Tuesday, March 15, 2011
To Fix or Not to Fix
We've done a lot of thinking over the past several months about whether or not to fix White Feather and Ari. The topic has come up in many discussions with some folks in our Hedlund Husky Preservation group and we continued to arrive at the same conclusion.
Are they both good dogs? They are EXCELLENT dogs! Both are hard driving sled dogs with excellent worth ethics. Both have the type of coats we're looking for in our dogs. White Feather has outstanding leader potential. Ari may as well, however, we have not placed him in front of a large team this season because it is his first with us. He comes from a line of leaders. Size wasn't an issue as they are both within the typical range of the ideal Hedlund Husky. Then what was it?
We strive to make the very best decisions we can about each and every dog that is in our kennel; what is best for us as a kennel, what is best for the dog and what is best for the line.
From our kennel standpoint, we have a small kennel and a busy life and we would like to only maintain a very few intact dogs. These intact dogs take much more management. Our Points Unknown breeding program has a vision of only breeding the very best of the best to make certain we maintain what we value most; excellent sled dogs with leader potential and well rounded temperaments, good coats, good feet and impeccable structure and health.
White Feather, although one of only a few deep Hedlund line Alaskan Husky females, has what appears to be a genetic flaw that we don't wish to pass along. She is missing a total of ten teeth. X-rays indicate that they just aren't there, even under the gums. She is able to eat her food and maintains weight but it does take her more time to eat than the others. Large hard treats are difficult for her to eat efficiently. Thankfully, we have her sister, Topa, who exhibits no undesirable traits or genetic flaws and fits our vision of the ideal all around sled dog.
Ari is also a deep Hedlund line Alaskan Husky. He has shown some fear aggression tendencies against other dogs since he was a young adult and although they appear to have settled since his arrival to Points Unknown last fall, they still exist. His structure is also a bit peculiar and not one we would like to pass down. Thankfully, we have his brother, Phoenix, who fits our vision.
Both of our furry friends were fixed last week. We planned this procedure and the subsequent recuperation at this time to avoid mud season. If it hadn't have been now, we would have had to wait until mid April or later. Ongoing muddy dog foot prints in the house are no fun.
Both are healing nicely and do enjoy their extended time in the house. White Feather is often entertained by the Planet Green channel and stands up close so she doesn't miss a thing. Ari immediately steps up on the couch when he comes in and hardly ever leaves it unless he hears a random squeak from one of the furry toys then he must hop off and investigate. On Thursday, they will be healed enough to be back out in their kennels so they can fully enjoy the onset of mud season.