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It’s hard to believe that our little girl is almost a year old. Her first birthday is February 2nd. We had her officially registered with the AKC a few weeks ago. Her formal name is “Haystac’s Southern Belle”. “Haystac” is her kennel name so her pedigree can be tracked. We just call her Abby which is the name we gave her as a pup.

Getting her registered is the first step toward getting Abby ready to breed. But, we hit a road block that we may or may not be able to overcome. During a visit to the vet yesterday for a routine matter, I had the doctor listen to our sweet Southern Belle’s heart. He continues to hear a murmur that we had hoped she would out grow. Her parents and grandparents are OFA cleared for heart defects so whatever is going on with Abby is not an inherited condition.

It’s likely that this is a benign murmur and will not have a negative impact on the length or quality of her life. For this, we are very grateful. But, in order to breed her, we are going to have to have the murmur further evaluated and this will require an echocardiogram from a doggie cardiologist.

We have an appointment with a veterinary specialist on Monday. The specialist will have to determine if her heart is otherwise healthy and if the increased blood flow to the heart would or would not have a negative impact on her health during pregnancy. Regardless of breeding, we want to make sure that she has no other heart issues of concern.

I have to admit that if we are unable to breed her, which may or may not be the likely outcome, a part of me will be quite sad. Over the past few months as she has grown, I became very open to the thought of breeding her and I was getting a little excited about the idea of a house full of cute little pups to help her care for. It was something that was going to give me purpose but more than that, I think Abby would be a wonderful mother.

Who knows, maybe she still will be. We don’t have all the information yet but one thing is for sure, we will not put our darling southern belle’s health at risk under any circumstances. No matter what happens, we can and will still provide her with a wonderful life.

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I may just have to grieve never becoming a grandma but even if that happens, I’ll get over it.

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