One of our highest goals in breeding is longevity. We are extremely proud that our first litter had four dogs reach the age of 13! We want to share how we chose Hogan, who died at age 5, for the stud of our "C" litter. His offspring have proven to be exceptionally long lived. Most have lived past age 10, better than average, and an extraordinary number have lived past 12 and 13. We can not think of a better sire to help us produce puppies that will grace their families with a long and healthy life.
Hogan was killed by a vet error during a routine procedure, one day shy of his 5th birthday. It was a busy day at the vet clinic. Owner Doreen had a bad feeling as she sat in the waiting room, like it wasn't the day for routine teeth cleaning-- maybe she should come back later. As she sat there, the vet and tech that worked on Hogan accidentally obstructed his airway while cleaning his teeth. By the time they noticed, he had been deprived of oxygen for too long and they could not resuscitate him. I still remember receiving this tragic news, as Doreen and I were close friends. My boy Dagen was exactly 1 day older than Hogan; we started our Swissy journey together. All our hearts broke for Doreen, including the vet that deeply regretted her error. Doreen went on to forgive her vet and continued to trust her for future procedures. Hogan did not die of any illness, disease or "condition". He died from a chance mistake. Not knowing how long he would have lived, we have his children to give us an indication of the genes he carries.
I find it sad that fellow Swissy owners find a need to speak rumor, mistruth and otherwise bring each other down. I write this partly in response to rumors that Doreen or Hogan's breeders tried to hide anything with Hogan's death. Above all, we tried to be kind and respectful to the vet, who has to live with this result. The dog was lost and nothing would bring him back. As Norm Christensen taught me, you have to take that love and put it on your new dog. I was present when Grace delivered her four Hogan frozen-semen puppies, one of which was Hero, to help heal Doreen's heart. She put all her love for Hogan onto Hero and didn't look back. Without this tragedy, her Hero would never have been born. We love and miss Hogan, and we are BEYOND PROUD to bring his puppies into this world again.