WICANI: The home of happy collies!

Breeding 'HOLISTIC' Collies! ...

 
News 2016

February 12th
yesterday was my birthday and we are lucky to have friends willing to 'hold the fort', thus enabling us to spend a night of luxury and ease at Gisborough Old Hall Country Hotel. The kennel improvements are under way and the new roof is now on thanks to my hard working husband Keith and his cousin Philip. (retirement is not easy) There is lots more work ahead but the re-roofing was probably the hardest of the jobs on the list, and a 'thank you' to Ray for your help too.
We have enjoyed an extended visit from our good friend Ellen who helped me to groom the dogs and who took some fabulous new photos too. The snowdrops are beginning to bloom and spring is making promises! 
Today was my regular visit to the defibrillator clinic where to my shock i was told that I have another type of arrhythmia to add to my long list of heart defects. I need to discuss this with my heart specialist but I think the time has come for us to reduce our numbers again. We have a super tricolour female who loves humans and children but doesn't like to share a food bowl with any other canine, she will be better to find a loving home with no other dogs. Having said this, she is absolutely fine with other dogs when there is no food around. Let us know if you would like to share your home with her ! wicanicollies@langtoft.net

Today got me thinking about the cost of raising a litter such as we produce here at Wicani. I decided to use as an example a litter we bred last year that contained six puppies, which is a fairly average size litter for Rough Collies. Mum was an import from the US. She is normal eyed. Such a bitch costs around £3,000 to import, adding up the cost of the female, the shipping, the American kennel club transfers and export pedigree, and the UK kennel club import pedigree and registration of microchip. We imported this girl because she is a daughter of our famous old dog 'Neon' and this was our last opportunity to bring back a daughter of him, he is now eleven years old. We mated her to one of our boys, this boy has only ever sired this one litter and has since gone to live with a friend of ours. So we must add his two year feeding bill to the cost of producing these puppies. Registering 6 puppies and buying 6 KC pedigrees for the litter cost us around £160 and dna testing and other health checks added a further £500 to the price of rearing. Next we had a 250 watt heat lamp burning around the clock for the first 4 weeks, and this continued for 12 hours each night until the babies were ten weeks.
Feeding 6 puppies is another expence. By the time they were 8 weeks they were devouring 5kg of raw meat per day, plus half a dozen eggs, tinned sardines and other yummy delicacies. We decided to keep two of these babies, a male and a female. Mum will more than likely never be bred again. So add up the cost of producing and rearing this litter and try  and tell me we made a profit! To be honest, I think that people who work hard to produce healthy puppies, so that other people can enjoy a new family member, hopefully for the next 12-15 years. People like me, who struggle with their own major health problems, and yet endure weeks of sleepless nights, pay large vets bills when things go wrong, and sometimes in spite of all our efforts, we lose an entire litter. Through our blood sweat and tears we keep trying, because our heart spurs us on. We deserve to be paid for our sleepless nights, our anguish, for those long hours when through veils of tears we fight to keep a tiny scrap of life from dying. It hurts when we hear people say we are 'churning out puppies for the money' ...maybe if you believe that, you might like to try it! Dogs require feeding all year round, and with a kennel the size of ours, just think about our food bill! The Kennel club and local councils combine to ensure we do not breed on a commercial scale, and with such limits held in place, kennels like ours are struggling just to pay for kennel repairs, dog food, vet bills and to keep up with all health testing, plus we need to keep the dogs clean and groomed, so there are grooming products to buy too. Oh..and then there is our hobby of showing, a very expensive hobby, but we need some form of recreation ! Keeping a wide and diverse gene pool is at the heart of every caring and serious breeder, so we have imported, and we keep fairly large numbers so that our babies (when born) are not too closely related. We say goodbye to holidays in the sun, we say goodbye to an expensive car, we say goodbye to many things that others, with nine to five jobs, take for granted. Even on Christmas day the kennels need to be cleaned and dogs need to be fed and exercised. So why do we do it....LOVE...that is the driving force, if we didn't love our dogs, we couldn't do it. I would rather die doing what I love, than live a longer life that is fruitless.
This requires team work too, my poor husband doing all the heavy work, and my grandaughter helping me with grooming, training, socialising and feeding. We are lucky enough to own 4.5 acres where the dogs can exercise. Friends come around for 'grooming fests' and this well oiled machine that is 'Wicani' has yearly visitors who come to help make everything a success. They come because they believe we are doing good work here, and they want to be a part of it. They share our love of Collies, they share our passion to keep them healthy, they share our vision. A big 'Thank you' to all of you. x
March 5th
This year has certainly brought challenges with it. On Saturday 25th February my 11th grandchild entered the world, weighing 9 pounds 4 ounces, we are pleased to welcome a new grandson, Calum Quinn. Sadly it soon became evident that Calum had been born with congenital heart problems and required surgery to survive, so yesterday (4th March) Calum underwent 7 hours of life saving surgery and is now recovering. Many thanks to the brilliant team of surgeons and nurses at Leeds hospital. It has been an exhuasting week.
However good news came today from around the world giving us a new champion title International Champion Wicani Dragonsblood and also a new title for his grandson  Dutch Champion Wicani Windhover.
Summer has finally left us for her new forever home and we feel she will be much loved. Lots to do in the garden, the new kennel roof is finished sending natural light flooding into the kennels from dawn until dusk. Fruit bushes are being pruned and onions sets are planted in the polytunnel. We now need to begin work on new sleeping beds inside the main kennel. Keith has mown the large piece of grassland that is destined to become a big new dog exercise area. Snowdrops abound, Spring is on its way.

On the 2nd of June we headed out to Finland where I gave a seminar on the breed and also judged a special open show, held by the 'Wicani Club of Finland' in our honour, and where the dogs entered had to have at least 25% wicani bloodlines in the pedigree. This was the first show held by the club and Keith and I flew out with our good friends Heidi Galagher and Sandra Hainie. 67 dogs were entered and it was tremendous fun judging them, many were of superb quality. My choice for best male was a sable youngster named Dispiritos Blanco Bilbao, and my choice for best female was a blue merle Serasecret Moonshine Angel. The female took BOB on maturity. I would happily own these two collies myself!

Last week brought us much needed rain, which often means we lose our phone line here in Langtoft, where BT has apparently forgotten we exist, so once again (it is becoming a habit for us) our land line is unavailable. If you need to speak to me, please email me at wicanicollies@langtoft.net 

We are here most days and email is often the best way to catch me, as most of the day I am outside with the dogs anyway! 

September 15th 

Last weekend we held our annual event 'The Wicani Jamboree' a bit late this year and probably too late, the weather was cold, the grass was wet, it was also long because the prolonged period of rain has prevented us cutting it. This meant that dogs were wet and muddy, not ideal conditions for visitors to meet them. We abandoned the BBQ but enjoyed a feast in doors. Many people cancelled at the last minute as weather was unpredictable, and they prefer to visit us another time when conditions are more favourable. However, we salute those happy souls (22 of them) that braved the weather, we really enjoyed your company and positive energy. Next year we promise to hold the event in early August! 

We have created a new page where health concious breeders can advertise their puppies, you will also find our plans too. There is a link to this from the home page, but I have also included one here. PLANNED LITTERS 


Below: some photos taken by guests at the Wicani jamboree