The Bonnie and Angus Journey

9th March 2023

Bonnie, after one missed natural mating, one TCI and one surgical insemination sadly didn’t fall pregnant all over a two year period.

Then as luck would have it she came into she came into season just before Christmas 2022. Armed with the knowledge that Angus truly is a stud, we let them get to it however due to the heat and inexperience poor Angus just wasn’t getting it together and he was tiring himself out. As I did not want Bonnie to miss out on becoming a mum again I intervened.

A progesterone test for Bonnie with our vet Andrea from Wagga Wagga Veterinary Hospital to establish the best days for mating. Now that this was known we booked in two natural Artifical Inseminations (AI) attempts with doctor David Riordan from Holbrook Veterinary Clinic over the Christmas break.

At four weeks we visited the vet again for a scan and quickly realised there was a lot of puppies onboard with an expected due date of 25th to 27th of February 2023. With this many pups on board an X-ray was necessary to establish numbers and eleven puppies were counted.

Whew! I knew I had my work cut out for me with many sleepless nights ahead.

In the early evening on a very hot Tuesday 21st February a very stressed Bonnie was not doing so well and a quick decision lead to an emergency cesarean section with 13 puppies born at 10:30pm that evening. The inital count was seven boys and six girls. Unfortunately one passed at delivery.

A day after they were born we lost a little boy and within two weeks lost two more boys. It’s a sad thing to lose any puppies however focus must always be on the surviving no matter how much it breaks your heart.

Until next time Karen out…

Bonnie with her eleven puppies on day one.
Bonnie with her eleven puppies on day one.

Winter Whelping

Our whelping plans started two years ago with establising essential item in preparation for whelping in any season with our two bitches Bonnie and Boo. Then, finally with a successful surgical AI mating the final touches were put into play. (A huge shout out of thanks and appreciation to Dr David Riordan BVSc and his team at Holbrook Vet Centre)

Our setup was simple, lots and lots of towels, newspaper, pee pads, Lilcracka Whelping blankets, electric blankets, whelping pen, other essentials items and the restructure of our living/dining spaces. Most importantly was having access to an on-call veterinarian to assist if needed, which of course, we did. Forever grateful to Dr Anita, who went above and beyond, Dr Andrea and the dedicated team at Wagga Veterinary Hospital.

While “Boo” thought it would be a good idea to have pups in the middle of winter the reality is that so much more effort is required for puppies to not only survive but thrive in the 0 to -4 degree temperatures.

Armed with the knowledge that our first litter would be during the coldest days/nights, we setup the pen three weeks out from the expected due date and let Boo enjoy the comforts of being inside. During this time we tested the heating of the gas heater and radiant heater to maintain a constant temperature. Not looking forward to the upcoming gas and electricity bills…eek!!! We were set.

The first week, as advised by so many breeders was indeed the hardest. The concern of, have I got the temperature right, along with the lack of sleep put me into hibination until Graeme and I found our rhythm. After the third day I did the early night shift then at 2-3am Graeme took over. Haaaaa sleep!!

The second week after the first was a breeze. Temperature was evenly distributed and the puppies were thriving and Boo was becoming an excellent mum and no more squashing attempts when they cried or squawked…

Even though we lost a pup, not because it was winter, we are so grateful to have been blessed with two gorgeous fur babies, a brindle boy Argos and a fawn girl Ava. Both are thriving and living a great life through the winter months in our home with all the love and support from our family.

Until next time… bless… Karen out

Our First Litter

Pureheartbul Wiggle It Argos and Pureheartbul Danity Lady Ava

I have been planning this, our first litter since Locki came into our lives three years ago. Locki was going to be my stud and my intention was to mate him with Bella and the next bitches (Bonnie and Boo) who supassed her. All that changed when Bella was diagnosed with cancer and within a few weeks of diagnosis she visited doggie heaven.

Our first season with Bonnie was a huge disappointment when we learnt that Locki just didn’t have any semen, so my BIG stunning placid, gentle giant boy became my teddy bear.

Then armed with frozen semen from quality breeders we tried again and again without any luck so on the fifth attempt between the two girls we finally had success and with three little one’s onboard we were excited to welcome them into our world with Boo as their adoring mum.

The challenges of listening to your heart and betterment of what you think is right for your bitch as opposed to the many years of experience of your peers and veterinarians opinions can be somewhat overwhelming. You see, many breeders with years of experience, believe that as I used frozen semen, then I should arrange a c-section on my girl for the delivery of my pups. It was my belief that they should be born naturally.

My dilemma was that Boo already had no understanding that she was made pregnant and waking up to three puppies after a caesarean could be very confusing which might end in Boo rejecting her puppies. So I made the decision with the experienced veterinarian on board to try naturally and then arrange a c-section if required.

On 10th July 2022 we welcomed two little brindle boys born naturally and one fawn girl born by caesarean and unfortunately the biggest brindle male was still born and crossed over the doggy bridge to heaven… bless this little boy.

We were immediately smitten with our two bundles of joy and pertinently called them Pureheartbul Wiggle It Argos and Pureheartbul Dainty Lady Ava. The names were brought about by their characters as Argos just wiggled right on out and hasn’t stopped wiggling since. Ava was first called Apricot however we were watching the movie Ava which was about a strong female character and well this just fit and she is called Dainty Lady Ava, as she is a bull dozer because that’s how her life began.

With nine teats to choose from this dynamic duo, from day one, scramble for the same teat. It is so funny to watch these little gems swabbling over the same nipple.

I am keeping these two as I can breed Ava with Angus and Argos with Bonnie which will give me my next generation of breeding stock. So with a mix of fawns, red and brindle bullmastiffs I am looking forward to seeing what comes next.

Until next time… Karen out and grateful for what lies ahead at Pure Heart Bullmastiffs.