Monday, July 30, 2018

Just a bunch of pups to brighten your day





























Where have all the puppies gone?

Here at Hero Labradors, we are constantly busy:  we have a kennel to run, property to maintain, dogs and puppies to breed, raise, and deliver, and a multitude of other things to keep us busy.  In the military, we call that mission creep--the things which must be done to function, but tend to sap strength away from the objective.

One of those things has been keeping track of our pups, once they have gone on to other things.  I'm going to rectify that as best I can, by making a simple list of the organizations we've donated pups to, and if they have a page for our pup, sharing that as well.



The pups will be listed by their Hero Labradors name, with their recipient organization name in parenthesis, to keep the confusion to a minimum.  (FYI, many recipients name their pups based on sponsorship, and so a pup we deliver may very well have it's call name changed, but it's Hero Labradors name will be forever on its pedigree, and THAT is unchangeable.)

So, here we go, in chronological order by litter:


  • Hero Labradors Polar Bear--remains with Hero Labradors as our stud and sire. 
  • Hero Labradors Wrinkles (Pete)--became a demonstration dog of Service tasks and capabilities for Dogs Helping Heroes in Jeffersonville, IN.
  • Hero Labradors Fuzzy Butt (Ramsey) is finishing up his training at Patriot PAWS in Rockwall, TX and will graduate soon!






  • Hero Labradors Ranger is in his forever home with a military family, where he is already learning tasks and will be a tremendous service and emotional support dog!
  • Hero Labradors Lord (Wilson) is in his forever home with a veteran, who was a Military Working Dog handler and will train him to meet his service needs.
  • Hero Labradors Brisket (Jasper) is with his puppy raiser art Smoky Mountain Labradors in Lenoir, Tennessee, and already stealing hearts (and treats, probably).
  • Hero Labradors Bowie is with K9sForWarriors in Ponte Vedra Florida, with his puppy raiser family.  He is the 4th pup they have raised!
Hero Labradors Belle is soon to be united with her forever home.

As I get more info or updates on these pups, I will try to maintain this page.


Chuck

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Grace update 25 April

Stitches are out!!!  Cone is off!!

...and she started her first heat.  Which I expect means Willow will start hers soon too.

Which means three weeks of Polar Bear being nuts, and having to keep them separated.

But Grace is looking GREAT!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

SciFi Fans: New auction items

We have two new auction items!

First, SciFi goodness from one of my favorite SciFi authors (and I read a LOT of SciFi.)

Michael Z. Williamson was kind enough to autograph and donate two books for us to add to the auction:

https://www.accelevents.com/events/MayLitter/A/BOO

https://www.accelevents.com/events/MayLitter/A/BOK

Mad Mike is good people.  aside from writing, he also likes guns and makes sharp pointy things.



Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Grace Update 4/17

Grace continues to do well on the new antibiotics.

Her incision site is still "angry" at some of the stitches, but as the infection recedes, we expect that to calm down as well.

Still eating and in good spirits.  She'll get another kidney function test tomorrow as well, to ensure the antibiotics aren't causing any damage.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Grace Update 4/16... doubleplus ungood news

Grace's infection isn't healing well... so she needs at least 3 days in hospital again, with IV antibiotics.

We're pulling out the big guns, and the danger is there is a possibility of kidney damage.  I had the option of giving her shots at home, and bringing her back in 3 day intervals for urinalysis to check kidney function, but IV meds are better for her in terms of effectiveness of the medicine and really pushing fluids to keep her kidneys working.  So the smart choice is hospital stay and IVs.  As far as cost goes...

It's Grace.  We'll pay it.  Too many good years (and puppies) ahead of her. 

--Chuck

Grace update 4/16

Grace update 16 April

Grace's infection is challenging.  Won't just die.  Probably going to need to switch to heavier artillery... which I'm all about--nuke it from space, as it were.

On the physical recovery side, she's a model patient, using the leg, putting weight on it, and ready to start 5 minute walks 3x a day. 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

An Update on Hero Labradors Fuzzy Butt!

As you may know, Hero Labradors' little Fuzzy Butt (they call him Ramsey) is in training at Patriot Paws in Rockwall Texas.  They are kind enough to send us updates on his progress, and this installment is really exciting!


Friday, April 13, 2018

Calling all Bidders!

Hero Labradors is auctioning off naming rights for our upcoming litter! (And other fun stuff too, so check back often!)

https://www.accelevents.com/events/MayLitter#Auction

First Auction will be for the Naming Theme.  The winner will get to select the theme as well as the name of the first pup in the litter.

The next five auctions will be for naming rights (within the theme selected) of the next five pups.

(If we have pups that don't make it, naming rights will be held for our next litter, although a different theme may be selected.)

For instance:

The Theme winner decides on the Theme "All American Badasses" and selects the name "Mattis."
Puppy #1 is registered with AKC as "Hero Labradors Mattis"

Winner #2 chooses the name "ChuckZ"
Puppy #2 is registered with AKC as "Hero Labradors ChuckZ"

Winner #3 Chooses the name "TomBrady"
Puppy #3 is registered with AKC as "Hero Labradors PatTillman"

(Just kidding, I'll hold my nose and fill out the paperwork.)

This is a great opportunity to help us with the birthing costs (likely $1500 C-section for Nani) and whelping costs, and a great opportunity for businesses to show support as well!

Winners will receive an official color copy of the AKC Pedigree (suitable for framing) and our eternal thanks.

Grace is Home!

The vet REALLY took care of us!
1. Grace is coming home
2. Her infection IS responsive to Ciprofloxacin (far cheaper than the alternatives)
3. Gave us a 50% discount on mostly everything. Total for 5 days hospital stay, stitches, cleanings and dressings, $777
(Which ain't cheap, but FAR less than expected.)


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Linebreeding

Linebreeding: mating between to animals in the same genetic line. Breeders do this to develop characteristics that they want from parents and offspring, in general. Ideally, the results are dogs with the desired characteristics of both parents.
For instance, Halia has a wavy coat and is VERY easy to train and has a high aptitude for service dog work. She does, however, run just a bit on the short side. Polar bear, her son, is taller at the shoulder, has a smooth coat with just a little wave, and can be REALLY hard headed during training, but has the aptitude for SD work.
Now, pairing Halia ans Polar Bear should bring out the desired coat, color, and size characteristics, and hopefully the aptitude as well.
Linebreeding is very common in nature, and often occurs between mother/son, father/daughter, and brother/sister. And seldom do we see wolves or coyotes with flippers or three heads. Generally, the strong, dominant genes are passed along and the weak recessive genes are washed out.
Breeders line breed for many reasons, and take care to do it only so often that family trees have longer branches, but still fork well. In humans, third or fourth cousins are considered "safe," or at least socially acceptable, without running the risks of Hapsburgs and de Medicci's taking over Europe and screwing up politics there for centuries.
Why am I bringing this up? Well... Polar Bear knocked up Halia. And after talking extensively with a VERY gifted and knowledgeable vetetinary reproductive specialist, he assured me it's common for breeders to strengthen a line this way, and perfectly safe and will produce healthy pups.
Which means come May, we are expecting, times two! Nani, who is unrelated in any way to Polar Bear, was inseminated by Polar Bear's dad, CaerBren's Mcleod. Nani has one pup in her belly. Unfortunately, this will likely mean a C-section for her, as single pups, unconstrained by having to share a womb, grow more. So we'll measure its head on the week prior to her due date, and see if it'll fit through her lady parts. If not, we're looking at a $1500 surgery.
Halia has (at least) five pups in her belly. We'll get a solid number in the first week of May as well. Not counting pups before they hatch, but I am excited!
Another thing I learned: as long as the dam is healthy weight and size, it's better to do back to back breedings during her 2nd-6th (or so) years, shooting for 4-6 total litters before getting her spayed and put out to pasture. Which means I can now produce 10+ pups per year, and in two years, 20+ pups per year, when Willow and Grace reach breeding age!
It may get squirrelly when they hit 6/7 and get retired, but how hard can it be to find good homes for well trained adult labs who've given so much for our Heroes? (Bonus -- they are WELL beyond destructive phase, still have 6-8 great years ahead of them, and are superior companions!) And no, Halia will never leave Hero Labradors. She is the Grand Dame, the Bottom Bitch, my service dog, and 2nd best friend (after Carren.)
So, to sum up:
Line- or in-breeding in dogs isn't a bad thing, if done selectively and not repeatedly. Although generally you try less closely related pairings, it isn't unusual to linebreed close relatives.
Halia was linebred this go round (albeit accidentally) but should produce the best qualities of both her and PB.
Nani has one pup, may need a c-section.
Halia has at least five pups in her belly.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Grace update

Grace went to the vet today, her leg was draining and did not look good.

Vet said she seems to have an infection and is starting her on antibiotics and fluids.  Grace will stay there today and I'll pick her up this evening.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Grace is out of surgery

Grace is out of surgery, and can come home tomorrow!  Handled surgery and anesthesia very well, great prognosis for full recovery.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Emergency!

This morning Grace was hit by a car. We were packing the truck up for an event and had turned off the radio fence. Grace bolted into the road.
Her leg is badly broken--compound rotational fracture of her femur. It's going to need a plate and probably a rod. Looking at a $3500 surgery. Surgery will be in grapevine on monday. Vet will keep Grace until then.

If you can help out, I'd REALLY appreciate it.


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Frustration

As much as I love the big animal, Polar Bear has been driving me nuts today.

He has about a dozen chew toys, but instead has emptied out most of the greenhouse to scatter around the yard and chew that stuff up.

Seriously--he chewed up a 5 gallon plastic bucket.  Like a home depot bucket!

Then he just goes back to being a lump on the porch, until he finds the next thing to get into.

The joys of an adolescent lab...

Polar Bear last august--when he was being behaved.

Friday, February 16, 2018

100 Vets Who give a Damn

I presented Hero Labradors to 100 Vets Who Give a Damn last night at the C.R. Smith Museum, and we raised $1500!

100 Vets Who Give a Damn is an affiliation of veterans and veteran supporters who meet quarterly, hear from three selected non-profits, and vote on their favorite.  The selected nonprofit receives a check from each voter, and many people in the group also contribute to the charities that don't get selected.  Although we didn't get selected, we did receive many donations regardless--enough to feed all of our adult dogs for a calendar year!

I would like to thank 100 Vets Who Give a Damn (https://www.100vetswhogiveadamndfw.com/) for their support and the opportunity to present to them.  Halia and Polar Bear were a big hit with the group, sharing pats and kisses with everyone who met them, and not getting into trouble.

I have attended four of these meetings over the last year as a group member, and contributed each time to the selected nonprofit.  It really is a great way to help small nonprofits get a huge boost, and to come together as a community. 

I would also like to thank the Airpower Foundation for hosting the event at the CR Smith museum and providing us with dinner.  It was a great time for meeting new friends and old, and veterans from WWII to GWOT.

--Chuck