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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Rayna's Puppy Journey

Rayna (left lead in the photo) on her last run on day 24

Me and my Arrow

Rayna is a licker!

Arrow leading with White Feather

We’ve love it if you followed along on our puppy journey! So, let’s start at the beginning. We chose to breed Rayna, a Bassich line Alaskan Husky, that came to us three years ago from a homestead 12 miles down the Yukon River outside of Eagle, Alaska. She was brought into the kennel for genetic diversity in our current Hedlund and Zulu line breeding program and we fell completely head over heels in love with her and were smitten not only with her, but with her intense work ethic and leader ability. Arrow was the chosen one for Rayna; this big, burly, thick-coated stud has everything we desire in our dogs. Eager-to-please is by far his greatest attribute, passed down from his papa Oken who is also quite an amazing sled dog. Arrow is intensely strong and trail focused. Becoming a reliable leader, Arrow takes his job very seriously.

Rayna was bred to Arrow on September 26th and then again on September 28th.  After being treated for a vaginal infection after three days of bleeding, a month and a half previously, we were concerned that the current heat was potentially a split heat which means that there was a possibility that she could not have been ovulating, thus no puppies.

Rayna is likely to whelp (have her puppies) between days 60 and 63. On day 21 after her first breeding, Rayna began to refuse her food and vomit was discovered in her kennel. All good signs that she was pregnant!

The food refusal ended on day 31 when she began to eat regularly; however, she became pickier about when and what she ate.

We’re now on day 33 with no real physical signs of a pregnancy but plenty of behavioral signs. Rayna has become more possessive of her things and is also digging when she has not been a digger.

Because we stopped Rayna from working in the team on day 24, we are making sure that she gets lots of other stimulation to keep her active. She is free in one of our big play areas for much of the day with one of her male friends, Phoenix. After dinner, she comes in for the night and spends time lounging on the sofa. As her pregnancy progresses, she’ll be in much more during the day. We’re excited to be putting up the whelping box next week, in one of the spare bedrooms, so she can begin getting used to it. She and pups will remain inside until everyone begins jumping out of the whelping box, at which time, we’ll transition them outside in a thickly strawed and insulated dog house.

We’ll be giving more frequent updates on Rayna and all of the dogs at Points Unknown on the Points Unknown facebook page so please visit us there!

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