2nd Chance, Royal T Mi-Kis' very special future stud

Introducing 2nd Chance: Miracle Mi-Ki & Future Stud

We are thrilled to present the latest addition to the Royal T Mi-Kis pack – Estrellita’s 2nd Chance Royal T! Chance is the product of a pairing with Estrellita’s UKC Grand Champion Miss Laci Jackson and Flyer’s Mr. Universe “Gizmo.” Born in 2003, Gizmo was one of the first Mi-Kis acquired by Tamara Beebe, the American Mi-Ki Registry Association registrar. Tamara had the foresight to collect and bank frozen semen from several of the early Mi-Kis for the benefit of the breed.

The Sire: Flyer’s Mr. Universe “Gizmo”

According to Tamara, Tee Nee In Chan Ting Man and Tee Nee In-Chan-Ting Lady were kind of like the Adam and Eve of Mi-Kis. If you look at modern AMRA registration numbers, we’re sitting at numbers over 5,500 as of late 2022. Gizmo was number 18!

The Dam: Estrellita’s Ms. Laci Jackson

Unfortunately, there have been very few successful pregnancies and litters produced with several attempts at using frozen semen. In fact, there are only two incidents of puppies produced using our precious stores of Mi-Ki frozen semen. One was a litter of two with one surviving puppy that was facilitated by Barbara Teichner of Belle Amie Mi-Kis. Rebecca Thomason of Estrellita Mi-Kis was able to facilitate this second litter. We are grateful for the considerable time and expense these breeders have contributed towards the Mi-Ki gene pool with these endeavors.

Estrellita’s Time and Time Again litter – DOB 10/23/22 via C-section

A Trio of Mi-Ki Treasures

Chance was one of three healthy puppies produced in the Time and Time Again Litter. The litter was conceived via surgical insemination and delivered via C-section. No expense was spared to ensure the success of this endeavor.

We are honored to be selected as one of the caretakers of this valuable DNA to enhance the Mi-Ki breed and to remain true to the vision of what the Mi-Ki was bred to be. Chance’s littermates went to other Mi-Ki breeders. The black female, Phoenix, went to Littltoi Mi-Kis in Maryland. The black and white male, Legend, went to Jubilee Mi-Kis in North Carolina.

It is the hope of Becki Thomason and the AMRA registrar that Mi-Ki breeders will seek out the offspring of these littermates to infuse the Mi-Ki gene pool with this precious DNA.

In addition to his early Mi-Ki genetics, Gizmo was also able to give his offspring fun colors including chocolate and blue! We were also intrigued to learn that some of the puppies inherited the smooth-face gene from their sire, so this goes to show that smoothies were definitely part of the early genetic makeup of the breed.

Exciting DNA results

All three puppies were tested with the Embark for Breeders DNA test, and we are gratified to have learned that they all test as 100% Mi-Ki. Feel free to peruse Chance’s Embark results if you’re interested. Chance can only produce long-coat puppies. He also carries blue and clear red, and we’re excited to see what he produces for us once he’s old enough for his other health clearances aside from genetic testing.

DNA Health Results

Although Chance received a copy of the gene associated with IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease) from Gizmo, we have been told by Embark that the gene isn’t breed-specific, therefore, he is still a good candidate for breeding. A large percentage of Mi-Kis have this marker and so far breeders haven’t noticed a correlation in expression. Additionally, veterinarians who have consulted with Mi-Ki breeders on the topic say that IVDD isn’t generally a small-breed condition even though the genetic marker is widespread in toy breeds. Despite this, we still try not to put two IVDD genes together in our pairings just to be on the safe side.

Likewise, It’s a similar situation for the DCM (dilated cardiomyopathy) gene. DCM is not breed-specific and mainly seems to affect large breeds. Additionally, it’s important not to remove dogs that are carriers of recessive disease genes from the gene pool. Doing so would severely limit genetic diversity and would adversely impact the overall health of purebred dogs. Embark also admonishes its users that having a genetic marker is not a diagnosis.

How we use DNA testing to inform breeding decisions

We’ve genetically tested all of our breeding dogs to make the best-informed decisions possible with the currently available data. DNA testing is a relatively new technology, however, so it’s just one tool for making breeding decisions. Sometimes genetic testing makes it possible to help produce desired traits like colors or coat types. There are also diseases that can be avoided by not pairing two recessive gene carriers.

Some of the genetic findings are not as clear-cut. We’ve found that some of the genetic findings don’t necessarily match the phenotypes (what the dog actually looks like.) For instance, several of the dogs who supposedly have genetically long muzzles are the ones with the shortest noses. Another example is that some of our dogs that Embark says will have short legs and long bodies are actually more proportional than our dogs that are built more like Corgis. And yet these short-legged long-torso dogs don’t get flagged as having those genes.

Since genetics is constantly evolving with new discoveries, we have to look at the whole dog including its conformation, physical health examinations, and pedigrees. We also consult with experienced breeders about their history with these lines. Our own experience also informs our breeding decisions. It’s complicated and fun to sort out the possibilities!

It will be fun to see what this new/old infusion of genetic material does with our program and Mi-Kis in general. We cannot thank the folks who made this opportunity possible enough – particularly Tamara Beebe, Becki Thomason of Estrellita Mi-Kis, and her talented repro vet in Dallas.

2nd Chance, our handsome miracle Mi-Ki

  • Estrellita's 2nd Chance

Chance is everything we like to see in a young Mi-Ki puppy – great conformation, a sweet temperament, and an endearing expression that will make you do anything for him! His ears are still figuring out what they are going to do, thanks to teething. Chance has settled in nicely as a member of our pack. We’re very blessed to have him. He was the first one I’d hoped for when I saw that newborn photo!

We plan to start showing Chance at every “chance” we get. We hope to see great things from him in the future, including puppies in late 2023 or early 2024. Stay tuned for updates!

Chance has made an appearance in some of our newer puppy videos if you’d like to check them out on YouTube.

Meet our Friends Schatzi Mi-Kis

We’ve had a new offspring! And it’s not just a new puppy — it’s a new breeder that we’ve sponsored.

We want to introduce Angela Formby with Schatzi Mi-Kis. They are located in Southern Colorado. Their sire is Krieger who is out of Brighton and Sinbad. One of the dams, Dresden, is a sister to Li’l Louis, and Gretel is Harley’s littermate! So it’s kind of like working with family if you adopt from them!

They have two gorgeous litters (7 weeks & 3 weeks of age) with long coat sables and tricolors. If Evie doesn’t give us a tricolor female in her litter, I will seriously be tempted to get one of Angela’s! Angela has put tremendous effort into her new website and social media pages, so we hope you’ll at least follow Schatzi Mi-Kis even if you aren’t ready to adopt from them at this moment.

Angela is the type of breeder to do everything with excellence. In fact, we’re getting some tips from the Schatzi Mi-Ki program. For example, they’ve been using the Puppy Culture protocol, which we’re going to be exploring. She’s also cooler than me because she has a Tik Tok account! Watch her videos and see how carefully the nursery is set up. This is a wonderful program you can feel confident about. Check out their website and send them some love!

Dresden, Gretel, and Krieger at Schatzi Mi-Kis

Minnie the Miracle Mi-Ki is 1 Year Old!

For those of you who follow us, you may be familiar with Minnie the Miracle Mi-Ki. Many of you call her “Chapstick” as she was photographed next to a tube of Chapstick for size reference when she was born. She was only 2.2 ounces at birth and then dropped to 1.8 ounces after not being able to nurse. We didn’t know why she couldn’t nurse, but like all our fragile pups, I always try to help them survive with supportive care. As long as they keep fighting, I will fight alongside them – even if it means losing sleep and aging prematurely.

Minnie was about the size of a ChapStick!

Tiny but Mighty, and Mighty Sensitive

Minnie was part of the “M” Magic Kingdom litter. Her brothers were Mickey and Mushu, and she also had a sister named Mulan. Perhaps there was a bit of Disney Magic that helped sustain her and made her a strong protagonist.

Because Minnie couldn’t latch on properly, though she tried and tried, I had to tube feed her using puppy formula every two hours around the clock for her first few weeks. I learned from previous puppies that the Myra Savant-Harris puppy formula recipe is better than any of the commercial versions I’ve tried as far as preventing constipation and enabling weight gain.

The trick was figuring out how much formula would help Minnie grow but not injure her tiny stomach. The recommended dose of 1 cc per ounce of weight was far too much for her, so I’d have to feed a little, stop, then feed a bit more. As soon as she squirmed, I learned I needed to stop right there or she would be miserable for several hours from a too-full tummy. I would be equally miserable thinking I’d nearly killed her.

All newborn Mi-Ki puppies are quite sensitive due to their small size, and Minnie was particularly sensitive. Newborn puppies require a consistent temperature of 87-90 degrees F and humidity between 40-60%. Minnie also required extra oxygen and antibiotics as she would regularly spit up her formula, so we were constantly worried about pneumonia.

Minnie the Miracle Mi-Ki in a Pyrex cup to keep her head elevated so she won't spit up her formula.
Minnie propped up in a blanket-lined cup to keep her from spitting up formula

Minnie spent the first couple of weeks in a Puppywarmer Incubator. I like this brand because it has gradient heat so the puppy can find their perfect temperature. I also use their oxygen concentrator with distilled water added for humidity. Here in Colorado, it’s extra dry, so puppies under heat can dehydrate just by breathing. In addition to the moisture provided through the concentrator, our hygrometer and thermometer indicated we had to use a humidifier next to the incubator to provide the ideal climate. We went through so much distilled water!

Minnie’s canine mom was also supportive and helped clean her and facilitate her pottying. Newborn puppies cannot defecate on their own without stimulation, so I was grateful for her mom’s help in this regard. Sometimes I would have to use a warm wet cotton ball to help. She always had to be cleaned and pottied before feedings so she had room for formula.

After feedings, we would prop Minnie up for about 15 minutes to try to keep milk from bubbling up her nose. Actually, it was more like watching the exorcist with a tiny spinning head and projectile vomiting. I still have formula sprayed on my walls from her. Neither of us got very much sleep during those first four weeks. At this point, we weren’t sure why she spit up. She was too fragile to take to the vet. We thought perhaps she had esophageal reflux or megaesophagus.

The diagnosis, and a possible cause for puppy birth defects!

Eventually, we felt Minnie could be outside of the incubator without supplemental oxygen long enough to visit our vet who is just two miles away. Dr. Atkins determined that she had a small cleft palate far in the back of her throat, which is why I had trouble seeing it. That is why she couldn’t latch on to nurse, and that was why there was always milk coming out of her nose, despite careful feeding techniques.

The interesting thing about this diagnosis is that my mother’s dog also had a litter with a single puppy survivor (he had a stillborn brother) who also had a cleft palate during the same timeframe. Mom has a toy Australian Shepherd from lines that have never experienced a cleft palate in over 25 years.

My parents have their own spacious apartment downstairs in our home. Since we live in a rural location, mice had also decided to enjoy our lovely abode. We didn’t want to use traps or poison because of our dogs. Instead, we used a rather expensive plug-in device. Unlike the little ultrasonic rodent deterrents, this device emits powerful EMF (electromagnetic frequencies) throughout the wiring of the house. As long as there is electricity flowing through the wires (and we kept the lights on to ensure there was power on at all times) the EMFs would chase away the mice. It was highly effective.

Unfortunately, we believe the EMFs at this level also caused birth defects, specifically cleft palates, in our litters. The company that makes the device says it is completely safe for humans and pets, but I don’t believe it is safe for developing fetuses – human or otherwise. I started combing the Internet for information about EMFs and found lots of data correlating birth defects with EMF exposure. I also found several products designed for pregnant women to block EMFs from their unborn babies. Cell phones, computers, and all those wireless products we love can all contribute, but this EMF rodent-deterring device was apparently quite strong and dangerous.

We surmise that Mom’s puppy’s cleft was potentially more severe due to the fact that the device was plugged into the basement where she and her dogs live. Despite our best efforts, her puppy didn’t make it. Most cleft-palate puppies don’t survive.

We’ve since unplugged the Pest Free device and have had fewer litter complications. I’ve also added a few EMF-neutralizing devices to my electronics. Incidentally, my houseplants have also started doing better while using these products. One time, I accidentally unplugged one of my EMF harmonizing devices and the plant nearby started getting yellow leaves and dropping them all of a sudden again. I plugged in the neutralizer and the plant fully recovered. If I thought the EMF neutralizing devices were a hoax before, I don’t any more!

The care and feeding of Minnie the Tiny Miracle Mi-Ki

Tube feeding is a little scary. For one thing, Mi-Ki puppies are quite small, and you have to use a very small feeding tube (3.5 French to start) which is tricky to thread down their throats and position it down into their bellies. It is important to have your veterinarian help you learn how to make sure you are tube-feeding a puppy correctly. Otherwise, you can put the tube into the lungs and drown them or cause pneumonia.

I have learned to measure and mark the feeding tube with a Sharpie so I know I’m in the stomach, rather than the lungs. The proper length can be determined by positioning the feeding tube on the side of the puppy measuring from the mouth to the first rib while imagining the line of the throat down to the stomach. Wi-KiHow has some helpful instructions for tube feeding a puppy.

Tube feeding Minnie when she was just two weeks old.

After 6 weeks of tube feeding, Minnie decided she was now “big” and wasn’t going to tolerate a tube any longer. It was tricky figuring out what she could eat and how she could drink. She taught herself to drink formula like a little bird out of a syringe by tilting her head back to have it stay out of her sinuses. She would chew the heck out of those syringes too!

Minnie drinking her formula like a “big dog.”

Minnie can’t handle overly soft foods as she ends up sneezing them out her nose. We tried any way we could to get good calories down her because she was always just so tiny. Eventually, we tried moistening freeze-dried foods and squeezing the liquid out of a morsel to let it slip down her throat. Overall, she now seems to have the best luck with kibble or other dense foods.

The trials and triumphs of a cleft-palate puppy

Keeping Minnie alive during those first two months was quite the feat. I constantly worried about her — every drop of nourishment, every breath, every sneeze, every spit-up.

Once we got through those first few months, I sometimes wondered if we might be able to find a home for Minnie where this highly-socialized pup could be a support for someone needing some extra tiny companionship. Unfortunately, Minnie had several months of dealing with severe recurring sinus issues due to the continued communication between her mouth and nasal passages. She also had a foul odor because of the infection.

We had hoped that the removal of a couple of lingering deciduous teeth might calm down the inflammation, but it didn’t seem to help. Sedating her briefly for the procedure did allow my vet to finally get a really good look at her mouth, though. He confirmed the cleft palate at the back of her mouth by her throat, but there is also a tiny hole in the front right under her nasal cavity. This is likely what causes her congestion and chronic infections.

Minnie weighs 2 pounds, 10 ounces as an adult. Because of her size and the sensitivity of the area, Dr. Atkins doesn’t believe Minnie is a good candidate for cleft palate surgery as he believes she most likely wouldn’t survive the procedure. I still may get a consult with a specialist, however. I am hoping they might be able to fit her with some sort of an orthodontic device like a retainer to help her eat and drink more easily.

Maintaining Minnie, our Miracle Mi-Ki

The good news is that I’ve had tremendous success clearing up her sinus infection and odor with the use of colloidal silver-soaked treats and red-light therapy, which she loves. She gets pre and probiotics to improve her gut health after chronic antibiotic usage. We’ve installed a few large elevated water dispensers to help her drink, which she also enjoys. She still gets to sneezing and wheezing with excitement or drinking wrong, but for her, it’s just how it is and she’s used to it. She always has a messy, snot-nosed face.

Though Minnie is just 2.5 pounds, she is very good at bossing people around. She communicates very clearly what she needs. I suppose that’s also one of the skills that have kept her alive.

Minnie, the messy-faced Miracle Mi-Ki manipulator!

Minnie is one tough little girl. She runs with absolute joy across the yard and she’s wicked fast. She will take on the biggest Mi-Ki in the manor to fight for a bully stick and they will actually back down. Her fighting spirit isn’t exactly encouraged, but we know it’s what has sustained her through this amazing year. It’s been an adventurous 12 months with scarce sleep, but it was totally worth it. Minnie is a miracle Mi-Ki!

Minnie gives me encouragement whenever I have a tough case with a puppy and reminds me that there’s always room for hope. Minnie is our little black snot-nosed angel with a goofy smile. We’re very grateful that she’s here.

Royal T Mi-Kis Adds Two New Champions at UKC Dog Show

We were pleased to participate in the High Plains Kennel Club summer dog show in Kiowa, Colorado this past weekend. We’re proud to have added two new UKC champions to our pack – Royal T’s Irresitible Isabelle and Estrellita’s Count Cosmo Royal T. Royal T’s Brilliant Brighton and Royal T’s Harley Ryder are also working towards being Grand Champions.

Friday’s Dog Show

Harley had a great day on Friday, July 15, 2022, and earned a Champion ribbon as well as Best of Breed. Brighton was our Reserve Champion. Isabelle got some competition wins with First Place, Best of Sex, and Best of Winners.

Chanel got First Place ribbons in her class all weekend and earned several points.

Royal T’s Cocoa Chanel Couture – our chocolate sable beauty! Photo by McGiv Photography

Despite doing really well in his conformation classes on concrete floors, Cosmo wasn’t too sure about this new situation with walking on dirt. He looked at me as if to say, “You realize I look like a mop. Should I really be walking around in this horse barn after you worked so hard to make me handsome?”

  • Estrellitas Count Cosmo Royal T UKC Dog Show

We resolved to practice walking with Cosmo in the arena before the next day’s show! It paid off.

Saturday Dog Shows

Saturday was also a hot and toasty day but we did our best to stay cool and collected. Saturday was a great day for our Brilliant Brighton who took the Champion ribbon twice as well as Best of Breed.

  • Brighton, white Mi-Ki at dog show

After earning more competition wins and bonus points in the first shows, Isabelle had now earned her championship status and could be moved up to the Champion Class. This would enable our champions to start earning legs towards their grand champion status!

Royal T’s Irresistible Isabelle earned a new title – Champion! Photo by McGiv Photography

Apparently, UKC champions need to beat 5 other dogs to earn legs towards being Grand Champions, so we wish we had more Mi-Kis entered on Friday and Saturday morning. If we’d managed that, Harley and Brighton would have earned even more competition leg wins towards their Grand Champion status. Hopefully, some of our locally-placed puppies will start competing soon. As it was, showing five Mi-Kis was quite a feat for us! Thankfully, we’re making friends with junior handlers who love showing our dogs with us.

Sunday Dog Shows

By Sunday, we humans were pretty tired, but Cosmo was just getting his stride! Not only did he earn enough points and competition wins to earn his championship, but he also started beating our other Champions and took “Best of Breed” twice! Cosmo is just in the Junior Class having just turned 1 in May, so we’re very excited for his continuing show career. We named him Estrellita’s Count Cosmo because his breeder Rebecca Thomason and I just knew he would be a star!

We’re grateful to the High Plains Kennel Club for hosting a successful dog show and for our judges Ron Horn, Sally Davidson, Kathryn Kudron, Judith Lehman, and Debra Mitchell.

Mi-Ki Breed Now Reported on Embark

We are pleased to inform our readers that the Mi-Ki is now an officially reported breed on Embark Veterinary DNA testing for dogs as of May 5, 2022. Previously, any Mi-Kis submitted for testing would show “mixed ancestry,” and percentages of contributing breeds would be broken down for us to ponder.

This was always an interesting read for us because the DNA has told a different story than some of the written histories we’ve been given regarding our magical Mi-Kis. For instance, most folks have heard that the Mi-Ki ancestry included Shih Tzu, Maltese, Papillon, and Japanese Chin.

Out of the 32 Mi-Kis we’ve tested through Embark, the breeds we consistently see in the largest percentages are Maltese, Shih Tzu, Pomeranian, and Pekingese. We’ve also seen small percentages of Bichon and Yorkshire Terrier in some lines. We’ve never seen any traces of Japanese Chin, and have only seen a hint of Papillon in one of my dogs (as of May 6.)

The First “Official” Mi-Ki Revealed on Embark

We first heard about the Mi-Ki being reported as a breed on Embark testing from our friend and new Mi-Ki breeder Rachel Greene of Tagi’s Little Cutie’s in Michigan (TLC Mi-Kis on Facebook.) She informed us that she’d received an email from Embark on 5/5/2022 that her smooth-face Mi-Ki puppy Barnaby’s results were ready.

She was excited because he was listed as 100% Mi-Ki instead of the usual “mixed ancestry” that all Mi-Kis have thus far been labeled. She checked the previous dogs she’s tested but their results still read as “mixed ancestry.”

Barnaby smooth-face Mi-Ki on Embark
Barnaby, a smooth-face Mi-Ki owned by Rachel Greene. He is the first “official Mi-Ki” tested by Embark.

A few minutes later, I received a text that our new male Louie’s Embark results were ready. With much anticipation, I clicked on the link and learned that Louie is…

Louie's Mi-Ki results on Embark.

91.1% Mi-Ki and 8.9% Unresolved. Needless to say, that was an unexpected result! Upon further inspection, it appeared that the unresolved portions may be DNA from “distant ancestors”:


There may be small amounts of DNA from these distant ancestors:

  • Chihuahua
  • Papillon

This was actually the first time I’d ever seen Papillon in any of my Mi-Kis I’ve tested, so this was exciting! But Chihuahua? That would be a big fat NO. Chihuahua should not be in the background of the Mi-Ki to my knowledge.

Did I freak out a little bit with this news? Sure. Maybe a little bit. After all, the benefit of a purebred dog is the predictable traits and temperament associated with a given breed. Mi-Ki buyers are willing to pay a pretty penny to own a purebred Mi-Ki.

But then I realized that it said these were “distant ancestors” and would assume that mathematically Chihuahua would be less than 5% of his genetic makeup. Would I be willing to dismiss a wonderful dog who definitely has the full Mi-Ki package of good looks and temperament over less than 10% of “unresolved” breed information that “may” be included?

After discussing Louie’s results with Tamara Beebe, the American Mi-Ki Registry Association’s registrar, she said it’s possible that the Chihuahua result is a “miss” hit and that when the Wisdom Panel dog DNA company first began to identify the Mi-Ki breed, they also had results that didn’t turn out to be correct. We decided it would be fun to test Louie with the Optimal Selection Wisdom Panel as well to get a comparative study.

We’ve found that the two DNA companies do not always return the same results. For instance, on Savannah, our mascot, the Wisdom Panel says that she has the genetics for a short muzzle. Embark says Savannah has the genetics for a medium or long muzzle! This may be frustrating for breeders, but it has been a lesson to me that DNA testing is a developing science and can’t be relied upon exclusively when making breeding decisions.

Mixed Ancestry results in purebred dogs

Embark has some insights about purebred dogs that show mixed ancestry.

Genetic ancestry can be complicated. Here’s what you should know:
If you have a purebred dog:

A purebred dog can sometimes share DNA with another breed. If this happens, you’ll see “Mixed Ancestry” in your dog’s results. These results in no way affect registered “purebred” status or your dog’s standing with the registration body. Typically, a registration body certifies a dog’s purebred status through pedigree records and parentage verification, which do not rely on genetic testing.

Louie’s results didn’t even say “Mixed Ancestry.” It said “unresolved,” so I reached out to Embark for clarification. As of 5/10/22, Embark answered my inquiry that asked, “Is the ‘unresolved’ designation the same as a ‘mixed breed’ designation?”

If the print of my email screenshot is too small, the important part says [unresolved ancestry] “can be due to ancestors of a different breed far back in the family tree, but it can also be because there’s diversity in a purebred breed that isn’t reflected in our reference panel yet. For a relatively rare breed like the Mi-Ki that was developed fairly recently, I fully expect the unresolved result you are seeing is due to genetic diversity in the breed rather than mixed breeding in the recent past.”

I also found this helpful bit of information on Embark‘s website:

For a variety of reasons, the registered purebred dog tested by Embark may not perfectly match the genetic signature of the reference panel. One example is the dog may have an ancestor that is in a closely related breed which was utilized prior to the closing of the breed’s studbook many generations ago. Another reason is that the dog may come from a bloodline that is geographically very distant from the group of reference panel dogs. These results in no way affect the “purebred” status of the dog or its standing with the registration body. In fact, because these dogs usually contain genetic signatures not common in the breed, they can be highly useful for maintaining or even increasing genetic diversity in the breed!

For readers who are new to the importance of genetic diversity, having higher diversity gives dogs a better chance of not inheriting two identical gene mutations that could result in the expression of disease. Additionally, a higher diversity is associated with health, longevity, and better reproductive outcomes. Losing genetic diversity can eventually lead to the extinction of dog breeds.

With this in mind, we are hopeful that Little Louis will have great OFA health test results and will be a great addition to our breeding program in late 2022. Louie also carries tan points and blue, according to his Embark test results.

DNA proves dog parentage

Before the advent of DNA parental testing, most breeders had to give their best guess or just assumed which dog sired a litter. It’s entirely possible that there was an accidental breeding or unknown sire even in the most structured of breeding programs.

We are pleased that the American Mi-Ki Registry Association requires DNA-proven parental verification to register any Mi-Ki. AMRA has been requiring DNA verification since 2006, so any possible chihuahua ancestor in Louie’s background would likely have been many years ago if his ancestors were AMRA registered. I believe the International Mi-Ki Registry also requires DNA parental verification for registration, so that is also a comfort.

I should take this moment to mention that Royal T Mi-Kis is not listed on the AMRA website because they are no longer able to edit it. We look forward to the new AMRA website when it is launched!

We have not applied to be members of the IMR but have traded dogs with an IMR kennel.

When will previously-tested Mi-Kis get their updated ancestry results on Embark?

Rachel Greene was kind enough to forward the response from Embark regarding when other Mi-Kis might have updated ancestry results.

The Embark Science team is now doing an internal update of all owner-reported Mi-Kis after a recent reference panel update. Embark will be contacting all owners whose results have changed with this recent update within the next few weeks once the audits and updates are complete.

We’re saving all of our old Embark data to ensure we have access to all of the interesting mixed ancestry data. If you’ve previously tested with Embark, be sure to save your old data before the updates are complete.

We use and endorse Embark dog DNA testing

Royal T Mi-Kis is pleased to have submitted several samples to Embark when members of the International Mi-Ki Registry invited Mi-Ki breeders from all registries to participate in a breed-wide genetic survey. Many kennels participated as well as several Mi-Ki pet owners. We are grateful for everyone’s participation to help raise awareness of our fantastic breed.

In addition to having insight into the Mi-Ki’s ancestry, we’ve also enjoyed learning more about the genetics that affects coat color and other physical characteristics. The most important information we’ve gained through Embark testing is regarding health genetics including diversity and disease.

All of this data is helping breeders to make informed and balanced breeding decisions. We hope these efforts will create a healthy, sustainable breed for Mi-Ki fanciers to enjoy for generations to come.

Please visit the Our Dogs page to see what dogs have been tested with Embark. If you’re a breeder and would like $50 off to test your dog, use this Embark link. If you’re a pet owner who would like to test with Embark, use this link to also get $50 off. For each purchase, Royal T Mi-Kis will receive credit toward future Embark test orders. Thank you for supporting the Mi-Ki breed!

Celebrating Royal T’s Brilliant Brighton’s 2nd Birthday!

We want to take a few moments to recognize our very special Mi-ki princess Brighton, who turns 2 years old today! Why is she so special? Well, for one thing, she is a beautiful, athletic girl! She was the first Mi-ki we ever kept from our own kennel. Brighton is out of Brumby’s Run Evie and Tesoro Mio Moshe.

With her beautiful cream and white coat, gorgeous structure, and flawless gait, it’s not surprising Brighton became our first UKC champion. In fact, Brighton tied for 8th place in the United Kennel Club’s Top Ten for all Mi-kis shown in 2018. (As a side note, our Jubilee’s Champagne Truffle also placed in the Top Ten at 6th!)

Puppy Pics to Present

Hopeful mom-to-be in 2019!

Brighton has yet to become a mother, but we hope to breed her soon. If all goes well, we could have puppies from her this summer. Brighton has passed all of her health clearances for eyes, heart, and patellas. She has also been screened with the Embark DNA panel and does not carry any genes associated for any of the health problems that Embark tests for.

Brighton loves to get dressed up and model and show, but she really loves to play hard and get dirty with no regrets! She is one of the few Mi-kis who gets to sleep with mom and dad because no kennel can contain her. She knows she’s royalty, but it hasn’t gone to her head too much. She’s sweet, thoughtful, and intuitive to the needs of those around her. She is usually the first to greet our visitors!

Brighton makes a special friend

If I had to pick a favorite memory of this precious Mi-ki girl over the last two years, it would be of Brighton’s gentle treatment of a special-needs guest who came for a visit. The young teen was somewhere along the autistic spectrum, and I was delighted how our Mi-kis all gave her the space she needed. Brighton could sense our guest’s trepidation, so she slowly, gently did a belly crawl over to her and gently pawed at the girl’s knee. It was an amazing thing to watch as my Brighton gently coaxed our guest into feeling comfortable with her.

I’ve always heard Mi-kis are highly intuitive, but to see them all do so en masse and send one ambassador out to put our special-needs guest at ease was a sight to behold!

We look forward to many years with Brighton as our beloved pet, family member, and representative of the Mi-ki dog breed.

Brighton the Mi-ki is 2 years old!

Stay tuned for announcements of an upcoming litter from Royal T’s Brilliant Brighton!

2019 Airline Pet Policies May Affect Mi-ki Puppy Delivery Options

Many of our Mi-ki puppies are hand delivered to their new homes flying in-cabin with the use of a puppy nanny or one of our family members. Some of our clients opt to pick up their puppies themselves by flying to Denver International Airport.

Thanks to my flight attendant friends, I have been made aware of some airline pet policy changes that are happening across several companies. Some of these changes will affect our ability to deliver a Mi-ki puppy to their new families.

Our chocolate Mi-ki Savannah in her airline-approved Bergan pet carrier from BaxterBoo.com.

United Airlines Pet Policy

The most notable change that will affect puppy transportation is that no puppy under 16 weeks (4 months) of age will be accepted as an in-flight carry-on with United Airlines. This is disappointing for us, as United has been one of our favorite airlines to fly with.

My husband Bill is a Gold Member with United and has enjoyed delivering our puppies at a reduced rate if he happens to be flying into an area for work. This meant that our clients would only have to pay United’s $125 in-cabin pet fee. Unfortunately, this affordable and special delivery service will no longer be available for our customers.

Visit United Airlines for more information on their pet policies.

Delta Airlines Pet Policy

Delta has been cracking down on people abusing the emotional support animal rules and has also modified their pet policy. Pets must be 10 weeks old for domestic travel (within the continental US) and 15 weeks old for most international travel.

Since we don’t release our puppies to their new homes until they are at least 10 weeks old, this policy won’t affect our ability to transport Mi-ki puppies to their new homes.

Visit Delta Airlines for more information on their pet policies.

Major US Airlines In-cabin Puppy Policies

The following chart helps to explain major US airline in-cabin pet policies as of January 2019. Click the link to each airline to review all pet travel policies.

AirlineMinimum Age
(one way)
Alaska8 weeks$100
American8 weeks$125
Delta10 weeks$125
JetBlueNot specified$125
FrontierNot specified$75
Southwest8 weeks$95
Spirit8 weeks$110
United16 weeks$125

Keep in mind that airlines typically limit the number of pets allowed in the cabin on each flight, so book your flight early to ensure your Mi-ki puppy can fly. Most airlines allow two puppies per carrier and charge only one pet fee, so if you’re picking up two puppies or going in with a friend for delivery, that is a nice option for savings.

As always, an airline-approved soft-sided pet carrier is included with each Mi-ki puppy from Royal T Mi-kis, even if your puppy isn’t flying!

While most airlines do not require health certificates to fly, some states do. If required, a health certificate is also included with your purchase.

Feel free to contact us to discuss Royal T Mi-kis’ premium puppy delivery services.

Royal T Mi-kis 2018 Recap

A collage of some of our Mi-ki puppies of 2018. So much to be thankful for!

So many beautiful Mi-kis!

2018 started out really strong for us at Royal T Mi-kis. We had three litters in January and kept Eden and Denaya as breeding hopefuls who will be making their debut as moms in 2019. 

We also added two new members to our future chocolate Mi-ki breeding program. The first is Jubilee’s Champagne Truffle – a 4.5-pound solid chocolate female. Truffle earned her UKC Championship for us in July of 2018. 

Jubilee’s Champagne “Truffle!”

We also adopted a chocolate-carrying Mi-ki male with a gorgeous red and white coat.  Baron weighs 5.5 pounds and has a very sweet, loving, quiet personality. 

Brumby’s Run “Baron” von Royal T

New Champions!

2018 also gave Royal T Mi-kis two UKC Champions! First, our very own Royal T’s Brilliant Brighton, and later Jubilee’s Champagne Truffle. We are looking forward to showing our sires and other upcoming juveniles in 2019.

New Friends

We are so blessed to have such wonderful adopters who have also become friends. We love getting updates and following our former puppies on their social media accounts. 

Looking towards 2019

We’re excited for our expanded program in 2019 and anticipate producing our first chocolates and possibly our first smooth-face Mi-kis. We also anticipate moving our homestead to a more rural location to accommodate our breeding program. We will likely have more Mi-ki puppies available around March 2019. Stay tuned for updates!

Breeding Mi-ki Dogs: Not for the faint of heart!

We are so pleased to announce that we have had another litter here at Royal T Mi-kis! The proud parents are Rayne and Moses. You can read more about them on the “Our Dogs” page.

For those of you that prefer to cut to the chase, the good news is that we have two beautiful puppies! The first is a girl we’re calling Felicity after good fortune and happiness. She appears to have her mother’s black and tan saddle pattern with white toes and a white stripe down her chest. She is tiny but vocal! She already looks like she has her mother’s sweet face.

We also have a handsome dark sable boy named Finnegan, which means “little fair one.” Surprisingly, Finn looks just like what his father Moses did when he was a puppy. You’d never guess now that our strawberry blonde stud was ever so dark! The color changes are just one of the fun features of the Mi-ki dog breed. And sweet Finn will likely become his namesake and be a light creamy apricot with dark fringe as he matures.

Now for those of you who appreciate details, here’s why we say that breeding dogs is not easy.

Puppies come when they want to come

This was Rayne’s second delivery and it was nothing like her first. The first was a textbook whelping with the puppies coming at even intervals with few complications other than helping reposition mom’s pelvis to make room for the new life.

According to our dog birthing calculator, Rayne would likely be due today (8-7-2018), and not three days ago, but I also knew that her first suitor was trying to woo her for several days and couldn’t seem to get the job done. Moses came to Rayne’s rescue late in her cycle, and so it wasn’t shocking that she delivered a bit earlier than what the calendar said (basing it on ovulation rather than the date of breeding.)

But it was a little disappointing that Rayne chose to deliver during my brother’s giant going-away party. Dog breeders pretty much have to put their lives on hold around delivery time, and that’s just how the cookie crumbles sometimes. Sorry to miss the event, Jeremy and Barbie! We’ll visit you in Alaska!

Puppies don’t always come easily

Rayne started leaking fluid, and developed the classic bubble of the sac, but no puppy was coming out… for over an hour, then two. We used the wheelbarrow technique to help reposition the puppy in case it was transverse over the canal. After elevating Rayne’s hips higher than her head for several minutes, the sac went away. I was getting pretty nervous and was gloving up to get ready to perform the stuck puppy protocol with lube and a feeding tube. But Rayne finally started pushing and out came a beautiful little female – Felicity!

The next puppy took a very, very long time. I found myself scrolling through the files and entries of the various puppy birthing Facebook community pages I belong to and my Myra Savant Harris dog breeding books. Savant Harris believes we need to trust nature more than we have been, that we’ve lost far too many of our precious dogs to complications with all-too-common C-sections. She says the main key is to watch your female and not the clock. A resting and nurturing mother who is tending her pup(s) is not one that needs to be cut open. Pauses in delivery, even very long ones, are normal.

Uterine inertia or a natural pause in labor and delivery? How to decide? All I know is that Rayne is my treasure, and as long as she wasn’t freaking out, I would try and follow her lead while lifting up prayers. I stayed in my street clothes all night with the emergency clinic on speed dial.

Sometimes there are angels

Early the next morning, Rayne calmly delivered a beautiful stillborn female after resting peacefully through the night. The tiny angel came down folded wrong and judging by her size and the placenta, she may not have survived, regardless of early intervention. It is a difficult thing to face and was our first loss as a kennel. Apparently, 30% of puppies die before, during, or shortly after birth, and we’ve been way ahead of that statistic and are extremely blessed.

Twenty minutes later, a very dark sable boy was delivered, and he is healthy and just so sweet! Finnegan is larger than his sister Felicity, but he’s less demanding. We’ve had to supplement his feedings to keep his weight up, which isn’t uncommon in the first few days with the very tiny breeds. It’s my privilege to stay near these babies and lose sleep for feedings, though now I remember why it’s the young people who have babies!

Though it was heartbreaking to lose a puppy, our beautiful Rayne is whole, healthy and happy with two puppies to tend. It was the right decision. She taught me a lot about patience and trust.

No, breeding and raising puppies is not for the faint of heart. We do it for the love of the breed and to bless others with such wonderful companions.

Hopefully, our next litters will be less complicated. Stay tuned!



Introducing Our New Mi-ki Champions!

Mi-ki UKC Champion: Royal T’s Brilliant Brighton

We are very excited to announce that we have two new UKC champions! First, it was Royal T’s very own Brilliant Brighton, and she really did shine with her silky white coat and gleaming personality. The icing on the cake was that Brighton achieved her champion status on my birthday, and I couldn’t have asked for a better gift!


As you may recall, our first foray into the show ring last November was very successful, except for the fact that yours truly managed to accidentally miss one of the group competitions. Being so rare, Mi-kis can usually only receive their UKC championship titles by competing with other breeds in the companion category. Along with at least 100 points, three competition wins are required to win a championship. Brighton had enough points but needed one last competition win.

So when Brighton beat her kennel mate Truffle on Friday, I realized, “I think she’s a champion!” And she was, and is, and always will be… ribbons or no ribbons. She’s our firstborn Royal T offspring, and it felt right to have her win on my special 45th birthday.

Mi-ki UKC Champion: Jubilee’s Champagne Truffle

With Brighton’s championship in the bag, next, we focused on our sweet little chocolate Truffle, bred by Barbara Briggs of Jubilee Mi-kis. Weighing just 4 pounds 5 ounces, Truffle is a little dot on the show ring floor. Her beautiful chocolate color has silvered to a gorgeous taupe, but I was worried that she’d blend into the concrete floor of the ring.

To become a champion, we needed Truffle to beat Brighton in the next four shows. Those would also count as competition wins. Beating Brighton would be a feat because Brighton’s outgoing personality and bright white coat are so vibrant.

How would tiny Truffle do against the other companion breeds in the group competitions? We learned that many of the other dogs were already AKC champions, so the competition was pretty stiff! Plus, with UKC shows, our tiny Mi-kis can be competing with athletic Dalmatians, glamorous Shih Tzus, popular French Bulldogs, and flashy miniature Poodles.

Truffle always gets lots of positive feedback at our Plum Creek Kennel Club conformation class. She naturally stacks beautifully (meaning she stands straight and evenly) and always gives the judge a warm expression with alert ears. Truffle moves so smoothly and has such lovely proportions, so I was hopeful that she was just a little nervous when she lost to Brighton but would do well after that practice run.

Sure enough, after a long weekend of four more shows, Truffle was able to beat Brighton each time to gain her required 100 points! Since Truffle beat Brighton, those also counted as her competition wins.

The pleasant surprise was that tiny Truffle was able to catch the notice of the judges. She placed 4th in the group competition three times! I’ve heard from more experienced showers that the rare breeds don’t usually get much recognition in the group rings, so the fact that Truffle placed at all was a significant win not only for her but also for the Mi-ki breed. We’re very proud of her!


Special Thanks

Of course, these wins wouldn’t be possible without the support of our friends and family. Thanks to Bill Parker, the other half of the Royal T Team for helping me show, to my daughter Annaliese who also showed for the first time, and my aunt Marty Frick who came to support us and even took a little video for us!


Aunt Marty Frick came out to support us at the Twin Peaks dog show!

We are also grateful to our judges including Kathy Carter who awarded Brighton with her Championship, Alan Krenek who gives us wonderful advice and training, Heidi Scheff, the cheerful and thorough Sandy Shaw, and Rick Gann, who awarded Truffle with her Championship.

Championship photos credit: Randy and Kindra Solomon.