We have a lot of changes going on at Rolling Oaks. We have discovered Captain is sterile. This is devastating news for us, as he is/has been a wonderful part of our breeding program. He has produced wonderful puppies who have grown into amazing dogs. We are very thankful we have kept several of his daughters to use for breeding. We had purchased a young male, Drake, to someday take Captain’s place. Unfortunately Drake did not pass his clearances. He has grade one elbow dysplasia. What does that mean? No one is really sure. He could pass this trait down to his offspring, so, Drake was neutered yesterday. I almost cried when I left the vet. He is such a wonderful dog, never to be a sire. But, Russ and I made a commitment to only breed dogs who we know are healthy and have their hip, elbow, eye and heart clearances. It was not meant to be.
In the meantime, Jewel and Ruby were bred by an outside stud, who we had checked his counts at our local vet, but they could not see that he did not have a high enough count to sire a litter, so Jewel and Ruby did not conceive. This is devastating for a breeder, but it reminds me again of the creator, the giver of life. Creation is not a science, and does not always go as we planned. I have been begging God for direction in this business, and asking for guidance in finding our own stud dog. In the meantime, Cabela and Ezra were bred by two different outside studs, and I pray they are pregnant! I was in desperate search of a stud dog. I called everyone I knew in the dog world and told them my situation. I spent hours and hours and hours on the internet searching. I am very happy to say I found Griffin, from Michigan, to be our new stud!!! He will get his clearances the next two weeks, and I will be posting photos of our new handsome man. When things like this happen in our business, I am reminded again how I am not in control, God is. He is my source. He is my strength.
Through it all, life doesn’t stop. There are still swim meets, laundry, meetings at church, etc. I wanted to post this photo of Amy and her swim coach. We are so fortunate to have a coach that treats Amy like everyone else. In this photo, Amy is giving attitude about wanting to be finished swimming and go get dressed. Her coach is in her face saying “no, you need to stay on deck and cheer for your team, just like everyone else!” No exception for Down syndrome. I love that! So many people treat Amy special because she has downs, but the truth is, the more you treat her like everyone else, the more she acts like it. Last night she swam her fastest race yet, finishing the 50 in 54.91 seconds. Last year we just hoped for her to swim it in under a minute, this year she accomplished it! There are no words to express the joy in my heart when I see Amy get a high five from her team mates, and see the expression on her face when she is done racing. I want to cry and laugh at the same time. Even though there has been a tremendous amount of stress in my life due to the stud dog situation, I have been sustained, and I am pressing on.