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.
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
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.