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  •  We will. (13+ / 0-)

    Flatcoats are not an offshoot of Labradors. They were the English gamekeepers' dogs. When the Lord went out hunting and his fancy titled hunting dogs wouldn't fetch up the bird, it was the Flatcoat who went and did the job. Flatcoats are superb hunting retrievers. The breed nearly died out early in the 20th century, I think, but dedicated breeders preserved them. The only problem with them is that they are terribly prone to cancer and auto-immune diseases, which is why we have lost three in six years (although Bonehead, who was born in 2000, might have died of old age by this time anyway).

    And then there are exmearden's little dogs, the two sisters, pug-a-poos, and our beloved Bitty, who are all still with us. Bitty is slowed down somewhat at 11 1/2, and getting a bit deaf, but she's been trained to respond to hand signals as well, so that will work. And three cats: Tom, Daenerys, and Vyonne, who loves to hold down a dog and wash her face.

    We will be looking in the next few months for the right breeder(s) to adopt a Toller puppy from so that we can show him and/or her.

    I have never yet had an animal pass peacefully in his or her sleep; I've always had to do the hard thing. It's what I'd want for myself, so I do it for them.

    Organ donors save lives! A donor's kidney gave me my life back on 02/18/11; he lives on in me. Please talk with your family about your wish to donate.

    Why are war casualty counts "American troops" and "others" but never "human beings"?

    by Kitsap River on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 07:55:42 PM PST

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    •  TY for responding. I am going to research (7+ / 0-)

      the breed.  The health problems interest me - whether more sensitive to environmental issues, genetic or diet.

      I've had close to 100 cats, dogs and horses over the years.  One of my mares was found dead in the field last year when I went out to feed.  She was fine at 4PM and dead at 5.  She just dropped over. There was no pawing or any signs of struggle. I don't think I have ever been so shocked and I had always prayed that someone would just "go to sleep" and save me the pain of making that final decision.  It's just not easy losing an animal regardless of how they go.

      I have a wonderful 32 year old mare that has Cushings.  It is not curable but can buy time as long as she is on her meds. She has the run of the farm.  Half the time I have no idea where she is!  Funny girl.

      You are not alone. We have all been in your place and understand.

    •  Then I am confused... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Charles CurtisStanley

      The Flat-Coated Retriever was once considered a generic "Labrador" type dog, called a "Retriever Proper". It was developed in the 1800s from various retriever and spaniel water type dogs such as the Newfoundland, Irish Setter, Labrador, Water Spaniels and possibly the Collie.
      http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/...

      That cross explains the feathers from the Irish Setter but the body structure of the lab.  Fascinating breed.  Extreme culling and medical testing must be done on all breeding stock.  With the limited genetic pool, dedicated breeders must be ruthless to preserve this breed.

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