So in the middle of all the rest of life’s insanity (writing, editing, working with writers!), I bred Siren Call. Funny thing about breeding and babies, you don’t get to decide when they come into season. Oh, there’s actually a method for this, but not one I trust with long-range repercussions, so we let that part at least happen the old-fashioned way.
Because nothing else about this does. When breeding top dogs, gone are the days of putting male and female out in the yard and telling them to make babies on their own.
Now, we pull progesterone studies to pinpoint ovulation, as semen will be fresh-chilled and shipped overnight and will live swimming around in the uterus for about 48 hours. So the window is small.
And of course I live in the middle of nowhere, and FedEx overnight can’t find me. FedEx 2-day knows me because by now the driver and I are friends and he knows where I live. But the overnight folks get baffled by my address, and send that little card thingie through the mail saying the package is at FedEx. Which of course means, those swimmers are dead! When that happens, no need to ask why am I not happy. So, I have it over-nighted to a biz in town and go pick it up, which of course always elicits puzzled faces.
A friend of mine had semen shipped to a repro vet once, and went to pick up the box (boxes are small, with compartments for ice packet and vial, etc., thoroughly taped up, and clearly marked ‘Canine Semen’). Now this was a repro vet, mind you. My friend asked for her swimmers and the receptionist got the box to give to her and asked, “Is this a small dog?”
A couple of times I’ve needed semen sent counter-to-counter through the airlines, as Murphy’s law often dictates that you need it on a Sunday or Monday, and of course FedEx doesn’t pick up or deliver on Sundays. You have to go to cargo at the airport to get it. The guy comes out holding the box as far away as possible, a horrified look on his young face, saying, “Is it gonna get me?”
Often it’s just difficult to know how to respond.
Of course there’s always the worry that the box will get diverted, or get warm (the heat in Texas!), so timing is quite crucial. I of course track the shipment as it leaves the origination point, through Mississippi to the processing center, to Lancaster, onto the truck for delivery. I get tracking updates too on my phone. And I intercept the driver before he can even get out of the truck. But really, how anyone can call this obsessive?
But you never exhale until you unpack the box and inside is cool, and your collection is creamy and you have a successful AI. Then I keep a dot and look under the scope and hold your breath until gazillions of tiny sperm are swimming frantically in search of an egg. Whew!
And then, we sit on our hands and wait. And wait. And try not to look at Siren every five minutes. It’s not like I don’t have anything else to do.
And now she’s expanding. A lot. Looks like our swimmers did their job! The one part of nature that’s still natural in all of this.
So, to get some writing and editing done before babies come to change my life for the next two months, and fill my home with puppy breath. Ah, heaven! Until of course they start to eat gruel and mama quits cleaning up the poop and . . .
But today I am happy
What’s floating your boat today?