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2023 in review - News and other happenings.

This year saw quite a few changes - some new faces, an absence felt in those that found their way to their furever homes. We started training classes and had a couple of dogs in training for future working roles as Therapy and Service Dogs. Four litters in which we kept two puppies to carry on our breeding program. A big leap in progress for the Colorado Mountain Dog Registry and the CMD breed as a whole. Changes in staff and the Colorado Mountain Dog Club gained some new members for CMD adventures.

W2E Mithril, our big studly teddy bear found a wonderful home close to us along the 285 corridor. He lives with Rosie, a pup from this year's "Reckoning" litter. Mithril's folks are keeping him intact for a little longer as we need him to complete one more line of our program. He is still available for stud service, and it sure would be nice to have a little bit more of his genetics sprinkled around. Please contact us for more information on that. Mithril, a G2 CMD,

will be three years old in May 2024.

Our beautiful Anthem, born here and barked here, also found her Anthem-shaped-hole to fill in the hearts of a small family in Littleton. She was the best tail wagger of the group and we sure do miss her. She gave us 9 lovely puppies, but none were quite what we needed to carry on in our breeding program.

King Solomon is the dad of this litter, and he gave us quite a scare shortly after his pups were born. One day, I looked at him and noticed his head was wonky. Swollen on one side, and appeared to be almost caved in on the other side. A few days later the swelling subsided and his whole head looked like it was sinking on itself. This is a classic symptom of a congenital disease called masticatory muscle myositis (MMM) in dogs. He did NOT however, show any other symptoms, classic or otherwise. We had him tested with bloodwork, twice, both resulting negative. With no clue of the cause or how to treat his muscle loss - I turned to diet. He ate alot high quality muscle, was treated for any parasites that might be screwing up his nutrition, received a horse-sized dose of digestive enzymes and probiotics, and coconut oil for good measure. Cause coconut oil helps everything. Now, five months after the first signs his head is ALMOST back to normal. I can still feel the ridge of his occiput, but what ever it was? is gone.

Left: King Solomon's Marbles at the beginning of his mysterious changing head

Right: King Solomon's Marbles with his normal head.

In March, we brought 8 little chicks into the fold, with the hopes of augmenting our LGD training with poultry. To my amazment, we only lost one. All of our dogs treat them as part of the family. Little Sage is especially fond of them - spending hours with her back to the chicken yard, listening intently to the sounds of happy chickens

Sage, an Auggie daughter is by far the lowest maintenance dog we have on the property. By far the quietest as well - only barking one or two alerts. Never chews anything up, never is needy or clingy, yet is always close when you need her. Brilliant mind and a dream easy to clean coat. Her next season is expected in February. Mithril we be coming for a short liason with her. We expect some unicorn pups to come from this pairing. Her and Baloo have become close since Anthem's new life began. They are "room mates" and sharing the back porch duties, such as keeping the bones and toys right in the foot path, shedding in artistic clumps and barking at any crows or hawks that are now at eye level in the trees surrounding the deck.

Baloo, has matured into such a nice dog. She still has her moments but my frustration level with her now is nil. We had a tough go from the start - her being an incessant barker in her kennel in the wee morning hours - for hours. But after she weaned her pups and started gaining her weight and fur back - she has become a reliable and sweet girl with a real concern for the well being of those around her. I look forward to seeing her in the morning now, and have come to rely on her knack for entertaining the pups while I do the circuit of chores. She inherits this from mom Bonnie Lee, who can be seen "counting heads" in the yard.

Bonnie has taken to being a Grandmum like a duck to water. She visits the pups but is glad when she gets to leave. She gained a whole bunch of weight, (which made our vet raise an eyebrow, however her bloodwork was perfect) laying on the couch and eating bon bons. Now Bonnie is on an excercise regimen, being done with puppies we've got her back to pulling her cart. She will be back into Therapy Work at the beginning of February, Bonnie Lee is available for professional and volunteer services.

Delilah Jones, Bonnie's daughter from the Europe 72 litter, has now completed one year of Service Dog training. She will have seizure alert and response, brace and balance tasks and medical detection for falling ketnone levels. This dog just blows me away almost every day. She is everything I am looking for in my SD lines. Such an intuitive and sensitive girl, she will learn by osmosis I swear.

Her best talent is knowing when I need help before I do. She helps me up and down the ridges in our yards after it has snowed and its slippery. Delilah and I will be travelling to Pennsylvania in April '24 to transfer her and her training to her new owner and SD handler.

Our big beautiful August West is finally showing his age some. Slowing down, not wanting to stay outside much, his feet are looking like he might be starting up with arthritis. He even slept through the last girl in season, so maybe its time to have him nuetered. Otherwise he's still eager to learn new skills and has not lost his special knack for knowing when something is off with us. He will be nine years old this year, he is taking applications for a replacement as the big boy in the yard, preferring the porch nowadays. Stagger Lee has respectfully applied for the position, and I think he may fit the bill perfectly.

Sweet, sturdy, stable. Stagger Lee is blossoming in every direction. He will be one year old in February. Smart and willing to use it - but not without permission. He is very concerned what we think and trains ANYTHING quickly. He's sound-sensitive. Doesn't like loud noises so we will see if we can use a good balance of desensitizing and conditioning to allow him to overome this comfortably. On his own terms. 27" and approaching 80 lbs with a little left to go.

The planned litter between Stagger and Frankie will give us VERY nice bone structures refining of the heads, pulling away from the roundness of the Pyr heritage. I'm excited for the temperaments too. Frankie has taken her time filling her bubble of energy. She was quite reserved and took her fear period quite seriously. Now that she has matured with the careful guidance of her people-family - she bubbles over with personality. Clownish, emotionally intelligent and respectful. She uses her agile lithe body with precision, never throwing her weight around. A very doggy dog, she's easy to read and predict. Her color is lighter than her dad Mithril's. Like a pastel blue.

Our breed organization, The Colorado Mountain Dog registry has taken on new dimensions this year. They are really starting to gel and the services offered to breeders of the CMD have become easier to access with more features to the pedigree database including the option of hard copy registration papers. The new logo, pictured here, is available to CMDR breeders with registered farm letters, and Fennario Kennels will include this logo on our website and promotional materials. We're looking forward to the third annual CMD Festival this year; we should have a few of our pups entered. The Colorado Mountain Dog CLUB, that is having a slow start because I'm very busy in other aspects but when I DO have the time - we do it up good! In 2023 The month before we had a Dog Wash party in Evergreen with some gleaming CMD attendants. We were hosted in Cripple Creek, for a scavenger hunt and hiking adventure on private propertty. Our Christmas party kept getting postponed but we ushered the new year in with friends and family.

Celebrating the New Year with friends and family

The final selection from this year's litters is St. Stephen, 1st born from Solly x Baloo. He is EVERYTHING we were hoping for in our first "bred-by" litter. He is a BIG boy, with most of his weight being bone-heavy. His intelligence reminds me very much of Auggie - you can even see it in his expression. We will be looking forward to Stagger and Frankies litter to give us a girl appropriate for him. His color is fascinating...his black mask is fading in the same manner as a CMD Fading Badger coloration, and his undercoat is a slate grey with a platinum over coat. Look for great things coming from this boy in the years to come.

I want to take this opportunity to extend a genuine and heart felt THANKYOU to all those that see the unique magic of my dogs, and are willing to make a life long commitment to them. You guys make my world go round you know? Not only is this a life-long goal and ultimately my life's work - it is a special gift I get to share over and over with all of you. These dogs are the result of so much sacrifice and hard hard HARD work - hold them near and dear to your heart, I will do the same - and we all can admit - life is better with my dogs. - Shawna Davies

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