Today’s the day!

I’m biting my nails to the quick waiting to hear from Kate about the puppy evaluations. 

For three weeks, Kate and I have been doing the instant-messaging version of teenagers getting ready for prom.

Just imagine us running through a room, waving our hands around and crying “Oh, GOSH, they’re all crap! Aren’t they? They’re CRAP! I’ve never seen anything this bad!” and then throwing ourselves on the couch and saying “Wait, they’re not so bad, right? It’s going to be OK… They’re at least mediocre, right?” and staring at pictures. And the one of us sits up and says says “Wow, I really like that one. I bet he’s nice. I bet he could do well. Yeah, he’s great. He’s THE BEST! He’s a GROUP WINNER!” 

And then we stare for a while longer, until one or the other of us flings ourselves backward on the pillows and says “Oh my LORD they’re all CRAP! I hate myself!”

Every time she posts pictures we wait for the comments. And there it always is, the kiss of death. “Oh, cute puppies!”

WHAT DOES CUTE MEAN? Does it mean “I just vomited in my mouth but I’m going to be nice to you?” Does it mean “Wow, sorry… but at least they’re CUTE”?

AAAAHHH!

Oh, the tissues that have been used up and the cookies that have been eaten and the state we get ourselves worked up into… at about two in the morning, somebody says “Wait, I can’t stand her toe. I CANNOT. STAND. HER. TOE. I’ve looked at 382 pictures of her and that toe is making my eye twitch. I’m dead! I’m dead. I have to go to sleep now.”

And then we start over again the next day. 

At this point I am not sure if we have the worst Cardigan litter ever bred or the best. I’ve looked at pictures long and hard, analyzed videos, and made Kate stand them up and down and sideways and on their backs and push various things with her fingertips and then type what she felt. I’ve traded e-mails of elation, e-mails of despair, made my kids look at the pictures, made Clue look at the pictures, waved things around and prayed. 

It all comes down to this weekend. When people are going to look at those puppies and tell Kate that her prom dress looks great or that she’s wearing a potato sack. 

I think I’m going to go throw up.

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14 thoughts on “Today’s the day!

  1. All puppies that do not belong to me are cute or adorable by default. That way I don’t hurt anyone’s feelings by inadvertantly being mean (especially when I don’t know anything about the breed- and while I know what I like in Cardis, I’m out of practice of looking at them critically anyway.) 😛

    And as a performance person, it can be the most beautiful group winning-est dog ever, but if it doesn’t have drive and a personality that appeals to me, I can pretty much take or leave it. 😛

    I think Bronte and Golem’s puppies, however, are the most gorgeous things I have seen in several yeras.

  2. I laughed so hard when I read your concern about the use of the word cute because when I handed the puppy Chase off to Sherri Hurst last summer, her comment was “He is so cute!” That was a live, in person “cute”. I was completely freaked out — “I don’t want CUTE — handsome or stunning, yes, but CUTE? However, “”cute” kept coming back. A few weeks after she took him, he was finished, ready to come home, and still being described as “cute”. I finally accepted reality. Cardi puppies are cute and particularly in photos on a blog, it’s very difficult to comment on anything, but the overwhelming cuteness.

    Also, a word of caution. Do not live and die by the evaluation comments. Some baby puppies are behind in the maturation process. Even experienced Cardi people can overlook a puppy that in a few more weeks will show the promise that was not evident at 8 weeks.

    I hope the evaluators can pull themselves together and get past the absolute cuteness of the Bronte/Go Go puppies to give you some concrete comments.

  3. I don’t think you guys should be worried at all! Really. I am no expert- but, you have nice heads, great expression, good structure, and only a few “happy” tails. For a first litter I think you girls did pretty great! All of the puppies are well balanced, not extreme, and have personality to spare! Temperament is just as important as structure and from the blog posts/videos/pictures it seems to me like they all have great little temperaments as well.

    Nothing to worry about.

  4. You know I know nothing about this, but I say they’re cute because they sleep in piles together and lick mirrors and have ginormous ears that stick up like bunnies!

  5. Hey, Kate gives us “cute” mirror-boxing, fluffy-butt photos, she gets “cute” comments.

    There is a lot of structure that you can’t really see from stacked photos. Not just stacked photos at < 8 weeks old but stacked photos at any age. Remember that old adage “don’t breed to a picture.”

    I would say that the litter is normal: a couple of really nice puppies, more that are nice but a little less perfect, and a few that are . . . well everybody needs cute pets.

    In most of our litters we had about 25% really nice dogs: 2 out of 8. Alice’s litters have turned out to be more like 50% but that isn’t the norm.

  6. and lots of us are really happy with that “makes a really cute pet” puppy.

    Both of my girls aren’t perfect. Wicca’s topline and tailset are definitely NOT good, but she is a fantastic working dog. Pixel is better put together- but the coat is a problem- but not for me!

    So really, either way, unless the puppies are butt ugly, and broken, it will be fine!!

    Take a deep breath. :o)

  7. Great post–I can just picture the whole”prom dress” , fling thyself on the couch…… Well let me tell you, don’t hang on the evaluators words as the gospel. Some who think they have the knack for evaluating puppies, don’t. Some people will guard their answers and some will be down right rude. What I’ve learned is to take all that they say with a grain of salt, use your own evaluations and then throw them all away and start over. The last puppy I placed as a pet is now a group placing CH. Not that he wasn’t the nicest puppy in the litter but he needed more one on one then I could give, so he went to as a pet to an only dog home. Then in my last litter, the “pet puppy” is now within in reach of finishing–she was an ugly duckling that is now maturing into a beautiful swan or in her case a Dove. I told everyone concerned, sit on her and just wait. Only time will tell if what we see at 8 weeks is what they turn out like at 2 yrs old.

    Good luck and well, they are darn just too darn cute ;0)

  8. Small update: Kate is done with “the ladies.” I can’t tell you all of what they said, because they didn’t give permission to have their opinions splashed across the web, but I’m feeling confused and potato-sacky. I am going to sit here for a while and think.

  9. That does not sound good J… I am really wondering if Kate will be able to at least paraphrase what was said. And keep in mind that everyone has an opinion right? *sits and thinks with you*

  10. OK, talked to Kate again at length and am feeling better. I better understand what is going on. And I can hardly wait to get out there!

  11. glad you’re feeling better about what was said. ::hugs::

    I have to say I LMAO reading this post because of the *drama*. And really, people like me who know nothing about nothing about what makes a CH Cardigan Corgi, what are we supposed to say? I am so not a puppy person, but those Bronte/GoGo puppies are cute, tasty, gorgeous… and I’d probably melt into a puddle if someone put any of them into my arms for a cuddle, especially the merles. So, yeah: cute!!! 😉

  12. Let me tell you, it is constant drama.

    I think they’re WONDERFUL. I think you have to make great, fantastic pets first and show quality is the icing on the cake. So I am proud, proud, proud of them. But we also want other breeders to think they’re just as lovely as we do, and to give us “permission” to carry on in a breeding program, so our stomachs do get in knots and we hyperventilate during evals.

  13. If you want a diversion from ‘real life’ evaluation stress, how about evaluating some 19th century Great Danes, just for fun? =)

    http://tinyurl.com/qtplud

    I’ve been putting together an online album of old dog photos for the past few days, and I was curious what you’d think of the Danes from that period of time.

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