realized it may look that way but then explained he actually has the hardest part of Life with a Kennel. Bob is responsible for the expense of all of it. From the purchase decades ago of our first Ridgeback and any that we have bought since then to the daily and then not so routine expenses. Feeding a premium kibble is not inexpensive but it makes more sense than the medical bills that can ensue if you feed a bargain feed.

She asked if having a kennel made us money. When I stopped laughing , I said no. The on going joke about having a Show Kennel is being asked "If you can make money?" Bob always responds "If you start with a Large fortune you can make a Small fortune in dogs". Showing the dog to win a .25 cent ribbon costs you $28.00 to enter each show, with at least $5.00 in bait to work and train, your show clothes and equipment added to the cost of our 8 MPG RV and the Parking Fees. "Why would you show then?" she asked. I thought for a moment then told her that once a dog has earned it's Titles and Championship it increases in value for breeding.

 "Ahh" she exclaimed "I get it you make a lot money from the puppies right?" Again I could not keep the ironic smile from my face. "Not exactly". It averages about $1500 to $2000.00 to finish a dog for simply the AKC CH Title. The other Titles that we love having on our dogs vary in cost . Some may only run $25 or $30 dollars per the Test , however tests like our ATT ( The American Temperament Test) are done at the Ridgeback Rodeo in Pennsylvania, about 2800 miles round trip. The value of knowing the dogs have been tested and passed and will bring to your breeding a program a dog of proven sound temperament is priceless. Then we must test each dog for a series of health checks to assure we are using dogs of a specific quality. Cardiac, Thyroid, Eyes, Hips, Knees and Elbows all important and vital for a dog who will be used in a breeding program. So on average we have invested $7000.00 in each dog in our program ( with out factoring the purchase price of a new pup!)

 "Then you make money? ... right?" she almost hesitated to ask. "Oh we aren't done yet" I had to tell her. When you decide to breed a litter you may have Stud dog fees. They can run anywhere from $1000.00 up to $2500.00 for a decent pedigree. Lucky for us we own our own Stud. So we now have normal additional testing to run. Progesterone testing lets you know when the bitch is ovulating. The blood draw and test runs $80.00 each. On the average you can expect to test 3 to 6 times. Add to that the cost of a Surgical Implant for Caine at $450.00 . Thankfully it is a one time try. Dreamer is being bred via Artificial Insemination. The vet will charge us to collect Zion and then inseminate the bitch. $35.00 to collect, another $85.00 to inseminate each time, we will do this 3 times. for the hoped for litter. So it is not uncommon to spend another $500.00 to breed a litter. There are so many things that can be factored into having puppies .

"But if you just let them try on their own?" She asked. There are just too many things that can go wrong. A few years ago we ran into a lovely Champion who was known for his grace of movement. He was walking with a dreadful limp. I'd asked the owner what had happened and where he had gotten the dreadful scar down his side? Apparently when attempting a breeding with a bitch who was not ready, he had been terribly injured. He had mounted her and achieved a "tie", the supervising people had relaxed thinking they had done all that was needed. The female panic'ed and he was torn from stem to stern. They nearly lost him. He had to be altered and the surgery to save his life was very expensive. Breeding puts your beloved dogs at risk. If you do not do everything you can to minimize that risk then you must suffer with the potential loss of that precious dog.

Factor in Superior health care during the gestation is a requirement to produce healthy puppies. Being prepared to deal with an emergency Caesarian Section if something goes wrong. The After Care for the new Mother, removing the dewclaws on the pups, vetting the puppies as they learn to walk, giving them their shots, even the Health Certificate before they go to their new homes there is always something. We send out puppies home with a bag filled with the things they will need to begin the life of adventure, frankly it helps to ease the pain of parting with them.

After our chat she had a profound respect for "Bob of Bwana" and zero desire to consider finding, Jangles, their Jack Russell Terrier a boyfriend.

The Breeding Dance begins....

Posted by bwanasrhodesianridgebacks on September 29, 2011 at 6:25 PM Comments comments (3)

It's that time once again when we begin to rally our support network and try to create puppies! We breed so far less often than most Breeders. Our last pups are nearly 2 years old and in fact will be almost exactly 2 when this litter will be born. We breed to continue our line, when we want a new puppy for ourselves and only when we know for a fact that we have some of the best breeding stock available. Heath Checked and Tested, Titles on one end or both.

Some breedings cause us a bit more concern. The girls are now 5 years old, Zion is 4. While we will stand a Stud for breeding well into his later years we will only allow our girls to breed into their 6th year. There is much controversy over that thinking as many of the larger kennels are comfortable breeding a bitch up to her 9th year. We simply don't agree. 6 to the 7th year is enough. After that they are eligible to compete in Veterans . We believe the risks to the Mom do not out weigh the possible positives so we are coming into the wire for the date when both Dreamer and Caine will be spayed. I would never 'flip a ridge" at the possibility of the problems that happen with older girls kept intact. ( cancers, pyeometria and much more).

Caine is exactly one week into finding her first spots of blood. Since our girls are fanatically clean there is always the possibility that she is further along than we know. Same with Dreamer  who is only 3 days into her spotting. We have opted to use heavy Vet care for trying our litters. Yes I said Litters. It is a first for our kennel to breed 2 girls with in 10 days +/- of each other. Caine will be bred via surgical implant and Dreamer via Artificial Insemination. Zion will stand at stud to contribute his most important part of making babies. We began testing Cain on Progesterone this past Tuesday, she was already higher in numbers than expected so chance are really good she had been in a "silent heat" for several days. From her first test on Tuesday to her second now moved up to Wednesday she doubled her numbers! Putting her squarely at the breeding line.

Zion had been tested earlier this month. Normally we would not have the expense of testing the male's count, however last year Zi ( pronounced Zigh) and our nearly 12 year old male, Kota,  got into a rumble where Zi, while trying to avoid a fight with Kota, the old man, was rolled over and had his "manly parts" tap danced on. Kota no longer tolerates intact males but that is a story for another time. Back to Z, He was only producing about 15% of the count he should have been, rendering his breeding attempt useless. This time we took him in to see Dr Langston who collected him and sent off the sample for evaluation. He hit it out of the ball park ! Well over 75% with zero atypical's. ( insert applause here :0} )  Great recovery ! Knowing Zi  already has a gorgeous litter on the ground and knowing how much his puppies are loved we knew we wanted to take him to both the girls. It minimizes surprises down the road. Zion lays in his crate crooning softly to his girls hoping one of them will convince us to allow them a play date outside. Many people only breed via natural cover. If this were a year ago I would be going that route as well however as I mentioned time is an issue with the girls now so we want to maximize our chances.

Dreamer was Zi's mate on our last litter , the "Oops"  litter. We had wanted a breeding between them however had  planned to hold off . Because of school programs we hired a sitter to let dogs go in and out while we were at schools and work. Great plan except our Dog sitter had a migraine one day and instead of calling in sent her teen aged color blind son to let dogs in and out. The instructions to not let the girl with the RED collar out with either male fell on deaf ears thus an unexpected breeding! Our first in 28 years in the breed! sigh..... We are now planing an A.I on Dreamer. We will establish her progesterone levels and following them closely then, when she is ready we will collect Zion and inseminate.

If you have never helped in breeding dogs naturally you know it is not as simple as just turning both in the yard and hoping they want what you want. We have seen a male who was torn from stem to stern by a reluctant bitch, because the humans turned them out to do what comes naturally. It resulted in a prolonged recovery and his having to be nuetered. It was frankly amazing he was not put to sleep the injury was so terrible. Dogs can fight, freak out and much more when it comes to breedings,  so  supervision is required.  However even that does not come easily. An ardent male happy to do his "job" is tunnel visioned into one outcome.  The male is often more enthusiastic than accurate. The female may or may not be willing to co operate and panic.  Getting involved often leaves the helpers covered in bruises.  With planing, We can avoid the hassle of holding an eager male and a possibly unhappy female in place.

How does that commercial go...the tests and treatment for the surgical implantation will run about $550.00,   the AI nearly $600.00 since you repeat it 3 times ! ( When dedicated to having a wonderful litter you don't spare the help or vet care. ) Seeing the faces of a family who are now complete with the fur child they have longed for ? Priceless

Thank God how ever we have a wonderful Vet who gives us a small break on the fees!  Since they will do the exams and then after care, all pup care from dew claws to  go home exams , health certs and shots they make a nice living off of Ethical Breeders.  BYBs and Millers do not  have this kind of overhead. But then they don't have our kind of puppies.

Zion the Amazing!

Posted by bwanasrhodesianridgebacks on June 30, 2011 at 9:04 AM Comments comments (0)

Our 2011 Summer Vacation was a 9 day trip in the Dog House ( our RV) with 5 grandkids from 11 to 5 , 3 adults and Zion. It was enough to challenge the humans on board let alone the dog. We traveled from Alabama to Tennessee to Georgia back to Florida before returning home. Zion not only refrained from counter surfing in the rig but actually behaved himself with tremendous restraint when one considers the 5 kids had their meals and snacks either picnic style on the floor or while sprawled about playing  games and watching TV.

He also managed to shine in several other ways.  On our visit to Rock City in Tennessee, Zion conquered the 200 foot long and 150 foot high Suspension Bridge with casual aplomb. I knew he was crossing because I asked him to, Dogs rarely choose to tackle a swinging bridge that has children bouncing on it and a storm approaching of their own violition. And having a Mom like me, who is terrified of heights, is not a ringing endorsement of this kind of path.  Yet he handled it bravely!

Later that evening our 31 year old daughter had a dreadful reaction to her medication causing a Grand Mal seizure.  She had taken her evening meds just before walking Zion.  That walk took over twice as long as normal and had us concerned.  When they returned Zion stayed glued to Crystal's side.  She  walked towards the back of the RV to speak with her Dad and I ,  her speech quickly turned to gibberish alerting us there was something terribly wrong. Before we could get to her the seizure began , she was thrown to the floor where the spasms were terrifying.  Zion stayed by  Crystal very concerned. I have written the story of his care on the Breeder's Tales page.  It explains how he checked on her until the danger was passed. And how the next day we learned from another camper that Crystal was brought back to our RV by Zion as the drug interaction had caused her to be confused and lost.   These are amazing hounds in more ways than I can say!

Zion's last golden star award on the trip came when his beloved Ceattle, the 50 pound 8 year old,  was walking him and he stayed focused on her rather than the squrriels racing about his feet at  the KOA park.  It would have been easy for him to have injured her had he dashed away to play chase.  Even well trained dogs struggle when presented with easy targets.  Zi has such an easy and steady temperament it was a joy to allow her to work with him in a new environment. 

 Please remember to take extra care with your dogs over the 4th of July celebrations this Monday. While we humans may love the noise and smells of fireworks it can be overwhelming to your fur kid.  More dogs run away on the 4th than any other day of the year.  If your dog has issues with the sound of fireworks there are several things you can do to help them deal with the loud bangs and pops.  Crate your dog for the duration of the celebration if you are not going to be right there with them. You might want to drape a sheet or light weight blanket over the crate.  Should they need to go outside use a leash.  If you are inside with your dogs consider putting a T shirt on them ( just use a rubber band or hair tie to pull it up at the bottom creating a snug fit on their tuck) . If they are very strongly reacive consider giving them a benedryl about an hour before the entertainment begins.  It is not uncommon for older dogs to develop a sudden fear of fireworks and storms so it is far better to be safe rather than sorry! Hope you are all having an amazing summer . And  Happy Independance Day !!


There is always a reason...

Posted by bwanasrhodesianridgebacks on May 23, 2011 at 8:57 PM Comments comments (0)

My mother taught me all of my life that there is a reason for everything.  All of the planing and expense hoping for a Spring / Summer litter were for naught. The girls did not take.  We had family move back in with us doubling the size of our household once more to 10 people from 5 years to 70.  Making space when there is not any takes imagination and talent . Adjusting schedules and plans takes patience and prayer.  Yet we must believe there is a reason.  So once more we wait and plan. This time for a Fall/ Winter  litter . The girls will come back into season around Halloween. This makes for a nearly  Christmas litter and Babies going home  around the 18th of February.  Lucky new homes will have their puppies nearly housebroken making one of the toughest parts of a Winter litter easier. 

Coastal Alabama is blessed with mild winters. I can't imagine having puppies in several feet of snow! I know several breeders who won't even try to teach the pups to go outside because they find it far too challenging to begin the training in adverse conditions.

We are having Zion tested  a few times as we look forward to October to make sure his Puppy Making Magic is on track and returning to normal.  Should it not reach a minimal level that the Repro Vet and I agree on , then we will fall back to our Default Stud Regal  of Southridge.  I will drive the girls to Tennessee and we will if need be go with an implanted litter. It is a brief surgical procedure  that almost gaurantees puppies.  We don't care to use it often but I really do not want to chance not having an optimal breeding with so many  dedicated Bwana Fans out there waiting.

There are folks who clench their fists and scream at the fates when things don't go their way But we prefer to believe there is a reason.  Having puppies in the house while family moved in could have drastically stressed the mom. Having folks track  the great outdoors inside the house could compromise young immune systems. So all in all the breedings failing to take really turned out to be a blessing.

By the Fall life will have settled into a routine that will allow for  happy mom(s)  and healthy babies. That will be worth any amount of waiting .  We have been touched by the emails notifying us that people are content to wait for the Bwana Adventure after speaking to other breeders.  So we pray we can make them happy fur ever families very soon!

And so We All Wait

Posted by bwanasrhodesianridgebacks on April 10, 2011 at 6:11 PM Comments comments (2)

What a Month March turned out to be! Never anything boring around here that's for sure.  We begand the month with a near disaster. Our daughter had to go to Hospital and this left me handling the 6 house dogs and 2 grandkids on my own.  While answering a phone call I made a HUGE mistake.  I let Zion out side when the Old Men ( Kota and Phelan ) were already out.  Zion is the soul of peace. He loves everyone and never holds a grudge.  On the other hand Kota can be quite the grump. He absolutely hates intact males.   A little back ground  info to explain why as this is uncommon in our line.  When Kota now 11 yrs, was 8 we had girls in season .  Kota was outside in the back yard with  a puppy we were training.  The pup was about 7 months old.  We have a 6 foot privacy wooden fence around our back yard.  A neighbor's pit bull slipped it's collar and climbed the red top bush next to our fence hoping to find the girls in the back yard.  When he hit the ground the only dog he saw was Nemo the pup so he charged it.  Kota came from the other side of the yard and slammed into him before he could latch on to Nemo ! The battle that ensued was horrifying. Blood every where , the Ridgeback's Battle Roars and the Pits deadly growling and snarling.  It felt as if it went on forever , finally I had help in the back yard as Bonita Amiee ( Our Daughter) came running.  Zion bolted past her hoping to help Kota , But Kota could not tell if Zi was there to help or gang up on him.  Bonita pulled Zion back inside and I grabbed ahold of the PIt's rear legs destroying his traction.  Bonita came backout and Grabbed Kota and we both yelled his name hoping he would hear us and cease the fight.  I managed to shove the Pit out of the side gate door and ran back to Kota. His scalp was lacerated and would require nearly 60 stitches to put back in place, he had one small gash on a leg and several smller ones on his throat.  Once I had Kota at the vet I drove back home to see how the Pit was.   Walking up the drive way you could see where it had been chained to a tree outside.  Footprints and debris everywhere.  I knocked and a surly looking man came to the door.  I explained that his Pit had come into my yard and there had been a fight , that my vet was expecting the dog  to tend his wounds.  The ignorant jerk spit on the ground a few fet from us and said " We ain't got no dog"   I hastened to assure him I was not interested in suing I just wanted to be sure the dog was okay.  Again the " I told ya we aint got no dog"  I paused and said I have seen your teen son walking him around the neighborhood,  he shook his head and closed the door  in my face. To say I was furious would be a gigantic understatement.  I called the Sheriff and the Animal Warden and was told that the dog had been kicked out of a car at the Humane Shelter's gate.  The Vet had been there delivering puppies .  The Pit had  broken collar bone,  legs, and a fractured skull. The gashes from the fight were deep and too many to count. The shelter thought he had been used in a 2 on 1 dog fight and lost.   They euthanized the poor dog immediately.  The family who had owned it packed up and moved in the middle of the night.  I guess they thought the law would be as unforgiving as I was.

So with that knowledge you can fully appreciate why Zion and Kota are never allowed out together  off lead.  Perfect manners on the leash but off Kota is determined to take Zion out. He loves Phelan the other nuetered male and the girls. Tolerates puppies under 6 months of any sex.  But he will never again be safe around Zion.  Sadly they used to be best buddies, sharing blankets, pillows, and food bowls.

As Zion stepped out the back door Kota T-boned him, slamming him to the ground on his back. He was on him in a heartbeat trying to gain a hold on Zion's throat.  Zion is 2-3 inches taller and a good 15 -20 pounds heavier. He used his longer legs to keep Kota back preventing significant damage. I was able to pull Kota off and  order Zion to stand down.  There were several small gashes on both dogs but nothing needing a vet.  Or so I thought.....

Fast forward 3 weeks. Dreamer is finally in season and Zion was playing her adoring suitor . Dreamer really wanted puppies and was "in the mood"  I decided to go with an A I  ( Artificial Insemination from a Fresh collection) as I still had back spasms from trying to break up the fight and worried I would not be able to control the mating dogs easily. ( we can talk more about the problems that can happen in unsupervised matings).  When Zion was collected at the vet's we were shocked that his ejaculate was nearly clear, it should be milky white.  Speaking with our Repro Vet he asked if Zion had been ill, ran any tempetures or been injured. I explained about the fight and he shook his head saying " He will recover in 2-3 months but I am willing to bet when Kota was on top he tapped danced all over Zion's Testicles"  While we could see no sign of bruising it surely made sense.  So we went ahead , collecting Zion 3 times over the course of the week and only used the collection once, when the count was close to 30% . Dr Langston told us if we get a litter out of this breeding we should invest heavily in Lotto tickets as our luck is through the roof!

On our way home Dreamer in my car and Zion in Bob's we were chatting on the cell phones. I was beyond bummed out. So many awesome applicants and no puppies?  Caine had just come into season the week before she was on day 8 of a normally 21 day heat.  I commented it was a pity I had not signed up for a dog show where we could have bred her to our second choice stud CH Nashira Southridge's The Lion King ~ Regal.  Regal echos Zion's lovely heavy bone and temperament.  We arrived at home and a few minutes later Bob said Call the Girls , (Kathy and Linda of Southridge) and see if you can bring Caine up to Clarksville Tennessee?  I was surprised but thrilled at the same time. Ceattle, our 7 year old Grand daughter, rode up with us.  We arrived late Saturday and Sunday was a day for visiting with our dear friends.  Monday put Caine on day 11 of her heat.  The doctor took a swab and pronouced her too early to try but that she should be truly fertile in the next 4-6 days.  Since Caine did not know Regal as a playmate I again opted for the A I form of breeding. Fresh Collection and vet supervised. I really , REALLY want this litter!  Wednesday we returned and she was tested, the swab showing she was much closer, so we had Regal collected and Caine Inseminated.  The Repro vet who is considered one of the finest in Tennessee proclaimed we should try again Friday ,  On Friday we returned with tremendous expectations ony to be told she was out of season !!! On her 15th day.   This can mean she took and was bred on the Wednesday Insemination or it could mean we have a finicky girl who is only fertile one or two days of her entire season.   Bear in mind al the work and costs to test and select the best stud for our pedigrees and what we hope to produce in every litter.  We were now up to  nearly $2000.00 with doctor's fees and the travel to Clarksville with zero guarantee of puppies.

On Saturday we drove the 7.5 hours back home feeling exhausted and  down hearted. If the girls had been running loose it would be a sure thing they would be expecting mutts.  But NOOOOOOO, we work so darn hard at keeping them safe and close. Sheesh! 

Today is the 10 th of April,  we will ultra sound on the 18th to see if there are puppies in either of the two girls.  We may have none, one girl expecting or even two!  While we wait I watch them , trying to gauge whether their abdomens are changing at all. One day I think Yes! the next I plummet to the depths of despair thinking Nope, no puppies.   I have sent 5 of our 30 Short Listers to other breeders and Rescue only to have 4 ask to remain on our wait list . They want the Adventure not just the puppy, and frankly we are the only Breeders I know that make our future puppy owners  are as involved as possible in the entire process. 

If we end up without a litter we will breed again in October.  The Breeding window on the girls is closing.. Even with Vet checks and Okays we are extremely reluctant to breed a bitch once they pass 6 years old.  They are 5 year old now.  We would like to have 2 litters each and then they will be altered and retired from the program.  Dreamer has had one spectacular  litter with Zion.  Caine stands a good chance at throwing  Liver noses with Regal's help. He is out of a Top winning Best In Show Liver nose. Ihave the pedigrees typed up and a info sheet on Regal prepped yet I must wait for confimation prior to posting the information to the web site and the dog world.

And So We All Wait, first to see if there ill be puppies, then to see with whom, and finally to catch pups and pick the very best home for each new soul we bring into the world. 

Did I mention I hate waiting?   sigh.......

Comes the Spring and Hope

Posted by bwanasrhodesianridgebacks on January 28, 2011 at 8:06 AM Comments comments (0)

As I look at my friend's photos of snow and more snow I am secretly thrilled once more to live in the coastal area of Alabama.  Last night was 46 degrees and today will be light hoodie weather at it's most cold. I woke in the early hours enjoying the quiet of the house underlined by Zion's gentle snoring from time to time.

As dawn broke I was working on various accounts and I kept pausing to listen to a bird singing. The promise of Spring is strong this morning!

Now we begin watching the Raptors, Dreamer and Caine.  Our friend's Irish Wolfhound, Gwen was AI'ed last week. She always comes into season justshy a month before Dreamer.  Caine follows a week to 10 days later.  Zion is only slightly more interested in the girls.  Your Stud dog is Always your very best barometer when it comes to hormones in the house.


Bob and I have discussed having two litters this year. We have such high quality homes applying that the old Feast or Famine  theory keeps nagging at me.  Some years when you plan your litter you find fault with every applicant, it is rare that you have a year like this one where I have had only 4 Red Flags.  There are about 20 that are such superior applicants I just can not stop the thoughts of the double breeding from floating about in my mind.


Of course we would have to seriously rethink our entire set up.  The Master bedroom accomodates a single whelping box and the expen  perfectly.  But 2?  Just not possible.  However , if we were to move the craft / hobby room about a good bit ...... I can see where I could set up for two litters.  sighhhhh.  The work would feel endless I fear. And I know Bob worries about my health.  Yet still if I was to ever attempt this kind of adventure this would be the year for it. Many of my friends who are long time breeders tell me it is very "do-able" .  Still I have to factor in the extra work we always give to our litters.  Plus we will not release our pups before 10 weeks.   Pros and Cons just keep circling in my thoughts.......

Slowly but surely life returns to Normal

Posted by bwanasrhodesianridgebacks on November 22, 2010 at 7:11 AM Comments comments (0)

Caine has been the most insistant of hopeful Mothers, We have ever dealt with ! We have had false expectations before but never to this level !  Caine has rummaged through the home finding the stuffed toys she felt most closely represented what her "puppies" would look like a Stuffed yellow lion, a magenta gorilla, a brown pony, and a Sponge Bob. She carried them one at a time from room to room , placing them in her various nests. Then Curling aorund them with a deep sad sigh she would watch over them.

I did not worry overly much about her determination to have this litter until she began to tunnel under the Granny Cottage in the backyard. The first few feet were not alarming it was wwhen she made an acute left turn and vanished under the cottage it's self!  At that point I began to worry constantly.  Her colloars were removed out of fear she might become hung up on plumbing or a root in her tunnel and I began the battle to refill and board the den. It did not seeem to matter how much earth I replaced she would quickly have it flying back into the yard.  Then I used cinder blocks thinking that would stop her determined digging , however she simply went lower and und the 7 blocks put to create what I had thought to be a total impass for her den. Using sections of old ExPen I created blocks to block the cinder blocks  but this merely slowed her down a fraction.

You could tell she thought she would win on the days when she walked in and her breath smelled of freshly turned dirt , her paws covered in dirt and her normally glossy coat dusted with a coating of brownish grey micro particals.  She would smile smugly at me as if to say there is NO way you can get as far in as I did today...she was normally right. 

She would race to greet Bob each time he came in the room with one of her "puppies" in her  mouth.  Wiggling from the tip  of her nose to the end of her tail delighted to show him the pup and how wonderful it was!! He would gently take it from her and praise her deeply .  Heaven help the pack member who tried to take the TOY away to play, that brought the deepest of battle rumbles from her chest and a sudden stillness to her body.  Think of that moment in Matrix when bullets are whizzing past in slow motion as the look of clear determination stays on Neo's face.... Than would be Caine.

Thankfully this hormonal period has an end..... she is slowly forgetting to transport puppies with every room change. She is still very needy with Bob wanting nothing more than to lay with her head in his lap as he strokes away the need to sigh so very deeply.  Her den is nearly abandoned, she runs to the barracade and stares but now it is plain it is no longer worth the effort the redig the giant tunnel in which a full grown Ridgeback Bitch could stand and turn around. At least we are on to her plan for her next season !! 

Will she ever be "Normal" again??

Posted by bwanasrhodesianridgebacks on November 13, 2010 at 4:21 PM Comments comments (0)

This is the time frame in which our litter should have been born according to our plans and vet rec'ts at any rate.... Instead of healthy Fat wiggly puppies we are without whelp..... sigh...

Caine's "due date" was this weekend... instead of being happy and beleagered by pups she has been collecting "puppies "  ( any stuffed toy she can locate... ) building whelping areas from under  sheets on our bed to a den dug in the earth beneath our granny cottage  and that's the one that worries me most.! Being claustraphobic there is NO way I am crawling down there to see exactly what her efforts have brought on.... ( wonder if I can send a grand kid down there?  they ARE small and with a rope tied to their foo.... uh Never mind... even with my high resolutin cell camera I doubt I would get a decent view.....

Any way Caine is now on leash laws... no going out on her own, a collar attatched everytime she needs a potty break.. Much highly prefered to  the nightmare of her being caught under the granny cottage and our not being able to get to her quickly!!    With any luck her hormones will settle quickly allowing her to comeback in to season on time for our Spring Litter.....  Furkids Can't live with them can't live with out them!!

Blushing !!

Posted by bwanasrhodesianridgebacks on November 8, 2010 at 9:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Well with any luck less typos on this Blog ....Admitedly I was pretty distressed when last I wrote.  All that hope and money for zero puppies sigh......

But this is NOT what is making me Blush,,, Not indeed I was shocked by the number of Shorties, ( People who touched us so deeply or well that we want them to want our puppies) who said they would rather wait for our Spring Litter than buy from an unknown source and the other 25 Short List ( perfectly wonderful Folks who should have a quality RR puppy) out of 67 applications and still counting.....


I contacted each thanking them but did not have to ask why for the most part each one toldme up front. They want the Unique Bwana Experience.  Being kept in the loop from the breeding on. weekly updates, matching their desires with the best puppy, the guarantee, the Camp Bwana boarding and even very simply our web site. I know it is not a pro site.  But we pour our passion for the breed into the pages.


People made deep and personal applications, many sent photos , some just wrote of a dog they once had or the dog they hoped to have.... yep just like college It often comes down to the essay questions...


I talked with Bob and we are considering for the first time ever in 30 years a two girl breeding. One girls comes in first and will bring the second girl in with in 20 - 30 days.  So the off set in puppy ages would be a definet challenge!!  But the Sister would enable us to make some wonderful folks dreams come true.


I was asked why we do not charge what our pedigree can easily command ( only 9 out of 62 dogs in a 5 generation pedigree that did not Champion for one reason or another.  I have been ill a great deal of late so I have not had the energy or Bob the extra money after doctors to hire a handler and send the girls out.)  They are gorgeous and sound. Temperament is some of the best we have ever seen full of social skills and mischief.  Zion is becoming a much asked for Stud however we will not allow him to be used by just any one and will severely restrict the number of his get on the planet. Some Stud dogs are bred  20+ times a year and that is not any where near what the top dogs command. However tha means you have a ton of half siblings running about and I am still Califorian enough to think eouw !!  I don't want cousins, half siblings or father /grandfather -daughter/granddaughter breedings . There are too many decent dogs out there that breeding that close is just "icky" Not a technical term, just my feelings ..... Besides if we raise our rates for a puppy then the folks who have to push the envelope raise theirs..and on and on.  When we bought our first RR  his Show Price was $800.00 and in 83 that was steep in California.  Same dog , would bring in easily a 1000.00 as a RRR ( Ridgeless Rhodesian Ridgeback )  just because of the temperament in his pedigree.  The overall beauty and personality of the dog.  Our Companions are not much more , we do give the breed discount should we ever have a ridgeless. The dog is ALL Ridgeback just missing a silly hairdo , and Swedish studies have shown the Ridgeless being culled from our breeding programs  is increasing the level of Sinus Dermoids. ( DS)  Our Show Prospects are less than many not because they are not as beautiful , graceful and lively but because we often pick families of modest incomes and we see no reason to make the better incomes pay for the difference.  There is a set placement fee on our pups and we discuss that after we have your application in hand. If we can't sell you a puppy because we don't have one or at least not the sex or quality you wanted companion vs show prospect.... then we give you several great breeders and litters we would happily buy from.  It should always be about the breed , never about some fantasy profit!


We want to thank the Shorties and Short Listers who invested their hopes in us and promise to do our best to satisfy them.


Afterall how often do you get not just someone to love but an experience and adventure too?



Rats...Rats..... RATS!!

Posted by bwanasrhodesianridgebacks on November 1, 2010 at 6:23 PM Comments comments (0)

Home from the vet with his finally fixed Ultrasound equipment and  ..... No Puppies.  :0(   sigh

She has gained weight, has been collecting stuffed toys about the house to nest with but no sign of babies at week 6.   I can not tell you how Bummed I am !!


Caine will adjust.  The rest of the pack will adjust But I was sooooo hoping for my Liver nosed girl. If there had only been one puppy and it was she that would have been okay with me.  Instead I will contact all the applicants, especially my Shorties and make sure they know about the really nice litters out there. I wish I was able to be selfish enough to ask them to wait. I loved my Shorties this time...each had a story that was fun or wonderful and perfect for one of my furkids. But if not mine then for sure one from an excellent litter!  sigh......


It is So difficult.  We will wait less than 4 months for the girls to be in again, Bob and I have discussed breeding both. Our Vet David has assured us the minor offset on the one elbow that is reading as a grade 1 Dysplasia is most likely form the Wild run at the Ocala Show there the Handler dropped her lead and scared the hell out of her. ( Long Story we had hire one handler and notified her IF she could not take the girl in call me I would be dressed and ready...instead she handed off to an unknown to us and the dog person who screwed up ( pardon my french) and scared her into running over 10 miles before any one could get infron to her. Between the local LEOS and Dog Show folk we were all out trying to trShe was finally found heading back to us but with shredded foot pads and a limp. Most likely an injury in her wild flight...... the "displaysia" was so tenetive they struggled to use it  but we respect the call.  On the other hand our vet and and 4 others can not see how anyone could think it is a genetic issue. She still moves as if on a silken cloud. Beautifully and smoothly , never a foot out of place.  Hips Excellent and everything  else testing in the clear and if any one has seen the pups from that first litter  there is no way they would fault our listening to our vet and going for a second breeding.  They were nothing shy of Gorgeous!!!  Chances are far better we are dealing with a "sports" injury and we simply don't have "sports" vets in our area.  Our vet hase never steered us maybe .....just MAYbe.......


But I might be commited by mental health pros if I opt to breed two girls at the same time!!   YIKES ??!! That could be a frantic new  Spring!   But we have some AMAZING Shorties that we would love to make happy, Of the ones contacted so far most would rather wait the extra few months to see if their Soul Puppy is there....  ahhhhh I wish I could read a crystal ball to give every one an answer!!



The Girls will be in season again before Easter..... they will have a chance to breed again to Zion our Number One Stud.  With any luck that breeding will take and we will have these amazing babies that will fill our life and the lives of the folks determined to wait. Eitehr way we are committed to the folks who have asked us to help with pups , we will find them a special pup that will make their family complete. 


I just wish it was a gauranteed thing that allowed me to know how many pups vs how long the breeding etc....... I hate ever asking any one to wait even when they assure me they understand how vaulable the wait is next to shooting pot luck with a breeder as of yet unknown, just remember we will never steer you wrong on a litter we recccommend!!


Big Hugs and Talk to evey one soon!!