I swear FedEx tried to kill me….

I take back any praise I had for FedEx the other day.

Today started out decently, until they tried to kill me.

I was up and waiting for my shipment of semen when I received a text from FedEx saying there was a problem and my shipment was going to be delayed.


First it was some BS about the driver left without taking my package.

Then it was it was delayed all together due to weather in Memphis.

I was on the phone immediately, trying to find out where my package was.

Oh good Lord, have you tried to get a human when calling FedEx?

10 MINUTES!!!!!

Then the human said I was calling too early and I needed to call back and hung up.


Oh buddy, that was the wrong thing to do when I was already stressed from hearing my package was going to be late!

So, it took another 10 minutes to get another human.

I wasn’t nice.  I admit that.  I was fuming by that time and the person on the phone took the brunt of my anger.

She had no idea where the package was, but was sure it wouldn’t be delivered until after 11:30!!!

Good grief, if YOU don’t know, then how the heck am I going to know where it is?

I tried explaining to her what was in my package and that I had an appointment for it to be inserted into my dog at 11:00.  Could I come down to the warehouse and pick it up?

She didn’t know because she didn’t know where it was.

She was about to say, “you need to call back”.

My mouth was open about to start unloading on her when my doorbell rang.

I snapped my mouth closed and told her to hang on.

It was 8:03 AM.

Nobody rings my doorbell at 8:03 in the morning unless it’s FedEx with a package that should be there before 8:00 AM!

Sure enough, it was a FedEx guy.

I snatched my package out of his hand, then asked what the heck was going on?  I explained what I had been told and he just looked at me with his mouth opening and closing like a fish.

I grumbled and shut the door on him.

I got back to the phone and told the gal that the package was just delivered.

She sounded as surprised as I was.

Good Lord, these people are idiots.

Two hours later I was on the road to the repro vet.

What a miserable trip!

It poured rain the whole time.

There were times I could barely see in front of me.

The semen was inserted without a hitch and we headed home.

Another long miserable hour.

What a miserable trip!

So now I wait.

Waiting is not my strong suit, but I have no choice.

FedEx is the reason breeders drink, I swear.



Now THAT is service…..

Ford’s owner was busy collecting and shipping the collection yesterday.

I like a stud owner who does what they are supposed to, when they’re supposed to do it.

Two years ago, I made arrangements with a stud owner, letting her know as Raven’s progesterone levels started to rise.

She kept assuring me that her dog would be available and to let her know when the vet said to ship.  So I did.

After I notified her that it was time to ship, I heard nothing.


“Bueller?  Bueller?”

Absolutely NOTHING!

My emails went unanswered.


“Bueller?  Bueller?”

I started to panic.  The semen had to be shipped that afternoon so I could breed my dog the next day!


“Bueller?  Bueller?”

I called a friend who lived about an hour from me.

I doubt my phone call was coherent as I talked to her, but she understood what I was trying to say.

“You can use one of my dogs if you don’t hear back from her.”

Oh thank you, Jesus!!

I never got a tracking number or heard from the stud owner, so the next day I drove out to my friend’s with Raven.  We bred to her beautiful male, Grant, and the result was Claire.

God does work in mysterious ways.

I heard from the other stud owner about four days later with some excuse that didn’t make sense.

Bottom line is, if I had been a “big name breeder” that semen would have been sent!  Both she and her husband are veterinarians.  Even if she were out of town, her husband could have collected the male and sent me the semen.

So why didn’t she tell me she couldn’t do it, when all week she assured me he would be available for me?  Was she on a deserted island with no WiFi?

Anyway, since the incident, I am even more of a nervous wreck when it comes to whether or not the stud owner is going to ship the semen.

Ford’s owner text me the label before it was sent to make sure the address was correct.

FedEx text me as soon as they printed the label and kept me informed as to the progress.

I had asked Ford’s owner to send it so I got it before 8 AM the next morning.

I checked the progress through the night and saw that FedEx also text me the progress.

I had set my alarm for 7 AM so I would be awake by the time FedEx delivered the semen.

The alarm went off.  I rolled out of bed and DING DONG!

Holy crap, I hadn’t even put on my glasses yet.

I ran to the door, turned on the porch light and there was the FedEx guy with my package!

I signed for it, put the box in the refrigerator and decided to go back to bed for a bit.

Now that is service!

We’ll go a bit later to have the TCI done at the vet.



And we have liftoff…..

Boy, when Bran is ready she doesn’t mess around!

We went from 1.9 ng on Friday to 9.3 ng this morning.

Remember, 5 ng is ovulation.

I figure she probably ovulated early Sunday.

I notified Ford’s owner and she will ship today for a breeding tomorrow.

Since Bran missed last time, I’ll be doing a TCI at the repro vet, which is a Trans-Cervical Insemination.

They put a small endoscope in her vagina and deposit the semen into the uterus.  It is done without anesthesia/surgery.  It means less swimming for the swimmers.

It is supposed to give you better odds for pregnancy, but I did one with Fleece and she didn’t conceive.

There are no guarantees in dog breeding.

So, now I wait for Ford’s owner to collect him and ship the swimmers.


FedEx don’t fail me now!!

*starts biting nails*

Thank you, Bran!

My goodness, I love this dog!!

I’ve been stressing about a weekend breeding.  I HATE them!

Will FedEx come through?

Will the vet open for you?

Will this?

Will that?


I drove Bran out to the repro vet this morning.

They asked if they could use her for a teaser for a male dog that needed to be collected.

They use bitches in season so the male gets excited enough that they can collect semen from him.

They do this either to freeze and store the semen or ship the semen out to a bitch owner to use.

The semen I’m going to use on Bran will be shipping in from California.

As breeders, we try and help each other if needed.

So, I agreed to allow Bran to be used as a teaser.  Ends up we were caught by a very long train and late for the appointment.  There was another Lab breeder there with a bitch in season so they used her instead.

Bran was at 1.9 ng today, so no breeding this weekend.  Remember, 5 ng is ovulation.

Atta girl, Branny!!!

Bran is not normally the most cooperative dog in the world, so I am a bit surprised.

Maybe she knows how important this litter is going to be to me!

Whatever the reason, thank you Bran!

And we continue…..

I took Bran for another progesterone this morning.

She’s crawling and was 1.2 ng today.

I’m to take her back on Friday.

I’m not upset a bit that she’s crawling.  I don’t want a weekend breeding if at all possible.

So this crawling towards 5 ng doesn’t bother me a bit.

Now, it bothers my credit card account, but not me.

It’s not normally like Bran to be cooperative, so I won’t breathe a sigh of relief until after I get her number on Friday.

If she starts to rise, I may have to have the stud dog owner ship on Friday for a Saturday delivery and just hang onto the semen (in the fridge) until Monday.  Then ship again once we have the numbers on Monday.

I’m trying REALLY hard not to be stressed.

I woke up in a cold sweat last night after a nightmare where all the FedEx planes were grounded because of something.  I don’t remember what that something was, but it was enough to keep me awake for awhile.

Okay, deep breath!

This is probably why a lot of breeders drink!


Back at it…..

Starting progesterone testing again today.

It was nice not to have to drive to Lansing over the weekend.

The drive is incredibly boring and I tend to zone out a bit while doing it.

I turn on The Beatles Channel on Sirius/XM radio and sing the whole hour there.  It helps, but it’s still pretty boring.

The other dogs are starting to notice that Bran’s in season, which tells me she’s getting close to ovulating.

I suspect we’ll be breeding in a few days.

Yes, I’m stressed.

Yes, I’m anxious.

Yes, I’m praying FedEx doesn’t let me down.

Too many things are out of my hands, which I DO NOT LIKE!!!

I wouldn’t call myself a control freak, but I don’t like having to rely on other people.

I’ve been let down way too many times by “friends” and others.

A friend suggested I have the semen shipped directly to the vet since he’ll be doing the insemination.

Just the thought of the semen not being delivered to my hot little hands is stressing me out.

What if they mess up and they inseminate the wrong semen?

What the heck would I do with half Labs and half Chihuahuas?


And you wonder why I’m stressed?

I’m waiting to hear from the vet to find out what her progesterone level was today.

Maybe I’ll calm down by the time they call.

Maybe not!

I just heard from the vet and Bran is at 1.19 ng.   Ovulation is 5 ng.

So we go back on Wednesday.

Oh Lordy, it’s looking more and more like a weekend breeding.

No stress at all!


She’s up, she’s down…

Bran’s progesterone level was 1.8 yesterday.

I was a bit surprised that on day 3 she was that high.

Normally, my dogs are later ovulators.

A dog is normally in season for 21 days/3 weeks.  If you give or take a day or two, then that’s still normal.

My girls usually ovulate anywhere from 13 to 17 days.

I even had one wait to ovulate until day 20.  I thought for sure she wasn’t ever going to get there.  The vet was about to give up also.  Then she ovulated and had 9 puppies.

Go figure.

Anyway, so Bran was 1.8 yesterday.

Since the weekend was coming up, it was suggested we test her again and see if we could hold out over the weekend or not.

Weekend breedings are the pits.  Trust me.

FedEx doesn’t deliver everywhere on Saturdays.  So you’d have to ship it on Friday and put it in the fridge for the weekend, in case Monday is the day.

If you put extender in the semen before you ship, then sitting in the refrigerator for a couple of days isn’t that big of a deal.  As long as you don’t lose power.

See why I hate weekend shipping?  So much could go wrong.  Waaaaay too much stress. Like breeding isn’t stressful enough!

Today she’s .83, so she went down.


Girls can go up and down at this stage.  This isn’t a biggie.  Not really.

She’s not going to shoot up to breeding level by Monday, so I don’t have to try and coordinate a weekend shipment and breeding. (I refuse to even consider that NEXT weekend is when she’ll be ready.  Not going there yet!)

The last time Bran had a litter she ovulated on day 11 so we bred on day 13 and 15.

Guess when day 13 will be?

Yep, NEXT Saturday.

Nope, not going there yet.

So, we’ll go back on Monday to do another test and see where we are.

The vet is an hour one way, so I will be putting a LOT of miles on my vehicle next week as I probably go back and forth every other day.

The vet will be doing the insemination of the semen since my back can’t handle doing it myself any more.

More miles.

If the end result is a litter of puppies, then all the miles and $$ will be worth it.