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A Litter Letter

June 20, 2024

Submitted by CCESC's Debra Dorschel Hallock (our beloved host of CCESC Fun Day!)

As many of you have heard, I lost my sweet boy Cruise to osteosarcoma at 23 months old.  This sad consequence from his prior infections, which he came to me with, halted a very promising show and hunting prospect. When I brought him home from his biopsy, Lee and I said, “Why not fast track his life and give him everything we can in the little time he has left?” So, we ran him on our farm, the Whispering Haven, set out quail for him and gave him the biggest Christmas ever! The conflict was Baklava, our female was in heat.  I didn’t want to see Cruise confined in a crate or worse, an Xpen like he was before he came to us. However, Baki had no interest in him due to the anesthesia, the antibiotics and pain meds he was on. I was relieved as I let him run and have fun for the 30 days over December and we were good! Or so we thought! Baki’s heat cycle finished, on January 7th I was tending the sheep and the dogs were running a large pasture when I saw, in the distance, what looked like Cruise and Baki breeding! I quick snapped a photo and ran to the gate, where the two of them ran to meet me. Was I seeing things?

Better safe than sorry! I marked the calendar and asked some questions from people who actually breed dogs. I am not a breeder. I have over thirty years of rescue experience and buying very nice quality puppies. These are returns to breeders or puppies that are held, monitoring development until the breeder makes a final decision on which ones to keep.  This is the case with Baklava - Intrigue’s Peppermint Twist.  So, I called Janet Coates, and her response was, “Have you ever seen a split heat? Very rare, I haven’t ever seen one, but I have heard about it.” Well, I’ll be! It is a thing, and so was the morning sickness that Baki experienced shortly after. Ultrasound confirmed Baki’s pregnancy and subsequent radiology showed 7 puppies!

This is my angel litter! Conceived on the 7th with 7 puppies, the angel’s number! I am forever indebted to Janet Coates, who came and stayed for 4 days to expertly birth and help care for the puppies. She also came back for several more days to help grade puppies. I will keep the two males, WH BlueCruise I Heart My Dad and WH Super Cruise Remember My Dad.  I have decided that since I was blessed with a bit of my beloved boy Cruise, I will pay it forward by awarding the girl puppies to people who I have known for years, people who have empathy, people who have dedicated their lives and time to rescuing animals and people who have spent endless hours bettering our beloved breed, the English Setter.

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1 Comment

Jun 24

Such a heart warming story. Would love to know more about your wonderful Cruise.

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