Wednesday, April 9, 2014

My Chloebutt. My Pride and Joy. A Maine Photographer Focusing on Tails

Chloe is doing great.  Today her puppies are four and a half weeks old.
Yes there is a reason I have not updated this blog sooner.
This whole Chloe being a Mommy is very emotional.

The last I posted the pups were 12 days old.
I do visit Chloe about three times a week.  The rest of my family is not so lucky.  We all miss her so much.
But we know she has a job to do, and her job took on a whole new meaning after my last blog post.

There was another Mommy-to-be at SnowyPaw and her name is Edy.
In fact Edy and Chloe ventured together to meet their stud muffins :)
Edy's heat began when Chloe was about finished...hence...her puppies were due a bit after Chloe.  Whenever I visited Chloe I first stopped by to pet Edy and say hello.  Edy was "all puppy" the way we say that when a thin women is "all baby" :)  Edy was having trouble sitting, laying, and eating.  She looked pretty miserable and uncomfortable.  Edy's puppies were delivered two weeks after Chloe's.  Edy didn't like being a Mommy, and had a pretty severe case of postpartum.

The new puppies, all eight of them, were introduced to Chloe, who I am told was very eager to take care of them...and this is where Mommy Joanne gets emotional.  Chloe is an unbelievable Mommy, and yes, even though she's my dog, in many ways my pride of her is not much different than the pride I have for my children.  OK, don't judge me here!  With that said, I've also been a bit concerned for Chloe's health.  She has three gorgeous pups of her own that she has been bathing and feeding daily, and then all of a sudden she takes on eight more. I was excited to share this news with all of you, but I've been cautiously worried too, because even though there is so much joy to share, there is also often a bit of heartache too.  Unfortunately before the week was over we had lost one of Edy's pups.  I had heard of it happening before...Mommy lays on one of the pups and suffocates it.  It was one of my worries...after all...the odds seemed stacked against Chloe...her normal weight is 70 lbs...I have no idea how much she weighs currently...but with 10 engorged breasts...I'm guessing she's feeling a bit bloated.  Not to mention EXHAUSTED.  Poor Chloe.

Since that incident Chloe has had 100% supervision when nursing...and everyone appears to be doing better. The photos I'm sharing with you today are from when Chloe's pups turned two weeks old, and Edy's pups were not quite one day old yet.  These photos are an amazing visual of these beautiful dogs and their temperament with each other. I will post again in a few days to share more recent photos.  I do post more regularly on my facebook business page so feel free to visit, like, and follow me there at Minor Moments Photography.

this is beautiful Edy

and, if you are a women who has nursed a child before...well...I double dog dare you to watch this video without crossing your arms!


Friday, March 21, 2014

Golden Retriever Chloe(butt) and Her Puppies. A Maine Photographer Focusing on Tails and Veils.

December 25, 2013 Chloe showed the first signs that her heat had started.  Even though it was Christmas day, I knew our breeder Rushell from SnowyPaw would want to know right away.  Why?  Because Chloe's previous heat earlier in the year was a bust.  Chloe had gone to live with the breeder for almost two weeks and refused to play with the big boys, so it was pretty much decided at that time that artificial insemination might be the way to proceed next.
So, on January 5th Rushell, Chloe and I headed to Princeton Massachusetts for a play date with Quinn of JRS Goldens.  JRS Goldens is the home of Logan, Chloe's beautiful daddy.  Quinn was pre-chosen as Chloe's mate for a reason, if plan A didn't "play"out, breeder Rhea of JRS Goldens was knowledgeable and capable of artificial insemination.  Things started out promising, Chloe and Quinn definitely were interested in each other, but despite Quinn's persistence Chloe lost interest and before we knew it Quinn was tossing himself into a snowbank to cool off.  It soon became obvious that plan B would need to be played.

Rushell has been a bit hesitant with my involvement pretty much from the beginning.  Chloe is very much a Mama (Joanne's) girl...and sometimes when I'm around Chloe may be too preoccupied with where I'm at than the task at hand...
so, I got to hang around upstairs while Rushell, Rhea, Chloe and Quinn headed into the "breeding room"...and really when it comes right down to it...I was pretty happy upstairs :)
I was told everything went well and we headed home.  Rhea recommended we bring Chloe back in a couple of days so that she could once again try to breed naturally, and if needed have another round of artificial insemination.  Indeed, that is the exact order it went down in.

The rest of January was a bit uneventful...and even most of February...but at some point around mid February Chloe became sick...both with vomit and diarrhea.  Could it be morning sickness?  Indeed...yes it's possible.  Plus, I would say Chloe was a bit needier...and naughtier.  She would get into the office trashcan and shred stuff.  She was grabbing wood from the wood pile and chewing on it...and her desire to go outside to potty was increased.  We suspected the artificial insemination had worked...but it was really only two weeks before her due date that our suspicions were confirmed.  She sat funny, she laid down differently, and her nipples began to grow boobs. :)

Puppies have a 60 day gestation period, so judging from the artificial insemination we knew her due date would be around March 6th to March 8th.  Chloe left for the breeders on Thursday morning March 6th.  I had requested that Rushell really allow me to take an active role in this delivery.  Also, I wanted to document it.  Rushell called early Friday morning.  Chloe was showing signs of labor.  In summary, I spent the day Friday, the night Friday, and the day Saturday with Chloe.  Once real labor kicked in, things started to move pretty quickly.  By 1:30 Saturday afternoon Chloe was having her first puppy.


If you are able to see the video above you can see that Chloe was still having contractions.  Chloe had three puppies all within an hour, but it was obvious she had at least one more to go.  Both Rushell and Rhea are very experienced, and as the hours progressed the thoughts that Chloe would have a stillborn were evident.  I stayed with Chloe until 6:30 pm, but at that point I was exhausted and just wanted to go home to be with my had been a long and emotional 36 hours.  Rushell assured me that she would get Chloe up and moving to see if she could deliver whatever else was still there causing contractions.
Having puppies is like a grab bag, you have no idea how many you will have.  We all had put in our "bids" on how many we thought she was having.  Chloe had not put on a ton of weight, and she actually looked very good for an expecting Mom.  I had guessed 4.  Was it Mother's intuition?
As I went to bed Saturday night, Chloe was very much in my thoughts.  We had three beautiful puppies...but obviously something was not right and I was just a little worried.  I moved my clock ahead, because it was "Spring ahead" daylight savings night and tried to settle into sleep...with my cellphone tucked closely by my head.
3:15 am Rushell texts me to say she is bringing Chloe to the vet.  Although Chloe was not in distress, her contractions had continued and it was obvious things were not quite right and Rushell just didn't want to take any chances with Chloe's health.  I asked if I can go with her.  Yes.  (thank-you thank-you Rushell!)
After a 45 minute drive we arrive.  We get Chloe settled inside the vets...and Chloe immediately jumps up and delivers a stillborn.  Her instincts kick in and she begins to do what comes naturally.  My heart skips a beat.  Does Chloe understand?  (Did you notice that stuffed dog Chloe has in some of the photos?  I can't help but wonder?)

Other than that little wonder about the stuffed dog, I'm happy to say that I am so very very grateful that Chloe delivered that stillborn on her own, without any just took a bit of time and a long car drive in the middle of the night.  I'm grateful that Rushell made that decision to help Chloe out and I'm grateful that she let me come along and be a part of it.  Another first for about losing an hour springing ahead!

The selection of photos below begin with three days old, up to two weeks old.  The puppies have just now begun to open their eyes!  I am so very fortunate to be able to share this precious journey with all of you!


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Chloe Golden Retriever. A Maine Photographer

This blog post has been planned for over two years, but today is the day I write it.
This blog post is all about Chloe, our beautiful golden retriever, and how she and her destiny became such a big part of our family.
Timing.  It was all about the timing.

Chloe was born on December 6, 2009.
Her litter name is "Third times a charm"
because her Mom Macy was bred three times before she got pregnant.
Because her Mom was such a great dog, the breeder chose "Third times a charm" to continue her moms legacy, and chose her to be one of her guardian dogs to breed in the future.

December 6, 2009
My "big" sister Carmen died.
Carmen had been sick for a number of years, but I certainly had not prepared myself for her death.
Carmen was my only sister.  We grew up together.  How could she be gone?

December 30, 2009
My dog Tasha died.
Tasha was the only dog I ever owned.  We chose Tasha when Joshua was just a year old.  Although I told my husband Tasha was his dog, she very much became my dog.  I worked part time, and spent a great deal of time with Tasha and the boys.  We all grew up together :)

This was a very sad January and my heart was truly broken.  My husband started poking around the internet looking for a Golden Retriever.  I wasn't ready and asked him if he would just put us on a waiting list to get a rescue golden.  Just about everyday or every other day I would catch him poking around on the internet...and I would just say..."I'm not ready"
I wasn't ready in more than one way.  My heart was truly broken, but my wallet was hurting too.  We had spent a fair share of money on medical bills for Tasha, and purchasing a purebred was not really an option.  But my husband kept searching.  His heart was broken too...
and then one day he said to me "what if I told you I found a new litter of golden retrievers and they were born on the day Carmen died?"
To this day I'm sure my mouth was hanging open, and I said "I would tell you that you better get me one of those puppies"

The rest is kind of history for us.  My husband contacted the breeder, Rushell at Snowy Paw Golden Retrievers to see what we could do to get one of those puppies.  We shared our baggage and how we needed time to raise some funds and she asked us if we would meet with her to discuss some options.  We couldn't wait!  We met with her and she explained her guardian program.  Rushell has since made changes to the program, but the readers digest version of it is we could have a guardian puppy to keep in exchange for breeding privileges.  And once said breeding took place our guardian dog would go live with the breeder during the birth of the puppies and for eight weeks thereafter.

This brings us to today, and why I have waited a few years to write this post.  Chloe, at the age of four, has just had her first litter...and is currently living with the breeder.  Our house is so quiet and we miss her dearly, but we are so proud of our happy Mama dog!
...and a few fun facts about Chloe
We named her Chloe after my sister, Carmen Lowe.
We started adding the word "butt" to her name...right from the beginning because she packed a powerful stench to her started as Stinkybutt, then came Snowybutt, but mostly it's just Chloebutt.  
Chloe pretty much lived up to her mom's reputation on the difficulty of getting pregnant and was able to have this litter after being artificially inseminated this past January.
We hope to breed her again at the end of 2014 to fulfill our contract, and very much hope to be able to raise one of her future pups.



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