Very disappointing news about RanpaPosted: January 10, 2008 Filed under: Gompa Lhasa Apsos 1 Comment
My sister Kelly’s Gompa dog, Ranpa, has been with me since November 30th for breeding. Her heat cycle and hormone levels were textbook. She bred naturally with Keeper, in addition to one artificial insemination by Dr. Milan Hess who is a veterinary reproduction specialist. Yesterday Ranpa saw Dr. Hess again for a scheduled ultrasound. The larger dark spot on the left is Ranpa’s bladder. The smaller dark spot is a possible resorption site, a uterine cyst or uterine fluid.
She is not pregnant. This is very, very disappointing news. In 2007, not having had much luck at all with the Gompa dogs reproducing, I embarked on a journey to learn everything I could about modern reproduction tools now available to breeders, to utilize these tools to help with the Gompa dog breeding program. I have always been a ‘back to Mother Nature’ breeder, so this was a big leap for me, something I titled Reproduction 301.
After many trips back and forth – one hour one way – during the 2007 spring breeding season, still no puppies. With the exception of one, the females had conceived, but resorbed. Dr. Hess and I looked at possible factors that could be causing this. The viability of the gene pool was one. Age of mothers was another. And yet another was their environment. The last one was ruled out when I compared breeding records between the FFT dogs with me and the Gompa dogs during the same time frame. The FFT dogs had ‘missed’ once; a repeat breeding resulted in 4 puppies the next time around. Meanwhile, there were 12 attempts at Gompa dog litters, resulting in 5 full-term pregnancies. Two of those consisted of one dead puppy. A total of 8 live Gompa dogs have been born at my house since their arrival in 2001. Not very encouraging…
After that disappointing round, I arrived at Plan B, incorporating Dr. Hess advice to breed at a younger age. I added a young male, not a Gompa dog, but a compatible dog in appearance, size and heritage. His lineage, the entire lineage traces back to the 13th Dalai Lama. At the time, Julie disagreed with this. She thought I should stay with the original intention of keeping that lineage intact. I thought there would be no lineage at all if I didn’t introduce ‘hybrid vigor’.
Keeper is not yet two and sired a litter of 7 (AKC) puppies for his breeder before coming to me for an extended stay. Besides being fertile, he offers ‘hybrid vigor’ and the opportunity to reintroduce some important attributes necessary for optimum health – like full dentition and sound patellas. My original plan was to breed him to a couple of the Gompa girls, particularly those that are closely related to the young males I have available. Given the latest news, in addition to what we’ve previously discovered, Julie has changed her opinion about utilizing Keeper and suggested he be bred to all three young females I have available to me. The thought has crossed my mind too.
We live. We learn. We keep soldiering on. Was there something in that Breeder’s Life about not giving up? Perhaps the definition should be stubborn? Stupid? Willing to beat your head against a concrete wall? Willing to throw money to the wind? :::sigh:::
Nagpo, Ranpa’s littersister, was bred to Keeper on December 23 and 25. Both these were natural breedings. I hadn’t planned on having Nagpo ultrasounded, but now I’m going to. I need to know if she did conceive, if she’s still pregnant or if she resorbed. Keep your fingers crossed!
This next year really is ‘do or die’ for the Gompas. Maybe the reason they’re with me is something else entirely…that’s something to ponder.
… and so we sit listening to the haunting strains of “Legend of the White Stupa,” paying homage to Sir Edmund. Like the mountains mists, he has passed from our sight. And it is with heartsore realization we see the mists swirling around the Gompas. Will they too fade, only a heartbeat on the icy winds … symbols of a time and place lost in antiquity?