All About Reese

Our gorgeous chocolate tri colored girl

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Reese is a delightful girl that joined our family in the Spring of 2004.  She's a chocolate tri...  in other words, she has a chocolate & white coat with tan points. 

A June 2008 photo of Reese, our chocolate and white tri
A June 2008 Photo Of Reese, at four years old

Reese is a petite little thing, too...  weighing in at only 19 pounds.  That's tiny...  there are some cats in our neighborhood that weigh more than this little girl!   If you like your Cockers on the small side, you would just love Reese.

It's good that Reese is a tiny little thing...  because she thinks of herself as a lap dog.  Any visitors to our house who happen to be sitting down are likely to have Reese in their lap without warning!  If she sees an open lap, she tends to come flying full speed from across the room...  whether you are expecting it or not!  We probably should have discouraged this from an early age, but Reese is so adorable that we've always greeted her flying lap-jumps with a barrage of kisses...  as Kellyn is doing in the picture above from a lawn chair in our back yard.

This is a cute photo from September of 2005...  one of Morgan's puppies tugging on Reese's ear.  This was especially funny to see since Reese used to do this exact same thing to Morgan when Reese was a puppy!  Reese was really good with Morgan's puppies, and that indicated to us that she would probably be a good mom someday.  In 2006, Reese passed hip and eye exams, and got the green light for breeding.  We bred her with our boy, Dodger, and on February 23, 2007, Reese delivered her first litter of puppies...

For more pictures of Reese & Dodger's puppies, click here

About a year after Reese had her first litter of puppies, we had her eyes examined once again by our local Veterinary Ophthalmologist.  This is a normal thing that good breeders do...  an annual eye exam to look for any genetic eye problems that might be passed along to puppies.  Unlike hip exams, which you only have to do once during the lifetime of a dog, eye exams need to be done every year...  because things can change.  Sometimes everything looks fine for the first few years, and then at a later age an eye problem starts to show up.  That's exactly what happened to Reese.

During her eye exam in February of 2008, the Veterinary Ophthalmologist (the same one that gave her the green light for breeding a year earlier) noticed cataracts in both of Reese's eyes.  These were new since the last exam...  and because cataracts are something that could be passed along to future generations, this was the end of Reese's breeding career.

You may be wondering whether the pups in Reese's 2007 litter have developed any eye problems.  Not yet, although it's still a little early for them to show up.  The owners of all five of Reese's puppies have been notified, and they'll be having regular eye examinations for their dogs over the coming years.  Of course, Reese's genes were only half of the equation.  The father of those puppies has not had any eye problems...  so those pups could easily end up being OK.  Only time will tell.  In any case, Reese has been spayed and won't be making any more puppies.  She had successful surgery to remove the cataracts in her right eye in June, 2008.  So far, the cataracts in her left eye have not gotten bad enough to require any surgery.

One other Reese health issue we've had to deal with has been Lip Fold Pyoderma.  This is basically caused by excessive skin around the mouth, which folds over and creates a warm little pocket where trapped saliva and food particles end up getting infected.  It creates an awful odor!  There were times when we would have sworn that Reese must have been eating cat poop from the litter box, because her breath was so bad.  But it was all caused by the Lip Fold Pyoderma, something that is not at all uncommon in Cocker Spaniels.  A lot of people deal with it by just cleaning out the area on daily basis, but a better more permanent solution is to have surgery to eliminate the fold in the skin.  We had this surgery done in the Spring of 2008, and it was the best $800 we ever spent!  Her breath is so much better now, which is a really big deal if she is sharing your bed and your pillow at night!

People who meet Reese for the first time are always surprised at how little she is.  In the pictures here on the web site, you don't get a sense of scale...  so she just looks like a normal sized Cocker.  When people saw her in person at Pupapalooza, they started to see why I'm so excited about her...   small, nice markings, great personality, playful, healthy...  the whole package!  She really is one of my favorite Cockers of all time.

Reese learning agility in our back yard

Reese showed a natural interest in retrieving things from an early age.  She's very polite about it, though, and doesn't want to have to compete with the other dogs for the balls.  So, if we play one-on-one with her, she's good at retrieving balls...  but if the other more dominant dogs are involved, she backs away.


This photo of Reese is available in larger sizes for use as your Windows desktop wallpaper:
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When Reese was younger, she had a little bit of a rivalry going with our red & white girl, Joanna...  which was ironic since Reese was born in Arizona at the home of Joanna's breeder, LaWanda Miskovsky of Wannie's Cockers.  Reese and Joanna are not related, though.  They used to harass each other a bit, and get a little jealous if I gave attention to one and not the other...  but these days they get along just fine.

A February 2008 picture of Reese
A February 2008 photo of Reese  -  almost 4 years old here

Reese's name was inspired by the movie Legally Blonde, starring Reese Witherspoon.  Her registered name is Wannie's Legally Brown.  (Wannie is the kennel name of her breeder.)  If you know the movie Legally Blonde, you probably remember the little Chihuahua dog named Bruiser.  We've always thought it would have been cuter with a Cocker puppy instead of the little taco dog!

Actual Reese Witherspoon "Legally Blonde" movie scene vs. fantasy movie scene

We've known a lot of Cockers, and Reese has impressed us much more than most.  In trying to figure out what we did in raising Reese that might account for her special personality...  we credit the fact that Kellyn was off work when Reese was a puppy.  Kellyn suffered from repetitive motion injuries after years in a clerical job, and took an early retirement beginning around the same time we got Reese as a puppy.  Reese definitely got a lot of extra attention, and it really seemed to pay off.  Another great thing that helped with Reese's socialization as a puppy was the fact that we took her with us on a vacation to my sister's farm in Washington state.  Reese met an awful lot of people that week, and was a big hit there!  Check out some of the pictures from our 2004 farm vacation and see if you don't think Reese was just the most adorable thing!


 If you're wondering where Reese's chocolate coloring and tan points came from...  here's the answer:

Reese's Mother, Victoria

Reese's Father, Cagney

You can find out more about Reese's background by taking a look at Reese's pedigree.

Victoria's original owner was my friend, Jacqui Christy of Hi Acre Cockers in San Diego county California...  but when Jacqui's husband became ill in 2003, Victoria went to live with our mutual friend, Lawanda Miskovsky, in Flagstaff, Arizona.  Lawanda is the breeder of our red & white girl, Joanna. 

Victoria gave birth to eight puppies in late March of 2004.  Here's a look at the whole litter:

There are four solid chocolates, and four partis.  Two girls and two boys of each.  As far as which one is Reese...  your guess is as good as mine!  All I know is that she is one of the four partis in the photo.  If you look closely, you can see that the puppies still had not had their tails docked when this photo was taken.  It was taken at three days old.

Although Reese was born in Arizona, and we live on the central coast of California, her journey to us was actually not at all traumatic for her.  Two month old pups want nothing more than to snuggle up with their siblings...  and Reese got to do just that during the entire journey.  She made the trip with a brother and a sister.  Here's a photo of them after they arrived at our house:

On the left is a brother that looks just like Reese.
A sable colored sister is in the center,
and Reese is on the upper right.

The siblings only stayed a few days, and then continued on to their new homes.  Being together made the drive out from Arizona very easy on the three of them.  That sable colored girl in the center of the last picture is named Madison.  She is growing up to be a real beauty!  Here is a picture of her:

Reese's sister, Madison.

You'll find more pictures of Madison at the web site of her owners, Sharon & Ed Puett.  They are horse breeders, so their web site is mostly about their horses, but there is this one page with pictures of their two Cockers, Lacey and Madison.


The latest photo of Reese, our chocolate and white tri
Reese at a year and a half old


The latest photo of Reese, our chocolate and white tri
Reese in motion in our back yard


Reese at Pupapalooza 2005 - 17 months old


Reese, our chocolate and white tri
Reese at ten months old


Reese, our chocolate and white tri
Reese at nine months old

You can see that in addition to the tan markings on her face, she's got tan under her tail, too.
My funny line is that she must be in to nude sunbathing, because she's got a tanned butt!


Reese at five months old


Reese at four-and-a-half months old


Reese visiting my mother's house when she was just two months old


Young Reese enjoying her very first day at our house


Reese's #1 fan is Kellyn...  also known around here as Mrs. Zim

Here they are together when Reese was still just a tiny little thing.


Reese has grown quite a bit since these early pictures with Kellyn!

If you'd like to see more pictures of Reese, check out our July 2004 vacation pictures.  Reese was a big hit with our family & friends in Washington state!  Taking her on vacation with us was one of the smartest things we ever did...  it REALLY helped to socialize her since she got to meet lots and lots of different people.

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