The North Yorkshire owner of an ultra rare breed of dog travelled more than 3,000 miles before she ended up with these cute puppies.
Rosemary Kind, of Tholthorpe, near Easingwold, drove one of her Entlebucher Mountain Dogs, Shadow, to a blind date in Fluhili, Switzerland, close to where the breed originated as a herding dog in the early 1900s.
Shadow needed to be mated on the ninth or tenth day after coming into season and Rosemary had already been on one fruitless trip to Switzerland with another animal, Megan.
Rosemary said Megan’s stud-dog suitor had done nothing but stare at her. “It was his first time. Perhaps he just didn’t know what to do,” she said.
Love ran much more smoothly with Shadow and, after returning home, a scan revealed she was pregnant.
“It was one of the most emotional times of my life,” says Rosemary, who chairs the Entlebucher Club of Great Britain. “We not only saw little blobs that would become puppies, we saw developing puppies – one curled up asleep like a human baby, one wriggling and twisting – kicking his tiny paws.”
The single litter of five puppies – Beethoven, Bumble, Bossanova, Britannia and Boadicea – have single-handedly increased the breed’s UK population by nearly 18 per cent... to 34.
The animals had to be taken to Switzerland because Entlebuchers are so rare that there is a very small gene pool in the UK, and until health screening is approved for the handful of males, they are not allowed to become romantically attached with the females.
• Dog lovers around the world have a unique opportunity to follow the puppies’progress via PuppycamLive!, a live feed of pictures on the York-based internet TV channel www.dogsclub.tv.