Lynn Dee's Log
Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021
"Beautiful sunny day here after several inches of snow last night. Annie was thrilled when she was chosen to load up in the car this morning. Storm and Sally, of course just assumed they'd be on board. Kate was heartbroken."
My anxiety is over. The timing is good. I just know it! Got as far as Mio and my tire warning came on. Took care of that; back on the road."
Road tunes: Eddie Money's "Two Tickets To Paradise." "Hollywood Nights" by Bob Seeger. Zachary Richard's zydeco version of "Dancing at Double D's." An Ann Wilson cover of "Life in the Fast Lane."
First rest stop. Weather is still holding. Radar says The Crew might get out in front of the storm. The goal is to reach Chuck's cabin, graciously shared for this breeding between Annie and Tip, about 8:30 pm. Meanwhile, flex leads are just the thing for airing dogs out on a road trip.
More road music. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band of New Orleans. Stray Cats and "Rock This Town." Ironically, Steppenwolf's "Snowblind Friend."...because near Buffalo, Lynn Dee's luck with Winter Storm Uri runs out.
Lynn Dee's Log
"Hitting some pretty hard snow right now. Road is white, piling up. Just taking it a little slower. Before long, I'll stop, get gas, feed the dogs. Maybe the snow band will pass. The good thing is that it's Saturday so the traffic is pretty light. If I could get off the road for a bit the plows will get out here and it will be better. Service area: 10 miles.
Was going to feed the dogs, maybe take a little break inside. Forget it. I'm not going into the building, it's packed and hardly anyone is wearing a mask. We'll head down the road a little further."
"Had to pull off again. Snowing so hard that it is blinding in the headlights. Three or four inches are down already and there's more traffic, so I'm just gonna sit here at this west stop. Still 40 miles west of Rochester. I didn't get very far before the storm caught up with me - or maybe I caught up with it. I figure two and a half hour to Chuck's. So cold I had to warm my hands to open the dog crates. But they are fed and walked at least."
"I am heading back out onto the highway. This is one of the worst drives of my whole life (virtually)...white out conditions. I am very close to pulling off the road and calling it a night, but that would require using a hotel (in COVID) even if I could get one to take me with the dogs. I keep hoping that if I drive on, I will get in front of the storms...but they keep staying ahead of me it seems."
"I had to get off the road. Snowing hard, blinding, and almost no plows, so the only way that I knew that I was still on the road were the markers on the far edges of the road. It was nuts. So I took the first exit that came along, and I am parked in a gas station parking lot, but safe. This is so not fun."
While Lynn Dee waits out the storm, sirens go off at a nearby fire station, and emergency crews - fire trucks, ambulances - come racing from all directions up the ramp to the highway. The following day, she will learn there was a 60 car pile-up on the highway not far away, one that she and the Good Ship of Dreams missed by pulling over and resting. They do not go back on the highway until the emergency crews come streaming back and semi's start rumbling up on the highway.
She makes her friend Chuck's cabin just before midnight.
Lynn Dee's Log
Sunday, February 21, 2021
Dreamboat Annie's betrothed, a handsome grouse dog named "Tip," arrives , the first of two 11-hour 'round trip drives his owners, Brooks and Amy, will make this week. Tip 'n' Annie introductions are rocky. Lynn Dee writes, "She is mildly snarky and intimidating to him, it seems. Tip is only somewhat interested. Meanwhile, we're trying to get this done in a snowstorm, watching dogs no nothing. Brooks is just really great, hanging in during this intense cold and heavy snow. What stud dog owner does that? A committed one, for sure. " Everything remains close, but no tie that binds, through the afternoon. Finally, Amy, Brooks, and Tip head back to their rental; all concerned turn in with high hopes that tomorrow will go better.
Tip, between attempts at love. "They said she'd be nice. They PROMISED she'd be nice! What gives?"
Lynn Dee's Log
Monday, February 22
While they wait for Tip's entourage to return, the Firelight Gang set up shop with one of their relations, Chuck's Ellie. She is Firelight Mustang Sally's granddaughter, and learns quickly that Lynn Dee's Gal Sal is not all sweetness and light in the Granny Role.
Ellie, granddaughter of Firelight Mustang Sally, daughter of Firelight Encore Deacon
When Tip shows, the action picks up. Once, twice the deed is almost done...until it isn't. It's snowing hard and all hands are soaking wet. Lynn Dee feels certain the breeding will get done today.
"We tried again and they were actually less interested. I think if either was experienced, it could have happened in the first round. But when she snarks, he retreats. (Tip) is very sweet and soft. I'm thinking (Annie) is just not ready. She will stand and flag if he courts, but he is not trying very hard. Are we too early? Still, a positive change from yesterday. We are progressing. "
"We are done for today. Tip tweaked an old pastern injury when playing with Annie. He shows a real lack of interest now. This is the first time ever that I traveled and not gotten a breeding on the day we thought it would happen. But then, we've always gone to the stud's home."
Tip's owners very graciously agree to leave their dog with Lynn Dee there at Chuck's. There is talk of the two inexperienced dogs, the disadvantage of trying to conduct a mating on a "neutral court," the distractions, etc. But it's time for Plan B, and the vet's office is called for an AI mating for Tuesday morning.
Lynn Dee hears from her friend Nicole, another Firelight owner, back in Mio. Nicole and her puppy, Firelight Clementine, are hunkered down with Lynn Dee's Flint, Seth, Dance, and Kate, keeping the home fires burning. "This is interesting. Seth has been doing pretty well but was noisy overnight last night. He knows that it's time for Annie. Been smelling her markers in the yard every day until I left. Timer in his body went off last night.
I told you he has a heck of a nose. 700 miles! "
Lynn Dee's Log
Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021
"if I ever again think about traveling to breed a maiden bitch and an unproven male, please whack me upside the head! This morning he is showing mild interest. They are playing but that's all he is doing: playing. Annie is...not standing as cooperatively as yesterday. He is showing more interest, (but) she does not want him to mount her, she who wants to dominate the world. He doesn't have the Romeo skills yet to woo her into standing so she jumps away each time he even tries. Such newbies. Ugh. On my way to the vet."
"Just met the vet and had to leave the dogs - COVID requirements. She has bred Bloodhounds for 40 years, so probably knows what she is doing. Crossing my fingers.
I felt so bad for little Annie. In just the past three weeks, she had to go in for blood for brucellosis test, and then now her second progesterone test. Sometimes I do not like being a breeder. Plus, I so hate leaving my dogs.
She was so unhappy to be led away from me. Tip tipped the scales at 62 pounds. He is a little taller than Flint but not quite as hefty in build, yet he has really good bone."
"Woohoo! Just got the call that they managed the AI and I can come pick them up! Imma coming Annie! Vet said good collection. 85% motility. We will know more when we get the results of the progesterone tomorrow morning."
"After a hard day, sometimes a girl just needs her mother."
"Got a tie! I had been doing the 30 minutes exposure, 30 minute separation thing all day to see if absence really does make the heart grow fonder! At the 2:00 try, they tied. Annie stayed calm and did well! (Tip's owner) will be here at 5. Whew!