The year was 2005, Samba was three years old and we were waiting . She would come into season again in August and we planned to try to breed her again with Dog B. One morning in April I opened an e-mail from Dog B's breeder. She had an idea for me to consider. She had a litter of three pups and thought one looked outstanding. Would I be interested in growing my own stud dog? She would convert the stud fee to a purchase fee and he would be mine. She enclosed this picture.
I was a little disappointed that he was brown. Both Bentley and Samba were black and I preferred that. She sent along his pedigree and I was amazed. I checked the AKC site to be sure the pedigree was right, then I called Rob in to take a look. The father of this pup was Dog C, the grandfather was Dog B and the great-grandfather was dog A. All the dogs I had chosen to breed with Samba were combined in this pup. This would set our breeding back a couple years, but we decided to take him. Four days later we met his plane.
He fit right in with the pack and made other dog friends quickly. We named him Deerpark's Chocolate Legacy and called him Fudge. He was born on Valentine's Day so the name suited him.
Samba seemed to enjoy his company, although she was jealous of my attention. They played all day and I referred to them as Batman and Robin.
Fudge was developing very nicely and I decided to show him. He performed beautifully in the breed ring and we took Best of Breed. We waited around all day for Group judging and when the time came he trotted around the ring with his tail up, looking great. He stood nicely for examination, then the judge told us to go down and back. Fudge decided that was the perfect time to show everyone how well he could jump. He jumped all the way down and all the way back. He would not stop and the more I tried to stop him, the higher he jumped. As we came back to the judge, he had his hand over his mouth to hide the laughter. He just shrugged his shoulders and that was the end of our day.
We did Fudge's genetic screening and everything looked good for breeding. I had decided not to breed Samba after the age of five, so time was becoming a factor. We planned to wait until Fudge was two and had his hips certified, but after discussions with his breeder and our Vet, we chose to get a preliminary reading on his hips and try to breed when he was 18 months old.
In August of 2006 Samba came into season. We were ready and put our two Portuguese Water Dogs together. At first Fudge didn't know what to do and would roll around in front of Samba, but he finally figured out his role in this matter and we had two matings. Now we would wait and see if it worked.
At the appropriate time we excitedly walked into the Vet's office. He would tell us how many pups to expect. I could tell from the look on his face as he examined Samba that something was wrong. He said he didn't feel anything, but it might be too early and we should try again in a week.
The next week he still didn't feel anything. We decided against an ultra sound. She was either pregnant or she wasn't and we would know eventually. A week later the doctor still could feel nothing.
Two weeks before what should have been her due date we went back. Her body had changed slightly, but she had previously had two false pregnancies and her body had changed then, too. The doctor could not feel any puppies or detect any movement. He said Fudge was still pretty young and immature and would know better what to do next time. Then he started talking about fertility tests and treatments. I was terribly disappointed and he felt badly for me.I took Samba home. That evening she was sleeping on the floor near my chair. None of the other dogs were in the room. Suddenly she jumped up and looked around as if someone had kicked her. How strange !
One week before what should have been her due date we went back to see the Vet. There was still no sign of pups or movement. To prove to me once and for all that she was not pregnant, he agreed to do an x-ray. Samba trotted off to the x-ray room. A short time later I was called into the exam room. The Doctor had the x-ray on the light box and was shaking his head as he counted skeletons, seven, eight, nine. Samba was very pregnant. In a week we would have nine puppies.