Tuesday, January 11, 2011
We received the news that Canyon, the female Hedlund Husky in Big Lake, Alaska that was to be the long distance receiver of Phoenix's "genetic material" was likely to be the most fertile over the weekend. Last weekend; when we were to be out of town and at a time when Fed Ex does not ship packages over night. The timing still appeared right, however, because we would bring the boy in on Thursday on our way up north. His chilled donation would be shipped out shortly thereafter to arrive on Friday. At which time, Sharon, from the Wasilla Vet Clinic planned to separate the semen and do an AI on Friday and then another on Sunday which would be day 16. Day 16 has been an historically prominent number when it comes to our female Hedlund Husky fertility as both Tuloon and Daisy were bred on Day 16. The chilled specimen lasts, text book, up to 72 hours. Day 16 would be 72 hours for our little wiggly friends.
Thursday came and we loaded all of our gear and the dogs into the truck. Since we've been having trouble with the truck lately, we were keeping our fingers crossed that our departure would go off without a hitch. We had a bit over an hour to reach the vet before she would then be unavailable for the next two hours and we would have to wait with truck loaded, for the next available appointment. It would take one hour to get there so we had very little time to spare.
Truck started. No problem. Warmed up. No problem. Put it into gear and coasted down the hill onto the flat portion of the driveway and then we glided to a halt. And yet again, that pesky transmission problem appears to be holding us up. I called my mechanic to run the symptoms by him. He assured me that the seals on the transmission just needed to warm up a bit longer then it would easily go into gear and we would be on our way. I have never heard of half of the ailments that a vehicle can suffer from before this truck. Don't get me wrong. I love the utility of my 24' cube van. Each dog gets a medium to large size crate filled with straw and I can bring anything and everything my heart desires on a trip because there is just so much room back there! A diesel can be a problem in the winter but we've overcome that. Leaf springs, engine fire and now a transmission issue. Yikes! When will it end?
Sure enough, another 15 minutes and "Milton" popped right into gear and off we went. We arrived at 10:45 on the dot, Phoenix, Rebecca and I went into the exam room and wham bam it was over and we were soon looking at billions of little swimmers under the microscope. Apparently there is a rating system for such extractions; Excellent, Good, Average, etc. We're happy to report that Phoenix scored an "Excellent" for motility and another "Excellent" for count which was in the billions! If you recall from a much earlier post, McKenzie was also taken in for the same purpose and he also had excellent ratings. It's nice to know that the "men" in the Hedlund Husky line appear to be so capable. And McKenzie was 8 years old when he made his deposit. Right now, we've got nine potential McKenzie breedings sitting on ice.
After a full day on the trail with the dogs on Friday, we received word that the package arrived at the Wasilla vet clinic as expected. Sharon was extremely happy how it traveled. Typically, when shipped, the score can drop one or two levels. Not Mr. Motility's sample! It remained at an "Excellent" overall score. She commented that she rarely sees such a high score even when she is extracting it herself and it isn't being shipped.
What more can I say? We've been calling Phoenix "Mr. Motility" all weekend.