Bluebonnet Mastiffs

The home of the "Bluebonnet Mastiffs" kennel in North Texas

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Want to know what a day in the life of Bluebonnet Mastiffs is all about?  Check it out!

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Puppies! Puppies! Puppies!

Posted on February 9, 2015 at 1:15 PM Comments comments (0)

We are beyond excited to have ten new little mastiff babies in the house!  On January 21st, we welcomed six females and four males - all fawn.  Mollie and babies are all doing well.

We took Mollie in on her due date for the requisite progesterone test to see if delivery was imminent.  Phil went to run errands after the lab draw and we were both a little surprised that her progesterone had dropped so low, indicating that she was in, or going to be in labor, at any minute.  We met back at the veterinarian's office where they began to get Mollie prepped. 

It was a very busy day for Dr Esmond and his staff.  They had just completed a c-section for 10 beautiful Golden Retriever pups and we were to be next.  However, there was a more pressing situation with a Weimeraner bitch and they took her to the operating room before us.  Mollie waited patiently amidst the flurry of activity but it became apparent that she was clearly laboring away.

When it was our turn, we took Mollie back to the operating room, initiated her anesthesia and got her prepped and draped.  It was Dr Coritaus' surgical day, so she came in and began the exciting delivery of our beautiful babies.

Thanks goodness for great friends.  We had four experienced mastiff friends with Phil and me and it took all of us backing up the busy staff to jump start and monitor the new mastiff pups.  Fortunately, all did well, and a few hours later we were safely on the way home.

Although the last 2 1/2 weeks have been sleepless, and Phil and I feel like walking zombies, we have thoroughly enjoyed bringing this little family along day by day.  We have two little girls that appeared to be a little younger developmentally, but both have gotten their feet on the ground.  The little girl who seemed the most behind is catching up more and more every day.  The entire clan eats like crazy and at weigh in last night, one boy already weighs over 6 lbs!!! (That's a lot, for those of you without a frame of reference.)

This weekend, we will begin the weaning process and life will take on a more manageable rhythm.  Once we eliminate the middle of the night feeding, I think Phil and I will begin to get back to normal - somewhat.  It always seems that, once the pups are weaned, we trade feeding time for clean-up time.  Still, even with all the work and demands for attention, we thoroughly enjoy these little characters and love getting to know each one's individual personality.  They are blossoming into mastiffs before our very eyes - their eyes have opened, their heads are taking on the distinctive shape of a mastiff, and they are practicing their puppy behaviors now that they can see each other to "chase" around the whelping box.

Stay tuned!

Exciting News!

Posted on January 13, 2015 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Although my last post was a sad one and quite a while ago, the wait has been worth it.  We are excited to let the proverbial "cat out of the bag."  Mollie and McGee are expecting babies January 21st!

 

Phil and I spent a great deal of time soul searching, trying to decide what was best for Mollie.  Although we would have been sad not to have another litter of puppies with her, what was paramount to us was what would be best for Mollie.  As she began to hint that she was coming in to season again in November, it became abundantly clear that Mollie was determined that she wanted to have babies again.

 

Now, don't ask me what it was she did specifically to tell us.  I can't even begin to describe detailed changes in behavior or attitude.  Anyone who truly loves and connects with their dog can understand when we say, "Mollie just told us!."  Both Phil and I came to the realization independantly of each other and then, one day, one of us mentioned that we felt that was what she was trying very hard to tell us.  The other immediately agreed that they had felt it, too.

 

Since we actually did the breeding with the help of our wonderful vet, Mollie has been completely happy.  Although, at this late stage of pregnancy, she reminds me of myself along around eight months with the uncomfortable breathing and difficulty finding comfortable positions, she is clearly a very happy girl.  From her, I am able to take the lead and feel at ease about these puppies.  I had worried I would be overwhelmed with stress and worry.  Mollie doesn't leave room for that.  She is confident.

 

So, we will try to keep things current and keep anyone interested posted.  Feel free to email us directly if you have any questions or just want to be kept in the loop.

 

And please, say lots of prayers!  A soul can never have too many - be it human or canine, young, old, or as yet, unborn.  And....   Happy New Year!

Mollie X Stegman Breeding Update

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (0)

It has taken me a while to get around to posting this update.  Not because I have been busy, as I had hoped I would be, but because the news is painful.  Two days after five beautiful babies - two boys and three girls - were born, they began to struggle.  Over the course of approximately 40 hours, we lost them one by one.


We did everything possible to try and turn each baby's downward spiral around.  With the help of four veterinarians and many of our close friends, we tried everything we could think of to help each baby overcome whatever was making them sick.  In the end, the veterinarians unanimously agreed that we had lost all five babies to "Fading Puppy Syndrome."  No one knows for certain what the cause is and why some puppies fall victim to it while others don't.  Some people are able to save one or two puppies, some (like us), lose an entire litter.  Theories include everything from bacterial infections to some unknown congenital problem.  For my part, I tend to agree with our primary veterinarian that it is something infectious.


I could go into the blow by blow of each puppy's deterioration and the steps we took to try and beat the odds, but it is a long and painful story.  Should any of you be wanting the details for your own education, I am happy to share if you contact me personally.  Otherwise, we just ask that you say a prayer for five sweet babies that were already loved by their forever families and will be missed.


For Mollie's part, grief was hard to overcome.  For several days afterward, Mollie would only leave the whelping box to go outside.  When she came back in the house, she would immediately return to the box.  We left her to sleep there and recover from her cesarean section in peace.  Finally, after four days of exile, Mollie began to show signs of being ready to resurme her place in the family.  She would return to the whelping box but would come out when called.  After a few days of transition, I finally felt it was safe to put up a baby gate across the door without causing her any additional stress.  For the next couple of weeks, Mollie would still occasionally stop in front of the whelping room and look wistfully through the door.


We keep discussing what the best next step will be.  We are not in a hurry to decide.  We don't anticipate Mollie going back into season until sometime in December and we haven't decided definitively if/when we want to breed Brady.  Phil thinks it would be hard on Mollie to breed her again.  I tend to think the most healing thing we could do for Mollie is to let her have a litter of healthy babies.  Stay tuned for which one of us convinces the other.

Spring Has Sprung!

Posted on April 13, 2014 at 8:35 PM Comments comments (0)

(Deep Breath!) I don't know about anyone else, but I am thrilled that Spring is here.  It has been a challenging winter for many of us across the country.  I moved 900+ miles five years ago just to get away from the cold and snow, so, the warmer temperatures are right up my alley.


With Spring come babies - all kinds of babies.  We are excited to be contemplating the birth of some new Bluebonnet Mastiff babies in mid-June.  Mollie was bred this past week to an absolutely beautiful, sweet tempered boy named Stegman.  Both have had great successes in the ring but what makes them and this breeding so special is the incredible temperament they both possess.  For more information on the breeding, please visit our "Breedings" page, 


It has been two years since we've had puppies - longer than intended, but, like everyone else, life seems to get in the way sometimes.  Since it has been so long, both Phil and I have a craving for puppy breath.  If it didn't feel like bad karma, we would already have the whelping room all set up and ready to go.  However, in the hopes that we won't jinx ourselves, we will have a little patience and wait until puppies are confirmed with an ultrasound half way through the pregnancy.  If you are interested in this breeding, please complete the puppy questionnaire located on the Documents page and send it via email or snail mail.


Since my last entry, our pack has undergone some change.  In December, we lost Gumby.  It was a horrific shock to Phil and myself.  We had always thought that, of the three brothers, Gumby would live the longest.  We never expected him to be first.  Unfortunately, in early December, Gumby began to quit eating and grow weak and lethargic.  A visit to the vet with some lab work drawn and some pathology performed revealed that Gumby had hemangiosarcoma.  Phil and I understood the prognosis and took Gumby home with the medications provided for his comfort.  Shortly before Christmas, we made the difficult but kindest decision to say goodbye.  To this day, Phil and I each continue to think we see him in the yard with the others and go to call him before, sadly, reality sets in.  We cherish each day we continue to have with his brothers, Kodi and Chuckwagon, who celebrated their 8th birthday in March.


Bevo, Brady, and McGee have all "grown up." Although they will continue to mature over the next couple of years, they are two now (In McGee's case, almost two) and mostly grown.  All three are large, beefy, typey dogs.  I like to equate Brady with the class cheerleader - always happy and ready to play/party.  McGee is more reserved, but when in his own comortable environment, is a complete goofball.  Bevo is a natural alpha, conceding authority only to his mother, Mollie.  But, he's also a gentle soul and very intelligent, thank goodness.  After a few discussions (literally) about the hierarchy in the pack, he clearly understands expectations.  However, as any mastiff should be, he is gentle and affectionate to all friends and visitors.


The rest of the crew continues the thrive.  They love the new home and will love it better when we actually get the kennel room built.  Thanks goodness we now have a place where we can live with our dogs and still keep Phil's dad safe from accidental bumps or crowding.


Happy Spring to you all!  We hope to see most of you soon, at shows or other gatherings where we can visit.

Wow! Where has the time gone?

Posted on November 10, 2013 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

For anyone who has been dedicated and checked in now and again for updates, I apologize.  This last year has been incredibly hectic with raising the puppies and then planning a move.  Now, we are finally in the new house (although still a bit unsettled) and will find more opportunities to keep up with our webpage.

 

The last year has been very eventful.  We have shown Mollie as a special when the opportunity presented and with limited showings. Mollie and Marty accomplished the respectable feat of finishing the year as the Number 1 Owner-Handler Mastiff team in the country.  At the age of four, Mollie still loves the "spotlight" and likes to "strut her stuff''' in the ring.  Bevo earned enough points in his first year to need only a single point going into the National Specialty in Joplin to finish his championship.  Unfortunately, he didn't manage to win at Specialty, and with all the demands on our time with moving/remodeling, he didn't have another chance to go into the ring until this past October.  We entered one day only and walked away on Oct.13, 2013 with another Bred-By Champion.

 

Brady is still looking for her last major.  Unfortunately, the shows we have felt we were able to enter, haven't made majors and the ones that made majors, haven't been at a time when we could plan on entering.  So, Brady is still hunting that last win to earn her championship.  We are hopeful that the upcoming Christmas shows in Dallas will provide that opportunity.

 

McGee is our next project.  He is a beautiful boy out of Nancy Walker's Lazy D kennel, sired by her boy Rhett (Ch Lazy D's Southern Gentleman.)  McGee is only 3 months younger than Brady and Bevo but seems like such a pup since he hasn't had as many opportunities to get into the ring as the older two kids.  His time in now though.  We think he is primed to just cruise right on through the points gathering process and earn his championship handily over the first part of 2014.

 

All of the dogs seem to be settling into the new house well.  For now, we have one guest room set up as a crate room for some of the kids and it is very helpful in managing the traffic throughout the day.  Before too long, we hope to finish the remodeling of our breezeway/patio room between the garage and the kitchen.  When it is done, we will have a beautiful room with a kitchen counter and sink, a dishwasher, a refrigerator, built in kennels, and it''s own heating/cooling.  Then, the fur-kids can be kept comfortable, regardless of the weather, and the traffic and activity within the house can be managed around Dad's needs and visitors.  The best part is that the dogs will never be isolated like they would be if we built a separate kennel.  This was something that was very important to us as we searched for the right house to buy.

 

So, where are we now that 2013 is starting to wind to a close?  We are in a new home, ready to be settled here shortly.  We are looking forward to the holidays and being somewhere we can enjoy with the dogs.  We think 2014 looks like a much more relaxed year with more time and opportunity to get back into our dog show routine and time spent with our friends.  Of course, with a possible breeding for Mollie in late spring/early summer, the "relaxed" part might be just a wish for a few months.  Still, if puppies are in the cards, we will love having the sound of tiny paws around the house - and who can resist puppy breath?

The Puppies Are Here!!!

Posted on April 2, 2012 at 8:25 PM Comments comments (0)

The babies - ALL 12 OF THEM - arrived Friday afternoon around 4:00 p.m.  We would have preferred to wait until Saturday, Mollie's original due date, but had evidence that some of the puppies were under stress and dropping their heart rates.  So, in the interest of the babies' safety, we went ahead and performed a cesarean section.  All of the babies were vigorous and healthy at delivery.

Today, everyone is doing well (if you don't count in my sleep deprivation).  The babies are eating well and Mollie is having an uneventful post-partum recovery.  Mollie's milk is slow to come in due to the early delivery of the pups, but she has slipped right into the mothering roll and is both as sweet as she can be and amazing in her adjustment to having 12 babies to keep watch over.

We have eight healthy boys and four beautiful girls.  All have remarkable heads, promise to have plenty of bone, and are already very tolerant of stimulation and handling.  As you might imagine, with twelve babies, we are still accepting applications for exceptional homes.

Puppies!!!

Posted on March 7, 2012 at 10:05 PM Comments comments (0)

"Mollie" - GCH CH Wynwood's KS Yellow Rose Of Texas

and

 "Cruiser" - GCH CH Caledonia's Cruisin' For A Bruisin'

are proud to announce the impending delivery of their beautiful mastiff babies. 

They expect a healthy litter of adorable fawn puppies on March 31, 2012.

___________________________________________________________________________

We are incredibly excited about this breeding!  It has been long awaited and we are very grateful to our friends Mike and Heather Reid and Dennis and Deborah McKibbin for sharing in this endeavor.  We have shared our love for Mollie and her life with us through this blog for more than two years now.  It should be clear how much she means to us and how very proud we are of her impeccable temperament, promising performance in the show ring, and the testament of quality she makes for the breed. 

Cruiser caught our eye from the first photo Mike and Heather shared with us when he was a six week old puppy.  We have thoroughly enjoyed watching him grow into a beautiful specimen of the breed and chose him because of his pedigree, his quality, and his amazing temperament.  I think we were almost as proud of his performance at the 2011 MCOA National Specialty in Rhode Island as his "parents" were.  His Award of Merit was well deserved.

We are looking forward to sharing our joy in these puppies with all of you, our friends.  We expect beautiful babies and can't wait to have the smell of puppy breath (amongst other things) back in the house.

Stay tuned!

Puppy Application

Posted on January 28, 2012 at 10:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Friends!  It is quickly becoming time for us to plan our next breeding.  Our beautiful Mollie is finally of age and with her incredible temperament, we feel we can produce puppies that will represent the breed in it's most positive light and will bring that special kind of love to many families. 

 

We have a planned breeding scheduled soon.  However, we are a bit superstitious, and therefore, have chosen to keep our matchmaking plans confidential.  We will gladly share the information for both parents when the breeding is confirmed to have been successful.  If you are interested in purchasing a puppy, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss that possibility as well as the pedigrees involved.

 

If you click on the "documents" page, you will find our puppy application.  The application is not intended to be intimidating to anyone, merely, it is a tool by which we can determine the best possible homes for our puppies for the benefit of the prospective family as well as the puppy.  Please take the time to complete the application completely and as honestly as possible so that we may be sure our babies bring you as much love and joy as they bring us.

 

We look forward to expanding the Bluebonnet Mastiffs family!

Happy New Year

Posted on January 19, 2012 at 9:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Anyone for an update?  Actually, data-wise, there's just a little in the way of news.  We are incredibly proud of Mollie.  Just as she finished her Championship in July at the Dallas shows, she also finished her Grand Championship in a sweeping and decisive way over the three days she showed at the shows in Chickasha the weekend before Thanksgiving.  With three straight majors, Mollie completed her Grand Championship and added some points to her total.  Her journey from Ch to GCh took an impressive four months with very limited showing.

Stetson has been growing up and beginning to get the idea of what it is to be a "real" show dog.  However, I doubt he will ever completely tame his goofy sense of humor and silly ways.  He has enough points toward his Championship at the age of 15 months so that all he needs now is two majors.  Keep your fingers crossed - first, that we can even find majors and - second, that he wins. 

Now, we are waiting.  Our next endeavor is to breed Mollie and bring the sound of little puppy yelps back into our home.  Stay tuned!!!

And I Thought It Had Been A While.....

Posted on October 27, 2011 at 7:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Whew!  I knew I hadn't posted to this blog for a good long time but I didn't realize exactly how long.  Please forgive me for being remiss.

Let's see...  What all has happened in the past months?

We were very proud of the show dogs this summer.  First, in July, Mollie finished her AKC Championship in a big way.  Mollie swept the three day weekend in Dallas with WB/BOW for three majors and her title.  Since then, over four weekends, she has met all but one criteria and lacks only 10 points toward her Grand Championship.

We took both Mollie and Kodi to the Monroe, LA show over Labor Day weekend and had each of them show two of the four days.  They both took Best of Breed both days they were entered - and Kodi achieved his Grand Championship.  He is now enjoying the life of a semi-retired show dog.  I say "semi-retired" because he will continue to show at select shows when warranted.

Stetson also had a great weekend at the Monroe show.  He took WD/BOW two of the four days.  He also earned Best Puppy honors and represented himself well in groups and earned placements both days.  He also placed in the the fun match groups.  Since then, he has continued to earn points and is well on the road to earning his AKC Championship.

At home, the dogs are all well.  We are finally settled in here in Denton and enjoying returning to the more active lifestyle of being in the city.  We have established a couple of walking routines and are resuming a schedule.  Both ourselves and the dogs are improving our physical conditioning.  Now that November is just around the corner and I begin to hear the jingle bell sound in commercials on the t.v., the dogs are enjoying cooler temperatures.  This past summer we experienced record hot weather and the dogs spent most of their summer napping in the house.  Now, they can finally lounge around on the back patio or roll in the grass and knaw on the twigs Jake's been trimming off the trees and bushes.  Their evening walks have been absolutely beautiful for the last two or three weeks.

So...  life goes on.  Life is good.  I have to admit a certain amount of sadness surfacing with the season change as I associate it with the impact of Nellie's illness this time last year and approaching the anniversary of saying goodbye.  She was such a large part of our lives that her absence is felt dramatically even now.  It is always a comfort to come home and be greeted so enthusiastically by the crew.  Stetson and Mollie's unabashed joy at my return from work is very comforting and Kodi's quiet assumption of his place in my heart helps fill the void left by Nellie.  Gumby is so frequently a reflection of his mother than I can't help but cherish his sweet nature and Chuckwagon's steadfast, unconditional love reminds me of Nellie's focused devotion. 

People often ask how I can own dogs with a shorter than average lifespan.  Fortunately, Mastiffs lives aren't as short as many imagine.  However, I explain that as difficult as it is to lose one, the love of others always pulls me through.  Years ago, I came to the realization that although I feel my loss of each one of these amazing creatures very deeply, having them allows me to get to know many souls - each as remarkable and irreplaceable as any other.  So, even as I lost Nellie last year, I gained Stetson.  I appreciate each and every day with the goofy boy and when the day finally comes to say goodbye to him, I know in my heart that there will be others to help ease my grief and pull me through. 

With that, I think I'll go snuggle with my "kids" and enjoy a quiet, rainy fall evening.  My hope for you is that you have a four legged critter to snuggle up with and love on as well.


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