Bitches

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CLICK ON PHOTOS TO ENLARGE

What follows is a collection of photos and brief histories of those smooth fox terrier bitches that have been part of the Sweetmont journey. Few websites share so much information.  I apologize if this is too much information for some. My intention, nonetheless, is to cast some light on the realities of my breeding adventure. I want prospective homes and future breeders to have a glimpse of what can and does happen–regardless of extensive study, preparation, and effort. This is not a “casual” hobby. It is an all consuming endeavor to do responsibly. The lack of understanding about all involved is what results in cavalier condemnations of breeders as the source of rescue center abandoned pets. Dogs are not a cash crop for responsible breeders.

Sarita’s Beautiful Day at Sweetmont: aka Sophie

Co-owned with Aaron and Deidra Bower

CH Quissex Presented at Court

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Georgia, aka CH Quissex Presented at Court

Nampara’s Sooty Soo at Sweetmont

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Nampara’s Sooty Soo at Sweetmont

Sweetmont’s Kahlua Latte Lorquest 

An example of two years invested and attachments formed only to be called to release a lovely “hopeful” to a different but wonderful life and embrace disappointment. Born April 19, 2014

Co-owned with Lorrie Worden

As is sometimes the case, Latte did not prove suitable for showing or breeding. She was  a sweet smooth fox terrier, but very skiddish in public settings. To force her into a show ring would be like forcing a shy child to do public speaking–torture. Some dogs are just not designed for the ring. This is a particularly significant issue for terriers who are to be bold and confident canines.  Latte went to her forever home during the fall of 2016. It was a tough call given she was a beautiful female and a Sassy daughter. As the reader will discover if you read along, breeding dogs can be a challenging endeavor fraught with many disappointments, unforeseen health issues,  expenses, and set backs. My experiences read much as a cautionary tale.

Kenterra Uptown Girl, aka Brinkley:              THE BRUCELLOSIS SCARE

brinkley-6months1

During the spring of 2014, my friend Ken Hughes was newly diagnosed with lung cancer. One of his wishes  during that time was that his smooth,  Brinkley, be bred for her last litter. I agreed and the highly prized Brinkley arrived at my home on the day that Sassy’s last litter was whelped at Cornell and I spent the wee hours of the morning napping in the waiting room.

In July, Brinkley came into season and I had  routine brucellosis testing done on her. Being quite confident that there would be no problem with the results, two days later I dropped Brinkley off to the breeder who was going to handle the mating. About 20 minutes into the drive home, I received a call from my vet. Some very strange results had arrived from the Cornell lab. Brinkley’s brucellosis results were inconclusive!  What !!!?

Evidently the brucellosis  2 part test had come back with mixed results. The dog had to be quarantined, my kennel reported to the state health department, and I had to visit my doctor. But first, I had to get Brinkley from the other breeder! This was one of the most bizarre events I had experienced as a breeder.  To complicate things, retesting could not happen for several months in order to give the presence of the disease a chance to produce more conclusive results IF it was present.

When I reported to my doctors’ office, they were dumbstruck. They had NEVER encountered this in 30 years of practice. Blood testing  for humans was done, so far as they could determine, in only one or two labs in the country. When I researched the possible legal ramifications on my kennel my blood ran cold. Some states  could require euthanization of all the dogs in my kennel.

It had been a very rough spring/summer at Sweetmont: Ken’s cancer diagnosis, the emergency whelping of Sassy’s pups, surgery for myself, emergency C-section and near death of my daughter and granddaughter, battles with Ken’s oncologists who had sold their practice to the University of Miami who in turn dropped him in the middle of chemo treatments, and finally this waiting game to see if all my beloved dogs were going to destroyed. Fall came and retesting proved what we all suspected all along; Brinkley was brucellosis negative. The original test had been a false positive. I was relieved, but the ramifications of brucellosis were well beyond anything I had previously imagined and false positive results are no joke. Given her seasons were nearly a year apart, Brinkley was placed with Ken’s sister after his death.

CH Foxlorr Bring On the Day

Enjoy her theme song  Bring On the Day
Chosen for Sassy while she was just a bold puppy.

How I got Sassy is a story in itself. Sassy was the fourth pick puppy from a beautiful litter bred by Lorraine Gyenge of Foxlorr Kennels. Because she was so petite, Lorraine and the others were very skeptical that she would be competitive.  I couldn’t, however, get past the qualities I saw in this little female and in her pedigree. It certainly did not hurt that she was a half sister to the beautiful Foxlorr Double Dare, aka Phoebe. Lorraine generously gave me Sassy  on the weekend of MCKC 2009–no strings attached– and wished me all the best. I was free to place her in a pet home if /when she fell apart. That generosity was rewarded as Sassy defied the odds.

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Sassy pedigree

Anyone who has bred dogs knows that what a pup looks like at 8 weeks is a good indicator, but no guarantee that a dog will hold together and fulfill its potential. Only too often a pup will fall apart. Sassy was slow to develop and went through a long and lanky stage as she matured. Fortunately, she came back together as a compact and beautifully structured bitch.

Sassy gathered points quickly and  was shown to her wins by Lorrie Worden and  Annmarie Ruggiere at specialty shows. A delay occurred, however, when her final point was mixed up in the records at what we thought was her final show.  We had a long wait through a snowy winter to get Sassy back in the ring to finish.

Champion certificate                 

RWB Montgomery County 2010 under Peter Green
BW at Louisville Specialty under Judy Franklin
BOW at LEFTC WNY Specialty under Lydia Hutchinson
RWB at Columbia Terrier Specialty under Beth Sweigert
Bred by Lorraine Gyenges

We were blessed with two litters by Sassy. You can read about them and see photos on our litters  page. She too brought a steep learning curve with split seasons and erratic cycles that resulted in failed breeding attempts, testing, a C-section, and an emergency trip to Cornell during the wee hours of the morning. Backyard breeders do not work this hard, invest so much, and travel so far to try to get it right. I will long wonder about what she might have produced had her mating to CH Quissex Snow Kidding been successful. But, it was not to be and she had reached an age where waiting another year was both unwise and impractical. ( This is not a bad reflection on the dog. I fully recognize Sassy’s  issues were the problem.) She is now living well with friends  nearby.

paige-and-sassy

Legacy Tarina Bindi Sue

Dog-napped

I fell in love with Bindi as soon as I set eyes on her during a trip to California in Spring of 2008. Though not very competitive in the show ring, I admired the very square structure and lovely ears and bought her in fall of  2008.

The story attached to Bindi is a bizarre, disturbing, and sad one. In mid February 2009,  I woke with a horrific headache. A trip to the emergency room returned the diagnosis of a large brain tumor. Fortunately, after surgery the next morning, I was informed they removed it all and it was benign. Recovery is a sometimes grueling ordeal, but I was one of the blessed ones with a bright prognosis.

I was approached  during this time by a woman I had met through a fox terrier forum. Would I allow her, she asked,  to show Bindi during the summer of 2009? Knowing that I was not likely to get out to shows on my own  that year and after discussing it with Bindi’s breeder who also knew this woman,  Bindi was placed in this person’s care. Bindi was shown a couple of times and  the woman grew very attached to her.  There in began the problem.

Bindi was not returned to me in early fall 2009 as originally agreed and a protracted exchange began about buying her. Long and short of it is that a contract once negotiated was never signed, promised payments were never made, and  the woman moved without providing a forwarding address. Even her place of employment refused to give me her current address.

Herein lies the lesson. After contacting the police, I was informed that because I had entrusted the dog to this woman at one point in time, they could do nothing. It was a civil rather than criminal matter, despite the fact that this woman refused to hand over my dog.  A lawyer from the region where this woman lived recommended I create flyers and plaster them throughout the region. That would have included her place of employment.  Though sorely tempted, I chose another option. With the help of a mutual friend, I got Bindi back–a full two years from the time she had left my home— but only after I reimbursed the woman for OFA testing she had done. Testing that was done with this woman falsely listed  as the owner no less.

Bindi was bred twice, but never took on the first breeding and had still born pups for the second–with a vet present– including identical twin females. Bacteriology,  thyroid, and herpes tests all came back negative. No cause could be determined. Heartbreaking for so many reasons.

The photo below is of Bindi at the age of 7. I believe she got better and more beautiful as she matured.

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It is very difficult to part with some dogs–especially those  with whom you have been through a lot. I made the decision, nonetheless, 4.5 years later to place Bindi in a wonderful forever home where she gets endless attention. She is now guard dog, garden goddess, and college patrol dog with her new owner in Maryland.

Bev & Bindi 2Bev & Bindi 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweetmont’s Crystal Rose

Born: May 23, 2007

My beloved Chrissy. This bitch was a stunner even as a small puppy. Unfortunately, her bite went off  and disqualified her from the show ring. I had Chrissy OFA’ed at 2 years of age as I struggled with whether or not to have her spayed or attempt to breed away from that bite issue (which obviously was not life threatening) given how exceptional she was. OFA testing identified that she  had mild bilateral HD. It was devastating news, but has not kept her from being the favorite at Sweetmont.

 

CH Warfox Jet Setter

I leased Paisley in spring 2007 for her final litter. It is one of my sincerest regrets that I never got some lovely photos of her while she was with me. Paisley was a beautiful bitch and looked fit for the show ring when I returned her to her owner. She was bred to CH Warfox High Mountain Flash Fire, aka Pepper.

paisley

Sweetmont’s My Kind of Magic, aka Amilee: Lost to a Loud Speaker

Amilee had a face and expression that would stop people in their tracks. Annie Clark kept her in the cut  at MCKC despite this bitch’s abysmal behavior in the ring.  Peter Green admired her at a specialty but explained to the handler that he just could not put her up given her performance. (That day a loud speaker went off right behind her while she was on the table and she never recovered.)  Amilee trembled while in the ring at her next show–so much so that her front  movement went off because of the tension in her shoulders. Again the judge explained to the handler why she was passed over.  More shows proved to be more of the same. The ring was ruined  for Amilee.

This bitch was not “soft” in temperament like Latte, but a very alpha bitch. I bred her once to my much loved and sweet tempered Lance, CH Legacy A Knight’s Tale. It resulted in an emergency C-section on the eve of a holiday and a litter of high energy puppies and a very anxious dam. I decided then to place her as a pet as she was a happy and sweet creature when the only dog.

 

Nature’s Noble Rose of Sweetmont:

SILENT SEASON SURPRISE

This lovely smooth was from the  surprise “silent season” litter was owned and shown by Michael Burgevin. Mike was a wonderful man, an artist, avid drummer, and serious jazz musician. Meeting and becoming friends with Mike and his wife Patty has been one of the perks of raising smooth fox terriers. They too were “relic dwellers” and had a marvelous and ornate Victorian home. Memories of summer visits, ice cream on the porch, and winter visits to walk a pack of smooths before Mike passed away are among the best. He is greatly missed. Halley is a much loved companion to Patty.

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CH Salcrest Gypsy Rose and the Silent Season litter

The second fox terrier bitch I owned was a finished champion acquired after the untimely death of Sally Ann Healy of Oregon. It was with Gypsy that I learned of a phenomenon known as a silent season.  I came home from a dog show and was stunned to discover that Gypsy appeared about 6 weeks pregnant.  Gypsy never showed signs of being in season and I never saw  the mating, but given that Comet was the only dog on the property at that time and had been allowed to run with her, it was obvious who was the sire. Gypsy produced the lovely Noble Rose of Sweetmont, aka Halley–a Nature’s Nobleman, aka Comet daughter. Don’t you just shake your head at how we breeders sometimes come up with registration names!

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 Sweetmont’s Epiphany, aka Ani :                      The DNA LITTER

This very sweet and confident smooth came from my second litter.  Sweetie, her dam,  had been  shipped to the Midwest to be bred. Upon her return, Sweetie climbed a fence–something she had never done before or since– and escaped to a dog yard where her son Comet was turned out. I never saw the mating, only stood in shock upon discovering them together.  When the litter of 7 puppies was born, I  did the responsible thing and spent some serious money on DNA testing. Several had to have “extended” studies due to inconclusive results arising from being bred to a dog in the same line. Yep, you guessed it. EVERY puppy was by Comet and not one was by the stud dog.

The story with Ani did not end there. After  she was delivered to a breeder on the east coast, it was discovered she physically could not be bred. An evaluation by the reproductive department at Cornell revealed her birth canal was inordinately narrow.  An AI might produce a litter, but there would be risks in whelping. I walked away from hopes to have a litter given all that would be involved.

Little Miss Muzzie

                                      Muzzie, litter sister to my first homebred champion, Nature’s Nobleman,                                                                            was the pick bitch from my first litter of smooth fox terriers.

CH Hexham Practical Magic, ROM

Sweetie 300 dpi

Sweetie’s story can be found on my “History” page.

She was shown to her championship by Marie Heffron and

bred by Elizabeth McLean of Hexham Smooth Fox Terrier

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